Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 73 (20/12/17)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 73 (20/12/17)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

As we approach the end of term it’s always a good time to look back at the key events, and what an amazing term we have had at Samuel Whitbread. We came back after the summer break to the best GCSE and A Level results the school had ever achieved. Two months later we had the call from Ofsted and were judged as Good in every category with many areas of strength including lots of praise for our amazing students. We’ve also had many individual triumphs with Miles Elliot running the Beachy Head marathon and Ewan Watts and Caitlin Sedgwick winning awards for show jumping. We managed to collect more shoe boxes for the Rotary Club Christmas Shoe Box Appeal than any other school in Bedfordshire and I’ve just received an email from the Headteacher of our sister school in Jambo, Kenya, thanking us for our non-uniform day donation which they used to mend their roof – so they don’t have to close some of the classrooms every time it rains (see picture below)!

On Monday we said goodbye to Mrs Ward who has been our school nurse for over 10 years and is moving back up north to be closer to her family. There were lots of laughs and a few tears as people shared stories of their memories of some of Mrs Ward’s funnier moments. Mrs Ward has helped countless students in her time at SWA and will be greatly missed. I personally consider it an honour to have worked with such a dedicated and highly professional member of staff and I know she will have a special place in many people’s hearts. She finished Monday’s staff meeting by winning the SWA Staff Bake Off with 12 perfect mince pies and was crowned Bake Off Champion for 2017.

Last week, whilst driving home from an event at school, I was listening to Radio 2 and the presenter played his highlights for the year which included performances from both the CC Smugglers and the Shires. I wondered how many schools in the country could boast of having ex-students in two successful bands. To add to this, one of the top films this Christmas is Paddington 2, which received 5 Stars from lots of critics and stars ex-student Ben Whishaw as Paddington.

Last week Performing Arts were in full swing with a monumental four performances in one week. On Monday the site agents worked all day long to make the school site safe for the evening Christmas Concert, which was well attended despite the snow and a fantastic celebration of music at SWA. Music has gone from strength to strength over the last few years and one of our peripatetics mentioned to me this week that she feels we are now one of the strongest schools in Central Beds for music which was great to hear. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday we had our Christmas Panto, Jack and the Beanstalk, which was truly amazing. At events like this the Trust really comes alive with pupils as young as five years old, performing alongside students in the Sixth Form and even a 47 year old giant. During the intermission on Friday night, one pupil’s granddad unfortunately collapsed. Several members of the audience and members of staff immediately came to his assistance and stayed with him until the ambulance crew arrived. Thankfully he is now on the mend. The family would like to thank those who helped care for their relative personally, so if you know the name of any of the good Samaritans, then please contact reception on

Sport has been incredible this term and we are now County or District champions in U14 and U16 Girls Basketball, U14 Boys Basketball, U14 Boys Rugby. In the last newsletter I wrote about the incredibly close 22-13 win against Loughborough Boys Grammar school by the 1st XV rugby boys to take them into the quarter finals of the National Bowl. However, the next game against Ashville College from Harrogate was a different story. The home advantage meant we had over 500 students, parents and staff watching the game and it finished 67-0 with a hat-trick from Charlie Stevens. The semi-final against King Henry VIII school, Coventry, is away and isn’t until the 1st March. We’ve also had success in hockey, where we are U15 girls county state school champions. Finally, I met the members of the War Hammer team on Friday, who recently became county champions and will now represent Bedfordshire in the regional finals in the new year!

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas break and a happy new year.

Nick Martin

Year 9
I would like to congratulate Year 9 students on a fantastic first term to their life at Samuel Whitbread. So many of them have immersed themselves in extra-curricular sports, arts or clubs and there is a lot of positive praise from teachers in lessons. The options process has also begun and in the first months of the New Year students will be choosing what their subjects will be for their GCSE’s. This will require a new added focus and I am sure they are looking forward to the fresh challenges ahead. Finally I would like to thank parents for their support and I encourage you all to continue positive communication with form tutors, the year team and subject teachers to further help your child's education. Merry Christmas to you all!

