Welcome to Samuel Ward Academy Open Event

A welcome from our headteacher Mr Hunter

Dear Parents, Carers and Students,
Welcome to Samuel Ward Academy.  I am delighted that you are considering us for your secondary school.  This is in an incredibly exciting time and I hope this page provides valuable information to help guide you.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to know more: contacts are provided for every section.  We regret that the Covid pandemic means we cannot welcome you to Open Evening but have instead dedicated this week to showcasing life at Samuel Ward and responding to any queries you might have. 
We are a school that serves our local community with pride. Ambitious for every student, we are dedicated to teaching with passion and determination, to making every lesson as effective as it can be, to leaving no child behind. Our care of students, including those with SEND, is second to none.  We expect excellence from everyone. At Samuel Ward Academy our motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

We look forward to creating that bright future with you.

Mr A Hunter

Our school promise film

You can learn more about life at Samuel Ward Academy, from Year 7 to Year 11 and beyond, from our prospectus

Virtual tour

We recognise that we cannot welcome you to Open Evening this year, nor can we welcome you to see the school in action. 
We don’t believe tours around an empty school outside of the school day are well-advised during the current pandemic nor do we think they will show you very much about life at Samuel Ward Academy.  While we are proud of the brand new buildings and superb facilities these are not what makes our school great. Our Head Girl and Head Boy made this video during lockdown in the summer to help new students find their way around. We hope you find it informative (and recognise the responsibility and determination shown by our students in filming and editing this student for the benefit of their younger peers.)

Pastoral care

Pastoral Care at Samuel Ward Academy is second to none. Each year group has their own Head of Year whose main responsibilities are pastoral care and wellbeing, and their own Inclusion Officer, who deals with all forms of student support. All Heads of Year are Mental Health Champions and all Inclusion Officers are trained Mental Health First Aiders. We have two school counsellors on site and 3 members of staff who are ELSA trained (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant). The Counsellors, the ELSA staff and the Inclusion Officers can all offer 1 to 1 emotional support for students. We also offer “The Study”, our own nurture provision, to support students who are struggling with mental health issues or school attendance or who need some extra support in social skills or managing emotions. Samuel Ward Academy believes that the mental health and wellbeing of students is a central priority, as positive wellbeing lays the foundation for positive learning and academic success.

If you would like to know more, or to arrange a telephone or video call please contact Jenna Powell, Assistant Principal, at jpowell@samuelward.co.uk  

SEND

Samuel Ward Academy strives to ensure that all students develop to feel confident, resilient and positive about their future. In line with the SEND Code of Practice, having a learning difficulty or disability is not seen as a barrier to making progress; at Samuel Ward, all students can achieve. We build skills to encourage independence and the courage to take risks.
Teachers have high aspirations of and expectations for all students with SEND, and work in conjunction with students, parents/carers and the SEND Team to enable young people to achieve their potential.  A programme of continuing Professional Development for SEN and Disability (SEND) is undertaken by school staff, including Learning Support Assistants. If catch-up intervention is required, we have a team of experienced staff who can assess individual need and offer a range of support including but not limited to:  in-class support; synthetic phonics programme 'Sound Discovery'; catch-up literacy programme; catch-up numeracy programme; Lexia - school and home access; Spellzone - school and home access; support for students with general or specific learning difficulties, autism, ADHD, social emotional and mental health difficulties, speech and language difficulties, sensory and physical difficulties; EAL support; Prince's Trust  - life skills course; revision and study skills; touch typing training.
We work with external support agencies, where appropriate, to support the needs of individual students.
Our SEND team bring exceptional skills and experience to the school.  The SENCO is a highly experienced qualified teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership Team with expertise in SEND. The SENCO holds the NASENCO award, is a Level 7 Specialist Assessor, and a member of the British Psychological Society. The SENDCO is qualified to undertake educational psychometric testing including for Exam Access Arrangements. Our SEN teacher is a fully qualified and experienced SEND specialist. Three Higher Level Learning Support Assistants have a Level 5 qualification in Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), and one is ELKLAN trained. 
Samuel Ward Academy welcomes students with or without an Education, Health and Care Plan. We will do our best, in partnership with parents, to meet the special educational needs of all our students. 

