Christmas performances 2020

The music plays on….

As with so many things this year, our Christmas performances have had to adapt to the new rules, but our students have still made some wonderful music. Well done to them all!

This performance of Christmas Star is from our Year 11 GCSE Music students.

And this video features our Year 10 GCSE Music students performing Prokofiev’s Troika. Please enjoy!

WEEKLY EMAIL Thursday 17 December 2020

Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas break

We wish you all a very happy and restful Christmas break. We hope that everyone stays well and we have been reminding students in assemblies of the importance of following rules around social distancing during the holidays to keep themselves and everyone else in the community safe.

If your child does develop symptoms and test positive for coronavirus, please remember the following important advice for families over the holidays:
  • if your child develops symptoms within 48 hours of the last time they were in school (i.e. by Saturday afternoon for most students) and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, please alert the school using the dedicated email address urgentcontact@millthorpe.southbank.academy only. Safeguarding concerns should continue to be reported via safeguarding@millthorpe.southbank.academy. No other emails or telephone numbers will be monitored over the break.
  • if your child develops symptoms more than 48 hours after leaving school, please follow the contact details provided by NHS track and trace.

Arrangements for return to school in January 2021

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting details of the government’s plans regarding asymptomatic testing in secondary schools and a staggered start in January. The lateness of these announcements makes it impossible for us to prepare properly and keep you informed of our plans in the way that we would wish but we will make every effort to let you know what is happening with as much notice as possible once the information we need has been provided.

Christmas Jumper Day

Thank you to everyone who wore a festive jumper on Friday last week and/or made a donation. We collected a fantastic total of £502.73 which has gone to SASH this week. SASH is a registered charity preventing homelessness in young people aged 16 to 25 throughout North and East Yorkshire, including York and Hull.

Changes to the behaviour system from January 2021

We are currently undertaking a full review of our behaviour systems in order to have a revised policy in place for September 2021. Reviewing policies regularly and ensuring that we are using the most recent research-based systems is part of our self-review process and continued strive towards providing the best education for our students.

Currently we are working with an amended system due to COVID restrictions. Having reviewed the first full term, we are going to make some small changes to improve consistency and to ensure that high quality learning can take place. The amendments are unlikely to affect the overwhelming majority of students who are very well behaved and have excellent learning conduct. The changes will address low level disruption and refusal to comply with expectations and sanctions. There has also been a change to how we manage access to toilets during the school day to ensure that students don’t miss or disrupt learning. A small number of students have been taking advantage of being able to leave lessons.

The key changes are:

1. Disruptive behaviour in lessons

 If a student is issued with a Negative Comment in a lesson, after having been calmly given a Rule Reminder and a Formal Warning by their Teacher, this will now result in a 30-minute after school detention, rather than 10 minutes as previously. The reason for this change is to emphasise that disrupting the teaching and learning environment for everyone in their lesson is more serious than not meeting a baseline expectation such as not having correct equipment or being late to lessons, for which a 10-minute detention is given. This should help to ensure all can learn without disruption.

2. Failure to successfully complete sanctions

If students fail to comply with the sanction they have been given, for example by not turning up to a detention, this will be escalated to a more serious sanction. We have explained these to the students so that they are clear on what is expected and they will be reminded of this in assemblies in the first week back in January.

3. Use of toilets during lesson times

When we first returned to school in September, students were given free access to the toilets at all times of the school day in order to reduce overcrowding at the previously busy times of break and lunch. However, as year groups are now separate at break and lunch, it is more appropriate for them to use the toilet during these times. As such, we will now generally limit students to one visit per day during lesson times to minimise loss of learning time and disruption, though, as has always been the case, teachers have discretion to allow students to go at any time if they clearly need to. If a student has a medical condition which requires unrestricted access to the toilet and we are not already aware of this, please contact their Form Tutor in the first instance.
 
Mr Baybutt
Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Winter Support Grant

Has your income been affected by the Covid pandemic? Are you struggling to pay your bills? The Winter Support Grant can help. The scheme is there to support you and your family with food and energy bills this winter. You can apply for it now at www.york.gov.uk/wintersupportgrant

For help with applying or for more information on other sources of support please visit www.york.gov.uk/benefitsadvice, or www.livewellyork.co.uk or call City of York Council’s Covid Helpline on 01904 551550.

