Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 112 (21/03/20)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
E-Newsletter
Issue 112 (22/03/20)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

This has certainly been one of the most surreal weeks I have ever experienced in my career.

I would just like to start by saying a big thank you to everyone. The emails and messages we have received from the community have been humbling. At times like these we all do our best to do what we feel is right; things have been changing hourly and we all do our utmost to make the right decisions based upon the information we have at any given time. The cancellation of the exams this year certainly did take everyone by surprise and at this moment in time we still have no firm indication as to how the grades will be awarded, but we have been assured that no students will be disadvantaged.

Going forward we hope for a more settled period so that we can put in place the support and education for our students, as well as taking care of the 200+ staff within SWA.

We are very proud of our students, they have behaved maturely and respectfully in the last week. They are understandably anxious and some have been quite upset, and we will continue to do our best to give them all the support they need. The coming weeks and months will be at times uncertain, but I have no doubt that we will all pull together and minimise the impact on our children’s learning. In fact, they may look back at this time as when they learnt to cook, grew some vegetables, made some bread and helped clean the house!

Please take care and lets all look after each other.


Nick Martin
Principal
 
 
 
 
 
 


Year 9
Dear Parents,

I'm pleased to say the year group has shown a very mature approach to the regularly changing news this week and despite lots of uncertainty and concerns, have continued to display high standards in school. I urge all parents to encourage the same maturity at home now they face a prolonged period with more independent time, by completing work set online by their teachers. Those who do this will benefit in the long run.

I also encourage all Year 9s to show the same conduct in and around the community by following government advice in social distancing, as well as being kind and helpful to others in need in their respective neighbourhoods.

Mr R Sinclair
Year 10
I am aware in light of school closures many parents will be worried their children will miss out on education vital to their GCSEs, however just to reassure everybody there will be structured work for Year 10 students to access via Show My Homework - please make students aware that it is likely the work will be posted by the Head of Department rather than their normal classroom teacher. Students should also be able to access learning resources from the Google Drive via their school email (see below for how to access). If students have any questions regarding work or wish to submit completed work to a teacher they can do this via email (school account) and teachers will respond with a 24 hour period. Thank you for your continued support and hard work in this time.

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
To all our Year 11s - I’m so very sorry that you didn’t get to have a proper goodbye this week and you had to leave so suddenly but I want to thank you all for your understanding at this difficult time. I want to reassure you that we are working hard to make sure that your postponed leavers celebrations are the best they can be. Your prom WILL go ahead, but will be on a different day. As soon as we have details we will send this information out. We will also continue to put together your yearbook and will send details of this out in a letter in the coming weeks.

This is a very strange time for the entire nation, but a particularly unsettling time for you all. Please know that Mrs Saggers and I will still pick up our emails so if you need anything, please contact us. I have really enjoyed getting to know you and watching you grow and mature into the fantastic young adults that you are. You are insightful, intelligent and kind young people with extremely bright futures ahead of you. To quote Dr Seuss…
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.

My final words to you as your Head of Year: With hard work and determination you can make the impossible, possible! You may come across many stumbling blocks throughout your life where it might be easier to give up……DON’T! Never give up! Nothing worth having comes easy and even if you hear a lot of no’s to begin with, you will learn more from them than a yes! YOU, and only you, can shape your future and you can achieve anything that you set your mind to! Stay true to yourself, be kind and most importantly BE HAPPY

Miss C Tabert

Year 12
In these challenging times I want to reassure all Year 12 students that the staff are already developing ways to deliver lessons through this isolation period. Please can I ask that students and parents keep an eye on their emails as there may be messages delivered about how we move forward. A lot of focus has, of course, been on Year 11 and Year 13 with their exams now cancelled, but we will also expect a response from the government regarding AS exams, BTEC & Applied exams due to be sat in June. There is some comfort that there are exam windows next year which could be used for these, but we await confirmation. I am also very aware that KS5 courses are demanding and challenging and missing time from school is bound to have an impact on students. We will also expect exam boards to respond to this to ensure our Year 12s are not disadvantaged by this disruption. In the mean time teachers will be setting work through Show My Homework, Google Classroom and on the shared drive. We were so impressed by our Year 12s' response these last few days and it is this resilience and positivity that will see us through this together.

