WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 24 September 2021

Early closure – Wednesday 29 September

As next week is B Week, school will finish at 2.10pm on Wednesday 29 September for staff Continuous Professional Development.

Year 11 ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening

A reminder that Tutor Meetings will take place on Monday 27 September for Year 11 students and their parents/carers.

Please check your letter for arrival times. Parking on-site is extremely limited, so please park away from school and walk if possible. On arrival please come into school via the Philadelphia Terrace entrance and go straight to the Main Hall.

We look forward to seeing you.

Year 6 Open Evening

We are delighted that we are able to hold a ‘real’ Open Evening this year for Year 6 pupils and their parents/carers.

The Open Evening will take place on Wednesday 6 October. In the interest of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, we will be running three consecutive sessions, at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm, in order that group sizes are not too big. Full details can be found on our website.

Teacher Training Day

A reminder that school will be closed to students on Wednesday 6 October for a Teacher Training Day and to allow preparation for the Open Evening.

Ski trip 2022 – Sportwelt Amade, Austria

We are pleased to be able to offer a Ski Trip to Austria next year, from 9-16 April 2022, for students in Years 8, 9 and 10.

Full details can be found in Mr Boothman’s letter and in this presentation.

Footwear for the AGP

The PE team has asked that we remind parents/carers that students will need boots for Games suitable for both the AGP (astroturf) and grass. Some students have two separate pairs, one for each surface. Some students have one pair that they clean thoroughly if moving from grass to the AGP.

Please note that the key point for buying boots for the AGP is that they are non metal and must be plastic studs. Small pimpled ‘astro’ trainers are not suitable, they must be studded boots.

If you have any questions, please contact Mr Randall, Head of PE.

Parental controls for Apps on iPhone and Android

This week’s ‘Wake up Wednesday’ from National Online Safety gives parents and carers handy guides to set up parental controls for apps on iPhone and Android phones.

Read the guidance here:

Private Fostering Awareness Week

Next week is Private Fostering Awareness Week in York. From Monday 27 September – Friday 1 October 2021, a virtual campaign will run to raise the profile and awareness of the Private Fostering resources and training in the City of York.

It is hoped that by the end of the week, professionals, wider partners and members of the public will have a better understanding of Private Fostering arrangements, where to find resources and how to make a notification.

Further information can be found here and you can follow the City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership on Twitter @YorkSCP.

Can you crack the code?

It’s week 2 of our ‘just for fun’ Crack the Code puzzle…

Our GB Olympians and Paralympians have been giving their all this summer in Tokyo, so you will need to think back to the Games for this week’s clue.
Take the total number of medals won by Great Britain in the 2020 Paralympic Games. Add the difference between the first and third square numbers.
Divide this by the number of sports at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Finally add the number of players on an Olympic Baseball Team.
Hope this clue is a lucky one for you! This will give you your second answer – keep a note. Clue 3 will follow next week…..

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 17 September 2021

A great start to the term

We have had a great week and it is so lovely to see the school full of life again. We have been super-impressed that the vast majority of students have come back to school in such a positive frame of mind, how smart everyone is in their uniform and how calmly and sensibly students are moving around the site.

We hope that you feel happy and confident that your child has returned to a school that feels much more ‘normal’ this academic year, but as always, if you have any concerns or questions, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance. There will be opportunity at the forthcoming Tutor Meetings to meet form tutors in person – more information below.

Wishing you a very happy weekend!

‘Meet the Tutor’ evenings

A reminder that Tutor Meetings are taking place over the next couple of weeks:

  • Monday 20 September – Year 7
  • Tuesday 21 September – Year 8
  • Wednesday 22 September – Year 9
  • Thursday 23 September – Year 10
  • Monday 27 September – Year 11 (please note that this is the correct date – apologies that our communication earlier today showed the wrong date)

Please check your letter for arrival times. Parking on-site is extremely limited, so please park away from school and walk if possible. On arrival please come into school via the Philadelphia Terrace entrance and go straight to the Main Hall.

We look forward to seeing you.

Year 6 Open Evening

We are delighted that we are able to hold a ‘real’ Open Evening this year for Year 6 pupils and their parents/carers!

The Open Evening will take place on Wednesday 6 October. In the interest of everyone’s safety and wellbeing, we will be running three consecutive sessions, at 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.30pm, in order that group sizes are not too big.

Full details about the event, including booking information, will be sent out next week via our primary schools and posted on our website.

Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze Award meetings

A reminder that meetings for Year 10 Bronze Award DofE students will begin on Monday 20 September, at 3.10pm. The meetings will generally last no more than 30 minutes.

Computer Science Homework

To support students with their Computer Science Homework PC1 and PC2 is available for students to come and complete their homework on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3.00-3.25pm.

Social media scams

Our weekly update from National Online Safety is to help parents and carers to avoid social media scams, and to help them to explain this to their child(ren) so that they can avoid them too.

Read the guidance here

Equal Play? Do we need to ‘make space for girls’ in public parks?

The Friends of Rowntree Park are launching a new project in Rowntree Park in York to research the views of local older girls on Rowntree Park’s facilities. We’d love as many girls aged 10-17 to complete this anonymous online survey.

