WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 26 March 2021

LFT testing at home throughout the Easter holidays – ACTION REQUIRED

This week, the DfE notified us that secondary school students (and staff) should continue to test at home throughout the Easter holidays and into the summer term.

Can you therefore please ensure your child:

  • takes a test at home twice a week (on a Wednesday and Sunday evening) from now until further notice, INCLUDING during the Easter holidays.
  • reports results online as positive, negative or void both on the NHS test and trace self report website and via the school’s Google Form
  • takes a test on Sunday 11 April, before returning to school for the summer term, to find and isolate any positive cases.

Your child has been issued with more testing kits this week.

Positive results
If your child receives a positive result from a Lateral Flow (LFD) test at home before 3.30pm on Sunday 28 March, please email covidresults@millthorpe.southbank.academy to enable us to track and trace close contacts. After that date until the end of the Easter holidays, you only need to report the results via the NHS site and the Google Form.


An enormous thank you to the overwhelming majority of students who are in full uniform and school shoes. Form Tutors have been checking uniform throughout the week and making contact home where there are issues. Please can we ask that parents and carers make use of the Easter Holidays to rectify any uniform or footwear issues ready for our return on 12 April.

Thank you for your support.

Summer term

The new term starts on Monday 12 April, with a B week.

Parents forum

Our first virtual parents forum, chaired by Mr Beever, took place last night. We would like to thank those involved for giving up their free time and for sharing their thoughts with us.

The group covered educational ethos, vision and values. These agenda items were selected because the SLT team has identified this period of COVID change as a good point in time to review our provision in a few key areas: pastoral policy, personal development and curriculum intent. The school’s vision must align with any improvements we make to these core strands and we would like all stakeholders to play a part in shaping who we are and what we stand for.

It was lovely to hear parents talk about being at the heart of the community, promoting lifelong learning, offering a range of opportunities that engage and excite our students, providing a warm inclusive environment and recognising each student as an individual. We look forward to gathering further parent voice in the second meeting.

To ensure the group discussion is productive we would like to limit numbers so time is available for everyone to speak. We will however invite a new group of parents to contribute once the current set of parents have had the chance to provide feedback on a range of educational issues. Watch this space!

Year 11 Prom

Parents/carers of Year 11 students should have received an email regarding the planning for the Prom. If your son/daughter would like to attend, could you kindly pay for their ticket over the next few weeks? The deadline is Friday 16 April.

You can see the email here.

Plastic bottles

A quick reminder that as we are now working towards becoming a Plastic Free School, our catering providers, Hutchison Catering, have now started running down stocks of drinks in plastic bottles. It is therefore really important that all students should arrive at school with a reusable water bottle that they can refill as needed.

School garden

Mr Ward is starting a school garden and to help with this, he is selling some herb plants. The herbs are in sets of three plants: Set 1 is Oregano Margeritha + Thymus Compact + Chives Staro and Set 2 Rosemary Miss Jessop + Green Sage + Garlic Chive Neko. Each set is £5.

They are not quite ready yet but will be in about two weeks and are available first-come-first-served. If you are interested please email Mr Ward. No money is required yet, we will let you know when they are ready!

Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their school or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

You can find out more and check the eligibility criteria here.

National Citizen Service opportunities

The National Citizen Service (NCS) are running activities during the summer, some of which are residential. These are open to all Year 11 students. Students listened to a virtual assembly about what is available this week, but if you would like further details please take a look at the letter and flyer in our Careers Bulletin.

Askham Bryan newsletter

The team at Askham Bryan have asked us to share the latest edition of their monthly newsletter: ‘In touch with Askham Bryan’. You can read it here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 19 March 2021

Remote learning update

We have had a number of students learning from home because they are shielding, self-isolating or have had a positive Covid test. Our teachers will now ensure that all of the lessons, activities and resources for their lessons are available as per your child’s timetable. This means that any student learning from home can follow their school timetable. Similarly, there will now be opportunities for students learning remotely to access live teacher explanation via Google Meet and/or recorded videos and resources from their Google Classroom. If the teacher is teaching via a Google Meet this will be clearly announced in the stream for that lesson.

