Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 92 (18/01/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 92 (18/01/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

Happy new year to you all. I hope you had an enjoyable festive break and took the opportunity to catch up with friends and family.

The Spring term has got off to a great start for the arts. Last week we celebrated the news of ex-student Ben Whishaw receiving a Golden Globe for his performance in ‘A Very English Scandal’. We are incredibly proud of his achievements and he is a fantastic role model for our students, both with his performances on stage and in films such as James Bond and Paddington Bear. Last night students went to see the all-male version of Swan Lake in Saddler’s Wells and gave it rave reviews. We also held the first round of auditions for the ‘Celebration of Disney’ production this week which is open to lower and middle school pupils. The auditions were incredibly popular and Miss Tabert is already thinking of ways to involve such a large number of pupils in the production.

We had a wonderful newsletter from our sister school, Jambo, in Kenya over the holidays, thanking us for all the support last year. The newsletter included pictures of all the things the school has bought with the money raised by students at Samuel Whitbread last year. This included the newly painted school minibus (after the Kenyan government announced all school buses should be yellow), school desks, repainting the outside of the school, food for the Christmas dinner and a new borehole in the school grounds, which means the school now has its own water supply.

The Year 9 reports have been sent home this week in preparation for the start of the options process. The options booklet is now available on the website in the parents section, along with the presentation and all the important dates. Next week the Year 11 reports will also be issued and appointments will be open for the upcoming parents evening. On top of that, SLT are currently having one to one meetings with every student in Year 11 to talk through their mock results, how they plan to revise and their plans for next year. These meetings are going really well and I’m pleased to hear that many students are already up to an hour a night revising for their exams. A full list of revision classes at lunch and after school are also available on the website.

We’ve had some fantastic results in sport this term already. The girls’ new rugby shirts are now in production and will be arriving soon. The girls chose their own design and hit their target for sponsorship, so Mr Hart and I have matched that amount and are really looking forward to seeing the new kit. The U15 boys rugby team played a very strong Saffron Walden side this week, watched by the whole of Year 10, and came away with a 12-0 win to go through to the quarter finals of the National Vase. A win in the quarter final would mean both the U15 and the 1st XV would be in their respective semi finals, to be played at Saracens’ ground later this term.

Nick Martin

Year 9
We take the safeguarding of our students very seriously and with the successful delivery of the play ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ by Alter Ego last year, we are extremely pleased to announce that the theatre group will be re-visiting Samuel Whitbread Academy on Wednesday 30th January to perform to all of our Year 9 students.

‘Chelsea’s Choice’ is a hard-hitting, 50 minute-long Applied Theatre Production that has proved highly successful in raising awareness amongst young people of the issues surrounding child sexual exploitation. The play is followed by a Q&A plenary session with the cast and students exploring the issues raised in the play.

All students are expected to attend the performance, as it has proven very successful in protecting and educating students about the possible dangers of the internet and social media.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
Please remind your son/daughter of the importance of arriving to school and lessons on time - it will impact their grades! It will be useful for your child to start thinking about revision and any tips on revision for their upcoming mocks (29th April - 10th May 2019), any advice or guidance you wish to have please do speak with their tutor or subject teacher in the first instance. Finally, thank you to parents for your continuous support. Please continue communication with form tutors, the year team and subject teachers to ensure we continue with the many positives we see and have within the year group. Well done Year 10!

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
Your children have now received their most recent mock results and I hope have communicated this with you. I would ask that you sit down and have a discussion about the impact these results must have on them over the coming months. Most pupils will have reaffirmed that they are on track and that they need to maintain their current, excellent levels. Others will have been shocked and need to use this as extra motivation to redouble their efforts over the next months. If you would like to discuss these results, please contact the tutor who will be happy to help or point you in the direction of a member of staff that can help.

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Year 12
Six of our current Year 12 students visited Etonbury Academy to help give advice to their current Year 11 students about GCSE mock results, coping with exam stress and revision. They spoke confidently in front of the whole year group and staff and represented our school very well. Advice included making a revision timetable, getting organised and having enough sleep, using a variety of resources for revision, and having a growth mindset and not giving up. All safe advice for our current Sixth Form students as well!

As we progress through the spring term many of our Year 12 students are making excellent progress and attending very well. However some students have needed a few reminders about Year 12 expectations. All of our students are full time and must be at registration (by 8.20am) each day, and stay on site until 1.00pm. Our professional dress code which is on the Sixth Form area of the website makes it very clear that informal attire such as trainers, leggings, branded hoodies and faded denim are not permitted. Lanyards complete with their ID cards must be worn around the site. 

