Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 104 (21/10/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 104 (21/10/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The first half term seems to have gone by in a flash and we've already achieved so much.

Last week we hosted a visit by a team of seven senior leaders from Brooke Western Academy, which is an outstanding school from Northampton. They spent three days looking at lessons, talking to students, teachers, heads of department and senior leaders. We have learnt an enormous amount from the visit and they have given us lots of ideas and strategies for moving us further forward as a school. We will continue to work with them all year and soon we will get to visit them in Northampton to learn how they achieve such stunning results. Like every visitor who spends any amount of time in the school they commented on how amazing our students are!

After half term we are also hosting a visit by an outstanding headteacher from Australia, who is spending a year travelling around the world on a sabbatical to learn about different education systems. After spending a day with us at SWA, she will spend a morning at Robert Bloomfield, before we then take her to Cambridge Uni for the afternoon. We’re hoping to learn lots about the Australian system during her visit.

Ex-student Maddie Morris was nominated as one of eight nominees for BBC Young Folk Singer of the Year Award and performed at a concert in Manchester. Radio 2 broadcasted the awards live on Wednesday evening and I'm delighted to announce that Maddie came away with the prestigious award. Her picture will now go up in our hall of fame alongside ex-students Ben Whishaw and Crissie from the Shires. Maddie is an immense talent and I'm sure this is just the start of a long and stellar career.

Whitbread's new Eco-school committee has been incredibly proactive and has made an amazing start to helping the school become more eco-friendly since its inception last year. Miss Ambrose delivered assemblies all last week on the committee's intention to help the Woodland Trust's initiative to plant one million trees (read more below). The idea has snowballed and we have now got a plan to ourselves plant 2020 trees by 2020. Following a fantastic idea from one of our parents, the plan will see every student planting a tree before they leave with their name on it. We are looking for parental help and sponsorships from garden centres. Please get in touch to find out more.

Sport has continued as it started the term with a 26-7 win over Bedford Modern School by the Year 10 Rugby team and the U15 girls football team beat Biddenham 10-4. In netball, the first VII narrowly lost to Berkhamstead. Its also been our first House sports event of the year with Netball and Rugby being played during lunch and P5 in all age groups.

Nick Martin

Year 9
We are at the end of the first half term at Samuel Whitbread. I am pleased to report that the year group have been outstanding. No matter who I speak to, the message is the same - What a lovely group of young people and what a pleasure they are to be around. In general our nerves and worries have been replaced with confidence, good manners and success. I already feel proud to be associated with this cohort and can't wait to see where the next few years take us. Please encourage your children to take a break over half term, recharge their batteries and be ready for more of the same.
Thanks again for the support they receive at home, it goes a long way to explain why the pupils in Year 9 have started so remarkably.

Mr R Sinclair
Year 10
Another good two weeks for our Year 10 cohort. As we break for half term can we remind parents to address any uniform issues e.g. school shoes and blazers. Our students have now fully settled into their options and have made very good impressions on their new subject teachers. Going forward into the new half term our Year 10s will be receiving their first report in November which will show their progress and hard work in lessons. The reports will include an attitude to learning rating and a predicted grade for all of their subjects. Year 10 students have also continued to rack up the praise points showing all of the values of our school which are so impressed with. We are hoping the students have a good and restful half term and are prepared and eager for the second part of the autumn term!

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
Last week Year 11 students were involved in revision workshops which has provided them with a better understanding of how to revise in preparation for their upcoming mock exams, which take place in five weeks’ time. It is important that every student is revising regularly in preparation for these exams and is following a structured revision timetable. If your child needs support with this, please contact their tutor. On another note, the Sixth Form Open Evening for current Year 11 students is on Tuesday 19th November. This evening will include information on Sixth Form A-Level and BTEC courses at SWA, as well as apprenticeship and college information, covering all bases for your child's studies next year. Presentations will also be run by Mr Butler to provide parents with an opportunity to gain information about how you can support your child at home in preparing for their exams. This is also the same night as Year 11 Tutor PRE, having a chance to meet with your child's form tutor and talk over their progress.

Miss C Tabert

Year 12
I would like to say a big well done to all of Year 12 for a fantastic start to the term. Beyond their studies, students have been engaging with the many opportunities that are on offer. The Learning Partner Scheme has seen Year 12s helping the younger students in lessons across the school. Many have also signed up to become mentors, a programme that will see them be trained up and help students one-to-one. We were also really pleased with the amount of volunteers who helped as guides for our Year 9 Opening Evenings. Next half term will see students receiving their first predicted grade reports, and will be the first indication of the progress they are making within their courses. I hope all students have a great half term, and a well-deserved break!

