Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 89 (23/11/18)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 89 (23/11/18)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

This week we had a our Sixth Form Open Evening. Following the success of previous years, we held the tutor evening, subject stands, Sixth Form presentation and careers fair all on the same evening. The feedback from parents and students suggests the evening was a huge success and as well as all our current Year 11 SWA students, we also had nearly 100 external students. The Sixth Form is certainly going from strength to strength and this is a really exciting time to join such a successful team.

The Year 11 mock exams are rapidly approaching and students are gearing themselves up for the next two weeks. This is a valuable opportunity for students to experience what it will feel like in the summer when some students will have up to 30 exams in the space of only a few weeks. If your child is taking their mocks this term then please ensure they have all the equipment they require and they pack their bags the night before and please tell them how important it is to get a good night’s sleep, rather than cramming the night before. When students are nervous they can sometimes not feel like eating, so please also point out the importance of having a proper breakfast.

Thea Lamb in Year 11 has had a roller-coaster of a fortnight, following her performance in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As well as an invite to attend the premiere and walk down the red carpet with stars such as Jude Law, she has also appeared on Horizon Radio, has been featured in the Biggleswade Chronicle and next week BBC Look East have asked for an interview. We are incredibly proud of her achievements and she joins a long list of SWA students who have appeared on film and stage.

Mr Edwards, Ms Hoad and several of our students took part in local Services of Remembrance on Remembrance Sunday, laying wreaths on behalf of the school and reading poems (please see pictures below). As part of the 100 year anniversary we entered a competition called Armistice 100 run by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and Lincoln University. The English department entered several of our students’ poems and we were delighted to hear that 12 of the poems were shortlisted for the final. Last Thursday Miss Vallance took all 12 students on the long journey to Lincoln and not only came back with a first place in the 13-16 category for Tom Warriner in Year 11, but also signed copies of the book of poetry for each of the students featured in the book. This is a fantastic achievement, as none of the other schools at the final had more than four poems shortlisted!

As part of the Rotary Club Christmas Shoebox appeal, students collected well over 100 boxes this year to be sent to children in eastern Europe. This is a fantastic appeal, which is run by the Rotary Club every year and always helps our students appreciate that many children have far less fortunate lives than ours and promotes our school value of empathy. We also held our annual Children in Need non-uniform day last Friday, along with a number of stalls in the street selling cakes and biscuits etc. which this year raised over £1000.

Following on from the girls’ momentous 11-3 win against U18 Bedford Girls School in Netball this week, the U16 rugby girls won 76-0 against Nobel School and the Year 10 boys rugby team followed it up with a 31-7 win against St Georges to make it through to the last 32 in the country. These achievements show just how talented our students are at SWA and how sport continues to go from strength to strength. The 1st XV finished the week with a 20-7 hard fought win against Aylesbury Grammar School to make it through to the quarter finals, which could see us travelling as far as Newcastle for the next round!

Nick Martin

Year 9
I was delighted to see so many parents and students on the PRE/Options Evening recently. The feedback during the evening was very positive and it is refreshing to see how many Year 9 students are considering their options and future career paths. If you didn't quite manage to complete the pupil update forms handed to you on the night, please can you complete these and return them to tutors as soon as possible.

Over the next few weeks, I encourage students to continue to visit subject areas and ask teachers for information regarding their GCSE options. Should you have any further questions regarding the options process please get in touch with the school.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
As we approach the end of the longest term of the year, it is important students do not let high standards slip and continue to switch on in lessons that will be vitally important to them in their final GCSE exams. The Year 11 students are just about to start their mock exams and this will come around very quickly for students in our year group, too.

I encourage parents to speak to keep in touch with form tutors and speak to them in the first instance if they have any queries regarding their child's education.

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
Dear Parents
We have now moved into the next round of mock examinations. Please help to make this as near to the experience they will have during their summer exams by helping with organisation, sleeping patterns and diet. 

Below, and by clicking here, you can see a copy of our academic support timetable. This highlights all the drop in sessions currently available to your son or daughter.

