Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 78 (29/3/18)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 78 (29/3/18)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The last few weeks of the Spring term have been incredibly busy, with Year 11 students already starting their practical exams in Art, Dance, Drama and PE. These first few exams have gone extremely well and students are clearly very focused this year.

The Spring Concert is always one of the highlights of the year and last week was once again a true celebration of music at SWA. The evening included chamber choirs, percussion groups, wind and brass bands, rock bands, solo performances and our school band RetroPlay. The BEST orchestra included students of all ages from across the Trust and it was great to see the younger students performing alongside their fellow musicians from SWA. Later that week we also had an amazing evening of dance, where alongside their exam pieces, students also performed an outstanding group piece called ‘serpent’. This piece will be performed later in the year at the arts festival in MK. This week our school band also performed at the Battle of the Bands competition at the Stables in MK. This is an annual event where school bands from across the county compete to be crowned the best band in Bedfordshire. The judges were all professional musicians who also perform on the night and I’m delighted to say that this year we were declared the winners!

The school supports a number of charities through our house system, including several national and international charities. To support Sports Aid we had a non-uniform day last Friday and raised over £1200. Students always enjoy non-uniform days and they are a great way to raise money for charity, however, we have noticed that students are wearing increasingly expensive pieces of clothing. Students obviously want to look fashionable and impress their friends, however, I’m sure you can understand that as a school we cannot be responsible if students lose or damage trainers, belts or watches etc. that cost in excess of £200 and we would encourage them not to wear such expensive items of clothing to school.

The warmer weather means the Duke of Edinburgh season has begun and last weekend students spent the weekend preparing for their upcoming expeditions with training sessions on first aid, cooking and putting up tents. Another highlight this week was the Rotary Youth Speaks competition which involves schools from across the county. Our Year 10 team did incredibly well and talked about the role of gender within the fashion industry, which was extremely well received.

This term the leadership team has been looking at developing the school vision, values and mission statement. The team has adapted the school vision from part of the BEST vision ‘to be the BEST that we can be’. Alongside this they have developed a mission statement: ‘to foster a learning community where everyone has the opportunity to achieve and excel’. We feel this encompasses what we are striving to achieve at SWA and incorporates the three words that are displayed on the wall at the front of the school. Next term we will complete the process by selecting the school’s values. Each week students and staff will be voting on one of the values from a list of suggested words. We will be conducting the vote through the school twitter account @SamWhitAcademy and we are inviting parents and members of the community to join in with the vote to help us decide on the school values together as a community.

Finally, after 14 years of service we say goodbye to Debbie Hill. Mrs Hill has been an amazing member of the Design Technology and Engineering team and a key member to the Young Engineers and Team Scooby the Formula 24 racing team. She has been a power house, organising the amazing range of STEM activities and trips and using business connections and partners to support students into a wide range of apprenticeships and careers. We wish her all the best for the future and know she will be missed by students and staff alike.

Wishing you a Happy Easter

Nick Martin

Year 9
Year 10
Year 11
Dear parents,
Thank you for all your support (and cajoling!) with the returning of the options forms. We now have all option choices in and have completed the first phase of scheduling. Over 95% of first choice options have been scheduled and Mr Nolan, our timetable administrator, will be meeting those whose reserve choices have been used after Easter to discuss and clarify their options. This process usually takes between two to three weeks and once this is completed we will confirm final choices to all students

Miss E Wisson
Dear Parents,
A huge thank you for attending the Year 10 PRE on Tuesday. It was lovely to meet you all. Hopefully the evening gave you the opportunity to celebrate all the positive progress students are making and discuss any concerns you may have had with subject teachers. Just a reminder that the end of Year 10 mock exams will take place next term so students should be preparing revision for their upcoming exams. Thank you all and have a lovely Easter break!

Miss V Yadav
Dear parents,
We have now got to the point where Year 11 pupils should be doing some structured revision most evenings. I have noticed the attendance at extra sessions at both lunchtimes and after school has increased.
Easter School is organised and if your child has been invited, please ensure they attend the sessions.
Next half term is so important for these young adults. I would ask for your support in ensuring each and every day is attended.
Some of the stresses and pressures of this time of year are becoming apparent in some of the pupils. It is important that their revision regime is supplemented by rest and recovery this Easter. Please be mindful of the risk of overload to your children.
Have a good Easter and I look forward to welcoming all Year 11's back for the final push towards some superb results in the summer exams.

