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.