Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 76 (6/3/18)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 76 (6/3/18)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The snow has finally passed us by and unlike many other schools across the country we managed to stay open for the vast majority of last week. This was particularly important for Year 11 who had their latest set of mock exams last week with the remainder of Year 11s finishing theirs yesterday. Their behaviour in the exams has been impeccable, as always, and several invigilators have commented on the good behaviour of students.

The student leadership team is close to completing its research project into the quality and quantity of students’ sleep. They have uncovered a number of key issues including the fact that over half of students in our community, from Year 3 to Year 13, do not get the recommended 9 hours sleep, and this gets progressively worse as the students get older. They have also discovered that the vast majority are checking their phones or looking at a tablet before they go to sleep – despite the fact that research has shown that tablets and mobiles emit blue light which makes it more difficult for people to go to sleep. They are planning to report their findings to students through a series of assemblies and will also be producing a pamphlet for parents with help and advice on improving sleep patterns from Dr Farquhar, an expert on teenage sleep, who has been working with the student leadership group on the research project.

I had the pleasure of interviewing potential candidates for next year’s Head Boy and Head Girl last week. All the candidates performed incredibly well and I was reminded just how amazing our students are at SWA. The successful candidates have now gone through to the campaign stage and will spend the next few weeks getting their messages across to the student body before the vote later on in the month.

The Year 9 and 10 students on the ski trip had a fantastic week in Alpe D’Huez. Despite temperatures as low as -30C, they managed to ski every day and if the photos are anything to go by they had an enormous amount of fun. Three students in Year 10 also represented the school in the Rotary County Public Speaking competition last week. They were up against much older students from schools all across the county and came an impressive second which secured them a spot in next month’s final. Miss Vallance was delighted with their performance and said they thoroughly deserved their second place.

Two weeks ago we hosted the U15 county sevens girls rugby tournament and I’m pleased to say SWA had three teams entered and probably could have fielded four! The final saw SWA up against Wootton, which is rapidly becoming our main competition for sport in Bedfordshire. The girls dominated the final and were eventually crowned champions with an impressive victory, much to the delight of their coach Cerys Gregory from Year 11. Ex-student Josh Brown, has returned to school recently to teach a group of staff Boxercise every Monday after school. It was fantastic to see how Josh confidently led a group of 14 staff through our paces and certainly made us work hard – a great example of the student becoming the teacher! Finally, yesterday I was incredibly proud to witness the Sixth Form rugby boys win their national semi-final in Coventry in an incredible (albeit nervous!) match. We look forward to the final next week with great anticipation and excitement at a possible first ever national rugby trophy.

Nick Martin

Year 9
The knife and gun crime information evening due to be run by Bedfordshire Police on 14th March has been postponed and will be rearranged at a later date. The upcoming Year 9 vaccinations will take place on the 12th and 13th March. If there are any questions regarding this, please speak to your form tutor or Mrs Parr.

Miss E Wisson
Year 10
Year 10 Progress Review Evening will take place on Tuesday 27th March 2018. During this evening you will have the opportunity to sit down and discuss the progress of your child with their specific subject teachers. Areas of concern or for focus should also be identified in this evening to aid progress over the rest of the GCSE courses. 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 and that you use this evening as an opportunity to communicate with subject staff. I wish all students well in the coming weeks.

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
Dear Parents
We have now come to the end of the final round of mock examinations. Next time Year 11 enter the halls for an exam it will be for the summer GCSEs. Please monitor your children over the coming months and try and manage their stress as much as possible. If you feel they are becoming overwhelmed, please let us know and we can try and up the level of support we are offering. Alongside the after school, lunchtime and in lesson interventions we are running, some pupils will be invited to take part in extra sessions over the Easter holiday. If your son or daughter is being invited to this you will receive a letter in the near future. If your child has not been invited in for a specific session with a member of teaching staff, please do not send them into school for independent study.

