Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 100 (03/07/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 100 (03/07/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

This is the 100th edition of the SWA e-Newsletter! We started the e-Newsletter nearly six years ago, alongside a greater presence online with Facebook, Twitter and a new website. None of this would be possible without Mr Johnson and Miss Gardiner, who do all the work behind the scenes and are constantly looking for new ways to communicate with parents, students and the community. We have created a questionnaire (link below) to gauge usage and opinions which we would be very grateful if you could take five minutes to fill in.

In this bumper edition we take a look back at some of the amazing feats and progress we have made since edition #1, as well as thinking forward to what we can achieve by the time #200 is published!

As the A Level exams came to an end at the end of last week, we began next year’s journey with the Sixth Form induction day and two Year 8 induction evenings. The Year 11s had the opportunity to experience A Level taster lessons and meet the Sixth Form team. Meanwhile, the Year 8 students and their parents got the opportunity to meet their tutors, buy their uniform and hear about all the really important things – such as how to pay for your lunch using your fingerprint!

On Monday, Sue Clark, CBC portfolio holder for education came to visit the academy. I gave her a brief update on all the changes at the academy over lunch before talking about our plans for the future. We then went on a quick tour of the school and dropped into a number of lessons, as well as our outstanding ASD provision. She was very impressed with the work on display and commented on the talents and confidence of the students that we met on our tour.

On Friday we had a very successful day of mock interviews for Year 10 where around 30 parents and members of the community came in for the day to interview each of the students in Year 10 and a few Year 12s for up to 15 minutes. The students had to talk about their skills, subjects and interests in and out of school. Several of the interviewers mentioned that the students were often nervous at first but soon relaxed and talked confidently about themselves. They also mentioned that our students were often very modest and didn’t always sell themselves - which is something we will be working on next year.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending Henlow's Annual Reception and Sunset Ceremony
After meeting Wing Commander Rachel Mawdsley, we were entertained by a marching band and a flypast by a Hawk Training Jet, which caught everyone a bit by surprise as it was a lot quieter and a lot quicker than last year’s spitfire!

Last week we had our Heads of Department (HoDs) Away Day, which is a chance for HoDs to work with SLT on their review of this year and their development plans for 2019/20. We spent time looking at the new Ofsted Framework which has a much greater emphasis on the curriculum and the educational experience. This is a welcome change and gives us the chance to celebrate all the opportunities on offer at the academy, as well as the wide range of courses that are available both at GCSE and A Level.

In sport over the last fortnight, the girls athletics team came 11th in the country last week, which is an amazing but also agonising achievement, as only the top ten go through to the National Championships. In rounders the Year 9 girls beat Bedford Girls School in the final to become county champions. We also had some excellent and exciting sporting news from some of our individual sporting competitors which you can read about in the sport section below.

Finally, the amazing Summer Arts Festival was held on Monday (more about this in the next edition) and the High School Musical opening night is nearly upon us and tickets are selling fast, so please get your tickets soon to avoid disappointment!

Nick Martin
At SWA we are constantly evaluating the effectiveness of all our media platforms and whilst celebrating our 100th edition, we have created a short questionnaire designed for all parents/carers, students and staff to help us improve our services. We would really appreciate your feedback. Please click here to fill in the questionnaire.

Governor Update
It is appropriate in this 100th edition of the newsletter that we have so much good work to update you on, all of which epitomises what we do in the Governing Body and why we do it.

Much of our focus recently has been on working towards the Governor Mark Award. This is a kite mark of quality for school governance: if achieved, it not only proves that we do what is required of us and that we follow good processes to do so, but most importantly, it shows that our work as governors is genuinely having an impact on the quality of our students’ education. Hours and hours of work went into collating all the information and evidence required for the Governor Mark application and then meetings were held with external assessors in June. BEST is the first multi-academy trust going for the award as a group and we will find out whether we have been approved for it in July. The assessors’ verbal feedback was very positive as they left, so we are hopeful…

To help back up the excellent work the school has been doing on values this year, the governors have introduced a new Community Award for our Year 11 and Year 13 students. The award is aimed at those that make a real effort to enrich our school community through their work both inside and outside of Samuel Whitbread Academy. Form tutors have made nominations, tying their submissions back to the school’s values. The governors have selected the inaugural winners and they will be announced at the awards evening before the end of term.

Finally, we are looking for three new governors to join us. Having conducted a skills audit of the current Governing Body, we have identified the following specialisms we would ideally like to bring in: health and safety, special educational needs and GDPR (personal information privacy). It’s not too late to apply – Click here for more information.

