Education Supplement 2020


Thursday, September 3, 2020 29

Newbury Weekly News


Thursday, September 3, 2020 30

Newbury Weekly News

The Downs School

welcoming, all-inclusive and purposeful. Staff, pupils and parents work together to create an environment in which young people are supported to realise their full potential and achieve their personal goals. The Downs School has a proven track record of success and is incredibly proud of excellent exam results this year, reflecting the hard work and commitment the pupils have given to their learning. Please visit the website or more detailed information about the school. The Downs School, Compton, Newbury RG20 6AD; tel: (01635) 270000

striving to move beyond outstanding through their philosophy ‘Learning together, learning for life’. They provide a balanced approach to the pursuit of excellence by offering an interesting, challenging and lively curriculum. Pupils gain academic, creative, sporting and social skills, both in and out of the classroom, ensuring a well-rounded learning experience for all. They also place a strong emphasis on the partnership between staff, students and parents and respect the trust placed upon them by parents who actively choose the school for their children. The Sixth Form is vibrant,

THE Downs School and Sixth Form is set in the heart of the West Berkshire Downs. Staff are committed to excellence and achievement at all levels and develop their pupils into well-rounded young adults, able to venture into a rapidly-changing world with confidence and determination. These principles are summed up in the school vision ‘Educating today’s young people for the world of tomorrow’. Judged as ‘Outstanding’by Ofsted in every category, The Downs is not a school to stand still. To ensure that every child’s educational experience is as rich, character-building and varied as possible, they are

• Exceptional teaching, high expectations and inspired, highly motivated students • A curriculum characterised by richness and diversity • Strong school/parent partnership • Proven track record of academic success • Judged by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ • Vibrant and engaging Sixth Form, with a strong sense of community • Excellent support with careers and university applications The Downs School, Compton, Newbury, Berkshire, RG20 6AD. For further information please contact us on (01635) 270000 or visit

Personal Excellence and Collective Responsibility



Trinity School is a great place to be! Our school motto ‘Personal Excellence and Collective Responsibility’, puts students’ academic achievement and personal wellbeing at the heart of everything we do. Our excellent exam results speak for themselves; we are in the top 20% of schools nationally for value added progress. Our challenging, academic curriculum develops independent, critical thinkers and equips students to be successful in a competitive world. Our pastoral care is excellent, as are our enrichment opportunities. We provide support and nurture our students’ talents and strengths in all areas of school life through our leadership and talent programmes. Our students develop and grow and become strong ambassadors for our school. We provide superb extra-curricular opportunities, in a wide range of areas, to complement DQG H[WHQG RXU FXUULFXOXP 7KH IDFLOLWLHV RQ RරHU DW 7ULQLW\ 6FKRRO DUH H[FHOOHQW DQG LQFOXGH an extended and refurbished Sixth Form block; an impressive Drama Studio, Recording Studio and Dance Studio; extensive IT and Media facilities; purpose-built Library and Learning Centre, a modern Sports Complex which includes a well equipped gym and outdoor courts. Trinity works closely with the wider, local community and enjoys extensive links with local businesses like Vodafone, the Corn Exchange and the Watermill Theatre as well as sports, arts and charity groups. We are particularly proud of our highly-successful primary school link groups which encourage children from our feeder primary schools to get involved in all aspects of our school. We are a high performing school with high expectations. We challenge our students to achieve their very best, expecting personal excellence from all. T his year we will be inviting families to individual appointments to come and see our school and meet Dr Wilson, our Headteacher throughout September and October. To book your appointment please register on our website or call 01635 510500.

