Staff at Millthorpe School are unleashing their creative sides as they take part in an international project to bring more creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into their students’ education.


Millthorpe is one of ten partners from five countries participating in the DICE (Developing Innovation and Creativity in Education) Project, an international project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union which aims to foster innovation and creativity in education. The ten partners, based in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Bulgaria, have received a joint grant of €284,000.


Two members of staff from Millthorpe School went to Spain earlier this year where they learnt about the Creative Platform, a teaching style which encourages students to let go of traditional patterns of thinking so that their creativity is not limited. The teachers were also introduced to LEGO BuildToExpress, a ground-breaking teaching technique which encourages students to build models using LEGO Serious Play, to demonstrate their understanding of various curriculum areas.


Another Millthorpe teacher spent time in a Danish school and at a Danish university to look at ways to implement creativity into lessons and how Danish teachers teach.


The use of LEGO BuildToExpress in Danish schools is hugely popular and has been shown to create more equality in the classroom as each student plays an active role, not just those who are confident to speak up. The use of this teaching methodology has also been shown to really help with children’s education, particularly those with autism, selective mutism or other special educational needs. Having seen the success of the teaching method, the Millthorpe team has purchased a number of LEGO Serious Play sets and using the new skills and teaching techniques acquired through the DICE project, they have already begun to use the tools to encourage students to think and learn in a different way in a number of subjects including Maths, Computer Science and RE.


Millthorpe’s Deputy Headteacher, Tim Gillbanks, is DICE coordinator for the school. He said “As the only UK secondary school involved in DICE, it’s wonderful to be part of such an exciting project.  The new style lessons we have delivered so far using the LEGO Serious Play tools, have encouraged students to think differently, use problem-solving techniques and also more importantly, to realise that it’s OK to try things, take a risk and sometime get things wrong. Students have been really engaged and excited to learn in a new, creative way.


“To get the most from DICE, we are getting as many staff as possible involved so that we can all learn together and bring new techniques and innovation in to the classroom for the benefit of the students. We’ve gained so much from the experience so far and we’re really looking forward to welcoming our DICE partners to the UK later this year.”


Later this year, all the DICE partners will come to the UK when they will spend time at Millthorpe School and with the other British partner, MBM Training & Development, a teacher training agency based in Liverpool. There will then be further visits to Bulgaria and Portugal to complete the programme.

Working together to save babies’ lives

Thirteen students from Millthorpe recently joined together with five students from York High School to learn crucial lifesaving skills specifically for use on babies.

The ‘How to save a Baby’s Life’ workshop, which was provided by the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS), came about after Child Development staff in the two schools discussed ways in which we could work together. The team at York High had already invited the RLSS to come in to their school so asked if we would like to bring our cohort along too.

As part of the Child Development course, students study the subject of safety, using their knowledge in both their coursework and the final exam, so hands-on experience of this nature is incredibly valuable.

Millthorpe’s Head of Child Development, Ruth Marley said “The workshop covered numerous scenarios, including what to do if a baby stops breathing or chokes. Each student got hands-on experience of how to deal with these situations using a ‘resuscitation baby’ and throughout the session they had to practice techniques and answer questions about what they were doing.

“It was a really practical course, which gave the students skills which really could save a baby’s life. We’re looking forward to working more with our new friends at York High in the future!”

The students all received a certificate to use as evidence that they had taken part in the worksho

Child Development students go to Forest School

The inquisitive nature of some of our Child Development students has led to a mutually beneficial partnership for Millthorpe School, Wild Things Family Forest School and local children and parents.

A group of Year 11 students who are all studying towards their qualification in Child Development, noticed that a forest school session was regularly taking place on the school site with young children from the local area including many from Scarcroft Green Nursery. Determined to get involved they begged Mrs Marley, Head of Child Development to find a way for them to take part.

