Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 110 (14/02/20)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 110 (14/02/20)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

This half term seems to have gone by incredibly quickly and we’re already in the week long break!

Last week we issued the Year 11 reports and last night we had the Year 11 parents evening. It was great to see students and their parents taking the opportunity to talk to staff about how best to use the last few months before the exams begin in earnest. The actual exams have already begun with IT and Health and Social exams last week, and it won’t be long before the practical elements of PE, catering, drama, music and languages begin, so it’s crucial that students use their time efficiently.

The eco group has continued their fundraising activities and managed to secure yet more donations from local companies to buy more trees. The latest companies to support the campaign to plant 2020 trees in 2020 include: Bow-Belles String Trio, Bathroom Vogue, Hings Opticians, Land and Marine Environmental Ltd, Monk and Smith Building Contractors, Seasons Fruit and Veg, Supreme Paintworks Ltd. Last week the group went to Ampthill Park and planted 120 trees and today another 200. They are looking for more sites around the county to plant trees, so if you know any sites or any companies who might like to donate funds towards the campaign, then please contact Miss Ambrose at

Last week we had the third lecture for Sixth Formers on Drug Discovery, presented by Miguel Lewis. The lecture series has been organised by Professor Hubbard and is designed to prepare students who are applying for one of the prestigious apprenticeships or a place at a Russell Group or Oxbridge universities. The lectures have included topics such as leadership, Autism, and the human species.

The auditions for Greece are going well, with callbacks happening all last week. We’ve had so many students auditioning that it looks like we may have two casts again this summer. Last week over 80 students went to see Wicked in London. They had a fantastic evening - thanks to the performing arts department for organising.

Sport has been amazing so far this year, even for SWA’s high standards, with some impressive wins in basketball, handball and football. We’ve had teams at regional finals for netball and hockey as well as progressing through the next rounds of national competitions for football. Last weekend the equestrian team appeared at the county championships and we came away with both the 80cm and 1m cups. As county champions we will now represent Bedfordshire in the National Championships later in the year.

Nick Martin

Year 9
Dear Parents,
The options forms for GCSE subjects have been handed out by the tutors, who have run through the process with their classes. There is not an immediate rush to hand them in but the sooner we have them the easier it is for the timetable team to start putting things together. Miss Duguid did an assembly this morning for the whole year group reiterating the process. I wish to stress that it is not a first come first served process so please don't feel pressured to make a decision immediately. Once you are happy with the selection, please return to the tutor. If you have any questions about the process, please check our website in the first instance. If you are still unsure, please contact the tutor. Have a great half term.

Mr R Sinclair
Year 10
It has been another brilliant half term for Year 10 and they are making fantastic progress in their GCSE subjects. This week Year 10 had an assembly on the dangers of social media and how they should be protecting themselves when online which is a pertinent issue for young people currently. We would also like to remind parents of the school uniform policy that can be found on the school website and to use the time over half term to ensure students’ uniform is in check – we are noticing that school shoes are a growing issue whereby a number of Year 10 students are wearing trainers instead of shoes. After half term there will be a whole school focus on punctuality and making sure that students are arriving to school for 8:15 and are also on time for lessons. Keep up the fantastic work Year 10 and have a well-deserved rest during the February break.

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
With the recent subject report being sent home along with parents evening this week, I do hope that you have a clearer picture of where your son or daughter stand with their preparation for their summer exams. We do still have one round of mock exams to come at the end of February with a focus of the EBAC subjects. As well as this, there are many subject intervention sessions taking place during lunch times and after school. I would encourage your child to attend these sessions in order to push themselves forward and support their revision. Please see the timetable below

Miss Tabert

Year 12
The Higher Education Convention trip is now available to pay for on Parentmail for those who filled out the consent form before 10th February. The cost will be £14.50. If any other students would like to attend this trip now, please ask them to come down to the Sixth Form Office to be put on the waiting list, as unfortunately we do have a limited number of seats on the coaches. If you have filled in the consent form, but the student no longer wants/can’t attend the trip, please email Miss Butler , so that we can reallocate their place.