We wish all the students leaving us this year the very best for their future and wish all of you a fantastic summer!

Year 9
Year 9 have been busy working very hard this term. I can imagine you are all intrigued and excited to hear how your children are progressing, both in core subjects and within other subject areas especially for what they may have chosen to study for GCSE. The Progress Review Evening for Year 9 is on Thursday 4th July. Please make a point of clearing your diaries for that evening. It is vital that you are aware of not only their progress, but also how you can support your children at home. I look forward to seeing you all on the evening.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
As we approach the end of term we inevitably have the odd issue with uniform that we need to address. Our uniform policy aims to provide a way for students to show that they are proud to be part of our Academy and gives them a sense of belonging. In addition, as I‘m sure you agree, it reinforces the idea that a smart appearance contributes positively to the students’ attitude to work and study. It can also influence how the school is portrayed to the general public, the local community and visitors to the school. The vast majority of students follow the uniform rules and regulations perfectly, however, we currently seem to have a number of students’ shoes that are ‘broken’ or have ‘worn out’ and been replaced by canvas shoes or trainers. We ask that these issues are addressed as soon as possible. The uniform policy also states that students should not have any facial piercings and we ask that if students do have facial piercings that they are removed. Clear studs are not acceptable.

Miss E Wisson
Year 12
At the time of writing, Year 12 are completing the last few internal progression exams. These results will help inform their progression into Year 13, as well as other assessment data. Next week (beginning 8th July) our year group embark on work experience. Thank you to parents and other family members who have helped with contacting employers, and hosting our students. We hope they find the week a very useful insight into the rigours of work! The last week of term brings us Year 12 sports day, House Olympics and Jambo and we look forward to our staff versus students tug of war contest!

Mrs S Hoad

SWA’s first official e-newsletter in its current format was published way back in December 2013. Between editions #1 and #100 so much has happened at Samuel Whitbread with numerous individual, team and whole school successes. In this section we take a look back to review some of these successes and how much the school has progressed in this time.
Duke of Edinburgh

Since starting the Duke of Edinburgh Award at SWA we have had over 700 participants enrolled – 571 Bronze, 93 Silver and 55 Gold. With 110 currently enrolled in the current Year 9 alone the project is burgeoning at the school and we aim to be one of the biggest in the country. With over 15 staff involved over the years it has been a very successful and fun activity and opportunity for students and staff to get involved in.

Since edition #1 we have carried out:
• 21 nights of Bronze expeditions
• 36 nights of Silver expeditions
• 40 nights of Gold expeditions
• Approx. 17,500 hours volunteering
• Approx. 11,700 hours learning a skill
• 20,000 hours of physical activity…
• … and hammered in approximately 20,340 tent pegs!

Over the course of the last five and a half years, the Design Technology and Engineering department has had a huge presence in and outside of school. With several hundred students graduating through our practical subjects at GCSE and post-16, many have gone on to start careers in the field with some of the expertise learnt at SWA. Our young engineers have completed dozens of races as Team Scooby, often finishing above university teams from all around the world, and our food technology and catering students continue to produce masterpieces in their practical assessments. We look forward to many more years of this!

The careers team would like to extend our thanks to all of the parents and companies who have supported us in recent years. We have had increased attendance at our careers fair in November as well as having a variety of interesting employers speak to our students in their engaging minds lessons. This year we have also had Reactivate and JobCentrePlus running workshops, our Year 10 mock interview day last Friday and a full week of Year 12 work experience. Since edition #1 SWA has helped many hundred students choose a career path that suits their needs, through designated careers appointments, higher education fairs, and . Thank you to everybody for helping us develop our current programme and we look forward to expanding careers further next year.
Sociology / Psychology

The sociology and psychology department has grown in size since edition #1 and now sits at the top of the school for A-Level results! So many of our students have gone onto university to study a degree in the social sciences and several have now graduated and are working in the various jobs available to such highly skilled graduates! The sociology department has also run three trips to Humber Prison in Hull to interview prisoners as part of their study of crime and deviance!

