Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy Newsletter Issue 115 (15/05/2020)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 115 (15/05/20)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you and your family are keeping well.

On Sunday evening the Prime Minister announced the government’s intention for primary schools to reopen on Monday 1st June for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils, if it is safe to do so. He also asked secondary schools to start providing face-to-face support to students in Year 10 and 12 after half term. Since the announcement, we have been working on plans to provide face-to-face support whilst ensuring the safety of our students, staff and families. The latest government advice for reopening primary schools was released on Thursday and the advice for reopening secondary schools is to be published shortly. As soon as this is released by the government, we will firm up our plans and ensure we have all the appropriate health and safety risk assessments in place, before sharing our plans with you, so you are fully informed.

One of the major stumbling blocks at the moment is school transport. We have been informed that even a 100 seater double decker bus will only be able to carry around 10-15 students! The Local Authority has informed us that they are working with the transport companies to address this issue and will update us soon on their plans for getting students to school safely. We will update you as soon as we have any further information

During the lockdown the cleaners have cleaned the school from top to bottom and locked off each section of the school as they went along. We have bought over 100 new hand sanitiser dispensers, which will be placed around the school site to enable students to regularly clean their hands. We are also creating a one-way system around the school to minimise student-to-student contact as they move around the school site. The school wasn't designed with a one-way system in mind, so this will not be perfect, but it will help to minimise social interaction. Finally, the reception area is being redesigned with a 2m exclusion zone in front of the reception desk and a perspex barrier is being installed to protect the receptionists from any visitors to the school.

This week, Mrs Linehan has been overseeing a number of Year 9 & 10 online English lesson trials. The response from these has been fantastic with over 185 students logging in to the first poetry session. This strategy is still in the early stages and we have learnt some valuable lessons that will support us to streamline the process and ensure it is impactful for all students involved. Next week, the sessions continue in English, maths and geography for various year groups; full details will be emailed to parents and students in due course. We are aiming to launch any changes to our distant learning strategy with parents after the May half term.

Mr Butler is in the final few stages of compiling the GCSE Centre Assessment Grades and is over halfway through completing the KS5 grades. The process for assigning grades has been agreed by the governing body and we are well on track to meet the deadline for submitting grades to the exam broads by the end of the month.

One of the long traditions at Samuel Whitbread is the leavers’ videos and I’m pleased to announce that, despite the lockdown, Mr Tonking, Miss Tabert and Miss Hoad have managed to put together a fantastic video this year for our students, which will be coming out next week. I’m sure our students will appreciate all the effort involved in putting together the messages of good luck from tutors and staff - and especially appreciate Mr Goode’s dancing!

Nick Martin

Year 9
Dear parents,
Thanks again for all you are doing to help with your children's education at home. I understand how hard it is to monitor this as well as do your own work. Your children should have been receiving more contact from school over the past weeks with weekly messages from tutors and an update from the pastoral team. Please keep the communication channels open and let us know if we can help in anyway. Please be aware that the options choices for the start of Year 10 are ready and due to be distributed very soon. 
Best wishes and keep safe.

Mr R Sinclair
Year 10
Dear Parents, We hope that you are all doing well following Sunday's announcement from the government regarding continued lockdown measures. As a school we are on the incline of a steep learning curve and I can imagine it is the same for many of you at home in relation to working and learning from home. Please keep persevering with this as we are now very much into the 'new content' stage of our virtual learning schedule. We want to remind parents, guardians and students to ensure they are communicating with teachers regarding work completion and work load – we can appreciate that this will take time getting used to. If students are struggling with the amount of work being set or organising their time effectively, please make sure they contact the class teacher or tutor to discuss strategies or raise concerns. Year 10 students should have received an email from their tutors this week to open the channels of communication and to support their well-being. Over the coming weeks we are hoping that tutors will be able to contact each of their tutees to check in and reassure our students. As a year team we are also sending out a weekly update letter (via school email) so please make sure you have a read! We also want to take the time to say again, a big well done to the work being produced by Year 10 students - some have taken working from home in their stride and are working incredibly hard and as a year team we couldn't be more proud!

Miss V Yadav
Year 11
I hope you are all keeping safe! We want to make sure that you feel connected and part of the school community. It is really important, now more than ever, that we keep up with communication. With this in mind, I have been sending you weekly emails with different quizzes for you to complete, should you want to. As well as this, your tutor will be emailing you once a week with updates, so please keep checking your emails and feel free to reply to us to let us know how you are doing – we love to hear from you! A message has gone out via ParentMail about how you can pay for the yearbook so please have a look and take note of the deadline. If you have any questions about payment please email Finally, I want to remind you how important it is that you try and keep in touch with your school work. I understand it must be really hard to stay motivated when your exams have been cancelled, but remember, you weren’t just learning all that information to pass an exam! It was also helping you prepare for your next steps, whatever they may be. Our advice is that you focus on reading around the subjects that you have selected for A Level or college to prepare yourself for September. It is so important that you try and do a little bit of work each day, otherwise when you get back to learning you will find it a struggle! Mr Huckle has sent you a few emails to your school email making you aware of the different things that you can do to prepare for your next steps, so please do give that a read and try to engage as much as possible. Remember, as always, we are here for you if you need anything.

