Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 94 (4/03/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 94 (04/03/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

We’ve had some fantastic weather over the last two weeks and students have certainly been making the most of it. It’s amazing to think that this time last year we had a snow day because the school site was covered in snow!

At the end of last week we launched our new website, which when you next have an opportunity to have a look, I’m sure you will agree looks really impressive. As well as the new layout, we have also added a new House totals section, which will be updated every week with the latest House point totals. I would like to thank Miss Gardiner for all her work on designing and implementing the new website.

Last week students in Year 11 had their last set of mock exams before the real exams begin after Easter. I have been really impressed with how the students have gone about the mock exams and over the next few weeks teachers will be feeding back on how the students have done and any gaps in their knowledge, as well as devising revision lessons to meet any areas of weakness. We have been talking to Year 11 students a lot about how best to revise over the last few months, and I’m pleased to say that more and more students are attending the various different revision sessions at lunch and after school (please see below, or the website for details). Students in Year 9 are in the process of selecting their options for next year. We are fortunate that we have such a wide array of subjects to choose from at SWA, but this only makes the decision over which subjects to take even harder. Over the next few weeks we will be meeting with any Year 9 students who are struggling to decide on which subjects to take – to talk to them about their future aspirations and then guide them on which subject might be best to study to achieve their goal.

If the singing that I can hear from my office is anything to go by, then the rehearsals for High School Musical after school are going really well, as are the rehearsals for the BEST production of ‘Celebration of Hollywood’. Next week we also have the Spring Concert, which is one of the highlights of the year. And last week we had another one of our maths challenge days for students from Henlow, RBA and Etonbury. The day was a great success and I would like to thank Mr Fernandes for all his hard work in organising the events throughout the year.

Last week we hosted three Rugby 7s tournaments for boys U14, U15 and girls U15. The atmosphere around school has been fantastic and students have really enjoyed watching their fellow students playing teams from schools all across the county. In each tournament we have entered at least two teams and in the girls tournament we had over 40 girls playing for the school. With the two national semi-finals coming up this weekend at Saracens' Allianz Park Stadium, we decided to rest many of our Year 10 boys and Hitchin girls rugby team also had an important cup match this weekend, so many of our girls were also not taking part. Fortunately, we have so many students keen on playing rugby that we still managed to come first in the boys U14 competition, second and fourth in the U15 competition. Last week we were also crowned county champions for Year 9 boys 15s rugby, boys handball and girls futsal.

Finally, our newest member of staff, Rolo, started this week and has already had a big impact – helping to calm several students who were having a difficult time with their exams. We will be gradually increasing Rolo’s role within school as students get used to having a dog around the school site – but so far it seems to have gone down extremely well. 

Nick Martin

Year 9
The GCSE options form has now been handed out to students. Please can I remind you that the deadline for the options form to be submitted to your child's form tutor is Friday 15th March. Should you have any questions regarding the options process please get in touch with your child's tutor in the first instance.

We take the safeguarding of our students very seriously and with the successful delivery of the play Chelsea’s Choice last term, we are extremely pleased to announce that the award-winning charity Unseen will be providing interactive sessions on modern slavery and child exploitation at SWA on 27th March 2019. Sessions of this nature are so important if we are to protect our young people who are vulnerable and susceptible to exploitation. This is because young people are at a time in their lives when they are experimenting, learning and growing and using social media on a regular basis. The session seeks to highlight these risks and provide young people with the confidence and resilience to safeguard and protect themselves. I hope the students enjoy and benefit from the charity's visit.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
Just a reminder that the latest Parents Review Evening is happening on Tuesday 19th March. Please be aware that the booking system opens on Tuesday 5th March at 8.30am and closes for administration purposes on Tuesday 19th March at 8am. Appointments will fill very quickly and I recommend that you book yours in plenty of time. If you have anything you wish to discuss with myself or Heads of Department I would advise that you call reception to make an appointment on a separate day to avoid disappointment. As always, I thank you for the continued support with attendance and uniform.

Miss E Wisson
Year 11
Thank you to all those who managed to attend the PRE in the last week of half term. It was great to see so many positive conversations happening across the departments. The relationship between home and school seems to be stronger than ever and that will lead to the best results possible. We have just completed the last round of mock examinations with pupils will sitting exams in English, Maths, Science and some EBacc subjects. Please have positive conversations with your children about what they can be doing to improve on these once the results come in. Thanks for your continued support.

