Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 93 (01/02/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 93 (01/02/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The half term break is nearly upon us and fortunately we’ve managed to avoid most of the snow that has hit much of the rest of the country.

Over the last couple of weeks, SLT has been meeting up with every student in Year 11 to talk about their aspirations for the future, how their mocks exams went and what they need to do over the coming months to achieve their goals. I have been impressed by the attitude and commitment of the students that I have spoken to and pleased to hear that many of them already have detailed revision plans and are revising over an hour a night. By this stage in Year 11 students usually have a preferred way of revising, but one of the things that has become clear through our interviews is that students are less clear on which revision technique works best for each particular subject. Revising for English, for example, is very different to revising for maths or science. We discussed this at the Heads of Department (HoDs) meeting this week and as a result teachers in each subject area will be talking to students in the coming weeks and at the upcoming parents evening about the best way to revise their particular subject. We have also recently discovered a free web-based revision package called Seneca, which is an excellent revision tool and one that I would thoroughly recommend to all students - as part of their independent study and revision. The software tracks how you perform in each topic and gives you more practice and additional questions on the areas that you need to improve.

We had a very successful Sixth Form information evening last week, where the Sixth Form team explained to students and their families the process of applying to university, colleges and apprenticeships. The Year 13 students have now completed their mocks and will be receiving their results over the coming weeks. This is will give them a clear picture of which areas they need to improve over the coming months in readiness for their exams.

The maths department held a very successful day for pupils from RBA, Henlow and Etonbury last week, where they worked in teams to solve a range of challenging mathematical problems. I would like to thank Mr Fernandes for organising such an enjoyable event. Performing arts have also had a very productive couple of weeks with pupils from our feeder middle and lower schools attending rehearsals for the eagerly anticipated ‘Celebration of Hollywood’.

We have recently secured some funding for a new gym and I’m delighted to say that the first section will be installed over half term. The new setup will mean every student will be able to use the gym as part of their games lessons, on a rotation basis, and will greatly increase the quality and quantity of equipment available to our sports teams at break, lunch and after school. We’ve had some fantastic results in PE this week and we are now county champions for boys hockey, boys handball and girls handball. Also, the U15 rugby boys beat Kings Grantham Grammar School 62-10 in the quarter final of the National Vase this week. This means that the both the U15s and 1st XV are now in the semi-finals on the 9th and 10th March at Saracens’ stadium, which is an incredible achievement. Last week we had news from overseas of ex-student Will Kerlin, who moved to Canada to follow his dream of being a professional ice hockey player. He’s about to embark on the next stage of his journey and will hopefully be picked by one the top colleges in the coming weeks – fingers crossed!

Finally, I would like to thank the parents who have already started to use the email to praise staff who have gone the extra mile. I can assure you that these thank you emails from parents are greatly appreciated and have a big impact on staff wellbeing. After half term we will be launching a range of badges for students to wear on their blazers and lanyards in recognition of their efforts and achievements in different subject areas – more to follow on that one in the coming weeks from Miss Yadav!

Nick Martin

Year 9
Chelsea's Choice successfully delivered a thought-provoking performance on child sexual exploitation this week where students gained an insight into the dangers of exploitation over the Internet. I hope that students enjoyed the performance. Over the last week attitude to learning scores have been shared with students during tutor time to allow students to reassess what subject areas they need to make improvements in over the next term. Finally, as the options process continues, please do get in touch with your child's tutor in the first instance should you have any questions in relation to the options process.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
Please be aware of the upcoming Progress Review Evening (PRE) for parents on Tuesday 19th March. Your support of your child’s education is invaluable for them to reach their potential and the PRE is the best chance for you to discuss this with their subject teachers. The information of how to book appointments will be distributed electronically shortly. I look forward to all of the positive conversations happening on the evening. Reports will be distributed after February half term.

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
Dear parents, I hope that now the dust has settled from the mock results you have a clearer picture of where your son or daughter stand with their preparation for the summer exams. We do still have one round of mock exams to come at the end of February with a focus on the core subjects. Please don't forget the imminent Progress Review Evening on 7th February (Thursday next week). It is vital that this evening is attended in order to give you the best opportunity to support your child through the coming months. As always I thank you for your continued support. Only 14 school weeks to go!

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Year 12
Thank you to all parents and students who attended our Next Steps Information evening last Thursday (24th January). The presentation has been emailed out to students and is on the Sixth Form area of the website here . We hope that students are starting to do their research on the apprenticeships, employment and university courses that are available to them. Open days are coming up for many universities which are an excellent way of meeting students and staff and experiencing a taste of student life. One useful website for spotting open days is If students are going to be absent for an interview or open day they are reminded to complete a Leave of Absence form (available in the Sixth Form block) and hand it in to Mrs Bonham in the Sixth Form office. A gentle reminder that if absent due to illness, this should be reported before 9.30am via phone call (01462 628065) or email to Mrs Bonham

Applications are also now open for Head And Deputy Head students. Details have been emailed out to student accounts, applications close on 22nd February.