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Thank you to all staff and students involved in the Sixth Form Open Evening. The atmosphere was amazing and verbal feedback was some of the best we have received especially from parents of students at other schools. The feedback survey has been sent out to Year 11 parents and all external visitors.
Year 12
Year 12 are really impressing us with their attitude to learning and attendance. Many of our students have 100% attendance and were praised in assembly earlier this week. Students with two or more excellent attitudes to learning will have letters home next week. Well done to all of them. Reports have gone home via parent and student email – any issues with this please check your junk folder and then contact if you still haven’t received it. 

We have kicked off two charity projects for the festive season, both supporting local groups – ‘The Need Project’ and ‘Love in a Bag’ – and students have been asked to help in many ways, such as bringing in tinned and non-perishable goods, and donating good condition handbags which can be filled with toiletries and kind notes of support for women in need. Donations can be brought to the Sixth Form office, thank you in advance for your help and support with these projects. Dates for the diary for December include Christmas jumper day on Friday 14th December and Christmas themed fancy dress for the assembly on the last day of term (Wednesday 19th December).

Mrs S Hoad
Year 13
Internal Progression Exams (IPE’s) 
These are taking place in classrooms in departments. There is a two week period for these IPE’s to be conducted – the fortnight begins on 3rd January 2019. Results will be given back to students as soon as they are marked – no delay is needed. Year 13 students need to be thinking and preparing for these in advance as they are very important.

Mr C Tonking
The Artist of the Month goes to Jasmine Langeveld for this amazing work in progress oil painting. Jasmine's photo realist painting skill is amazing and we can't wait to see it finished! Well done Jasmine!

Term dates change
Following notification that Central Bedfordshire Council had updated their published term dates for 2019/20, please see here for the final updated version of the 2019/20 academic calendar to be adopted by all BEST schools and nurseries. The update relates to the February 2020 half term dates.
Armistice Poetry Competition
Twelve SWA students – more than any other school in the country – were shortlisted for the Armistice 100 Poetry Competition run by the University of Lincoln and headed up by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. At the awards evening last week, all students were congratulated and told all their poems would be published in a book, and there was fantastic news as Year 11 student Thomas Warriner’s poem finished first in his age category. Tom is pictured below with Carol Ann Duffy, professor Jason Whittaker – head of English at the university, and poet Imitaz Dharker, winner of the Queens Gold Medal for poetry.

This is an incredible achievement and a fantastic celebration of all our talented writers of the school, so over the next few newsletters, we will be showcasing some of the shortlisted poems by our gifted students. 
The first is a poem entitled Home by Victoria Bolland.

“I’ve got something to tell you,” said Daddy.
And that was when the nightmare began.
“Mummy’s gone,” he said.
Gone? Gone where?

A wooden box, people dressed in black.
I don’t get it- you only said she’s gone –
Gone where? Will she come back?
She should be here now, standing next to me.

“It’s just you and me now,” Daddy said.
And Mummy.
“We’ll always remember her, but she’s gone.”
Gone where?
Somewhere I can’t reach her.

“She fought in the war, and was as brave as a bear.”
Then where is she?
“In a faraway place.”
Then she should be back by now.
“She can’t return to us.”
So I will be as brave as Mummy,
Then I will go to her,
And bring her back,

Parking Reminder
When collecting your students from school please consider the neighbours when parking outside the school and in Pedley Lane – please do not park across driveways.
Find your future is a huge careers event that is taking place at the Rufus Centre in Flitwick this year. There will be 40+ companies there to talk about career and apprenticeship opportunities and they represent most areas of the work. Please see the letter on the SWA website for more information.
Red Box Project
Here at Samuel Whitbread Academy we are proud to be part of the 'Red Box Project', a period poverty initiative. It is a community project set up to tackle period poverty and provide period products in school to any young person who needs them. The Red Box Project says: 'we believe all young people deserve equal access to education and that access to period products is essential'. Along with this we are now a donation point for the larger community of schools so please drop in to reception any period items below for donation.
• New underwear in different sizes.
• Sanitary towels - different sizes, absorbencies, including night.
• Tampons - different sizes, absorbencies.
• Pantyliners

