WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 8 April 2022

Easter break

We would like to wish you all a very happy and restful Easter break. Summer term will start on Monday 25 April with a B Week.

School Day

A reminder that after Easter, we will be returning to single break and lunch times. To ensure there is time for all students to use the canteen, both breaks will be slightly extended, so the school day will run as follows:

8.45-9.05am – Registration
9.05-10.05am – Period 1
10.05-11.05am – Period 2
11.05-11.25am – Break (20 minutes; previously 15)
11.25am-12.25pm – Period 3
12.25-1.15pm – Lunch (50 minutes; previously 40)
1.15-2.15pm – Period 4
2.15-3.15pm – Period 5

On the Wednesday of a B Week, school will finish at 2.25pm.

Carlton Lodge consent forms

Earlier today, students in Year 9 received a consent form for the Carlton Lodge trip. On this form, you will need to report any dietary requirements, allergies or medical information that staff will need to know about while your child is away with us. Completed forms should be posted in the box in the main school reception, no later than 9.00am on Friday 29 April. Please ensure this deadline is met as I will be starting to process this information the same day and it is vital we have all of this recorded. Thanks!

Mr Newman

Trustee and governor recruitment

South Bank Academy Trust is looking for committed and enthusiastic people to join them as governors and trustees.

Being a governor or a trustee is a great opportunity to contribute to improving education for children and young people in our area and there are also many benefits to volunteers. You will develop new skills, meet new people and connect with an extensive network of governors across the city. Governors and trustees are involved in reviewing the finances, policies and performance of schools and you will develop your experience of reviewing strategy: all of these skills are highly valued in the workplace. And for those involved in education as parents or professionally it offers an opportunity to gain a broader perspective on the issues confronting schools.

No previous experience of being a governor or Trustee is needed and training and support is offered to all new volunteers.

Find out more about becoming a trustee or a governor.

How to access Covid vaccinations in the community for 5-11 and 12-15 year olds

Please see this letter from the NHS which details how to access Covid vaccinations for 5-11 and 12-15 year olds, now the vaccination programme in schools has ended.

Reading Pictures Seeing Stories Festival

Over the Easter holidays, Explore York are taking part in the Reading Pictures Seeing Stories Festival. Children and young people will be able to take part in a wide variety of activities in many of their libraries.

Tomorrow at 1.00pm at York Explore Library and Archive, Olivia Northrop will be hosting a Comic Illustration Workshop for over 11s – and it’s completely free! Details of the event can be found here.

For full information about the festival, please click here.

#WakeUpWednesday – A parent guide to Ofcom’s “Children and parents media use and attitudes reports 2022”

This week’s guide is a handy snapshot of the outcomes of Ofcom’s recent report into things like young people’s online activity, gaming, online safety, spotting fake news and more.

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 1 April 2022

School Day

After Easter, we will be returning to single break and lunch times. As you will recall, the split breaks were introduced as part of the COVID-19 response to help keep year groups separate. Whilst COVID is still very much with us, this separation is no longer consistent with other measures in place across schools and society more generally. Shared breaks for all students reduce disruption to lessons and make it possible to run more lunchtime clubs and activities.

To ensure there is time for all students to use the canteen, both breaks will be slightly extended, so the school day will run as follows:
8.45-9.05am – Registration
9.05-10.05am – Period 1
10.05-11.05am – Period 2
11.05-11.25am – Break (20 minutes; previously 15)
11.25am-12.25pm – Period 3
12.25-1.15pm – Lunch (50 minutes; previously 40)
1.15-2.15pm – Period 4
2.15-3.15pm – Period 5

On the Wednesday of a B Week, school will finish at 2.25pm.
We will review the timings of the school day at the end of the year.

Gates

A reminder that, to safeguard students, the site can be accessed from 8.30am onwards; before that the gates will be locked.

Instrumental lessons

We currently have some spare slots for both piano and trumpet lessons. Anyone interested in piano lessons should email: agnieszka.zimniak@yorkartseducation.org.uk for details and for those interested in trumpet lessons, please email: vaughanmusic1234@gmail.com. We also have a spare trumpet in school for one lucky student to practise on.