National Saturday Art Club

An exciting creative opportunity is starting in the New Year at York College. Over the past three years many Millthorpe students have taken part in the National Saturday Art Club, developing their creativity on a Saturday morning and gaining from a wide range of exciting extra-curricular opportunities including trips, special events, visiting art galleries and even seeing their own work exhibited!

Applications are invited from interested and enthusiastic students in Year 9, 10 or 11. Click here to apply or if you have any questions please contact Ms Cockburn.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 December 2020

Important: School Closing for Christmas on Thursday 17 December

This year Millthorpe will be closing for Christmas on Thursday 17 December. School will end at the normal time on that day and full uniform should be worn. We have made this decision in line with the Government’s suggestion that schools make Friday 18 December a non-teaching day in response to the pressures of remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologise for the timing of this decision but the guidance from the government was only released on Tuesday.

This will allow staff and students to get a good break after a very challenging term. In the run up to Christmas, it also brings forward by a day the point at which there is no longer any risk of picking up the virus in school or being identified as a close contact of someone in school who has tested positive. In the circumstances, we have decided to disaggregate the training day for staff so they will not be required to work on the Friday. Instead, they will complete training outside of teaching time at a later point in the year.

The DFE have indicated that they expect schools to assist with track and trace for six days following the last day of opening. Closing a day early means that, should there be a positive case that comes to light after term has ended, school will be able to let families know sooner. If school had remained open until Friday, this may have resulted in staff having to contact families on Christmas Eve to advise children to self-isolate.

Confirmation of the arrangements regarding positive cases, as provided by the DfE, is given below:

  • Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  • For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school

During the holidays, to report a positive case, parents/carers should only use the following email: urgentcontact@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Safeguarding concerns should continue to be reported via safeguarding@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Other email addresses and phone numbers will not be monitored.
We would urge anyone developing symptoms after school has ended to get tested straight away so that staff can identify contacts and notify them as early as possible.

The school will provide an extra days’ worth of vouchers for each child eligible for free school meals on top of the vouchers for the two-week holiday that the Government has eventually agreed to fund.

Christmas Dinner

A reminder that Christmas Dinner will be on Wednesday 16 December. Whatever your child chooses will be charged as normal through his/her school meals account.

Christmas Jumpers

There were some fantastically sparkly Christmas jumpers on show today: we haven’t totted up all the donations but we’ve definitely raised a good sum of money for SASH.

NSPCC’s Young People’s Board for Change

The NSPCC is looking for 15 young people, aged between 13-16, from across the UK to join its Young People’s Board for Change (YPBC).

The YPBC will place children and young people at the very heart of steering, advising and influencing the NSPCC’s work. Members will share their views and ideas with decision-makers like NSPCC trustees, staff and politicians. Members will also get involved in fun projects and travel across the country to take part in residentials, meetings, and workshops.

To apply, the first step is to fill out an online application form and a parent/carer consent form. Applications should be made by 11 January 2021 and you will need to be available for a virtual interview between 18 – 21 January 2021. 

Full information about the scheme can be found on the NSPCC website.

TikTok Update Parental Controls with Family Pairing Feature

TikTok is used by many teenagers and sometimes children younger than 13, despite its terms and conditions. Using the new Family Pairing feature can allow parents to guide their child’s TikTok experience in a safer way. Features include:

  • Search: Decide what can be searched for. This includes content, users, hashtags, or sounds.
  • Screen Time Management: Sets how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day.
  • Discoverability: Decide on the account being private (you decide who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content).

To find out more information about TikTok’s Family Pairing feature and to download a helpful poster please click here.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

£1m sports facility formally handed over

A new £1 million sports facility at Millthorpe School has been formally handed over.

Representatives from the school, South Bank Multi-Academy Trust, City of York Council, who provided the funding, Scarcroft Primary School, Steve Wells Associates, who acted as consultants for the project and construction company CLS, attended a socially distanced ceremony to mark its completion.

The floodlit 3G artificial grass pitch is available all year round to pupils at Millthorpe and nearby Scarcroft Primary School, together with other York schools and community groups.

It has been developed through the City of York Council scheme to create additional school places at Scarcroft Primary School and helps to increase the amount of outdoor space available to the school.

Community groups can book to use the pitch outside of the school day and during the school holidays. Hamilton Panthers, York City Kick About and Bishopthorpe White Rose have already started to take advantage of the new facility.

