Message from the Head of School
Dear parents and carers
I hope that you are all enjoying a good summer break. I said that I would write to parents today with any updates that we might have during the summer holidays.
Yesterday we had a wonderful morning sharing the celebrations of years of hard work with our Year 11 students. The students were destined for our best ever results this year and they achieved the results that they deserved. I am immensely proud of this group of young people who have demonstrated resilience, maturity and compassion towards each other throughout this very difficult time. I am also very grateful to all our staff for their hard work and the support they gave these students over the last five years. You can see some more pictures on our Twitter feed and in the York Press. We will share some of the success stories in the Millthorpe Messenger in the new academic year.
On 17 July I issued our plans and the risk assessment for our full re-opening in September. You can find that information here.
There have not been any changes to this document over the summer holidays, however, we are still seeking clarification regarding the use of face coverings, particularly face masks for students. I have written to the Multi-Academy Trust, who will then communicate with our legal team and the Health and Safety advisors to review whether students can wear face masks, should they wish. We are aware that a small number of parents have concerns that students should be able to wear face masks if they choose to. We have already stated that students and staff can wear visors should they wish, subject to effective hygiene processes. If students are able to wear face masks, they must follow guidance around their use; this involves not touching the mask if they are wearing it, removing it properly and disposing of it if it is disposable or placing it in a bag if it is re-usable. I will write to all parents as soon as I have the updated response to this.
We are very aware that there could be some local or national changes in the next few months and that there is always a possibility of a confirmed case in school or some form of lockdown. We have now established Google Classroom and spent several days training the staff on how to use this.
From September, students will have a Google account and will be introduced to this platform. Homework will be set on Google and we will move towards uploading classwork to Google too. If individual children are not in school because they are self-isolating, there will be some work available. If, for some reason a year group bubble has to be sent home or the school is temporarily closed, we will have a much more effective platform to work interactively with students. We are working throughout September to explore all available options for this in Google Classroom, but we are confident that should we have to use online learning, we are in a strong position to do so.
A polite reminder that students should be in full school uniform from September. The uniform policy can be found here. We are aware that most students have not been in school for a long time and may have experimented with different hair styles and jewellery; I think pink hair dye has been the most popular colour sold over lockdown! Please ensure that students do not come to school with hair or piercings that contravene school policy; this will really help us to focus on welcoming all students back in a really positive manner that focuses on re-establishing relationships, structure and focuses on learning.
I hope that you have an enjoyable last few weeks of the holidays and we’re really looking forward to seeing Year 7s only on Wednesday 9 September and all other year groups on Thursday 10 September.
I will write again to all parents on Monday 7 September.
Online events and support for school leavers
Students who need advice and information on their next steps after exam results are invited to an online event on Tuesday 25 August. They can simply use the hashtag #YorkNextSteps between 2.00-8.00pm on social media to find information on local sixth forms, colleges, apprenticeship providers and vacancies.
There will also be a Facebook Live Q&A on City of York Council’s page between 5.00-6.00pm, with a panel including representatives from colleges, business and York Education. They have also produced a factsheet for parents on next steps for school and college leavers.
Kooth, a free online counselling service for 11-18 year olds, and York Mind are both offering support to anyone who is particularly worried about their results and next steps. Find out more here.
Back-to-school newsletter for parents
A newsletter for parents and carers has been produced by York Education alongside a range of information on the City of York website in the run-up to the full re-opening of schools in September. You can see the newsletter here and also access a whole host of information and support on the Let’s Be York pages of the Council’s website.
If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child during lockdown, in addition to being able to contact Ruth Cooper 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.