Fundraising update – and congratulations!

On Friday 18 March, a range of events took place in the main hall after school to raise money for Comic Relief and in aid of Ukraine. These events were organised by two Year 9 pupils, Arthur Kay and Thomas Baynes who have also been fundraising outside of school for these two causes.

On the day they were supported by friends and family to run these events. Alongside other fundraising events, the boys have managed to raise an impressive £2348.43 to be split equally between these two causes. A massive well done to the boys for their efforts in organising these events, including personally canvassing local businesses for donations to the raffle that they held and thanks to all who supported them on the day and in the lead up to the event.

Our Eco Laundry needs your preloved items!

Since September the Eco Laundry has been really busy. They have sold over 260 items of school uniform with the school logo alone, saving families nearly £4,500. They have also sold many more items including shirts, footwear, PE tops, shorts and bags. This has been a huge benefit to so many families, but is also great for the environment to see so much preloved uniform reused.

Having so many sales is brilliant, but it does mean stocks are running low in some sizes. If you are having a clear out over the Easter holidays and have any uniform that is now outgrown we would love you to donate to us. Donations can be left at the school office anytime school is open.
Year 11 parents: if you don’t have family or friends to pass uniform on to when your child finishes at Millthorpe collection bins will be placed in all Year 11 form rooms, so please consider donating.

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme

A reminder that the Holidays Activity and Food programme provides free activities and a meal to children and young people, who are eligible for Free School Meals in York and are aged 4-16 years old.

The HAF programme will be available throughout the Easter holidays – full details can be found here.

#WakeUpWednesday – A Parent Guide to Facebook

As the world’s most popular social media platform, we are very aware that many students (and indeed parents and carers) will use Facebook. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide from National Online Safety provides parents and carers with practical advice to help monitor and support your child if they are using Facebook, and it may be of use to you too if you are one of the 2.9 billion Facebook users worldwide.

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 25 March 2022

Access to school in the morning

A reminder that in order to keep students as safe as possible, we need to make sure that they are only coming onto the school site once there are staff available to supervise them. This supervision begins at 8.30am each morning until form time begins at 8.45am. We would therefore ask you to make sure students are not arriving before this time, as all gates will be locked and they will not be able to enter the school site.

Assemblies this week

The Senior Leadership Team have delivered assemblies this week around Earth Hour. We covered sustainability, our impact on the planet, steps we can take to reduce our devastating effect on the planet and how we all have a responsibility to change the way we live, do business and value the planet we will pass on to the next generation.

You can take a look at the presentation from the assemblies here.

We encourage everyone within the Millthorpe community to take part in the Earth Hour campaign by turning off your lights at 8.30pm this Saturday night. You can find out more here.

Millthorpe Allies

In assemblies this week, Miss Richards introduced the new Millthorpe Allies initiative. Through the scheme, staff can choose to wear a rainbow Millthorpe badge which acts as a sign to students that these people are happy to talk about LGBTQIA+ issues.

Full information about Millthorpe Allies, which has been devised by Miss Richards, will appear in the Easter edition of the Millthorpe Messenger – please look out for it!

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme

The Holidays Activity and Food programme provides free activities and a meal to children and young people, who are eligible for Free School Meals in York and are aged 4-16 years old.

The HAF programme will be available throughout the Easter holidays – full details can be found here.

Year 11 National Citizen Service (NCS) residential

Students were informed in assembly last week of a two-week residential, organised by NCS, which will take place over the summer holidays. Places are limited so if your son/daughter is interested, please take a look at the attached letter as soon as possible.

NCS will also be coming into school on Tuesday 29 March to answer any queries you might have and to collect application forms. Spare forms can be obtained from Mr Noble.

York Press article

You may have seen MP Rachael Maskell’s comments in today’s York Press around capital investment for schools. Whilst we appreciate Ms Maskell’s support in this important matter and we are very aware that some parts of the school’s estate are in need of investment, we would like to emphasise that, as with any school, we have a rolling programme of upkeep and capital investment, including the upcoming improvements to the dining hall, toilets and across the site we told you about earlier in the year. We want to reassure parents and carers that students’ wellbeing is paramount and there is no risk to their safety as may have inadvertently been implied by the article.