Councillor Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said: “I am delighted to see that this development is already being used not only by pupils at the school but by the wider community.

“In these difficult times, all-year-round outdoor exercise is more important than ever to our children and young people’s physical and mental health.”

The pitch is suitable for junior 11-a-side football and features include energy-efficient floodlighting, along with portable goals and pitch markings to meet the requirements of a variety of different game formats and age ranges. The high-tech playing surface meets rigorous performance standards, and is expected to be registered with the Football Association as a hallmark of quality.

At the handover ceremony, pictured from left, Tim Moat, Millthorpe’s vice chair of governors; Alex Collins, Millthorpe’s business manager; David Randall, Millthorpe’s head of PE; Adam Cooper, interim chief executive, South Bank Multi Academy Trust; Paul Edwards, headteacher, Scarcroft Primary School; Nick Jones, contract manager; Stephen Miller, contract director; Jon Wells, contract administrator; Steve Wells, project designer; Gemma Greenhalgh, Millthorpe’s head of school; and Cllr Keith Orrell, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education at City of York Council.

Pictured above: The car park at the AGP

Main photo: Phoebe from Year 11 at Millthorpe and Stan, Year 10, at their new £1m sports facility’s artificial grass pitch.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 4 December 2020

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

This week in assembly Miss Greenhalgh launched our Christmas Charity Appeal. This year we will be collecting donations for CarecentKitchen for Everyone and Refugee Action York. We have been blown away by your generosity over the past few years and are delighted to be supporting some of those most in need in our city during the festive period.

In form time next week students will be able to sign up for what they would like to bring in. A list of the items we are collecting can be found here. All donations need to be brought in by Friday 11 December please.

We will also be holding a Christmas Jumper Day on the same day for a £1 donation, to raise money for SASH.

Last day of term

Please remember that school will finish for the Christmas break at 12.20pm on Friday 18 December. If students are eligible for free school meals and would like a pack up on the last day, they should speak to staff in the canteen by Thursday 17 December.

Christmas lunch

With the limited seating in the canteen and split year groups, there is no real opportunity to do anything like the normal Christmas lunch this year. However, on Wednesday 16 December, a Christmas-themed meal will be available in the canteen for those who are feeling festive!

Students can choose a turkey meal in a take-away box, a hot turkey bap or a vegetable lattice. Because we need to place orders well in advance, we would be very grateful if you could ask your child/ren if they want to have a hot dinner and fill in the online form by the end of the weekend. Please fill in a form for each child that wants a meal; there’s no need to fill in the form if your child doesn’t want a meal that day. We won’t be issuing tickets but if we don’t get accurate numbers, it may mean some children who have responded miss out, or food gets wasted, so please take a few seconds to fill in the form.

Please note that there will only be limited options for other meals on that day.

Summer 2021 – exams and assessments

Earlier this week, the Secretary of State for Education announced that students sitting exams and other assessments next year will benefit from a package of exceptional measures to make them as fair as possible and manage the disruption caused by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Some details have already been published by the government, you can see these here. We will receive further information in the new year which will set out further detail on this process, and on adaptations to exams. As soon as we have this, we will be sure to update Year 11 parents.

Student leaders

Mr Black and Mr Sloan are delighted to announce the appointment of our 12 Student Leaders for the next year. They are: Ellen Bray Koss, Maisie Burrow-Hills, Daisy Dunn, Harry Evans, Lucy Fearns, Olly Garner Steel, Ben Gilroy, Charlotte Harrison, Noah Morgan, Katie Nelmes, Hannah Pool and George Smith.

They were presented with their new gold ties and Miss Greenhalgh introduced them to students in assembly this week. We congratulate them on their appointment and are excited to work with them in their new role.

Cycle safety

Please could we ask the parents or carers of children who cycle to school to have a conversation with them about ensuring that they are cycling safely?

We have had a report this morning of a small group of our students cycling too far over into the road on Tadcaster Road and cars were unable to pass safely.
Please could we request that you have a chat with your child if they cycle to school, even if they do not travel via Tadcaster Road. Thank you.

Lockers

We are pleased to confirm that we have a plan for allowing all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 to access a locker from next week. It will be in a block with the rest of their form and separate from other year groups. However, it’s still important that students don’t spend any longer than necessary at their lockers and they should use them for storing PE kits, outdoor coats and other heavy items, rather than books etc, to keep trips to and from lockers to a minimum.

