A message from the Head of School
As you will no doubt be aware, on Monday the Government announced its plans for the return of all students to school. We will be delighted to welcome everyone back and we are busily getting everything in place for a successful return. Here are the key messages:
School opens for all students on Monday 8 March. Attendance will be mandatory from this date and normal rules of attendance will apply.
The timings of the school day will be the same as last term. A reminder of the timings can be found here.
Timetables, teaching groups and seating plans will also continue unchanged.
On the first day back, there will be an extended form time for all students starting at 8.45am for Years 7, 10 and 11 and at 9.05am for Years 8 and 9. All students should go straight to their form rooms on Monday morning.
Initial COVID-19 testing of students using self-administered lateral flow devices will take place next week in school on Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th March. More details about testing are set out below.
Most of the same hygiene and social distancing rules that were in place in December will continue, including handwashing/sanitising; staggered starts, breaks, lunches and finishes; one-way systems; year group bubbles and fixed seating plans to minimise contact between students; and social distancing between adults and children and other adults. Ventilation is given greater priority in the latest guidance and we’ll be ensuring our site has good airflow.
The government and Public Health York have enhanced the requirements regarding face coverings to include students wearing face coverings in classrooms as well as other indoor spaces except when they are eating or drinking or engaged in strenuous activities such as PE. All students will be required to wear face coverings except those with a medical exemption. Adults will wear face coverings in communal indoor spaces and for any short periods in the classroom where the usual 2m distancing cannot be maintained.
More information about the government’s policy on face coverings and exemptions can be found here.
Students are asked to bring the equipment they were provided with last term, i.e. whiteboard, whiteboard rubber, scissors. Any pens or glue sticks that have run out will be replaced by form tutors. Students missing any of the other items can replace with their own or purchase from their form tutor for a small charge.
Normal uniform rules will apply from 8 March. A reminder of our uniform expectations can be found here. Parents and carers are respectfully asked to support the school by ensuring that their child(ren) comply with all of the uniform requirements so that we can all focus on making the return to school as successful as possible. Any badged items of uniform can now be bought from Keal Teamwear using their delivery or click and collect services. Collections are available from 1 March as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10.00am – 1.00pm.
We have sent a survey direct to all students to check on their wellbeing and help us provide support to those who need it. There will be a range of measures in place to address any needs and concerns. A copy of the survey can also be found on the Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Google Classroom or you can access it here. Please can responses be submitted by 4pm on Tuesday 2 March in order for us to plan our interventions effectively.
A full copy of the the latest operating guidance for schools from the DfE can be found here.
Lateral Flow Testing
As summarised above, the government expects all students to undertake three supervised tests before beginning a twice-weekly regime of home testing, with students able to attend lessons in school if the first test is negative.
We will be testing students on site at school next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This will allow all students with negative test results to attend lessons from Monday morning. If you have provided consent, we will contact you with a time slot for your child to attend for testing on one of those days. Students will be invited to attend in small groups and strict social distancing will be maintained at all times. Students will be given instructions so that they can obtain the sample themselves by swabbing their throat and nose. Once the test is complete, students will be dismissed to go straight home. If the test result is positive, the school will contact students/parents straight away. Negative results (as well as confirmation of positive results) will be sent by email or text from the NHS testing site. Parents travelling with their child to the test are asked not to come onto the school site and not to congregate outside the school while waiting for them to leave. Students do not need to wear school uniform to attend the testing.
We are currently in consultation with the York Public Health team regarding the best way to deliver the second and third supervised tests and we expect to be able to update you in this regard by the end of the weekend.
If you have not already done so, to register your consent for your child to take part in testing at school next week, please follow this link.
GCSEs Summer 2021
The government and Ofqual have released their guidance on the grading process for GCSEs this summer. In summary, grades will be based on teachers’ judgement, taking into account a range of evidence that may include work already completed, mock exam results, homework or in-class tests. Teachers may also use questions from exam boards, largely based on past papers but this isn’t compulsory. Results are expected to be available on 12 August. We are still considering the full implications of the plans and we will be in touch with Year 11 students and parents in the near future with more details. You can read an article from the Government’s Chief Regulator here.
