WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 February 2022

Improvement works for September

Many of you will be aware that a range of improvement works are due to take place in preparation for September 2022. This is in response to a temporary increase of students in the Millthorpe catchment over the next three years. The works include extensive refurbishment and expansion of the dining facilities and improvements across the site to doors, steps and circulation areas.

It also includes replacement of all the existing student toilets to provide facilities that have the quality and capacity to meet current needs. The new facilities will all comprise secure, full height cubicles and open handwash areas, designed to make using the toilets as pleasant and safe as possible. The specific details of how we will designate particular cubicles in each area are yet to be finalised, but we expect to provide some cubicles that can be used by any student, as well as those designated exclusively for either girls or boys. Cubicles are designed to be completely private: unlike traditional cubicles, there are no gaps at the top or bottom of the doors; and they are robustly constructed to resist wear and damage.

A guide to coping with exam pressure

We have been delighted with how well our Year 11 students have approached their PPEs this week, but are aware that for some, it can be somewhat overwhelming and they have more PPEs to sit next week.

Ofqual have produced this handy guide and we encourage all Year 11 parents to share it with their child. We would ordinarily do this in school, but as students are not in Form at the moment so that they can get to morning exams on time, this is proving tricky.

Parents of students in other year groups may also want to have a look at this if they are worried about their child feeling the pressure of internal assessments.

Online maths platform

A couple of weeks ago in the weekly email, we let you know about an online maths platform called TUTOR, which we think could benefit your child(ren). This software is being used across school and can also provide unlimited home tutoring support. This letter from the developers explains the benefits of TUTOR, how to register and use the parent view.

If you need any further information, please contact Head of Maths, Mr Bruce.

Accessibility Plan

We are currently reviewing Millthorpe’s Accessibility Plan and would be grateful for any feedback you have on how we can improve accessibility to our site for yourselves and your children. Any comments you have on the following areas would be really useful:

  • Curriculum
  • Physical accessibility
  • Signage
  • Audio and visual systems
  • Written information
  • Anything else!

Please feel free to discuss this with your child(ren) and then send your comments or suggestions to Ms Simpson at m.simpson@millthorpe.southbank.academy

We will share our accessibility plan on completion.

Medicines in school

The policy on Managing Medicines in School has been updated and it is therefore timely for us to send out a reminder of your duties as parents/carers in this area:

  • All medicines required in school must be requested on a medical authorisation form available from the school office.
  • All medicines taken in school must be handed in in their original packaging.
  • All medicines kept in school (including epipens and inhalers) must be within expiry dates. School is not responsible for checking that items kept in school are in date.

Embracing Diversity

The Embracing Diversity working group will meet for the first time this year on 17 February at 6.00pm over Google Meet. Ms Ramadhan and Ms Garner Steel will welcome parents/carers, introduce themselves as Diversity Leaders and report back on the Embracing Diversity group’s activities in the last year. The group will then be looking into the Anti Racist Schools Award; any parents interested in working with us as we pursue this award are welcome to join us.

We are also interested in hearing feedback from parents/carers about student experience as non-white British students.

Please register your interest by emailing globaldiversity@millthorpe.southbank.academy; we then will send you the link for the meeting. We look forward to seeing you there!

Year 9 Residential: 18-21 July 2022

A reminder that if you would like to secure a place on the Year 9 residential trip in July, you will need to return the reply slip with your child’s name to the office and pay the initial deposit by Friday 18 February.

If you have any queries, please contact Mr Newman or Miss Forrester.

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.

The following courses, some online and some in person, are starting after half-term:

  • 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.

Family Matters also offer Reconnect, a five-session couple-to-couple mentoring service, focusing on relationship skills to help you strengthen your couple relationship. For details contact Emma at emmamarshall@fmy.org.uk

Make Your Mark 2022 ballot

The Make Your Mark 2022 ballot, conducted by UK Youth Parliament, takes place throughout the month of February and is the largest consultation of young people (11-18s) in the UK. Please do encourage your child(ren) to have their say.

There’s lots of information on the British Youth Council | Make Your Mark website and in this videoVoting takes place online so couldn’t be easier.

STEM work experience opportunity for Y10/11 students

There is a STEM work experience opportunity at the University of York in July for GCSE students. Anyone interested should apply directly – full information can be found here. Please note that the deadline for applications is 30 March 2022.

Kooth – online counselling service decommissioned

Kooth is an online platform providing anonymous access to online chat/text-based counselling, discussion forums and online self-care resources for children and young people aged 11-18 years old. This was commissioned during the pandemic and whilst it has helped many young people, it is felt that it has not reduced the number of referrals to specialist agencies such as CAMHS. Therefore, Kooth will be decommissioned on 31 March 2022.

If your child currently accesses Kooth, please speak to them about this. Kooth workers will agree exit plans and signpost to other agencies before they complete their work with an individual.
Recommended alternatives are:
Childline
Childline is free, confidential and available any time, day or night. Young People can talk to childline by:

YoungMinds Textline
Text YM to 85258.

Provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis. All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors. Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

#WakeUpWednesday

We have not received a #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety this week so we do not have a handy guide to share with you. However, please could we instead ask you to consider speaking to your child about their mobile phone and social media use? Every week, we support young people who have accessed inappropriate material online, shared something they wished they hadn’t or fallen out with peers (normally on group chats). Please further consider checking your child’s devices to satisfy yourself that they are being used appropriately.