Like other schools across the city, our priority is our exam classes. We have had a significant number of Year 10 students having to self-isolate, so we have made it our particular focus to provide live teacher explanation via Google Meet and/or recorded videos and resources for this year group.

Our protocols for students, teachers and parents remain the same as they did when we were delivering remote education in full National Lockdown. In addition to these protocols, teachers will ensure:
  • that any Google Meet is displayed on the teacher monitor only and never on the board;
  • that their monitor is angled away from the class;
  • that their camera is either off, on the teacher, or on the board;
  • that no students in school are in the camera shot at any time;
  • that the Google Meet is structured explanation or input.
  • the meet will not be ‘left’ running as a live stream.
Our teachers will set independent work via Google Classroom and try their best to monitor the stream for any questions, but unlike remote learning during lockdown, this will not have the same level of interaction, as our teachers are delivering lessons in their classroom to a physical class of students at the same time.
In some instances, it may be that a lesson is not available in the classroom. This could be due to the practical nature of the lesson or the absence of a teacher, for example. We have provided links to the Oak National Academy lessons for any period where there is not a Millthorpe lesson available. This can be accessed via our website under our Remote Learning offer and Curriculum sections.

Email communications

As a school, when we need to quickly get a message to a large number of people at once, we use email as our primary method of communication with parents/carers. Can we please ask that you check for emails from school on a daily basis? This is vital at the moment when there are numerous important messages to communicate but we would urge you to get into the habit of checking as a matter of course.

Please contact the school office asap if you have changed your email address or you think we may not have the correct address for you.

If you think you are not receiving emails, please do check your spam/junk folder and add Millthorpe to your safe sender list.

Face coverings

Can you please remind your child(ren) that they must bring their own mask to school every day and that they must not share masks. Disposable masks should not be worn more than once and, therefore, are not recommended.

GCSE Support Materials

As you will be aware, exam boards have been asked to provide support materials to help teachers assess students in order to determine their GCSE grade this summer. Some of you will also have heard that the Government has decided to make these materials publicly available, its rationale being that this will prevent certain students gaining an advantage if materials were to be leaked. We were disappointed (as we imagine many schools were) that this decision was announced after we had developed detailed plans for the preparation and assessment of Year 11 students and we understand that some students and parents may be anxious about the effects of this approach.

However, it should be borne in mind that usage is optional and there will be a range of materials from different boards that schools can choose from. Mark schemes and exemplar materials will be kept secure. It is also worth noting that there will be no comparison of grades between schools, nor any norm referencing nor other formulae applied to limit the award of grades at an individual school.

As such, we are still confident that our approach will give students a suitable opportunity to properly demonstrate their knowledge and skills across their exam subjects and we would like to reassure parents that we will do all we can to make sure our students are not disadvantaged in any way.

Plastic bottles

A number of our students are part of a nationwide student initiative called Plastic Free Schools and as part of the project, the Student Council and Climate Change Club have been lobbying for the phasing out of the sale of plastic bottles in the canteen. The benefits of the scheme are threefold:

  • Millthorpe will play its part in reducing plastic waste and litter, thus lessening the environmental impact;
  • It encourages the healthier choice of drinking fresh water;
  • Families can save money at a time when finances are difficult for many.

This environmental initiative is endorsed both by school and our catering providers Hutchison Catering, who have now started running down stocks of drinks in plastic bottles. Can we therefore remind all students that they should arrive at school with a reusable water bottle that they can refill with fresh, cold water from the outdoor sinks as needed.

The Group Chat Challenge

Many young people, and indeed adults, are very attached to their phones and tablets. They can be used really successfully to help people to keep in touch with friends and family and can be a vital source of support. However, they can also place people under enormous pressure to be available 24/7, and this can have a detrimental impact on physical and mental health. It can also have a considerable impact on the amount and quality of sleep that an individual can get, and their ability to concentrate the next day.

