WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 29 May 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents/carers

I hope that you have been able to enjoy the sunshine with your family this week.
Thank you to all Year 10 parents who responded to our proposal for wider opening sent last week. We will be able to respond to any queries/concerns raised and explain how we will address them in an email to you later in the week. Please also be aware that we will be following the government advice and not extending our opening until at least 15th June, not 8th June as previously stated.
Thank you for all the support and feedback that we’ve received from parents over this period of time. We are continuing to review our provision and would like your feedback to help us to improve. Therefore we will be sending a questionnaire to all of our parents of children in Years 7-10  to review what you find is working well, how much work your child is completing and how we can enhance our curriculum provision. We are also looking to enhance and inform the work of the pastoral and inclusion teams by getting an overview of the extent to which families have been affected.

To our students

On behalf of all of the teachers and support staff, we wanted to remind you how proud we are of the work that you are doing and we miss you all. We have made a little video for you to remind you that “We’ll meet again” and although it may be a while still, we really look forward to seeing you all again when it is safe.

Please keep safe and continue to follow social distancing guidance to protect yourselves and your families. Enjoy the sunshine!

Best wishes
Miss G Greenhalgh
Coronavirus resources for families

City of York Council has published lots of resources for families on their website. Support and advice is available in areas such as mental health and wellbeing, home learning and talking to children about Coronavirus.

Year 6 to 7 Transition Information

The latest information for prospective Year 7 students, which gives lots of information about practical arrangements, has now been sent out. You can also see it here.

You can take a look at all of the information for potential students on our website.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 22 May 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents/carers

I hope that you are all well and are able to enjoy a little more fresh air as the lockdown has eased.

May half term
Next week it is half term at school, so children and staff are encouraged to take a break from their school work. School holidays bring a welcome break for teachers and students and enable them to refresh and engage in other activities so they can return to their learning with renewed energy. Although we are in very different times it is still important that children and teachers get some form of a break. We recognise that some pupils will still want to learn and may still have work to complete that has been set by teachers already. However teachers will not be setting any new school work over the next week.

Home learning
If your child does want to continue to learn throughout the holiday there are some excellent resources at BBC Bitesize and Oak Academy. After half term teachers will ensure that they continue to set work and provide feedback to students in Years 7-9. Your child can continue to send any Key Assessed Pieces or work they are particularly proud of to their class teachers during half term if they wish to, but they will not be expected to reply until after the break. Teachers have really enjoyed receiving the work your children have been sending in and have even taken to sharing some of it with other Millthorpe teachers. We would just like to reassure you that all of the work that is being assessed and the feedback given is to improve our remote teaching and will not be used to inform groups and set changes next year.

Year 10
You will be aware that the government intends that many children will return to primary schools from 1 June and that secondary schools will provide some degree of face-to-face teaching to supplement online learning for Year 10 students; these wider school openings of schools are still subject to the government review on 28 May. We continue to support those students that need essential supervision because they are identified as vulnerable or children of key workers whilst they complete the work provided to all students on ClassCharts in school. The details of how we intend to open to Year 10 students in small groups as safely as possible will be shared with Year 10 parents for their consultation today; this will enable parents to be in an informed position to decide whether their child attends. We are currently working as schools in York to look to begin that provision for the week commencing 8 June.

School uniform
At the moment we are unclear what will happen and when students will all return to school. We are aware that parents will begin to think about school uniform soon and may begin to purchase it sooner as shopping is not as easy at the moment. Our advice to parents is to wait at the moment, to continue to plan to budget for uniform but not to purchase it until the national picture is much clearer as we wouldn’t want parents buying uniform when there is still no clarity on full return.

Parents usually begin to purchase uniform towards the end of June. We will notify you by Friday 26 June, ten weeks before the expected return date in September, whether we will be in full uniform or partial uniform to enable you to have time to plan.