NYP advice – check your child’s phone

We regularly encourage parents and carers to check their child’s mobile phone to ensure that they are being used appropriately and they are not being exposed to inappropriate material. We deal with issues relating to mobile phones, group chats and social media on an almost daily basis so we are supporting a request from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) for parents and carers to once again check their child’s mobile phone.

NYP are currently investigating a significant safeguarding concern relating to a viral video and whilst there is no suggestion that this directly involved Millthorpe students, we would kindly request that all parents and carers check their child’s mobile phone, satisfy themselves that the content is appropriate, and if there is anything of concern, that you ensure that it is reported to the police and then deleted from your child’s phone.

If you would like to explore free Apps that make monitoring your child’s mobile phone and social media usage easier, please visit 10 Free Apps for Parents to Monitor Social Media.

#WakeUpWednesday

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is a really handy guide for parents and carers to manage phone scams. It is useful for adults as well as for you to share with your child(ren).

Family Matters courses

A reminder that Family Matters York are offering the following courses after the Easter break:

  • Handling Anger in the Family (St Edward’s Church, Tadcaster Road and on Zoom)
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years (Aroma Coffee Shop, The Village, Haxby)
  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years (Cornerstone at St Georges, Millfield Lane, Osbaldwick)

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.

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 18 March 2022

Aid for Ukraine – a huge thank you!

We’re thrilled to announce that our appeal for donations to support the charity SOS Children’s Villages has seen an overwhelming response from the Millthorpe community. As of today, your generous gifts amount to over £1,800! This will go to support the critical work the charity is doing with Ukrainian refugee children and families.

Representatives from the charity report that our funds will go towards:

  • Helping abandoned, orphaned children and children who lose their parents’ care.
  • Relocation support and shelter for children and their families.
  • Short-term emergency support for children and families such as psychological first aid, referrals, emergency assistance such as food, medicine and hygiene items.
  • Trauma care and mental health support for children, their families and for staff.
  • Paying for additional staff to support increased numbers of families and children needing support.

So that our donations arrive in good time, we will be closing the collection on Monday 21 March. If you’d still like to contribute, please donate on ParentPay or cash can be handed to your child’s form tutor on Monday.

Thanks again for your generosity!

Guidance for parents and carers on talking to teenagers about the invasion of Ukraine

This guidance and advice article is written by Dr Sheila Redfern, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre, and published by BBC Bitesize.

In the article, Dr Redfern shares advice for parents and carers on how to talk with young people about the invasion of Ukraine – a time that will be extremely unsettling and scary for many. There is advice for parents and carers on managing their own reactions and feelings, as well as ways to reassure and support children.

North Yorkshire Police consultation on the Little Knavesmire

Local residents and young people are invited to attend a meeting led by North Yorkshire Police (NYP) at the Racecourse on 30 March to share their views on the Little Knavesmire as the lighter nights approach. Full details are available on this letter. Please note the request to email NYP to inform them of your attendance.

We are keen to secure the thoughts of young people too, so please encourage your child(ren) to complete this Google Form if they regularly use the Little Knavesmire as a social space, especially during the summer months.
This form can also be completed by parents/carers and other members of the local community if you are unable to attend. Depending on the number of responses, Millthorpe School may not be able to share all of the feedback on the night, but we will forward all responses to NYP for their consideration.

ISSP Lecture

A reminder that the second lecture in this year’s Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) lecture series will take place on Thursday 24 March from 7.00-8.00pm. Entitled ‘From MCHOS to WIMPS and the Dark Secrets in Our Cosmic Backyard: An exploration of the astronomical discoveries behind one of the biggest mysteries in Astronomy – Dark Matter’, the lecture will be delivered by Andy Parr, Head of Science Outreach at St Peter’s School.

Click here for online booking which will be available until 21 March.

“We all feel it” – Childline Mental Health Campaign

Earlier this month, Childline launched a mental health campaign, to support young people, particularly males, struggling to reach out for mental health support. Young men are significantly underrepresented in the users of Childline’s mental health support, despite the research suggesting that many young men are struggling with their mental health.

