WEEKLY EMAIL Thursday 16 December 2021

Season’s Greetings

The team at Millthorpe would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope you have a lovely break with family and friends and once again, we’d like to thank you for your ongoing support.

We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year; Spring Term will start on Tuesday 4 January 2022, with an A Week.

Lateral Flow Testing in January 

The DfE has advised that asymptomatic twice weekly at-home testing, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs), should continue in the new year, to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and identify cases early. We strongly encourage students to continue regular LFD testing and to report their results please.

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

Once again, the students and staff at Millthorpe have demonstrated that we are a caring and generous community. We collected incredibly generous donations of food, toiletries, clothes and treats to give to our local charities: Carecent, Kitchen for Everyone, Refugee Action York and SASH. The Student Leadership team were very busy sorting through it all before the charities arrived earlier this week to collect all the donations. The non-uniform day also raised £948.63 which we split between the charities.

A massive thank you to everyone for your generosity.

Nut allergy reminder

In the UK around 1 in 200 adults have an allergy to nuts (the figure for young people isn’t as clear because it often goes undiagnosed until later in life) which makes it the most common type of severe food allergy. The reaction can be so severe that the individual may experience symptoms even if a packet of nuts is opened near to them.

Please can parents be mindful of this when they are putting together packed lunches? We recognise that many students really enjoy nuts as a snack, but can we politely request that they are not brought into school in support of the students and staff that suffer from this sometimes extreme and potentially dangerous food allergy.

Work experience opportunities at Drax Group – Year 10s

Drax Group have just announced work experience opportunities for Year 10 students. They are offering places in the following areas: IT, Security, Engineering, Finance, Procurement and Commercial.

The work experience will be split into two parts in 2022:

  • Part 1 – Online welcome to Drax and employability skills, this two-day virtual session will be hosted in school holidays (dates to be confirmed).
  • Part 2 – In person work experience for a week, typically during school/college designated work experience week.

Students can apply from tomorrow, using this link and completing the online application form: The deadline for applications is 16 January 2022.

Sports practices

The following sports practices will take place after the Christmas break:

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.

Pre-loved uniform available for ALL students

The Eco Laundry, our store of preloved uniform items, has become a popular resource for families as students grow in and out of different sizes of clothes. All families are welcome to use this facility, particularly as our stock levels are currently very healthy.

For a small charge, you can get Millthorpe uniform pieces, including blazers (£3), shoes (£3), jumpers (£2), PE kit (£2), trousers/skirts (£2), shirts (£1) and ties (£1).

Please do give us a try – it’s a great way to save money and protect the environment at the same time! If your child needs new (to you) uniform items, simply email ecolaundry@millthorpe.southbank.academy with your request.

Holiday Activities and Food programme

A range of holiday activity schemes is available for children and young people in receipt of free school meals this Christmas.

The sessions include a variety of fun activities, including sports, music, arts and other exciting opportunities to learn and develop skills, alongside a nutritious meal each day. They are being provided to targeted children as part of the government’s expanded Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme which is being delivered across the City of York area.

City of York Council is working with its community partners to provide festive drop-in sessions where families can enjoy some activities and pick up activity packs and food for the Christmas holidays. These will be adapted if need be, in line with any revised government guidance. You can find out more about these events here.

York City Knights are running day camps for younger and older children. Join them for a series of skills and drills with their expert community coaches. If you have any questions, please email a.prentis@yorkcityknights.com or call the Knights office on T: 01904 670880. You can also see their poster here.

You can find out about all HAF events in the York area here.

Wake up Wednesday

Christmas is a time for families to come together to enjoy some quality time but we appreciate that many parents and carers may struggle to drag their child’s attention away from their screens. National Online Safety has put together this handy guide to ensure the best of both worlds.

We hope this is useful and that you all have a wonderful Christmas!

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 10 December 2021

Lateral Flow Testing in January 

The DfE has advised that asymptomatic twice weekly at-home testing, using Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs), should continue in the new year, to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 and identify cases early. We strongly encourage students to continue regular LFD testing and to report their results please.

