Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 97 (03/05/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 97 (03/05/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

Two weeks into the summer term and the exam season is now fully underway with practical exams in PE, graphics, art and speaking and listening exams in modern foreign languages.

We made a number of important changes to the site over the Easter break including knocking down a wall in the ASD provision to join the three rooms into one big space. The bigger space is required because of the excellent reputation of our ASD provision, which now takes 18 students – up from only six students a few years ago. Mrs Swift and her team have built a fantastic provision for ASD students and its reputation throughout the county and beyond is well deserved. We’re still waiting for the maglock to be fitted to the bike-sheds, which was unfortunately delayed over Easter, but I’m pleased to say that the extra seating for students arrived on Thursday and is now in place around the site. Were also expecting the final few pieces of equipment for the new gym any day soon, which looks fantastic.

Last Friday I spent an enjoyable evening watching 50 lower and middle school pupils in the ‘Celebration of Disney’. The youngest pupil was only 4 and the eldest was 12. The talent on display was amazing and I’d like to thank Miss Meadows and Mrs Swift for all their hard work in putting on such an amazing evening of song and dance. The pupils looked like they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and it was great for us to have the younger pupils on site last term for rehearsals, as their boundless energy and enthusiasm was contagious and wonderful to see.

This year we entered the Bedfordshire Coding competition for the first time, run by Lockheed Martin, and I’m delighted to say Toby, Tom and Rachel in Year 11 came away with the trophy! The competition is only in its second year and this year had eight teams from SWA, Harlington and Bedford Girls school. Mr Scullion said ‘Students were given a number of different unseen programming tasks and needed to work together to work out both a strategy on which tasks to complete, and how best to solve the computational problems. The winning team worked well together, dividing up the tasks efficiently to maximise their points total and brought home the silverware.’

The DofE season is now also underway and we’ve already had our first night under canvass with over 80 students spending a night at Ivinghoe for their Bronze DofE, please see below for pictures.

In sport, the Year 10 rugby boys probably unsurprisingly won the County Cup last week against a very strong Cedars side. They got a bit of a wake up call at halftime, going in 19-5 behind, but pulled it back in the second half with a convincing performance to finish off an amazing year for rugby at SWA, with Year 9, 10 and 11 all county champions and two national trophies. The girls started the term with a strong performance in rugby on Wednesday, sporting their brand-new kit at the 7s competition at Northampton and coming joint first on points – but unfortunately missing out on the trophy on tries scored – despite actually beating the eventual winners. We also had strong performances in rounders, with three wins. Athletics is also underway for girls and boys with the first meet at Bedford. Nathan in Year 13 posted an a stunning second place in the men’s transitional 200m breaststroke final at the National Championships and Nathan in Y9 came 9th in cycling at the Geluveld Koerce in Belgium. Finally, as I alluded to before the Easter break, we have an amazing announcement to make in PE. I am delighted to say that Jo Trip, the New Zealand and Mavericks goal defence, has joined the PE staff at SWA as our new netball coach.

Nick Martin

Year 9
Although a very short term, as part of further safeguarding training, Year 9 had Alterego Theatre Company visiting today to present and raise awareness amongst young people of the issues surrounding the County Lines and the way in which it can exploit and groom young people into criminal activity. The performance explored the current rise in knife crime amongst teenagers and students were given the opportunity to ask questions and engage in discussion. I really hope that students found the performance informative.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
The Year 10s start their first set of GCSE mock exams next week in their core subjects from Tuesday 7th to Friday 10th May. Students should ensure they have the correct equipment for each exam and get into the good habits of getting a good night's sleep and eating well in the morning before the exam.
Miss E Wisson
Year 11
I can still remember your transition days where you all appeared with your middle school uniform on. You were all looking nervous and excited. Some of you were even shorter than me at that point! I feel privileged to have overseen your development from middle school children to young adults. I like to think that I have had some influence in some of the decisions you have made to get you through these important years.
I have learned so much from all of you. I have also developed a fair few grey hairs along the way. I hold you all responsible for this. Having said that, through the ups and downs of our relationship my overwhelming memories are the fun I have had with you all.