Miss E Wisson
Year 10
Thank you all for a positive start to Year 10! It has been a long and tiring term, but it has been amazing to see so many positives from the year group. We hope you maintain your enthusiasm and passion moving into the next term. Have an excellent break and make sure you rest! Merry Christmas!

Mr R Candlin & Miss C Hood
Year 11
My overview of the first term in Year 11 is overwhelmingly positive. The year group as a whole have embraced the mock examinations and gained some valuable experience of examination structure, revision techniques and personal organisation. In order to provide the full 'examination experience' we will be issuing the mock results in bulk and in writing in early January. This will mirror the experience of results day and provide each student with the nervous excitement they will feel in August.
During the first two weeks of next term we will be welcoming an external, expert company into school to provide each pupil with an hour of coaching towards exam preparation. This is delivered by young, vibrant graduates.
In February we have the next Progress Review Evening. This time you will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss progress with the subject teachers. I don't think it’s an over exaggeration to suggest this as the most important communication opportunity within their schooling so far. A letter with times and dates will be sent out in the near future. Please do everything you can to ensure these vital conversations happen.
We really can see the end of Year 11 thundering towards us and I am extremely excited to celebrate the successes we will have. I hope you have a great Christmas and New Year.
2018 is such a monumental year for us all...

Mr R Sinclair
Sixth Form
Over the festive season please keep yourselves safe and enjoy your family time. It is a time of year where we need to remind our families who we are as this term has been one of the busiest on record. You have all had a super term. Year 12s have moulded themselves into the Sixth Form ethos and this could be seen in the Christmas assembly. The majority of the Year 13s have sent off their UCAS applications with many offers flowing in already. The Sixth Form has gone from strength to strength. Have a super two weeks off. Yes do some work but also relax. You deserve it! See you all in 2018!

Mr L Huckle & Mrs S Hoad

Young Engineers
Over the past few weeks Year 9 Young Engineers have been getting to grips with equipment in the workshops, making “wooden junk robots”. The idea behind this was to get them being creative by designing a robot and making it from wood and metal pieces. Doing these sessions with them meant that they got hands-on with equipment in the workshop which they don’t normally have access to in Year 9, so a great learning experience for them. Many thanks to Chilfen Joinery (Letchworth) and Henlow Car Sales for their kind donations towards this project.
Warhammer Club
Year 11 students who created the club within the school over the past couple of years competed against Bedford Free School two weeks ago in the school league team. Congratulations to our students who were victorious and now go on to compete in the next stage being held in February. The students who attended this event included: Alex Feal, Ben Thorn, Cooper Barnes, Casey Burton, Gabriel Howden and Sam Callaghan. Many thanks to Games Workshop, Bedford for hosting this event.
Good Food Show
Earlier in the month the Food department took 35 Year 10 students to the Good food Show in Birmingham. Everybody had a fantastic time and the visit included a chat with Nadiya from the Great British Bake Off! The students were a credit to the school.
WOW, what a busy term it’s been in the performing arts department! With our students dedicating over 200 hours of rehearsals and 5 concerts, we are very proud of what has been achieved.
Jack and the Beanstalk
Last week saw a BEST first, with the performances of Jack and the Beanstalk. Despite the snow causing some disruption to the weekend rehearsals, students from across BEST came together to perform to a sell out audience each night, with over 500 people coming to support. The students have been working hard for 12 weeks and this was really shown in their excellent delivery. The cast thoroughly deserved the standing ovation they received and we are really proud of them all! Our next BEST production will be Alice in Wonderland for the lower and middle schools, and Little Shop of Horrors for students in SWA. Have a merry Christmas BEST Performing Arts students - well done for a fantastic term.
Clifton Christmas Concert
Nearly two weeks ago students from the music department held a Christmas concert for the local Clifton community. The evening consisted of a variety of performances, including a superb violin solo from Year 12 John Fudge and excellent vocal solos from GCSE students Evie Whybrow and Remi Downing. As well as the individual pieces, both the SWA choir and chamber choir also performed. The highlight of the evening every year is singing carols with the local community sat in the congregation. The concert was to help the Church raise money for their chosen charity, and we are very honoured to support with this.
SWA Christmas Concert
Last Monday, despite the snow and the school closure, the music department came out in force to hold their annual Christmas concert. The evening was a huge success with some new ensembles performing for the first time. Our many choirs were a huge success, and a link to one of the songs can be found here.
The dance company have been working hard this term to produce two dance numbers for the pantomime. Their stylistic dancing was a huge hit and really helped to lift the performance. Well done girls for your fantastic efforts.
BEST Christmas Card Competition 2017
Well done to everyone who entered, we really struggled to choose who won. Above are the three winners of the Christmas Card competition. Rupert Hodge RBA 1st place, Emilia Beian SWA 2nd place and George Gage GVA 3rd place. 
The U15A netballers took on their last league matches against KCA, Sharnbrook, St Thomas Moore and Mark Rutherford last week. The girls were outstanding the entire evening, from defence to attack, playing as a team and working so hard for each other. This came to the fore as the girls came away with four wins from four and now await the overall league results with the possibility of silverware. I really look forward to next season already with this team and they have huge potential to succeed even further with their incredible work ethic. U15B Netballers also took on their last league games for the season against Etonbury, St Andrews and Bedford Free School. With a few players not being able to commit the girls played extremely well considering we welcomed a few new faces however that did not stop the girls fighting for their wins. They came away with two wins from three games which was a fully deserved success for their efforts this season.
After a successful term the Year 9 rugby boys played their final game in the County Cup final at Stockwood Park against Cardinal Newman. 

