WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 21 January 2022

Biometric Consent – Students in Years 9, 10 and 11

Children in Years 9, 10 and 11 should have been given a letter and form this week to ask for parental consent to collect biometric data (a unique code based on specific measurements taken from a thumb or fingerprint) which will allow them to use the external doors to enter the building during the school day. We have previously collected biometric data for use with the old canteen system but we are required to obtain separate consent to collect it for a different purpose. Consent for students in Years 7 and 8 was collected when they joined the school.

External doors will only be locked during lessons – they will be open during lesson changeover and break and lunchtimes – and they can always be opened from the inside. The biometric readers will only be needed when students need to enter the building from the outside during lessons (for example, if they are learning in L Block and they need to visit the toilet). Locking the external doors at these times is an important security measure to reduce the risk of intruders entering the school. A copy of the full letter can be found on the school website.

Please complete and return the form to form tutors by Monday 31 January. Note this must be a signed paper copy. Please contact us if you need another form. Many thanks for your cooperation.

Year 10 Work Experience

A reminder that Year 10 students need to have secured a placement and returned their work experience form to Mrs Anderson in school by Friday 28 January. Help in finding placements is available via the NYBEP portal – details of how to access this together with links to all of the relevant documents can be found on the school website.

Careers news

Please take a look at the spring term editions of our Careers Newsletters:

Bookbuzz Friday Fun

Today, Year 7s attended an assembly held by Ms Greenhalgh and Mr Beever, where they were given a free book through a scheme called Bookbuzz. Back in October, all Year 7 students chose a book from a selection of around 20 titles, and this week they arrived and were handed out to great excitement. The books range from serious spooky stories to funny comic style books about teachers’ ‘funny’ lives and a lovely book of animal photographs.

If you are a parent or carer of a Year 7 student, please encourage your child to show you their book and talk about it, and maybe you can enjoy it too. Reading has amazing educational benefits and it would be great if students were encouraged to read more. Reading is also relaxing and a good excuse to be away from screens for some time. When students finish their Bookbuzz books, there will be quizzes with prizes, book swaps, special lunchtime events for each book, and much more, so this isn’t the last time you’ll hear a BUZZ about books!

What’s next? Post-16 guide

City of York Council have published their ‘What’s Next guide – Life, learning and work 2021-2022‘ which is full of information about post-16 opportunities and where to find help and advice. You can view the guide here.

The Yor-OK website also has lots of useful information:

Calling all history nerds!

On Tuesday 8 February, University of York presents ‘Ask a Historian‘ as part of its Open Lecture series. Greg Jenner will talk about his experiences as host of ‘You’re Dead to Me’ and consultant on ‘Horrible Histories’. He will also talk about his latest book ‘Ask a Historian’. Further information and booking details can be found here.

On Thursday 10 February, Dr Helen Lacey of University of Oxford will be explaining why everything we thought we knew about the Peasants Revolt of 1381, is incorrect. Please email Mrs Lingard on r.lingard@millthorpe.southbank.academy if you would like the Zoom link for this virtual event.

Social media advice and guidance for parents

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday parent guide from National Online Safety focuses on Horror Games. Please take a look for information, advice and handy tips.

This week, we also received a letter from our School Liaison PCSO, which reminds parents to be extra vigilant as the number of incidents concerning children and the internet and social media apps is increasing. Read the letter here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 14 January 2022

COVID-19 Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

City of York Council’s Public Health team is reminding parents, carers and young people that children can get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination from the day they turn 12 years old.

Most children can get a second dose from 12 weeks after they have had their first dose.

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not in an ‘at risk’ group to COVID, they will need to wait 12 weeks before they can have either a first or second dose.

Children can get their vaccination:

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds go to: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

For anyone aged 16 and over who has not had either their first, second or booster vaccination there are many opportunities to book an appointment or walk-in for more details of clinics – click here for details: NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – Book your COVID-19 vaccine and Booster appointment (valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk)

Changes to the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19

From Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. Full details can be found here.

Google Classrooms – Key Stage 3 students

From Monday 17 January, new Google Classrooms will be available for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 who are absent but well enough to complete school work (eg because they are self-isolating).

There is a separate classroom for each year group, where students can find all the work they need for the week in all their subjects. The work is designed to be suitable for independent home learning.

Most subjects will post a week’s worth of content at the beginning of each week in a single post. WIthin that post, there may be more than one lesson, depending on the number of lessons students would normally have in a week for that subject. Some subjects will post two weeks’ worth of lessons at a time – this will be clearly indicated within the post. Posts from the previous week will be archived as new work is posted to make it as easy as possible to find the right work.

Students should take the opportunity to join the relevant year group class even if they are currently attending school full time. This will make it quicker and easier for them to access the classrooms should they need to be absent in the future.

The Google Classroom details are as follows:

  • Year 7 – 6ceeqfy
  • Year 8 – 3a554m3
  • Year 9 – kc4hfsp
Students in Years 10 and 11 who are absent should continue to access their lessons via their classroom teachers’ individual Google Classrooms.

Year 11 Maths revision

The mathematics department has signed up to an online tutor package to help with revision and catch up. We are currently asking all Year 11 students to sign up to the programme, and will roll this out to the whole school over this half term. More information can be found in the attached document.