Also, planning for the Year 11 prom is well underway and we invite you to save the date of 15th July 2019.

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Year 12
Congratulations to many of our Year 12 students who will soon be rewarded for 95% and above attendance. Many students have also achieved 100% attendance and are to be commended for this, letters home will soon follow. Work experience placement forms were due on 28th February, well done to those students who have made considerable efforts to secure their placements for July. If students do not secure any work experience placement at all we will supply them with a work-focused programme at school, however many I am sure would prefer to choose their own experiences. Any queries about work experience can be addressed to We are running a trip to the UCAS fair at ExCel on March 26th. Details and how to pay will be out on ParentMail. Universities and apprenticeship providers will be at the fair so there will be something for everyone to look at. Places are limited due to space on buses so it will be first come, first served.

Mrs S Hoad

Year 13
Our Year 13s have received their final academic report detailing their progress and achievement with their recent Internal Progression Exams. These were emailed home recently. We are really pleased with the progress our students are making and now we are in the final push towards the exam season. We have held some workshops to help students in applying for apprenticeships and we are looking at taking a group to Milton Keynes for an apprenticeship event this month. Details will be sent to individual students who have requested support.

Mr C Tonking
Governor Update
Welcome to the very first governor update. One of our aims this year is to improve communication between the governors and our staff, parents and pupils. This governor update is the first part of our new communication strategy. Through these termly updates, we plan to share who we are and what we as governors have been involved in over the course of the year.

Just like all of you, we have a vested interest in our amazing school. The governors consist of parents, Samuel Whitbread Academy staff and BEST staff. 

As this is our first governor update, we have included a list of our names and the type of governor we are.

Who's who?
Parent Governors - Mrs Sharon Dickman (Chair), Mrs Karen Davies (Vice Chair), Mr Tom Jackson, Mr Perry Huntley, Mrs Jess Andrews, Mr Craig Smith and Mr John Dee.
Staff Governors - Mr Nick Martin (Principal) and Mr Tony Edwards.
Clerk to the Governing Body – Victoria Joyce
Observers: Mr Sam Farmer and Mr Ian Butler.

This academic year has seen the appointment of a new Chair of Governors, Vice Chair of Governors and Clerk to the Governing Body. The governors have been working in partnership with the school’s senior leadership team on reviewing the school performance data, managing strategic decisions, and focusing on the School Development Plan in particular, progress rates in Key Stage 4. This term has seen a number of changes to the Governing Body which have included the move from small committee meetings to one Governing Body Group which meets seven times per year, the introduction of processes around the adoption of school-based policies and procedures and the formalisation of link governor meeting visits. The link governor meetings, this academic year, have included looking at Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Pupil Premium data, Key Stage 5 data, improving teaching and learning, DATA analysis and Ofsted Inspection Data Report, a Safeguarding audit and overview of how careers work is planned and delivered at Samuel Whitbread Academy. Moving forward, each governor will be expected to undertake a minimum of 3 link governor meetings per academic year with the main focus monitoring and evaluating progress.

Since September, governors have been fortunate to attend a number of evening school events that have included the school panto, the Christmas concert, the Rotary Young Voices, and the Year 11 and Year 13 award evenings. We were so inspired by the award evenings that a new governor award is being introduced. This new award will be closely linked to the new values system that has been introduced this year.

This term the school had an external Safeguarding review undertaken by the Local Authority. We are overwhelmed with the safeguarding report, which identified no safeguarding weaknesses or concerns.

The future
It has been fantastic for the school to have received over 500 first place applications for Year 9s and over 300 applications for Sixth Form. This is a testament to the breadth of curriculum we offer pupils at Samuel Whitbread Academy. There are a number of challenges ahead, such as increase in costs against a backdrop of slower increases in school funding and the proposed Central Bedfordshire two-tier model. Things never stand still in education. We hope that, as governors, we can provide the right support for the school to help them to further develop. We hope this means that no matter what changes are thrown into the education system, we are able to provide support to the school to offer the best of opportunities for our pupils.
S Dickman (Chair of Governors)

Mental health sessions
Bedfordshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) are running a series of sessions in the next few months open to students aimed at helping improving mental health in a variety of aspects around school life and beyond. The three sessions are ‘anxiety and panic’, ‘managing emotions, resilience and self-esteem’ and ‘exam and school pressure’

Parking before and after school
Please, when picking up or dropping off students at Samuel Whitbread, could people refrain from parking outside residents’ driveways. On a number of occasions, residents of Shefford Road have been blocked in by cars parking illegally. It is both inconvenient for the residents and potentially dangerous. Thank you for your cooperation.
Important notice for 2019 exams
In accordance with the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations, the 2019 timetable has a new feature – a national CONTINGENCY DAY on 26th June 2019.

