WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 23 October 2020

Changes to the school day

We have been running with the revised school day for about seven weeks now and on the whole it is working really well. Year groups are successfully separated during break times and the atmosphere in corridors and the canteen is calm and orderly. However, as the weather worsens, the 55-minute lunchtimes are proving increasingly problematic: for most children, it is simply too long, either to be outside when it is cold and dry or to be inside with little to do. Ball games and clubs are not available, so many children become uncomfortable, bored and restless. In a few instances, this can lead to poor behaviour. It also places a large burden on staff supervising lunchtimes and it is hard to accommodate three year groups inside together for an extended time when the weather is wet.

In response, we are planning the following changes that will take effect when we return after half term:
  • Each year group will have a 40 minute lunch break
  • These will be staggered in a similar way to morning break times, during an extended Period 4 that runs form 12.20 to 2.00:
    • Years 8 and 10: lunch from 12.20 to 1.00
    • Year 7: lunch from 1.00 to 1.40
    • Years 9 and 11: lunch from 1.20 to 2.00
  • When not at lunch, students will be in their Period 4 lesson
  • As a consequence, school will finish at the earlier times of: 
    • 3.00 for Years 7, 10 and 11
    • 3.20 for Years 8 and 9
  • Timings of the school day will be the same as other days on B Week Wednesdays whilst these arrangements are in place, with the exception of Year 8 and 9 Registration, which will finish 15 minutes early at 3.05
  • We are also seeking to set up quiet reading rooms for students to use at lunchtimes within their year groups.
We understand that this is quite a significant change, and we have consulted with staff and governors before going ahead. We concluded that the urgency of resolving the current challenges meant that a parental consultation was not appropriate. We will review the arrangements after four weeks and will seek a range of feedback at that time to judge how successful the changes have been. If you have specific concerns about the changes, please contact us.

Millthorpe Remembers 2020

With remembrance services being cancelled and the selling of poppies proving difficult this year, we wanted to ensure that Millthorpe School continues to ensure that the next generation “never forget”.

The amazing poppy display that Mrs Frankland and colleagues organised in 2018 will again be displayed in the main house lobby, and we are asking for students, staff and parents/carers to contribute handmade poppies to add to this display. They can be made of any material and, if you wish, be dedicated to a specific serviceperson who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Full details can be found here.

Lest We Forget

Millthorpe Careers newsletter

The Autumn term editions of the Millthorpe Careers Newsletters are out now. They can be found on the website here – scroll to the bottom of the page to see the links.

The Year 11 edition has plenty of information about next steps for our students, and all currently available dates for virtual open evenings at post-16 providers.

Planning Your Future

The Planning Your Future booklet produced by City of York Council is now available. Parents/carers of Year 11 students should receive a copy with an accompanying letter via e-mail or you can see it on the school website here.

The booklet is an invaluable guide to the options available to Year 11 students once they leave Millthorpe in the summer.

Applications to CAPA College

CAPA College, a performing arts college in Wakefield, is now accepting applications for September 2021 entry. Full details of their application process, including links to their online and paper application forms, can be found on their website here

You can find out more about CAPA in this information pack.

Social media use

Please could we ask parents and carers for their continued support in monitoring their child’s use of social media? We sometimes receive concerns from parents/carers or even the students themselves that the nature of group chats on social media platforms such as Snapchat and WhatsApp are not appropriate.

Students are not allowed to use their mobile phones at all during the school day and if students are seen using their phone, they are confiscated for the remainder of the day. We would be really grateful if you could speak to your child and check that the content of any group chats or conversations over social media are appropriate.

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 16 October 2020

Potential merger of South Bank Multi Academy Trust with South York Multi Academy Trust

The Chair of Trustees and Interim Trust Principal of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust (of which Millthorpe School is part) have written to parents today to announce a potentially significant development.

After careful consideration, the Trustees have decided to formally investigate the possibility of a merger with South York Multi Academy Trust. Initial discussions have shown that both Trusts share similar values, a like-minded commitment to their communities, and a common vision of empowering their schools to deliver the best possible education.

We, and the Trust, will keep you informed of developments ,including details of the consultation and due diligence processes, as the information becomes available.

The full letter can be found here.

Face Coverings – Local Alert Level High

Students across all year groups have been consistently excellent at remembering to wear face coverings in communal areas since we returned, which leaves the school really well placed now that, from Saturday, York is moving into the High level (Tier 2) of local COVID alert, for which the government guidance is as follows:

“In areas where local lockdowns or restrictions are in place, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils (in years 7 and above) in areas outside classrooms when moving around communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain such as corridors.”
Thank you for continuing to support this measure to protect the safety of everyone in school.

Post-16 provider open evenings

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, most further education providers will be hosting virtual open evenings this year. The date and links for The Mount, All Saints and Bootham School events are below and we will publish others as they become available.

