WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 26 February 2021

A message from the Head of School

As you will no doubt be aware, on Monday the Government announced its plans for the return of all students to school. We will be delighted to welcome everyone back and we are busily getting everything in place for a successful return. Here are the key messages:

School opens for all students on Monday 8 March. Attendance will be mandatory from this date and normal rules of attendance will apply.

The timings of the school day will be the same as last term. A reminder of the timings can be found here.

Timetables, teaching groups and seating plans will also continue unchanged.

On the first day back, there will be an extended form time for all students starting at 8.45am for Years 7, 10 and 11 and at 9.05am for Years 8 and 9. All students should go straight to their form rooms on Monday morning.

Initial COVID-19 testing of students using self-administered lateral flow devices will take place next week in school on Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th March. More details about testing are set out below.

Most of the same hygiene and social distancing rules that were in place in December will continue, including handwashing/sanitising; staggered starts, breaks, lunches and finishes; one-way systems; year group bubbles and fixed seating plans to minimise contact between students; and social distancing between adults and children and other adults. Ventilation is given greater priority in the latest guidance and we’ll be ensuring our site has good airflow.

The government and Public Health York have enhanced the requirements regarding face coverings to include students wearing face coverings in classrooms as well as other indoor spaces except when they are eating or drinking or engaged in strenuous activities such as PE. All students will be required to wear face coverings except those with a medical exemption. Adults will wear face coverings in communal indoor spaces and for any short periods in the classroom where the usual 2m distancing cannot be maintained.

More information about the government’s policy on face coverings and exemptions can be found here.

Students are asked to bring the equipment they were provided with last term, i.e. whiteboard, whiteboard rubber, scissors. Any pens or glue sticks that have run out will be replaced by form tutors. Students missing any of the other items can replace with their own or purchase from their form tutor for a small charge.

Normal uniform rules will apply from 8 March. A reminder of our uniform expectations can be found here. Parents and carers are respectfully asked to support the school by ensuring that their child(ren) comply with all of the uniform requirements so that we can all focus on making the return to school as successful as possible. Any badged items of uniform can now be bought from Keal Teamwear using their delivery or click and collect services. Collections are available from 1 March as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10.00am – 1.00pm.

We have sent a survey direct to all students to check on their wellbeing and help us provide support to those who need it. There will be a range of measures in place to address any needs and concerns. A copy of the survey can also be found on the Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Google Classroom or you can access it here. Please can responses be submitted by 4pm on Tuesday 2 March in order for us to plan our interventions effectively.

A full copy of the the latest operating guidance for schools from the DfE can be found here.

Lateral Flow Testing
As summarised above, the government expects all students to undertake three supervised tests before beginning a twice-weekly regime of home testing, with students able to attend lessons in school if the first test is negative.

We will be testing students on site at school next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. This will allow all students with negative test results to attend lessons from Monday morning. If you have provided consent, we will contact you with a time slot for your child to attend for testing on one of those days. Students will be invited to attend in small groups and strict social distancing will be maintained at all times. Students will be given instructions so that they can obtain the sample themselves by swabbing their throat and nose. Once the test is complete, students will be dismissed to go straight home. If the test result is positive, the school will contact students/parents straight away. Negative results (as well as confirmation of positive results) will be sent by email or text from the NHS testing site. Parents travelling with their child to the test are asked not to come onto the school site and not to congregate outside the school while waiting for them to leave. Students do not need to wear school uniform to attend the testing.

We are currently in consultation with the York Public Health team regarding the best way to deliver the second and third supervised tests and we expect to be able to update you in this regard by the end of the weekend.

If you have not already done so, to register your consent for your child to take part in testing at school next week, please follow this link.

GCSEs Summer 2021
The government and Ofqual have released their guidance on the grading process for GCSEs this summer. In summary, grades will be based on teachers’ judgement, taking into account a range of evidence that may include work already completed, mock exam results, homework or in-class tests. Teachers may also use questions from exam boards, largely based on past papers but this isn’t compulsory. Results are expected to be available on 12 August. We are still considering the full implications of the plans and we will be in touch with Year 11 students and parents in the near future with more details. You can read an article from the Government’s Chief Regulator here.

Parent Governors
We are delighted to announce that Janet Bennett and Emma Hughes have been elected to join our governing body as parent representatives following the recent election.

