Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 91 (19/12/18)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 91 (19/12/18)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

As we approach the end of term, the last couple of weeks have gone by in flash and Christmas is just around the corner. The month began with one of the highlights of the year, when pupils from the BEST nursery came up to the school and helped decorate our tree, as well as sing some festive Christmas songs!

In the last couple of weeks, students in year 11 have started to receive feedback for their first few mock papers. This is an incredibly important time and students need to learn as much as possible from these mock papers and use this knowledge to plan the next stage of their revision programme. By this stage in the year they should be revising around an hour a day and making the most of all the revision sessions at lunch and after school.

We recently had an announcement from the local authority, telling schools that they were moving the February half term in 2020 back a week to 17th - 21st Feb. Shortly afterwards, many of our feeder schools began to announce that they were also moving their half term to match the LA and then Bedford Borough also announced that they were following suit. To avoid any inconvenience for families that have younger children in different schools, we have decided to move our half term to the same week as everyone else. We apologise for any inconvenience caused, especially if you have already booked a holiday for February half term 2020.

Last week we had our annual Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, which played to a packed house. It was a fantastic performance and widely regarded as one of our best productions to date. The Friday before was the turn of our Christmas concert, which included choirs, bands, orchestras, percussion and solo performances. These sort of events take an incredible amount of time and dedication by students, parents and staff, and I’d like to thank everyone involved from Art, Music, Dance and Drama as well as the sound, staging and lighting crews for an amazing run of performances.

The Sixth Form have been busy collecting donations for three charities this term. The ‘Need Project’ is a local charity which provides food packages to support individuals and families who are experiencing food deprivation and the ‘Love in a Bag’ project, which aims to help women who are homeless, escaping domestic abuse or similarly vulnerable at Christmas. Earlier in the month the rugby team and coaches took part in Movember – raising just under a £1000. Finally, today, we have had our usual non-uniform day to raise money for our House charities.

It’s also been an amazing two weeks for sport with the 1st XI football boys beating Wootton 2-0 and the U15 beating Sharnbrook 3-0 to go through to the semi-finals of the County Cup. Following the 1st XV rugby boys’ progression to the National Vase last four, the U15s beat St Columbas School 34-5 to go through to the last 16. Finally, the U15 girls football produced a stunning 5-0 final win against Goldington to become District Champions.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.

Nick Martin

Ollie Pride
After three years with the PE department we wish Ollie Pride every success in starting his qualified career at John Henry Newman. Ollie has been a great member of the department and we have enjoyed seeing him progress through his training years. During his time with SWA Ollie has been involved with many students who in the last few days have really shown their appreciation. We look forward to seeing Ollie at future fixtures with John Henry Newman and hope that he has a long and successful career. 
Patrick Smethurst
Patrick Smethurst leaves Samuel Whitbread Academy after 13 years of complete commitment to providing our students with excellent learning opportunities both at school and on field trips. We would like to thank Patrick for his time, professionalism and his efforts to support and challenge our students. We wish Patrick all the best in the future.

Josh Bamford
Josh has been an integral part of the PE department and we wish him every success with his new role at Robert Bloomfield. RBA are gaining a very well-liked and positive member of staff who I am sure will have as big an impact there as he has had here. It has been a pleasure seeing Josh grow in his teaching through his training years at SWA and I am sure he will continue to be outstanding at RBA. From all the students and staff we would like to say a huge thank you and good luck with your career.
Year 9
I would like to congratulate Year 9 students on a fantastic first term to their life at Samuel Whitbread Academy. So many of them have immersed themselves in extra-curricular sports, arts or clubs and there is a lot of positive praise from teachers in lessons. The options process has also begun and in the first months of the New Year students will be choosing their subjects for their GCSE’s. This will require a new added focus and I am sure they are looking forward to the fresh challenges ahead. Please can I remind all parents and pupils of the Samuel Whitbread Uniform Policy, particularly regarding footwear and hooded jumpers. Please can any uniform issues be rectified over the holidays. Finally I would like to thank parents for their support and I encourage you all to continue positive communication with form tutors, the year team and subject teachers to further help your child's education. I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
Lots of students are approaching tests and coursework and it is safe to say that GCSEs for Year 10 students are in full swing. After Christmas tutors will be working on study skills as well as the other activities they deliver to support them as their studies increase. It is important to remind our students that subject teachers will be working towards the next assessment cycle as soon as we return in January and it won't be long after Christmas before the next report is sent home so they must maintain the positive work ethic that most are showing. Please help us settle back into the new term quickly by addressing any uniform issues that creep in at this time of year. After the break tutors will be asked to conduct uniform checks. Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2019!