As we think about the future for our Year 12 students, we have a Next Steps Information Evening on Thursday 24th January at 7pm – a letter has gone out to all parents on ParentMail. Please use ParentMail to indicate the number attending. We will be including information about careers, university application, apprenticeships, school leavers programmes and the upcoming work experience in July. There’s sure to be something for everyone.

Mrs S Hoad
Year 13
We have completed the UCAS process and have had almost 150 students apply for university which is the most we have had at Samuel Whitbread. Students will be given guidance on the next steps on accepting their offers. Students will be sent a PowerPoint on these steps so if you would like to support them with this please ask them to share this with you. We will also provide links to help students understand Student Finance but this is a process they will need to do with parents and guardians. Those not applying for university have access to growing resources in our school. We have dedicated careers staff and we are planning on running workshops for students to help them with applications for apprenticeships or the workplace.

Our students are completing their Internal Progression Exams and once again their conduct and attitude towards these have been exemplary. Students will receive their results direct from teachers and their grade will help teachers when inputting their next prediction which will be distributed just after February half term.

I would like to reiterate the dress code standards that students agreed to when entering the Sixth Form. This can be found on our website. Equally we have a policy of not leaving site until 1pm and have seen many leaving before this time.

Mr C Tonking
Our sister school, Jambo Jipya in Kenya, sent word just before Christmas updating us on the fantastic work that has been done to improve their facilities as a result of our fundraising in the summer. They built a bore hole to enable them to save money by using running water for cleaning and toilets as opposed to buying gallons of bottled water every month. They also managed to purchase new desks, Christmas dinner for all the orphans the school also houses and even give the school bus a lick of paint after government regulations ordered all school buses to be painted yellow!
A Celebration of Disney
High School Musical
This term students from across the trust, in the lower and middle schools, have started rehearsing for their next production ‘A Celebration of Disney’. We held auditions last Monday and had a record amount of students audition. The talent was SO high from everyone that of course we had to have them all in the cast! Rehearsals have started and this is already looking to be a fantastic production! Watch this space of ticket details.
At Samuel Whitbread Academy we believe clear communication between staff, students and parents is key to celebrating achievement and so we have updated how praise will be used across the academy. Please see the praise guidelines document here.
On Monday students from SWA auditioned to be in the SWA summer production of High School Musical. The standard was exceptionally high (which meant it was really hard to cast the parts, as they could have gone to many students!). Audition call backs took place during the week and the cast list was announced at the end of Friday lunch time. The first rehearsal will be this coming Monday. Well done to everyone who auditioned - we have another record breaking cast size!

The Artist of the Month goes to Ellie Carter Year 9 for this mixed media mask drawn and sewn on fabric.
U14 Basketball
On Monday our girls and boys Year 9 basketball teams travelled to the Bunyan Centre for their respective county finals. The girls competed in the morning against St Thomas More, Cardinal Newman and Van Dyke, and after some tough matches finished as bronze medallists in the county, a fantastic achievement for this group of girls. Our Boys team competed in the afternoon against Bedford School, Lealands and Cedars. Again every game was a tight affair but the boys came through all their matches with three wins and were crowned county champions. They will now go onto represent Bedfordshire in the regional knockout competition.
U18 Basketball
Prior to Christmas over 20 Sixth Form boys attended three trials to represent Samuel Whitbread Academy’s U18 Basketball team. After some tough decisions Mr Goldman whittled it down to a squad players who would then take part in the U18 league in January and February. The boys’ first game was against Stratton School and after a shaky start the team really showed up and put on a great performance, running out 70-32 winners. They will now face Redborne, Cedars and Wootton in their remaining fixtures.
We have another international competitor at Samuel Whitbread Academy as Kizzy Angel has recently been called into the England squad to represent her country against Wales, in Bedford of all places! Good luck, Kizzy.
After successfully beating St Columbas School before Christmas a tough game against Saffron Walden in the last 16 was the hurdle to make the National Vase quarter finals. After a strong defensive start we grew into the game and controlled the majority of possession. After 15 minutes Oakley Patmore broke the deadlock and scored an unconverted try which left us 5-0 up at half time, in front of the whole Year 10 cheering on the boys in a brilliant atmosphere. The second period followed the first with SWA having a lot of possession and opportunities. Eventually a good break by Ollie Pike led to a second try for Oakley. It stayed 12-0 and SWA are now in the National Vase quarter final!

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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