With best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh

Remote assembly

This week’s assembly, entitled ‘To Infinity and Beyond’, is delivered by Mr Bates.

You can download it here.

Volunteers

Many thanks to everyone who has contacted us to volunteer to help with the testing in school next week. We will be in touch shortly if your support is needed.

National Careers Week: 1-6 March 2021

Next week is National Careers Week. It will obviously be a bit different this year because most students are not in school, however there are things your child can participate in. Please see the attached letter for an overview.

NCW have published a useful guide to careers and young people which can be downloaded here. They are also running a Virtual Careers Fair for the whole of next week – to access it simply go to www.ncw2021.co.uk.

Millthorpe Careers Newsletter
To coincide with National Careers Week, the spring edition of the Millthorpe Careers Newsletter is now available. It can be downloaded from the Careers page on the school website – just scroll to the bottom of the page to see the links.

NHS Careers Competition
The NHS are running a careers competition to mark National Careers Week. Students can work on their own or in groups of up to four and there are Amazon vouchers up for grabs. For more details please see the Careers Bulletin board.

Virtual work experience
A reminder that students in Year 10 (and in some cases Year 9 as well) have access to virtual work experience placements through the Speakers for Schools organisation. At the moment they are organising placements in green industries as varied as creative design, IT, engineering and architecture. Go to www.s4snextgen.org and search for “Green Skills Week 2021”. Further details are also available on the Careers Bulletin board.

Post-16 events for students in Years 10 & 11

The team at Bishop Burton College are running a series of subject Taster Sessions for students in Years 10 & 11. The sessions, which all run from 4.30-5.30pm, will allow prospective students to get a taste of life at the college. A full list of all the available sessions can be found here.

Askham Bryan College is holding a virtual Information Evening on Tuesday 2 March from 5.00-6.30pm for students to find out about the courses on offer. Information will also be available on accommodation, travel, finance and scholarships. They are also running an Open Morning on Saturday 20 March from 10.00am-1.00pm. To find out more and book a place click here.

North Yorkshire Youth Commission

The North Yorkshire Youth Commission (NYYC) is currently looking for young people in Year 9 or above to join them as members.

The NYYC supports and informs the work of the Police and Fire service in York and North Yorkshire and therefore the decisions it makes have a direct impact on the lives of people who live in the local area. If your child would like to join, please read the guidance notes and then complete the application form and consent form which can both be found here.

To apply, students will need the school to endorse their application – please contact Mr Noble at school to do this. The closing date for applications is 19 March 2021.

Meetings re DofE Awards

A reminder to parents/carers of our Year 10 and 11 ‘DofEers’ – could you please ask your son/daughter, if they have not already done so, to sign up to the Google DofE classroom using the code ngb52gv. Please do let us know if you have any issues with this.

Once they have signed up we would like to have a meeting with Year 10s on Wednesday 3 March and Year 11s on Thursday 4 March, both at 3.00pm. The meetings will last for approximately 15 minutes.
Please do encourage your child to sign up and attend so that we can all start to get things sorted with regards to the award.
As usual any issues please email either Mr Ward or Miss Frankland.

Calendar dates

An early iteration of the school calendar for this academic year showed a training day next Friday – please note there will NOT be a training day on Friday 5 March.

Face coverings on First Buses

As students are due to return to school on 8 March may we politely remind you that face coverings must be worn on all buses and that social distancing rules should be adhered to.

There will be Covid Marshalls travelling on the buses who will kindly remind students should they not follow these rules.

“I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” PE fitness challenge – the results!

A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the ‘I’m a celebrity’ fitness challenge this week. In total, the girls have achieved 6,936 stars which is a fantastic achievement.

The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done once again Saxons. Vikings and Romans, maybe next week could be your week!

Well done to everyone who took part and for your hard work!

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.

NYYC

The North Yorkshire Youth Commission (NYYC) is currently looking for young people in Year 9 or above to join them as members.

The NYYC supports and informs the work of the Police and Fire service in York and North Yorkshire and therefore the decisions it makes have a direct impact on the lives of people who live in the local area. If your child would like to join, please read the guidance notes and then complete the application form and consent form below.