If you are not sure whether you want to attend a College or a Sixth Form, register and attend the virtual events so that you can compare different institutions.

Student Leaders

We are really excited to open applications for a new role at Millthorpe for Year 10s – Student Leaders.

We are looking for a small group of Year 10s who we can help develop as leaders at Millthorpe. This role will allow them to take on extra responsibility, to be role models to pupils and ambassadors for the school. With this being a new role, those appointed will have an active role in shaping what it means to be a Student Leader at Millthorpe.
Any Year 10 student who would like to find out more please come along to A9 during lunchtime on Tuesday 20 October.
Deadline for applications: Friday 6 November
Mr Black & Mr Sloan

Aprons for Food Technology

Could all Food Technology students please bring a clean apron when they have a practical lesson. We are currently providing most students with aprons, which then have to be washed between each class so that students in different bubbles can wear them.

If pupils are in receipt of free school meals, please ask them to speak to their food teacher and they will be provided with an apron to use and take home.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 9 October 2020

Early closure reminder

On Wednesday 14 October school will finish at:

  • 2.30pm for Years 7, 10 and 11
  • 2.50pm for Years 8 and 9

Uniform focus

The standard of uniform since we returned in September has been excellent. From next week, we will be focusing on three particular aspects of uniform to make sure students are correctly and appropriately dressed each day: tie length, skirt length and tucking in shirts. Please follow the link to see the presentation that was shared with students this week.

AGP footwear

The all-weather artificial grass pitch (AGP) is almost complete and will soon be ready for use by the school. We are planning to start using the pitch for outdoor PE (Games) lessons after half-term.

As we advised earlier in the year, only certain types of footwear are suitable for use on an AGP. It’s important that students have the correct footwear so that everyone can take part in Games lessons on this fantastic new facility.

What is the school advice on footwear for the AGP?
Our advice is that students who are buying new outdoor boots for games buy moulded studs. This will allow them to wear them on both grass and the AGP. We will ask students to clean their boots when moving from grass to the AGP to minimise mud transfer.

If your child already has boots with moulded studs, moulded blades, or a mixture of moulded studs and blades, these will be acceptable on the new pitch and they do not need to buy new boots.

What if my child has boots with metal screw-in studs?
We have been advised that screw-in metal studs cause permanent damage to the playing surface, so cannot be used for Games lessons on the AGP.

What about trainers?
Trainers, including ‘astro’ trainers, can lack grip on AGPs and increase the risk of slipping, especially in wet weather. They are also not suitable for winter sports on grass.

Is help available if I need to buy new boots?
If your child(ren) are eligible for free school meals and/or the Pupil Premium and you need help with buying boots, please contact the school. You can also contact us if your child is not FSM/PP but you think you may struggle with buying suitable boots.

Hopefully this helps to clarify the situation. The vast majority of students already have moulded boots that are wearable on both grass and the AGP. We look forward to using this fantastic new sporting provision to further develop sport at Millthorpe.

Excellent learning conduct in Year 11

We have been incredibly impressed with the attitude, effort and learning conduct of all year groups since they have returned to school. We track Year 11 Learning Conduct regularly to ensure that all students are focused and are demonstrating the learning behaviours that our experience shows will help them to achieve or surpass their target grades in their exams.

We have just analysed the Year 11 learning conduct data for the first four weeks and we were delighted to see that 96% of Year 11 students have achieved a learning conduct score average of 3 or above.
Well done to Year 11 for their outstanding start to this vital year. We are really proud of you.

Considerate parking

Parents/carers are reminded of the importance of parking considerately when dropping children off or collecting them from school. In particular, we have been alerted of parents pulling up onto the pavement on Albemarle Road, thereby blocking the way for wheelchair users, as well as other pedestrians.

General Catering Assistant vacancy 

Hutchison Catering are currently looking for a General Catering Assistant to work in the school kitchens. This position is 10 hours per week, term time only. For full details, please click here.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

 

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 2 October 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

Thanks again for everyone’s support this week. The new routines are starting to bed in now and the students are responding really well: washing and sanitising their hands, wearing face coverings between lessons and generally being really sensible about keeping themselves and each other safe. We are continuously reviewing our practices and we are looking in particular at break and lunchtimes as we head towards the winter and colder weather. We will, of course, let you know about any changes.

Families have also been very supportive in following the government rules around self-isolation. Can we remind you that if a member of your household has COVID-19 symptoms, all children need to self-isolate until a negative test is obtained. For example, if one of your children has symptoms, all their siblings need to remain out of school until the test results come back. Of course, if the test is positive, the household will have to remain in self-isolation for the prescribed period.

I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend.

With very best wishes

Miss G Greenhalgh

Blutick accounts

Colleagues in the mathematics department have been made aware that some students are having issues with creating a Blutick account. As a result, they have made the decision to remove all existing Blutick accounts and then re-upload all students’ details manually next week. This will ensure all students are using the correct email address and are assigned to the correct class.