Head of Year 11

Mrs Parr, our wonderful Head of Year 11, has secured a new job and we are sorry to inform you that she will be leaving Millthorpe School at Christmas. Mrs Parr has been at Millthorpe for 16 years and during that time has held, and indeed excelled in, a number of roles: teacher of RE, PSHCE, Personal Development, Child Development, Music, Drama (there may be more!), Head of PSHCE, Director of Achievement for Roman House, then Viking House and most recently, Head of Year 11. We are really sorry to be losing Mrs Parr but she is moving to a new job working for Diversity Role Models, an LGBT+ charity which delivers anti-bullying and discrimination workshops in schools. This is a role that she is made for and we know that she will be outstanding!

Thank you to Mrs Parr for her years of service, her passion for education, her outstanding pastoral care, for being “that teacher” to so many students, and for being a valued colleague. We will miss you.

We are delighted to announce that Miss Forrester will be the new Head of Year 11 from January. Miss Forrester has always taken a keen interest in the pastoral side of education, going above and beyond to support her tutees and all the students she works with. She knows the vast majority of Year 11 students already, having a Year 11 Form and teaching more than half of the year group. She will quickly get to know those students who she knows less well in January. We are really pleased to welcome her to the Pastoral Team!

Assembly: casual racism

At Millthorpe School, we are committed to making our community a welcoming and anti-racist space. This week’s assembly, carefully and professionally produced by our Student Diversity Group, teaches the terms Microaggression, Casual Racism, and Cultural Appropriation. It’s important we learn these words so we can accurately describe the events we might experience or witness. Whilst we’d all be comfortable identifying violent and outrageous acts of racism, it can be harder to name the discomfort and indignity of less overt acts of racism. Through Ms Ramadhan and Ms Garner Steel, the Student Diversity Group very bravely shared their experiences and invited the rest of the school to join their group.

The assembly content was put together by Ben Cason, Asma Al Gharawy, Hani Sannuga and Olly Garner-Steel who together, founded the Student Diversity Group.

They said: “We are a group of Year 11 students. We started this group because we thought that our school didn’t always express the minority voices. We are passionate to make all voices heard in the school. We want our school to celebrate our different backgrounds and be welcoming to everyone. Join us if you want to help stop racism in our school. We will work on projects throughout the year. Anyone is welcome if you want to make a difference.”

You can see the assembly here and if you would like to find out more, please contact Ms Garner Steel.

Christmas Charity appeal update

It was great to see everyone in their Christmas jumpers on Wednesday this week! The festive non-uniform day has so far raised an amazing £904 which will be shared between a number of local charities. We would love to see the total hit £1000 if we can, so if parents/carers would still like to donate, you can do so on ParentPay.

Face coverings

Please can we remind you to check that your child/ren has a mask/face covering with them each day, preferably a reusable one. We have gone through thousands of disposable masks since the half-term break which is not only costly, but is very bad for the environment.

TikTok door kicking trend

Parents/carers should be aware of an emerging TikTok trend, in which young people film one another kicking random front doors and running away. Such behaviour is clearly antisocial and could be very intimidating, especially for vulnerable residents, and puts young people at risk of legal repercussions. Social media crazes of this kind are always best met with a calm and proportionate response but it is a timely prompt to encourage your child/ren to act thoughtfully and responsibly both online and in the ‘real’ world and to be alert to any inappropriate social media activity they may be involved in.

Wake Up Wednesday

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is a video of two teachers who have re-written the lyrics to a popular Christmas song to encourage us all to spend time with family and friends this holiday season, and put our devices down. Unfortunately, we cannot share the video with you as it requires a subscription log in, but you can follow this link to the lyrics for you to read and share with your child/ren. We are sure you will be able to work out the tune!

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 3 December 2021

Christmas dinner

A reminder that Christmas dinner (traditional turkey or a vegetarian option) will be served on Wednesday 8 December this year. Tickets, priced at £2.40, are still available via ParentPay.