Mr R Sinclair

Engineering – Level 3 Students
As part of their studies the Level 3 engineering students visited Liebherr in Biggleswade. Their visit was to look at the problem industry has with operator safety whilst using heavy plant equipment particularly around seatbelts. Students had the opportunity of visiting the heavy equipment bay, and seeing first-hand the issues surrounding this dilemma. Many thanks to Steve Irwin at Liebherr for arranging this visit and their continued support with SWA.
Ski Trip
Last week we took 61 SWA students to Alpe D’Huez in France for our annual ski trip. Alpe D’Huez is famous for the Tour De France as well as being an excellent ski resort. The students had a great time skiing in differing temperatures and snow conditions from ice to deep powder and made many new friends across the year groups, it being a wonderful social experience for them alongside the learning. We had temperature extremes of -30C to -3C during the week. Congratulations and well done to all the students who went along and the staff who helped organise the trip. Again it was a massive success. Plans for 2019 are already underway for next year’s Year 9 and 10.
Tuesday 6th March – as part of the National Apprenticeship Week we have the following organisations coming into school at lunchtime to speak with students: Youth Support Service (Central Bedfordshire Council), The Academy of Social Work & Early Intervention and the Careers & Apprenticeship Team. Students will be able to meet representatives in ‘The Street’ between 1-2pm.

On Monday 12th March Year 11-13 students have the opportunity of attending the National Apprenticeship Show in Milton Keynes with the school. Full details about the show can be found here. Spaces on the trip are limited, permission letter and details regarding payment can be found on the website here (could you put the attached on letters section of website?) Any Year 11-13 students looking for an apprenticeship, should register here.

Further support regarding careers can be sought through:
4YPUK: 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 click here. Appointments are held in in Room 910 (Library).

Any further information on Apprenticeships, CV and Cover Letter writing, Applications and Work Experience can be obtained by emailing Mrs D. Hill 
located in Block 6, Room 702.
The Year 11 interventions timetables can be found here.
House News
The House Modern Foreign Languages competition is now open – students can earn house points for learning a language on language app DuoLingo. Available languages range from standard French to Swahili and Welsh! Speak to Miss Reydet for more information. In the upcoming PRE events for Year 10 and Year 12, houses will be raising money for their respective charities by providing refreshments and cakes. Please support them with a small donation if possible! Next week in house assemblies students will be asked to think about the British value of democracy and will hear from prospective Head Boy and Head Girl candidates.
Artist of the Month goes Emily Skull in Year 9. Here is a coloured pencil drawing of three apples that she completed in her own time. Well done Emily!
Our U15 Handball team have successfully negotiated both the district and county rounds of the national competition with relative ease. With none of the boys playing Handball outside of school, the team have picked up the sport fairly quickly and to a high ability. Their knowledge of the game is improving with every match they play and they are now beginning to offer solutions to problems in games that previously they were unable to spot. This shows how much they have come on and with recent new additions to the squad, the future looks bright for Handball in Year 10.
The squad qualified for the regional event after comfortably defeating Van Dyke School in the County Semi-Final and then beating Biddenham in a much tougher match in the final. With a GB Olympic Handball Goalkeeper looking on, the boys won 11-10 to secure their place in the regionals. Some fantastic performances by all but a special mention must go to Taylor Haddow (GK), Joe Lawson (LW) and Theo Ogonah (Pivot) who all caused problems for the opposition throughout the match. Good luck at regionals gentlemen, will you be Samuel Whitbread’s first handball team at the Nationals?!

Rock Climbing
On Thursday 22nd February and Friday 23rd February, we took 31 students down to Woolwich in London to take part in a two-day rock climbing course and assessment. The students were amazing throughout the two days with instructors commenting on how they were a credit to the school and their parents. The facility we visited was truly outstanding, and students learnt how to climb with the aid of a harness, belay their partners and also boulder (which is climbing at lower levels without harnesses). The students thoroughly enjoyed their two-day course and all students completed the assessment climb at the hardest level. As a result of the course, many students have now got the climbing ‘bug’ and have already booked further climbing time at Big Rock in Milton Keynes, including Mr Goldman who is now classing himself as an expert climber!
1st XV Rugby
After the postponed National Cup semi-final on Thursday, yesterday the 1st XV took on King Henry VIII School from Coventry for a place in the national final at Sixways Stadium, Worcester, next Tuesday. SWA raced into a 14-0 lead through tries from Curtis Hymus and Tom Litchfield, both converted by Lucas Town. But the home side came storming back in the second half and, with two minutes to go, King Henry were leading 15-14. A tense last few plays saw Whitbread progress deep into opposition territory before Morgan Dayes drove over for a try to send the travelling Sixth Form fans, players and teachers into jubilation on the sidelines. This was an incredible effort from the talented group of boys and they are now one match away from securing SWA’s first ever national rugby trophy.
Girls Rugby
SWA organised and hosted an U15 Girls Rugby County 7s tournament two weeks ago and it was fantastic to see so many girls competing. SWA had 40 girls taking part and our Gold team lifted the trophy. Well done to all girls involved.

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
Tel: 01462 629900
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