Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 74 (19/1/17)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 74 (19/1/17)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

Happy new year to everyone!

The new term has started well, with students returning from the school break refreshed and ready for the term ahead. We held our first ever Christmas Fair towards the end of last term and raised nearly £500 for the house charities. This was a new event for SWA and was organised by the student leadership group. It was well received by staff and students alike and I’m sure it will become an annual event in the Christmas calendar. The Christmas jumper non uniform day, on the last day of term, also raised an impressive £600 which the students chose to donate to the Shefford Christmas Lights Appeal. They presented the cheque to committee chairman Tony Goodwin, who was delighted by both the amount and the generosity of our students.

Some of our A Level maths students, along with Mr Fernandes, appeared on the ITV news last night as part of a story about finding the formula for the perfect roast potato (see below for clip). In conjunction with Edge Hotel School, from Essex University, students are trying to find a new way to cut a potato to maximise the surface area to volume ratio by cutting the potato at an angle, rather than into quarters. We would really like families to try this at home and give us feedback.

I would like to publicly thank one of our parents, Mrs Julie Cook, for all of the work that she has done on looking at ways to improve how we communicate with students, parents and the wider community. Mrs Cook has a wealth of experience in industry and has spent several hours talking to staff and parents about how we can improve the way we communicate information about trips, events, notices and key information etc. She has come up with a number of recommendations that we are planning to implement over the coming months, so more on that later. I would like to thank Mrs Cook for her professional generosity and the way in which she has worked with staff to help improve our school. This week I have also had an offer of support and help from another parent, who works for the Metropolitan Police and is an expert in safeguarding. He has offered to give up his time to come and talk to staff about improving the advice we give to students about keeping themselves safe online, as well as working with our safeguarding team on a number of different areas. This type of support is really appreciated and something I would like to promote in the future.

Year 11 and Year 13 students received their mock results last week, which enabled them to see how much progress they have made since the start of the year. Teachers will be working through the mocks over the coming weeks to identify gaps in students’ knowledge. Next week they will receive written reports from their subject teachers with advice and guidance on how they can improve over the coming weeks. In assemblies last week I talked about the importance of making small changes to your daily routine, such as revising for 30 minutes every evening, rather than waiting until the exams are upon us. I also talked about the importance of students getting enough sleep and switching off their mobile phones an hour before they go to sleep, which the student leadership group have also been working on over Christmas. They are planning a sequence of assemblies to give students help and advice on how to improve their sleep.

The police have contacted us recently to say that they have had a number of schools reporting fraudsters are contacting parents over the phone, or by letter/email, pretending to represent charities or debt collectors and claiming that they owe money to the school. If you receive such a call then please take down the relevant details and let us know, so we can contact the police and make them aware.

I’m pleased to say that the few minor issues that we had with uniform towards the end of last term seem to have been addressed – so thank you to parents for your support on this.

This week we had over 70 pupils from our feeder Trust schools audition for the BEST production ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which we are eagerly anticipating after the last Trust performance of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Congratulations to the U15 girls footballers last night who won our first trophy of 2018 by beating Kempston Challenger Academy 3-1 in the District Cup. The girls were outstanding and fully deserved the success.

Nick Martin

Year 9
A great start to the term from all - just a few uniform issues still which are now getting sorted thanks to the hard work of our tutors contacting home. This week we have ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ coming in to present to our Year 9s. This is an innovative and powerful production highlighting the very serious and emotional issue of child sexual exploitation - please if you wish for your child to opt out of this contact reception to let them know your child’s name and class and we will arrange an alternative for the hour. 

Miss E Wisson
Year 10
I would like to say a huge thank you to Year 10 for making an excellent start to the New Year. My overall impression of the year group is very positive as I get to know students. I am very much looking forward to working with you all. There are going to be some exciting opportunities for you all to get involved with over the next few months which will ensure you remain enthusiastic and passionate about learning. Finally, thank you to parents for your continuous support. Please continue communication with form tutors, the year team and subject teachers to ensure we continue with this positive start to the year. Well done Year 10!

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
Year 11 pupils are making me incredibly proud on a daily basis. They are leading the school with attitude, motivation, punctuality and appearance. All of these qualities will be an asset when they move on to the next step of their education. Mock results were extremely promising with many pupils visually lifted by their excellent results and those who feel they underachieved have found that extra motivation to reach their potential. The conversations I have had with pupils, teachers and parents have been positive and constructive.
All Year 11 pupils attended an hour long session last week run by Elevate who taught some excellent strategies for revision and exam time. The title of the seminar was 'Ace Your Exams' and I'm sure that, as a collective year group, that is exactly what we will do.
The next round of mock examinations will take place in late February. This will cover English Language, Chemistry, Physics and Maths. Please can you be proactive in supporting your children with revision in the lead up. The next set of reports are imminent. These are written reports to give you more context alongside predicted grades and attitudes to learning. These reports are closely followed by a full, subject Progress Review Evening (February the 8th), where you can discuss specifics with the class teachers. It goes without saying that this is the most important PRE to date. These conversations, at this point, have a direct impact on the results your children will achieve in the summer examinations. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Please find below the Academic Support Timetable. All year 11 pupils are encouraged to attend as many sessions as possible.

Mr R Sinclair
Sixth Form
The Year 12 debate challenge kicked off during the first week back and we have had a number of excellent debates so far with 12A, 12C, 12E and 12K (below) coming out victors. The debate topic in this round has been ‘The UK should re-introduce the death penalty’. There have been some superb debates which have well planned and delivered on both sides.