A very short video is available here – We All Feel It

We will ask Form Tutors to show this in school but also encourage parents/carers of young men to invite their child(ren) to watch it too.

#WakeUpWednesday

National Online Safety have published a guide to support parents and carers with a social network platform called Yubo and a guide to support young people who have viewed upsetting content online.

Family Matters courses

Family Matters York are offering the following courses, some online and some in person, after the Easter break:

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

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.

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

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 March 2022

Reporting student absence

We would like to remind all parents/carers that they must notify us if their child is going to be absent, by calling the school office on T: 01904 686400.

Please DO NOT email the school office or contact the year teams regarding student absence. It is vital that we receive a phone call for safeguarding purposes.

Any unnotified absences create extra work for our admin and year teams as they then have to spend time contacting parents/carers.

You will already be aware that we place huge importance on excellent school attendance, so we continue to ask that students come into school, even if they are not feeling 100%. We often find that when lessons begin, students see their friends and the busy school day begins, they pick up and benefit from all school life has to offer. Please continue to remind your child that ‘every minute counts’.

Comic Relief Fundraiser – Friday 18 March

Please come along to the Main Hall after school next Friday (18 March) for a fun-packed fundraiser devised and organised by Year 9 students. There will be a raffle, a bake sale and lots of other activities guaranteed to keep you entertained and painlessly extract your small change. All proceeds will go to Comic Relief 2022. If you buy raffle tickets, you’re advised to come along in person so you can have your pick of the prizes and don’t end up with that strange ornament or the bottle of ouzo you donated two years ago.

Year 11 Prom rental project

We are pleased to announce that the Eco Laundry is expanding into formal wear. We have spent the last year collecting dresses, suits, shoes and accessories for our students to hire for prom, at a cost of no more than £5. We want to reduce financial barriers to attending prom and we have the added bonus of reducing the impact on the environment.

We will be hosting our ‘prom shopping day’ on Monday 21 March in the Main Hall from 3.30-5.30pm.

Parents and carers are welcome to accompany their child(ren) so everyone can enjoy the experience. There will be many helpful volunteers and students have the opportunity to try on some outfits before they decide which items they would like to rent.

Please feel free to contact Miss Ramadhan for further information.

ISSP Lecture

The second lecture in this year’s Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) lecture series will take place on Thursday 24 March from 7.00-8.00pm. Entitled ‘From MCHOS to WIMPS and the Dark Secrets in Our Cosmic Backyard: An exploration of the astronomical discoveries behind one of the biggest mysteries in Astronomy – Dark Matter’, the lecture will be delivered by Andy Parr, Head of Science Outreach at St Peter’s School.

Click here for online booking which will be available from 14-21 March.

York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

A reminder that the York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event will take place on 15 March at York High School. The event, which runs between 4.00-7.00pm, provides young people with a great opportunity to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There is no need to register and students are encouraged to take an up-to-date CV with them to the event.

Job vacancies

We are seeking to appoint exam invigilators to work with students who are not currently attending school and are not expected to attend school for their GCSE exams in the summer. To find out more, please click here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 4 March 2022

Access to school in the morning

In order to keep students as safe as possible, we need to make sure that they are only coming onto the school site once there are staff available to supervise them. This supervision begins at 8.30am each morning until form time begins at 8.45am. We would therefore ask you to make sure students are not arriving before this time, as they will not be able to enter the school site.

Year 11 Prom payments

A reminder that this weekend is the last chance to pay your deposit for the Year 11 prom.

World Book Day

We have celebrated World Book Day throughout the week with a wide range of activities including: teachers displaying posters about their favourite book; teachers creating and sharing videos about their favourite book; and a range of fun quizzes and challenges. On the day, we shared diversity-themed readings in all classes, some staff members dressed up, students brought in props and accessories, and in the library we had a ‘Guess the Book Character’ competition and a Harry Potter themed Jellybean Challenge.