Uniform donations
You may also remember reading about our Eco Laundry in Friday emails last term. You can use our Eco Laundry to buy, swap or donate items of school uniform as a way of protecting the environment and of keeping uniform costs down for everyone. At a time when many people’s family budgets are being squeezed and we are all trying to reduce the negative impact of our daily lives on the environment, we are keen to collect as much uniform as we can so that everyone is able to buy good quality pre-worn uniform at a very low cost. If school were open as usual, this would be easy to do but as it isn’t we have come up with a creative solution. During the half term holiday next week we will place a wheelie bin at the front and back gate for uniform donations. If your child has grown out of any items of uniform we would be very grateful if you could bag these up securely by tying the top of the bag shut and place them in one of the wheelie bins which you will find attached to or just inside the front and back gate. The uniform donation wheelie bins will be available 8am-1pm Tuesday to Friday next week and will be emptied everyday by our site team. Ms Andrle and Mrs Cooper are looking forward to restocking the Eco Laundry with your donations, ready to provide both our new Year 7 students and our current students with recycled uniform at a small fraction of its cost when new. We do realise that making a trip to school to donate your uniform is not the most exciting of half term activities, but we would be absolutely delighted if as many of you as possible were able to do this. We will let you know how you can buy uniform for next year from our Eco Laundry as soon as we are able to do so safely.

Many thanks for all of your support as parents and carers. I hope that the weather enables you all to have some quality time together over the Bank Holiday weekend and half term and that you all keep safe and well.

Miss Greenhalgh

Peer Mentoring Programme 2020 – Calling all Year 8s!

We are looking for Year 8 students who are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor, to help the new Year 7s settle in during their first year at Millthorpe. Click here to find out more.

Keeping children safe online

Please take a look at this information from the Department for Education (DfE) which contains helpful links to websites which will support you in keeping your child(ren) safe online.

Coronavirus support line

City of York Council’s Education Psychology Service is offering a Coronavirus Support Line to parents and carers who live in the City of York and practitioners who work with children and young people who live in the City of York. They can provide confidential telephone support, to talk through questions or concerns about children and young people’s wellbeing or learning during the current pandemic.

Find out more

Summer School at Christ’s College, Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is running a summer school for students who would like to study:

  • Bio-Chemistry (Human/Medical)
  • Bio-Chemistry (Non-medical)
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • History
  • Law
  • Social Sciences

Full information about the Summer School and entry requirements can be found here.

Year 6-7 Transition Information

The latest information for prospective Year 7 students has now been sent out. You can also take a look at all of the information on our website.

Online courses from Family Matters York

Family Matters York are running the following online courses to support parents in a number of ways:

Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
Tuesday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
Thursday morning 9 to 11am for 5 weeks starting 4 June

Time Out for Parents – the Early Years
Tuesday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years
Tuesday afternoon 2 to 4pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Wednesday morning 9 to 11am for 4 weeks starting 3 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Monday afternoon 2 to 4pm for 4 weeks starting 8 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Monday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 4 weeks starting 8 June

Separated Parents
Wednesday afternoon 2-4pm for 2 weeks starting 24 June

All these courses will take place online via Zoom.

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259, email: helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk or you can book via the Family Matters website.

Year Seven Read Theory Challenge

We have been overwhelmed by the incredible amount of work Year 7 have put into their online reading comprehension quizzes. They have taken an amazing total of 1736 quizzes in just one week.

These quizzes are for everyone – they adapt to your individual reading level. By doing these quizzes students are: learning new vocabulary, boosting their general knowledge, honing their skills of inference and logic and learning about literary devices. Regular, challenging reading makes such a huge difference to students’ progress in school.

The form with the most Read Theory points this week was 7BLO (with 7AIN very close behind). We are so proud of all one hundred and one Year 7 students working so hard on this reading challenge. Well done!

If your child hasn’t signed up yet, just send an email to Ms Bradsell and she will help them get started.

Keeping up with current affairs

The Week Junior is a current affairs magazine for children aged 8–14. Filled with with fascinating news and engaging information, it helps children make sense of the world.

You can see this week’s edition here.

 

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 15 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Following the Government’s announcement about the gradual opening of schools to more students over the coming weeks and months, there is much discussion about exactly how and when this is likely to take place. Although we are making a range of plans and preparations, there are still many questions yet to be answered. We will of course share it with you as soon as any further information becomes available.