Mr C Tonking
Year 13
We already knew that our students were amazing young people but in the last few days they have shown us all how incredibly kind, resilient, and positive they can be. I am so very sorry for them that they didn’t get the send off they deserved - including their leavers assembly. We haven’t yet made any decisions about Prom (3rd July) but we do know that we will definitely manage to give them a leavers assembly and Prom when we are all through this unprecedented situation. Thank you to all the parents who have kept them positive through these uncertain times - as a community we must look after each other.
Please make sure that you stay safe and keep each other safe - listen to the experts and follow their advice.
We are here if you need us, please stay in touch.
Best wishes to all of you from the Sixth Form team, Mr Huckle, Mr Tonking, Mrs Hoad, Mrs Bonham, Mrs Clark, and Miss Butler.

Mrs S Hoad
Accessing the Online Learning Platforms from home
Over the coming weeks, students will be set work to continue their learning at home. In many cases, students will be required to access the Student Learning Platforms on Google with the resources for every department in it.
Follow this step-by-step guide to accessing the Learning Platforms:
1. On your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, go to https://drive.google.com.
2. Choose to login to a ‘Business Account’ if you are given the option.
3. Students should sign into their account, which will be the same login as they would use on school Chromebooks. Their email address ends in ‘@mybest.org.uk’, and their password will be the same as their school login.
4. When logged in, on the left tab, there will be an option for ‘Shared Drives’. Click on this.
5. Then, students will see all of the platforms they have access to. Choose the appropriate folder from either ‘SWA 6th Form Learning Platform’ or ‘SWA GCSE Learning Platform’.
6. From each folder, you can then browse through the department folders and find the School Closure work.
Please find useful video instructions for this here: https://drive.google.com/file/accessing-google-drive/
If you have any issues with login’s or technical difficulty accessing these Learning Platform, please email StudentITSupport@bestacademies.org.uk and our IT Support Team will help you.
Closure information
Following the government announcement of the closure of schools, from Monday no student should be attending school unless they have an EHCP or are the child of a key worker and unable to look after themselves at home. This means that the vast majority of students will not be on school site. Please ensure you follow government guidelines on sending children to school. The government have issued an FAQ page on their website for parents & carers relating to the school closures. Please click here to view.
Communication with SWA
In this period of closure it is important to keep good levels of communication with the school. All staff will be available on email to be able to respond during their normal working hours as soon as possible, and the main school phone line will be accepting calls if there are queries. SWA social media sites will also be updated regularly with any important information and updates.

Also, if parents/carers' contact details have changed or change in the future, please remember to inform school of this so we can update our system and be able to communicate with all parents/carers where necessary.


 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive Academy News
Despite the incredibly challenging conditions students and staff have faced in the past week, there have still been some fantastic educational experiences within the last fortnight as detailed below. We hope these continue to inspire students when both at home and again when school reopens!
Eco-School visit
Charles Whitbread visited the school just over a week ago to speak and pay tribute to the SWA Eco School Committee. The group have been hugely proactive in contributing to environmental efforts in and around the community. Mr Whitbread was so impressed with their recent tree planting efforts he has agreed to take 1000 trees on his estate from the committee.
Sport
SWA U15 rugby girls produced a fantastic performance two weeks ago to beat Vandyke Upper 25-5. Scorers were Sarah Murphy(2), Mia Brewer-Allan, Connie Brooks and Coley Green. Player of the match for her two tries and no fear tackles was Sarah Murphy. The girls team are going from strength to strength, improving with every game. WELL DONE and keep up the hard work!
Congratulations to Adam Page Brown who represented Bedfordshire U15 Boys Hockey in the end of Season County Finals two weeks ago. 
Duke of Edinburgh
Two of our pupils (one current, one former), Joseph Tirrell and Phillipa Emery have earned their Gold DofE Award. They will be going to collect their certificate hopefully this summer at Buckingham Palace - this is the pinnacle of the award scheme and I am sure you will join me in congratulating them on an amazing achievement.
French Trip to Oxford
Two weeks ago the French department took ten Sixth Formers to Oxford to meet French author Faïza Guène. All students are studying the French book “Kiffe Kiffe Demain” as part of their A-Level French written examination. They had the great opportunity to meet the author and attend a 60-minute Q&A in French in order to better understand the context of the book and the intentions of the author, two critical aspects to master in order to be able to write full essays in French! Students were superb and asked two relevant questions in French that enabled the whole assembly to consider the key themes of the book. Afterwards students had a lovely meal in the nearby restaurant Pierre Victoire: soufflé au fromage, escargots, moules-frites, lapin à la moutarde, soupe à l’oignon, tarte tatin.. some of the tastiest French dishes!

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Finance
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.
Holidays
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 
https://www.samuelwhitbread.org.uk/page/?title=Letters&pid=27 
 
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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