Students have been shown this in class but if you do have any further questions please contact Mr Bruce.

Our after-school revision sessions will start on Tuesday 18 January in PC2 and PC3. At the first session, the department staff will be on hand to help students sign up to the online platform which they will then be able to use. Subsequent sessions will take place every Tuesday in PC2 and PC3, and staff will be available to help students use the platform to create bespoke revision paths.

The department also sells revision guides. Your child’s class teacher can show these in class if you would like more information.

Job vacancies

Would you like to work at Millthorpe School? We currently have a few vacancies advertised, details of which can be found on our website. Current vacancies include:

  • Science Technician
  • Assistant Food Technician
  • School Cleaner
  • Numeracy and Literacy Tutors

Post-16 opportunities

CAPA College, which provides full time arts training and education for students aged 16-19, is holding a Virtual Open Day on Sunday 16 January at 2pm. Full details about the event can be found here.

#WakeUpWednesdays – A Parents Guide to Replika

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is about Replika – an app that we were not familiar with but does concern us. We have shared the information from NOS below and their guide which you can see here. Please could we ask you to take the time to check your child’s devices to see if they are using this concerning app, and use the guide to support you in managing it if they are.

NOS describe Replika as “a virtual best friend who’s available 24/7 and almost exclusively wants to talk about you. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Replika mixes deep questions about a user’s hopes and fears with lighter enquiries about their preferred pizza toppings. Confiding in a realistic bot can also ease the stigma that someone might feel in opening up to another human about emotional or mental issues.”

“The app’s makers, however, are at pains to stress that it is not a medically certified service. As our #WakeUpWednesday guide discovers, the chance of actually worsening a mental or emotional problem is among the possible risks of using Replika – along with the potential for addiction, expensive in-app purchases and receiving inappropriate content from the chatbot.”

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 7 January 2022

Happy New Year

We hope you had a lovely break over the Christmas holidays and managed to stay safe and well.

As you will have no doubt heard in the news, regulations relating to the pandemic have changed again over the last week. Below is a summary of where we are currently regarding lateral flow testing, vaccinations and face coverings:

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests
Thank you for your ongoing support with lateral flow testing. We encourage your child(ren) to continue with twice-weekly testing, but from Tuesday 11 January, if the result of the LFD test is positive, a confirmatory PCR test will NOT be required. This will mean that anyone who receives a positive LFD test result will be required to self-isolate immediately.

Young people aged 12 to 15 in England are now being offered a second dose of the vaccine, if it is at least 12 weeks since their first dose. Currently, vaccines can be booked via the NHS website, however over the next few weeks, the vaccination programme will be rolled out in schools. We are awaiting contact from the school age immunisation service (SAIS) regarding dates and will share details of what is happening at Millthorpe as soon as we can.

Face coverings
The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed. Please could you make sure that your child(ren) has a face covering with them every day as we are still giving out a large number of disposable masks.

Year 11 taster days – 11 and 13 January

Year 11 students may attend a college, sixth form or apprenticeship taster day on either Tuesday 11 Janaury or Thursday 13 January or both. On either day, if they do not have a booked appointment at one of the sixth form providers, they should attend school as normal.

Pure Praise Assemblies

The assembly programme during the last week of term gave the Senior Leadership Team a lovely opportunity to celebrate students’ academic success and their wider contribution to the school community. All year groups engaged in an explanation of the research behind praise and how we are all hard-wired to respond well to positive feedback as the brain benefits from an injection of dopamine. We looked at how we should all endeavour to share praise more widely both at school and in our private lives. The start of the assembly was loosely based around research from Grant, Bohns and Epley who found that:

  • people generally don’t realise that small amounts of praise have such a big impact.
  • people significantly underestimate how happy the other person would be to hear the praise.
  • people worry they wouldn’t articulate the compliment correctly, without striking the wrong tone.

The second half of the assembly recognised students’ achievements in the following areas:

  • Golden Ticket Academic
  • Golden Ticket Wider Contribution
  • 100% Attendance (recognising that this number would have been a lot higher had COVID not been a factor)
  • 3Rs Badge winners for being Respectful, Responsible and Ready
  • Top form groups – combined reward score
  • Friday 5 winners – individual students with the highest reward scores
  • Average Learning Conduct score for each year group which ranged between 3.43 to 3.53

We hope that these ‘Purely Praise’ assemblies really show the students how much we appreciate their hard work, care and consideration for others and commitment to be the best they can be here at Millthorpe.

Job vacancies

Would you like to work at Millthorpe School? We currently have a few vacancies advertised, details of which can be found on our website. Current vacancies include:

  • Science Technician
  • Assistant Food Technician
  • School Cleaner

Family Matters course – Handling Anger in the Family

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.

They have three Handling Anger courses starting the week commencing 17 January, one in person and two online.

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.

T Levels and open events at Bishop Burton College

Bishop Burton College is now offering a range of T Level courses in addition to a range of other post-16 qualifications. To find out more about T Levels, order a prospectus, attend a taster event or open event, please take a look at their latest e-newsletter.

#WakeUpWednesdays – two to share!

National Online Safety have sent us two handy guides for parents and carers since we last emailed you: one to help with setting up new devices that your child may have received for Christmas, and also another handy guide to the ever-popular Fortnite.