Sixth form Applications
Year 11s who have applied to Sixth Form received their ‘conditional’ offer letters this week. Their offer is based on them meeting the Sixth Form entry requirements as well as any individual subject entry requirement.
Changes to options can still take place after the Easter holidays. Students should come down to the Sixth Form office to speak with Vicky Pateman to put any changes through.
Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
As we enter the last half term for our Year 13 students we wish them all the best with their revision and remaining coursework units during the Easter break. Plenty of resources have been shared with students on their google drive. A reminder that attendance during registration and subject lessons is essential and if they are too ill to attend school, the Sixth Form office must be informed (email or call 01462 628059). We finally managed to complete a community litter pick outside the school (delayed due to snow on the ground on Friday 2nd March) and the sun shone on our Sixth Form students as they tidied up around the front of school.

Higher Education Fair
We are hoping to take the majority of our Year 12s to the Higher Ed Fair on Thursday 19th April. Last minute payments (either via parentmail or via the Finance Office) will be accepted up until Monday 16th April at the very latest.

This will be an invaluable opportunity for students to meet with a range of University representatives from around the country. They will have the chance to find out about courses and entry requirements, collect prospectuses and obtain answers to any queries they may have relating to higher education. Furthermore, they will be able to attend a variety of seminars on talks such as helping to write personal statements, student finance and applying to Oxbridge. There will also be representatives from The National Apprenticeship Service, as well as many other organisations offering information and guidance on Higher Level Apprenticeships and School Leaver Programmes.

Mr L Huckle & Mrs S Hoad

Duke of Edinburgh
It is the start of the expedition season and as such we kicked ours off with a skills and training weekend in Great Barford. 63 students and 10 staff spent two days camping and learning new skills needed for future practice and assessed expeditions. Although a little chilly the weekend was a great success with all students behaving impeccably attacking all the training with real enthusiasm and gusto. Watch this space for future Gold and Bronze expedition news in the coming months. Please follow us on twitter @SamWhitDofE
Photos from the Duke of Edinburgh expeditions at SWA can be found on Flickr here: DofE photos

Head Boy & Head Girl
Voting for the new Head Boy and Head Girl closed earlier this week after an incredibly well contested and professionally-run campaign from all four candidates. Congratulations to Lucas Lyko and Megan Frankland who were victorious and will commence their new posts after Easter.
Three Samuel Whitbread Year 10 students - Sara Davies, Robert Bell and Brooke Yardley competed at the Rotary Club Youth Speaks District Finals evening this week. They all spoke superbly on the topic of 'should gender dictate fashion?'
The Year 11 interventions timetables can be found here.
'Inspiration' has been the topic in this week's House assemblies with a very brave and interesting talk from Year 13 student Ben Daniels about his inspirations.
Year 9, 10 and 12 students competed in House Dodgeball competitions, with Whittle and Whishaw picking up two wins each and Pendleton one.
This has been a very busy term in Performing Arts and the whole department would like to say a huge well done to all the students who have been involved with the many extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities. Have a fantastic Easter break!
Last Tuesday our KS4 Theatre company put on a successful performance of DNA. This is the text that they are studying for their GCSE written exam and so having the opportunity to bring the play to life was something that they relished. They rose to the opportunity and the evening was brilliant. Well done to all involved and thank you to Miss Meadows for her superb directing.
Battle of the Bands
On Tuesday our school band, Retroplay, competed in Bedfordshire Battle of the Bands, performing at the Stables in MK. They were up against lots of local schools across Bedfordshire, including Harlignton, Van Dyke, Redborne, Stratton and Manshead. The talent was particularly high this year. All schools involved were exceptional.

Our students performed fantastically, winning over the judges and the audience with their passion and enthusiasm shining through. In the first round they performed Superstition and Changes. After a short interval, we had made into the final three, and had to had to perform again, this time against Cedars Upper and Sharnbrook. Our students were very excited to be given the opportunity to perform again; and they didn't disappoint! They performed an exceptional version of Sweet Dreams. Their musicality and showmanship shone through and the judges commented on their huge levels of enjoyment. We are extremely proud to announce that they WON! We are so proud of every one of them; they have worked extremely hard for this event and were the deserving winners on the night.
Spring Concert
Last Wednesday, the music department held their annual Spring Concert. This is always a highlight of the school calendar as we see a wide array of musical talent across the huge variation of ensembles. With nearly 100 students taking part and over 15 ensembles, the night was jam packed with musical talent. With performances from Wind Band, Brass Band, Chamber Choir, Orchestra, Big Band, Rock Band, Soul Band, Percussion Group, String group and Choir it is too hard to single out any particular ensemble as a highlight; congratulations to all students involved. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank both the parents and the students for their dedication to the music department, and as you can see from the photo we had a huge turn out to come and support our students.
Rotary Young Musician of the Year
Congratulations to Lotti Michell in Year 10 for representing SWA at the Rotary District Final of Young Musician of the Year on Sunday. Lotti performed extremely well and received some fantastic feedback from the judges. Whilst she didn't make it through to the national final, we are still extremely proud of her achievement and the judges have said she is one to watch!
Dance Showcase
Last Thursday was the Easter Dance Show which showcased some of the best of the Year 11 choreography and performance pieces, as well as our extra-curricular projects. The Year 11s have worked very diligently getting their final pieces ready for examination, some of them have rehearsed so hard and it shows in the quality of their work.