Thank you for your patience with this matter. If you have any questions or concerns please email Mr Bruce.

Key Stage 3 – PE and Games

From Monday 5 October, PE (indoor) and Games (outdoor) lessons will take place for Key Stage 3 students. Please check this document for details of when PE and Games lessons are timetabled.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

 

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 25 September 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

We have had another busy week with students and staff continuing to adapt well to the new regime. The pandemic continues to pose its challenges and we appreciate that the current situation can be difficult and disruptive for many people. Please be assured we are continuing to follow government advice closely, to ensure we are keeping everyone in the school and wider community as safe as possible. Thank you to all parents/carers and students who have followed our advice about obtaining Covid tests for those who are symptomatic and for self-isolating until the results are received.

We know it can be difficult to know what to do in different scenarios, so we are sharing this useful flowchart to help parents take the appropriate steps when their child is unwell.

We were delighted (not to mention slightly terrified!) to carry out our first virtual open evening for prospective parents on Thursday evening. It was our first foray into live webcasting and although it wasn’t without its technical hitches, it was, as always, a moment of great pride to be able to showcase the wonderful community here at Millthorpe School. The students who took part were fantastic ambassadors for the school, so a big thank you to them. Our promotional video and recording from last night’s Q&A session can be found here.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

With very best wishes

Miss G Greenhalgh

Black Lives Matter – Embracing Diversity – Second Call for Students and Parents

Mr Burton is now planning how we can improve the experience of our students who are black or from other minority backgrounds. Please come forward as a parent to help us.

If you are black or from an ethnic minority, join us! We want to recruit as many parents as possible to serve as a reference group, to tell Mr Burton how things are, advise him if our plans for improvement make good sense, and help us find out if we are actually making the improvements intended from the plans. It will involve one meeting every eight weeks or so to monitor what we do. No preparation is needed and no specialist expertise other than your own experience. To take part just email embracingdiversity@millthorpe.southbank.academy with your name and we will be in touch.

Similarly, we want a reference group of students, so again, if your child is black or from an ethnic minority please encourage your child to put themselves forward. Just email the same address with the name of your child. We are also recruiting a reference group of staff to guide us.

Election of Parent Governors

There is currently a vacancy for a parent governor vacancy within Millthorpe School. To read the full letter, please click here and find out more about being a parent governor here.

Free cycle training

Bikeability Level 2 and 3 courses will run during school time in the Autumn Term. Training is provided by City of York Council Road Safety Team. The training is offered free of charge to students in Years 7 and 8 and gives the opportunity to develop on-road cycling skills and all round road awareness. Each course is a single two-hour session. Bicycles can be borrowed from CYC, by prior arrangement, for the training.

An information letter is available here and the consent form should be returned to cycle.training@york.gov.uk as soon as possible.

Further details of the Bikeability Training can be found here or you can contact the Road Safety Team at cycle.training@york.gov.uk

Year 7 Science assessment and revision

Year 7 students will be sitting their first assessment in Science either in the week commencing 30 November or 7 December. In order to support your child with this, revision lessons will be taught in the lead up to this examination and resources will be added to Google Classroom to further help your child to revise at home independently.

In order to further support your child with Science homework and revision, throughout the remainder of Key Stage 3, we have invested in revision guides which can be purchased for £4.00 from ParentPay. If your child is in receipt of Free School Meals the government provides additional funding for study materials, therefore you will not need to order a guide on ParentPay; your child will be provided with one by their class teacher.

If you have any further questions regarding your child’s Science assessment or revision guides, please do not hesitate to get in contact with their science teacher.

Please read Mr Wright’s full letter to Year 7 parents here

Course for Parents who have Children with Additional Needs

Family Matters are running a course via Zoom for parents who have children with additional needs, starting on Thursday 8 October, from 12.45 – 2.45pm, and running for six weeks.

It is an opportunity to meet with other parents facing some of the same challenges and share experiences and ideas, and to work through some material sharing ideas of ways to deal with our children, our families and professionals.

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 about their courses on the Family Matters website

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

 

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 18 September 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

As the first full week back at school comes to a close, I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for making the start of term such a success. Our students have done us proud. They have been inundated with lots of new information, instructions and rules, but have taken everything in their stride. Their behaviour has been excellent, and they have been making every effort to follow the new rules and procedures, in a bid to keep themselves, and each other, as safe as possible.

I would also like to say thank you to you, as parents and carers, for your ongoing support. The vast majority of students have come back to school well-prepared, wearing the correct uniform, ready to carry on with their learning and most importantly ready to enjoy being back at school with their peers. I thank you for helping to make this happen.

The team and I are thrilled to see the school full of life again, and are relishing the opportunity to catch up with the students and hear all about their activities during lockdown and over the summer break.

We will continue to keep you updated with any further developments as the term progresses.