WEEKLY EMAIL Thursday 16 December 2021

Season’s Greetings

The team at Millthorpe would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you have a lovely break with family and friends and once again, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing support.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year; Spring Term will start on Tuesday 4 January 2022, with an A Week.

Lateral Flow Testing in January 

The DfE has advised that asymptomatic twice weekly at-home testing, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs), should continue in the new year, to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and identify cases early. We strongly encourage students to continue regular LFD testing and to report their results please.

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

Once again, the students and staff at Millthorpe have demonstrated that we are a caring and generous community. We collected incredibly generous donations of food, toiletries, clothes and treats to give to our local charities: Carecent, Kitchen for Everyone, Refugee Action York and SASH. The Student Leadership team were very busy sorting through it all before the charities arrived earlier this week to collect all the donations. The non-uniform day also raised £948.63 which we split between the charities.

A massive thank you to everyone for your generosity.

Nut allergy reminder

In the UK around 1 in 200 adults have an allergy to nuts (the figure for young people isn’t as clear because it often goes undiagnosed until later in life) which makes it the most common type of severe food allergy. The reaction can be so severe that the individual may experience symptoms even if a packet of nuts is opened near to them.

Please can parents be mindful of this when they are putting together packed lunches? We recognise that many students really enjoy nuts as a snack, but can we politely request that they are not brought into school in support of the students and staff that suffer from this sometimes extreme and potentially dangerous food allergy.

Work experience opportunities at Drax Group – Year 10s

Drax Group have just announced work experience opportunities for Year 10 students. They are offering places in the following areas: IT, Security, Engineering, Finance, Procurement and Commercial.

The work experience will be split into two parts in 2022:

  • Part 1 – Online welcome to Drax and employability skills, this two-day virtual session will be hosted in school holidays (dates to be confirmed).
  • Part 2 – In person work experience for a week, typically during school/college designated work experience week.

Students can apply from tomorrow, using this link and completing the online application form: The deadline for applications is 16 January 2022.

Sports practices

The following sports practices will take place after the Christmas break:

Lunchtime practices

After-school practices

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

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

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

Pre-loved uniform available for ALL students

The Eco Laundry, our store of preloved uniform items, has become a popular resource for families as students grow in and out of different sizes of clothes. All families are welcome to use this facility, particularly as our stock levels are currently very healthy.

For a small charge, you can get Millthorpe uniform pieces, including blazers (£3), shoes (£3), jumpers (£2), PE kit (£2), trousers/skirts (£2), shirts (£1) and ties (£1).

Please do give us a try – it’s a great way to save money and protect the environment at the same time! If your child needs new (to you) uniform items, simply email ecolaundry@millthorpe.southbank.academy with your request.

Holiday Activities and Food programme

A range of holiday activity schemes is available for children and young people in receipt of free school meals this Christmas.

The sessions include a variety of fun activities, including sports, music, arts and other exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills, alongside a nutritious meal each day. They are being provided to targeted children as part of the government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme which is being delivered across the City of York area.

City of York Council is working with its community partners to provide festive drop-in sessions where families can enjoy some activities and pick up activity packs and food for the Christmas holidays. These will be adapted if need be, in line with any revised government guidance. You can find out more about these events here.

York City Knights are running day camps for younger and older children. Join them for a series of skills and drills with their expert community coaches. If you have any questions, please email a.prentis@yorkcityknights.com or call the Knights office on T: 01904 670880. You can also see their poster here.

You can find out about all HAF events in the York area here.

Wake up Wednesday

Christmas is a time for families to come together to enjoy some quality time but we appreciate that many parents and carers may struggle to drag their child’s attention away from their screens. National Online Safety has put together this handy guide to ensure the best of both worlds.

We hope this is useful and that you all have a wonderful Christmas!

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 10 December 2021

Lateral Flow Testing in January 

The DfE has advised that asymptomatic twice weekly at-home testing, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs), should continue in the new year, to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and identify cases early. We strongly encourage students to continue regular LFD testing and to report their results please.

Head of Year 11

Mrs Parr, our wonderful Head of Year 11, has secured a new job and we are sorry to inform you that she will be leaving Millthorpe School at Christmas. Mrs Parr has been at Millthorpe for 16 years and during that time has held, and indeed excelled in, a number of roles: teacher of RE, PSHCE, Personal Development, Child Development, Music, Drama (there may be more!), Head of PSHCE, Director of Achievement for Roman House, then Viking House and most recently, Head of Year 11. We are really sorry to be losing Mrs Parr but she is moving to a new job working for Diversity Role Models, an LGBT+ charity which delivers anti-bullying and discrimination workshops in schools. This is a role that she is made for and we know that she will be outstanding!

Thank you to Mrs Parr for her years of service, her passion for education, her outstanding pastoral care, for being “that teacher” to so many students, and for being a valued colleague. We will miss you.

We are delighted to announce that Miss Forrester will be the new Head of Year 11 from January. Miss Forrester has always taken a keen interest in the pastoral side of education, going above and beyond to support her tutees and all the students she works with. She knows the vast majority of Year 11 students already, having a Year 11 Form and teaching more than half of the year group. She will quickly get to know those students who she knows less well in January. We are really pleased to welcome her to the Pastoral Team!

