Dear Parents and Carers,

Although it’s been extremely busy here for the last few weeks, but not with anything especially new. It’s just a busy time of year. I’m always impressed by just how much there is going on around the school. We’ve had a lecture on Arabia for historians, a virtual visit from a maths professor and next week we’re hosting an architecture taster session. We’re putting together a lot more Year 12 taster sessions so Year 11 can get a sense of what it is like to study courses at a higher level. As always, the students continue to impress with their sensible and diligent approach to their lessons.

Years 11 and 13

The assessments are going very smoothly in Years 11 and 13. I’m grateful to all those students for their determination and maturity as they take this opportunity to demonstrate what they can do. We have tried to make the situation as manageable as possible, but of course students will be nervous as they want to do their best. The year teams are doing a great job supporting their students, but if there is anything else we could do, please let me know.

The arrangements for the Year 11 leaving event are underway and details have been shared with those parents. We will be looking to organise a celebration with Year 13 as well, but of course Covid makes everything that bit more difficult. We’ll make sure they get a good send-off.

We are looking at what we will be able to offer to students once they have completed their assessments in both of those year groups. I will let parents and students in those year groups know next week when their last compulsory day in school will be and what they will be able to access online after that date to support them in moving on to the next stage of their education.

Leavers’ Hoodies

The deadline to order a leavers hoodie has been extended to 9th May. To order your Samuel Ward Academy Year 11 Leavers Hoodie simply click on the link below:

The Hoodie costs £20.00. There is the option to add a nickname on the back at a cost of £4.


Just a repeat of the recent communication about PE uniform. We decided that it might make life easier for parents if we accepted students wearing plain black as well as plain navy-blue jogging trousers. This is to align with the rule which allows for navy-blue or black leggings to be worn underneath shorts.


All students should have home testing kits. Please make sure they are done twice a week and the results logged on Test Register. The numbers of cases are low currently and it would be good to keep them low. I really don’t want to have to ask any students to isolate as a precaution for the remainder of this term, so if we can identify any cases before they even get into school, we’ll be in a much stronger position.

Sports Day

I’m convinced that no school does sports day like we do at SWA. It was sad to have to cancel it last year, though we did replace with a very successful sports month. We’re expecting to be back at full scale this year, with students representing their houses in basketball, football, dodgeball, cricket, rounders, netball, badminton, javelin, shotput, long jump, high jump, triple jump as well as all the usual running races and relays. Thanks to the PE department for organising that.


The music department have re-opened all of their extra-curricular offer now. Students can choose to attend Song Writing Club (Tuesdays at 2.50), Swing band (Wednesdays at 2.50), Chamber Choir (Thursdays at 2.50) or Choir (Fridays at 2.50). It would be good to see a lot of students taking advantage of those opportunities.

Year 10 Interviews

Year 10 students will be attending mock interviews on Tuesday 29th June, done virtually for the first time. I wonder if this is one of those things that we might find works better virtually – it might mean that we can assemble a larger group of interviewers from local businesses and organisations. I’m looking forward to seeing Year 10 in their business clothes that day – it’s always an impressive sight.

The Big ask

The Children’s Commissioner for England is running a survey of children and parents about what they think children’s needs are following the disruption of Covid this year. Parents are encouraged to participate. The survey tales a few seconds and can be found here:

I’m sure you won’t need reminding, but Monday is a bank holiday and school is closed. I hope the weather is good and that you all have an enjoyable long weekend.

Andy Hunter