This is not the end of our celebrations, however, and we have a trip to Rowntree Reading Café and an outing to The Portal Bookshop to look forward to, as well as nominated star readers receiving book prizes next week. Also, further reading lists for each subject will be made available on the school website soon, with all the suggested books being available and easily accessible in the library.

We are always keen to promote reading at Millthorpe as it has amazing educational benefits as well as being a relaxing, fun and informative activity. Please do encourage your child/ren to read as much as possible. Reading for fifteen minutes a day adds up to over 100,000,000 words in a year. A good time to encourage reading is before bed. It is a particularly good time to turn off screens or the blue tone of back lights, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Bookbuzz Books and World Book Day

A few weeks ago we shared the great news that through a scheme called Bookbuzz all Year 7 students received a book of their choice from a great selection. This week we put out quizzes and activities related to the books for students to complete. After completing these and returning them to Miss Brooks in the library, students will receive a substantial sweet treat or a set of bookmarks, and a golden ticket. Please encourage your child/ren to get involved.

Refugee Aid for Ukraine

The Millthorpe community has watched the events unfolding in Ukraine with sadness and concern. This week, we have shared information with classes about the war in Ukraine, using reliable sources for learning information and how to spot misinformation.

We are proud of our longstanding tradition of supporting other communities, near and far, who need extra help and many people are keen to support refugees and citizens who remain in their homes in Ukraine. The effort to provide aid is a fast and very changeable situation. Mrs Featherstone, who has connections to charities in Poland, has organised a link between our school and SOS Wioski Dzieciece/SOS Children’s Villages who are presently working to evacuate children and families to safe places, provide those still in Ukraine with food and other supplies, and provide trauma support for children and families. You can find more information about this charity here.

Using Mrs Featherstone’s links to the Children’s Villages Charity and Ms Garner Steel’s connections in the foreign aid sector, we have followed the advice of aid workers on the ground, who have said they are currently struggling to process and store the amounts of well-meant material donations at this time. Therefore, we have chosen not to collect material donations at this point, but to ask for donations of money which will go to fund the vital work the SOS Children’s Villages are doing with Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland. You can donate money on ParentPay or students can bring cash donations to form until Friday 11 March.

As the situation unfolds, we will continue to look to see if there are other initiatives we may be able to support and we will let you know about these in future emails.

York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

A reminder that the York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event will take place on 15 March at York High School. The event, which runs between 4.00-7.00pm, provides young people with a great opportunity to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There is no need to register and students are encouraged to take an up-to-date CV with them to the event.

SEND Inclusion Review – Parent Carer focus group invitation

In May last year, City of York Council launched an Inclusion Review Survey which asked children and young people with SEND, their families, carers, health and childcare professionals, for their views on proposals to change provision for young people with SEND in York.

The Council are now onto the next phase of the SEND inclusion review and they would like to invite parents and carers to share their views and help shape future support and provision via two parent/carer focus groups. These will take place on:

  • Wednesday 16 March 6.00-7.30pm (virtual meeting via Zoom)
  • Thursday 24 March 1.30-3.00pm (Hob Moor Children’s Centre)

To book your slot, please email Laura.Brown@york.gov.uk

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 25 February 2022

Changes to testing and isolation arrangements

Following the government announcement this week, the arrangements around testing and isolation have changed with effect from Monday 21 February, as follows:

  • Although it is no longer a legal requirement, children are still advised to self-isolate for at least 5 days if they test positive for Covid-19; and then continue to follow this guidance until they have received negative test results on two consecutive days.
  • Close contacts are no longer advised to test daily if they have no symptoms or to self-isolate even if they are unvaccinated.
  • Students and their families are no longer advised to carry out testing twice a week when they are asymptomatic. Testing may be reintroduced if there is a local outbreak.
  • As such, schools will no longer be provided with test kits to pass on to students. Test kits can continue to be obtained online or from pharmacies.

Attendance

As we start a new half term, we would like to once again remind parents of the vital importance of good attendance. The overwhelming majority of students recognise the benefits associated with consistently strong attendance and punctuality. As a school we are broadly in line with national attendance figures but feel we should be aiming higher here at Millthorpe.