Assembly: casual racism

At Millthorpe School, we are committed to making our community a welcoming and anti-racist space. This week’s assembly, carefully and professionally produced by our Student Diversity Group, teaches the terms Microaggression, Casual Racism, and Cultural Appropriation. It’s important we learn these words so we can accurately describe the events we might experience or witness. Whilst we’d all be comfortable identifying violent and outrageous acts of racism, it can be harder to name the discomfort and indignity of less overt acts of racism. Through Ms Ramadhan and Ms Garner Steel, the Student Diversity Group very bravely shared their experiences and invited the rest of the school to join their group.

The assembly content was put together by Ben Cason, Asma Al Gharawy, Hani Sannuga and Olly Garner-Steel who together, founded the Student Diversity Group.

They said: “We are a group of Year 11 students. We started this group because we thought that our school didn’t always express the minority voices. We are passionate to make all voices heard in the school. We want our school to celebrate our different backgrounds and be welcoming to everyone. Join us if you want to help stop racism in our school. We will work on projects throughout the year. Anyone is welcome if you want to make a difference.”

You can see the assembly here and if you would like to find out more, please contact Ms Garner Steel.

Christmas Charity appeal update

It was great to see everyone in their Christmas jumpers on Wednesday this week! The festive non-uniform day has so far raised an amazing £904 which will be shared between a number of local charities. We would love to see the total hit £1000 if we can, so if parents/carers would still like to donate, you can do so on ParentPay.

Face coverings

Please can we remind you to check that your child/ren has a mask/face covering with them each day, preferably a reusable one. We have gone through thousands of disposable masks since the half-term break which is not only costly, but is very bad for the environment.

TikTok door kicking trend

Parents/carers should be aware of an emerging TikTok trend, in which young people film one another kicking random front doors and running away. Such behaviour is clearly antisocial and could be very intimidating, especially for vulnerable residents, and puts young people at risk of legal repercussions. Social media crazes of this kind are always best met with a calm and proportionate response but it is a timely prompt to encourage your child/ren to act thoughtfully and responsibly both online and in the ‘real’ world and to be alert to any inappropriate social media activity they may be involved in.

Wake Up Wednesday

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is a video of two teachers who have re-written the lyrics to a popular Christmas song to encourage us all to spend time with family and friends this holiday season, and put our devices down. Unfortunately, we cannot share the video with you as it requires a subscription log in, but you can follow this link to the lyrics for you to read and share with your child/ren. We are sure you will be able to work out the tune!

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 3 December 2021

Christmas dinner

A reminder that Christmas dinner (traditional turkey or a vegetarian option) will be served on Wednesday 8 December this year. Tickets, priced at £2.40, are still available via ParentPay.

Children who are eligible for free school meals will not have to pay but will still need a ticket so that we know whether they would like the meat or vegetarian option. Please log in to ParentPay in the normal way to make your choice(s).

Your child’s form tutor will distribute tickets to students on the day.

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

Following on from Ms Greenhalgh’s assembly this week, our Student Leaders are delighted to launch this year’s Christmas Charity Appeal. We are really excited to be able to look out for the most vulnerable in our community this Christmas by supporting a number of local charities. Every year we are blown away by the number of donations from students and their families and we cannot wait to see them all under the tree again this year.

All forms have been given a sheet with a list of items they can bring in to donate – you can see a copy here. Please can all donations be brought to forms by Friday 10 December.
We will also be holding a non-uniform day on Wednesday 8 December to coincide with Christmas dinner to raise money for the charities. Please bring in your £1 to hand into your form tutor on Wednesday, or you can pay via ParentPay.


Please can all students remember to bring their fobs when using the canteen. The number of students turning up without them has crept up recently, which can cause problems at the tills. If a student has permanently lost their fob, they can buy a replacement at the till but there is a charge (70p), so we encourage everyone to look after them as carefully as possible.

North Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Championships

Experienced, proficient runners are invited to represent York in the North Yorkshire Schools XC Championships on Saturday 15 January in Catterick.

Further information is available here. Anyone interested should speak to Mr Randall, Head of PE in the first instance.

Wake Up Wednesday – A Parent Guide to Age Inappropriate Content

We strongly encourage all parents and carers to view this week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety. Unfortunately, we are aware of some of our students accessing inappropriate content online and this guide will help you to reduce the risk of it happening, and how to talk it through with your child(ren) and reduce the risk of it happening again. According to research, one in seven teenagers report viewing something online that they later wish they hadn’t as a daily occurrence. You will be aware that students are not permitted to use their mobile phones during the school day, and we have stringent filters in place on our school ICT system, so we hope that this guide will help you to manage this issue outside of school.

You may be interested to learn that a survey of over 6,000 school teachers across the UK undertaken this week by TeacherTapp returned 75% stating that they “strongly disagreed” or “disagreed” that “the benefits of allowing children aged 13-17 to use social media outweigh the downsides for them”, and 92% of those surveyed “strongly agreeing” or “agreeing” that they would “like to see the government introduce greater regulation of social media amongst children.”

We know that many students are keen to enjoy social media, but we are concerned about the impact that this may have on them, and it is clear that we are not alone in thinking this. Your support is gratefully appreciated.