We are also running a workshop on Saturday 9 October – more information can be found on our website or on our facebook page. Views shared could lead to real change.

This article gives more background to why the Friends are conducting the research and where the project may go in future.

Can you crack the code?

For a bit of fun this half-term, the Maths department is running a “Crack the Code” puzzle and we’d love you to take part!

Every Friday, we will publish a clue or a puzzle to solve. In the final week of half-term, you should have five answers which will enable you to crack the code and work out the password.

Clue 1: Fresh from achieving an A* in her A-Level Mathematics, Emma Raducanu won the US Open. Take the total number of games played in the final, then subtract the second triangle number.

This will give you your first answer – keep a note. Clue 2 will follow next week…..

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 10 September 2021

A new school year

It has been wonderful to welcome our new Year 7 students to Millthorpe this week and to see everyone back in school, especially as we can now see their smiling faces! It’s lovely to see each year-group in their new ties and looking very smart. A big thank you to you all for your help in getting students ready for the start of the autumn term. It is great to see our students ready to learn, wearing the right uniform and with the right equipment.

It has been a really busy week, with our new Year 7 cohort settling into new routines and our returning students familiarising themselves once more with some old routines! We have been talking to our students about our new school motto and our new approach to behaviour for learning. It has been particularly gratifying to see so many students exemplifying the motto already, being Respectful, Responsible, Ready as they move around school and take part in lessons.

We’re looking forward to a great term, and an exciting year ahead. Have a lovely weekend and we’ll see everyone next week for B week!

Gemma Greenhalgh
Headteacher

School meals

We’re delighted to welcome Dolce on board as our new catering partner in the school canteen. The children have clearly been enjoying sampling the new food and drink on offer. It’s fair to say that it hasn’t gone without a hitch – at the same time as everyone, students and staff, getting to grips with a new system, we’ve had some software glitches that have interfered with the balances shown on the till. In turn, this has unhelpfully led to automated emails notifying parents of lack of funds when we know this isn’t the case. We’re really grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding as we get these issues sorted.

We have been notified that it is still taking more time than usual for funds paid into ParentPay to reach the tills; this often happens at the busy start of the school year and should improve as things settle down. Please continue to put money on via ParentPay – this is still the way to pay for school meals, as well as other school activities. The simplest way to pay for regular meals is to activate auto top-up, which will ensure there are always sufficient funds in the account. You can find the ParentPay help pages here.
Other than that, we think most issues are resolved now but please don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions or concerns. And please rest assured that, whatever happens, we will always make sure children can get fed, even if the IT is not playing ball. Please encourage them to speak to staff if there is a problem at the tills.
The canteen now offers free porridge every breaktime which means children can fill up in the morning without worrying about running out of money at lunchtime.

Early closure – Wednesday 15 September

As next week is B Week, school will finish at 2.10pm on Wednesday 15 September for staff Continuous Professional Development.

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Huge congratulations to the former Year 10s who completed their expeditions last academic year. We are planning one more weekend soon, so please keep an eye out for details. We will also be offering the Silver Award again for Year 11s, details to follow next week.

Bronze Award students will begin their meetings on Monday 20 September. We hope these meetings will generally last no more than 30 minutes as we have changed our usual procedures to accommodate the fantastic amount of students that have signed up for the Award.

Mr Ward

Computer Science Homework

To support students with their Computer Science homework, PC1 and PC2 are available for students to come and complete their homework on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3.00-3.25pm.

PE Kit for Key Stage 3 students

To help Key Stage 3 students (and their parents) to bring the right PE/Games kit on the right day, please take a look at this list.

Sports practices

The following sports practices will take place until October half-term:

Lunchtime practices

After-school practices

As lunchtime is only 40 minutes long, students do not need to get changed into their PE kit, but they will need a change of footwear (trainers for the Sports Hall and plastic studded boots for the AGP). Students should come straight to practice and decide how to manage their lunch as they will not be able to eat in the Sports Hall or on the AGP. They may wish to eat a packed lunch at breaktime or just before or after practice.

After-school clubs take place between 3.20-4.20pm. Students should change into their kit in the Sports Hall changing rooms.

Everybody is welcome to come along. If you have any questions, please speak to one of the PE teachers.

Snapchat

We recommend parents view this information from NSPCC about Snapchat. Please be aware that it is possible for children to be contacted by people using false identities and, therefore, they should not reply to anyone who they don’t know, even if they claim to share the same age or interests.

This guidance is recommended by the NSPCC.

Online safety

National Online Safety continues to send us regular “Wake Up Wednesday” documents to share with parents and carers. Here are three parent/carer guides that we have received in recent weeks:

World Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK, and over 200 school children die by suicide every year. Suicide Prevention Day offers a useful reminder for us, as a school, to consider the resources and support available and to share details of where children and young people can get immediate help and support if they are in crisis:

  • The Crisis Line – York (TEWV): T: 0800 0516 171
  • Samaritans: T: 116 123

Railway Safety

All local schools have again been contacted by Network Rail to express their urgent concerns about trespass on the railway in our local area. Whilst there is no suggestion that Millthorpe students are involved, the regular communication and requests for us to highlight the dangers of trespassing on the railway from Network Rail is concerning. Please take the time to speak to your child(ren) about this.

