WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 18 September 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

As the first full week back at school comes to a close, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for making the start of term such a success. Our students have done us proud. They have been inundated with lots of new information, instructions and rules, but have taken everything in their stride. Their behaviour has been excellent, and they have been making every effort to follow the new rules and procedures, in a bid to keep themselves, and each other, as safe as possible.

I would also like to say thank you to you, as parents and carers, for your ongoing support. The vast majority of students have come back to school well-prepared, wearing the correct uniform, ready to carry on with their learning and most importantly ready to enjoy being back at school with their peers. I thank you for helping to make this happen.

The team and I are thrilled to see the school full of life again, and are relishing the opportunity to catch up with the students and hear all about their activities during lockdown and over the summer break.

We will continue to keep you updated with any further developments as the term progresses.

With very best wishes

Miss G Greenhalgh

Thursday 24 September – Training Day and Open Evening

School will be closed to students on Thursday 24 September for a Teacher Training Day.

On the evening of 24 September, we will be hosting our Virtual Open Evening, in place of our traditional event. The event will be all online – full details can be found here.

Positive calls and emails

As we mentioned in last week’s pastoral update, our staff have committed to making at least one positive phone call or email home each day. We have been overwhelmed by the impact that this has had and have been delighted to receive so many compliments in return. In such difficult times, we felt it was important to contact you to let you know how well your children are doing on their return to school, but an unexpected by-product of this has been the morale boost that your glowing replies has given the staff. So, thank you for thanking us!

If you have not yet received a positive call or email, do not worry. We would also be in touch if we had any concerns so you would know about it if there was an issue and we are sure that you will receive a positive call or email soon.

Update for students

In form time over the last couple of days, Form Tutors have delivered the attached Update for students. We wanted to share this with you so that you are aware of what we have said to the students, and ask for your support in making sure that your child is doing what they have been asked.

Many parents have asked us what they can do to help the school during these challenging times, and this is certainly something that would help. The less time we need to spend addressing items such as uniform the better for everyone.

This update also includes the plan for if students lose their year group badges and vital reminders about social distancing both inside and outside school, so parents are politely asked to have a read and discuss it with their child.

Planners

Please could we remind parents to check and sign their child’s planner every week.

Election of Parent Governors

There is currently a vacancy for a parent governor vacancy within Millthorpe School. To read the full letter, please click here and find out more about being a parent governor here.

Black Lives Matter – Embracing Diversity – Students and Parents

Mr Burton is now planning how we can improve the experience of our students who are black or from other minority backgrounds. It has been clear from initial conversations that we need to consider the different experiences of all our children and families who are black or from ethnic minorities, although it was the Black Lives Matter movement which inspired our reflection.

Over this year we want to examine the experience of our black or ethnic minority students and check that our curriculum, behaviour systems and ethos serve them as well as our white students. Mr Burton is asking for your help as a parent. If you are black or from an ethnic minority, please consider putting yourself forward. We want to recruit as many parents as possible to serve as a reference group, to tell Mr Burton how things are, advise him if our plans for improvement make good sense, and help us find out if we are actually making the improvements intended from the plans.

To take part email embracingdiversity@millthorpe.southbank.academy saying you would like to be in the parent group with a name and we will be in touch. Similarly, we want a reference group of students, so again, if your child is black or from an ethnic minority please encourage your child to put themselves forward. Just email the same address with the name of your child. We are also recruiting a reference group of staff to guide us.

Update from City of York Council

City of York Council have asked us to share the following updates as we come to the end of the second week of the new term.

The council, multi-academy trusts, schools and colleagues in Public Health are continuing to work together to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection and it is really pleasing that the proportion of pupils who are back at school in York is higher than the national average.

As many people as possible are being encouraged to walk and cycle to school to reduce traffic congestion and crowds around schools. Pupils over the age of 11 travelling on buses must wear face coverings; these are required on public transport and also on buses operated for schools only.

A face mask is essential equipment for young people of secondary school age. They must be used on school and public transport, in shops and in other public buildings. All secondary schools have adopted the strong recommendation from the council’s Director of Public Health that pupils should wear face coverings in communal areas of schools – essentially this means anywhere inside school buildings except classrooms and at any time other than when eating.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.