Students were asked to consider this and agree a sensible time amongst their friendship groups when they should try to stop sending messages to one another. The findings were interesting: sometimes encouraging, sometimes a little concerning! Following this feedback from students, Mr Baybutt has set students the “Group Chat Challenge”. The reasoning, research and advice has been explained to students in Form Time this week.

Please take a look at the presentation which your child has received this week and ask your child and their friends to rise to the challenge!

If you are a parent or carer who is exasperated by your attempts to get your child to put their phone down and go to sleep, or you share concerns about the amount of time your child spends on their phone, especially at night, this may help. Of course, we are not expecting you to enforce this, but it is just something that may help in your discussions with your child.

Trespassing on the railway

You may remember that we shared a concern with you on 5th February after British Transport Police contacted all York secondary schools to alert them to a worrying increase in the amount of your people trespassing on the railway in York.

Today, we were visited by PC Dan Smith from the British Transport Police to share a specific concern that happened at about 4pm yesterday. A group of teenagers were seen trespassing on the railway line which runs between Hob Moor and Little Hob Moor. BTP were trying to identify the students in question but the images were inconclusive. Whilst this may not be any of our students, it is certainly a route that many of our students will take to travel home so we are concerned.
Please can we urge you to speak to your child if they do walk over Hob Moor on their way to and from school, and remind them about the dangers of trespassing on the railway. The http://www.youvstrain.co.uk/ website may be of use.
Students in Key Stage 3 have already received a PSHE lesson on this topic recently, and one is planned for Key Stage 4 students after Easter. However, this is an immediate concern so please do talk to your child to ensure they are not putting themselves at risk.

Free school meal vouchers – Easter break

If your child(ren) is entitled to free school meals, a voucher for £30 per student will be emailed to you on Friday 26 March to cover the two-week Easter break. City of York Council are funding this provision.

Census 2021 support

As mentioned in last week’s email, the team at York CVS are running a Census Support Centre offering assistance to people who need help with completing the online Census questionnaire.

The service is available until 4 May but the team is offering additional hours over the next week as follows:

  • Saturday 20 March – CLOSED
  • Sunday 21 March (Census Day) – additional opening from 9.30am – 4.00pm
  • Monday 22 – Friday 26 March –  9.30am – 4.00pm

Wheelchair users can book appointments Monday-Thursday from 10.00am – 1.00pm.

To book a face-to-face or call-back appointment, please contact York CVS Census Support on T: 01904 621133 and choose Census Support.

Further information can also be found here.

Speakers for Schools – Insight day with The Biorenewables Energy Centre (University of York)

As part of their Green Skills Week, Speakers for Schools will be running a virtual insight day on Thursday 8 April from 10.00am – 3.30pm with the University of York. More information is available here.


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.

Community focus: The Collective Sharehouse

During the latest lockdown, Year 10 student, Olly Garner Steel, went to see what goes on at the Collective Sharehouse. The pop-up project based at the Scarcroft School Learning Centre aims to collect food and goods to be distributed to local individuals and families who need additional support during the pandemic.

Olly said “I’d heard that the Collective Sharehouse was doing a really important job during the pandemic. I’d also seen in the news and on social media that lots of people are struggling to get enough money for food and I wanted to find out what people in our community are doing to help.

The Collective Sharehouse is a pop-up service based at Scarcroft School Learning Centre that supplies food, clothes and shoes for kids, and other necessities like cleaning supplies to people that need it. They have a ‘take as you feel’ approach which provides customers with dignity as they get to choose which items they can have.

They also provide the option to create a list of items the customer would like to have. During the current lockdown, there’s a number of ways this can happen including an online ordering option and also the option for people to give the centre volunteers a list of items they would like to have.