Mrs S Hoad
Year 13
We have our last prediction reports being sent out on Thursday 21st February for current Year 13 students. Each course will offer a prediction grade and a grade for their internal progression exam. A written report will accompany this to help guide parents and students on how they can improve before the summer exams. Tutors have also written a report on students’ general behaviours and attitudes. These will be sent out via email.

Mr C Tonking
Duke of Edinburgh
Performing Arts
We have had a very successful year with DofE at SWA as 90 Bronze, 30 Silver and 12 Gold students are in the process of completing the award. Enrolment is also starting for the next round. Current Year 10 students will be offered the opportunity to start Silver after Easter.
Bronze DofE - A reminder to all Year 9 students if they are interested in applying for the Bronze DofE programme the deadline for applications is 8th February. Details have been sent out via Parentmail and also to the Year 9 tutors.
Gold DofE – This can be the used as the enrichment option for 6th form at SWA. Year 11 students who are interested in taking up the award should contact Mr Edwards if they have not already done so. If you have any questions please email Mr Edwards (

Year 12 Work Experience
All medical forms and parent consent forms were due in on Thursday 21st January. Students should be now in contact with their work experience placement and getting their work experience placement form filled in. The date for the final hand in is 28th February.
A Celebration of Disney
This term students from across the Trust, in the lower and middle schools, have started rehearsing for their next production, A Celebration of Disney. Rehearsals have started and this is already looking to be a fantastic production! Details of how to purchase tickets will be released after half term.

High School Musical
Rehearsals have started for High School Musical and it is already looking and sounding amazing. With a large part of act 1 already set, students are working extremely hard. Tickets will go on sale in March and we anticipate that they will sell out very quickly, so we encourage you to get your tickets early! 

Spring Concert
The Music department spring concert will be on Wednesday 20th March at 7pm in the main hall. This evening is a popular event on the school calendar and showcases the exceptional talent of our students across the department through a variety of different music ensembles. Tickets will go on sale after half term.

Year 9 Theatre Company production
Students in Year 9 have been working extremely hard over the last term to put together a production of FAST. This will be performed on Friday 29th March in the theatre at 7pm. The evening is looking to be a very successful evening and if the rehearsals are anything to go by then you will not be disappointed. Details of how to purchase tickets will be released after half term.

The Artist of the Month goes to Sixth Former Anna Cross for this amazing monochrome portrait. The way Anna has managed to paint water is really impressive, well done Anna!
Girls Futsal
Girls Handball
SWA’s girls U15 futsal team have been incredible so far in their league. The girls have won four out of four so far and have a great chance of going all the way on finals day. Let’s hope there's another trophy in the SWA cabinet at the end of February. Well done girls!
SWA’s U18 Basketball continued their unbeaten season with a tight, hard fought match against Wootton. SWA even gave Wootton one of our strongest players, as they were short of numbers. Despite Bryce scoring numerous times for the opposition, SWA came through eventual winners. The boys now face Cedars on Thursday of this week.
The U16 boys hockey squad travelled to Bedford this week to compete in the county tournament. Playing Bedford Modern in the first game, the boys started well with excellent defensive play Aaron and Nathan and Jenson in goal. Our boys then turned up the pressure and Ben and Regan showed an excellent level of skill and ploughed through the BMS defence, Ben scoring a hat trick in the first half helping lead SWA to a fantastic 5-1 win. The second game saw SWA take on Goldington and, despite the opposition being very strong in defence with the keeper denying our strikers several times, with a change in formation SWA pushed forward again in winning 2-0 and being crowned county champions. This is a first for Samuel Whitbread and shows how good these boys have played, showing maturity and excellent skills against two strong sides. The boys now go on to represent Bedfordshire at the regional tournament in Norwich.
After successfully beating Safron Walden in the last 16, a home quarter final against a very strong Kings School from Grantham was the next step in the National Cup for the U15 boys. After changing venue due to the frozen pitch at Whitbread, SWA started very brightly at Bedford Ath’s 3G pitch. So brightly, in fact, that after 16 seconds we were 5-0 up with a great team try being finished by Nathan Litchfield. SWA continued their dominance and after a good phase of play from Kings, SWA took hold of the game and led 36-5 at half time. In the second half more quality from SWA resulted in more tries and a final score of 62-10. This now means that we have a semi-final to be played at Allianz Park on the 10th March. With both the Sixth Form and Year 10 teams now in the national semi-finals, we are hoping for a very successful finish to the year!
The U15 girls played in the county finals on Monday against other Central Bedfordshire schools. Our girls were brilliant, taking on board any feedback given to always improve, many of the girls had never played before so it was a learning experience in itself. All girls showed grit and determination to succeed and play as a team. Despite our inexperience, SWA won all five games making it through to the regional finals. Great work girls! Coaches Player - Kizzy Angel.
Boys Handball
Last week SWA took an impressive 25 boys over to represent the school at the District Handball competition. For some it was their first competitive handball match and all played excellently. For our three teams, the boys finished the tournament with a 1st place, 2nd place and 4th place! Our top two teams will travel to the Bunyan Centre on Monday to take part in another local tournament ahead of the County Finals later in February.

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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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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