At Samuel Ward Academy we encourage and support our staff and learners to aim high and to achieve their aspirations.
We aim for excellence everywhere in our school community: Education, opportunities, and care. 
We are on this learning journey together.

Excellent Education

  • Quality first T&L ‘Teach to the top’: Providing a challenging, supportive, and inclusive curriculum and learning experience. 
  • Academic Excellence Awards: To honour effort and achievement. (See gallery below)
  • The Brilliant Club – We work with this institution to raise the aspirations of our students and to promote the benefits of higher education. See graduate's essays in the Resource section.
  • Enrichment activities – Creative, physical, well-being, and academic advancement.

Excellent Opportunities

  • Our Stakeholders & Partners - University of East Anglia, University of Suffolk, St Catherine’s College, Cambridge, and Balliol College, Oxford.
  • Alumni-Connections -  Support, and visits from our former SWA students. See our REACH ROAD alumni episodes below.
  • Excellent opportunities - Academic challenges & career/course workshops (See gallery below and follow us on twitter @SamWardAcad for future events)
  • SAM Speaks - Every Wednesday lunch time (week B) we offer an enriching and inspirational talk hosted by members of staff and/or external volunteers. See posters for past and upcoming events.

Excellent Care

  • Excellent pastoral support.
  • Excellent CIAG – Careers information, advice, and guidance. 
  • Annual ‘Aspire’ event for CIAG Supported by The Epicentre, Haverhill.
  • Wellbeing & Care for staff and learners.
  • Personal Development and Physical Education.

Resources for Parents/Guardians & Learners

Places to visit:

British library:

Vocabulary to learn

See ‘Head words’ list... The academics word list, there are 570 head words in total.  With associated words this list amounts to 3,000+. How many do you know and use? Verbally and/or written?

Big questions to consider... See the ‘Thunks’ list of big questions to consider, research, and discuss.

Books to read

Wider reading, podcasts, and competitions: University of Oxford

Super-curricular courses to explore – Academic & Wellbeing

Connect with University students:

University tasters (University of East Anglia):

Connect with a Parent Ambassador (How to support your child in applying for university.)


 “Everybody knows what it’s like to move up to another school. To know the fear that all year 7s feel when they first enter the school gates, looking around the tall buildings, the tall year 11s, and feeling the fear of not being accepted in this brand-new school. It was a big change from my past school, one that had only about 90 students where everybody knew everybody and we year 6’s practically ruled the school., compared to having 200 in my year alone and only knowing about 10 people. But, I realised after the first week of being there, that it was okay to feel awkward in class, and not knowing anyone because that’s how everybody felt. And after that I managed to make friends, ones who I am still friends with 3 years later. Another thing about Samuel ward, is that they always encourage you to grab every opportunity that you can reach and give you the extra shove to get them if you don’t think you can, and even to make your own opportunities. The school's fondness of letting us experience things before we make our choices really benefits us students because we do workshops, for many different subjects, where anyone can sign up, and university students, teachers or seminars guide us through a lesson, teaching us new things, and what it’s like in university. Another example of opportunities would be, that I was allowed to create a school journalism club, called S.W.A.N (Samuel ward academy newspaper) where we make our voice heard and help others to find their own. Also, their amazing support team is always there for you, so if you ever feel down about something, it’s very easy to talk and to get you back smiling.

As a disadvantaged child, I also have been given the opportunity to partake in an amazing scholars program called ‘The Brilliant Club’ where we have a PhD tutor come in and we experience University life, learn about a very interesting subject, (ours was sociological based and wrote a 2000-word essay on whether we thought homelessness was bad choices or bad luck). And, although we missed a few school lessons, the teachers were very kind and supportive in our catching up on lessons and challenging us to do our best like they usually do.

They also have a large variety of school trips that allow us student to explore new culture, like when I went on the French trip and I tried snails for the first time, or the Ski-trip where we learnt to Ski in Austria, or when we went to Italy to learn rafting, camping and many more exotic activities. Samuel Ward is also very accepting of differences, and have recently set up LGBTQ+ clubs, Diversity clubs and many more are on the way. Samuel Ward has helped me so much, in helping me find my dreams, think about my future and evolve from a shy year 7 into a confidant year 9, and I know that by year 11, I will be at my greatest.

Anonymous, Year 9 student 2021

“I think that Samuel Ward is an excellent school and coming here makes me feel like I can achieve the goals I want to in life. The school has many workshops to choose from to help students figure out what they want to do in the careers. I have participated in two of them so far. These were in architecture and a workshop about illustration (mutant monsters). I thoroughly enjoyed them both and I definitely will be doing more workshops in the future. The workshops have students (university students/graduates) who explain why they chose the subjects they wanted to pick and why they did and helps you have a good idea on what their jobs are about. It has really helped me with deciding what I actually want to do and I’m very grateful for the students and adults who come in in their own time to help us. I am also thankful for the school to let us have these opportunities. I feel challenged, and supported, in my classes and I feel I am able to work at my highest capability to achieve my future goals.”

Anonymous, Year 8 student (2021)

My experience of Samuel Ward so far has been outstanding! I have been able to challenge myself with every opportunity that has come my way, for example, career workshops around Law, Architecture, and Illustrations etc. have been incredibly useful for all students, and I have learnt so much from them. I have also realised how amazing my teachers are since being in lockdown - the support and genuine concern they have for their students is truly wonderful and I have thrived under their help. Since year 7, I have also had the opportunity to get involved in a variety of clubs and roles in the school such as the School Ambassadors, Eco-club, Newspaper club and Debate club.  All of which are really enjoyable but have also increased my confidence and have helped me make new friends.

Anonymous, Year 10 student (2021)

During my time at Samuel Ward Academy, I have found my passions through exploring the various selection of extra-curricular activities the school provides. The performing arts in particular have bloomed during my time at SWA and allowed a creative space after school to so many students. I have been encouraged to grow my critical thinking skills as well as my knowledge as points brought up in lessons such as English and Geography have been deconstructed and challenged, allowing me to create stronger arguments and direct towards a target audience. While often challenging, my lessons have been interesting and for the most part, the community built by students has been positive. SWA has been a place where I have made and developed lasting friendships with people from different backgrounds within my community and with those further afield through school trips, exchange programmes and community service.  SWA will never be the perfect school for everyone but it continues to aspire to better and tries to inspire students to become better too. 

Anonymous, Year 11 student (2021)

My first year at Samuel ward has been disturbed by the pandemic, but during this time I have felt supported by all of my teachers and other members of staff. Despite having no transition from primary school, Samuel Ward staff helped me to feel settled and make friends quickly. Throughout lockdown learning the teachers  were available for support at all times and the daily contact and lessons made coming back into school much easier. Throughout this difficult year Samuel Ward have tried to keep some aspects of the school as normal as they were allowed to, which has really helped me settle in. There have been opportunities to attend workshops, like mutants monsters and attend clubs such trampolining and choir. I have felt challenged in my learning but well supported at all times. I have loved my time as a year 7 and look forward to becoming a year 8 student.

Anonymous, Year 7 Student (2021)

Reach Road - The journey of our Samuel Ward Alumni - Episode 1
Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4
Episode 5