The geography department, as well as having well over 1000 students pass GCSEs and A-Levels in the subject since edition #1, have introduced students to many different countries, landscapes and cultures over the past five years. In all, just shy of 30 trips have taken place to various places at home and abroad. Students have studied the geography of places such as Walton-on-the-Naze and north Wales in the UK, as well as discovering the diversities of landscapes and cultures of Iceland, Italy and Switzerland abroad. In all, we have taken over 4000 students on trips - a mammoth effort! We hope to continue to provide opportunities for students to learn and be inspired by the diverse and changing world around them.
Performing Arts

Since the first e-newsletter was published the Music and Drama department have been extremely busy! Concerts, productions and performances are hugely important to the department and over the last five years we have put on and been involved in over 200 performances varying from Little Shop of Horrors, annual pantomimes, annual music concerts, weekly lunch time concerts to local village summer fetes! We’ve also performed at exceptional events, with one of our favourite highlights being a university ceremony where we sang during the entrance of The Duke of Edinburgh (and he even requested to hear our soul band before the party)! We have also won many competitions, with our soul band winning County Battle of the Bands and our choirs winning at Bedfordshire music festival four years in a row! We pride ourselves on being inclusive which means our cast sizes grow each production. With an average of 80 students per production, we have worked with over 500 students since the newsletter’s first edition! We’ve seen nearly 200 students achieve excellent results in their GCSE and A level music exams as well as nearly 300 students achieving a variety of grades in their instrumental music exams.

We are so proud of how the music department has evolved and want to take the opportunity to thank our dedicated students, visiting instrumental teachers and to the parents, who have all helped us grow and become one of the best music departments in the county!


In just over five years, PE at Samuel Whitbread has become almost unrecognisable. 2013 was the launch of the first Sixth Form sport course that students enrol in alongside their A-Levels and rugby was the chosen sport. Students would have rugby on their timetable and train as a first team to try and improve their skills and the team’s performance. For the first few years we had very low numbers take up the opportunity and with only 6/7 students on the course, it for a while looked like this new idea might not take off. Fast forward 5 ½ years to now, we are very excited to have 40 students on the rugby course in September alongside 40 on the football course and 20 on the newly established netball course. Students are travelling from all over Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire to get on board with Samuel Whitbread PE. 
On top of that we have experienced great success in a range of different sports in Bedfordshire, winning a staggering 70 county team titles in that time. However the biggest change is the emergence on the national stage. Samuel Whitbread’s PE is now recognised by schools across the country due to the success of some of our incredibly talented students. In recent years we had a fantastic trip to Manchester City’s academy stadium for the U16 football National Cup final vs a very strong Thomas Telford side. The success of the girls Gymnastics teams appears to be a yearly occurrence as we constantly make national finals, the highlight being a third placed finish for the school Acro team in the national final in Stoke. During the summer athletics season we consistently do well and challenge the national finals with many individuals making the schools national finals. 

However winning national titles was always the aim, and in 2018 we had our first as the talented equestrian team won. An incredible group of students who trained hard and put Whitbread on the map. Then this year we experienced the history making day at Twickenham. The first state school to ever complete the Vase double, winning both U15 & U18 competitions, something that will live with the players and supporters who were at the ground and cheering on from school.

For the PE department the biggest change is how the whole school has come together in support of the school teams and individuals that represent SWA. There is a real sense of pride about representing SWA and being associated with the school, something that we couldn’t be prouder of. Where will we be in another 5 ½ years?
Camps International

Since edition #1 SWA has taken students on three incredible trips, through Camps International, to experience life amongst communities in Africa, South America and Asia, as well as volunteering in projects to help some of the most in need. Students have travelled to Borneo in Indonesia, Ecuador and Tanzania. In all, nearly 100 students have enjoyed a life-changing month-long summer trip and we look forward to continuing this further as a record number travel next summer to Peru!
Samuel Whitbread Academy’s eco schools committee have teamed up with Seasons Fruit and Veg. Seasons deliver great local produce to your door without any plastic packaging. They support local growers and small businesses and even deliver zero waste shop, Bamboo Turtle produce. Please see their website for more details. As part of the ‘conscious shopper’ initiative, if you order from them and use the code ‘SAMWHIT01’ then our school will get 50p for every box you order which will go towards making our school a greener place.

The eco team are now collecting pens for recycling, feel free to send them into school and will shortly be collecting more for recycling including crisp packets, confectionery wrappers and disposable contact lens packets all through terracycle. Please watch out for more information.

The bee corridor has started to sprout and plans for a butterfly garden are underway. Our volunteers have been litter picking every Friday after school and gradually clearing the litter that has been blown into the hedges at the perimeter of the field.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for all the latest developments.

High School Musical
Our production of High School Musical
is nearly upon us! There are limited tickets available for performances next week (10th-12th July) so with that in mind please book early to avoid missing out!

Click here to buy tickets online.