7ULQLW\ /RYH /DQH 1HZEXU\ %HUNVKLUH 5* '8 7HOHSKRQH (PDLO R෈FH#WULQLW\ QHZEXU\DFDGHP\WUXVW RUJ ZZZ WULQLW\QHZEXU\ RUJ “It is our guiding principle that student achievement is at the heart of all we do”


Thursday, September 3, 2020 31

Newbury Weekly News

Secure your future at BCOT

IF you or someone you know is considering your next steps after leaving school or college, Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) promises to give you the secure your future career. Having seamlessly adapted to remote and online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic, and with a host of new safety measures in place from September 2020, BCoT is a secure and safe environment to study this year. Situated in the heart of Basingstoke, the college has a wide range of full-time courses across a range of levels and is also one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the region, offering more than 60 different training programmes. Instead of traditional classroom- based learning, studying at BCoT gives you the opportunity to learn at the forefront of education technology from industry experts. Recognised as one of the leading colleges in the UK for its use of digital technology across all courses, BCoT offers a more ‘hands-on’, active approach to studying. Students also benefit from the opportunity to work with, and learn from, experts and specialists within their chosen industry. This combination of active learning and industry expertise plays a fundamental part of student progression and achievement at the college. Ninety-seven per cent of BCoT skills, confidence and experience you need to


There is still time to join us this September!

• Join a top UK college for digital teaching and learning* • Learn from experienced and specialist teachers • Study in modern industry-standard facilities

and the different modules within the course really helped me to secure my place at university.” There’s still time to secure your future at BCoT – apply now for a full-time course or apprenticeship. To find out more and get further information on the expert teaching on offer from industry-standard lecturers, unrivalled employer links and industry placement opportunities, visit

students progress to university, employment or further study so you can be reassured that progression and academic achievement is possible with the technical skills qualifications the college offers. Former student Elly Welburn is just one example. After studying a Level 3 Sports course at BCoT, Elly is now studying sports therapy at Solent University. Elly said: “The course and my teachers [at BCoT] were great,

*BCoT is recognised as an Edtech Demonstrator College 2020, by the Department for Education.


Kennet School An Outstanding Academy VIRTUAL TOUR OF OUR SCHOOL from 17 September 2020

- quality We understand that choosing a new school for your child is a huge decision and the many factors that have to be weighed up. Throughout the process, you will be steered by an unswerving belief that your child deserves the very best. A high learning environment, of course, and a culture that embraces care, tolerance and trust. At Kennet School, we share your belief. Our aim, quite simply, is to enable every one of our pupils to grow into a responsible and fulfilled adult with the skills, qualifications and confidence to shape their futures.

Take our virtual tour (available on our website from 17 September) to witness the sheer brilliance of Kennet School for yourself!

Kennet School, Stoney Lane, Thatcham, Berkshire RG19 4LL


01635 862121


Thursday, September 3, 2020 32

Newbury Weekly News

John O’Gaunt School

JOHN O’Gaunt School in Hungerford is a small school with a big heart. It provides a rich environment where each pupil can thrive and develop. The staff truly believe that their role is to inspire pupils and make them believe that anything is possible. They want them to know that, with their support, they can achieve their dreams. A broad and varied curriculum, highly effective teaching and high-quality feedback are key and the school wants learning to be engaging and inspiring for all. The school benefits from some relatively small class sizes and they pride themselves on getting to know each student as an individual. The school is rapidly improving as evidenced by the ‘Good’ Ofsted Inspection in 2019. Inspectors gave glowing praise to the school after four years of improvements, including vastly improved attainment and progress. Inspectors said, “Staff know their pupils extremely well and support them effectively in their personal development… teaching and pupils outcomes are good.” The report highlighted a range of excellent areas across the school Being part of the exceptional Excalibur Academies Trust ensures the school receives superb support and challenge. It also enables pupils to complete

“John O’Gaunt is a ‘good’ school” – Ofsted 2019

Inspire - Believe - Support - Achieve Open Evening Thursday 8th October 2020, 4.30-7.00pm Full details will be available on our website nearer the date, and will adhere to the latest Covid guidelines. We look forward to welcoming you to look around John O’Gaunt School. Tel: 01488 682400 Email:

their education with A-levels at the outstanding St John’s Marlborough. Academic success is extremely important, but school life is far more than that. Alongside strong teaching, the wellbeing of pupils underpins the academic curriculum and the school wants every pupil to gain the skills to lead healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. They are also proud of the close relationships they have with the local community – working successfully with parents and carers helps to create generations of happy and successful learners.