Mr Tonking
Year 13
Well done for getting through this half term – we have sent nearly 10% of our university applications so far this year, with many more to complete next half term. Students are working hard on personal statements and applications on top of their studies. We held an apprenticeship workshop last week which was a useful experience for those considering work-based training. Careers appointments are available for students considering applying for apprenticeships or other routes after Sixth Form, and they can be booked either through the parents evening booking system or via Mrs J McMillan. Year 13 PRE was held two weeks ago and many parents attended to have useful and productive conversations with subject staff. If you could not attend then please do contact subject staff through school email to request feedback. Year 13 IPE (Internal Progression Exams) happen in just over a month, and students should be planning their revision in anticipation of these assessments. Next half term brings additional fundraising and charity activities in the run up to Christmas, including a collection for The Need Project. More information to follow in a few weeks.

Mrs Hoad
BBC Folk Musician Award
We are extremely proud as a school and a music department of ex alumni Maddie Morris who has won an extremely prestigious award; BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician of the year award. Maddie is in her second year at Leeds Music Conservatoire studying Folk Music. Since starting this course Maddie has done many fantastic things; she was commissioned to go to the European refugee camp to write music. We are extremely proud of Maddie. This award is thoroughly deserved and is a sign of things to come.
SWA Textiles
All Year 10 and 11 textiles students last Friday visited the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, where they experienced some amazing exhibitions by current textile artists from around the country. They also indulged in a little retail therapy on the myriad of retail stalls, and bumped into ‘Dave’ the fantastic ‘living sculpture’ by Daisy Collingridge.

NHS Wellbeing Events
Please click here to find out more about upcoming events supporting people their mental health run by the NHS.
Shefford Firewroks
The local Shefford Fireworks Display takes place on 2nd November at STMA (Digswell) with the National Vase-winning Whitbread rugby teams invited to open proceedings.
Eco Schools
The Eco committee has now achieved their silver award for making the school a greener place. We are now collecting pens and contact lens blister packs and lenses for terracycle, so please send these into school. The first phase of our bee corridor was a success and we will be expanding the corridor in February. Our next challenge is to combat climate change. We are asking the school community to plant as many trees as possible this Autumn. The woodland trust has pledged to plant 1 million trees in the UK and we feel, as a school community, we could achieve at least 500 of these trees if we all try and plant 1 tree in our gardens. If you have no garden then your child can sign up to plant a tree on the school site. Please let us know when you plant a tree either via email ( or by Instagram (swaecoschools) or twitter (@swaeco). Please use the hash tags: #SWAFightingBack and #EveryTreeCounts. We will then collate how many trees, as a school community, we have planted and let the woodland trust know of our success. If you need any advice on which tree is suitable for a particular area, for instance a small garden, please just get in touch.

Please don't forget that you can buy plastic free fruit and veg through Seasons, which if you use the code SAMWHIT01, the school will receive 50p per box to fund our green initiatives.
Silver DofE
Last weekend we took 34 students and 6 staff to the Peak District for the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Assessed expedition. The terrain and navigation was not the biggest challenge as is normally the case, the weather was the major hurdle for all the participants, raining nonstop for about 36 hours which makes even the easiest hike difficult. As usual though, the team spirit and tenacity of our students shone through, they just kept going regardless; they laughed, cried, joked and got stuck in. We are all extremely proud of them, well done!

Bronze DofE
There will be a parents presentation evening on 4th Nov at 6:30pm at school - all Year 9 students previously enrolled are invited to attend with parents/carers.

Performing Arts
Tickets are now available for this year's pantomime Aladdin and the Christmas Concert. Tickets can be purchased here:
In other news, Darcey Moan in Year 9 stepped up to dance at Dunstable Theatre last weekend in the musical Cats. Well done, Darcey, we look forward to seeing more of your excellent work at SWA!
Year 12 Work Experience
Work Experience consent forms are due in on the 31st October to Mrs McMillan in room 902.

Parent wellbeing sessions
Central Bedfordshire Counil are running several sessions over the next few months aimed at helping parents and childrens' wellbeing. For more information including location and timings, click here.