With constant pressure early on Jackson opened the scoring and put SWA in front. Sadly two run away tries led to SWA trailing 10-5. After a big wake up call SWA started to show their dominance and through their structure and decision making grew into the game. At half time Whitbread led 17-10 and showed that through putting phases together they could hurt Cardinal Newman. In defence James Randall and captain for the night Kai Baines put in a fantastic performance to numb their big threats.

Through the second half tries from Kai, Ben Yates and Ryley enabled the boys to comfortably run out winners 38-17. A great ending to an amazing term. It has been great fun to train with a very talented group of boys. Having 30 people training every session has made a huge difference to our development. We will continue training all through next year in preparation for next year’s national cup run. Twickenham… Why not?

The first XV stormed through to the National Bowl semi-finals with an emphatic 67-0 victory over Ashville College from Harrogate. With over 500 students and dozens of staff watching the game, the atmosphere on the Whitbread field was immense and this boosted the boys into a fantastic start which continued throughout the match.

Man of the match Charlie Stevens scored a hat-trick alongside a brace from fans favourite Morgan Dayes and back rows Charlie Milton and Curtis Hymus were outstanding, dominating physically. The boys now have to wait until 1st March for the semi-final, vs King Henry VIII school from Coventry.
Last Thursday both the U14 and U16 girls teams progressed to the County Finals having won their District Finals. The U14s beat Etonbury 60-30 with Lauren Appleby being the stand out player, scoring a majority of the baskets. And whenever Etonbury started to gain momentum, Jas Currey silenced them with some outrageously precise shooting in hitting nothing but net. The U16s beat Redborne 33-17, playing some excellent basketball as they grew into the match, moving the ball freely to create lots of scoring opportunities. Cailin Prior and Chloe Ward made numerous interceptions to start counter attacks, while Molly Sawyer stopped Redborne getting their shots off. Emma Moore top scored as she drove excellently at the basket, earning herself MVP.

After being crowned District Champions the U14 boys beat other top County side Putteridge 35-21 in a friendly. The boys have had an unbeaten season so far and this latest result bodes well as the opposition are SWA’s likely opponents in the County finals after Christmas.

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.
SEND Information Sessions
Free drop in information sessions are available for parents/carers with children with SEND. Click here to read more information.
Service Families
Samuel Whitbread is committed to supporting our service families. If you think you are going to be posted please contact Thomas Rowell ( so that he can help your child's transition go as smoothly as possible. We understand your circumstances might change again and that's OK. Kelly Furphy will also assist in any transition procedure and documentation needed.
Drop in Sessions
Drop in sessions with the school nurse are available every Tuesday breaktime in room 335. Students can seek advice on many issues such as healthy eating, bullying, family worries, health & wellbeing concerns.

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.
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
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:





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