Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy E-Newsletter Issue 98 (29/05/19)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 98 (29/05/19)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The exam season is now fully underway with GCSE English, maths and science exams all taking place last week, along with several of the option subjects and a raft of A Levels courses. Our army of invigilators from the local community has arrived and are doing a fantastic job as always. Many of them have already commented on the excellent behaviour of the students in the exams, and how calm and composed they all are, as they go into the exam halls.

Last Monday I sent parents a letter concerning Henlow’s consultation to become a Year 7-11 secondary school, which I hope you have had time to read. A number of parents have contacted the school about this issue and I would like to clarify a few points. The local authority plan for our cluster has always had Henlow becoming a secondary school in 2023/24 - the reason we are objecting to the new proposal by Henlow is because of their unilateral decision to go in 2020. If they are successful in their proposal to keep their Year 9 students in 2020, the schools in our cluster will not have time to react and adapt to the serious ramifications that this will cause. This is why I am urging parents to respond to the consultation and object to the proposal. Can I also bring your attention to a FAQ here that BEST has produced in response to questions from parents and members of the community that they have received to date.

Three weeks ago we had our final assembly for Year 13 and last Thursday it was the turn of Year 11. The atmosphere around school was one of joy and sadness, as many of them marked their last day as a students at Samuel Whitbread. There was the traditional fancy dress this year, with appearances from the Mario brothers, ninjas, Shrek, nuns, sharks, a T-Rex and numerous marvel comic characters. I would like to thank all the year teams for organising the final assemblies and the film department for producing all of the epic end of year videos, which can be seen online here (whole staff video) and here (Year 11 tutors video). The tutors video was particularly special this year as Mr Sinclair organised for a surprise guest appearance from Mr Daniels! On a separate note, can all Year 11 students please also remember that during the exam period, students who are attending school for revisions purposes must sign in at reception.

The pastoral team were busy organising a range of tutor time activities, posters, a non-uniform day and even a cake sale, as part of the Mental Health Awareness Week. I would like to thank Mrs Saggers and Mrs Godfrey for organising such a successful week of events on a very important issue.

Rehearsals for High School Musical are in full swing and Shefford Lower School will soon be coming up for a full dress rehearsal before the main event on July 10th to 12th. Please get your tickets soon to avoid any disappointment. This is also the time of year for DofE, with Bronze, Silver and Gold training expeditions all going on.

Sport has been amazing this half term. Girls won the U14 County Cup with a win against Queensbury and after winning all three boy’s rugby County Cups in U14, 15 and 16 we went on to appear in all four football finals and came away with both the U16 and U18 cups. Athletics season is now underway and we are already through to the regional finals for boys and girls and currently 6th in the country. The PE department has made a number of key appointments this month and is now complete with a Director of Rugby (Mr Rhodes), Football (Mr Goldman), Netball (Miss Mackellar) and Elite Netball Coach (Miss Trip) who many of you will know is the New Zealand Goal Keeper.

Nick Martin

Year 9
Year 9 have had yet another positive half term! Looking ahead to next term, a reminder that there will be a Parents Review Evening held on Thursday 4th July. Please be aware that the booking system opens on Thursday 20th June at 8.30am and closes for administration purposes on Thursday 4th July at 8.30am. Appointments will fill very quickly and I recommend that you book yours in plenty of time. As always, I thank you for the continued support with attendance and uniform and request that any uniform concerns are rectified over the half term break. Thank you.

Miss V Yadav
Year 10
We have come to the end of the Year 10 mock exams. This experience has brought out the best in the year group. I have seen all go through an obvious change over the last two weeks. There is a positive, focused attitude bursting out of every Year 10 I have come into contact with. I am delighted to report that the vast majority of pupils were able to meet the challenges for their first formal examination process at Samuel Whitbread Academy. The mock examination results will be issued to all pupils by their form tutor in a sealed envelope on 13th June. This will give them an insight into the results process they will experience after their GCSE examinations next year. Could you please remind your son/daughter that they may well have finished their first round of mock exams but we still have eight weeks of structured, vitally important lessons before the summer holidays. Let’s take the recent drive and motivation forward for the remainder of a very successful year.
Miss E Wisson
Year 11
To all Year 11 students, thank you and goodbye! Our leavers assembly last week was a perfect way to say goodbye and the atmosphere was brilliant – it proves how much of a fantastic year group you have been! Good luck for the rest of your exams, remember to take time during this next week for yourselves before a big final push. Stay safe and stay good!

Mr R Sinclair

Sixth Form
We were so very proud of our outgoing Year 13 students. They had a fabulous time in their Leavers Assembly. Particular thanks go to our Head Boy Lucas, and Head Girl Megan for leading the assembly. Thanks also must go to Mr Tonking Head of Year 13 for his superb leavers video and organisation of the day. We wish them all the best with their remaining exams – we are always available in the Sixth Form office for any help and support during this time.