It is a ‘collective’ which means there are many different people that all come together to allow it to work smoothly. It is a ‘Sharehouse’ meaning that people share what they have and need; some come to take things they need and others drop items off. Each time a household comes to take items or collect an order it is counted as a share, they average around 50 to 60 shares a week. This shows how important places like this are in the times we are living in now. The pandemic has made lots of local families lose part or all of their income and having a place to share without spending money is a huge help.

The entrance of the Sharehouse looks colourful and inviting even though it was a cold, dark, rainy morning when I visited! It is set out like a corner shop inside and all the items are arranged neatly in sections. Each day, the volunteers put out a list of the most necessary things the Sharehouse needs, so people can go shopping or go back home to bring things they already have and want to share.

I met with David and Diane Rowsell who helped set up the Collective Sharehouse in October last year with many other volunteers to help support families in the local area. There were plenty of people in the local community who wanted to get involved either by donating items or by volunteering.

David said he was inspired by the work of Marcus Rashford when he campaigned for better funding for children who get free school meals. David, who is a former teacher, also told me he wants to help young people understand more about food poverty and the causes of people struggling with money. Diane said they use the guiding ideas of the Sharehouse to make decisions about how to run the collective. Those principles are Service, Dignity and Safety.

The Collective Sharehouse is trying to help the community by linking up different people’s needs and surpluses. It tries to respond to the local people instead of telling them what to do. The idea is “with the people, not to them.”

I think it’s always been important to help out when we can because you never know when it will be you who needs the help. The pandemic has brought lots of our struggles to the surface and lots of people have found it difficult to pay for everything they need.”

If you would like to share or take items you need, you can go along to the Collective Sharehouse on Monday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9.15-11.00am and Wednesday evenings from 5.00-7.00pm. They take donations of non-perishable foods and also household and toiletry items. They regularly publish a list of needs on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thecollectivesharehouse. You can also contact them by email: thecollectivesharehouse@gmail.com.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 12 March 2021

Message from the Head of School

It has been lovely to see everyone back in school this week and a delight to see so many students happy and excited to be with their friends and teachers again. Together, we are getting used to some new routines as well as getting back into more familiar ones!

Once again, I would like to thank you for your support as we negotiate our way through these strange times. On the whole, student behaviour has been excellent, wearing face coverings without complaint and respecting yet another set of new rules and instructions. Thank you also for your support in getting your children tested over the past couple of weeks. Most students will now have had their three supervised tests, so we have now sent out a further letter and separate email about LFT testing at home. In addition we have issued LFT home testing kits to those students who were in school today. Students who were not in school today will receive their kits when they return to school. You can see the full letter here.

As always, the team and I are available if you have any concerns or queries about the return to school, so please do contact us. With best wishes for a lovely weekend,

Remote assembly

This week’s assembly, ‘Planning your future’, is delivered by Mr Gillbanks. You can watch it here or on the Pastoral Google Classroom.


An enormous thank you to the overwhelming majority of students who have returned to school not only in a really positive and resilient manner, but also in full school uniform. We have gently enquired with a couple of students where there are uniform discrepancies whilst they settle back in, but now that students are settled, we would kindly like to ask all parents/carers to ensure that their child is in full school uniform and school shoes.

We will be contacting parents/carers from Monday if there are any uniform issues and an explanation from home has not been provided.

PE/Games kit

A big thank you for the way in which students have coped with the challenge of PE/Games in the first week back. I understand that buying new PE kit for students who seem to have suddenly grown presents issues, as does returning to PE/Games at school after a break. To help with this, can I draw attention to the following points:

  • Please write a note in your child’s planner should there be an issue with kit, with an indication of when the issue may be resolved;
  • Until Easter, students can wear blue or black leggings/skins WITH their shorts over the top;
  • Tracksuit trousers MUST be from Keal Teamwear.
Thank you
Mr Randall, Head of PE

Donations of school uniform needed for Eco-Laundry

Just a reminder that we are still looking for donations of uniform for our Eco Laundry. If your children have grown during lockdown, we would very much welcome donations of any items of pre-used uniform, including PE kit and school shoes, so that we can support families once again in the summer term.