Mr Tonking
Year 13
Our students are working really hard in their remaining few weeks. They are soon to start their final full half term at Samuel Whitbread (Year 13 Leavers Day will be Thursday 7th May). Many of our students have made university and apprenticeship applications and we wish them well with these. Some students are still in need of additional guidance with respect to apprenticeship applications and should make careers appointments using the Parents Evening booking system. Careers appointments take place in the library with our independent careers adviser. Form tutors are also very useful when it comes to application advice and reference writing. Their final Year 13 reports went home via email last week. Please contact subject teachers with questions about subject concerns (initial surname Students have been target setting with tutors and in these remaining weeks revision will be a focus in form time. Please keep an eye on Parentmail for Hoody, Prom and Leavers Book payments – these will be out soon. Lanyard checks continue – thank you to all of those who make an effort to remember to wear their lanyard every day.

Mrs Hoad
Parents Forum
We’d like to thank all those that came to our Parent Forum on the 4th Feb. We had a really good discussion about the information that parents wish they had easily on hand during the year. Although the information is almost always on the website, it was felt that a booklet that contained some of the key information for the year would be really useful. We’re going to write one for each year group.

We also know that lots of questions get asked on the parent Facebook groups and other social media, and although we can’t answer every question, here are some answers to some of the queries at the moment

Where is Lost Property kept? This will be sent to Student Services, please ask in there.

What do we do about Fire Alarms? We have termly, scheduled evacuation and invacuation drills. It is very rare, but sometimes an alarm is set off by accident or even on purpose, and we take that very seriously as the safety of our school community is our priority. We will always investigate and issue a fixed term exclusion if someone sets off an alarm on purpose.

Where can my daughter get sanitary products in school? The student council has just completed some really good work on this. Very soon there will be dispensers in the girls toilets where girls can buy items they need. We’ve also got a lot of freely available sanitary items available from Mrs. Parr in the Medical Room, students just need to pop in and ask.

Why do you have the parents’ evenings where you do? You will have one subject parents’ evening in every year. We have placed these where we think they will be most useful in providing you and your child with the right information to improve their outcomes. In Years 9 and 11 you will also have a Tutor Evening which will help you and your child in planning their next steps whether it be GCSE or Post 16 options choices.

How do I find out about my child’s progress between reports? Your child should be able to tell you what their current levels of attainment are in each subject as this is something we expect them to know and we do regular mini assessments in class as well as more formal assessments throughout the year. If you would like to find out more about a particular subject, then please email the subject teacher directly

Do we need to get a logo for my child’s trousers? We recognise that some children will need to buy their school trousers from a different supplier to our online provider. If this is the case, then the Head of Year will need to check that they are suitable in order to issue a school logo to sew onto them. Your child will need to bring them in and ask to see the Head of Year to get them checked.

We notice that Show My Homework has lots of features that not all staff use, why is this? All homework is set on Show My Homework. Some teachers choose to use the Gradebook to keep track on how students complete work, but it is up to the individual teacher as to how they record that. Remember that not all homework is assessed work, so it is not necessary for all homework to marked and graded. Some departments, such as PE, are making good use of the messaging system to let groups know about last minute changes to teams and events. That is not something that all departments need to use.

What is the Google Shared Drive? We have a Sixth form and GCSE Shared Drive which contains lots of really useful information related to individual courses; for example, past papers, revision materials, exam board information and lesson plans, PowerPoints and resources. These are invaluable in improving students’ use of independent study time. They need to log in to the Google Drive ( with their school email account to find the Shared Drives.