With very best wishes

Miss G Greenhalgh

Thursday 24 September – Training Day and Open Evening

School will be closed to students on Thursday 24 September for a Teacher Training Day.

On the evening of 24 September, we will be hosting our Virtual Open Evening, in place of our traditional event. The event will be all online – full details can be found here.

Positive calls and emails

As we mentioned in last week’s pastoral update, our staff have committed to making at least one positive phone call or email home each day. We have been overwhelmed by the impact that this has had and have been delighted to receive so many compliments in return. In such difficult times, we felt it was important to contact you to let you know how well your children are doing on their return to school, but an unexpected by-product of this has been the morale boost that your glowing replies has given the staff. So, thank you for thanking us!

If you have not yet received a positive call or email, do not worry. We would also be in touch if we had any concerns so you would know about it if there was an issue and we are sure that you will receive a positive call or email soon.

Update for students

In form time over the last couple of days, Form Tutors have delivered the attached Update for students. We wanted to share this with you so that you are aware of what we have said to the students, and ask for your support in making sure that your child is doing what they have been asked.

Many parents have asked us what they can do to help the school during these challenging times, and this is certainly something that would help. The less time we need to spend addressing items such as uniform the better for everyone.

This update also includes the plan for if students lose their year group badges and vital reminders about social distancing both inside and outside school, so parents are politely asked to have a read and discuss it with their child.

Planners

Please could we remind parents to check and sign their child’s planner every week.

Election of Parent Governors

There is currently a vacancy for a parent governor vacancy within Millthorpe School. To read the full letter, please click here and find out more about being a parent governor here.

Black Lives Matter – Embracing Diversity – Students and Parents

Mr Burton is now planning how we can improve the experience of our students who are black or from other minority backgrounds. It has been clear from initial conversations that we need to consider the different experiences of all our children and families who are black or from ethnic minorities, although it was the Black Lives Matter movement which inspired our reflection.

Over this year we want to examine the experience of our black or ethnic minority students and check that our curriculum, behaviour systems and ethos serve them as well as our white students. Mr Burton is asking for your help as a parent. If you are black or from an ethnic minority, please consider putting yourself forward. We want to recruit as many parents as possible to serve as a reference group, to tell Mr Burton how things are, advise him if our plans for improvement make good sense, and help us find out if we are actually making the improvements intended from the plans.

To take part email embracingdiversity@millthorpe.southbank.academy saying you would like to be in the parent group with a name and we will be in touch. Similarly, we want a reference group of students, so again, if your child is black or from an ethnic minority please encourage your child to put themselves forward. Just email the same address with the name of your child. We are also recruiting a reference group of staff to guide us.

Update from City of York Council

City of York Council have asked us to share the following updates as we come to the end of the second week of the new term.

The council, multi-academy trusts, schools and colleagues in Public Health are continuing to work together to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection and it is really pleasing that the proportion of pupils who are back at school in York is higher than the national average.

As many people as possible are being encouraged to walk and cycle to school to reduce traffic congestion and crowds around schools. Pupils over the age of 11 travelling on buses must wear face coverings; these are required on public transport and also on buses operated for schools only.

A face mask is essential equipment for young people of secondary school age. They must be used on school and public transport, in shops and in other public buildings. All secondary schools have adopted the strong recommendation from the council’s Director of Public Health that pupils should wear face coverings in communal areas of schools – essentially this means anywhere inside school buildings except classrooms and at any time other than when eating.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 September 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

I’d like to start by expressing my deepest gratitude to you and our students. Despite months of planning and risk assessments, we were never exactly sure how the return to school this week would be. Changes to the start and end of the school day, different break and lunch times, one way systems, year groups in different designated areas, wearing face masks indoors in communal areas, provision of personalised resources, near constant hand washing and sanitising…the list of changes for the students and staff was endless. How would students respond? How would they feel after so long, with a range of different experiences whilst away from school, coming back to so many different routines and structures? 

All the research suggests that many children have experienced considerable trauma and loss and all of them will have faced challenges. You will also be aware of reports in the media about parents being unwilling to allow their children to return to school and the consequent risk of poor attendance and a growing gap between different students’ learning. To say that we were feeling a little anxious would be an understatement. 

However all the concerns were alleviated as soon as our first set of students began to return on Wednesday. We welcomed every single one of our expected students to school in Year 7. How wonderful it was to see them arrive at Millthorpe early on Wednesday morning. Despite not having the opportunity to spend their induction day in school getting familiar with our complex site, meeting each other and their form tutors, they arrived punctually, were pristinely dressed and showed amazing resilience. They met their tutors and had their very first secondary school lessons before leaving us smiling, ready to return with all the students the next day. So, thank you to our new Year 7 parents for ensuring that the students all arrived in a timely manner and well equipped and to our new students for a wonderful start back to school. 