If you would like to know more, or to arrange a telephone or video call please contact Dawn Fenwick, Assistant Principal, at dfenwick@samuelward.co.uk  

Transition

Our transition process for Year 6 began many weeks ago will remain a whole-school priority well into the Autumn Term of 2021.  We know that secondary schools can feel very different to primary, and can feel more distant.  We go to great lengths to keep parents as involved as possible in the school life of their child even without informal conversations in the playground at drop-off and pick-up.  We share daily information with parents and students on attendance, behaviour every lesson of the day, and more.  We know that we are partners with parents in the schooling of their child and really look forward to working with you.
It has been a pleasure to meet the Year 6s at our feeder schools through a virtual assembly and question-and answer.  They seem particularly pleased to hear from familiar faces in Year 8 who shared their experiences of moving up to secondary school.
Students allocated a place will be able to attend transition days in July and get to meet their tutor, their tutor group and their academic class.  We will have gained high quality information from primary schools which will enable us to ensure that students are in the right place with the right peers.  During the transition days students will learn their way around and very quickly get to grips with any new systems and ways of working.  By the start of Year 7 in September the school will seem very familiar and any minor anxieties or worries will have been addressed.  It is the norm that parents are much more nervous about this move than their children!

If you would like to know more, or to arrange a telephone or video call please contact Kev Geall, Senior Deputy Headteacher, at kgeall@samuelward.co.uk   

Curriculum

We believe in a broad, varied and challenging curriculum.  Our Year 8s, when asked to reflect on the best things about Year 7, mention two things more than anything else- making new friends and the  variety and excitement of the lessons.  We don’t believe in students specialising too early and we emphasise the need to get a good grounding across a range of disciplines.  We also believe in students being able to choose the subjects which meet their aspirations and which are valued by employers and education providers.  We always prioritise what is best for students over what might make a school look better in league tables.  The proportion of students studying the English Baccalaureate (English, maths, science, history or geography and a modern foreign language) has typically been twice the national average for schools.  You can find out a lot more, including subjects currently offered in Year 7, in our prospectus above.  We are constantly improving our curriculum offer and are pleased to be able to add Classics and IT to the Year 7 curriculum from Sept 2020 and Photography and Film to Year 9 from September 2020.  We will continue to refine the student curriculum and experience until we are certain that every child in our care has the best possible opportunity to grow into the high-achieving, confident and responsible young adult of the future. 

If you would like to know more, or to arrange a telephone or video call please contact Kev Geall, Senior Deputy Headteacher, at kgeall@samuelward.co.uk or Phil Butterworth, Assistant Principal at pbutterworth@samuelward.co.uk

Do you have a passion for a subject in particular?

Find out more about what you will learn using the links below:


 

Follow the links below to see department videos and more about your favourite subjects

Department Link
English www.samuelward.co.uk/department/english
Maths www.samuelward.co.uk/department/maths
Science www.samuelward.co.uk/department/science
MFL www.samuelward.co.uk/department/modern-foreign-languages
History www.samuelward.co.uk/department/history
Geography www.samuelward.co.uk/department/geography
Citizenship & Religious Studies www.samuelward.co.uk/department/citizenship-and-religious-studies
PE www.samuelward.co.uk/department/physical-education
Art & Design www.samuelward.co.uk/department/art-and-design
Drama www.samuelward.co.uk/department/drama
Music www.samuelward.co.uk/department/music
Photography www.samuelward.co.uk/department/photography
Film Studies www.samuelward.co.uk/department/media-studies
Design Technology www.samuelward.co.uk/department/design-technology
Food & Nutrition www.samuelward.co.uk/department/food-nutrition
Health & Social Care www.samuelward.co.uk/department/health-social-care