Miss C Tabert

Year 12
Our year 12 students continue to navigate the challenges of remote learning with positivity. From our student and parent feedback we are really pleased to see how well our students are doing, and we want to assure you that all feedback is being discussed with the team. Our students have some fantastic ideas and these are now helping us all develop our practice. We are currently running our process to appoint a Head Boy and Head Girl. We would like to congratulate anyone who has successfully achieved an invitation to interview. The candidates are exceptionally strong this year. You would have seen an update from Mr Huckle regarding our ‘next steps days’ plans. I know the uncertainty of the future is causing anxiety for some but we will continue to support students with all the information and guidance they need. Students will be able to access resources and presentations and should there be any immediate questions from this, please do not hesitate to ask. Once again I welcome any success stories from the year group. Thank you to those parents who have shared with me already. Please email

Mr C Tonking
Year 13
As we enter the first week of what would have been your study leave, I have been in contact with many of you about university places and apprenticeships. We have sent some more UCAS applications off – there are still places in UK universities, and even if you missed the 15th January deadline I would advise you to get in touch with your form tutor and myself if you want to go. There are resources on the year group Google Classroom to help you with applying. I sent out a while ago (via student email) the guidance for families to apply for student finance – and although we don’t yet know whether teaching in universities in the autumn will be face-to-face or virtual, students must still apply for student finance as normal. We have had both student successes and disappointments with apprenticeship offers during lockdown – some businesses are still recruiting, others are slowing down taking on new staff, and I would encourage any prospective apprenticeship seekers to still search and apply here. Some business sectors will recover more quickly than others and there will be opportunities out there. The sixth form team will be in touch very soon about prom, leavers book and hoodies – plans are in place for distribution of these items.
Stay well and look after yourselves and each other.

Mrs S Hoad
Due to the coronavirus, a school closure was announced before the Year 9 immunisations could be administered (due 1st and 2nd April). The Immunisation team will confirm new dates for these to take place in light of the current guidelines. We will inform you via parentmail to confirm updated process along with the consent form for anyone who has yet to complete this. Please be reassured that these immunisations can still take place when your child is in Year 10.
Kiting podcast
Year 12 student and world kiting champion Dan Hoath was a special guest on kiting podcast On The Line at the end of last month. Even though Dan and his team are unable to practice together in the current climate, they're still busy promoting their sport and recruiting potential new sponsors! The podcast can be viewed here. Below is a picture of Dan and his team in action last year
Collaboration Collage project
Calling all students, parents and teachers - we want to fill this time of uncertainty with a message of positivity. We are asking everyone within our school community to take a short while to create a piece of art work for a collaboration collage against Covid-19. We want these to be messages of hope and inspiration about anything that has uplifted you during this difficult time. Exam leavers students are also welcomed to send goodbye messages or memories of their time at school. The art can be made by anything that you have to hand. You can email clear pictures or scans of these to Miss Vallance on with the subject line COLLABORATION COLLAGE or post them to the school with the address on the front being Collaboration collage.
Ideally, we would like the art work to be on squares of roughly 3" x 3" however we will happily accept larger submissions.
If we get enough we would love to create some kind of display to act as a reminder of how we as a school community coped with this time in history.

National Thank A Teacher Day
May 20th is National Thank A Teacher Day. It will mark a moment when the nation can come together to say thank you to teachers across the country who are making a difference not only now during these unprecedented times, but every day of the year.

The Teaching Awards Trust are asking as many people as possible to share their message of thanks, ideally in a video clip leading up to the day. This will be in an expression of their choosing - singing a song/miming to a song of thanks to their teacher, writing and/or reciting a poem, or sharing a picture of a drawing. For more information visit the Thank A Teacher website here. The Twitter handle @UKThankATeacher will be celebrating all week and sharing messages of thanks.
Student work in lockdown
So many students are producing outstanding work whilst distance learning at home. Below are just a small selection of some of the fantastic pieces of work produced.
There have been some incredible pieces of artwork created by our students, some detailed below: 'George', a project by Year 11 Meg Adams, 'black stilettos' by Year 10 Simran Summan, 'childhood toy' by Year 10 Maria Kenworthy, 'cupcake and strawberries' by Year 10 Amy Halls, 'favourite trainers' by Year 10 Ryas Low, and Caitlin Lianna Brown's cupcake, which featured on the banner of Newsletter #114 but as part-finished but now shown in full detail. Well done to all students for these incredible pieces of work! Follow swa_art.textiles on Instagram for more examples of student work.
Open University MOOCs
Year 11 students Aaron Davies (certificate pictured below) and Matthew Shields have both spent some of their time in lockdown completing MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) run by the Open University. Both students took the Cyber Security course and passed with flying colours! Matthew has also built his own computer from scratch during lockdown!
Food Tech - VE Day
The Year 9 and 10 students were asked as a homework for VE day to choose a ration recipe from the war and have a go at cooking it. It was great to receive some of their pictures of the dishes they had a go at. They commented on how good the dishes were, even a chocolate cake with no eggs.
Keep cooking!

Miss Ambrose has been setting optional work for Year 11 students applying for A Level biology and has received some excellent submissions - two excellent pieces shown below are from Niamh Allen and Emily Snaddon.

And finally...
Joe Halling in Year 9 is the superstar of the week. Joe recently had a lockdown birthday and his present was a 3D printer. Since his birthday he has used his time and new present to make visors for the NHS workers. After printing a couple of default designs to get the settings right he joined the nationwide scheme for visors. Well done, Joe, we're incredibly proud of your efforts!






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