The destination for the Millthorpe School Ski Trip 2019 was Poronin, a lovely little place in the middle of the stunning Tatra Mountains in Southern Poland.
After 2.5 hours flight we arrived in Krakow and officially started our first day of the trip.
Much loved licensed city guide Gregory showed us the main attractions of this beautiful city. We visited Wawel Hill, looked in the Dragon Eye and learned about the legend of King Krak. We also went to St Mary’s Church and enjoyed time on the main square.
From Krakow we went on the bus to our destination point – Poronin. We stayed in the charming three star Limba Grand and Resort hotel, which was located about 20 minutes away from the ski resort.
Bialka Tatrzanska Ski resort was a perfect place for beginner skiers with almost 20km of slopes for intermediate level too. Students were split into five groups: One intermediate group, three beginners and one snowboarding group. They were learning and practising their skiing for four hours a day: two hours of skiing in the morning and two hours in the afternoon with a break for a lunch in a local café.
After the fourth day of skiing our students had a chance to take part in a ski competition on a professional slalom course. The fastest and the most improved students received medals and trophies.
Every night after skiing, students spent their time trying new activities.
On the first night we met a group of Polish highlanders who told us stories about the region, played traditional instruments and taught us a folk dance. We also got to try a traditional Polish cheese and sausages.
We also got the chance to rest our tired muscles and enjoy an aqua aerobics session in the hotel’s swimming pool, which was followed by a glow party!
We also went to the geothermal pools centre where we were swimming outside with the air temperature of -5 degrees. That was a fabulous experience.
On the last day we visited Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland. It is a popular destination for mountaineering, skiing and tourism and they also have their own language and traditions. We went on top of Gubalowka Hill and saw Wielka Krokiew, an amazing ski jumping hill where the annual World Cup Ski Jumping Competition takes place.
My reflection of the trip is one of great pride to see how many students looked out for each other. It was wonderful to see expressions of joy each day as new skills and achievements were accomplished. The weather was perfect, lots of snow and sunshine every day, no one suffered any injuries and everybody had lots of fun. As it was the first ski trip I had the privilege to organise, I was very lucky to be accompanied by four of the most caring members of staff. I am very grateful to Miss Parr, Miss Watts, Mr Baybutt and Mr Sloan without whom this trip wouldn’t have been as successful as it was.
I am really proud and extremely happy that I had a chance to take some of the Millthorpe students not only for a skiing trip, but also to show them a little beauty of my homeland. I am looking forward for next year’s adventures.
Ski Trip Leader
Over £1.25million of funding has been agreed for a new block of four classrooms and three state-of-the-art science rooms at Millthorpe School. They will replace a number of ‘temporary’ classrooms on the site, some dating back more than 50 years, which are in a poor state of repair.
“These new rooms will transform our students’ learning environment for many years to come,” said Head of School Gemma Greenhalgh.
“The current rooms are cold and uncomfortable and very much at the end of their useful life. Studying in bright, warm modern rooms will definitely be a more pleasant and productive experience. They are carbon neutral, generating all the power they need from solar panels, so they are better for the environment too.”
The funding comes from a pot of money provided by central government that allows academy schools to bid for help with carrying out much-needed improvements to their buildings.
“It’s fantastic that we have been able to secure this investment in such difficult financial times,” commented Executive Head Trevor Burton.
“Our status as an academy has allowed us to access over £4million of urgently-needed funding for our buildings in the last 3 years and I’m delighted that children in this area will continue to enjoy the benefit of these improvements long into the future.”
WORLD BOOK DAY 2019
World Book Day is always a wonderful opportunity to celebrate books and promote the importance of reading. Once again this year, some staff dressed up in full costume. It was hard to recognise members of the English Department as many of them changed their hair colour and embraced a wide range of colourful and convincing characters. In the library, students were confronted with a very angry and insulting Miss Trunchbull from Roald Dahl’s Matilda.
Students were able to come into school with an item of clothing or accessory relating to their favourite book or book character, for which they received a prize. In library lessons leading up to World Book Day we had fun making different Roald Dahl characters and accessories to bring in on the day.