Please send your donation into school with your son/daughter and ask them to take it to the School Office or give it to Ms Garner-Steel or Ms Andrle.

Year 11 Maths Assessment Information

The mathematics department has created a Google Classroom called “Y11 Maths Assessment Information”. All Year 11 students have been added to the class and this is where we will post the information that students are given about assessments. Currently the assessment schedule and revision lists are available in the class there and we will add to this over the next few weeks.

Potential Year 11 Prom

Please can Year 11 parents/carers look out for a separate email sent earlier today asking for your feedback on the possibility of holding a Prom for the Class of 2021 in July.

Census 2021

Census Day falls on 21 March and for the first time the Office for National Statistics is attempting a digital-first Census, with a target of 75% of returns being completed online.

The team at York CVS are running a Census Support Centre offering assistance to people who need help with completing the Census questionnaire. The service is available from 15 March to 4 May; you can contact York CVS Census Support on T: 01904 621133 and choose Census Support. Phone lines are open Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.00pm. Further information can also be found here.

Census 2021 competition

All students in Years 7-9 will be doing a lesson about the 2021 census over the next week. There is also a national competition about the census being run – all students are eligible to enter and further details can be found on the careers bulletin.

Careers news

If you are interested in an apprenticeship in engineering, please see the careers bulletin for the latest vacancies that have come into school from Derwent Training Association.

If students are interested in a career in the NHS (York Hospital is one of the largest employers in the area) then go to the careers bulletin where staff there have filmed interviews about the many different careers available.

Family Matters courses

Some children will be really happy to be back at school with their friends this week, whereas others will be finding it very difficult – all of them will need some level of help and support from their parents.

The short courses offered by Family Matters York give parents the opportunity to meet other parents and find out that they are not alone; to think about what they are doing with their children; and, in the light of the course material and ideas from other parents, decide if they want to make any changes.

The following courses, all of which are offered online via Zoom, are starting after Easter:

  • Handling Anger in the Family
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years
  • Time Out for Dads
  • Separated Parents

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk. You can also find more information on the Family Matters website.


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.

Virtual assemblies 2021

Please click the links below to watch our virtual assemblies:


12 March 2021 – Planning your future

Please click the video below to watch:



5 March 2021Study Hard – Stay Healthy


26 February 2021To Infinity and beyond


12 February 2021Assembly message for half term


5 February 2021Mental Health Week


29 January 2021



22 January 2021 –  5 Steps to Wellbeing Assembly


WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 5 March 2021

Return to school – 8 March 2021

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday morning and, whilst we know some students may be feeling a bit nervous, we hope that everyone is looking forward to getting back into the swing of school life.

Next week is A Week.

Year Group Spaces
A polite reminder that upon arrival at school, after washing their hands, students need to congregate in their year group spaces until their school day begins:

  • 8.45am for Years 7, 10 and 11
  • 9.05am for Years 8 and 9.

The areas are:

  • Year 7 – Tarmac area between the Gym and the Main Hall
  • Year 8 – Tennis Courts next to the Main Drive
  • Year 9 – Concrete area at the top of the Main Drive (on the left)
  • Year 10 – Tarmac area outside D Block or the Front Field
  • Year 11 – B Block yard or the Library

On Monday, all students (including Years 8 and 9) should go straight to their Form Room at the start of their school day, ensuring that they are wearing a mask as they enter the school building.

Face coverings
A few parents have been in touch to find out more about the changes to the guidance around face coverings in school. We have prepared a brief Q&A document, which you can find here.

Equipment – bring what you have!
Please can students bring the equipment that they usually bring to school on Monday – planner, stationery, Teaching and Learning packs (plastic wallet with mini-whiteboards and pens etc) and their Year Group coloured badge. If your child has misplaced any of these items, please tell them not to worry but it would help us if they were able to bring as much as they can.

Remote assembly

This week’s assembly, ‘Study Hard, Stay Healthy’, is delivered by Ms Andrle.