Our overall school attendance percentage is still sitting significantly short of its pre-pandemic level of 96%, even when Covid related absence has been factored in. Clearly there are so many complex reasons that might explain why we are in this position. City of York Council has recognised this issue and brought together all York schools to analyse the factors involved and work collaboratively to support students and families. We have a dedicated attendance team at Millthorpe School that wants to work alongside parents to build resilience in all our young people. After such a challenging time over the last two years, it’s important that we make clear the impact of poor attendance.

We believe that every minute counts in school. Missing lessons creates a learning gap and can therefore lead to stress and anxiety, which only increases with further absence. We want all students to feel connected to Millthorpe School, building great working relationships with their teachers and, importantly, benefiting from all the social aspects associated with a vibrant school like ours. We want them to leave us ready to grasp the opportunities that await them and establishing good attendance habits helps them do this.

Please continue to reinforce how coming into school every day is the norm. We recognise that every child is different and some may need a more bespoke approach; this is something we can do if we develop good working relationships with parents.

Obviously, students should only attend if they are well enough to do so. This can be a difficult judgment to make, but on those days when your child just isn’t quite feeling 100%, we ask that you encourage them to come in and have a go as children often feel better once they’ve got themselves up and ready and are back in their routine.

We know that the vast majority of our parents are highly supportive of school and the value of good attendance, for which we are extremely grateful. We’re confident that with a little extra focus, we can not only get back to where we should be as a school but also see all our students being the best that they can be.

Dates for the diary

A reminder that school reopens after half-term on Monday 28 February, with a B week.

School will be closed to students on Friday 4 March for a teacher training day.

Secondary school allocation day

On Tuesday 1 March, those of you with children in Year 6 will find out where your child has been allocated a Year 7 place for September 2022.

On the day, you can log on to the City of York Council’s Parent Portal to check your child’s school place. Parents/carers who applied online will also receive a Parent Portal email on the day. Those who did not apply online will receive a letter.

Further information can be found at york.gov.uk/SecondarySchoolAdmissions

Vacancies

We are looking to recruit school cleaners to work before or after school (10-20 hours per week). We can offer competitive pay and conditions – visit our website for full details of this and other current vacancies.

#WakeUpWednesday – A parent guide to Wink

Wink is a messaging app which allows children to connect and communicate with other users. In a similar style to Tinder, Wink uses the swipe method for browsing profiles and accepting or declining them. Once two users have accepted each other by swiping on each other’s profile, they can then communicate and play games online together. The fact that Wink allows children to share photos, personal information and their location with other users has caused significant concern.

In this parents’ guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as grooming, cyberbullying and inappropriate content.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 18 February 2022

Dates for the diary

School reopens after half-term on Monday 28 February, with a B week. School will be closed to students on Friday 4 March for a teacher training day.

ParentPay

Could we remind parents to keep their children’s ParentPay account in credit please. If you have any issues with ParentPay, please contact Mel Brown.

Valuables and personal items in PE

We would ask parents to discourage students from bringing valuable items such as jewellery and air pods into school. If they do bring them in, please remind them that any valuables can be handed to the teacher at the beginning of PE lessons. All items of kit and uniform should be named.

York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

The York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event will take place on 15 March at York High School. The event, which runs between 4.00-7.00pm, provides young people with a great opportunity to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There is no need to register and students are encouraged to take an up-to-date CV with them to the event.

Family Matters courses

A reminder that Family Matters York are offering the following courses, some online and some in person, after half-term:

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

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 February 2022

Improvement works for September

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

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

A guide to coping with exam pressure

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

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

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

Online maths platform

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

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

Accessibility Plan

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

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

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

We will share our accessibility plan on completion.

Medicines in school

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

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

Embracing Diversity

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

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

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

Year 9 Residential: 18-21 July 2022

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

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

Family Matters courses

The short courses offered by Family Matters York give parents the opportunity to meet other parents and find out that they are not alone; to think about what they are doing with their children; and, in the light of the course material and ideas from other parents, decide if they want to make any changes.

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

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

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.