Then there was Thursday to await; 1058 children hopefully returning to school and much larger numbers on site. I think that it is fair to say that there was some trepidation amongst the Senior Leadership Team and the staff as we hoped that all the planning would prove successful. It was. We have tweaked some systems and made some small changes and we are really pleased with how the plans have worked so far. 

But I’m most grateful that we have been able to welcome back our students in the most positive manner that we could have imagined. They have been warm, friendly, well-behaved and positive; they have risen to our expectations and have taken all of the changes in their stride and I feel incredibly proud of them all. We are truly thankful that the whole community has responded exceptionally well to navigating the complicated one-way system, remaining in their designated areas and in their year groups and being polite and courteous to each other and the staff. We’re particularly grateful for supporting your children by making sure we can all look after one another by all wearing our face coverings in the corridors to try to minimise any risk of transmission. We have only had to supply a handful of spares to students who have forgotten theirs over the three days, so thank you again – this has really made a huge difference. 

Lessons have gone really well and student behaviour has been impeccable; we haven’t had one incident where a child has needed a formal sanction for behaviour all week! In the current circumstances, this is even more extraordinary and just shows what a wonderful community we have here at Millthorpe! Attendance for the whole school was over 98% which means that we have been able to welcome back the vast majority of our students and enable them to learn together again. 

On Thursday and Friday I have also had the privilege of visiting all Year 11 forms to reassure them not to worry unduly about their exams and to focus for now on adjusting to being back in school and making a positive start to the new year. I also spent two lunchtimes with them all on the field outside. It was a real pleasure to speak with them all, to share their experiences, worries and hopes, and to see them smiling and enjoying being back in school. So many of them have really grown up and are determined to focus on ensuring that they do the best that they can in school in their final year at Millthorpe and I am confident that they will achieve great success in their GCSEs. 

So, once again, a huge “thank you” to all of our students for making this difficult transition back to school run as smoothly as possible and making all of my colleagues smile again because we can do what we love: teach and support our young people. 

And finally “thank you” to all of our parents for being supportive and ensuring that the children have returned with the right equipment, uniform and above all attitude, so they are ready to learn and to enjoy being back in the school community. 

We are really looking forward to our first full week of school next week. 

With very best wishes

Miss Greenhalgh

 

Pastoral Structure – update for parents and carers

Following the departure last year of Mr Butterworth, there are a number of changes to the pastoral team. Mr Baybutt will now be leading the team and Ms Tapscott will become Director of Achievement for Roman House.

Full details can be found in our Pastoral Update, which outlines what we have committed to, what our expectations are, the changes to our pastoral systems and team structure, and the updated behaviour policy. We kindly ask that you read this document so that you are clear on the pastoral systems and expectations as they stand from September 2020.

Resource Packs

All students have been provided with a pack of essential equipment to avoid sharing resources. We are asking parents, if possible, to make a contribution of £2.50 towards the cost, which you will be able to pay via ParentPay from next week. Parents of students eligible for Pupil Premium and/or Free School Meals are not expected to make a payment.

Early closure – Wednesday 16 September

A reminder that staff professional development takes place every other Wednesday afternoon, on a B week. School will close early next Wednesday, 16 September. Full details about timings will be sent out early next week.

Social Gatherings

We have been contacted by North Yorkshire Police and asked to share the following information with you. We would be grateful if you could explain this to your child(ren).

As per the latest government guidelines, group gatherings of more than six people will be prohibited as of Monday 14 September. This includes the journey to and from school and all socialising outside of school such as evenings and weekends. Inspector Lee Pointon advises that groups of more than six people will be stopped by the police and dispersed.

Cycle Safety

It is great to see so many of our students cycling to school but please can you take the time to discuss safe cycling with your child.

English Literature set texts

Year 10 and 11 parents/carers

As part of their Literature GCSE, Year 10 will be studying a play called ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley. If you would like your child to have their own copy of the play, rather than borrowing a school one, they are available to buy for £6.50. Year 11 will be studying the Shakespeare play ‘Macbeth’ and again, copies will be available to buy, priced at £5.00.

Having their own copy will enable students to make notes in their book and underline key quotations, which will help them when they revise. Students eligible for Pupil Premium will be given a free copy of the play.

You will be able to purchase the set texts on ParentPay from Tuesday 15 September. Unfortunately, we are not able to take cash payments at this time.

Mrs Arnold, English Department

Fantasy Football

Compete against staff and students in the inaugural ‘Millthorpe Masters’ fantasy football mini-league.

To enter simply click here and you’ll be added automatically after you’ve entered the game.

League Code: 9b88xl

Make sure you’ve created your team and entered before Saturday morning to be ready to go for the start of the 2020/21 Fantasy Premier League season. Looking forward to playing against you this season!

Mr Sloan

Family Matters courses

There are still spaces available on the following courses starting next week, all of which are delivered via Zoom:

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

You can find more information about their courses on the Family Matters website.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 4 September 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

I hope that you have all had a good summer break and that students are feeling refreshed and ready to learn again.