Key Stage 3 Assessment and Feedback 

Since we last contacted you, we have now determined that in Key Stage 3, during the summer term each core subject will set two Key Assessed Pieces (KAPs) on which students will receive individual assessment and feedback from their subject teacher; subjects with less contact time (Art, Music, Drama) will set one KAP. Departments will set these at different times across the term. These are in addition to students being able to submit a piece of work they are proud of in each subject: the teachers are really looking forward to seeing what children have been producing!

We are also developing subject-specific surveys to give students a chance to feedback on the work they have been receiving.

Year 6-7 Transition Information

The latest information for prospective Year 7 students has now been circulated and added to the website: http://www.millthorpeschool.co.uk/millthorpe/parents/whole-school-new-starters/

Trip Cancellations and Refunds

We are still in the process of organising refunds for all the overseas trips we have had to cancel, including Austria and France.  We’re really sorry that it is taking so much longer than we had hoped to do this, which has been as a result of the impact of schools across the country all needing to make refunds at the same time: we’re working hard to get money to parents as soon as possible.

In addition, we regret that the Year 9 trip to Carlton Lodge will not be possible to run this year. We will be providing full refunds for this trip as well, as soon as we are able to.

Read Theory Reading Initiative for all Year 7 Students

Please follow the link to a letter about an exciting new reading intervention for all Year 7 students:

http://www.millthorpeschool.co.uk/millthorpe/wp-content/uploads/Read-Theory-Letter.pdf

Year 11 Leavers’ Hoodies

Keal Teamwear have advised that they are planning to start work on the hoodies as soon as the shop re-opens in early June, and they will either send them out by post or contact parents to let them know when they are ready to collect.

City of York SEND Communication Strategy Survey

City of York Council and the Clinical Commissioning Group are putting together a communication strategy to set out how best to communicate to parents, carers, young people and professionals involved with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability. To share your views, please complete their survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TV6D778

Armed Forces Recruitment

The British Army and RAF are recruiting now across a range of varied job roles. Army and RAF Careers Offices are currently closed but recruitment teams are at work and available online or by phone.

Contact details for Armed Forces Careers Offices can be found here:

https://apply.army.mod.uk/army-career-centre-finder

More information on eligibility and the application process is available from the Army Recruitment Helpline:

Tel: 0345 600 8080  Twitter: https://twitter.com/armyjobs  @armyjobs   #armyjobs

Contact details for Armed Forces Careers Offices with a dedicated RAF recruitment team can be found here:

https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/recruitment-centres

More information on eligibility and the application process is available on the RAF website or from the RAF Recruitment Helplines:

Tel: 0345 605 5555 (Regular FT)     Tel: 0345 606 9069 (Reserve PT).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/raf_Recruitment   @RAF_Recruitment        #NoOrdinaryJob

Interested customers can register their details on the RAF website: https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/find-your-role

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 8 May 2020

Dear Parent/Carer

So another week away from school for most of us comes to an end, and we wait to hear the government’s plans for the next phase of lockdown on Sunday. We will of course be in touch again once it is clear what implications this may have for Millthorpe. In the meantime, thank you for your continued efforts to support your child or children’s learning at home and I hope you are able to enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend.

VE Day

As you know, today marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allied Powers on 8 August 1945, signalling the end of the Second World War in Europe in World War 2. Any students who would like to learn more about this momentous event can access resources and optional tasks on the Year7-9 History pages on ClassCharts.

Maths Challenge Success

We have just had confirmation that Millthorpe came second overall in the 2020 Blutick Maths Marathon. Schools right across the country competed to see how many maths questions they could complete and Millthorpe students managed an incredible 52,910 questions between them. Well done to everyone who contributed to this exceptional intellectual effort and thanks to the Maths department for getting so many students involved. The school will receive £200 in prize money in recognition of this fantastic achievement.