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

Make Your Mark 2022 ballot

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

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

STEM work experience opportunity for Y10/11 students

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

Kooth – online counselling service decommissioned

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

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

YoungMinds Textline
Text YM to 85258.

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

#WakeUpWednesday

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

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 4 February 2022

Message to students about our expectations

Today, all students watched a presentation by Miss Greenhalgh reminding them of the school motto of Ready, Respectful, Responsible and what that means in terms of our expectations of them in certain key areas.

Year 11 Exams
All students were reminded of the importance of these exams and the need to respect Year 11 students by not disturbing them.
Toilets
It’s vital that toilets are only used for their intended purpose, not to socialise or congregate. All students need to feel safe and comfortable using them. Misuse of toilet areas will be robustly addressed. The good news is that brand new toilets will be in place across the school in September.
Punctuality
Miss Greenhalgh spelled out the impact of being late to form and classes in terms of lost learning, not only for the individual but for the rest of the class as well. For this reason, a higher sanction of an after-school detention will be introduced for lateness starting on Monday
Uniform
As the weather begins to get milder, the temporary arrangements regarding coats will cease today and from Monday, normal rules will apply: only school uniform (blazer and optional Millthorpe jumper) allowed inside the building during the school day.
Finally, Miss Greenhalgh reminded everyone what a fantastic school Millthorpe is, with an exceptionally warm and inclusive community, and that the vast majority of students work incredibly hard to make it a successful place.

Assemblies

The Millthorpe Parents Forum agreed that if we shared the focus of recent assemblies with all parents/carers, it would help to encourage further discussion and debate at home. The following topics have been covered over the last two weeks:

  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • E safety – make sure you leave the right digital footprint (Year 7 will see this next Wednesday)
  • LGBTQ+ Month – Telling the story of Alan Turing (Year 10 will see this next Tuesday)

Year 9 Residential: 18-21 July 2022

This week we were pleased to announce to pupils that the Year 9 residential trip is returning for 2022. Pupils will have received a letter with some key information, payment dates and a reply slip in form time today. All pupils are welcome to join the trip and we’d love as many pupils to join us as possible! To secure a place on the trip for your child, please return the reply slip with your child’s name to the office and pay the initial deposit by Friday 18 February.

More information will follow after this date once we have pupil numbers. If there are any queries in the meantime, please contact Mr Newman or Miss Forrester.

Rail safety

We have once again been contacted by Network Rail to ask us to share their concerns about high volumes of trespass on the railway in our area. There is nothing to suggest that this is Millthorpe students, but please take the time to speak to your child about this and show them the video. We have attached the video aimed at a younger audience too in case this is more suitable for your child.

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.

Virtual Summer Courses: ‘Deutschland online erleben’

UK German Connection are offering virtual courses to pupils aged 15-17, giving them an opportunity to practise and improve their German skills and immerse themselves in the language with like-minded peers from many different European countries. It’s a unique opportunity to exchange on topics relevant to their lives, gain new perspectives and make friends, all under the guidance of specialist German teachers.

The programme consists of a week-long practical language course, run by the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), which will be embedded in a wider programme delivered by UK-German Connection. This will include a network of UK participantscomplementary language support from a UK teacher, and an opportunity to engage with German peers. The programme is completely free.

An optional visit to Germany is being planned for the autumn of 2022 if travel restrictions allow. This trip will provide all successful applicants of the Virtual Summer Courses with an opportunity to meet German peers and also meet each other in person whilst getting a taste of German culture and everyday language.

You can find out more on their website: www.ukgermanconnection.org/virtual-summer-courses

Application deadline: 1 March 2022

Family Matters courses

The short courses offered by Family Matters York give parents the opportunity to meet other parents and find out that they are not alone; to think about what they are doing with their children; and, in the light of the course material and ideas from other parents, decide if they want to make any changes.

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

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

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.

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

Basketball Development Camps

If your child would like to take part in a Basketball Development Camp over the February half-term or Easter holidays, please take a look here for details. You can also find the application form here.

South Bank Singers

The South Bank Singers will be performing a short concert on Saturday 12 February, their first for over two years, at St Clements Church. They are hoping that as many local people as possible will join them.

Further information can be found here.