Year 11 Taster Days

Just a reminder that the deadline is fast approaching for Year 11 students to apply for the York College taster days on Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 January 2022. The deadline is Monday 6 December.

Apprenticeship Taster Day

City of York Council are hosting an Apprenticeship Taster Day on 13 January 2022 – there are still places available with the following employers: Bang Hair, Citywide Health, CYC Business, CYC Smart Transport Project Management, Doubletree by Hilton, FERA Science, Garbutt & Elliott, Labcore, Indigo Greens, Little Green Rascals, Portakabin and Simpson.

Applications should be emailed to york.apprenticeships@york.gov.uk by Monday 6 December.

Further information can be found here.

Rail safety 

We have again been contacted by Network Rail to raise concerns about young people trespassing on the railway in our local area. There is no suggestion that any Millthorpe students are directly involved in this, but we would be grateful if you could speak to your child(ren) about the dangers of trespassing on the railway. We have shared these before, but there are videos from Network Rail that you can watch with your child(ren) if this would be helpful. Please watch the videos in advance and select the one that you feel is most appropriate for your child(ren). Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Network Rail have made things easier for you to watch the free safety videos by just entering the email railsafety@learnliveuk.com into the “I am registered” field when you first watch the videos.

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 in the New Year:

  • Handling Anger in the Family
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
  • Time Out for Parents – Children with Additional Needs
  • Time Out for Dads
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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 26 November 2021

Year 11 taster days 

A reminder that the deadline for booking a January Taster Day at York College is 28 November.

If your child is in Year 11 and is thinking of moving to York College in September, please make sure they have booked a Taster Day before Sunday. The documentation that students need to book places can be accessed here.

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner (traditional turkey or a vegetarian option) will be served on Wednesday 8 December this year. Tickets, priced at £2.40, are now on sale via ParentPay.

Children who are eligible for free school meals will not have to pay but will still need a ticket so that we know whether they would like the meat or vegetarian option. Please log in to ParentPay in the normal way to make your choice(s).

Your child’s form tutor will distribute tickets to students on the day.

Wake Up Wednesday – A Parent Guide to Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is a relatively new online software enabling the storage of digital coins which represent financial value. As today’s guide explains, it is something of a minefield, not least the risk of being permanently locked out of any accumulated funds if you forget your password.

Please have a read of this guide and discuss it with your child(ren)…it may also be handy for any adults who are using this software!

Coats for refugees 

One of our parents is collecting warm coats for refugees in Calais. If you have a coat to donate, there will be a collection box in the visitor reception for the next two weeks.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 19 November 2021

Year 11 Pre-Public Exams (PPEs)

Over the next two weeks, Year 11 students will be sitting PPEs (mock exams) in most subjects. Students have been given individual timetables for all their exams. Because of the timing of exams, Year 11 students will take their lunch in the earlier slot (12.20-1.00pm) during this period.

Year 11 taster days 

Information has gone out to parents and students about the two Year 11 taster days on 11 and 13 January 2022. The documentation that students need to book places can be accessed here.

Year 10 work experience

For those parents who were unable to attend the parents meeting yesterday, please click here for a copy of the presentation and the documentation that your child will need to complete and bring back to school once they have found a placement.

For any queries please contact Mr Noble or Mrs Anderson at school via e-mail. The deadline for returning forms is 28 January 2022.

Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner (traditional turkey or a vegetarian option) will be served on Wednesday 8 December this year. Tickets, priced at £2.40, are now on sale via ParentPay. Children who are eligible for free school meals will still need a ticket, but there is no cost. Your child’s form tutor will distribute tickets to students on the day.

Assemblies next week

We are running a reduced assemblies schedule next week because the Main Hall is being used for Year 11 exams. Year 11 will have no assemblies so they can focus on their PPEs.

On 25 November there is an international awareness day for the elimination of violence against women. We have invited IDAS (Independent Domestic Abuse Services) in to deliver assemblies to Year 9 and Year 10. The charity works with victims of abuse but is also trying to branch out into preventative work in schools. We have asked them to focus on ‘healthy relationships’. They will talk about what these look like and some of the signs that a relationship isn’t healthy and briefly look at abusive relationships. This will be quality assured so that it is age appropriate whilst not avoiding an issue that unfortunately affects so many. Although the assembly will look at the issue via a positive lens, we realise this topic could be difficult for some of our students. If you would rather your son or daughter does not to take part in the assembly, then please contact your child’s year team.

Key Stage 3 team building

Today, all Key Stage 3 students have taken part in fun team building activities with their form and form tutor. Each year group enjoyed two hours of fun: one hour on an inflatable assault course and one hour completing a series of challenges. The events were organised and hosted by their Head of Year and Deputy Head of Year and the students had a superb time. You can see a few photos here.

An enormous thank you to everyone who was involved – The Pastoral Team, Mrs Stanyon, Mrs Kuhn and Mrs Brown for the organisation and logistics, to the Form Tutors, and to colleagues who covered lessons to enable all form tutors to attend. Also, a huge thank you to the students. They participated in a lovely manner, encouraging one another and doing their best. It was lovely to see!

The Eco Laundry

The Eco Laundry, our store of preloved uniform items, has become a popular resource for families as students grow in and out of different sizes of clothes. For a small charge, you can get Millthorpe uniform pieces, including blazers (£3), shoes (£3), jumpers (£2), PE kit (£2), trousers/skirts (£2), shirts (£1) and ties (£1). Now the weather is getting a little colder, you’ll be glad to know that we have a good stock of Millthorpe jumpers and a selection of winter coats.