Shout! Text support service

Shout is a 24/7 text service, free on all major mobile networks, for anyone in crisis, anytime. If you need support at any time, all you need to do is text “Shout” to 85258. By texting ‘SHOUT’ to ‘85258’ the texter will be put in touch with a trained Crisis Volunteer (CV) who will chat to them using trained techniques via text. The service is designed to help individuals to think more clearly and to take their next steps to feeling better.

More information is available at https://www.giveusashout.org/about-shout/

Year 6/7 Transition

The second round of information about transition from Year 6 to Year 7 was sent out to our prospective parents today. You can see a copy on the website here: http://www.millthorpeschool.co.uk/millthorpe/wp-content/uploads/Moving-to-Millthorpe-Edition-2-Key-staff-school-day.pdf

Careers News

Year 10 Work Experience

It is with regret that we have to confirm that the Year 10 work experience programme will have to be cancelled this year due to the current situation affecting the vast majority of employers. NYBEP, who oversee the placements, will be contacting all employers to advise them, so there is no need for you to do so. If school is open to Year 10s during that time, students will be expected to attend as normal.

From next week, a package of careers-related activities will become available on ClassCharts, which will replace some of the work on work experience planned for Year 10 peronsal development lessons.

Askham Bryan College

Askham Bryan College are holding a “virtual open event week” from 11th to 15th May. There will be presentations and information about all their land based courses and also topics such as accommodation and transport. This could be really useful if you are planning to go to Askham Bryan (Y11) or if you are  considering going there in the future (Y10). You have to book online by going to the “What’s On” page on their website – https://www.askham-bryan.ac.uk/whats-on. Any problems, the contact person is Calum Goodwin on 01904 772236.

Year 11 Careers Advice

Y11 students might not physically be with us but Millthorpe is still able to provide impartial careers advice to any student who needs it. This could be about applying to college or sixth form, applying for an apprenticeship or advice on what is the best next step for you. Our careers advisor is called Rachel Howlett and you can contact her via e-mail – r.howlett@millthorpeschool.co.uk. She is really nice and more than happy to help you in anyway she can!

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 1 May 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parent, carers and students

As we begin the month of May, as a community we should be looking forward to spending time enjoying the sunshine at school, but times are very different for us all.

I never thought that I would miss the very familiar sounds of the school bell – the daily controller of our next period of time – but I do. I miss the bustle on the corridors as students move from one lesson to another, recalling what they’ve just done in the previous hour and chatting to their friends as they head to their next teacher. I miss the bell as it signals the beginning of break and lunchtime and then the liveliness and energy that ensues as the students leave the classrooms to enjoy spending time with their friends, socialising in the canteen and on our wonderful school fields. I miss the delight of seeing our happy community whilst on lunchtime duty: the football games that take place with children from different year groups playing together; the groups of friends enjoying their packed lunches on the grass, like picnicking groups in a park at weekend, reminiscing about their experiences, sharing friendships and making memories; and I even miss reminding the occasional over-exuberant child not to roll down the grassy verges as their parents would rather they didn’t go home with grass-stained white shirts.

I really miss being able to see our whole community doing what we do best at Millthorpe – being kind, caring and supportive of one another. I know that my colleagues at school are also missing our students and community very much – we didn’t want to become teachers to work from home – we thrive off working closely with our students every day and miss the joy that they bring and the way that they inspire us and make us laugh and smile every day.

To our students: we miss you.

I know that many of our students will be missing much of this too. They may also miss the familiarity of the bells and the structure that they provide without realising it. For many, the consistency that a timetable provides and the regularity and rigidity of a school day may not be possible or even advisable at the moment. I know they will also miss their friends, their social times and even their lessons with teachers who provide support and warmth and safety whilst working hard to inspire them to learn and engage in the subject that they love. They will also miss our community.

Change is hard and unsettling. Add to that a pandemic which is frightening and a world that we live in that is unrecognisable from that which existed only a couple of months ago.

But our students are always surprising us and surpassing even our high expectations. Below I will highlight what we will do, and how we have improved our learning and contact with families, to help you as we continue in this current situation.

To our students: we will see you again, and we will look after you and make sure you don’t fall behind. But until then, show everyone what we see in you. Be safe. Be confident. Be brave. Be kind. Be determined. Be helpful and supportive to your families. Continue to make us proud that you’re a member of our wonderful community. We will be together again when it’s safe.