Head of School Richard Hawthorne said, “John O’Gaunt is a unique place where we are restless in our pursuit of excellence in all that we do. “The school is truly going places. Whilst the school offers all the benefits of larger schools, its small size enables us to offer a personalised approach so students can thrive both academically and pastorally. “At John O’Gaunt your child will be known. “We are really looking forward to meeting students, parents and carers at our forthcoming open events.”

St Bartholomew’s School This highly successful school offers a diverse and sƟmulaƟng educaƟonal environment

Every student is valued equally as an individual within an inclusive ethos. The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all, as are the extensive extracurricular activities which were described as ‘exceptional’ by Ofsted.

St Bart’s history spans 550 years and is an excellent example of tradition combined with future opportunity, ensuring all students gain life-skills and confidence a caring and supportive environment.

In recent years, St Bart’s is the highest performing West Berkshire secondary school at GCSE. At A level, we have a large, vibrant and successful sixth form offering the widest range of courses locally.

Last year an impressive one third of grades overall were 7-9 at GCSE. 84% of students achieved grade 4 or above in English and Mathematics.

“Within the ambitious and caring ethos of the school students make excellent progress and achieve very well.” Ofsted 2018

Virtual Open Evening: Tuesday 15 September 2020, 6:30pm Live presentaƟon by the Headteacher at 6:30pm. Joining instrucƟons on our website:

Tel: 01635 521255


Thursday, September 3, 2020 33

Newbury Weekly News

The Willink School

THE Willink School and Sixth Form is a dynamic learning community. Their ethos is encapsulated in the phrase “village school, global outlook”; to develop mature and responsible citizens who, as members of society, will go on to make a positive contribution to Britain in a global context. In 2017 the school became a DfE designated Teacher Training School with expertise in Initial Teacher Training, school to school support and professional development and in 2020 they became the lead school for the Möbius Maths Hub – one of only 40 Hubs across the UK working with The National Centre for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics, to develop and spread excellent practice in the teaching of mathematics for the benefit of all pupils. The school’s success is based on an approach to education which combines the highest expectations with sensitivity to learners’ individual needs, concentrates on developing and maintaining the very best standards of learning and teaching, and takes every opportunity to recognise and reward achievement. The school desires all their pupils to ‘Engage, Respect and Achieve’ and every year we are very proud of the confident, skilled and ambitious students who leave us. In recent years about two-thirds of pupils achieve at least five grade 5s at GCSE and 30 per cent achieve A*/A at A-level. This year has understandably

Park House School

balance of ‘traditional’ subjects alongside arts, sport, technology and practical subjects. The Character and Values lessons contribute to a wider enrichment curriculum, helping pupils develop into kind, respectful, courageous and outward-facing young people. Pupil well-being is vital to the school and, supported by the active Student Council, they strive to offer the very best support so every pupil can be curriculum and culture appeal to you then Park House is the ‘right’ school for you too and they very much look forward to welcoming you to one of their Open Events in September and October. Please check Park House School’s website for details once school starts in September. safe, successful and happy. So, if the school’s values,

of attainment are supported to make excellent progress by staff who strive for them to achieve their best. As a result, pupils consistently achieve well above national and local authority averages at GCSE and in the top 15 per cent nation- ally for sixth form outcomes. Park House staff also know there is so much more to an education than just academic outcomes. Pupils, parents and Ofsted recognise this too and say that the school’s culture, values and the breadth of what they offer pupils beyond their studies are all excellent. Pupils develop a “high level of respect for each other and adults in the school” and they “have many after-school and lunchtime activities and clubs that they can attend and enjoy” (Ofsted, 2019). The curriculum offers pupils a

