Latest Events

Summer Holiday Day Trips 2017

Summer Holiday day trips are being booked now with forms available at Whitley school offices. This year's trips include:

Monday 24th of July – Seaside trip to Weymouth

Wednesday 2nd May – Legoland Theme Park, Windsor

Saturday 12th of August – Zoo trip to Marwell Zoo



Aspire2 Raffle 2017

Get your tickets now for this year's raffle tickets. Our exciting prizes include a dinner at the House of Parliament, cash, wine, chocolates and more. The draw will be held on 5 July 2017 so don't miss out. 

Aspire2 on Broad Street

Aspire2 partnered with the National Citizenship Service this August to promote outdoor learning and raising the aspirations of local communities. A group of young people, Team Reiss, set up stall on Broad Street on Friday August 5. Offering free craft activities and face painting, it was a day of creativity as well as raising awareness.

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Aspire2 would like to thank the young people from Team Reiss and the organiser at the National Citizenship Service.  


Young Poets Shine in Whitley Schools’ First Poetry Festival

imageCats Hiding in Boxes, Thor the God of Thunder and Cakes in the Staff were amongst the performances that kept the audience entranced at the first ever Whitley Schools’ Poetry Festival held at the University of Reading’s Whiteknights Campus.

Hosted by Paul Lyalls, star of BBC2 and CBBC’s Big Slam Poetry House and former poet in residence at the Roald Dahl Museum, the event was sponsored by Aspire2 the charity that supports community events in Whitley, and brought together children from primary schools across Whitley.

“I like to cheer people up,” Lyall told the youngsters, revealing that he prefers not to write sad poems, “or I want to make my readers think about the wonder and beauty in the world.” And there was plenty to wonder at in the performances and the poems on show in the festival, as well as a lot to cheer everyone up.

In a competition of extraordinarily high standards, the Early Years and Key Stage 1 prize for performance went to Year 1 from The Ridgeway School, whose rendition of The Sound Collector by Roger McGough just pipped Blagdon Nursery School’s offering, My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton, and Geoffrey Field Infants’ presentation, Talking Turkeys by Benjamin Zephaniah. In the junior competition, Whitley Park gave a spirited enactment of Roald Dahl’s bloodthirsty poem The Crocodile, while Christ the King theatrically whined and whinged through Michael Rosen’s Car Trip, though the winners were Geoffrey Field Junior School whose cheerfully irreverent Cakes in the Staffroom by Brian Moses provoked smiles and laughter from everyone.

Trophies for the best original poems were also judged in two categories. For the children aged 3 – 7, Cliward Goes of Christ the King won with his entertaining fantasy What If…? in which he imagined a fireman turning into a scary dragon and breathing fire over a fire-proof city, while in the 7 – 11 category Jayden Pereira of Whitley Park was awarded first prize for his lyrical song to the moon.


IMG_3190Churches Fun Day 2016

Aspire 2 volunteers were out in force at the South Reading Churches Fun Day on 9th July. Our biscuit decorating stall was a big hit. Kids from Whitley decorated more than 450 biscuits with icing, sprinkles and chocolate chips, while the grown-ups found out more about Aspire 2 and what we do. The fun day is now in its 12th year and is held on Rabson's Rec every July. Everyone at Aspire2 loves getting involved with the other community groups in Whitley as well as giving local kids a chance to get creative and messy with their biscuits.

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Reading Half Marathon: Support Aspire2

Are you a keen runner or looking for a challenge? Aspire2 is looking for people to run the reading Half Marathon on Sunday 3rd April 2016 and raise funds to help support our community programmes. If you are interested in running on our behalf please contact Christina Pepper at

If running is not your thing but you would like to support those running the Reading Half Marathon please visit our fundraising page

Flamboyance: Saturday 27 February

The Oracle and her council need your help. A strange greyness is growing over Whitley...” Whitley's first winter light festival will unravel the story of the Oracle and her pet chameleon. Working with local schools, artists Nick Garnett, Jude Haste and Richard Bentley will launch this year's WhitFest in a dazzle of fire and light. Join us at Longbarn Recreational Grounds on Saturday 27 February, 5pm - 7pm.



