Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 87 (19/10/18)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 87 (19/10/18)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The first half term is complete and it’s amazing to think of all the things that we have already achieved in the first few weeks of this academic year.

Over the last three days we have had our annual review by Challenge Partners, which is a school improvement organisation that we have been a member of for the past three years. The report won’t be finalised until after half term, but I can say that the reviewers were incredibly impressed with our students – both in terms of how they behave in lessons and how they interact around school. They commented on how strong the relationships are between teachers and students and the calm and purposeful learning environment in lessons. More to follow on that after the break.

Last week Mr Butler talked about the third of our new school values - Determination - in his assembly ‘Known Knowns’ which went down extremely well with students. This followed my assembly earlier in the term on ‘Empathy’ and linked nicely to the House Charities which include Addenbrookes, Help for Heroes and Cancer Research. This Friday we had an extra non-uniform day to help raise funds for the Clifton Church window appeal and I’m delighted to say that we raised over £1700, and hope to add to this with the Autumn Concert and House stalls which will take the total over the required £2000. Finally, the Rotary Club delivered the shoe boxes for the Christmas Shoe Appeal, which we support every year and usually collect more shoe boxes than any other school in the county.

We had the second of our two Year 8 Open Evenings two weeks ago for RBA and out of catchment families. The evening was extremely well attended and parents we particularly impressed with how proud our students are of their school, the welcoming nature of our staff and the amazing facilities at Samuel Whitbread. An article by the TES this week reported that 70% of schools now have sections of their school buildings that are condemned and cannot be used – I’m pleased to say that we are extremely lucky in this regard and we shouldn’t take our facilities for granted.

One of the reasons we receive so many applications at SWA is obviously down to our reputation for the arts, and last Saturday the BEST choir took a break from the rehearsals for Cinderella to sing at the inaugural BEST Governors Conference. The members of the choir range from Year 3 to Year 13 and their performance of three show tunes was extremely well received by all of the delegates. The conference was a great success and included governors and principals from each of the schools in BEST. Sessions on the day included a presentation by the Head of Ofsted for the East of England on the role of governors and the future of trusts by the Regional Schools Commissioner. There was also a presentation by Dr Alan Lee on the core aims of the Trust and the closing presentation was delivered by the Chief Finance Officer on how we are managing the current cuts in funding and preparing for the challenges ahead.

It’s been a fantastic half term for sport. I spent an enjoyable hour with the headteacher of Harlington watching the U15 girls football team play their first National Cup match at Harlington Upper School last Friday. The first half was extremely tense as the girls tried to adapt to the terrible weather conditions and finished 1-1, but I’m pleased to say that after the half time team talk with the players and the team coach Mr Bamford, the girls dominated the second half and made the most of the whirling wind to make it 5-2. The U16 Boys football team beat Sharnbrook 3-1 in similar conditions and the U14 continued our success in basketball this week, after the U16 Boys beat our arch rivals St Thomas More, by beating Bedford Modern 28-24. And finally, U14 Boys Rugby A Team also dominated Wootton and came away with a 67-7 win over probably our toughest opposition for sport in the county at the moment!

Nick Martin

Year 9
The positive drive to excel amongst the Year 9s so far is exactly what is needed to ensure all individuals progress both academically and socially throughout the rest of the year. A huge thank you to the Year 9 students who helped with open evening. Visitors were very impressed with their presentations and optimistic attitude about the Academy.

All thoughts now turn to next half term where we will be holding the Year 9 Option/Tutor PRE Evening on Tuesday 13th November 2018 from 3.30pm-6.45pm. This is an opportunity for you to come along to meet with your son/daughter’s tutor and discuss how they have settled into academy life so far. During the evening you will also be given information about our options process, curriculum opportunities and the importance of choosing the correct course. In order for students to make successful option choices we encourage the support from parents to attend so that parents can assist their son/daughter in making these difficult decisions.

I am certain that the positive manner in which the year has started will bring great success to all students in the future. I look forward to seeing you all again on the Year 9 Option/Tutor PRE Evening.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
Progress and attitude to learning reports have been handed out to Year 10 students. These are an important marker to inform how students have started the year and what areas they need to address. Any subject-specific queries should be emailed to the relevant subject teacher(s) – staff email addresses can be found on the SWA website.

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
Dear Parents,
The Year 11 mock exams take place w/c 26th November for two weeks. Timetables have been sent to students' email addresses and parents emails listed on SIMS. I will be running a series of assemblies on exam revision technique in the coming weeks, students should already be planning their revision timetables and undertaking these in preparation for their exams - it is never too early to start revising.
On another note, the Sixth Form Open Evening for current Year 11 students is on Tuesday 20th November. This evening will include information on Sixth Form A-Level and BTEC courses at SWA, as well as apprenticeship and college information, covering all bases for your child's studies next year. This is also the same night as Year 11 Tutor PRE, having a chance to meet with your child's form tutor and talk over their progress.

