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.

Careers Newsletters Out Now

A new edition of the Millthorpe careers newsletter is now available – there are separate editions for Years 8 to 11. They can be downloaded from the bottom of the Careers section of the website (under the Curriculum tab).

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 16 October 2020

Potential merger of South Bank Multi Academy Trust with South York Multi Academy Trust

The Chair of Trustees and Interim Trust Principal of the South Bank Multi Academy Trust (of which Millthorpe School is part) have written to parents today to announce a potentially significant development.

After careful consideration, the Trustees have decided to formally investigate the possibility of a merger with South York Multi Academy Trust. Initial discussions have shown that both Trusts share similar values, a like-minded commitment to their communities, and a common vision of empowering their schools to deliver the best possible education.

We, and the Trust, will keep you informed of developments ,including details of the consultation and due diligence processes, as the information becomes available.

The full letter can be found here.

Face Coverings – Local Alert Level High

Students across all year groups have been consistently excellent at remembering to wear face coverings in communal areas since we returned, which leaves the school really well placed now that, from Saturday, York is moving into the High level (Tier 2) of local COVID alert, for which the government guidance is as follows:

“In areas where local lockdowns or restrictions are in place, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils (in years 7 and above) in areas outside classrooms when moving around communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain such as corridors.”
Thank you for continuing to support this measure to protect the safety of everyone in school.

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 The Mount, All Saints and Bootham School 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.

Student Leaders

We are really excited to open applications for a new role at Millthorpe for Year 10s – Student Leaders.

We are looking for a small group of Year 10s who we can help develop as leaders at Millthorpe. This role will allow them to take on extra responsibility, to be role models to pupils and ambassadors for the school. With this being a new role, those appointed will have an active role in shaping what it means to be a Student Leader at Millthorpe.
Any Year 10 student who would like to find out more please come along to A9 during lunchtime on Tuesday 20 October.
Deadline for applications: Friday 6 November
Mr Black & Mr Sloan

Aprons for Food Technology

Could all Food Technology students please bring a clean apron when they have a practical lesson. We are currently providing most students with aprons, which then have to be washed between each class so that students in different bubbles can wear them.

If pupils are in receipt of free school meals, please ask them to speak to their food teacher and they will be provided with an apron to use and take home.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, 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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 9 October 2020

Early closure reminder

On Wednesday 14 October school will finish at:

  • 2.30pm for Years 7, 10 and 11
  • 2.50pm for Years 8 and 9

Uniform focus

The standard of uniform since we returned in September has been excellent. From next week, we will be focusing on three particular aspects of uniform to make sure students are correctly and appropriately dressed each day: tie length, skirt length and tucking in shirts. Please follow the link to see the presentation that was shared with students this week.

AGP footwear

The all-weather artificial grass pitch (AGP) is almost complete and will soon be ready for use by the school. We are planning to start using the pitch for outdoor PE (Games) lessons after half-term.

As we advised earlier in the year, only certain types of footwear are suitable for use on an AGP. It’s important that students have the correct footwear so that everyone can take part in Games lessons on this fantastic new facility.

What is the school advice on footwear for the AGP?
Our advice is that students who are buying new outdoor boots for games buy moulded studs. This will allow them to wear them on both grass and the AGP. We will ask students to clean their boots when moving from grass to the AGP to minimise mud transfer.

If your child already has boots with moulded studs, moulded blades, or a mixture of moulded studs and blades, these will be acceptable on the new pitch and they do not need to buy new boots.

What if my child has boots with metal screw-in studs?
We have been advised that screw-in metal studs cause permanent damage to the playing surface, so cannot be used for Games lessons on the AGP.

What about trainers?
Trainers, including ‘astro’ trainers, can lack grip on AGPs and increase the risk of slipping, especially in wet weather. They are also not suitable for winter sports on grass.

Is help available if I need to buy new boots?
If your child(ren) are eligible for free school meals and/or the Pupil Premium and you need help with buying boots, please contact the school. You can also contact us if your child is not FSM/PP but you think you may struggle with buying suitable boots.

Hopefully this helps to clarify the situation. The vast majority of students already have moulded boots that are wearable on both grass and the AGP. We look forward to using this fantastic new sporting provision to further develop sport at Millthorpe.

Excellent learning conduct in Year 11

We have been incredibly impressed with the attitude, effort and learning conduct of all year groups since they have returned to school. We track Year 11 Learning Conduct regularly to ensure that all students are focused and are demonstrating the learning behaviours that our experience shows will help them to achieve or surpass their target grades in their exams.

We have just analysed the Year 11 learning conduct data for the first four weeks and we were delighted to see that 96% of Year 11 students have achieved a learning conduct score average of 3 or above.
Well done to Year 11 for their outstanding start to this vital year. We are really proud of you.

Considerate parking

Parents/carers are reminded of the importance of parking considerately when dropping children off or collecting them from school. In particular, we have been alerted of parents pulling up onto the pavement on Albemarle Road, thereby blocking the way for wheelchair users, as well as other pedestrians.

General Catering Assistant vacancy 

Hutchison Catering are currently looking for a General Catering Assistant to work in the school kitchens. This position is 10 hours per week, term time only. For full details, please click here.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, 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.

 

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 2 October 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents and carers

Thanks again for everyone’s support this week. The new routines are starting to bed in now and the students are responding really well: washing and sanitising their hands, wearing face coverings between lessons and generally being really sensible about keeping themselves and each other safe. We are continuously reviewing our practices and we are looking in particular at break and lunchtimes as we head towards the winter and colder weather. We will, of course, let you know about any changes.

Families have also been very supportive in following the government rules around self-isolation. Can we remind you that if a member of your household has COVID-19 symptoms, all children need to self-isolate until a negative test is obtained. For example, if one of your children has symptoms, all their siblings need to remain out of school until the test results come back. Of course, if the test is positive, the household will have to remain in self-isolation for the prescribed period.

I hope you all enjoy a lovely weekend.

With very best wishes

Miss G Greenhalgh

Blutick accounts

Colleagues in the mathematics department have been made aware that some students are having issues with creating a Blutick account. As a result, they have made the decision to remove all existing Blutick accounts and then re-upload all students’ details manually next week. This will ensure all students are using the correct email address and are assigned to the correct class.

Thank you for your patience with this matter. If you have any questions or concerns please email Mr Bruce.

Key Stage 3 – PE and Games

From Monday 5 October, PE (indoor) and Games (outdoor) lessons will take place for Key Stage 3 students. Please check this document for details of when PE and Games lessons are timetabled.

Safeguarding

If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, 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.