Geography field trip
The Year 10 GCSE geographers recently fieldtrip to Walton-on-the-Naze for physical fieldwork. The sun was out, and our geographers really engaged with seeing the erosional and depositional processes at the coast.

They represented the school excellently, and even got the chance to enjoy some fresh fish and chips just meters from the sea!

High Attainers Day
Yesterday we had our third annual high attainers day were 40 Robert Bloomfield students were invited to attend a morning of challenging and engaging activities. The day was a brilliant success and the students spent the day working alongside staff. The day included creating esters with Miss Joseph in the chemistry labs which encouraged the students to work in teams to create ‘scents’. The students were able to show their creative side by designing a dramatic composition with Miss Meadows. The late morning sessions involved students working on a physics and stability challenge with Professor Hubbard where they had to create the tallest tower they could, which would stand on a ramp. The day was rounded off on the field with Mr Hart where all the students were involved in a game of ‘catch the ball’ (similar to ‘catch the flag’) – a strategy game that involved physical endurance, tactical thinking and an understanding of PE theory. Overall it was a fantastic day and it was great to have these exceptional students to visit – we hope to see them again in the not to distance future!

The U14 Rounders team had an unbelievable county tournament last week. Having played Kempston Challenger Academy and Bedford Girls School (BGS) 'C' team in our pool and beating both quite comfortably, we then took on BGS 'A' in the semi-finals. Having already lost to the same opposition in the league by half a rounder earlier in the season the girls were seeking revenge. Libby, Ella and Lauren had a fanatic batting round and then Izzy took a great catch to take us into the final. Coming up against yet another BGS team - BGS 'B' - again the girls knew it was going to be tough but SWA came out on top by just half a rounder in an incredibly  tense game! The girls played so well throughout the day and deserved to be crowned County Champions!
FA Attitude Counts Cup
A team of Year 9 boys footballers travelled to compete in the FA-run Attitude Counts Cup last week, and shone by finishing with most points on the day, finishing second overall in the county.

The initiative by the FA is to encourage good values through sport and so points were awarded for positive attitude, teamwork, helping a teammate score and general sportsmanship. The boys were a huge credit to the school and special mention goes to Daniel Beard who ended as performer of the day.
1st XV rugby captain Charlie Garwood has secured a spot in the Ealing Trailfinders' Academy programme for the forthcoming season. This is a great opportunity for Charlie to further his rugby career having been a pivotal part of the National Vase winning side at SWA. We wish him every success.
Nathan Hardy competed in the Minehead National Series long distance cycling last week, finishing a strong 19th in a very large and competitive field. It was also his first points in the National Series at U16 level. Well done Nathan, we look forward to hearing more success!
Nathan Litchfield this week became the Eastern Athletics hammer champion with a personal best winning throw of 54m 59cm. An incredible achievement, Nathan, well done.

Show my Homework
We an online system for setting homework. The site is called 'Show My Homework' and can be accessed here. All pupils have been given a username and password for parents and carers, so you can monitor the work being set and the quality of the homework being completed by your children. Please follow the link if you wish to know more about the website and the functions it has to offer parents and carers.
Is your Child using their
entitlement to Free School Meals?
If your child is already receiving Free School Meals please remind them that they are entitled to £2.20 per day. It is advised that they use this amount at lunch time when they will get the best deal for their money. If the amount is not used it is not carried over to the next day, it will be removed and £2.20 will be credited to the account on a daily basis.

If there are any problems using the Biometric Finger Print System please speak to one of kitchen staff either behind the counter or in the office. If your child feels uncomfortable approaching the kitchen staff then please go to the year team pastoral officer.

Please be aware that the process for using the biometric finger print is exactly the same for children using free school meals or paying for school meals.

School Closure Arrangements due to Severe Weather
Please find information below from Central Bedfordshire Council for parents/carers to register to receive school closure alerts:
In order to receive an e-mail alert via the Central Bedfordshire Schools’ Open Status (SOS) system, you will need to register:
• Click here 
• Click on 'register for updates' and fill in the text boxes
• Click on 'submit' You will then receive an email which contains instructions on how to 'activate' your account which will include a 'one off' activation code.
• Click here
• Go to 'Log in to edit your details' and type in your email address and the activation code.
• The next time you want to edit your details (e.g. change the names of schools you wish to receive alerts for) type in your email address and password.
Please do not try to ring radio stations to find out if schools will be closed. Telephone lines will be busy and this may prevent a vital call reaching the News Centre. Please listen to the radio or access the website for confirmation.
If you have an existing account but have lost your login details please send an e-mail to to have your details refreshed.
For further information, please click here (APPENDIX C S)   

Free School Meals
- Are you Entitled?
If you would like to find out if you are entitled for your child to receive Free School Meals please contact Customer Services at Central Bedfordshire on 0300 300 8306. Please have the following information ready: national insurance numbers and dates of birth for you and your partner, dates of birth for your children, and if you receive support from the National Asylum Support Service, your NASS number. You may qualify if your child attends a school full time in the Central Bedfordshire area, and you get any of the following: Income Support, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, The Guarantee element of State Pension Credit, Support from the National Asylum Support Service, Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit) and you have an annual income that does not exceed £16,190.