Mr R Sinclair
Sixth Form
As this half term draws to a close Year 12 have settled in and are starting to experience the workload of A level classes. Many of them are meeting the challenge well and have also given up their free time to help with our open evenings this term, and we thank all who helped us with these. Praise letters will be on their way to many students who have made a great start with their subjects and showed the Sixth Form ethos well. Year 12 reports will come out in the next half term (November 22nd) and this will be an opportunity to see what progress they have made towards their aspirational target grades. We remind students and parents that attendance is compulsory between 8.20am (registration) and 1.00pm, and between 2pm and 3pm if a lesson is timetabled, and that illness can be reported directly to Mrs Bonham on the Sixth Form phone number 01462 628065. We are very pleased that our registration attendance percentage for this half term so far is over 99%. Well done everyone.

Thank you to all parents who attended the Year 13 parents evening last Thursday. Overall attendance was very positive and there were some incredibly positive and productive conversations had with staff. Hopefully all students and parents are aware of what they need to do in the last couple of terms before the biggest exams of their lives!

The Artist of the Month goes to Hannah le Roux in Year 13 for this beautiful pink portrait (work in progress).

Thirty Year 11 and 12 students from Samuel Whitbread Academy have just completed their second hiking expedition towards their Silver DofE award. The expeditions took place in The South Downes and The Peak District. The weather was kind to us for most of the time and everyone managed to complete their personal and team route challenge over the three days for each expedition. The students were amazing and showed grit, determination and a great sense of fun. Well done to everyone. Next up – GOLD!
This week saw all year groups compete in the latest house sport event, with the girls battling it out in their house netball teams and the boys in their rugby teams. Well done to all who played, Whishaw won both the Year 9 netball and Year 10 rugby to top the points this time around.

The house and charity captains also ran a stall today to coincide with the mufti day, raising money for Clifton Church.
Autumn Music Concert
Clifton Church was broken into during the summer and are currently fundraising to support the costs of the repairs. The church has been very supportive of the music department in recent years and so all funds raised at the Autumn Music Concert are being donated to the church to support their fundraising efforts. Tickets are available to purchase on the night along with refreshments. The evening is looking to be a fantastic evening jam packed full of a variety of different music ensembles.
This month saw the school dance company, Tutu Much Dance, perform at Sharnbrook Academy. The school was hosting a day of dance and activities called MindFest which was set up to raise money and awareness for the mental health charity ‘Mind’. The dancers; Aine, Imogen, Iwan, Holly, Isla, Ella, Charlotte, Eve and Tiegan performed four times throughout the day with energy and passion, they were fantastic! They also really enjoyed meeting other dancers from other schools. It was a great day out!
Performing Arts
The cast for the BEST pantomime Cinderella has been decided and rehearsals have started,
Tickets have already been sold for our pantomime story to be told.
You can cheer, you can sing, you can boo, you can hiss. This pantomime will be one you won’t want to miss!
So stop no further, you don’t need to think. Have a look below and click on the link!

We received a message from our sister school Jambo Jipya this week, who fed back on what they had done with the money we raised for them at the end of last year. Our fundraising enabled the school in Africa to pay for electricity and build a well for running water. They said:
'Please share our excitement with everyone at your school....We are so grateful. Please thank everyone for the support.'
More pictures and information to follow.
1st XV rugby
Samuel Whitbread 1st XV beat St George’s School in the third round of the NatWest Vase competition last week 27-0. It was an extremely good performance from the team who looked in complete control throughout, even in the second half when they spent most of the time defending, they never looked like conceding. Two outstanding performances came in the shape of Rory Fookes and Reon Lewis for their outstanding defensive work. This team is growing in confidence and are working extremely hard to improve. Our next round is against a strong Bishop Stortford College and we are really looking forward to the challenge.
The Year 11 netball girls continued their success in the U16 netball league last week, showing dominance through the court and excellent shooting statistics from Molly and Megan Sawyer. They beat Etonbury, Bedford Modern and Biddenham comfortably. They show so such passion on court and it really does pay off.

The Sixth Form Netball girls had a very difficult week knowing they were to face their two hardest teams in the U19 league. They fought very hard against Redborne and Sharnbrook, demonstrating true Samuel Whitbread grit and determination to give them their best performance, coming away with a win over Redborne. They know what improvements need to be made for when we face Sharnbrook in the County Tournament. There were some outstanding performances from our defence, especially Eleanor Farley and Molly Bhatterchjee.