The decision comes following the tragic events of last summer, namely the Manchester attacks and the Grenfell Tower fire. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have decided that they need the option to postpone an exam (or exams) in the event of an incident and rearrange them for a later date to allow all students a fair and equal chance. This will be used if a significant, unexpected event arises nationally or locally during the exam period such that no students (or a large number of them) are able to take an exam when planned. Of course, we all hope there won’t be such disruption and that the contingency day won’t be needed. If disrupted exams cannot all be held on one day, they will be held in the days leading up to the contingency day. Students should therefore be available, if necessary, until the contingency day on 26th June 2019. 

Students are unlikely to be entitled to special consideration if they miss an exam under contingency arrangements. Students are encouraged, therefore, not to make holiday plans for before the contingency day, until they have completed their exams. Once a student has completed all his/her exams there is no need to remain available. But any plans made prior to then are made at their own risk. 

If you want to find out more information, click here to go to the Ofqual blog.
Year 11 Academic Support Timetable
Performing Arts
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!
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. 

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.

Year 8 and 9 Gifted & Talented Maths Day at SWA
SWA invited Year 8 students from Henlow, Robert Bloomfield and Etonbury to participate in a maths team challenge last week. Each team of four students competed in five rounds of the competition. The winning team from Etonbury were well deserved winners, having been pushed very closely all day by one of the RBA teams. We look forward to taking a maths team from Henlow, Robert Bloomfield and Etonbury to compete in the UKMT Maths Team Challenge in a couple of weeks’ time.
2020 Admissions
Please see the link on the BEST website here for information about the determined admission arrangements for September 2020.
D of E
The Duke of Edinburgh award is growing every year in popularity at SWA. The DofE expedition season is upon us and 87 current Year 10 students are preparing for their two weekend expedition hikes and a training skills weekend. We have just also finished enrolling for our Year 9 intake into the bronze award. As part of the process students must produce something to show why they want to do the award and what they wish to get out of it; this can be in the form of a letter, email, poster, poem, video or a one-to-one chat. The photo shows some of the amazing applications we have received; we had one student who wrote a song - truly inspirational. I have included a poem written by a student which I though was also extra special. On top of all this we have also been enrolling into the Gold award programme from current Year 11 students to carry through as part of enrichment in Sixth Form. Currently we have approximately 40 students wishing to take part. Well done to all those currently taking their award and starting on this journey.

Mr Edwards, DofE Manager BEST. Twitter @samwhitdofe

There is an award I've heard of, It's called the D of E.
It helps people like you and I, Be the best that we can be.

There are four different parts to do, Volunteering is just one.
Skills are next, then physical, Expedition, then you're done!

Cycling is the path for me, I love to be outside,
Working hard whilst having fun, And enjoying the ride.

Then there is the skills section, Where we can learn a lot.
From dance, to music, and learning, And finding out what's what.

And now let's look much closer, At what we have to do,
To get that bronze, silver or gold, And go and meet the Duke.

We'll start with volunteering, It really changes lives.
Helping charities, communities, And helping people thrive.

Personally I would enjoy, Giving help to those in need: Young Brownies in my area, Or donkeys needing feed.

Next up would be the physical, To work on keeping fit.
Football, rugby, cycling,
Just three months and that's it.

. · Astronomy is my idea, Stargazing when it's dark.
And learning about the universe
Of which we are a part.

Finally, the expedition,
For hiking around the hills. Not only will we all have fun, But also learn new skills.

The Duke of Edinburgh award, Is something I'd love to do,
I hope that I do get a place, But the choice is up to you.