If your child needs new (to you) uniform items, you can email ecolaundry@millthorpe.southbank.academy with your request. Just let the Eco Laundry volunteers know the name of the student, what items you require and what sizes. Provided we have the correct item and size, we will then pack them up and let you know when it’s ready for collection from the school office. The cost will then be added to your ParentPay account.

The Eco Laundry is open to everyone in school. Reusing clothes is an easy way for us all to protect the environment, so we are always keen to receive donations of school clothing. Any donations can be dropped off at any time to the School Office. All donations are then sorted, washed and labelled ready to find a new home.

Further group chat concerns

This week, we emailed all Year 7 and 8 parents as we became aware of two highly inappropriate group chats involving Year 7 and 8 students across the City of York. We made direct contact with any parents/carers whose child was thought to be actively involved, but we wanted to ask all parents and carers to once again check their child’s mobile phone and social media use.

Young people are being sent or accessing material which is highly inappropriate so please do take the time to speak to your child(ren) and check their devices.

10 ways to share kindness online

This week is Anti-Bullying Week; students have received assemblies from Mr Bates on this theme. National Online Safety’s “Wake Up Wednesday” gives young people top tips about how to share kindness online. We have shared this with students in school, but would be grateful if you could also discuss this with your child(ren) at home to encourage positivity online.

Roots to Success

The Roots to Success programme which aims to increase the number of young people going on to Higher or Further Education is still recruiting eligible students – the deadline has been extended until 1 December.

This short film explains what the programme is all about.

The Uni Connect programme – privacy notice

Students in Years 9-11 will be given the opportunity to access advice about different Higher Education pathways, through the Uni Connect programme. This is a national programme funded by the Office for Students (OfS), which aims to promote the benefits of university and other forms of higher education, particularly among under-represented groups.

All students in Years 9-11 should be aware of the Privacy Notice which relates to this programme. Please could we ask parents/carers to bring this to their attention?

Bishop Burton College – new prospectus

Students in Years 10 and 11 may be interested in Bishop Burton College’s new prospectus. It can be downloaded here.

ISSP lecture

A reminder that the next ISSP lecture for students in Years 7-8 is on 25 November. The lecture, “What is endocrinology and who are endocrinologists?” is open to all students in Years 7-8, not just those on the ISSP register. Click here to find out more and sign up.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 12 November 2021

Millthorpe remembers 

Following on from remembrance assemblies led by Mr Baybutt last week, our whole school community fell silent for two minutes at 11.00am on Thursday to mark Armistice Day. Mr Jackson sounded the Last Post in the quad, as all students impeccably observed the silence.

Lest We Forget.

Parents’ Forum

Members of the new Parents’ Forum met for the first time last night to discuss the results of the recent Parents’ Survey. We’d like to thank those who gave up their evening to attend.

Participants shared their ideas on students’ learning journeys, student progress and personal development. There was a lot of great feedback which will now be taken back to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). One idea that can be actioned straight away is to make parents aware of the week’s assembly topics. This will enable conversations around the dinner table on certain subjects, help them to reiterate key messages and to explore the topics further.

Every week students take part in two assemblies, one from a member of SLT and the other led by their Head of Year. Topics are mapped across the year to ensure all major personal development areas are covered as well as national/international awareness events.

The general themes are:

  • Broader Curriculum: developing interests and talents
  • Character Curriculum: Discuss traits like resilience and confidence
  • Next Steps: Careers and post-16 opportunities
  • Modern Britain: Discuss topics like protected characteristics
  • SMSC: Spiritual, moral, social and cultural
  • RSHE: Relationships and sex education
  • Citizenship: locally and as a global citizen
This week our assemblies covered:
  • SLT Assembly: Sexual harassment (Not covered with Year 7 due to today’s vaccinations)
  • Head of Year Assembly: Young carers (see later in this email for more details)
We had a great response to our request for membership of the forum; thank you to all those who came forward. Unfortunately, we were unable to include everyone as we wanted to ensure that all participants had the opportunity to contribute during the meeting and so took the decision to limit numbers on the Google Meet.

Young Carers

All year groups have received an assembly this week on Young Carers awareness and we are really pleased to announce that our Young Carers drop-in sessions have also returned. The sessions run on Wednesday ‘A’ Week, from 12.30-1.00pm for students in Years 7 and 8 and 1.30-2.00pm for students in Years 9, 10 and 11.

If you would like to know more about support available for Young Carers through Millthorpe School or York Carers Centre, or you would like your child to access this support, please contact Miss Johnson or Mrs Hurst for further information.

Christmas Concert

The Music Department are hoping to stage a short Christmas Concert on the evening of Wednesday 15 December. Full details will follow in the weekly email over the coming weeks.

Outstanding Learning Conduct

Teachers of students in Years 10 and 11 have recently completed the Learning Conduct tracking for these year groups. Year 11 students have received their data and Year 10 will receive it on Monday. The results are amazing!