To apply, students will need the school to endorse their application – please contact Mr Noble at school to do this. The closing date for applications is 19 March 2021.

NYYC Application Form 2021

NYYC Consent Form 2021

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 12 February 2021

A message from the Head of School

As we break for the half term holiday, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you once again for all your support. This has to have been one of the toughest starts to a new year that many of us have ever faced and it is without doubt that there is still a great deal of uncertainty. However, with the numbers of people receiving their vaccinations increasing every day and the number of Covid cases decreasing, it does feel as if there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We do not yet know when the majority of students will return to school, but we do hope it will be soon. In the meantime, please encourage your children to take some time out from school work (and their screens!) and I hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation. We look forward to seeing/hearing everyone back in lessons on Monday 22 February.

With best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh

Remote assembly

This week’s assembly is delivered by Ms Greenhalgh, Head of School.

You can view it here.

Free school meal vouchers

City of York Council is funding the provision of free school meal vouchers for the half term break next week. Vouchers will be distributed on Monday 15 February.

Social media use

Many of our students use various social media platforms and, when used appropriately, they can be really useful ways for young people to stay in contact with one another during this difficult lockdown period.

Recently, there have been a number of high profile cases where famous people have been subjected to abhorrent abuse on social media and this has prompted us to ask you to discuss your child’s social media usage with them and remind them to ensure that they are using it appropriately.

Please can you take the time to have a conversation with your child about how they use social media? Are they willing to show you their social media profiles? If they are reluctant, why is that? Are they clear about “digital footprints” or “digital tattoos” and that once something is posted online, even if it is later deleted, there is a trail of it? Do they know that future education providers or employers may check their social media for inappropriate or unacceptable content? And also, that any form of abuse online can be reported to the police?

Whilst we hope, and are confident that the vast majority of our students use social media appropriately, we felt that this might be a good time for you to re-instigate this conversation with them in light of the recent high profile cases in the media.

Parents’ Forum

In pursuit of ever better education provision, Millthorpe School would like to invite interested parents/carers to join an online forum.

Discussion will cover a range of topics and be focused on positive and sustainable school improvement. You’ll be aware that we have asked parents to complete a number of surveys so that we can fine tune our practice. Whilst these surveys give us valuable insight, even the open-ended questions only provide parents a limited opportunity to share qualitative feedback. The forum will allow us to enter into more meaningful two-way communication and strengthen links between parents and the school.
If you would like to take part, please click here to complete the Google Form to register your interest.
We’re hoping there will be high levels of interest and you’ll understand that we may need to limit numbers to allow for effective and productive discussion. We would also like the group to broadly represent our student body, so we will aim to have representation across different year groups, for example. Other than that, admission will be on a first come, first served basis. We apologise in advance if there are any interested parents we are not able to accommodate at this time: we hope to be able to invite you to participate at a later date as part of a new group.

Parent Governor Elections

Each of our families should have received an email this evening inviting you to take part in the election of two parent governors via an online ballot. You can cast your votes up until Wednesday 24 February.

Any questions, please email a.collins@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Please bear in mind response times may be longer than usual during the half term holiday.

Year 11 Leavers’ Hoodies

Year 11 Leavers’ hoodies are now available to order directly from Keal Teamwear. Please click here to place your order before the deadline of Friday 26 March 2021.

For any queries please contact Keal Teamwear at enquiries@keal-teamwear.com

“I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” PE fitness challenge – the results!

A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the ‘I’m a celebrity’ fitness challenge this week. The challenge has ramped up this week with the girls completing two sets of seven exercises to earn stars for their class and house. In total, the girls have achieved 6,719 stars, which is fantastic!

The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done once again Saxons!

Well done to everyone who took part. The next fitness challenge will start after half term.

Apprenticeship vacancies

Specialist engineering firm, Tadweld, is looking to recruit two apprentices to join its Tadcaster team after a record year of growth. Further information can be found here.

Toilet Roll Challenge 2021

And finally for a fun toilet roll challenge from Mr Randall.

This is a city and North Yorkshire wide challenge which runs until 1 March to give all pupils the chance to take part before, during and after half term. To see what your challenge is, click here or watch the video.

To record your results, simply go to this website and log in using the details below:

School: Millthorpe School
Username: Millthorpe8
Password: e7f2657bb7e1

You can also check how you are doing in comparison with others, by clicking here.