There will be a number of lockers available for students in Years 10 and 11 as well. At the moment, we can’t guarantee a locker for every student but if demand does outstrip supply, we will look at ways of making more available.

Photographs – Years 7 & 11

The deadline for ordering photos to be delivered via school (to avoid paying P&P) is this Sunday 6 December. With regard to orders for digital downloads, once you have completed the checkout process, you will be sent a receipt email. This will contain the download link for your photos, so please look out for it.

Parenting courses

Family Matters York are offering more parenting courses in January. The following courses will be delivered via Zoom:

  • Handling Anger in the Family: Wednesday and Thursday afternoons and evenings starting on 13 January
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years: Tuesday and Thursday evenings, starting on 12 January
  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years: Monday mornings and evenings, starting 11 January.

They are also hoping to run a couple of courses in person:

  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years: Tuesday mornings starting 12 January at Trinity Methodist Church, Clifton Gardens, Goole DN14 6AS
  • Handling Anger in the Family: Monday afternoons starting 11 January at Cornerstone @ St Georges, Millfield Lane, Osbaldwick YO10 3AL

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson at Family Matters York on T: 07393 147259 or E: helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk

You can find more information about our courses on their website

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 27 November 2020

Updates from last Friday’s email

We’ve had another really positive week this week, with the vast majority of students arriving with masks and everyone working hard to maintain all the hygiene and safety measures. Thank you to all of you.

All Key Stage 3 students have had an assembly about the changes to teaching groups and the teachers have made preparations ready for the new arrangements to begin on Monday. We know that this may well be unsettling for many students, but we’re sure that, as with all the challenges the pandemic has thrown at them, they will successfully take it in their stride.

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, i.e. a t-shirt/skin/thermal layer under a reversible games top for all boys (and Year 7 girls) and under a school navy fleece for girls.
  • 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.

Social Media concern – TikTok

We have been contacted by our police liaison officer to make us aware that there is a viral video circulating on TikTok at present called “Megan is Missing.” The video is described as “exceedingly violent” by the police.

Please can we again ask you to check your child’s social media usage to ensure that they are not being exposed to inappropriate material such as this? If your child has accessed this video and you require any support, please contact the school office who will direct you to pastoral staff.

Please note that we have not publicised this video to the students as we do not want them to become curious and try to gain access to it.

National Online Safety app for parents

The National Online Safety team have launched a FREE app filled with authoritative, helpful guidance on online safety issues, including:

  • Hundreds of online safety guides on topics including screen addiction, fake news and trolling to hacking, social media influencers and sexting;
  • An online safety training course for parents developed by experts;
  • A user-friendly interface with increased functionality;
  • The option to get notifications to your phone as soon as new content becomes available – so you can stay up-to-date with the latest online crazes (and risks);
  • The facility to personalise your content by favouriting key resources.

You can find the app on the Google Play Store or the App Store

Apprenticeships

Students in Year 11 are looking at different post-16 routes in Personal Development lessons at the moment. Please click here for the November apprenticeships parents and carers pack if your child is considering applying for an apprenticeship.

Donate your coat to refugees

For the past two years teachers and parents have dropped off their outgrown or unwanted coats at Millthorpe School for refugees sleeping rough across northern France and Belgium.

This year, the charity Care4Calais needs your help more than ever. In Northern France over 3,000 refugees are currently sleeping rough. Some are as young as 13 and have no access to clean clothes, water or shelter.

In the UK there are over 3,500 people living in hotels, hostels and military barracks. They arrive in just the clothes they are wearing, and with nothing else, they are unable to take these off to wash them. They are poorly equipped for a British winter and many have no coat at all.

If we all take a look in our cupboards for a winter coat that we no longer wear, we can help Care4Calais to reach their goal of providing each and every one of these refugees with a warm coat this winter.

  • Donate your coat by dropping it in the box in Millthorpe office reception (please sanitise and wear a mask)
  • No coat to give but would like to donate to purchase a coat? You can do so here

The coats we collect will be distributed in France by local volunteers before Christmas. Thank you for your help.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 20 November 2020

Changes to teaching groups in Key Stage 3

As we continue to seek ways to minimise the risks and impact of COVID-19 on our school community, we will be changing the teaching groups in KS3 so that students will stay in the same group for most lessons.