The Wild Things Family Forest School, run by qualified Forest School Leader Emma Hill, gets children aged 18 months – four years and their parents outdoors to explore, develop their imagination and be creative. For Mrs Marley and the students, Wild Things presented an ideal opportunity for some of the Child Development students to undertake a child study for their final coursework. Four students, Charlotte Coates, Lauryn Atkinson, Charlotte Hartley and Emmie Slater, took up this fabulous opportunity and have all had glowing feedback from Emma.

Mrs Marley said “We often place our students with local nurseries to complete their child study, which works really well, but the Forest School presented a fantastic opportunity for some of the group.

“Each student chooses a child to work with and then makes observations on the child in a particular setting, specifically focusing on how play can encourage the development of a child. Throughout the study they must then produce their own activities for the child to take part in, so the Forest School has provided many different opportunities, including using binoculars, magnifying glasses, mud painting and den building.

“Emma has told us she’s loved having the girls, as have the parents and carers and Scarcroft nursery staff. I’m told the girls were extremely helpful, polite, well-mannered and very eager to get stuck in! I’m really proud of the students; they’ve all done incredibly well in their child study coursework. Three of them have achieved a Level 2 distinction*, the highest mark available (and equivalent to an A* at GCSE) and the other achieved a Level 2 Merit, equivalent to a B grade – fantastic results!”

The students who took part got a great understanding of play activities and how by ‘thinking outside the box’ or keeping things simple, this can be very effective in developing a child. They also learnt a great deal about safety when working with children as a campfire was lit after each session and the children could pour themselves a hot chocolate and toast marshmallows on the fire.

The Year 10 Child Development group are currently planning some fundraising ideas to supply the Forest School with some more resources. Mr Bull, Head of DT is also hoping to involve his construction class in making certain items such as a mud kitchen.

The Forest School takes place on the school grounds by the pond at Millthorpe every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Further information can be found here

Millthorpe School raises the rainbow

Millthorpe School raises the rainbow
Millthorpe School is just one of many schools and businesses supporting York Pride 2018 – a celebration of equality between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual people.
The school community will ‘Raise the Rainbow’ in support of the York Pride event on Friday 8 June, by dressing the outside and inside of the school building in rainbow bunting and rainbow flags. Staff and students are invited to wear a rainbow piece of clothing, accessory or sticker on the day and students will also have the opportunity to collect a rainbow sticker and rainbow face and hand stamp, to show their support for equality in York.
On Saturday 9 June, Millthorpe School will take part in the York Pride Parade, through the city to the Knavesmire. A number of pupils and their friends and families will join the parade.
Sarah Richards, RE Teacher said “The ‘Raise your Rainbow’ day and the importance of Pride Month has already been explained to students in assemblies and in the week leading up to the Pride march, form tutors will show students a short video explaining York Pride.
“Millthorpe will be one of a number of schools taking part in the York Pride Parade and we would warmly welcome any students and their families who would like to come and join us. The atmosphere throughout the parade is fantastic and the event is always huge fun!”
Head of School Gemma Greenhalgh adds “Our support for the event is an endorsement of our school values, which recognise the importance of: respect for others; seeking equal opportunities for all; being tolerant of different views and cultures; valuing difference; and being open-minded about other ways of being and living.
“As a school we are very pleased to be involved with York Pride once again on what promises to be an exciting and fun-filled day. Beyond the fun element, we recognise that there is a really important message underpinning the event and we’re one hundred per cent committed to continuing to reinforce our values to our school community every day, not just on this one day in June.”

Sports Facilities: Final Plan

The plans for the new sports facilities on the Millthorpe site have now been finalised and submitted as a planning application. You can see a copy of the plan by following the link below.

Final Plan


Trip to the Battlefields 2018

The Mount- Millthorpe Battlefields trip set off on Friday 16 March for a whistle-stop tour of the trenches of the Western Front.

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Sports facilities update: March 2018

Changes have been made to plans for new all-weather sports facilities at Millthorpe School, which are proposed to help provide additional sporting facilities and car parking for Scarcroft Primary School and which are funded by City of York Council.

Following an extensive public consultation with nearby residents, ward councillors, parents of pupils at both schools and children and students themselves, we have modified the plans which will be sent shortly to City of York Council as part of a pre-application planning process.