You can download it here or watch it on the Pastoral Google Classroom.

Covid-19 testing

Thank you to everyone who came in to school this week to take their first Covid-19 test before the return to school next week. It was really lovely to see everyone! We were hugely impressed by our students’ exemplary behaviour, mature attitude and the fact that almost everyone remembered to bring a face covering!

As a reminder, in agreement with the York Public Health Team, the second and third tests should be taken at the public testing sites at either:

  • York University
  • York St John University
  • York Stadium complex

Appointments must be booked online before you go to the site.

The second test should be booked within 3-5 days of the first test at school and the third test should be booked 3-5 days after the second. For students who took their test at school this week, dates for the second and third tests are as follows:

Second test Third test
Year 11 Sunday 7 March Thursday 11 or Friday 12 March
Year 10 Monday 8 or Tuesday 9 March Friday 12 or Saturday 13 March
Year 9 Monday 8 or Tuesday 9 March Friday 12 or Saturday 13 March
Year 8 Tuesday 9 or Wednesday 10 March Saturday 13 or Sunday 14 March
Year 7 Tuesday 9 or Wednesday 10 March Saturday 13 or Sunday 14 March

PE/Games arrangements from 8 March until Easter

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone next week and can’t wait to start PE and Games lessons again! Please see below for details of what your child should bring and where they should get changed.

Years 7, 8 and 9

Teacher Change in Kit required for PE (indoors) Kit required for Games (outdoors)
Miss Lansdall Sports Hall PE kit, indoor trainers Games kit, boots, shinpads (on AGP)
Miss Watts Gym PE kit, outdoor trainers Games kit plus trainers
Mr Randall Sports Hall PE kit Games kit (on AGP)
Mr Boothman Gym PE kit Games kit (on grass)

Years 10 and 11

Teacher Change in Kit requirements
Miss Lansdall Gym Indoor PE kit PLUS outdoor trainers
Miss Watts Sports Hall Indoor PE kit
Mr Randall Sports Hall PE kit (in gym)
Mr Boothman Gym Games kit (on AGP)

If you have any queries, please email the relevant teacher – just click on the links below:

Year 11 arrangements for GCSEs

We will be speaking to all Year 11 students early next week to advise them of our approach to GCSE grading in this exceptional year and to give them a clear picture of how the remainder of their time with us will be organised. We will share these details with parents next week.

Eco Laundry – donations of all sizes needed!

Our Eco Laundry remained open during January and February so that we could continue to supply warm clothes to families who needed these and school uniform ready for our return to school next week.

We offer Eco Laundry uniform firstly to families who are entitled to or who have previously received Free School Meals, as well as to any other families experiencing financial hardship. When we have excess stock, we are able to broaden this offer to all families but at the moment our stock of pre-used uniform is very low, with only the smallest sizes left. If your children have grown during lockdown, we would very much welcome donations of pre-used uniform before Easter so that we are able to offer it to all families again in the Summer term.

If you are able to donate any school uniform (including PE kit), please send it into school with your son/daughter and ask them to take it to the School Office or give it to Ms Garner-Steel or Ms Andrle.

Police cadets

If you are thinking of joining the police once you finish in education, being a Police Cadet can be a good introduction to the career. Police Cadet recruitment is now open to all young people aged between 14 and 18 who live in York or the surrounding areas. Applications close at 9am on 19 March.

Full details are available here or on the Careers Bulletin page.

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

A massive thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the ‘I’m a celebrity’ fitness challenge over the last four weeks. They have all worked incredibly hard and should be proud of their efforts. In total, the girls have achieved 7,340 stars which is an amazing achievement.

The winning classes and house can be seen below. Well done once again to Saxons who now have a clean sweep throughout the challenge.

Year  7n 7s 8n 8s 9n 9s
Week 1 EML  957 873 592 753 344 242
Week 1 SEW 852 802 717 323 56 61
Roman Saxon  Viking 
Total 1,679 3,551 2,110

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


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.