Subject: Samuel Whitbread Academy Newsletter Issue 120 (26/09/2020)

Samuel Whitbread Academy 
Issue 120 (26/09/20)

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Dear Parents and Carers,

The start of term has certainly been like no other, but I’m pleased to say that the students have responded to all the new measures we have put in place to keep everyone safe with great maturity and so far we have had no confirmed cases of Covid-19.

The new Year 12 and Year 9 students have made a fantastic start to life at Samuel Whitbread. Assigning each year group their own section of the school site is working well and students are gradually getting into the new routine. Each of the four different canteens has a different range of products on sale at lunch, according to the equipment available and some are better than others, so we are in talks with the catering company to hopefully extend the product range, particularly for Year 11 - more news to follow soon.

Students are gradually getting used to wearing face coverings when moving between lessons, which we are recommending as a school to help keep everyone safe. However, some students still forget to wear them and I would appreciate it if you could support us by reinforcing to your son or daughter the benefits of wearing face coverings when moving between classrooms to help reduce the transmission of the Covid virus. As you will be aware, face masks are already mandatory on school transport and if the number of cases in Central Bedfordshire were to rise to the point where further restrictions are necessary, then they would also become mandatory in school, so our students need to get into the habit of wearing face coverings.

We are having to rethink many of the ways we do things in school, as you can probably imagine. The Year 9 Information Evening, for example, that usually takes place in September, is moving online with its own dedicated page on the website. The upcoming Year 8 opening evenings will also be online this year with two Zoom open evenings on Tuesday 29th September & 6th October. Even this year’s awards evenings for last year’s Year 11 and Year 13 will also be held on Zoom later in the year.

Finally, there has been an incredible uptake to Year 11 after school clubs already this term with nearly 100 students turning up to the first geography session a wonderful example. The usual after school clubs are also gradually coming online as we find ways to run them under the new restrictions. Please refer to the website for more details. 

Nick Martin

Year 9
It has been fantastic to welcome the Year 9s to Samuel Whitbread. I have really enjoyed walking around and getting to know them. Our first assembly was all about kindness, first impressions and manners. I set the year group a challenge to say hello if they saw me, or other staff members walking around. I have really enjoyed them rising to this challenge in such a positive way. I have been extremely impressed with the year group and how well they have settled into school life, particularly with the current Covid-19 measures in place. We have explained to them that we have extremely high expectations with standards of behaviour and uniform and I am pleased to say that they are meeting this brilliantly. We must ensure that we all work hard to keep this up. Each newsletter I will be reporting the tutor group that has received the most praise points that cycle as well as the top 3 students, so I challenge all Year 9s to continue with exceptional behaviour and manners and see how many they can receive. All students have been issued with their log in for Show My Homework (Satchel One). If you have not got these details, please contact your child’s form tutor. Well done Year 9, keep up the excellent effort!

Joining a new school can be overwhelming, particularly due to the large amounts of new information provided. In previous years we have hosted an information evening in order to help parents/carers support their child with the transition to our school and to help parents/carers understand the ways in which Samuel Whitbread operates. Due to Covid-19 and the current government restrictions, the information will be delivered remotely this year, over the course of several days, and will consist of a variety of helpful presentations covering a wide range of different topics. There will be a dedicated page on the school website, where pre-recorded presentations are uploaded. Please click here to access the website. We do hope that you will find the presentations helpful and will enable you to support your child in making the most of every opportunity presented to them here at Samuel Whitbread Academy.

Miss C Tabert
Year 10
Dear Parents
It has been a unique start to the school year but I am relieved to get the pupils back into a school routine. I would like to pass on how proud I am of how the year group have adapted to the 'new normal' that is school life at Samuel Whitbread. They have displayed maturity, resilience and empathy throughout the first few weeks and are a credit to the school and you.
As with any establishment who have implemented new procedures, there have been teething problems but we are working together to try and provide the safest working environment we can. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child's form tutor in the first instance. 

Mr R Sinclair

Year 11
Three weeks into the term and our Year 11 students have made a great start to the new academic year. Staff have been impressed by the level of engagement in lessons and attendance to afterschool intervention, showing us a year team that our students are ready to learn and prepping themselves to succeed. There are a number of things we wish to raise with parents/guardians so they are aware and can address where needed. Firstly the use of face masks around the communal areas of school is really important so please encourage your son/daughter to bring a mask to school to wear. We have noticed that there are some issues concerning uniform also; so please refer to the school website for guidance on this, students should not be wearing trainers or hoodies/jumpers to school and all students should be wearing a blazer. We are also working on building resilience with our students during form time to support the return to school. Following a national lockdown and school closure there have been lots of changes in place, so we want to ensure that all our Year 11 students feel safe and supported in achieving success in their GCSEs next summer.