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
It has been a long term for the Year 11 students, with mock exams having finished just a couple of weeks ago. The students’ mock exam results will be handed out during tutor time on 10th January and I encourage you to have a reflective conversation with your child about their results. May I take this opportunity to congratulate Paris Musgrove for her achievements throughout this year. She received the player of the year award for Bedfordshire Cricket U15s, and made the U16 Elite Team for England Rounders for the third season running - and on top of this has just recently been named as captain. Well done Paris!

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Well done and thank you for a superb term. We really enjoyed assembly this morning, congratulating and rewarding so many of you for excellent achievement, progress, attendance and attitude to learning. Taskmaster was a huge hit – with rounds including ‘take a photo of yourself looking like an object’ and rewriting the words of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’ for Mrs Hoad to sing. Last Friday ‘The Need project’ and ‘Love in a Bag’ collected our donations and we want to say a huge thank you for all your generous contributions. These will make an enormous difference to people in need this Christmas. Term starts for the students on Thursday 3rd January, and Year 13 will soon have IPE (Internal Progression Exams) in their subjects. Some of our students also have external exams in January and we wish them the best with their holiday revision.

Christmas Concert
Just under two weeks ago, the music department held their annual Christmas concert. The evening was a huge success with a packed out hall and nearly 100 students taking part. The large variety of ensembles and soloists showcased the hard work and talent of all the students in the music department, with highlights including the percussion group & choir who performed ‘This is Me’ (watch them here) and the BEST Orchestra which sees students from across the trust perform together.
Christmas came to the food department this week as 90 Christmas cakes were made and decorated by the Year 10 GCSE students. The students did very well in making an uncooked fruit cake and decorating either one large or several small cakes.
Last week saw the students from across BEST come together to perform Cinderella. The four shows across the week were a HUGE success with sell out audiences every night. The students have worked so hard over the past few months and the result was incredible. The show saw over 200 students work together both on and off the stage, in the orchestra and working as tech crew and set design to produce a high quality pantomime. Well done to all students and staff involved. Have a very merry Christmas!
Admissions consultation
Please be advised that the consultation for the proposed BEST admission arrangements for September 2020 is live and will close on 1st January 2019. You can find details on our website under the notices section here.
Work Experience
Last Monday, students in Year 12 were given their work experience induction. This included an assembly where students were given information regarding how to apply for their placement, the necessary paperwork they need to complete and a booklet full of instructions and advice.

Work experience this year will take place 8th -12th July (students on the biology trip will complete this 15th-19th July). The students were given the following deadline for their paperwork:
31st January - medical consent form and parent consent form due in
28th February - work experience placement form due in (this needs to be completed by the employer and is the students responsibility to get it filled in and handed to back to school).

All forms need to be returned to the sixth form office. Any questions then please don't hesitate to get in touch at 