We are delighted to announce that Janet Bennett and Emma Hughes have been elected to join our governing body as parent representatives following the recent election.
With best wishes
This week’s assembly, entitled ‘To Infinity and Beyond’, is delivered by Mr Bates.
You can download it here.
Many thanks to everyone who has contacted us to volunteer to help with the testing in school next week. We will be in touch shortly if your support is needed.
National Careers Week: 1-6 March 2021
Next week is National Careers Week. It will obviously be a bit different this year because most students are not in school, however there are things your child can participate in. Please see the attached letter for an overview.
NCW have published a useful guide to careers and young people which can be downloaded here. They are also running a Virtual Careers Fair for the whole of next week – to access it simply go to www.ncw2021.co.uk.
Millthorpe Careers Newsletter
To coincide with National Careers Week, the spring edition of the Millthorpe Careers Newsletter is now available. It can be downloaded from the Careers page on the school website – just scroll to the bottom of the page to see the links.
NHS Careers Competition
The NHS are running a careers competition to mark National Careers Week. Students can work on their own or in groups of up to four and there are Amazon vouchers up for grabs. For more details please see the Careers Bulletin board.
Virtual work experience
A reminder that students in Year 10 (and in some cases Year 9 as well) have access to virtual work experience placements through the Speakers for Schools organisation. At the moment they are organising placements in green industries as varied as creative design, IT, engineering and architecture. Go to www.s4snextgen.org and search for “Green Skills Week 2021”. Further details are also available on the Careers Bulletin board.
Post-16 events for students in Years 10 & 11
The team at Bishop Burton College are running a series of subject Taster Sessions for students in Years 10 & 11. The sessions, which all run from 4.30-5.30pm, will allow prospective students to get a taste of life at the college. A full list of all the available sessions can be found here.
Askham Bryan College is holding a virtual Information Evening on Tuesday 2 March from 5.00-6.30pm for students to find out about the courses on offer. Information will also be available on accommodation, travel, finance and scholarships. They are also running an Open Morning on Saturday 20 March from 10.00am-1.00pm. To find out more and book a place click here.
North Yorkshire Youth Commission
The North Yorkshire Youth Commission (NYYC) is currently looking for young people in Year 9 or above to join them as members.
The NYYC supports and informs the work of the Police and Fire service in York and North Yorkshire and therefore the decisions it makes have a direct impact on the lives of people who live in the local area. If your child would like to join, please read the guidance notes and then complete the application form and consent form which can both be found here.
To apply, students will need the school to endorse their application – please contact Mr Noble at school to do this. The closing date for applications is 19 March 2021.
Meetings re DofE Awards
A reminder to parents/carers of our Year 10 and 11 ‘DofEers’ – could you please ask your son/daughter, if they have not already done so, to sign up to the Google DofE classroom using the code ngb52gv. Please do let us know if you have any issues with this.
Once they have signed up we would like to have a meeting with Year 10s on Wednesday 3 March and Year 11s on Thursday 4 March, both at 3.00pm. The meetings will last for approximately 15 minutes.
Please do encourage your child to sign up and attend so that we can all start to get things sorted with regards to the award.
An early iteration of the school calendar for this academic year showed a training day next Friday – please note there will NOT be a training day on Friday 5 March.
Face coverings on First Buses
As students are due to return to school on 8 March may we politely remind you that face coverings must be worn on all buses and that social distancing rules should be adhered to.
There will be Covid Marshalls travelling on the buses who will kindly remind students should they not follow these rules.
“I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” PE fitness challenge – the results!
A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the ‘I’m a celebrity’ fitness challenge this week. In total, the girls have achieved 6,936 stars which is a fantastic achievement.
The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done once again Saxons. Vikings and Romans, maybe next week could be your week!
Well done to everyone who took part and for your hard work!
If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.
For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.