Performing Arts
The performing arts department have two big events coming up, with the Christmas concert and pantomime within a week of each other. The pantomime especially is getting booked up already, please purchase tickets here or visit the school finance office at break times.
Year 11 drama and music student Thea Lamb attended the London premiere of  Fantastic Beasts and The Crimes of Grindelwald. Thea has a starring role in the film, playing the young Leta Lestrange (portrayed throughout of the rest of the movie by Zoe Kravtiz). During the evening Thea was interviewed by several different media outlets, including BBC Radio 1. This is a huge achievement for Thea and is testament to her dedication, talent and her hard work. We are extremely proud of Thea and look forward to celebrating future successes.
1st XV
The first team rugby boys have had two huge NatWest National Vase matches in the last two weeks. The first, a tough physical battle against Bishops Stortford College resulted in a 20-3 win for Whitbread. It was a resilient display from the whole team, especially man of the match Reece Sweeney who showed an amazing work rate coupled with an outstanding defensive performance.

Then yesterday evening in difficult, cold and foggy conditions at stadium Whitbread, the team beat Aylesbury Grammar School 20-7 to progress to the National Vase quarter finals and a real chance of getting to the final at Twickenham. The team stayed firm despite several penalties given against them and kept calm heads to grind out the victory in fading light. Ali Gibbs was awarded man of the match for outstanding line-out skill and work rate.

This was just reward for the Sixth Form boys’ fantastic attitude in the past couple of weeks, juggling training, school work alongside fundraising for ‘Movember’, helping at Open Evenings and lots of the senior boys mentoring Year 9 and 10 students. We look forward to the live draw at 1pm today to see our opponents in the last eight in the country!

Year 10
Not to be outdone by the first XV, the Year 10 boys’ journey in the Natwest National Cup continues apace with progression into the last 32 in the country with victory earlier this week. The team recorded a 31-7 victory over St George’s School from Harpenden. Tries from Oakley Patmore, Sam Ferrari, Jackson Armstrong and two from Year 9 Ben Radnor sealed an excellent victory and puts them just four wins away from the final at Twickenham. Next up is the winners of St Columbus vs Cedars. Keep going, boys! in the last eight in the country!
We travelled to Hitchin last week for the first leg of our U16 boys game against an excellent Hitchin boys side. We were missing a few key players and it showed when our defence struggled to keep out the opposition forwards. Keeper Chris was on form and made some excellent saves and there were excellent runs from Max, Darius and Issac showed potential. Player of the match Nathan continued to dominate in defence and made some impressive runs through midfield. We return after Christmas hoping for a better result. Well done boys.

Meanwhile the U16 girls hockey squad returned to Bedford Modern this week for a rematch of their previous fixture. In freezing conditions the girls showed real determination to keep going. The first half showed real improvement and we dominated the possession and continued to attack with skill and pace through Corinne, Grace and Kizzy. Jess made some super saves in goal and Paris continued her dominance in defence. Player of the match Emma showed real grit by playing on with a nasty knock to the ankle. Keep going girls, you were amazing!

SWA’s U14 basketball boys have played three of their four league games with a 100% record so far. The boys have played some excellent basketball and are beginning to gel as a new team this year. Hopefully they will continue their form and it takes them to the county finals after Christmas!
A group of Year 9 boys took part in the Bedfordshire FA Attitude Counts Cup this week and were fantastic in performance, determination and teamwork. A special mention to Daniel Beard who captained the team, Tony Hartwell for scoring five goals over the whole day and Luke Merryweather for an incredible goal in the final game. These boys were a huge credit to the school.
The U14 netball girls faced their first county tournament as a team this week. The girls worked very hard in terribly cold conditions, winning games against Cedars and Harlington but couldn’t quite do enough to progress to the knockout stage of the competition. Well done to all players, especially MVP Poppy Cadd for her fantastic shooting.
SWA's equestrian team performed well at the recent National Schools Championship Plate Finals at Keysoe Equestrian Centre, finishing third in the team event.

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
Fax: 01462 629901

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