My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to seeing our students back at school again next week. We look forward to spending quality time as a community, re-establishing relationships, meeting new students and learning with students in school rather than remotely. 

I know that students, staff and parents will have very mixed feelings about the return to school after such a long time at home. There may be feelings of excitement, nervousness, enthusiasm and anxiety. I want to reassure you all today that we have done a lot of work to make school and learning as safe as possible for everyone. 

You can see some of the systems that we have set up in school on this video and some of our rationale shared before the summer here

On Wednesday 9 September, we will welcome Year 7 to school. When they arrive they should go straight to the tarmac area by the gym at the rear of the school. They may enter through any entrance and colleagues will be there to help them and direct them to their designated area.

On Thursday 10 September, Years 7, 10 and 11 should arrive for 8.45am and go to their form rooms. 

You can find details of all form groups and rooms here. Please check this as there may be changes from last year.

If students arrive early they should go to their designated year group bases only. They must not congregate with students from other year groups. 

On Thursday, students in Years 8 and 9 should arrive at school for 9.05am and go to their form rooms. If they arrive early, they should go to their designated area. 

On Thursday, all students will have an extended form tutor period for the morning in order to support their transition back to school and to understand how school will function and how we will keep the community safe. 

On Friday, and subsequent days, Years 7, 10 and 11 will arrive for 8.45am and go to their form. Years 8 and 9 should arrive for 9.05am and go immediately to their period 1 lesson. 

Years 7, 10 and 11 will finish school at 3.10pm and Years 8 and 9 will finish at 3.30pm. 

All details of designated areas, timings of the school day and other important information can be found here.

Equipment
All students will be provided with an equipment pack that contains a mini-whiteboard, a mini-whiteboard eraser and pen and a pair of scissors. Students will need to be responsible for these packs and replenish anything that they lose or damage. Students must not share equipment. Students should also bring their regular stationery including: black pens, green pen, pencils etc.

The changing rooms are not being used for PE for the first few weeks. Therefore students need to bring just their trainers for light exercise. 

Detentions have been set for different nights for different year groups. You can find details of how detentions will work here.
 
Face coverings
Earlier in the week I wrote to parents and carers about the need for students to wear face coverings in communal areas indoors except for classrooms. You can find the information from City of York Council and Public Health here and Millthorpe’s response here.

All students need to bring their own mask to school and must not share masks. We will teach students about the safe use of masks when they return. 

They must also bring a sealable plastic bag to school to put their mask in when they are not wearing one. Disposable masks should not be worn more than once and, therefore, are not recommended. 

A final message 
When we invited Year 10 students back to school in June, many of them were feeling worried about their return. However, within one day, students realised that although school may be different, our community can still thrive and be the successful, warm and welcoming place that makes us so unique. I am confident that we can all work together as students, parents and staff to keep the Millthorpe community a safe and happy place for us all. 

With very best wishes

Miss Greenhalgh

 

Free school meals

If you have applied for or are now in receipt of Universal Credit, your child/children may be eligible for free school meals. We would advise you to apply even if your child normally has packed lunches, as you may also be entitled to uniform vouchers, revision guides and funding for compulsory school visits.

Download the application form here.

Full information about eligibility criteria and how to apply for free school meals can be found on the gov.uk website here.

Back-to-school newsletter for parents

A further newsletter for parents and carers has been produced by York Education, alongside a range of information on the City of York website in the run-up to the full re-opening of schools next week. You can see the newsletter here and also access a whole host of information and support on the Let’s Be York pages of the Council’s website.

First Bus – back to school information

First Bus has published details on their ‘School Services’ page regarding their on-board safety measures, the app features they have introduced to help customers on their journey, and the additional bus journeys they will be introducing from 7 September for public school services.

You can also download the ‘Back to School’ leaflet which they have produced for schools, parents and students.

Lord Mayor of York’s Covid-19 Charity Appeal – Sponsored Walk

This year the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker, has established a charitable fund, in partnership with the York-based Two Ridings Community Fund to support people in York who have been hit hard by Covid-19, with a special emphasis on helping children and young people, and local community arts organisations.

Sir Hugh Bayley, MP for York from 1992-2015, will be raising money for her fund by doing a ten-day sponsored walk along the 110 mile Cleveland Way – from Helmsley to Filey via Whitby. Further details about the walk and how to donate can be found here.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 21 August 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

I hope that you are all enjoying a good summer break. I said that I would write to parents today with any updates that we might have during the summer holidays.

GCSE results
Yesterday we had a wonderful morning sharing the celebrations of years of hard work with our Year 11 students. The students were destined for our best ever results this year and they achieved the results that they deserved. I am immensely proud of this group of young people who have demonstrated resilience, maturity and compassion towards each other throughout this very difficult time. I am also very grateful to all our staff for their hard work and the support they gave these students over the last five years. You can see some more pictures on our Twitter feed and in the York Press. We will share some of the success stories in the Millthorpe Messenger in the new academic year.