Miss G

Developments in learning

We are working relentlessly with all our Heads of Department and teachers to improve the learning experience of all of our students.

Remote Learning: we are all learning a new way of working and following guidance based on the latest research on distance learning from the Education Endowment Foundation and from information on best practice from other schools and lead practitioners. As always, we are continually reviewing our practice to improve further.

Our students and parents can expect remote learning set on ClassCharts in line with the following guidance from current research:

1. Keeping routines simple: Subjects that usually have more curriculum time on the timetable in KS3 will set 2 hours of work and those with less time on the timetable will set 1 hour. In Year 10, teachers will set the same number of hours that the students usually have in a school week. Work will be available each Monday at the beginning of a school week and the expectation is that it should be completed, if possible, by the following Monday. It is set on Mondays to allow families to have an oversight of the work set and enable it to be scheduled when it can be completed around other family commitments and enable planned sharing of IT devices. We have included an example schedule to offer further guidance to students, parents and carers who may be struggling to plan their time.

2. Clear instructions: Departments are now adapting their resources to give clear guidance for students as they move from one task to the next, with prompts, advice on how to tackle the work, assistance if they need it and model answers for self-checking so that students are confident in accessing the material and checking their progress.

3. Breaking down the tasks: The work set will ‘chunk’ the material in to smaller steps and encourage students to do something active with the new learning. It is good practice that students will be asked to use a small amount of new learning in a variety of different contexts, as this repetition will help secure deep understanding and help them to remember the learning.

4. Setting tasks that are problem/challenge orientated: Our teachers will now be setting more tasks that set goals and challenges to help motivate and engage students. This can already be seen in many activities and challenges such as Blutick in Maths. More departments will be adapting resources to create similar activities and teachers are researching new, innovative apps and strategies for this.

5. Providing tasks that are as active, engaging and practical as possible: Teachers will be setting work outside of their typical classroom curriculum. We know that some gaps in learning are inevitable and we feel it’s better to set tasks that inspire students in subjects rather than to try and cover the curriculum in the usual sequence. We are already planning how we are going to bridge any gaps in students’ understanding and knowledge when we return to school.

6. Building in reflection on learning and how students learn: We have spent a lot of time in school developing these skills for our students; this is done in green pen in school and students know it as ‘R-for Reflection.’ It is important that they understand how we learn, can mark their learning and learn from their mistakes and can reflect on how they will approach the task next time. We are ensuring that this work continues in their online lessons.

7. Feedback and marking: students are already provided with self-marking guides. We have now taken steps to ensure that, as well as the self-assessment tasks, challenges, and self-monitoring approaches, KS3 students will receive specific feedback from their teachers on Two Key Assessed Pieces (KAPs) in the vast majority of subjects.Students should respond to this assessed work in green pen and it will be used in lessons when we return. These assessed pieces will be highlighted on ClassCharts with clear instructions on how to submit them to their teacher and the teacher will ‘mark’ it and give feedback. Students in KS3 are still encouraged to send one piece of work per subject that they are most proud of to their subject teacher also.

Developing and extending communication with students and parents/carers

We are currently in contact with a large number of families for many different reasons. However, we are aware that contact doesn’t reach every family. We will extend our contact to reach every family in our community from next week.

Remote Form Tutor: In school, your child’s/children’s form tutor usually plays a crucial role their time in school; they are the adult that checks in with them on a daily basis and a single point of contact for students and parents/carers. We would like to enable that communication to be opened up during this time. Therefore, from next week, each form tutor will be in touch with your child/children to ‘check-in’ with each student and make sure they have everything the need to access the work and support they may need as they continue to work from home. They will make weekly contact with your child by emailing the parent. Please share this email with your child and reply to the form tutor or contact them should you need any support. They are missing their tutees and would love to hear from them!

As part of our responsibility to support learning we closely monitor how much and how frequently students log into ClassCharts each week. Your child’s/children’s form tutor/s will be making contact with any families by telephone to ask if there is anything we can do to support students who seem not to be engaging with ClassCharts and the work set.

