Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas break
We wish you all a very happy and restful Christmas break. We hope that everyone stays well and we have been reminding students in assemblies of the importance of following rules around social distancing during the holidays to keep themselves and everyone else in the community safe.
- if your child develops symptoms within 48 hours of the last time they were in school (i.e. by Saturday afternoon for most students) and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, please alert the school using the dedicated email address email@example.com only. Safeguarding concerns should continue to be reported via firstname.lastname@example.org. No other emails or telephone numbers will be monitored over the break.
- if your child develops symptoms more than 48 hours after leaving school, please follow the contact details provided by NHS track and trace.
Arrangements for return to school in January 2021
At the time of writing, we are still awaiting details of the government’s plans regarding asymptomatic testing in secondary schools and a staggered start in January. The lateness of these announcements makes it impossible for us to prepare properly and keep you informed of our plans in the way that we would wish but we will make every effort to let you know what is happening with as much notice as possible once the information we need has been provided.
Christmas Jumper Day
Thank you to everyone who wore a festive jumper on Friday last week and/or made a donation. We collected a fantastic total of £502.73 which has gone to SASH this week. SASH is a registered charity preventing homelessness in young people aged 16 to 25 throughout North and East Yorkshire, including York and Hull.
Changes to the behaviour system from January 2021
We are currently undertaking a full review of our behaviour systems in order to have a revised policy in place for September 2021. Reviewing policies regularly and ensuring that we are using the most recent research-based systems is part of our self-review process and continued strive towards providing the best education for our students.
Currently we are working with an amended system due to COVID restrictions. Having reviewed the first full term, we are going to make some small changes to improve consistency and to ensure that high quality learning can take place. The amendments are unlikely to affect the overwhelming majority of students who are very well behaved and have excellent learning conduct. The changes will address low level disruption and refusal to comply with expectations and sanctions. There has also been a change to how we manage access to toilets during the school day to ensure that students don’t miss or disrupt learning. A small number of students have been taking advantage of being able to leave lessons.
The key changes are:
1. Disruptive behaviour in lessons
If a student is issued with a Negative Comment in a lesson, after having been calmly given a Rule Reminder and a Formal Warning by their Teacher, this will now result in a 30-minute after school detention, rather than 10 minutes as previously. The reason for this change is to emphasise that disrupting the teaching and learning environment for everyone in their lesson is more serious than not meeting a baseline expectation such as not having correct equipment or being late to lessons, for which a 10-minute detention is given. This should help to ensure all can learn without disruption.
2. Failure to successfully complete sanctions
If students fail to comply with the sanction they have been given, for example by not turning up to a detention, this will be escalated to a more serious sanction. We have explained these to the students so that they are clear on what is expected and they will be reminded of this in assemblies in the first week back in January.
3. Use of toilets during lesson times
When we first returned to school in September, students were given free access to the toilets at all times of the school day in order to reduce overcrowding at the previously busy times of break and lunch. However, as year groups are now separate at break and lunch, it is more appropriate for them to use the toilet during these times. As such, we will now generally limit students to one visit per day during lesson times to minimise loss of learning time and disruption, though, as has always been the case, teachers have discretion to allow students to go at any time if they clearly need to. If a student has a medical condition which requires unrestricted access to the toilet and we are not already aware of this, please contact their Form Tutor in the first instance.
Assistant Head (Pastoral)
Winter Support Grant
Has your income been affected by the Covid pandemic? Are you struggling to pay your bills? The Winter Support Grant can help. The scheme is there to support you and your family with food and energy bills this winter. You can apply for it now at www.york.gov.uk/wintersupportgrant
For help with applying or for more information on other sources of support please visit www.york.gov.uk/benefitsadvice, or www.livewellyork.co.uk or call City of York Council’s Covid Helpline on 01904 551550.
National Saturday Art Club
An exciting creative opportunity is starting in the New Year at York College. Over the past three years many Millthorpe students have taken part in the National Saturday Art Club, developing their creativity on a Saturday morning and gaining from a wide range of exciting extra-curricular opportunities including trips, special events, visiting art galleries and even seeing their own work exhibited!
If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson 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.