Children's Christmas Party 2015

Christmas came a little early in Whitley as the community celebrated at the Aspire2 Children's Christmas Party on Saturday 12 December. This year we partnered with WDCA to bring an afternoon of activities, music and food. And let's not forget...Santa! Launching this year's WhitFest, local artist Sara Knapp taught children how to make Christmas lanterns out of recycled glass. There was also: ornament making, lucky dip, wish on a star, guess the weight of the cake, pass the parcel and an Xmas Splat the Rat. It was an afternoon of fun had by all.

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WEC Public Speaking Competition 2015

In November, The Whitley Excellence Cluster (WEC) schools held internal Public Speaking competitions. This has been open to pupils from Years 5 & 6 in each of the 6 participating schools: Geoffrey Field Junior, Christ the King Primary, New Christ Church Primary, Palmer Academy, The Ridgeway Primary, Whitley Park Primary. Two pupils represented their school in the Final on Wednesday 11th November. Children spoke about their ‘hero’ and were judged by:

  •  The Mayor of Reading, Councillor Sarah Hacker
  • Chairman of Aspire2 (the WEC charity), Martin SalterPublic Speaking Winners Nov 2015
  • University of Reading, Dr Steve Musson
  • Pupils from Year 2 in participating schools and Geoffrey Field Infant school

The event was held at the University of Reading, in the Sorby Room in the Wager building. 

And the winners were...

1st prize:  Geoffrey Field Jnr - Fathima Azaa Mohamed Faleel 
2nd Prize Whitley Park - Dapo Oyebatta
3rd prize:  Geoffrey Field Jr - Sarah Ibrahim Hashim 


AGM and Annual Quiz 2015

The Autumn is Aspire2's time to reflect on the previous year and put plans for the coming year into motion. On Friday 16 October the Trustees and Partners invited members of the community to hear of the successes and challenges in 2014-2015.

The AGM also serves as a lead in to the always hugely competitive Annual Quiz. This fundraising event saw 17 teams compete for the top honours with participants from local government, schools, university and charities.  Aspire2 raised over £500 which will go towards this year's Children's Christmas Party. 

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July 2015: Churches Fun Day:

On Saturday 12th July, South Reading Churches held their annual fun day on Rabson’s Recreation Ground. The day was a free event for the community where there was a range of activities, stalls and entertainment for all ages! Aspire 2 went along to the event with home baked stars and rocket biscuits for children to come and decorate. The icing flowed and the chocolate sprinkles scattered until biscuits were dripping and hidden beneath. Those that came along to decorate their biscuits took their time and came up with some interesting designs for their stars and rockets. Finally, once they had shown off their designs, they tucked in and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet tastes.

July 2015: WhitFest

The theme for WhitFest is ‘The Future of Whitley’ and we want to celebrate everything we love about Whitley. This year WhitFest is working in partnership with Whitley Excellence Cluster of schools, University of Reading, Creative Junction, Real Time, The Red Van Man, Academy Sport, Whitley Library, South Reading Community Centre, Cedar Court, Whitley Wood Community Centre, Hexham Community, and Whitley GrowAllot. Please visit the WhitFest page for more details.

March 2015: Aspire2 Easter Raffle:

Thank you to everyone who took part in Aspire2's first Easter Raffle. We raised £937 for this year's WhitFest. Congratulations to the winners of the raffle!

November 2014: Forest Skills Programme:

From 17-19th November we took a group of year 5 and 6 pupils from across WEC schools to participate in a pilot Forest Skills programme at Ufton Court. Fifteen pupils attended from Geoffrey Field Junior, Whitley Park, Christ the King and the Palmer Academy. The group will go back in January and again in March - to really build on their skills, and for teachers to measure the impact of Forest Skills back in the classroom. See Summer Trips for more details!