We are proposing to keep the artificial grass surface, which will be lit and available to hire for community use outside school hours, but we are not proposing to convert the current tennis courts at the front of the school into a car park. Consequently there will be no new tennis/netball courts on the grassed area in front of the main house.

Plans for a smaller artificial grass surface at the front of the school have changed. It is now smaller and repositioned slightly further away from the gable end of the flats on Nunthorpe Avenue. This proposed facility will primarily be for use by Scarcroft children during the school day. It will not be floodlit.

The pre-application process, which will take approximately six to eight weeks, means there will be constructive dialogue with local authority planners and could mean further revisions to plans before a formal planning application is submitted. At that time, residents and other interested parties can comment through the council website and details will be posted on the websites of both Millthorpe and Scarcroft schools.

We remain hopeful that planning formalities will be completed in time for the new facilities to be developed during the summer holidays and be ready for use towards the beginning of the new academic year.

Both Millthorpe School and Scarcroft Primary School governors want to thank everyone who has taken part in the consultation process.

New sports facilities at Millthorpe


State-of-the-art outdoor sports facilities, including an artificial grass, all-weather, floodlit pitch and new netball/tennis courts, are planned for Millthorpe School.

City of York Council has agreed to fund these facilities, which will include additional car parking on the Millthorpe site. This is to compensate for an expansion of Scarcroft Primary School which has resulted in losing some of its car park and currently has limited outdoor space for its children.

Both schools will use the new facilities, which will add to the provision for all York schools’ sports activities and will be available for community use outside school hours.

Governors at Millthorpe and Scarcroft, working with PE leaders at both schools and a specialist consultant, have agreed a plan which is detailed on the schools’ websites. A consultation period, ending 5 February, has now begun for parents, pupils and residents to comment on the plans, before a planning application is submitted.

A drop in event is to be held at both schools, at either venue, any time between 3pm-7pm on Friday 26 January.

Providing planning permission is granted, both schools would like works to take place during the summer holidays this year so that the new facilities should be available for use from the start of the new school year, in September 2018.

“There has never been a better time to encourage an active lifestyle and to instil a love of sport into the lives of our children and young people,” said Trevor Burton, headteacher at Millthorpe.

Scarcroft headteacher Anna Cornhill is also excited at the new facilities. “It will mean for the first time we can host ‘home’ games on a proper playing surface and our can have PE or games lessons just a very short walk away. We can’t wait.”

Demand for extra places at Scarcroft means the school is being expanded to accommodate an additional 15 pupils per year.

Homelessness Appeal

Students and their families at Millthorpe have been collecting food, toiletries and warm clothing to help homeless people this Christmas. As you can see the, response has been incredible! There is a giant pile of tins, jars, packets, clothing and woolly hats under the tree, which student volunteers have sorted and boxed ready to pass on to local charities working with homeless people. In total, we have collected more than 500 items of food, over 200 toiletries and over 250 items of clothing, as well as £37 in cash donations.  In addition, this Friday staff and students have been wearing Christmas jumpers and have so far collected nearly £300 in donations to Save the Children.

Lydia triumphs at World Transplant Games

Lydia of Year 11 has triumphed in the recent World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain. Just days after the Year 11 Prom, she won the 5km cycle time trial in a new personal best of 7 minutes 49 seconds. Lydia was born with a progressive terminal liver disease called Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (PFIC) and in 2007 at the age of six underwent a life-saving and life-enhancing transplant.

She has not let this hold her back and is a regular competitor at the British Transplant Games where she won the Cycling Time Trial and Cycling Road Race in her age group, coming third overall. Now she is officially the world Time Trial Champion for her age group making us all very proud!

Organ donation

On average three people die every day because there just aren’t enough organs available. Currently, only 50% of the population have talked about organ donation with their family. There are insufficient donors and people die waiting for a life saving transplant. 98% would take an organ if they needed one but only 31% of people are registered as donors. Right now, more than 7,500 people in the UK need an organ transplant. More donors means more lives saved. If you would like to register as an organ donor, see