The U15 A netball team had another fantastic set of results in the league against Eatonbury and Harlington. We were left very proud of the team in the way they applied themselves to come back at half time from a three goal deficit to beat Harlington who were a very well organised team. The B team had some difficult matches but showed great spirit and determination throughout. Well done to Chloe Benjamin and Skye Oswick for their performances.
Boys basketball
The U16 basketball team have qualified for the district semi finals after winning four out of their five matches. They completed their qualification with a 48-32 victory over St Thomas More. A tight match saw the boys repel a late fightback by STM to take the W! MVP for the match was Taylor Haddow who was immense in defence and pitched in with a fair amount of points and assists as well.
Boys football
The U16 footballers looked to bounce back from last week's 3-2 loss against STM with a tough fixture away at Sharnbrook. In horrendous conditions, the boys fell behind to a well taken free-kick. However, in true Whitbread fashion, the boys rallied to equalise through a Matt Maloney free kick. Early in the second half, an acrobatic finish by Sam Gibbins had SWA the lead and the 3-1 victory was completed with the goal of the match by Josh Eytle, a touch of skill 35 yards out was enough to evade his marker and then a thunderbolt of a strike with his 'weaker' foot found the top corner. The boys now look forward to their final two games against Wootton and Mark Rutherford after half term.
U15 rugby
The Year 10 rugby team continued their excellent start to the season. Having beaten Bedford School a couple of weeks ago, they were challenged with Wellingborough School who won the reverse fixture convincingly 43-7 last year. The game started really well for SWA who found themselves 19-0 up very quickly. Wellingborough scored just before Half time against the run of play and we went in 19-7 up. In the second half SWA showed their dominance and ran out 45-7 winners. Tries from many players throughout the team with lots of strong performances. 

This week was Natwest National Cup week. Following the previous two wins, the boys were excited to play Hitchin Boys School. We started slowly and showed some nerves, however after settling the boys grew in confidence and began to settle into their style of play. Big carries from Oakley and Ryley set up chances out wide that Ollie and Jackson kindly took. At half time SWA led 22-0 and with small changes dominated at in the second half. A resounding 56-0 victory over a school like Hitchin Boys has never happened before. We look forward to seeing how far this team can go. Next round is St Georges in the last 64 teams in the country.

Year 10 B team played against Wootton in a friendly on Tuesday. This team is made up of some outstanding individuals who are training extremely hard. This was clear to see in the game against Wootton as our attacking shape and defensive organisation enabled us to create chances regularly. Two tries from Steven West (2m specialist!) and others enabled us to build the score throughout the game with SWA winning 36-0. Sadly Biddenham have cancelled their fixture against the B team in the County Cup so we progress without playing and are looking forward to the next round against Stopsley.
Boys football
The U15 B team boys played Van Dyke Upper in their first game of the National Cup in a very tight game with very few chances from either side. A great individual piece of skill from Matt Smiles put SWA into the lead just before half time making it 1-0. In the second half the boys got caught out and conceded a scrappy goal and a 1-1 draw lead to extra time and then penalties as no goals were scored. Thankfully SWA managed to secure a place in the next round by winning a tense, sudden death penalty shootout.
Girls football
The Under 15 girls continued from strength to strength last week, winning 15-0 against Castle Newnham in the District League. There were hat-tricks for Lauren Mercer, Emma Giles, Lauren Appleby and Megan Thurlby. The U16 girls also had success, beating rivals Sharnbrook in the National Cup with two goals from Sophie Bolton and a goal from Tabby Brown. Well done girls.

The U18 girls played their latest National Cup game on Wednesday at home to Onslow St Audrey's Academy. To put this into perspective, the opposition had reached the national final and semi final in recent years. The girls performed incredibly and held the opposition to 3-3 at full time with Sarah Woodbyrne and Chloe Ward on the scoresheet to provide a possible cup giant killing. Unfortunately it wasn't to be as the SWA girls lost out 5-3 in extra time but it was incredibly humbling to hear from the opposition coach that SWA provided the toughest opposition nationwide in recent years. Well done girls,
The U16 hockey girls hockey squad played Bedford Modern School last week in a pre-season friendly. Against a very strong unit, the girls performed admirably and despite a narrow defeat, showed they can play some very good hockey. Hopes are high for the season ahead!
Long distance running
Last weekend SWA's Miles Elliot raced in the Great Eastern 5k at Peterborough against over 1500 runners. In horrendous conditions, Miles came in 40th in a personal best time of 21mins 40 seconds. Well done, Miles!

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.
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

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.
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:

Safeguarding Team
We take the safeguarding of our students very seriously at SWA and the safety and protection of our students is paramount in all that we do on a day to day basis. Mark Gibbs, Associate Principal, is the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the Academy.

The team which includes Clare Hood, Associate Principal, Clare Bonham PSO Sixth Form, Jo Abbott PSO Year 9, Tanya Clark PSO Year 11, Thomas Rowell SENCO, Julie Saggers PSO Year 10, Vishali Yadav Head of Year 9 and Richard Sinclair Head of Year 11 are always willing to support and give advice.

If you do have any concerns about any of the students about their safety please contact a member of the Safeguarding team to discuss your concerns or contact The Central Bedfordshire HUB on 0300 300 8585 or if you live in Bedford Borough please call 01234 718700.





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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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