I wanted to say a particular well done and farewell to Ellie Mouskovias who has danced in every show as part of the dance company since Year 9. She leaves us to go to EDSA in September where she will blossom; we will miss her, good luck Ellie! I would also like to say goodbye to Katie Halford, our Year 13 dancer who has also been a part of all of our shows and a massive help behind the scenes supporting with exams, shows and lessons over her time in the Sixth Form. She has shown so much maturity and dedication and will be much missed by us all!

Year 9 Dance Club did me proud performing a piece they have been working on since October, and our dance company Tutu Much showcased our new work Serpentine which they performed beautifully; proud teacher moment! We will be taking Serpentine to a dance platform in Milton Keynes in May to perform alongside other high schools and performing arts colleges. Happy Easter from Miss Major.
Rugby – Rosslyn Park 7s
Having had a very successful season SWA decided to enter a Year 9 team in the Rosslyn Park 7s competition for the first time. With over 150 teams and 35 pitches, the best players in the country were on show and we knew it would be a great test to see how far we have come. With most of the teams in the competition being from the independent sector, the Year 9’s were going to have their work cut out!

In the first game we comfortably beat The Portsmouth Grammar school 31-10 and showed that we could play some nice rugby moving the ball around the pitch with control and accuracy. The second game was always going to be the toughest game as Wellington College are known for being one of the best schools in the country. After conceding after 30 secs, we settled into the game and at half time trailed 12-7. Despite opportunities to draw level, Wellington scored two further tries and beat us 22-7. A great effort against the side that went on to lose in the semi-finals vs eventual winners Whitgift School.

Putting this defeat behind is we went on to play The University College School and put in our best performance, winning 41-5! Great team tries and offloading that saw us dominate a strong opposition. The final game was not as successful and with tired bodies and minds we fell short against a strong Scottish school. Despite this, a great day was had and a lot to take forward as we look for a good cup run in the National u15 Vase next season.

U18 Girls Rugby
With all the success we have had this year with boys and girls rugby, we had a large number of U18 girls who wanted to give rugby a try. We managed to get a fixture against Hills Road last week which was Samuel Whitbread’s first ever U18 girls rugby match. The girls were amazing, showing a fantastic attitude and were completely fearless when it came to the contact. There were some outstanding performances, in particular Becky Darnell and Alana Smith in attack and Kate Chappell and Courtney Akers-Webb in defence. The girls enjoyed it so much that we are now looking at organising some more fixtures after the Easter holidays. Well done girls!
The Year 10 boys footballers are in a decent position in District League competitions with our A team having lost just one game in the league and need to win their last 3 matches to go through to the semi-finals, where they would face KCA. Our B team have been outstanding, having also lost only once. They have already qualified for the semi-finals with a game to spare. This is the first time we have entered a B team and just shows the depth of talent available within our talented Year 10 cohort.

Away from their league duties the A team faced Icknield High School in the semi-finals of the County Cup. The boys won the competition last year and beat Icknield at the quarter final stage so the boys knew they were in for a tough match. The game eventually finished 1-0 to Samuel Whitbread after Lee Britten found the net early in the second half. The team now look forward to a County Cup final against St Thomas More after Easter.

Girls Cricket
SWA U15 girls cricketers competed in the Indoor District Cricket Tournament last Wednesday. In the first game the girls fielded with some fantastic catches and also Paris Musgrove taking on a great captaincy role. The girls fought hard throughout their four games against some strong schools and came away as District winners and through to the Indoor County Finals! After some training the girls had really taken away more knowledge and tactical play as the approached the County Finals. In the first match we faced Kempston Challenger Academy and with excellent bowling from Abbie Haskell and fielding from the Brown twins, we came away with huge win by 53 runs. Up against a very strong Sharnbrook side, the girls managed a decent score of 83 but we just lost out by 5 runs. However, two wins from the final two matches would send us to regionals. In winning the first the girls set up a final against Cedars, but agonisingly fell short by four runs as the pressure told. Well done to all the girls involved and we look forward to the outdoor season after Easter.

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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