Tree planting
The SWA Eco Committee are going from strength to strength with their tree planting project. Last week, a team of students and staff planted 120 trees in Ampthill Park and today 200 more trees at the Forest of Marston Vale. We have had loads of parent and staff donations to help fund our trees as well as local company sponsorship including: Bow-Belles String Trio, Bathroom Vogue, Hings Opticians, Land and Marine Environmental Ltd, Monk and Smith Building Contractors, Seasons Fruit and Veg, Supreme Paintworks Ltd.
Poetry live
The English department two weeks ago took Year 11 students to the Cambridge Corn Exchange for an immersive lecture about their exam poetry. They were spoken to by a variety of poets such as Carol Anne Duffy, Simon Armitage and John Agard as well as a chief examiner who explained key methods to use for approaching the exam paper. It was very enlightening to hear the poems be read and discussed by the people who wrote them. In particular, John Agard was a favourite among our students!
Rotary Club Youth Speaks competition
This year both of our debate teams were performing in the senior category of the Rotary Club Youth Speaks competition; Alice, Rosie and Heather from Year 10 and Sara, Robert and Brooke from Year 12. The Year 10 team gave humorous but captivating speeches debating the various issues surrounding the climate change crisis whilst the Year 12 team measured the relevance of feminism in a 21st century society. Both teams performed more than admirably and our Year 12 team will now progress to the District Finals being held at Van Dyke Upper School on Wednesday 26th February.
Following BEST’s recent consultation, please see here for the determined admission arrangements for September 2021. This policy has been published on the BEST website, submitted to the Local Authority and circulated to all schools within our admissions authority. You can read the document here.
SWA Guest Lecture Series
The latest Oxbridge and Russell Group Society lecture took place on Thursday 6th February. It was delivered by a guest lecture, Mr Miguel Lewis, Senior Regulatory Consultant. The topic was Drug Discovery. A very informative lecture. Thank you to Miguel Lewis for coming to talk to the students in the society and expand their knowledge.
Immunisations for Year 9 will take place on 1st and 2nd April. The forms will be given to your child after half term. Please complete these and hand back to Mrs Parr in the Medical Room or at Reception. Should you wish to send them back via email please send to 

Please note a courier will collect these on the 25th March. Forms received after this time may be put into the catch up session in July.
The government have issued advice to parents/carers of school children:

You should not be unduly worried about the possibility of your children catching the Coronavirus.

There is no reason why your children should not continue to attend their early years, school or further education setting as normal. 

We recognise that some families or children may be planning to travel to China during the forthcoming half term period. If so, please refer to the FCO’s latest travel advice.

Bank of England Film Award
Four SWA Year 12 students have won the annual national Bank of England film competition ‘Bank Camera Action’, creating a short film about climate change.  Impressively this is the second time a SWA team has won this national competition. They have won £500 worth of film equipment for SWA’s film department. View their excellent video at the Bank of England website here (scroll half way down the page to view SWA’s entry).

We would like to congratulate Year 12 students Ayesha, Tabby, Cailin and Ryan.
Sixth Form Othello Conference
Many of our Year 12 and 13 Literature and Language/literature A Level students went on a trip this week to Stratford-Upon-Avon to visit the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. They engaged in a day of lectures by the Trust's resident experts and have come away with a renewed and developed understanding of this pivotal play! They explored the text in terms of its language and context but also as a performance text, making it a very lively day!

The Artist of the Month goes to Ajuni in Year 13 for this bright, delicately painted portrait with contrasting background. Well done Ajuni.
Yesterday over 30 students completed an all-day netball marathon raising money to enhance opportunities and facilities at SWA netball and also for SWA’s eco committee and their tree planting project. The superb effort from all of the girls saw two teams compete with rolling substitutes, each team coached by one of our two specialist coaches – Miss Mackellar and Miss Trip. Team Trip won the day 206 goals to 200 and the girls raised an excellent £1026.26.
U16 Girls
The Year 11 team travelled to Manshead in the second round of the County Cup and put together by far their most impressive performance, earning themselves a comprehensive 9-1 victory. They soon asserted their dominance on the game with direct, flowing football and never looked back despite conceding a goal with having Kizzy in goal after a big change up in positions.

U14 Girls
SWA's U14 football girls played the second round of the County Cup vs Ashcroft. The girls took a 5-1 lead into half time then afterwards were given an extra challenge with Ashcroft playing 13 against us. Our girls played exceptionally well with all girls getting a chance on the pitch and trialling in different positions. We came away with a 13-2 win and into the next round.