In both Year 10 and 11, 94% of students have an average learning conduct of 3 or better. A 3 is awarded where students are meeting all expectations and are working hard in lessons, completing all of their work and homework, responding to challenge and seeking to improve. Students who work at a learning conduct grade of 3 historically achieve their target grades in their GCSEs.

Additionally, more than half of both year groups have an average learning conduct of 3.5 or above. Year 10 have slightly edged it with 54% of Year 10 achieving this remarkable feat, compared to 52% of Year 11. These students will have achieved 3s and 4s in every subject and in subjects where their learning conduct is a 4, historically, students surpass their GCSE targets.

We are really impressed with our KS4 students as they are clearly working incredibly hard on their GCSE courses. Well done to both year groups!

Ecological project

Building on the connections our Art Technician Mr Fletcher has with the Vangarde Shopping Centre, the retail park’s site management team are very keen to work with Millthorpe School on an ecological project.

The team at Vangarde are taking part in an ecological challenge, which involves creating natural habitats for bees and other insects, and are competing with other shopping parks around the country to win a prestigious prize for the York site.

The project breaks down into the following stages:

  • Build six bird boxes, four small bee hotels, two large insect hotels made from pallets, and the care and maintenance of a large planter on the site which is currently neglected.
  • Create bird box kits and bee hotel kits which can be customised and assembled by Millthorpe students.
  • Source twelve pallets to create two large insect hotels, to be assembled by students.
  • Once all the items are completed, a handover to Vangarde Shopping Park will be arranged, with possible press involvement and an article explaining and promoting the project.

We are asking for three student volunteers to take on the large planter. Students would be involved in the initial design stage, plant selection, getting their hands dirty and occasional maintenance as the seasons change. We feel that this a brilliant opportunity to give some budding David Attenboroughs the chance to support local wildlife as they try and make it through the winter.

If your child is interested in the above or you simply want to find out more about the project please email Mr Fletcher directly on E: j.fletcher@millthorpe.southbank.academy

Year 8 boys’ football team

Congratulations to the Year 8 football team who followed up their impressive 8-1 win over Jo Ro with another convincing win, this time against Bootham.

Mr Boothman said “The lads were on the front foot from the off, scoring within the first two minutes. Bootham came forward straight away for a well deserved equaliser but this was the only resistance that the team came up with. A barrage of attacking football put Bootham to the sword with Millthorpe coming out with a 10-1 victory. A confident performance from the Bootham centre back and goalkeeper saved the Bootham team from an even heavier defeat! There were many standout performances but credit has to go to the whole team for an outstanding evening of football! Well done!”

Parent Guide to Netflix

Netflix is an incredibly popular on-demand streaming service which saw a surge in use by children during the pandemic and beyond. Today’s Wake Up Wednesday guide from National Online Safety highlights some of the risks involved in using Netflix, and also some really helpful advice for parents and carers.

Eborienteers Club

Orienteering club, Eborienteers, holds its club night at Millthorpe School every Monday evening during term time. It is run by a British champion, Steve Whitehead and they would love to welcome members along. (Children must be accompanied by an adult.)

For further information, please visit the Eborienteers website or email Bryan Greener (one of the organisers) at contact@eborienteers.org.uk

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 5 November 2021

Proposed merger consultation

A reminder that the consultation on the proposal for South Bank Multi Academy Trust to join with South York Multi Academy Trust will run until 3.00pm on 12 November 2021.

This letter contains full details about the proposal and consultation and you can complete the feedback form here (please note this will download as a Word document). Please email your completed form to consultation@southbanktrust.co.uk by the deadline.

‘Reducing the pressures of Year 10’ workshop and team building events

This morning, Year 10 participated in two events which were planned and delivered by their Head of Year, Ms Hodgson and Deputy Head of Year, Ms Bramwell. Students worked with their forms and form tutors on a series of team building challenges and also received a ‘Reducing the pressures of Year 10’ workshop to help them as they juggle the demands of the start of GCSEs.

Both events were a roaring success and you can find a couple of photos here. Thank you to Ms Hodgson and Ms Bramwell for planning and delivering these events, to the Year 10 Form Tutors for their encouragement and participation (you can see Mr Black joining in one of the challenges on one of the photos!) and to Mrs Kuhn and Mrs Brown for all of their help with arranging the logistics.

Year 11 ‘Exploring Pathways’ event, managing exam stress and team building

Today, Year 11s have spent the morning participating in an ‘Exploring Pathways’ event, where they learnt about lots of opportunities that are available to them once they leave Millthorpe.

There was a Careers Fair in the Main Hall, with stalls, informative talks and workshops from local colleges, sixth forms, universities, apprenticeship providers and more.

In the afternoon, students received a ‘Managing Exam Stress’ workshop from their Head of Year, Mrs Parr, which is timely as students are busily revising for the imminent Pre-Public Examinations. They then also took part in team building games with their form and form tutors, organised and delivered by Mrs Roberts, their Deputy Head of Year.

A huge thank you to all of the staff who were involved in making these events happen. The students took a lot from it and it will really benefit them moving forward. You can see a few photos here.

Student Leadership – application deadline extended

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are aware that some Year 10 students have not been able to apply to become a Student Leader. To ensure everyone has the opportunity to do so, we have extended the application deadline to Friday 12 November.

The application form can be dowloaded here, or students can get a copy from their form tutor, Mr Black or Mr Sloan.