In the library at lunch time, we had a guess the book character competition, featuring members of staff and Student Librarians who were wandering around the library dressed up.
At twelve o’clock on the day, the bell rang and we all indulged in DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read). The majority of classes and staff stopped what they were doing, got out their books, and had a quiet twenty-minute read. The school fell quiet and students left classrooms very calm and relaxed.
The importance of reading cannot be stressed enough. For many young people, reading is perhaps not their first choice of leisure activity, however, when we find time in school to read, students find it pleasant and beneficial. As well as reading itself being pleasurable, when you are able to select the right book, research shows that students who read for pleasure have improved outcomes across the curriculum. Reading does not just prepare students for the demands of subjects such as English and History, where there is a lot of reading and reading stamina is involved, it also helps with all subjects, including maths and science. Reading helps young people to absorb and understand new information and concepts and it builds a self-sufficient approach to learning. It can also assist students to understand the logical progression of ideas and it allows students to see how a whole narrative, argument or concept is formed and held together.
Our student artists have their work on show at the city’s John Lewis store in our second exhibition at the retail giant. The artwork was produced by Year 11 students in their mock exams, in preparation for the real thing this year. The students were given the broad theme of Architectural Structures, and many of them opted to find inspiration from historic York. The artwork is upstairs in the café on the rear wall – please do pop in to have a look if you have the chance!
Year 11 student, Saffron Wigmore, has been awarded the Services as a Young Volunteer Award at the Lord Mayor of York Shine Awards 2019. This is a truly amazing achievement as she also won the award in 2016. Saffron volunteers for Mind and The Island, working with young people aged 7-14 engaging in activities which aim to build confidence. Saffron has previously been supported by The Island herself and this encouraged her to apply in order to pay back for what she had been given. Saffron said the volunteering helps her to build her own confidence, as well as helping others, and is also great for her CV. When she has finished her GCSEs, Saffron is hoping to go on to York College to study Engineering with an aspiration to join the Navy.
In January, the whole school came off timetable for the day to take part in one of our regular Extended Learning Days (ELDs).
We organise ELDs throughout the academic year to enrich our students’ experiences and each day is given over to learning with a single theme. At this month’s ELD our students focused on crime and justice, with each year group taking on different activities.
Year 7 students had a Forensic Day taking on the role of Investigating Officers at a Crime Scene. To begin with they had to analyse witness and suspect statements. They were then taken to the scene of the crime where they had to identify what was and wasn’t evidence and make a sketch of the scene.
Students also had the opportunity to do fingerprint, footwear and fibre comparisons on all suspects as well as learning how to recover fingerprints. They also analysed and compared DNA reports linking blood from the victim to the weapon.
The Year 7s then had to analyse all of the information they had been given to work out who had committed the crime, create an evidence board and present this evidence in court at the end of the day.
Students in Year 8 looked at how the law and punishment of crime has changed over the past 100 years. They followed a young person through the Youth Justice System looking at what happens when a young person commits a crime and assessed the consequences of the offence on the victim and the offender. They also looked at the Crown Prosecution Service’s role in bringing a crime to court.
They then went on to look at a specific case and decided whether there was enough evidence to take it to court. Students were given the opportunity to be a judge, working through an interactive case looking at the aggravating and mitigating circumstances that are considered when sentencing. They were asked to decide a sentence for a particular crime and found out whether they were correct. Finally, all students took part in a role play set in a Magistrates Court to show how court proceedings would occur.
Year 9 addressed how laws were made. They began by identifying whether some of our more extreme laws were true or false and discussed why these laws were established in the first place, or where the myth had come from. They then worked through debating a new law that they had decided upon in their lesson, looked at the stages the bill went through in Parliament and saw short clips of bills being debated. They also looked at how some of our MPs behave when in the debating chamber and how the voting process in the House of Commons works.