To help prepare for this significant change, school will be closing at 12.20pm next Wednesday 25 November.

As you are aware, for a number of reasons associated with students’ wellbeing and the quality of their learning experience, we opted in September to continue to have students moving between lessons so they can be taught in an appropriate classroom for each subject. This continues to be our preferred option and, after several weeks of operating in this way, this certainly doesn’t appear to have impacted unfavourably on the number of positive cases compared with other local schools, most of which have far greater restriction on the movement of students.

Nonetheless, we are very conscious of the need to minimise as far as possible both the risk of infection and the likelihood of students missing school as a result of being an identified close contact of a confirmed case. One way we know we can do this is to arrange teaching groups so that students sit near the same students in as many of their lessons as possible. With this in mind, we have re-grouped all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 so that they remain in the same groups for most subjects. Note that this isn’t possible in PE, Technology (which must be taught in smaller groups) or MFL (in which students study either French, German or both). Students will also follow, as far as possible, the same seating plan in every lesson.

This will mean that, for at least some of their lessons, all students in KS3 will:

  • have a change of teacher
  • have a change of classmates
  • sit next to different people
  • have a change of rooms

Students’ timetables will not change – they will continue to be taught the same subjects at the same times across the two-week cycle.

Please note that, for this arrangement to be effective, groups and seating plans will need to remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

We will let students know about the changes next week and give them their revised timetable (i.e. with any changes to teacher or room included) ready for the new arrangements to come into effect on Monday 30 November.

To make the transition as successful as possible, it is essential that teachers are able to spend time together so they can exchange information and learn from colleagues about the new students they will be teaching, as well as planning lessons to allow newly formed groups to bed in. They will also complete reports on the progress of the classes that they have been teaching to ensure that we have recorded their progress so far. This can then be shared with parents and their new teachers before they change.

To make sure staff have the time to do this properly, school will be closing at 12.20pm on Wednesday 25 November. This is a serious step for us to take but we consider it is a vital part of our response to this unprecedented situation. If you need us to supervise your child until the normal end of the school day, please contact us so we can make suitable arrangements. We will provide a study space for any Year 11 students who wish to remain in school and work for the afternoon.

We recognise that this is a significant change to undertake in the middle of a school year and that it may present challenges for some students. It is not a decision we have taken lightly but it will have a significant impact on the number of other students your child comes into close contact with whilst at school, thus reducing the risk of time out of school and making the school a safer environment.

Face masks

Students continue to be extremely good at remembering to wear face coverings when moving around the school and we are very grateful for your support for this important safety measure. We have noticed an increase in the number of disposable masks we are handing out to students, so could you please remind your child(ren) that they need to bring a clean mask, in a sealable bag, to school every day. Thank you very much for your cooperation.

Keeping warm in cold classrooms

As the winter weather draws in, we appreciate that some classrooms may get quite cold. We must keep the windows open to ventilate the classrooms as this is one of the best ways of reducing the risk of the coronavirus spreading. However, we also want to make sure that students are warm enough to concentrate on their learning.

What can students do to keep warm?

  • Wear a Millthorpe School jumper as well as their blazer.
  • If your child does not have a school jumper and cannot get one, or they are wearing one and are still cold, they can ask their teacher if they can wear a coat or jacket to keep warm in lessons.

What is not allowed?

  • Non-school uniform jumpers or hoodies. If your child is wearing a jumper, it needs to be the Millthorpe School uniform jumper.
  • Wearing outdoor items in the corridors when moving around school. They can of course wear a coat if moving around outside, but when inside the building, they must remove their coat/jacket as normal.

So, as always, students should be wearing their Millthorpe School uniform only (including school jumper if they have one) at all times whilst inside the school building. If they get to a classroom and it is cold, they must check with their teacher and they will then be allowed to wear a coat or jacket. Please remember, non-school uniform jumpers and hoodies cannot be used instead of a coat/jacket.

Eco Laundry

If your child is in need of a school jumper or a coat the Eco Laundry may be able to help!

School Jumpers
If your child receives free school meals, we have a limited stock of school jumpers in our Eco Laundry at a cost of £2. Please phone the school office to see if we have one in your child’s size and we will add £2 to your Parent Pay account. If you are unable to pay the £2 we will provide a jumper free of charge if we have one available.

