Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 111 (07/03/20)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 111 (07/03/20)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

We’ve been pretty busy this half term already with a full week of mock exams this week for Year 11. The analysis of the mock papers will provide valuable information on students' strengths and weaknesses and help staff and students to decide what to focus on in the coming weeks. Students have been working hard on their revision, attending after school sessions on Tuesday, Thursday and now also on Wednesday - following the introduction of the extra late bus since half term. We have introduced a new strategy this year with the English department running lectures on each section of the paper in the theatre, which have been well received by students. Please remember that all timings of the revisions sessions are on the website, along with ideas and resources on how to revise.

We are receiving almost daily updates on the coronavirus from the DfE and the Local Authority and I’m pleased to say that, so far, we have no students or staff with any symptoms. If this should change then I will contact Public Health England immediately and then inform you all of their advice and our planned response as a school. The key advice from the government, to prevent the spread of the virus, is for everyone to ‘wash their hands more often’ and for coughs and sneezes ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’.

Last week I spent a day at Wootton Upper School in their maths department with the Head of Kimberley College, their Head of Maths and one of Wootton’s deputy headteachers, trialing a new ‘Deep Dive’ department review process which we have been working on together as a group of schools. The day went extremely well and we have learnt a lot from the process, which includes looking at books, talking to students, observing lessons and talking to staff. We have also trialled the process at SWA this term, in departments such as Geography and Science. Once the final model is decided, Mrs Linehan intends to review every department in the school on a rolling programme over the course of the school year.

The auditions for Grease were incredibly popular this year and the rehearsals have started for what is already looking to be an amazing production. We were approached by Shefford Town Council this week and asked if any of our students would like to perform in the main arena at this year’s street party, which should also be a fantastic event.

The SWA Eco Group have so far raised an amazing £3000 through donations from local companies and they have used these funds to purchase trees for planting at Ampthill Park, Marston Forest Centre and Clifton Bury Farm. Charles Whitbread was so impressed by what they have achieved to date, that he has asked to attend one of their meetings to hear first hand from the students on their plans for the future. See more information below.

We had a great email this week from an ex-student, Snowy Dyson, who attended SWA in the 80’s, and despite suffering huge difficulties in his life, overcame these obstacles to forge a new, successful path. It was lovely to hear his story and message of determination and resilience to pass onto our students. Read more in the Academy News section below.
We’ve had an amazing year already in sport, with a number of individual highlights. Dan Hoath in Year 12 is preparing for the Kite Flying World Cup this easter in France, whilst Megan Butt in Year 11 will be representing Great Britain in Iceland at gymnastics in July. Jake Bridges has played for England Counties U18 for rugby and played with Tom Litchfield for the Saints this year and also several lads played rugby for East Midlands last month. Gracie Wall is the National Indoor High Jump champion, Sophie Bolton in Year 12 has played another full game for MK Dons Women and not to be outdone, Coach Trip’s netball game for the Mavericks was televised on Sky over half term.

We had some sad news last month, when we heard Mambo No.5, part of the national champion SWA equestrian team, was knocked over by a car and seriously damaged his leg. This is an important reminder to all of us to take care when overtaking horses on the roads and we wish Mambo a speedy recovery.

Finally, I spent an enjoyable evening at Chicksands on thursday evening talking to people about how best to recruit and deploy ex-military personnel.

Nick Martin

Punctuality and attendance
Thank you for your support in speaking to your children about the importance of being on time to school and lessons. A new system was implemented on Monday 24th Feb whereby parents/carers are contacted if their child is late to school. We have seen a dramatic decrease in those that are late to school and registration and will continue to monitor and have high expectations for this. If you have any concerns or questions about attendance, please contact your child’s tutor.
Year 9
The options process is nearing its conclusion. Thank you so much for those of you who have already guided your children through the process. I know that it can be tricky and the pressure of these choices can cause some unrest. If you have not yet managed to make the selections or the tutor has not received the form, that is absolutely fine but we do need to have all forms in by next Friday (13th March). 

Arranging the timetable is an extremely challenging task and this deadline has been made to both give time to select the correct option and give us time to put things together. I will stress that your options form does not guarantee all the options chosen but we will try our best to accommodate as much as possible.

Mr R Sinclair
Year 10
The second round of Year 10 reports will be issued next week so our students can begin to see the progress they are making in their subjects. We are hoping as the students are over half way through their second term in Year 10 they are moving more towards their target grade. The reports will state a target and predict grade, it will also feature an attitude to learning grade (ATL) and independent learning (IL) grade. We do encourage students to discuss their report with subject teachers especially if there are concerns.