If you do not live in Central Bedfordshire area but your child attends a school in Central Bedfordshire full time, then you should apply to Central Bedfordshire Council, on 0300 300 8306. You will be informed if you are entitled to free school meals when you telephone, any problems verifying the entitlement will be discussed during the call. Please be advised that you can only apply for Free School Meals through Central Bedfordshire, Samuel Whitbread cannot process the application.
Young Carers
Our website now has links to organisations that offer advice and support for all the family along with young carers chat forums . Also you will find application forms for grants along with guidelines to help in making it easier to access any financial support you may need.
Pupil Premium
You may have received an email from us recently about the Pupil Premium funding that we have available to support some of our students. There is an application form on our website that you can use to request any support from the school - click here to see. All application forms or any requests for further information should be sent to

SEND Information Sessions
Free drop in information sessions are available for parents/carers with children with SEND. Click here to read more information.
Service Families
Samuel Whitbread is committed to supporting our service families. If you think you are going to be posted please contact Thomas Rowell ( so that he can help your child's transition go as smoothly as possible. We understand your circumstances might change again and that's OK. Kelly Furphy will also assist in any transition procedure and documentation needed.
Career information, advice and guidance support
The 4YPUK Careers Adviser Rose Birmingham is available for 1:1 appointments to talk though options and career ideas (or lack of ideas!) including apprenticeships, college courses, employment, training etc. To book an appointment visit: . Appointments are held in in Room 910 (Library).

More information and support can be found here on our website.
Brook Appointments
Brook appointments can be made via the Medical Room to speak to someone on a Thursday. Students can seek advice on issues such as online safety, healthy relationships, LGBT diversity, puberty, self esteem and many more.
Adopted Children
If your child is adopted from care, under a special guardianship order or a residency order, we can claim extra funding from the government to support them in their progress at school. The funding is part of the Pupil Premium Grant and we can use it for all sorts of support from 1:1 tutoring to help with equipment, revision guides and trips.

Please let Mr. Rowell if you think your child may be eligible for this support. Email:

Safeguarding Team
We take the safeguarding of our students very seriously at SWA and the safety and protection of our students is paramount in all that we do on a day to day basis. Mark Gibbs, Associate Principal, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Academy.

The team which includes Clare Hood, Associate Principal, Clare Bonham PSO Sixth Form, Jo Abbott PSO Year 9, Tanya Clark PSO Year 11, Thomas Rowell SENCO, Julie Saggers PSO Year 10, Vishali Yadav Head of Year 9 and Richard Sinclair Head of Year 11 are always willing to support and give advice.

If you do have any concerns about any of the students about their safety please contact a member of the Safeguarding team to discuss your concerns or contact The Central Bedfordshire HUB on 0300 300 8585 or if you live in Bedford Borough please call 01234 718700.





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BEST (Bedfordshire Schools Trust)

Samuel Whitbread Academy

Samuel Whitbread Academy has changed bank accounts. Could you please advise parents that all future cheque payments for school trips should be made payable to: Samuel Whitbread Academy – School Fund.
Signing In/Out
Following the installation of gates, students will only be able to enter and leave the school via reception. If your child needs to sign out during the school day, please make a note in their planner.  This will enable them to leave their lesson if necessary and sign out at reception ready to be collected.

All parents need to sign in at reception whenever they visit the site.
We would like to remind Parents and Carers of the regulations regarding holidays and would like to make you aware that Best Term dates may differ from the term dates published on the Central Bedfordshire website. Please see our website
The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006 and Central Bedfordshire advise that unless special circumstances* are identified then term time holidays should not be authorised. 

Absence Request Forms can be collected from the Attendance Office (Room 337).
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs A Martin – 01462 628041 or 
Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter

You are receiving this because you are a Student, 
Parent, Carer, Governor or Member of Staff at SWA. 

Samuel Whitbread Academy
Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
Tel: 01462 629900
Fax: 01462 629901

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