September opening
On 17 July I issued our plans and the risk assessment for our full re-opening in September. You can find that information here.

There have not been any changes to this document over the summer holidays, however, we are still seeking clarification regarding the use of face coverings, particularly face masks for students. I have written to the Multi-Academy Trust, who will then communicate with our legal team and the Health and Safety advisors to review whether students can wear face masks, should they wish. We are aware that a small number of parents have concerns that students should be able to wear face masks if they choose to. We have already stated that students and staff can wear visors should they wish, subject to effective hygiene processes. If students are able to wear face masks, they must follow guidance around their use; this involves not touching the mask if they are wearing it, removing it properly and disposing of it if it is disposable or placing it in a bag if it is re-usable. I will write to all parents as soon as I have the updated response to this.

COVID outbreaks
We are very aware that there could be some local or national changes in the next few months and that there is always a possibility of a confirmed case in school or some form of lockdown. We have now established Google Classroom and spent several days training the staff on how to use this.

From September, students will have a Google account and will be introduced to this platform. Homework will be set on Google and we will move towards uploading classwork to Google too. If individual children are not in school because they are self-isolating, there will be some work available. If, for some reason a year group bubble has to be sent home or the school is temporarily closed, we will have a much more effective platform to work interactively with students. We are working throughout September to explore all available options for this in Google Classroom, but we are confident that should we have to use online learning, we are in a strong position to do so.

Uniform
A polite reminder that students should be in full school uniform from September. The uniform policy can be found here. We are aware that most students have not been in school for a long time and may have experimented with different hair styles and jewellery; I think pink hair dye has been the most popular colour sold over lockdown! Please ensure that students do not come to school with hair or piercings that contravene school policy; this will really help us to focus on welcoming all students back in a really positive manner that focuses on re-establishing relationships, structure and focuses on learning.

I hope that you have an enjoyable last few weeks of the holidays and we’re really looking forward to seeing Year 7s only on Wednesday 9 September and all other year groups on Thursday 10 September.

I will write again to all parents on Monday 7 September.

With very best wishes

Miss Greenhalgh

Online events and support for school leavers

Students who need advice and information on their next steps after exam results are invited to an online event on Tuesday 25 August. They can simply use the hashtag #YorkNextSteps between 2.00-8.00pm on social media to find information on local sixth forms, colleges, apprenticeship providers and vacancies.

There will also be a Facebook Live Q&A on City of York Council’s page between 5.00-6.00pm, with a panel including representatives from colleges, business and York Education. They have also produced a factsheet for parents on next steps for school and college leavers.

Kooth, a free online counselling service for 11-18 year olds, and York Mind are both offering support to anyone who is particularly worried about their results and next steps. Find out more here.

Back-to-school newsletter for parents

A newsletter for parents and carers has been produced by York Education alongside a range of information on the City of York website in the run-up to the full re-opening of schools in September. You can see the newsletter here and also access a whole host of information and support on the Let’s Be York pages of the Council’s website.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child during lockdown, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 17 July 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

As we come to the end of another school year, we reflect on how the year has been. As I mentioned in the assembly this week (see below for details), it has been a very challenging year, but we must also draw from it some of the positives, including some of the wonderful work that our students have shared. There are also some other positive stories that we will share with you over the weekend in our Millthorpe Messenger; I hope that you enjoy seeing some of the things that have been going on during lockdown.

There is a detailed document here that explains how we will function in September. It includes start and end times, lesson times, break and lunch times and the answer to many other questions that parents might have. Please do take the time to read this. We have also completed the formal risk assessment that all York and North Yorkshire schools have completed and you can find that here.

All these documents can be found on our website.

We have used all government guidance and now have detailed plans in place. Of course, the guidance could change, so we will be reviewing our plans in the week commencing 17 August, three weeks before school opens for the autumn term. We will inform you of any changes.

On Friday 21 August, I will write to all parents confirming these plans or explaining any changes, subject to government advice and any local or national changes. We believe that there could be changes to the guidance regarding face coverings and so, we will review this carefully in August and communicate with parents then. Please understand that the school and the Governing Body would like to ensure that we allow as much choice for students, parents and staff as we can, whilst also ensuring that health and safety remain the most important aspects of this decision.

Safeguarding during the summer holidays

Please note that as it is the summer holidays and school is closed, staff will not be accessing their emails on a regular basis and contact via work mobile phones or via the school office will not be possible. This includes the Pastoral Team and Senior Leaders.

If you have a safeguarding or wellbeing concern about a young person, it will not be sufficient to try to make contact with us as you ordinarily would during term time as it may be several days or even longer before this communication reaches the recipient.
During the summer holidays, please contact the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 01904 551900. If you need urgent assistance, please call York CAMHS Crisis Team on 0300 0200 317, or if it is out of normal working hours, the North Yorkshire Emergency Out of Hours Duty Team on 01609 780780.