Looking forward, I am pleased to say that you have developed into young men and women who can go out and overcome any challenge that you face. You are polite, disciplined and are not afraid to take risks. I would like to think that we will all have some GCSE results to be proud of alongside these other achievements.

It is with a heavy heart that I say a fond farewell to all of you and I would be delighted to hear from any of you in the future. I am excited to hear about how you are progressing and anything you have achieved.
If you see me when you are walking about as Sixth Form students or in the local community, I will always be grateful of a smile or a chat.
Best of luck to all of you – REVISE HARD!!!!!!!!!!

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
Year 12
We welcomed back the Year 12 students after Easter for their summer term – which will be very busy for them. Many of our students have external exams this term, and all of our students have IPEs (Internal Progression Exams) in June. Our focus in registration time at the moment is revision, target setting and planning (time management). Significant dates this term include Next Steps Days on June 19th and 20th when we will be starting the UCAS process and looking at apprenticeships and health awareness; IPEs 24th June to 4th July and Work Experience week 8th July to 12th July. Congratulations to several of our Year 12 students involved in the Code Quest competition last week – and many thanks to Mr Scullion for taking them. I have sent out a letter to parents reminding us all of the expectations involving our professional dress code and we thank parents for their continued support with this.

Mrs S Hoad

Year 13
Next week is the Year 13s final week in school before exam study leave, and Friday 10th May will be their leavers assembly. Students will be heading into the main hall at 10:45 with the students leaving at lunchtime following farewell pictures in the courtyard.

I encourage all Year 13s to use this last week to finalise any preparation needed in school, speaking to tutors and subject teachers to ensure you have everything you need for a successful study leave.

Enjoy your final week!

Mr C Tonking
Lockheed Martin Code Quest
Congratulations to Rachel Hubbard, Toby Meehan and Tom Huntley for winning first place at the Lockheed Martin Code Quest competition in Ampthill today. Up against eight other teams, students were given a number of different unseen programming tasks and needed to work together to work out both a strategy on which tasks to complete and how to solve the computational problems. Although one of the Year 12 teams we fielded tried a high stakes strategy to solve a number of more complex (and therefore worth more points) tasks, the Year 11s went for a strategy of splitting up the tasks so two students would program simple tasks on the computer while the third would program a more complex task on paper and then once done they would swap over to write the complex task on the computer. This worked well and brought home the silverware.

Mr Scullion said: “I’m really proud of all of the students who took part in the competition. It was great to see them working as teams and really keen to work out solutions, breaking problems down and thinking logically. It is a great event to give the students an opportunity to stretch their knowledge outside of the classroom - thoroughly enjoyed by all the teams we entered. Winning was the icing on the cake! Definitely we will be back next year to defend the title.”

SWA Eco-Schools event
Next Wednesday, May 8th, is David Attenborough's 93rd birthday. To celebrate we are going to award praise points for the use of items that replace single use plastic: reusable water bottles, bees wax wraps etc. The newly formed SWA Eco-Schools Team has made a short video to promote the event which you can view on Twitter here.
Performing Arts
High School Musical
Tickets are on sale now! We anticipate that this will sell out very early, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment!

Click here to buy tickets online.
Duke of Edinburgh
Last weekend there was a practice expedition at Ivinghoe for 84 Year 10 Bronze DofE students accompanied by 12 staff. Storm Hannah did not deter us and the students just got stuck in. The bluebells were out in the woods around the Ashridge Estate in Buckinghamshire near Tring which made the setting perfect for the weekend. Students walked about 30 miles over two days and camped out in a field with some quite basic facilities, they cooked an evening meal and their own breakfast the next day.
A Celebration of Disney
Last week we welcomed three performances of ‘A celebration of Disney’. The cast was entirely made up of lower and middle school students who have been working very hard for the past three months with Miss Meadows and Mrs Swift. The evening consisted of a compilation of different songs from Disney films. The cast were split into two teams, blue and yellow who shared the songs. Both teams performed with fantastic enthusiasm and were truly incredible. There was some stand out solos from Abbie and Olivia as well. A huge congratulations to the cast for an incredible three night’s. We look forward to welcoming you back in the Autumn term for the pantomime!
Congratulations to the following students for their recent successes in music exams:

Sam Gray Grade 8 Singing Pass
Cara Cullip Grade 7 Singing Merit
Sara Davies Grade 6 Singing Merit
Hannah Wilson Grade 6 Singing Pass
Miranda Vallance Grade 5 Singing Pass
Luca Nizzardi Grade 3 Piano Merit
Emily Surtees Grade 3 Singing Distinction


Girls Rugby
The girls rugby team competed in the Northampton Saints 7s tournament with the best teams from East Midlands and Eastern Counties. SWA came joint top of the league with two other teams but finished second on points difference. The girls needed eight tries in the final game to come second and turned it on in style, winning ten tries to nil! There were outstanding performances from all, in particular Kizzy Angel and Sarah Murphy, but Chloe Karpha won player of the tournament due to her amazing speed and the sheer number of tries she scored, one of which she ran from our own line and took on five opposition players. Well done girls, it was a quality day out!
It was a great start to the Year 10 District League cricket season as they look to retain their title. SWA won the toss and elected to bowl and started very well with Lewis and Ethan picking up early wickets. Wickets for Tarran, Will and Alex mopped up the Redborne innings for a well under par 30. Whitbread set off with some lusty blows from Sajjan Kalirai and later Benn Robson. SWA chased the total of 31 in 4.2 overs in convincing fashion. The boys go again next week!
The first two weeks of the term have seen the athletics season get going, with a new weekly competition at Bedford International Athletics Stadium. It has been great to see A & B teams participating in the competition, and all of our teams so far have started the season well. With the Year 9 boys A & B team ending the first evening in first and second place, the girls in 3rd and 6th, the Year 10 boys in 1st and 2nd and the Year 10 girls in 1st place. Hopefully our teams will continue to perform well for the remaining two fixtures. Students should be training on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtimes depending on their event, the timetable can be found on the PE twitter page and notice board in PE.
1st XI Football
The 1st XI footballers lost out 2-0 to Cedars in the County Cup final at Barton Rovers FC on Wednesday evening. Despite a slightly under-par performance and disappointing result, the match was incredibly closely fought with some excellent football on display, and showed the progress the squad has made over the past year. The game also marked a sporting first – Sarah Woodbyrne became the first female to play in an U18 boys County Cup final as she continues to show her class and incredible ability. The squad now hopes to go one better in their last game of the season – the District Cup final.
U15 Rugby
Due to the National Cup run the Year 10 rugby County Cup final was delayed until after Easter. Cedars had success in the National Cup themselves and we knew they would be a test. At half time we certainly knew how good they were as we trailed 19-5 with Luke Crofton getting our only points. After a strong player led talk from captain Jackson Armstrong and James Randall, the boys set about the second half with a different mentality and more organised approach. In the second half SWA showed their qualities and tries for Albert Plunkett, Ryley Longmuir, Luke Crofton, Jack Miller, Jake Allen and Luke Howells allowed SWA to pull away. The final score of 44-19 reflected a strong second half performance and ended an amazing season for the Year 10s. Both county and national champions was the aim and through outstanding dedication and effort, they have achieved everything and maintained their unbeaten season.
U14 Rounders
SWA took 21 girls to the starting tournament of the rounders season. The A team played Bedford Free school, Bedford Girls School and Bedford Academy, winning two of our three games meaning we qualify for the Premier League. The B team played two games with one win and one loss (by just half a rounder), meaning these girls qualify in Division One. We are really excited about the league starting with a great group of girls!
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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