Students also spent time with PC Sarah-Jayne Elliot who explained the arrest procedure to them, why suspects are read their rights and what these mean and what happens when you get to the police station. James Alderson who is a serving firefighter also came in to talk to the students about the dangers and consequences of arson and hoax calls. In the afternoon session, students learnt the difference between a barrister and a solicitor and then took part in a Crown Court mock trial focusing on the consequences of sharing prescribed medicine with others.
The Year 10 students took part in a careers event, where they had the opportunity to consider their strengths and areas for development and as well as the different careers and pathways on offer. Students wrote their own CVs and completed an in-depth questionnaire about themselves to identify the careers that were most suitable. Students said how useful it was because they had no idea of the thousands of different job roles and careers that exist. A student might think they are interested in construction or engineering but has no idea of the thousands of possibilities within that field.
The day was kicked off by a speaker, Stuart Myers, who spoke about his life experience. Stuart, 37, was born without arms. He talked about the journey he has experienced in both his personal life and professional career. He explained how he has defied the odds and progressed from being an office trainee to a local government manager, as well as having other roles, including a charity trustee, school governor and judicial office holder.
The students were inspired by his talk and he invited questions from the Year 10 audience, who were really challenged to think about their own strengths and how they deal with obstacles in their own lives.
As many of you will know, we have spoken to all students who cycle to school this week to deliver important messages about road safety. This is always important but we have been particularly concerned recently by a number of reports from members of the public regarding dangerous behaviour of Millthorpe students when riding to and from school. Below is a link to the letter that was handed to students who cycle to school.
It may be helpful to clarify some of the points raised in the letter: firstly, riding two abreast is sometimes advised for safety reasons; however, in the incident which was reported to us, students were clearly riding alongside one another in order to continue their conversations rather than for safety. Riding three or more abreast is not legal under the Highway Code. Similarly, whilst riding in bus lanes may be allowed where indicated by signage, our concerns relate to groups of cyclists making it difficult for buses to pass safely and not paying due attention to their impact on buses and other road users.
Spring Concert Tuesday 19 February at 7pm
Please come along to see amazing performances by the Jazz Band, Junior Band, Glee Club, Ukulele Club, Flute Choir, String Group and Rock Band as well as soloists and dancers. The cream of Millthorpe’s musical talent packed into one unforgettable evening. Tickets £3 adults, £2 children/concessions, available on the door.
Women’s FA Cup Final Tickets Saturday 4 May
There are still 5 tickets left for what will no doubt be a truly memorable experience, priced at just £30 per person. See the attached letter for more information.
Year 10 Work Experience
Please remember that the deadline for completed paperwork is next Friday 22 February.
Mental Health Awareness Day Update
The final total of money raised was an incredible £1024.88. A big thank you to everyone who contributed.
A family-friendly forest school based at Millthorpe School in York has bagged two awards at this year’s Little Viking Awards.
Wild Things Family Forest School walked away with awards for Best Active Class and Best Place for Hot Chocolate.
Wild Things runs regular sessions for children aged between 18 months and four years and their parent/carer, within a private wooded area in the grounds of Millthorpe School. During the sessions there are lots of activities to stimulate independent play and allow children’s natural curiosity to develop, for example, binoculars, magnifying glasses, mud kitchen, mud painting, and den building. At the end of each session everyone gets a hot chocolate with marshmallows toasted on an open fire – weather permitting!
Staff and students at Millthorpe School have worked closely with Wild Things owner, Emma Hills, over the last year. Students studying Child Development have undertaken work placements and child studies for their final coursework assessments and the Millthorpe team has also enabled Wild Things to develop the wooded area to suit their requirements, providing the best possible setting in which to deliver their forest school sessions.
Emma said “I’m thrilled with the awards! I want to thank everyone at Millthorpe for giving me the opportunity to use the outdoor space at the school. I love it in the wooded area with the pond and allotment space, as do the children and the parents who come along to Wild Things. I really appreciate the freedom they’ve given me to develop the area into a great space for children to play and learn.”
The Forest School takes place on the school grounds by the pond at Millthorpe every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Further information can be found at