Language GCSEs 

Every year several students are supported through an additional GCSE in their home language. If your son/daughter has a home language which is not English and in which he/she is fluent, please contact Mrs Domin-Boci E: a.domin-boci@millthorpe.southbank.academy for further information.

Instrument Donation Scheme

Due to the success of the Millthorpe School Instrument Donation Scheme, we now have a few instruments available for pupils to try out. If your child would like to have a go on a trumpet, violin, flute or cello then please contact Mr Jackson E: b.jackson@millthorpe.southbank.academy or Mrs Wright E: c.wright@millthorpe.southbank.academy for further details.

PE/Games reminders: cold weather clothing

As the weather starts to change, parents/carers and students are reminded that:

  • wearing two layers for outdoor games is a good idea, ie a t-shirt/skin/thermal layer under a reversible games top or a school navy fleece.
  • a suitable pair of gloves and/or hat may also be appropriate, especially for students who struggle with the cold.
  • all students are permitted to wear navy blue or black skins or leggings under their navy shorts in outdoor Games lessons during the colder months.
  • students may also wear the uniform tracksuit bottoms (available from Keal Teamwear).
  • students should always bring navy shorts, as this is a compulsory item of PE/Games kit.
  • wearing the additional items is optional.

Please note that the indoor PE kit remains unchanged. 

Students must bring the kit to all lessons and if they are unable to participate, they need to produce a medical note each week.

Are you back on the school run? Do you always switch off your engine whilst waiting?

Every year, air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.  The World Health Organisation and the UK government recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental health risk we face today with children especially vulnerable to the effects.  Air pollution has been linked to low birth weights, poor lung development and may even contribute to reduced IQ and mental health issues.

Sitting outside school with an engine running creates a polluted environment for your child and others to walk straight into. You may also be breaking the law and causing disturbance to local residents. Council officers in York are able to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) for idling offences on the public highway.

We have recently received a complaint about idling engines in the local area, so please help us to keep our children safe by switching off your engine when waiting. Further information about idling is available on City of York Council’s website at: www.york.gov.uk/engineoff

A parent’s guide to TikTok

TikTok is incredibly popular with young people and the Wake Up Wednesday sent by National Online Safety during half term is a really useful guide for parents and carers so that they know everything they need to know about this addictive social media platform, and how to keep their children safe.

Read the guide here.

Wake Up Wednesday – Snapchat

Parents and carers will be aware from our last weekly email that we have significant concerns around students’ use of Snapchat. The guide sent to you on Friday 22 October is excellent, but we also wanted to share this guide from National Online Safety which further explains the concerns around Snapchat, and how parents and carers can keep their child(ren) safe if and when using this incredibly popular app.


#AskTheAwkward is a brand new resource from ThinkUKnow for parents and carers of secondary-aged children.

#AskTheAwkward aims to help parents and carers have regular conversations with their children about online relationships and more. The resource includes three short films created in a social experiment style, with real parents and their children to capture their reactions to a range of questions.

You can find lots of great information and guidance on the ThinkUKnow website.

Islamophobia Awareness Month

November is Islamophobia Awareness Month. Islam is the second biggest religion in England. We have been asked to share the attached poster with students and their families to increase understanding of Islam, Islamophobia and how to report a hate crime. These posters have been displayed around school and will be shared with students by their Form Tutors, but we also wanted to share it with you so that you can support us in sharing this message with your child(ren).

The MCC Foundation Hub is back in YORK for both boys and girls!

By joining a MCC Foundation Hub, you will get up to ten weeks of high-quality cricket coaching and have fun whilst being supported to reach your full potential on and off the cricket pitch.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be aged 11-15 (in school years 6-10)
  • attend a state school
  • not have played in a county team this summer

Girls’ hub
This will take place at St Peter’s School, York, YO30 6AB from January – April from 7:30-9:30pm. To register your daughter, please click here.

Boys’ hub
This will take place at St Peter’s School, York, YO30 6AB from January – April from 6.00-8.00pm. To register your son, please click here.

For more information on the programme, please email the HUB Manager, Mick Pickering E: Picko73@sky.com

Brilliant behaviour!

We are delighted to report the following behaviour for learning figures from last half term – they paint a brilliant picture!

We have been incredibly impressed with the way our students support one another, focus in the classroom and ultimately strive each and every single day to be the best that they can be. It’s been a pleasure to watch them enjoy all that Millthorpe has to offer once more and do this with a level of maturity, respect and resilience well beyond their years.

You’ll know that we introduced a behaviour and attitudes system from September 2021. In this system, students are given a ‘point’ for minor misdemeanors. Over the course of the seven-week half term, an incredible 819 students didn’t reach the 5 points threshold that would result in a detention. From this group 516 students recorded either zero or only one point.

This is incredibly impressive and says so much about the conduct of our students. During this same period we were able to give out 470 Golden Tickets for academic progress and students’ wider contribution both inside and outside of school. We expect this figure to rise even further as more extra curricular opportunities open up for our students to explore. We would love to be able to share with parents the total number of ‘Rs’ awarded but the computer is struggling to cope with such a large number!

We would like to thank you for the major part you play in helping Millthorpe School embed these new systems so that all students feel safe, enjoy the learning experience and can achieve their full potential.