Form Tutors will be addressing this in form time next week but you might also want to watch the videos below with your child(ren), especially if you are the parent/carer of a new Year 7 student who might not have seen these videos before. Students in Y8-11 have viewed these videos in school previously but you may want to ask them to watch them again. As the secondary age video is quite hard-hitting, we have included the primary school version if you feel this is more age appropriate for your child.

Please enter the email railsafety@learnliveuk.com into the “I am registered” field so that you do not need to “sign up”.

Primary school version: Age 7- 11

https://learnliveuk.com/network-rail-primary-school-safety-talk/

https://learnliveuk.com/i-am-train-safe/

Secondary school version: Age 11-16

https://learnliveuk.com/network-rail-secondary-school-safety-talk/

https://learnliveuk.com/i-am-train-safe/

Players needed for girls’ football team

Bishopthorpe White Rose Football Club is looking for new players to join its established U16 Girls’ Football Team.

Students in Years 10 and 11 are eligible to join this friendly girls’ team; they are particularly on the lookout for a goalkeeper. Training is on a Wednesday evening and matches takes place on a Saturday morning. They also have a fantastic new ground!

You can find out more on their website and if you would like more info, please send them a message either on Twitter @BishWRFC or email: bishopthorpewhiterose@gmail.com

Family Matters courses

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.

There are a few spaces left on the following courses, starting soon:

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

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.

Creative Connections

York Theatre Royal Creative Connections is a free project for young people aged 16-21 not in employment, education or looking for a positive place to be. They’ll invite participants to express creativity in a way that suits them with absolutely no theatre experience necessary.

It will run on a Monday from 2pm-4pm, for ten weeks from 20 September.

Workshops include:

  • Introduction to spoken word
  • Creating environmentally sustainable set designs
  • Tailored workshops by leading carbon neutral theatre company, Pigfoot Theatre Company.

You can find further information here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 3 September 2021

Autumn term return dates and times

A reminder that we will be welcoming students back as follows:

  • Year 7 only on Wednesday 8 September
  • All students on Thursday 9 September

The school day starts at 8.45am and ends at 3.00pm, except each Wednesday B Week, when school ends at 2.10pm for staff Continuous Professional Development.

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

COVID arrangements

COVID arrangements in schools have changed in line with national relaxing of restrictions. Students are no longer required to wear face coverings (although they can if they wish) and we will not be keeping students in fixed year group ‘bubbles’ or requiring them to all be seated facing forward. We will encourage students to wash their hands on arrival to and departure from school, and to sanitise them as they arrive at each lesson or the canteen. A full range of practical activities, including sport, music and drama, will be able to take place, although we will continue to take sensible precautions where appropriate.

All arrangements are subject to review if advice and guidance from the local Public Health team or central government changes as a result of a local outbreak or a national increase in cases.

Testing and isolating

As per the letter from York Public Health, all students are encouraged to carry out two Lateral Flow tests before returning to school. Details of arrangements in York can be found here.

During September, students will be encouraged to test at home twice a week. We will provide testing kits for them to do this.
If your child tests positive at home, they should stay at home until they have had a PCR test.

Similarly, if your child develops symptoms they will need to go home or stay at home and isolate and book in for a PCR test.
If the PCR test is negative, your child will be able to return to school. If the test is positive, your child will need to isolate as instructed by the NHS. If your child does receive a positive result after a PCR test, there is no need to test for 90 days afterwads.

Students no longer need to isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive. All tracing will be carried out by the NHS, not by school.

Anyone who is exempt (under 18 years 6 months or double vaccinated) does not need to isolate if a member of their household tests positive on a PCR, or is waiting for a PCR result after developing symptoms or testing positive on an LFT. They are legally required to do so if not exempt.

Uniform and equipment

Please remember to make sure your child arrives back in school in the correct uniform and with the equipment they need. Students in Years 7 and 10 need to purchase the appropriate tie from Keal Teamwear. You can check what is required on the school website.

Badged items of uniform can be purchased from our supplier Keal Teamwear.

For further information about PE and Games kit, please click here. This is also available from Keal Teamwear. (Just as a reminder, PE takes place indoors and Games takes place outdoors.)

New catering contract

As announced in a previous email, this year we will be welcoming a new catering contractor on board. Dolce is a family business specialising in school meals.

Your child will notice some changes to the canteen, including new self-service sales points: the individualised fobs needed for these will be handed to students on their first morning back. We will be uploading menus to the website shortly so you can get a flavour of what is on offer.

Contacting the school about pastoral issues

In the first instance, please contact your child’s form tutor by email and ask them to respond or call you back. Each tutor has dedicated time after the school day four days a week (not Wednesday) so this is likely to be when they make contact. Form tutor emails can be found here.

Full details of communication under the new year group structure can be found here. If you believe a child is at immediate risk of harm, please contact the School Office T: 01904 686400 and ask to speak to a member of the safeguarding team.