Sports News in Brief
It has been an incredibly successful few weeks not just on the pitch, court or oche but also off the pitch in community sporting endeavours. Firstly, thank you to our wonderful Year 10 sports leaders who were awesome at the Key Stage 1 festival at SWA this week. The lower schools had a fantastic time improving their sports skills and really enjoyed working with our super role models. All of the lower school staff commented on how brilliant our students are. Another set of amazing volunteers were rewarded last week as several Whitbread students (pictured below, left) were invited to Lord's for a special ceremony congratulating Young Leaders on their impact in volunteering at their local cricket clubs this summer as part of the ECB's initiative to get more youngsters involved in the game following England's World Cup win. Well done to all who helped out. In school, Sporting Futures last week came to speak to our students about apprenticeships. It was an excellent, informative presentation about the opportunities for our young people when they leave school. If you need more information please see Mrs west.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Our U16 basketballers completed their league season with a record of five wins and a loss, with their only defeat coming in the final game against St Thomas More. The side were missing a number of players for the fixture and eventually went down by 6 points to a strong St Thomas More side. The team had already qualified for the play-offs and will now face Redborne after half term for a place In the play-offs finals.
Saracens Mavericks Masterclass
Students and coaches had an amazing experience last week with some of the Saracens Mavericks netball team attending SWA to deliver their annual Master Class to coaches and teachers, with players taking part in some of the skills drills. Mavericks said our hospitality and the facilities were great and our players taking part in the Master Class did very well and were very receptive to learning. The evaluations from the attendees were very complimentary of the school and of the workshops.

U18 netball
On the court, the U18 girls had a very close game against Berkhamstead School. Despite a battling performance in the National Cup, the girls lost out 43-32

U14 netball
The U14 girls (pictured below) had a fantastic 30-10 win over Bedford Modern School in their latest fixture with some excellent, fluent play from the whole team. Well done girls. Special thanks to exams officer Mrs Taylor for umpiring!
U15 girls
It has been a fantastic week for the U15 football girls (pictured below), having a District League game and the first round of National Cup. The girls played fantastically in both games whilst also showing true Samuel Whitbread sportsmanship. The girls came through against Biddenham in the District League 10-4 and comfortably winning the first round of the National Cup against Lealands 12-0. We have exciting times ahead with this talented group of players!

U14 boys
The U14 boys began their season with two games in a week, one in the Schools National Cup and the other in the elite competition. It was mixed fortunes for them as they cruised to a 7-0 victory over Parkside in Cambridge on the Wednesday in the Schools Cup, but then were undone 4-2 against a strong Beaumont side in the elite competition on the Friday. The boys now turn their full attention to the County and Schools National Cup for the next couple of months. A really promising start to the season and the boys have targeted a long National Cup run to begin their Whitbread football experience.
U18 boys
Our Development XI have had an outstanding start to their league season and have only lost once since the start of the season. The boys were back in action this week against Sandringham School from St Albans in the Schools National B competition. A fast start put Whitbread into a controlling position with a 2-0 lead, however a lapse in concentration allowed Sandringham back in the game and Whitbread never really fully recovered from the set back. The game was full of action with Whitbread twice leading and twice being pegged back then with ten minutes to go, Sandringham edged to a 4-3 lead for the first time in the match and it looked as though it would be an early end to our National Cup ambitions. With two minutes to go substitute Louis Redfearn found himself open at the back post and converted to make it 4-4 and keep us in the tie. After a nervy extra time from both sides we faced the dreaded penalties to decide the winner. Composed penalties from Charlie Robinson, Lee Britton, Kieran Phillips and Max Whittaker-Mead and a great save from Alfie Craghill were enough to see us through to the third round of the National Cup.
U18 girls
The U18 rugby girls (pictured above) last week competed in an RFU rugby festival at Harpenden RFC. The whole team were fantastic throughout the whole day and the girls finished with four wins and two draws to be undefeated.

U15 boys
The U15 rugby boys (pictured below) continued their impressive start to the season in the National Cup second round with a 26-7 win over Bedford Modern last week. Man of the match Ben Radnor scored two tries and Year 9s Toby Hunt and Callum Lodder also both went over to see the boys through to the third round against Haileybury School on 26th November.

U18 boys
This Wednesday the 2nd XV played against Biggleswade Rugby Club in another game that branches out to the local community. With many SWA players representing Biggleswade as their home club (including Mr Hart as coach), we knew it was going to be a tough game. Biggleswade took the lead through SWA student Chris Horgan and converted by fellow student Regan Marshall. A few Year 11s played up in the Whitbread team and it was one of them that made the first big impact for SWA. Kai Baines crashed over following a great break from Eniloa. The game continued at 7-5 for 35 minutes until powerhouse no.8 Oakley Patmore scored from a pick off a scrum. In the final play of the game Whitbread extended their lead with a converted try from Callum Daly. 17-7 flattered SWA slightly as it was a very close and physical game.

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. 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 Richard Candlin ( 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. Suzanne Garner 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. Clare Hood, 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, Tanya Clark, Thomas Rowell SENCO, Julie Saggers, Vishali Yadav and Richard Sinclair 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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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

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Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
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