If your child does not receive free school meals but you would like to buy a jumper and need to use the Eco Laundry rather than Keal’s for financial reasons, please contact the school office.

Coats
We have a number of coats in the Eco Laundry for £3. If your child needs a coat, please email the school office with the size needed and we will try to provide a suitable coat.
Donations of uniform and coats 
If you have school uniform or coats that you could donate to our Eco Laundry, please ask your son/daughter to bring these to the school office.

The Gideons International

Every year The Gideons International donate a copy of the New Testament of the Bible to every student in Year 7 who wishes to take one.

The bibles will be distributed to Year 7 next week in their RE lessons but it is the student’s choice whether they decide to take one or not.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 13 November 2020

Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus infection rates are currently falling in York, which is excellent news. However, we all need to continue to play our part in helping to bring the figures down further and it is vital that everyone follows the legal requirements set down by the government.

We have been made aware that groups of young people have been gathering in public places outside of school hours and would ask that you please remind your child(ren) that under the current lockdown rules, they should be going straight home after school. They should also not be meeting friends at weekends or outside school hours to socialise. Under the guidance they can meet one person from another household outside to exercise or sit in a park.

This article from the BBC which explains how the second lockdown is different to the first, is written for children and may be useful to share.

Local test and trace
In the past two weeks, City of York’s local contact tracing programme has reached over 80 per cent of contacts passed to them by the national test and trace service. A new animation to explain how the local test and trace system works is now available online.

Please remember that if you are asked to self isolate, it is vital that you do so and that you follow the guidance. Further information about the Local Test and Trace can be found here.

Millthorpe Remembers 2020

Thank you to all of the students who made more poppies to add to our remembrance display. This year’s display looks wonderful! Thank you to Ms Frankland for adding each of the poppies to the display.

At 11am on Wednesday, the whole school fell silent to observe the two-minute national silence of the anniversary of the armistice. Our usual remembrance commemoration, where many students congregate in B Block Quad to collectively observe the silence and listen to Mr Jackson sound The Last Post, was not possible this year. However, all students did stand in their classrooms and observe the silence and Mr Jackson sounded The Last Post, just without a watching audience. Particular thanks to Year 10 students as the silence took place during their break time and they observed it immaculately.
Finally, thank you to any parents or carers who were able to make donations to the Royal British Legion. A special mention to Laura Gatus in Year 11 who managed a socially distanced collection, raising £40 for the Poppy Appeal.

Remote learning for absent students

In the event that your child is absent from school for any reason, they are able to access their lessons from their Google Classroom. All students have received their sign-in details and have accessed their Google accounts. Teachers will upload their lessons on to Google Classroom within 24 hours of the lesson taking place. This means that students can follow their timetable effectively one day behind from home. These lessons cover the same content, and will generally include the same resources and activities experienced by students in school, although occasionally there may be lessons taught in school that were planned using some strategies and resources that are not compatible with Google Classroom.

Students can submit homework and other assessed pieces of work for their teacher to assess and provide feedback on. This won’t be every piece of work but will include every piece that is assessed for classmates in school. Students can also use their Google Mail accounts to ask any questions of their class teachers. Please bear in mind that teachers in school are still delivering full timetables to their classes in school, so they will not be available to answer questions immediately.

Google Classroom is also extremely useful for homework and revision for students in school. All lessons are clearly titled and organised by topic. If a student is struggling with a homework task or to understand a particular topic or concept, they can use their Google Classroom to look at any previously taught aspect of the curriculum.
If your child has missing work, please contact the class teacher in the first instance. If there is a wider issue with Google Classroom or your child is having difficulties accessing Google Classroom, please contact the main office.

Suitable footwear for Games

The artificial grass pitch (AGP) has been in use for the last two weeks. In that short time it has been a big hit with staff and students alike. We are all delighted with it. We have also been pleased with how students have risen to the challenge of ensuring that their boots are both suitable and clean.

It has come to our attention that there are boots on sale that have ‘moulded’ studs (which are recommended for the AGP) that have metal tips (not allowed on the AGP). Can I ask again to please check with your child’s PE teacher at school should you be in any doubt as to the suitability of boots you are planning to buy for the AGP. I can recommend SportsDirect ‘Strike Firm Ground Football Boots’ which are £16.99. They would be suitable for both surfaces.
I hope that helps with the transition to using the AGP as well as grass for many of our outdoor lessons.
Mr Randall
Head of PE

Competition is close in the battle of the Houses!