Best of luck!

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 5 February 2021

Remote Assembly

This week’s assembly is delivered by Ms Simpson and focuses on Mental Health Awareness Week.

Watch this week’s assembly here.

Remote learning parent survey

We would like to get your feedback once again on our remote learning provision and the quality of online teaching. Please speak to your child/ren about their online learning experience over this last week and then complete a form for each child at the school (if you wish).

We are very grateful for your time in completing this form, which will help us improve future provision.

Take the survey now.

Submitting work

We understand that handing in work that has been set online can be quite confusing, especially if it isn’t produced within Google Classroom. However, it is possible to hand in all types of work through Google Classroom. This is the best way to do it as it ensures that it arrives with the teacher successfully and in a timely manner, and makes it easier for teachers to keep all the work from each class in the same place.

Google Classroom has the function to upload all file types, including photographs of students’ off-screen work. We would be very grateful if you could go through the attached guide on how to submit work in Google Classroom with your child and would respectfully ask that all work is submitted in this way wherever possible.

Mr Beever has also produced a short video for parents called ‘Google Classroom Explained.’ You can watch this here.

GCSEs – summer 2021

Following the DfE consultation on how GCSE, AS and A Level grades should be awarded in summer 2021, we are now awaiting the outcome. We will issue guidance to parents/carers and Year 11 students as soon as the information is released by the DfE.

Year 11 Virtual Parents’ Evening

A reminder that the Year 11 Virtual Parents’ Evening will take place on Tuesday 9 February from 4.00-6.35pm. Appointments must be made online before the deadline of 11.55pm on Sunday 7 February.

Click here to go to the appointment booking system.

Year 9 options choices

Please can all Year 9 students complete and return their Key Stage 4 options forms by next Friday, 12 February.

Parent Governor vacancies

You may recall that we contacted you last term inviting parents to put themselves forward to fill the two vacancies for parent governors we currently have. Due to COVID, this process was put on hold but we are now in a position to go ahead using a secure online balloting system. Anyone who was nominated first time around will be included but if there are any other parents who would be willing to put themselves forward, please let us know by replying to this email. Responses need to be by Wednesday 10 February please, as the ballot will be sent out next Friday.

Increase in trespassing/vandalism on the railway

Schools in York have been contacted by Network Rail to ask for their assistance in highlighting an increase in trespass and vandalism on the railway network, which involves young people of secondary school age in York. There is no suggestion that this is any of your students, but they have asked that we share this concern with you as these incidents have been “alarming and dangerous.” Please can you take a look at this dedicated website You vs. Train which is designed to inform young people about the dangers of trespassing on the railway, and includes real life stories. Please share this and discuss it with your child.

Ordinarily, Network Rail would come into school with the British Transport Police to talk to students directly but as this is not possible at present, we would urge you to ensure that you know where your child is and that they have been given this reminder about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.
We are in discussions with Network Rail about how we can further highlight this concern to our students.

National Apprenticeship Week

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week so many providers and organisations are holding events and advertising vacancies throughout the week. If your child is thinking about moving on to an apprenticeship scheme when they leave Millthorpe, please see the Careers Bulletin for further details. Links to all of the events and guidance below, will be accessible from the bulletin.

  • Yorkshire Water are running a number of virtual events for students who might want to apply to do an apprenticeship with them.
  • Derwent Training will be holding an Open Event on Thursday 11 February from 5.00pm. The event will give students the opportunity to learn more about Derwent Training and the Engineering Apprenticeships they offer. They will also get to hear from current and former apprentices, as well as having a virtual tour of the specialist engineering training facilities.
  • For those interested in an apprenticeship in construction, there is a free online event for school leavers and their parents on Thursday 11 February 5.30-6.30pm.
  • There will be a Facebook Live Apprenticeship Q&A on City of York Council’s Facebook page on Wednesday 10 February from 5-6pm. The panel will be chaired by Councillor Waller and there will be representation from York College, Askham Bryan College, YH Training Services, CYC, York St John University (representing the HE sector and higher/degree level apprenticeships), NYBEP and Simpson York Ltd.
  • The NHS are also hosting a Facebook Live session on Monday 8 February at midday. Abi Changer from the NHS Health Careers team will be live to provide a snapshot of all things relating to NHS apprenticeships. (Students might have to be ten minutes late to this one as it starts at the tail end of Period Three.)