CHOOSING the right school for your child is important and Park House School is proud to say that parents and pupils tell them time and again that it is the ‘right’ school for them. Park House School enjoys a beautiful, leafy site on former parkland on the edge of Newbury from which has served the classroom accommodation, the facilities for sport, technology and the arts are excellent, having recently been designated a national hub for computer science. Academic success is an entitlement of every pupil and Park House School’s latest Ofsted inspection in September 2019 recognised that they have “the highest ambition for all pupils”. This means pupils at every level community since 1946. In addition to extensive

community. The Willink is delighted to celebrate that its Year 13 students have the educational currency required to accept places at university, including Oxbridge, or undertake a degree level apprenticeship and congratulate them on their impressive demonstration of maturity, resilience and determination throughout their studies and the past few months. To find out more about The Willink, visit

been stressful for all those involved in education and as a village school The Willink has been pleased to be able to help support their pupils to continue to engage with learning during this time. Pupils work hard throughout Years 10, 11, 12 and 13 and this ambition to achieve has been recognised in the school results for 2020. Learning at The Willink is a process of acquiring knowledge, skills and resilience to thrive as successful adults in a global

The Willink School Open Evening & Virtual Tours

Check our website or get in touch in September for information on Open Evening and Open Mornings

Come along to our Open Evening or take a virtual tour to discover more about our school.

Open Evening Thursday 17th September 2020, 6pm – 8.30pm

Virtual Open Evening If you are not able to join us in person, take a virtual tour of the school.

Details will be posted on

The Willink School is a high performing community school, Teaching School and DfE designated Maths Hub. Our success is based on an approach which combines the highest expectaƟons with sensiƟvity to learners’ individual needs. School Tours If you would like a tour of the school please register your interest with the Head’s PA, Mrs Bailey. Email: or call 0118 983 8425. Tours will take place as soon as it is safe to do so. @PHSNewbury Contact us on 01635 573911 Park House School, Andover Road, Newbury RG14 6NQ Park House School /ParkHouseSchool

School Lane, Burghfield Common, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 3XJ. Tel: 0118 983 2030


Thursday, September 3, 2020 34

Newbury Weekly News

Peter Symonds College

PETER Symonds College is a fantastic place to study where students enjoy being part of a vibrant, exciting community. By offering an unrivalled programme of subjects, enrichment opportunities and award-winning specialist support the college gives all its students the opportunity to excel. In January 2020 Peter Symonds was once again rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, a grade the college has now maintained for an incredible 15 years. Peter Symonds College has a great reputation for academic excellence. In 2019 the pass rate for A-level was 98 per cent, with more than a third of the grades awarded being at A* or A (34 per cent), and the proportion of the very highest grades (A*, A, B) an impressive 62 per cent. The pass rate for vocational courses was a superb 100 per cent, with 80 per cent of grades awarded at universities, including Oxbridge and Russell Group universities; successful employment or apprenticeships at leading companies; and many of the college’s music students have secured places at some of the country’s top conservatoires and music colleges. Students also make significantly better than expected progress on both A-level and vocational courses, based on the GCSEs they start with. The Ofsted report drew attention to the high level of support students receive, highlighting Distinction or above. Students go on to top

Newbury College

IT’S not too late to own your future at Newbury College. The summer of 2020 has been like no other. With the chaos of sudden lockdowns, extended furloughs and confusing exam results, you may be thinking about the future and what will happen next. The good news is that it’s not too late to enrol on a career-focused programme at Newbury College. Future-proof education Newbury College has been offering a career-based curriculum for over 70 years, led by employers to give you the best opportunities to gain the qualifications and skills you need, for the career you want. The college prepares students for the workplace of tomorrow, creating a fully immersive learning environment that blends hands-on, technical learning with underpinning knowledge and professional work-related activity.

Looking to progress in your career? In partnership with University Centre Newbury, Newbury College provides the widest range of career-focused programmes for adults in the local area. Subjects range from accountancy and business to electrical installation and engineering, starting at basic levels and progressing up to postgraduate degree. Part-time courses can fit around your existing work and other commitments. An apprenticeship could even provide you with the opportunity to earn while you learn – at any age.