How much time should students be spending on school work?

It is difficult for us to insist on a specific amount of time that your child spends on work as we don’t know all families’ personal situations and challenges. However, we would advise students in Years 7- 9 to be completing about three hours of school work each day. We would advise that Year 10 students certainly complete at least three hours of work but should aim to complete five hours to try to keep up with their preparation for GCSEs.

It may be that your child completes their school work in one block or they divide up their school work around their daily exercise, for example. It is really important that they commit some time to reading each day to improve their literacy.

We have shared some examples of what schedules may look like. We have created a timetable based on a student who likes to work in the mornings and finish school work off early. One who prefers to work in blocks of time but may vary the time of day they work. One who prefers to follow the school timetabled hours and another who prefers to plan everything and work in smaller chunks of time, interspersed with other activities.

Check out the example schedules here

We hope that the changes and developments that we have made continue to support your students and improve their experiences during these times. We will continue to look for ways to further develop our provision.

With best wishes

G Greenhalgh

Supporting Your Child’s Emotional Resilience During COVID-19: FREE ONLINE COURSE

Bright Sparks CIC are offering a free online course for parents to help them support their child with their emotional resilience during these uncertain times. It is aimed at parents of children aged 4-11, so whilst this may not be appropriate for those parents who only have secondary age children, it may be useful for parents of current Year 7s and/or those parents with younger children in the family.

Support for parents with home learning

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published this useful information to support parents and carers to establish home learning routines and tips with assisting children in their learning.

Keeping up with current affairs

The Week Junior is an award-winning current affairs magazine for children aged 8–14. Filled with with fascinating news and engaging information, it feeds curious young minds and helps children make sense of the world.

You can see this week’s edition here.

News from York Learning

York Learning’s Family Learning team have put a variety of activities onto their Facebook page and Instagram, including fun games, activities and recipes to try at home, a Wednesday afternoon “Ask the teacher” slot for all those maths questions and tips for managing stress in a Friday weekend wind-down. These can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/familylearninginyork/ and @FamilyLearningInYork on Instagram.

They have also started a project to build a Giant Virtual Rainbow, and they need your help! Each week they will be collecting photos focussing on one colour of the rainbow. You can post your photos and tag them, using the hashtag #FamilyLearningRainbow, add them as a comment on Facebook, message them to us on Facebook or Instagram or email family.learning@york.gov.uk

Online support and resources during lockdown

In addition to the resources we have included in previous weekly emails (which are now listed on our website), please find below further useful links:

  • Bereavement UK have published some useful resources for supporting pupils facing bereavement, those who are already bereaved and those who are experiencing mental health difficulties. Click here for more information.
  • CAMHS also provide ideas for supporting pupils with emotional and mental health difficulties.
  • Information for parents/carers about online radicalisation.

Online learning platform to develop workplace skills

A new online learning platform to help develop workplace skills while people are staying at home, has launched this week. The new platform gives adults access to free digital and numeracy courses to help build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

Citizens Advice York

Citizens Advice York is still open for telephone advice. Please take a look here for their current contact information.

Post-16 options

Just a reminder that York College is still accepting applications for September 2020. If you have any queries please email the Admissions team or you can apply online. Applications should be made as soon as possible for students to have the best chance of securing a place on the course they want.

If anyone is still keen on securing an apprenticeship, you can e-mail this address in order to receive a weekly email update on the latest apprenticeship vacancies and events. You can also use the same email address if you need any general advice on making applications, checking CVs etc.

To search for apprenticeship vacancies, please visit the Amazing Apprenticeships website.

Moving to Millthorpe

Today, we have sent out the first in a series of emails to our new Year 7 students who will be starting Millthorpe School in September. You can take a look at the information here.

Contacting school and teaching staff

Just a reminder that if you or your children need to contact teaching staff during the school closure, all of their email addresses can be found here. There is also a link on the home page of the school website.

If you have a query that does not relate to teaching / specific subjects, please contact the School Office using the email address: admin@millthorpeschool.co.uk and they will direct your query.