U15 National Cup
Last week we took a very long journey to Sprowston High Academy in Norfolk to play the last 16 of the National Cup. Despite the long journey the girls played a hard, defensive first half with two fantastic crosses into the box helping us lead the way by half time 2-0. However the girls went back on pitch thinking they had already won, Libby working very hard in the middle running back and forth trying to withstand the two England School girls the opposition had playing in the middle and with Sprowston working very hard they soon brought it back to 2-2. The girls’ heads went down from there and Sprowston wanted it more than us and deserved to go through with the win, Whitbread losing out 4-2. The girls again can’t be disheartened they have done extremely well to get this far.
Last week SWA’s U16 boys rugby team played a fixture against a Booksby Melton team fully made up of U17 players. SWA lost the game but there were some excellent passages of play, including scores from Pike and Armstrong, and the scoreline suggested that next year this team will continue the dominance they have showed throughout their time at SWA.

This week SWA hosted the Bedfordshire 7’s tournaments for Year 9/10 girls, Year 9 boys and Year 10 boys. SWA were well represented in all competitions with many teams being entered and enjoying the 7’s festival. Despite the weather being far from ideal 7’s weather, the skill level on show was excellent.

On Monday the Year 9/10 combined girls team managed to negotiate their way through the group games and through the knockout rounds to play Vandyke in the final. A strong performance in the final saw us crowned county champions. 

On the Tuesday the Year 9 boys had their chance. SWA managed to get both A and B teams in the final with a good friendly rivalry between them both. A late Jacob Barnes try looked set to have won it for 6th former Adam Shelley’s team, however a last gasp try from Louis Haley saw a victory for the 2nd year running for 1st XV prop Haydon Jones. Clearly his 7’s knowledge showing through.
On Thursday the Year 10 boys had their opportunity and with 10 teams in attendance, the field was full of talented rugby players. The A team came through the group stages and ended up with a repeat of last year’s final vs Cedars. With the score 14-10 at HT, the game was in the balance. In the second half, SWA fitness shone through and they ran away with a 44-10 victory. Well done to all girls and boys that took on the challenging conditions this week.
Last weekend our equestrian team competed at 4 different heights entering 4 different teams in the Bury Farm Qualifiers. It was a fantastic day out for us, becoming County Champions at both 80cm and the 1m! Both these riding teams will now be competing at Hickstead in April. Ewan and Caitlin continued as individuals in the 1.10m with Ewan becoming County Champion and Caitlin coming fifth with one less shoe! Well done to all that competed – everyone rode their ponies/horses extremely well and we look forward to Hickstead!
A massive congratulations to our U16 boys hockey squad who represented Bedfordshire at the regional championships at Cambridge university this week. The facilities were outstanding. The boys played the top schools from Essex, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. It was a fantastic tournament with a very high level of hockey played throughout. Our boys played really well, super saves from Jensen and defensive play from Bradley and Aaron. Speedy runs from Max, Daruis and Louis and stalwart midfield play from Isaac and Lewis. Super efforts from Adam and lots of running from Tom. Really impressed by distribution from Ben and Oliver. Incredible debuts from Owen and Felix.

The games were really close and played with impeccable sportsmanship. We came away with a win and brilliant memories. Well done to everyone involved – it was a fantastic day and showed how many improvements this team has made.

Congratulations to the SWA tumbling team who competed at the Eastern Region Schools Acrobatic, Tumbling & Disabilities Gymnastics Championships in Milton Keynes two weeks ago.

The girls did extremely well and produced some excellent tumbles. The competition was fierce but the girls remained calm with the help of their coach Gemma. Sophie finished 12th on her debut in the U14 age group after putting in three solid tumbles. Caley finished 6th digging in deep to produce an excellent trio. Our O14 competitor Megan produced her best tumbles to finish second in the competition ensuring she claims a place in the National Finals in Stoke in May.

We are so proud of Megan as this is the first time she has qualified as a tumbler in a national final.

We wish her all the luck and best wishes in the Final.

Thanks also to Mrs Marshall from RBA who supported our tumblers in their run up to the competition and on the day.

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 to register 
• Click here for the parents/carers registration guide
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.
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. 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. Candlin 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 10, Tanya Clark PSO Year 9, Thomas Rowell SENCO, Julie Saggers PSO Year 11, Vishali Yadav Head of Year 10, Charlotte Tabert Head of Year 11 and Richard Sinclair Head of Year 9 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 
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Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
Tel: 01462 629900
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