The Head Boy and Head Girl applications for Year 12s are now open. Speak to the Sixth Form office or current Head Boy/Girl Kieran Drakes and Emily Onagoruwa.

Mr L Huckle & Mrs S Hoad

National Citizens Service has awarded Samuel Whitbread Academy gold status award for their support of this programme. Last year SWA sent more students from Years 11 & 12 on the NCS courses than any other school in Bedfordshire. We are looking forwards to large numbers again taking this fantastic opportunity this summer. Please see Mr Smethurst for further details if you have not already made contact with NCS.
Samuel Whitbread A-Level Maths students made it onto ITV Anglia News yesterday evening in working out the best cut for the perfect roast potato! 
Young Engineers
Young Engineers are taking part in the VEX Robotics In the Zone Challenge having been sponsored by Lockheed Martin. On Tuesday 9th January students met up with Redborne Upper and Goldington Academy for a friendly scrimmage. This was to test out the vehicles built and to get to grips with the competition. Out of the 6 teams taking part, our students ranked third. The event proved to be a great learning curve with the vehicle being adjusted after each round to improve our chances of winning. 

Our next competition will be on 31st January where we are going up against teams from Oxford and London.
Cyber Safety
To support the work that we have been doing with Cyber Champions, Richard Denton from Beds Police has kindly offered to run an information session for parents on Monday 5th February on how to support teenagers with the internet and offer advice a guidance about the dangers of social media and how to protect your children. The session will start at 6:30pm and is expected to last between 45 mins and an hour, there will be an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation and refreshments will also be available. If you are interested in attending, please complete the below form:

The Christmas Fair in the final days of last term, run by the Houses for their charities, was a huge success, raising nearly £500 between them. On top of this, the Christmas jumper mufti day raised £708, £600 of which went to the Shefford Christmas Lights projects and the rest to Save The Children. Harwood still top the House points leaderboard followed by Olivier. There are chances for all this to change with House Sports competitions coming up in the last week of half term and House Maths and Languages competitions coming up.
Performing Arts
We had an amazing turnout of 75 students from all of our feeder lower and middle schools within BEST last night to audition for our upcoming BEST Performing Arts production of Alice in Wonderland. We look forward to producing another amazing show with some incredibly talented students!

There was also a fantastic turnout by SWA students for A Little Shop of Horrors production this lunchtime. Auditions will take place next Thursday from 4-6pm.

And lastly, the Performing Arts trip to see Jersey Boys is this coming Wednesday – those who are coming, please don’t forget!

Artist of the Month goes to Faith Hibbert 9A for this fantastic charcoal drawing. Keep up the great work!
Basketball Girls
U14 Girls
The girls came second in their first county tournament at Samuel Whitbread. They played excellently, beating St Thomas More and Cedars as they moved the ball around quickly, with Lauren Appleby top scoring from Point Guard. Jaz Currey made some excellent plays as she helped the girls to counter attack, while Kizzy Angell and Chloe Benjamin worked tirelessly defensively. Unfortunately, they were undone by Lealands, who beat them by just 2 baskets.

U16 Girls
Another Silver Medal for the Year 10s to match their Year 9 result as they narrowly lost to Cedars in another close game. Unfortunately their shots did not fall at the key times as they struggled to take the lead in any point in the match. They responded brilliantly by comfortably beating Bedford Free School as the worked the ball nicely up the court to create excellent point scoring opportunities. Emma Moore top scored for the day.

Basketball Boys
U14 Boys
Last week our unbeaten Year 9 basketball boys took part in the County Finals. After a convincing win over Van Dyke, the boys then faced Cardinal Newman School, in a tight fought match the boys never really got going and struggled to find their rhythm. Although the game always stayed close, Whitbread missed a host of chances to put daylight between the two sides, and were eventually made to pay, when a missed lay-up by SWA was then punished, firstly to level the scores, then to steal victory with the last play of the game. This left SWA needing to win against St Thomas More in the last game and hope Van Dyke would beat Cardinal Newman. Despite a great victory over St Thomas More in our last game, sadly it wasn't to be and unfortunately it left SWA in second place at the end of the tournament. A bad day at the office for the team but they will learn from these mistakes and aim to come back stronger in future years – “victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat”.

U16 Boys
The boys took the silver medal as they played some excellent Basketball in beating Van Dyke and Stopsley as Nathan Wolsey lead the way while Liam Holland top scored. Jordan Webber showed some excellent skill, while Ryan Anderson dictated play from Point Guard. Unfortunately the boys lost their game against St Thomas More as they started slowly and left themselves with too much to do in the second half.

Girls U15s
Last night SWA's U15 football girls played the District Cup final versus Kempston Challenger Academy at Kempston Rovers FC. The girls took a 1-0 lead into half time after a Sophie Bolton shot hit the post and Tascha Stokes-Collis netted the rebound. In the second half, KCA found their feet until Tascha converted a penalty to make it 2-0. Despite an incredible save from SWA keeper Paris Musgrove, KCA scored the rebound to get back into the match at 2-1 but, with the girls started to feel tired, Sophie put the game to bed in the closing stages, the game finishing 3-1. This was a fully deserved outcome for the team who have worked incredibly hard this year. Well done girls.
The U14B netball girls played their last league games of the season in the bitterly cold weather. This however didn’t affect their game play and team morale beating Kempston Challenger and Bedford Girls C and narrowly missing out to Bedford Girls B by one goal. Some great play in the attacking circle from Caitlin Oxton and Tegan Davidson.

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 

Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter

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