The criteria for the ATL’s are as follows; Excellent - Go above and beyond what is expected. Introduce new ideas to classroom discussion, encourage other members in class to form their opinion and share their ideas, ask when they need help clarifying or understanding. Good - Demonstrate good effort and thought and they are a regular contributor in class. Requires improvement - Class work shows that they usually complete the work set and they sometimes act on the feedback that is given to them. Limiting - Engagement in class is often limited and they are easily distracted from the work set. They show little or no enthusiasm for achieving to the best of their ability and can be dismissive when help is offered.

Following the issuing of reports the Year 10 Parents Review Evening (PRE) will be taking place on Tuesday 24th March 3:30pm till 7:00pm. Parents will be able to make appointments via the portal from next week.

We would also like to remind parents of the uniform policy which can be found on the school website as we are seeing some areas for concern e.g. students wearing trainers instead of school shoes, hoodies and lack of blazers.

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
Thank you to all those who managed to attend the PRE in the last week before half term. It was great to see so many positive conversations happening across the departments. The relationship between home and school seems to be stronger than ever and that will lead to the best results possible. We have just completed the last round of mock examinations with pupils will sitting exams in English, Maths, Science and some EBacc subjects. Please have positive conversations with your children about what they can be doing to improve on these once the results come in. Thanks for your continued support.

As well as this, planning for the Year 11 prom is well underway for 6th July 2020. Please remember to pay your initial deposit by Friday 6th March via parent mail.

Miss C Tabert

Year 12
Our Year 12s are currently being assessed by their teachers for their next prediction report. These will be distributed on Thursday 19th March to parent's and student’s email addresses. This will offer a prediction grade as well as an indication of how well students are working in and out of lesson. We will be issuing more attendance rewards to students who are meeting our 95% attendance target. This will begin next term allowing for some late starts and early finishes. The attendance in the year has been excellent since September and we want this to continue. We want to reinforce the expectations that all students should be on site from 8:20. If students are missing registration this will affect their attendance data and may find themselves on a stage one contract.

Mr C Tonking
Year 13
Year 13 students have received their statement of entry for their exams this summer. It is vital that they check these entries with their subject teachers and make sure that these exams are on their calendars. Exam timetables will be issued soon, with times and room locations on them. The national contingency day is the 24th June and exams could take place up to and including this date – so it is imperative that students are not away on holiday or unavailable in case exams have to be rescheduled. 
Sixth Form students are going to the National Apprenticeship show on Monday – each student has been emailed about this trip and advised to take with them an up to date CV and research the exhibitors before they go. 
Leavers assembly is confirmed for Thursday 7th May, and Year 13 students will be on study leave after this date. Prom (3rd July), hoodies, and yearbook payments are all open very soon on Parentmail – with deadlines for payment spread through March, April and May. We have kept costs as low as possible and students are under no obligation to purchase all of them.
The focus for the remainder of this term is revision, planning time and making sure that next steps are secured. Careers appointments and guidance for those who have not yet secured their future plans is available – please book an appointment using the parents evening booking system, or come and ask us for help in the Sixth Form office.

Mrs S Hoad
Junior Bake Off
The food department are encouraging any keen student bakers to sign up to audition for the Junior Bake Off – a Channel 4 programme that celebrates the culinary talent and ambition of the younger generation in Britain. Schools have been contacted by the TV company to help share this exciting opportunity. 

For more information, visit
Eco Committee
Last Saturday the SWA Eco-schools team were at it again, this time planting another 20 trees at Clifton Bury Farm. Ashley and Jenson planted 20 Old English Oaks in wet and cold conditions - a huge well done boys for putting in the hard work! To view the latest newsletter from SWA’s Eco-Schools Committee, click here.
Central Bedfordshire
Advice Central is a free service hosted by The Disability Resource Centre and funded by the council that helps people in Central Bedfordshire to get the information and advice they need.

As well as the website, which provides links to local services along with an online chat facility, the Dunstable-based team of advisors are trained to help users to access the information they need on a whole range of issues from education to immigration, consumer rights to housing, benefits and money.