Yearbooks are ready for collection in the Sixth Form office.

Their final event with us this term is Year 13 Prom, taking place at The Airman on July 5th. Good luck to you all.

Mr L Huckle, Mrs S Hoad & Mr C Tonking

Eco-Schools Project
SWA has embraced the Eco-Schools Project by creating our own eco-committee which was launched on 8th May – David Attenborough’s birthday – with a single-use plastic day which was a superb success. The committee has had two meetings so far and are putting plans in place to work towards the Eco Schools Bronze Award. Already, we have set up a pens collection scheme alongside Robert Bloomfield Academy, put together an energy reduction plan, and have dug and seeded the perimeter of the school field with wildflower seeds donated by the school community. Look out for more exciting green projects to come!
Work Experience
Thank you to the majority of students who have now handed in the employer forms for work experience. There are still some outstanding and an email has gone out this week regarding this. If you are struggling to find a work experience placement then please contact Mrs McMillan in the Sixth Form block for help. The expectation is that all students will participate in work experience (biology students have arranged alternative work experience dates). All outstanding forms to be handed into either Mrs McMillan in room 902 in the Sixth Form block (you can post under the door if locked) or to Mrs Jackman in room 420. Alternatively forms can be emailed to If you have lost your form then please contact Mrs Jackman or Mrs McMillan as soon as possible.
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
Two SWA students, Sam Pond and Olivia Harrison, were at Buckingham Palace last week collecting their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Certificate. This is the pinnacle of the Award scheme and I am sure you will join me in congratulating them on an amazing achievement. Please also congratulate the current Year 10’s who have just completed their Bronze DofE expedition in and around Ivinghoe Beacon. 84 students and 11 members of staff participated in the weekend, the weather was kind and the students were amazing. The week after half-term I will be taking twelve 6th form students to The Dark Peaks for their Gold practice exped – wish them well!
The dance department has been busy this term; the dance company Tutu Much performed at the Jump Start platform in Milton Keynes which we have done for the last three years. The students love it as they get to do workshops all day and watch other dance groups perform and perform to a large crowd at the impressive school theatre The Venue at Walton High. We also had a visiting artist from Phoenix Dance Company in Leeds come to SWA to teach Year 10s some repertoire from one of their pieces that the GCSE students study on the syllabus. The piece is called Shadows and the dancer Michael taught them a solo from the piece. The students loved working with a professional dancer, it makes a nice change from me teaching them! Finally I would like to say a huge well done to Eve Sale, dance company member, for being selected by dance company Two Thirds Sky in Bedford, to perform in a piece led by Richard Alston. Alston was a founder of the British contemporary dance scene in the 1960s and has become one of the most important British contemporary choreographers of our time. We look forward to seeing Eve perform alongside other young dancers from Bedfordshire, well done Eve!
Autism training
Please click here to find details of Autism Bedfordshire’s Autism & Behaviour training course for parents/carers.

Well done to all students who have taken their Art exams in this year. Here are just a few examples of some of our A level artists' work, these include a mixture a of final pieces and development work. 

To see more work please follow the SWA Art and Textiles twitter account @SWA_ArtTextiles

Trying to match last year's clean sweep of cricket trophies in the district competitions, SWA's teams have started positively this cricket season. The Year 9s, in their first game together, suffered a defeat away to a strong Lincroft but battled back to chase 92 in 12 overs for the loss of only one wicket against Sharnbrook. Crawley and Chandler both with 30s helped overhaul the Sharnbrook total which had looked sizeable. The Year 9s are now well placed to make it to Finals Day in July.

The Year 10s have been even more impressive, winning both of their fixtures so far by 9 wickets, away at Redborne and Lincroft, as they look for an unbeaten district season second year running.
Year 9 Rounders
The Year 9 netball girls A team started their first games for the league and the ladies didn’t disappoint. A challenging first game against Etonbury saw a narrow defeat by half a rounder however then played Lincroft and Castle Newnham which the girls won convincingly. Our girls played with true sportsmanship – giving two players to Lincroft so we could complete the game. Our next games are against Goldington and BGS A as we look forwards to a strong season!
SWA's u15s athletics teams have qualified for the English Schools Athletics Association (ESAA) track and field cup regional A finals. It is the first time in a number of years SWA has had both boys and girls teams represented at the highly respected A finals, giving these athletes a real chance of qualifying for the national finals.

There were a number of individual and team winners on the day. Well done to all who competed!
Girls Football
SWA's girls under 14 football team won the County Cup at Creasey Park against a strong Queensbury team two weeks ago. Captain Holmes netted along with a brace from Mercer. They have played their hearts out in every round and deserve to be taking the trophy home! Well done, 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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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 
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Samuel Whitbread Academy
Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
Tel: 01462 629900
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