Thanks to local businesses
Two weeks ago we held a staff quiz, raising over £800 to help a former staff member who is suffering from MND. We would like to thank these amazing local companies who donated prizes for the raffle to help us raise such a fantastic amount: The Crown Henlow, The Loft Shefford, The Barbers Lower Stondon, The Green Man Stanford, Henlow Bridge Lakes, Beyond Beauty, Especially You, Hollybrook Beauty, One Stop Clifton, Tesco Shefford and Morrisons Shefford.
The December Sixth form Artist of the Month goes to Summer Wilson. We love the dog in this work in progress painting and can't wait to see the finished product!
Mixed Hockey
SWA travelled to Goldington last week for a very competitive mixed hockey game in which Whitbread deservedly came out as winners. Taking a very strong squad, SWA showed a high level of skill and pace throughout the game. Defensively we were outstanding with Paris, Cailin and Toby clearing everything and Arron making awesome runs through the middle of the pitch. There was also superb play by Isacc, Corin, Kizzy, Emma and Max. Players’ player was Grace who scored twice, with Nathan and Aaron also hitting the net to cap an amazing display of hockey and great team spirit.
England Dodgeball
Well done to Heidi and Kizzy Angell who have made the England dodgeball team. This is a fantastic achievement and we are all very proud of your efforts and success!
U15 Boys Rugby
Last week SWA’s Year 10 rugby boys travelled to St Columbas School in St Albans for round 4 of the National Cup. Having seen the Sixth Form team do very well in recent weeks the Year 10 boys wanted to emulate their successes. We started the game well with an early try from Oakley Patmore following a strong run from Ben Yates. After a crazy 10 minutes SWA grew into the game and led 19-5 at half time. After half time SWA asserted their control and played some excellent rugby. SWA finished well and ran out winners 34-5 This means that they now have Saffron Walden County High school in the last 16 on Tuesday 15th January. Make sure you continue to train hard over Christmas, boys, and stay off the mince pies!
The U14 A and B Netball teams finished their league seasons with mixed results. The A team put together a very strong performance to beat Harlington, however lost to a strong Etonbury team. The U14 B team finished on a high with a win against St Thomas More.
U15 Girls Football
It was a fantastic way to end coach Mr Bamford’s time at Samuel Whitbread as the U15 football girls were crowned District Champions last week. Playing in the final against Goldington Academy at Kempston Rovers, the girls were outstanding and completely dominated in a 5-0 victory, with goals from Grace Hendry, Libby Holmes, Lauren Mercer, Megan Thurlby and Jasmine Currey. It was a superb end to the season as the girls went completely unbeaten throughout the whole league season.
Boys Basketball
Our talented Year 9 basketball team put their unbeaten crown on the line on Monday evening as they travelled to Welwyn district champions Ridgeway School to play a friendly. This was a great opportunity for our boys to face up against another strong opponent and really test how far they have developed. A fantastic sports hall hosted the match which saw a very tight affair throughout, and most certainly our most difficult match of the season so far. Unfortunately missed opportunities under the basket eventually cost us as we lost 39-38. However in losing these types of matches there is always so much for the students’ to gain and learn from which is the most important thing – especially at U14 level. We look forward to another match against Ridgeway after Christmas and hopefully a regular yearly set of fixtures for our basketball teams, as well the County Finals in early January.
Girls Basketball
SWA’s U16 girls basketballers tackled Etonbury last week. The girls had an outstanding game, really working as a team which reflected in the final score. Their drive and defence pushed Etonbury to the last second. A constant upbeat attitude from the girls kept their spirit up and they showed real motivation to get back and defend and a great team morale. It was a fantastic game for SWA, ending 46 - 21 to the Whitbread girls. There were outstanding performances from Emma Moore, Lauren Appleby, Skye Oswick and Lottie Tarttelin especially, and the girls are now ready for the County Finals after Christmas!
U15 Boys Football
Our Year 10 boys football team have played two games in the past fortnight. The first, a friendly against Knights Templar, enabled Mr Goldman and the team to try out a few new formations as well as set some match play targets for the boys to try to execute. The boys came away from the game losing 3-2 however the performance was excellent and the team went into their next fixture, a County Cup quarter final against Sandy, full of confidence. The game started quickly with chances coming in a flurry for SWA however Sandy were able to hold out to stay at 0-0 at half time. The second half saw a much better performance that mirrored much of the previous night’s training with crosses being driven into the box every few minutes, this was simply too much for Sandy to cope with as SWA scored three times for this exact tactic. Goals came from Metcalfe (2) and Revels in a confident 3-0 victory where the man of the match was awarded to SWA’s midfield energiser Callum Riggs.
U18 Girls Rugby
Last week SWA’s 18 rugby girls took on Robert Clack School in a hard fought game. With plenty of tries, the opposition had a number of very powerful runners that were vital in securing their winning try, but it was a fantastic effort from our girls, with players of the match Cailin Prior and Sophie Bolton impressing.
U18 Boys Football
Well done to the 1st XI football boys who progressed through their group to reach the County Cup semi finals after Christmas. A 2-0 win over Wootton Upper at Kempston Rovers FC finished off the group games thanks to goals from Colm Slingsby and Sam King in a comfortable victory.

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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