Success Beyond School

InvestIN has launched a series of “Success Beyond School” events for this term. They are free-of-charge interactive online seminars designed to help parents supercharge their children’s career potential.

You can access free expert advice on guiding your child to a successful career. Find out more and register here.

Applying to York College

If any of our Year 11 students need a little extra support with their application to York College, the Admissions Team have shared their ‘How to Apply’ videos with us – click the links below to view:

National Horseracing College

The National Horseracing College in Doncaster is holding a Virtual Open Morning on Saturday 13 February, starting at 10am – for more information please see the Careers Bulletin on the school website.

Mental health support

Thanks to our partnership with other local schools through the Independent State School Partnership (ISSP), the team at Bootham School have kindly agreed that we can invite all Millthorpe parents (not just parents of children involved with ISSP) to share content from their Saturday morning parents’ sessions.

Dick Moore, educator and mental health campaigner delivered a session last week, called ‘Dancing in the Rain’ which was described as not only important but empowering for parents. You can watch the recorded session here.

This Saturday at 10.00am, Michael Grose, educator, author, founder and director of Parenting Matters, will deliver a session on ‘Helping your child with anxiety’. Please do feel free to join here.

With thanks to Bootham School for sharing.

Supporting your child during lockdown

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has put together Ten Top Tips for parents and carers to help you support your child(ren) during lockdown.

Please also remind your child to have a look at the “Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care” Google Classroom for more advice, websites and apps. This is updated regularly.

Support with food

York CVS and Healthwatch York have compiled a list of all the places where families can get food during lockdown if they are struggling, without needing Food Bank vouchers.

View the full list here.

THC-infused illegal sweets in circulation

North Yorkshire Police have contacted all schools in York as they are concerned about THC (cannabis) infused sweets, of which they have seen an increase across the city. They have asked all schools to share this information with parents.

The sweets are professionally packaged and appear to be normal sweets. There are two types – CBD Edibles and THC Edibles.

CBD Edibles are legal (as the THC-hallucinogenic has been extracted leaving trace amounts) but THC edibles are classed as a controlled substance and consequently are not legal.

North Yorkshire Police have shared images of some of the THC sweets in circulation in the city and have asked us to share this with parents and carers so that you are aware. Please click here to see the images.

The THC sweets are labelled as such, and some have a cannabis leaf on the packaging.

The amount of cannabis/THC in the products can vary and sometimes other harmful drugs are added too. The effects of consuming edibles are unpredictable, and it can be very easy to accidentally take a larger dose than intended.

North Yorkshire Police are dealing with this issue proactively but also wanted parents and carers to be vigilant.

DofE Awards – message from Mr Ward

We are still somewhat in limbo with regards to DofE but there are things that we and the students can be doing: so it’s time for us to be positive and make a start to get things finished off for your children and at least have some interaction with them.

We have set up a DofE class (on Google Classroom), and I would ask you to encourage your child to sign up via the class code ngb52gv. If you have any issues with signing up please do let me know. This will allow us to share information and ideas with the students.

We are planning to have a Google Meet with the students next Thursday 11 February at 3.00pm, again if you could encourage your child to attend this would be great.

If you have any questions or queries please email Mr Ward.

“I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” PE fitness challenge – the results!

A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the “I’m a celebrity” fitness challenge this week! The girls have been completing circuit exercises in PE lessons this week to earn stars for the amount of time taken on each exercise. In total, the girls have achieved 4,832 stars which is a fantastic achievement.

The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done Saxons!

The results for Year 9 will be announced next week. Well done all – the next fitness challenge will start next week.

LT on the BBC

Congratulations and the very best of luck to Year 8 student Louie Theaker-Spencer (known as LT to friends!) who has landed a role in a CBBC television programme, Jamie Johnson. Louie travels to Wales next week to undergo a fortnight of isolation with his fellow cast and will begin filming in a couple of weeks.

Louie has worked incredibly hard to achieve this breakthrough and everyone at Millthorpe School is so proud that one of our students will be starring on our television screens in the near future.
“Break a leg, LT!”

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.