Careers, not courses Career-focused education for those who want a more hands-on approach than the traditional academic route. Newbury College works in partnership with local businesses to plan and deliver a curriculum that supports the local economy and job market. This ensures that your qualifications, skills and knowledge will be what employers are looking for. Just finished year 11? Full-time study programmes at Newbury College are assessed in a variety of ways, rather than through the traditional essay and exam methods. This can be beneficial if you prefer to be assessed differently and demon- strate your skills in other ways. BTEC and T Level qualifications offer UCAS points, just like A-levels, and provide pathways in meaningful employment or progress onto higher education, either at university or the new University Centre Newbury.

maintain a remarkable enrichment offer of over 140 activities to give all our students an opportunity to stretch them- selves, learn something new and develop a current skill or take some time to relax and have fun. “It’s about providing a balanced, well-rounded education and great to see the benefits of this programme recognised by the inspectors.” Open Evenings for 2020 entry will take place on Tuesday, October 20, Wednesday, October 21, and Thursday, October 22 – please keep an eye on the website for further details.

drop-in workshops and one-to- one sessions, and recognised that students with high needs received sensitive and comprehensive support making them “as well prepared for progression to university or work as their peers”. The college is proud of the support available to all students and won the Sixth Form Colleges Association Annual Award for Student Support in summer 2018. The college’s enrichment programme of more than 140 extra-curricular activities was also highly praised by inspectors. Principal Sara Russell said: “We have worked hard to develop and

It’s not too late to enrol If you would like to speak to someone about the

opportunities available this September or how Newbury College can support your future, visit

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ENROL CAREER-FOCUSED QUALIFICATIONS FOR SCHOOL LEAVERS AND ADULTS The future may be feeling uncertain, but we are here to support whatever it brings, whether that’s a new career or the next step in education. We’ve been working to adapt to home-based learning during this time, future- proofing the delivery of a wide range of study methods from full-time programmes and apprenticeships to professional qualifications, online learning and business training. Explore exciting, career-focused subjects, including engineering, computing, digital, health and social care, leadership and management, public services and many more. ENROL NOW! ACHIEVE YOUR DEGREE LOCALLY University Centre Newbury (UCN) is expanding the higher education, training and development opportunities for the community and businesses within West Berkshire. „ Study up to degree and postgraduate level with nationally recognised qualifications from our university partners and awarding bodies. „ Save on expensive tuition fees* and the cost of relocation. „ Get the support you need to fast-track your career progression with hands-on, vocational learning developed in partnership with employers. newbury college

peter symonds college

open evenings

5.00–8.30pm tues 20, weds 21, & thur 22 oct 2020

for 2021 entry

01962 857555

Please visit for all the latest developments and updates.

Peter Symonds College Owens Road


Winchester SO22 6RX

*When studied as part of an apprenticeship.

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Thursday, September 3, 2020 35

Newbury Weekly News

How to ease the return to school post lockdown

Angela Jordan Newbury Tuition What a year! Are you worried about the effect on your child’s confidence and progress? I can help your child to thrive again.Whatever schools decide, I’ll be continuing with the private tuition that I’ve provided full- time for over a decade, face-to-face (with screen and visor) or via Skype. I’m a fully qualified, very experienced, highly effective teacher (BA (Durham), PGCE; 20 years primary and secondary school teaching; OFSTED “outstanding”). I can fill in the gaps; boost confidence; improve grades. I’m currently tutoring very happy children aged 8 to 16. I provide English tuition for Keystage 2 and 3; GCSE English; all subjects for 11+; and spelling and reading. I can help with the transition fromYear 6 to 7 or Year 9 to 10. Before 2020, all of my GCSE English Language and Literature (AQA,WJEC, OCR, Edexcel) tutees exceeded their predicted grades. Tutees (aged 8 and over) increase their spelling and reading age by up to 4 years after 33 specialised lessons. I teach in a dedicated room in my house in Newbury or via Skype. I’m told I’m friendly, sympathetic, effective and fun! Do contact me – I’m sure I can help.