Miss A Priano

Year 12
We have had such a busy start to term and Year 12 have settled in really well. Students are getting used to their new subjects, and the workload of the Level 3 courses is beginning to build up. On Thursday evening we would have had parents and students in the main hall for our annual Information Evening, however we were unable to do so with the current regulations. Instead we have pre-recorded the presentation with a voiceover and it is available on the link below. Next week there will be a focus on our professional dress code and students are reminded that lanyards must be worn at all times on site, and masks are expected in corridors. Students have coped really well with our year group bubbles and we thank them for their cooperation and understanding.

Please click here for our Year 12 information Evening recorded presentation.
If you have any questions please click here to complete our google form. 

Mrs S Hoad
Year 13
Our Year 13s have really adapted to the new COVID procedures and rules since returning to school. We are pleased with the attendance, and with us allowing students to not be on site other than for their lessons, we hope that students’ lesson attendance can remain particularly high. We are a little concerned with the dress code slipping, and we will be forced to send students home if they cannot abide by our policy. We seem to have a lot of trainers and tracksuits which are not appropriate, so any support parents can offer here is very welcomed. We have a focus on ‘Next Steps’ for the next few weeks. This includes preparing students for their UCAS application, and myself and tutors will be providing guidance and advice in the mornings to help. We are also providing guidance and advice for apprenticeships and work, as we understand that university is not right for all of our students.

Mr C Tonking

Due to recent school closures, immunisations were postponed in the summer term. All missed vaccinations, regardless of year group will be given the opportunity to have these administered, and the 0-19 Immunisation team are working incredibly hard to reschedule these. As soon as we have been notified of dates, an email will go out to confirm these, along with the Immunisation Forms. Your child will also receive a paper copy from their tutor.

Eco committee
The eco committee are still trying to achieve their goal of 2020 trees in 2020. Despite the inevitable setbacks that the year 2020 has given us, we are still on track to complete this challenge. We are nearly 1000 trees down with a further 1020 to go. We are looking to reinstate our committee meetings which will adapt to the new bubbles and social distancing required to achieve this. If any students would like to get involved do please forward you name to Mrs Ambrose. A reminder that we still collect pens for terracycle in school as well as crisp packets and batteries. Do send them in and prevent them from going to landfill.

A level Biology
It’s been lovely welcoming our new cohort of Year 12s. Later in the academic year we will again be entering the Biology Olympiad run by the Royal Society of Biology. A huge congratulations to the current Year 13s who completed the Intermediate Biology Olympiad during lockdown. We had some great results. Grace Flack and Mia Diamond both achieved results of commendation and Annie Tobias earned the highest award we have achieved in the school for this competition so far, with a Bronze! Well done to all.

Women's football superstar
After breaking into the MK Dons women's senior first team last season, Sophie Boulton in Year 13 is now preparing for her first full season in the Women's National League South as a key player in the side. Good luck Sophie!

Tennis Champion
Harley Gore in Year 10 had a stunning day at Dunstable Tennis Club two weeks ago, coming away with a whole host of trophies in their annual club competition, including: Men’s Singles Champion, Men’s Doubles Champion, U16 Boys Champion and U16 Boys Doubles Champion. Welly done Harley on a phenomenal achievement!

COVID Contingency Plan
If we are advised by Public Health England to close to a year group, your child’s learning will continue, following their normal timetable, through remote learning. Staff will share resources and links, including live teaching and pre-recorded lessons using Google Classroom, all of which can be accessed on any internet enabled device such as a phone, tablet or laptop. It is important that your child knows their school Google account details (their school email address) in order to access this information. It is expected that any year group closure will be for a limited 14 day period, and we would expect students to continue to complete the work in the books that they have been working in in class. We are unable to provide devices in the same way that we did in the summer term, as they continue to be needed for teaching in school. If your child does not have access to the Internet or a device to access Google Classrooms please contact Thomas Rowell at to discuss your specific needs.
Free School Meals
Due to Covid19, we are aware that adult members of the Samuel Whitbread Academy community may have unfortunately experienced changes in their working situations. If you feel that you may be able to now claim Free School Meals for your child then please visit here, it gives you a step by step guidance on what to do. If you need any further assistance, please ask.
Teenage sleep workshops
Please click here for a link to information about a virtual workshop CHUMS are hosting ‘The Power of Sleep: A Workshop for Teenagers to Tackle Sleep Troubles’.

Dear Parents, If any student is absent or ill going forward, there is now a direct way that students can access their work. All students are part of a Google Classroom. In their Google Classroom, there is a notice, which links them to the GCSE Student Learning Platform. Students should use the link provided to access the Learning Platform, where they will find their year group, and be able to see all of the lessons from the current unit of work they are studying. This allows students to continue working from home. Students should send any completed work to their Geography teacher so that they can provide feedback and support. Thank you for your continued support. 

Mr J Hatchell







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Shefford Road, Clifton, Shefford, Bedfordshire, SG17 5QS
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