WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 10 September 2021

A new school year

It has been wonderful to welcome our new Year 7 students to Millthorpe this week and to see everyone back in school, especially as we can now see their smiling faces! It’s lovely to see each year-group in their new ties and looking very smart. A big thank you to you all for your help in getting students ready for the start of the autumn term. It is great to see our students ready to learn, wearing the right uniform and with the right equipment.

It has been a really busy week, with our new Year 7 cohort settling into new routines and our returning students familiarising themselves once more with some old routines! We have been talking to our students about our new school motto and our new approach to behaviour for learning. It has been particularly gratifying to see so many students exemplifying the motto already, being Respectful, Responsible, Ready as they move around school and take part in lessons.

We’re looking forward to a great term, and an exciting year ahead. Have a lovely weekend and we’ll see everyone next week for B week!

Gemma Greenhalgh
Headteacher

School meals

We’re delighted to welcome Dolce on board as our new catering partner in the school canteen. The children have clearly been enjoying sampling the new food and drink on offer. It’s fair to say that it hasn’t gone without a hitch – at the same time as everyone, students and staff, getting to grips with a new system, we’ve had some software glitches that have interfered with the balances shown on the till. In turn, this has unhelpfully led to automated emails notifying parents of lack of funds when we know this isn’t the case. We’re really grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding as we get these issues sorted.

We have been notified that it is still taking more time than usual for funds paid into ParentPay to reach the tills; this often happens at the busy start of the school year and should improve as things settle down. Please continue to put money on via ParentPay – this is still the way to pay for school meals, as well as other school activities. The simplest way to pay for regular meals is to activate auto top-up, which will ensure there are always sufficient funds in the account. You can find the ParentPay help pages here.
Other than that, we think most issues are resolved now but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. And please rest assured that, whatever happens, we will always make sure children can get fed, even if the IT is not playing ball. Please encourage them to speak to staff if there is a problem at the tills.
The canteen now offers free porridge every breaktime which means children can fill up in the morning without worrying about running out of money at lunchtime.

Early closure – Wednesday 15 September

As next week is B Week, school will finish at 2.10pm on Wednesday 15 September for staff Continuous Professional Development.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Huge congratulations to the former Year 10s who completed their expeditions last academic year. We are planning one more weekend soon, so please keep an eye out for details. We will also be offering the Silver Award again for Year 11s, details to follow next week.

Bronze Award students will begin their meetings on Monday 20 September. We hope these meetings will generally last no more than 30 minutes as we have changed our usual procedures to accommodate the fantastic amount of students that have signed up for the Award.

Mr Ward

Computer Science Homework

To support students with their Computer Science homework, PC1 and PC2 are available for students to come and complete their homework on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3.00-3.25pm.

PE Kit for Key Stage 3 students

To help Key Stage 3 students (and their parents) to bring the right PE/Games kit on the right day, please take a look at this list.

Sports practices

The following sports practices will take place until October half-term:

Lunchtime practices

After-school practices

As lunchtime is only 40 minutes long, students do not need to get changed into their PE kit, but they will need a change of footwear (trainers for the Sports Hall and plastic studded boots for the AGP). Students should come straight to practice and decide how to manage their lunch as they will not be able to eat in the Sports Hall or on the AGP. They may wish to eat a packed lunch at breaktime or just before or after practice.

After-school clubs take place between 3.20-4.20pm. Students should change into their kit in the Sports Hall changing rooms.

Everybody is welcome to come along. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the PE teachers.

Snapchat

We recommend parents view this information from NSPCC about Snapchat. Please be aware that it is possible for children to be contacted by people using false identities and, therefore, they should not reply to anyone who they don’t know, even if they claim to share the same age or interests.

This guidance is recommended by the NSPCC.

Online safety

National Online Safety continues to send us regular “Wake Up Wednesday” documents to share with parents and carers. Here are three parent/carer guides that we have received in recent weeks:

World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK, and over 200 school children die by suicide every year. Suicide Prevention Day offers a useful reminder for us, as a school, to consider the resources and support available and to share details of where children and young people can get immediate help and support if they are in crisis:

  • The Crisis Line – York (TEWV): T: 0800 0516 171
  • Samaritans: T: 116 123

Railway Safety

All local schools have again been contacted by Network Rail to express their urgent concerns about trespass on the railway in our local area. Whilst there is no suggestion that Millthorpe students are involved, the regular communication and requests for us to highlight the dangers of trespassing on the railway from Network Rail is concerning. Please take the time to speak to your child(ren) about this.

Form Tutors will be addressing this in form time next week but you might also want to watch the videos below with your child(ren), especially if you are the parent/carer of a new Year 7 student who might not have seen these videos before. Students in Y8-11 have viewed these videos in school previously but you may want to ask them to watch them again. As the secondary age video is quite hard-hitting, we have included the primary school version if you feel this is more age appropriate for your child.

Please enter the email railsafety@learnliveuk.com into the “I am registered” field so that you do not need to “sign up”.

Primary school version: Age 7- 11

https://learnliveuk.com/network-rail-primary-school-safety-talk/

https://learnliveuk.com/i-am-train-safe/

Secondary school version: Age 11-16

https://learnliveuk.com/network-rail-secondary-school-safety-talk/

https://learnliveuk.com/i-am-train-safe/

Players needed for girls’ football team

Bishopthorpe White Rose Football Club is looking for new players to join its established U16 Girls’ Football Team.

Students in Years 10 and 11 are eligible to join this friendly girls’ team; they are particularly on the lookout for a goalkeeper. Training is on a Wednesday evening and matches takes place on a Saturday morning. They also have a fantastic new ground!

You can find out more on their website and if you would like more info, please send them a message either on Twitter @BishWRFC or email: bishopthorpewhiterose@gmail.com

Family Matters courses

The short courses offered by Family Matters York give parents the opportunity to meet other parents and find out that they are not alone; to think about what they are doing with their children; and, in the light of the course material and ideas from other parents, decide if they want to make any changes.

There are a few spaces left on the following courses, starting soon:

  • Handling Anger in the Family
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.

Creative Connections

York Theatre Royal Creative Connections is a free project for young people aged 16-21 not in employment, education or looking for a positive place to be. They’ll invite participants to express creativity in a way that suits them with absolutely no theatre experience necessary.

It will run on a Monday from 2pm-4pm, for ten weeks from 20 September.

Workshops include:

  • Introduction to spoken word
  • Creating environmentally sustainable set designs
  • Tailored workshops by leading carbon neutral theatre company, Pigfoot Theatre Company.

You can find further information here.