Children who are eligible for free school meals will not have to pay but will still need a ticket so that we know whether they would like the meat or vegetarian option. Please log in to ParentPay in the normal way to make your choice(s).

Your child’s form tutor will distribute tickets to students on the day.

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

Following on from Ms Greenhalgh’s assembly this week, our Student Leaders are delighted to launch this year’s Christmas Charity Appeal. We are really excited to be able to look out for the most vulnerable in our community this Christmas by supporting a number of local charities. Every year we are blown away by the number of donations from students and their families and we cannot wait to see them all under the tree again this year.

All forms have been given a sheet with a list of items they can bring in to donate – you can see a copy here. Please can all donations be brought to forms by Friday 10 December.
We will also be holding a non-uniform day on Wednesday 8 December to coincide with Christmas dinner to raise money for the charities. Please bring in your £1 to hand into your form tutor on Wednesday, or you can pay via ParentPay.

Fobs

Please can all students remember to bring their fobs when using the canteen. The number of students turning up without them has crept up recently, which can cause problems at the tills. If a student has permanently lost their fob, they can buy a replacement at the till but there is a charge (70p), so we encourage everyone to look after them as carefully as possible.

North Yorkshire Schools Cross Country Championships

Experienced, proficient runners are invited to represent York in the North Yorkshire Schools XC Championships on Saturday 15 January in Catterick.

Further information is available here. Anyone interested should speak to Mr Randall, Head of PE in the first instance.

Wake Up Wednesday – A Parent Guide to Age Inappropriate Content

We strongly encourage all parents and carers to view this week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety. Unfortunately, we are aware of some of our students accessing inappropriate content online and this guide will help you to reduce the risk of it happening, and how to talk it through with your child(ren) and reduce the risk of it happening again. According to research, one in seven teenagers report viewing something online that they later wish they hadn’t as a daily occurrence. You will be aware that students are not permitted to use their mobile phones during the school day, and we have stringent filters in place on our school ICT system, so we hope that this guide will help you to manage this issue outside of school.

You may be interested to learn that a survey of over 6,000 school teachers across the UK undertaken this week by TeacherTapp returned 75% stating that they “strongly disagreed” or “disagreed” that “the benefits of allowing children aged 13-17 to use social media outweigh the downsides for them”, and 92% of those surveyed “strongly agreeing” or “agreeing” that they would “like to see the government introduce greater regulation of social media amongst children.”

We know that many students are keen to enjoy social media, but we are concerned about the impact that this may have on them, and it is clear that we are not alone in thinking this. Your support is gratefully appreciated.

Year 11 Taster Days

Just a reminder that the deadline is fast approaching for Year 11 students to apply for the York College taster days on Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 January 2022. The deadline is Monday 6 December.

Apprenticeship Taster Day

City of York Council are hosting an Apprenticeship Taster Day on 13 January 2022 – there are still places available with the following employers: Bang Hair, Citywide Health, CYC Business, CYC Smart Transport Project Management, Doubletree by Hilton, FERA Science, Garbutt & Elliott, Labcore, Indigo Greens, Little Green Rascals, Portakabin and Simpson.

Applications should be emailed to york.apprenticeships@york.gov.uk by Monday 6 December.

Further information can be found here.

Rail safety 

We have again been contacted by Network Rail to raise concerns about young people trespassing on the railway in our local area. There is no suggestion that any Millthorpe students are directly involved in this, but we would be grateful if you could speak to your child(ren) about the dangers of trespassing on the railway. We have shared these before, but there are videos from Network Rail that you can watch with your child(ren) if this would be helpful. Please watch the videos in advance and select the one that you feel is most appropriate for your child(ren). Thank you in anticipation of your support.

Network Rail have made things easier for you to watch the free safety videos by just entering the email railsafety@learnliveuk.com into the “I am registered” field when you first watch the videos.

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.

The following courses, some online and some in person, are starting in the New Year:

  • Handling Anger in the Family
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
  • Time Out for Parents – Children with Additional Needs
  • Time Out for Dads
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.