Please also see the Important: Safeguarding Contacts on the school website.

I hope that all our of students and families can enjoy the summer break and keep safe and well. On behalf of the whole staff, we really look forward to welcoming our students back in September.

With very best wishes

Miss Greenhalgh

End of term assembly

This week’s end of term celebration assembly was emailed out yesterday and is available on the school website (just scroll down slightly to find it). It includes amazing lockdown work, announces the winners of the House Competition for this year, videos of staff from the loosing Houses being gunged and more! Please note that the audio of the videos plays first and then the full video plays immediately afterwards so please bear with it…it is worth the wait!

Lockers

It was lovely to see a number of students over the last few days who came in to collect their belongings from their lockers. If your child didn’t manage or wasn’t able to make it this week, and would like to collect a lock and/or belongings from their locker next week, please contact Alex Collins direct on a.collins@millthorpeschool.co.uk to arrange a suitable time. A reminder that items remaining in lockers, including locks, will be re-used, recycled, donated or otherwise disposed of before September.

School uniform

Our uniform supplier, Keal Teamwear, have asked us to remind you of the current arrangements for purchasing uniform. They are operating a Click & Collect or Delivery service only. Please do not go to the shop. You can place your order online or by phone T: 01904 624497, and choose delivery or collection. They have a detailed size guide online to assist you, but are happy to exchange items if you order the wrong size.

PE kit

For at least the first three weeks of next term, students will not need to bring their full PE kit to school; they will just need to bring a pair of trainers. We will not be asking students to change into PE kit at school until we are satisfied this can be done safely. During PE lessons, students will take part in active but not strenuous activities. We will review this position once the term gets underway and give parents good notice if and when we make any changes.

In anticipation of when we do return to full PE lessons, please note the following changes to the PE uniform policy next year, which are part of our intention to make the uniform consistent for boys and girls:

  • Plain navy shorts will become the normal PE kit for both boys and girls. For all of next year, students will also be able to wear any white shorts they already own.
  • Sky blue reversible games tops (available from Keal Teamwear; see above) can now be worn by girls as well as boys for outdoor PE. For all of next year, girls can also wear any plain white aertex shirts they already own.

Student email accounts

A quick reminder that as Millthorpe will be moving to Google email accounts over the summer, at some point after today, all student email accounts will be deleted. If your child has any emails or attachments in their email they would like to keep, they must download them as soon as possible. We will introduce students to their new Google Mail accounts in September.

Career resources

The CareerMap website is full of useful information about career pathways. Our outgoing Year 11s may be particularly interested in:

Confectionery alert from North Yorkshire Police

PC Elliott, NYP School Liaison Police Officer has shared an email with all schools, about the first York case of “Nerds Rope” sweets in the City. Whilst there is absolutely no suggestion that Millthorpe students are involved, we have been asked to share the attached information with parents and carers to make them aware and ask for their vigilance.

The “Nerds Rope” sweets are infused with cannabis oil which can have a profound effect on children who may experience:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Hallucinations
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Lethargy, collapse or loss of consciousness
  • Cardiovascular problems

Nerds can be purchased online and many schools/parents don’t realise they contain cannabis.

PC Elliott is available during the summer holidays if you have any queries or would like more information. She can be contacted on: T: 07810 815307 or E: Sarah-Jayne.Elliott@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk. Please call 101/999 if you have immediate concerns.

Find out more here.

Support over the summer

City of York Council has shared with us a “Support for Families” document which is full of information, web links and contact details for families in need of support on a number of topics including: housing, finance, food, SEN, mental health and bereavement amongst others.

Please do take a look if you need any support over the summer break.

Free cycle training

Bikeability Level 2 and 3 courses will run during school time in the Autumn Term. Training is provided by City of York Council Road Safety Team. The training is offered free of charge to students in Years 7 and 8 and gives the opportunity to develop on-road cycling skills and all round road awareness. Each course is a single two-hour session. Bicycles can be borrowed from CYC, by prior arrangement, for the training.

An information letter and consent form is available from the link below and should be returned to cycle.training@york.gov.uk by Friday 19 September please.

Further details of the Bikeability Training can be found here or you can contact the Road Safety Team at cycle.training@york.gov.uk

Year 11 hoodies

If any Year 11 students missed the deadline for ordering a leavers hoodie, one of the Year 11 parents, Annette Maas, has offered to coordinate an order via Keal Teamwear.

To go ahead they need ten orders, so if you are interested, please contact Annette directly by email on annette.maas@hotmail.co.uk.

Keeping up with current affairs

Take a look at this week’s edition of The Week Junior here.

Students now need a voucher code to access the magazine – all you need to do is click Login at the bottom of the magazine cover, then scroll down to: Have voucher code? on the right hand side and enter the code: TWJ2678tuv