The Artists of the Month are Year 9s Hollie Allum, Brooke Byrne-Wilson & Harvey Wilden for their clay fish. All of Year 9 have been making clay fish and they are now waiting to be glazed an array of colours.
Year 10 Rugby
On the first Saturday of half term the Year 10 rugby team had a successful training game against local opposition Northampton School for Boys. Despite missing a few players, SWA were able to show their strength in depth and still play with the same shape and attacking flair. Having the opportunity to play against such an established team like NSB really enabled the boys to work on specific areas of play in preparation for the big national semi-final in two weeks against Arden Academy.
If you are keen to watch the Year 10s or First XV teams play on the Saturday or Sunday of 9th/10th at Saracens’ Allianz Stadium please access Parentmail and book your seats!

Rugby 7s tournament
All last week SWA hosted the county schools rugby 7s tournaments for various age groups with hundreds of boys and girls playing across the week in a fantastic advertisement for rugby at the school. The Year 9 boys (below) came out victorious after wins against Goldington and Cedars in the finals.
Year 9 rugby cup final
Friday night saw the SWA's Year 9 boys pit their wits against Cedars in the 15-a-side rugby County Cup Final at Biggleswade RUFC.

In an excellent match with superb defensive skill and determination shown from both sides, a late try from Ben Radnor sealed a 10-0 win for Whitbread.

The win meant that SWA's Year 9s completed the treble of County 7s, 10s and 15s champions. Well done on an excellent season, boys.
After their success at the County Championships, being crowned champions, the U16 boys hockey squad travelled to Norwich before half term for the regional tournament. An early start and roadworks did not dampen the spirits and the boys were ready for the stiff opposition from the private school sector. We started against Stamford School – a tidy, organised side. The boys were immense and defended magnificently against wave after wave of skilful runs. Smith and Fuller were outstanding in goal and Stevens showed some excellent skill and pace. We eventually lost 3-2 but did ourselves proud against an experienced side. The second game against Saffron Walden was very close and despite Beal making some excellent saves and Barden dominating in midfield, the score finished 2-1 to the opposition. 
After a well-deserved lunch break the boys took on local rivals Bedford Modern, who were out for revenge after our 5-1 victory in the county round. This time SWA couldn’t break the BMS defence and were on the wrong side of another tight scoreline. The boys continued to show excellent attitude and resilience – as commented on by the organisers – and lost out in two more narrow games against Southend and Wymondham.

It was a brilliant day, and despite the results, all games were intensely fought against independent schools with incredibly close matches. The boys represented the school and Bedfordshire with immense pride and were a credit to the school. Player’s player Smith, Manager’s player Barden.

The U15 handball boys were crowned county champions last week in a closely fought finals day against Cedars and Biddenham. The final came down to the final second when Callum Holmes scored the winning goal to finish the match 15-14 to SWA, who now head to the regional finals!
Year 9 boys football
It has been great to see many Year 9 students at football practice on a Tuesday after school and on a Wednesday lunchtime. Although an A and a B team have been selected for the first game, the teams are not set in stone. There will be plenty more opportunities for those who have not been selected to play. Teachers are still getting to know the players and a good attitude will demonstrate the determination required to be given an opportunity to play.
The gymnastics squad travelled to Milton Keynes Gymnastics Centre before half term for the regional round of the British Schools Gymnastics Association Eastern Region Schools Acrobatic and Tumbling Championships. The squad have been training really hard this year with new partnerships and debut tumblers. We started off the competition incredibly well with four tumblers in the O14 section. The girls each did three tumbles and waited patiently for the results. See Twitter for tumbling footage. Gemma came second in this category, her debut in this age group. Fabulous and effortless tumbling from her ensures a spot in the national finals in May in Stoke. Cerys came third, Gemma fourth and Cailtlin on her tumbling debut came sixth. Well done girls.
We had two pairs in the U14 age group. This was a very competitive age group and the girls did really well with some super routines. Sofia and Amy placed 7th and Katrina and Lauren placed 14th.
In the O14 age group we had three pairs. These girls routines were very strong indeed and their confidence showed on the floor. Gemma and Lottie placed second with an excellent routine, Megan and Tegan placed third and Corin and Caitlin placed fourth.

We are immensely proud of these girls who have worked so hard and dedicated their spare time to polishing their performances.
Girls Futsal
Congratulations to the girls U15 futsal team who won the county finals last week at The Bunyan Centre!

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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Health & Social Care


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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