At the end of last half-term, the competition between the Houses was looking very close. House points up to the end of October were:

  • Roman – 74
  • Saxon – 72
  • Viking – 70

Exploitation online

Online exploitation and grooming can be difficult to spot. This booklet produced by The Children’s Society shows some of the ways in which children and young people can be exploited online and how you can keep young people safe from this kind of abuse.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 6 November 2020

PE lessons begin on AGP

PE lessons have been taking place this week on the new 3G artificial grass pitch (AGP). Unfortunately due to lockdown restrictions, the AGP can’t be used by community groups as yet, but our students have certainly been enjoying the new facility.

Student access to online learning

Further to the email we sent to all parents/carers on Thursday afternoon, this is a reminder that we would like to find out how easy it is for your child/ren to access Google at home during the school day.

In September of this year we introduced all students to their Google Account, including Google Classroom. In the event of your child’s absence, partial or full school closure, Google Classroom is the platform that we will use for Remote Teaching and Learning.

Please fill in a form for each child you have at Millthorpe, by Tuesday 10 November.

Remembrance 2020

This week, Mr Baybutt has delivered assemblies to all year groups on the theme of remembrance in the lead up to Remembrance Sunday. The assembly reminded students about the purpose of remembrance and also explained why the poppy was chosen as the symbol of remembrance.

We appreciate that it is much more difficult this year to buy poppies in the usual way, but the Royal British Legion would really welcome any donations that families are able to make. Their website says; “Covid-19 and national lockdown means donating online is now crucial to support The Royal British Legion’s 2020 Poppy Appeal. With thousands of poppy collectors unable to sell poppies locally and many fundraising events cancelled, we are relying on the British public to give as generously as possible this year.”

If you are willing and able, you can donate to the poppy appeal here.

Thank you to all of those students who have also made poppies to contribute to our own poppy display in school. It is not too late to make a poppy so please encourage your child(ren) to make a poppy and leave it in the box outside the canteen so that it can be added to our display. More information on “Millthorpe Remembers” can be found here.

Lest We Forget

Post-16 provider open evenings

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, most further education providers will be hosting virtual open evenings this year. The date and links for Archbishop Holgate’s Sixth Form and York College events are below and we will publish others as they become available.

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

Year 11 Taster Days at York College

The virtual taster days for Year 11 students at York College are now available to book. They will take place between 11-15 January 2021. Go to the York College website and follow the instructions to register.

Please note students will not be given time off school to attend these, they can be accessed outside of school hours.

Careers in VFX, animation and games

This November, Escape Studios are bringing you Access: VFX Meet The Industry – a series of virtual events to help 15-18 year old understand more about careers in VFX, animation and games. Whether students are artistic, have a passion for maths and programming or have an interest in business and marketing there is a role in the creative industries to suit them.

For more details please see the Access VFX website.

Year 11 photos

Year 11 individual and group photos will take place on Thursday 12 November.

Student leaders

The deadline for Year 10 applications for Student Leaders has been extended to Friday 13 November.

As we want to make sure we are as Covid secure with the applications as we can be, we are asking that for the teacher recommendation, students ask a member of staff to email in their recommendation.
Click here to see a copy of the role description and application form.
Applications can be handed to either Mr Black or Mr Sloan, or emailed to studentleadership@millthorpe.southbank.academy
Mr Black & Mr Sloan

BUZZ US

Compass BUZZ offers a confidential text messaging service to young people aged 11-18 across North Yorkshire.

Young people can text BUZZ US on 07520 631168 about any mental health or wellbeing concerns such as low mood, stress, eating problems, self harm, anxiety or self esteem. They will receive confidential advice, support and signposting from a wellbeing worker within one working day via text.

Further information can be found here.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 23 October 2020

Changes to the school day

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

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

Millthorpe Remembers 2020

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

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

Full details can be found here.

Lest We Forget

Millthorpe Careers newsletter

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

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

Planning Your Future

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

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

Applications to CAPA College

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

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

Social media use

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

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

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Sophie Johnson during school hours, you may wish to make direct contact with the York MASH (Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub) on T: 01904 551900, option 3. They operate an out-of-hours service so concerns can be raised with them at any time.

For further information please see the safeguarding link on our school website.