You can call them from 10am to 3pm (Mon-Fri) on 0300 303 6666 or 

Performing arts
The Spring concert, taking place on Wednesday 18th March, is jam packed with a variety of excellent musical performances. Tickets are on sale at
In other news, our amazing Academy soul band ‘Retroplay’ are competing at this year’s Bedfordshire Schools Battle of the Bands on 26th March. If you want to come along and support tickets are available from the Stables website here.
Easter term is a busy time for the Dance department; we have a workshop with Manchester based Company Chameleon this Friday for the Year 10s to enhance their technical and creative skills in Dance. Friday 13th March we go to Move IT 2020 in London; the UK’s largest Dance convention with workshops, freestyle stages, merch stalls and performances all day from the UK’s best performing arts schools and dance stars from The Greatest Dancer and other TV shows. Then comes the GCSE Dance practical exam day where the Year 11s are examined on their performance and choreographies that they have been working hard on all year, finishing off with the Easter Dance showcase on April 2nd. The evening will showcase the best of the GCSE work, all the extra curricular we do as well as guest performances from RBA and Etonbury students. Watch this space and follow us on twitter for photos from all these events - @SWADance on twitter.
SWA Lecture Series
The latest lecture, held last week was delivered by Mr Hatchell, Head of Geography. The title was “The 2008 Worldwide Financial Crisis”. It was a very informative and eye opening lecture. Thanks to Mr Hatchell for preparing this.
The government is issuing regular updates to schools about COVID-19 (coronavirus). 
Last week, the government launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. 

Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows - Phone: 0800 046 8687; Email:; Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).
Message from an ex-student
As Mr Martin mentioned above, we received a warming email from Snowy Dyson, a Whitbread student in the 1980s. He joined the Devon & Dorset regiment after leaving Whitbread and later became a bodyguard for film stars, royal family members, sport stars & musicians. But following a bilateral above-knee amputation, Snowy had to stop being a bodyguard and totally rethink his career path. After considering all his options, he decided to follow his passion and become a professional disabled darts player. He went on to play for England, win the World Cup, become founder of the Plymouth Disabled Darts League and now chairs the BDDA (British Disable Darts Association). He emailed the school to pass on the message to students that sometimes life can take some unexpected turns, but whatever life throws at you, you always have options and no obstacle should stop you from doing what you love doing. Below are photos of Snowy with 'Wolfie' Adams and him throwing the winning double at the World Cup.

The Artist of the Month goes to Lianna in Year 10. It was really difficult to flick through Lianna's sketchbook  and pick just one piece of artwork to showcase, however this fish stood out because of the intricate detail and bright highlights. Amazing work, we can't wait to see more!
Sports News in Brief
Sophie Bolton (below, left) made her full league debut for Milton Keynes Dons women at the weekend in the FA Womens National League Premier Division South, continuing to reach milestones in her exciting career development! In rugby, there have been several SWA boys representing East Midlands in U14, U15, U16 and U17 age groups in recent matches (pictured below centre) and Jake Bridges has been selected to represent England Counties U18. Gracie Wall (below, right) won the National Indoor Athletics High Jump competition in Sheffield last week, a fantastic achievement, and finally Megan Butt in Year 11 has been selected to represent GB in EuroGym 2020, a European gymnastics tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland in July. Well done to all!
The U19 netballers won their quarter final match in the Sisters in Sport League National Plate with a superb performance to beat South Hampstead High School 54-26 this week. With excellent connections in attack leading to coaches player Abbie Hull shooting with a fantastic success rate, and outstanding turnovers in defence, the girls produced a near-faultless display to win comfortably and give them huge confidence going into the semi final in two weeks’ time. Ellie Fox was awarded player of the match by the opposition players.
U14 A Boys Football
The U14 boys A team have started their league campaign with two wins in the first two weeks of term. Last week they travelled to Redborne and a late winner from Ewing was enough to see off a resilient opposition. This week the boys stayed at home for the visit of Goldington. A more consistent performance from Whitbread saw us run out 4-0 winners with goals from Baker, Boothe, Humphyres and a debut goal from Carr. A great start to the season for the squad.
Rock Climbing
Last week, 30 students completed their GCSE practical exams in rock climbing at Big Rock in Milton Keynes. It was the first of the GCSE PE practical exams, with the rest being completed between 16th-20th March.
U14 B Boys Football
The B team have also remained unbeaten in their league (against A teams from other schools). A 1-1 draw in the opening match against Mark Rutherford ‘A’ was a good one and a draw was probably the fair result for both sides. It was a goal from Sami Sawyer that gave us the lead, but we were pegged back shortly after and never quite managed to gain a clear enough chance to win it. In their second match the boys beat Castle Newnham ‘A’ 4-0 with a scintillating second half performance. Goals came from Kayode Curson (2), Sawyer and Hunt, with Curson’s second – a spectacular overhead kick – certainly a goal of the season contender. The boys are really showing that as a B team they are more than capable of mixing it with the A teams in Bedfordshire.

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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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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Samuel Whitbread Academy
Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
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