IT is common for parents and children to experience a mixture of emotions as the new school year begins. This year it is likely that we may experience ‘new worries’. During the pandemic children will have experienced lots of changes, some of which will have been difficult – such as not being able to go where they’d like to, not spending time with important friends and relatives or not being in their familiar routine. Other changes will have been positive and life affirming, as many families had time to reconnect and create lifelong memories. No one can measure the full impact on children’s mental health and wellbeing, however, there are many ways to reduce heightened levels of anxiety and encourage a feeling of confidence, security and positivity. Be a role model – acknowledge and talk about your own feelings, normalising the fact that all feelings come and go. Be mindful – don’t share anxieties with your child about returning to school, thereby heightening or providing a catalyst for them, rather talk to family members or friends about any worries, they may well be feeling the same as you. Be positive – talk to your child about going back to school in a happy and positive way. If your

This will engender confidence in your child. Be aware – there may be unexpected situations on your child’s return to school – a friend in a different class bubble or a new member of staff. If your child experiences a difficult emotion in relation to unwanted or unexpected events, attune without judgement: ‘I can see you’re feeling worried.’ When your child is fully calm, be creative together – consider helpful beliefs, behaviours and possible next steps. Be together – if you notice after an appropriate settling in period your child is displaying signs of anxiety or worry, such as changed sleeping patterns or irritability, talk to your child’s class teacher. Any difficulties are more likely to be overcome through teachers and parents working together. Change provides a wonderful opportunity to develop resilience. Many children will soon experience the purposeful benefits of a sense of routine, security and belonging, developing their confidence, independence and interests outside the family setting. This article is taken from Out&About magazine, available to pick up free from today (Thursday) from local village stores and shops and outlets in and around Newbury.

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Amanda Bailey

child has not returned to the setting, reassure them how much they will have been missed and how pleased the staff will be to have them back. Be attuned – sometimes children can experience ‘good stress’, becoming overexcited. Label the emotion: ‘I can see It may be necessary to channel the energy such as playing an energetic outdoor game. After you have ‘matched the energy’ provide your child with an opportunity to calm and relax. Be prepared – Familiarise yourself with any changes, such as a new drop off or pick up time, a one-way system, or what your child can take into school. you’re feeling excited, enthusiastic, positive.’

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Thursday, September 3, 2020 36

Newbury Weekly News

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Happy & Successful Students at QMC The ethos at Queen Mary’s College reflects that there should not be a choice between student wellbeing and academic success, as one actually leads to the other.

QMC has a proven track record of success; results are consistently high with the College being in the top quartile of colleges nationally. Value added scores are excellent, meaning that students at all levels do better than expected at QMC, based upon their GCSE results. And the success doesn’t stop there. Data from the Higher Education Statistic Agency demonstrates that students go on to out-perform students from other colleges at degree level. Others go on to secure excellent apprenticeships and jobs too. The lockdown period has been particularly challenging for Year 11 pupils and the staff at QMC fully understand that the step up from school to college is a significant one. Rest assured that the College has measures in place to ensure that transition is well managed. Whatever the future brings,

QMC students are in good hands and will remain connected, engaged and supported throughout their journey. There are measures in place for onsite learning, online lessons or a combination of the two. The College will undoubtedly continue to provide the best possible learning experience for its students.

By providing structure and connection QMC students have been kept engaged, happy and learning throughout lockdown. The teachers have adapted swiftly, using Google Classrooms to ensure that face to face learning and peer to peer interaction has continued throughout. End of year assessments have resulted in similar results to all other years, testament to the efforts of the College to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum.

be part of the success... enrolment 25-28 august | Queen Mary's College, Cliddesden Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 3HF

whatever the future has in store wherever you aspire to be we’ve got you covered

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