WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 28 January 2022

Biometric Consent – Students in Years 9, 10 and 11

A reminder that the parental consent forms allowing us to collect biometric data for pupils in Years 9, 10 and 11, should be returned to school by Monday 31 January please. A copy of the letter and form can be found here.

Online Maths platform

After a successful launch of the online Maths tutor platform with our Year 11s, we are now inviting all students to sign up and create an account. If you’re thinking of getting a tutor for your child to help plug the gaps, build confidence or build on the progress your child is making, then please do take a look, and encourage your child to sign up for an account.

The attached document has more detail. If you have any further questions please contact Mr Bruce.

A message from North Yorkshire Police

All schools across the City of York have been asked to share the message below and ask you to speak to your child about it. Whilst two hotspot locations are mentioned, it is believed that young people are travelling from other areas of the city so this may be relevant even if you do not live in these areas.

Dear parents and carers
North Yorkshire Police Teams are experiencing a significant increase in calls for service regarding Youth Anti-Social Behaviour across the city. Current hotspots include the Foxwood and Haxby areas of the city.This anti-social behaviour includes criminal damage, littering, substance misuse, trespassing, knock-a-door-run and some noise complaints from residents.

North Yorkshire Police want to support our youth population but also need to work with the community to increase community cohesion and reduce incidents in the city. Please consider where your child is socialising and what they are doing when out in the community. Even if you do not live in a hotspot area, please check where your child is travelling to when they are out and about.

North Yorkshire Police and partner agencies are working to improve ASB across the city and hope you will join us in this.

Kind regards,

Inspector Nicholas Plumb

#WakeUpWednesday – A Parent guide to YouTube

This week’s guide from National Online Safety will, we are sure, be a vital read for many of our parents and carers. YouTube is immensely popular amongst our student population and young people in general. This handy guide will explain some of the concerns to look out for, as well as providing practical tips to support you in managing your child’s YouTube experience.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 21 January 2022

Biometric Consent – Students in Years 9, 10 and 11

Children in Years 9, 10 and 11 should have been given a letter and form this week to ask for parental consent to collect biometric data (a unique code based on specific measurements taken from a thumb or fingerprint) which will allow them to use the external doors to enter the building during the school day. We have previously collected biometric data for use with the old canteen system but we are required to obtain separate consent to collect it for a different purpose. Consent for students in Years 7 and 8 was collected when they joined the school.

External doors will only be locked during lessons – they will be open during lesson changeover and break and lunchtimes – and they can always be opened from the inside. The biometric readers will only be needed when students need to enter the building from the outside during lessons (for example, if they are learning in L Block and they need to visit the toilet). Locking the external doors at these times is an important security measure to reduce the risk of intruders entering the school. A copy of the full letter can be found on the school website.

Please complete and return the form to form tutors by Monday 31 January. Note this must be a signed paper copy. Please contact us if you need another form. Many thanks for your cooperation.

Year 10 Work Experience

A reminder that Year 10 students need to have secured a placement and returned their work experience form to Mrs Anderson in school by Friday 28 January. Help in finding placements is available via the NYBEP portal – details of how to access this together with links to all of the relevant documents can be found on the school website.

Careers news

Please take a look at the spring term editions of our Careers Newsletters:

Bookbuzz Friday Fun

Today, Year 7s attended an assembly held by Ms Greenhalgh and Mr Beever, where they were given a free book through a scheme called Bookbuzz. Back in October, all Year 7 students chose a book from a selection of around 20 titles, and this week they arrived and were handed out to great excitement. The books range from serious spooky stories to funny comic style books about teachers’ ‘funny’ lives and a lovely book of animal photographs.

If you are a parent or carer of a Year 7 student, please encourage your child to show you their book and talk about it, and maybe you can enjoy it too. Reading has amazing educational benefits and it would be great if students were encouraged to read more. Reading is also relaxing and a good excuse to be away from screens for some time. When students finish their Bookbuzz books, there will be quizzes with prizes, book swaps, special lunchtime events for each book, and much more, so this isn’t the last time you’ll hear a BUZZ about books!

What’s next? Post-16 guide

City of York Council have published their ‘What’s Next guide – Life, learning and work 2021-2022‘ which is full of information about post-16 opportunities and where to find help and advice. You can view the guide here.

The Yor-OK website also has lots of useful information:

Calling all history nerds!

On Tuesday 8 February, University of York presents ‘Ask a Historian‘ as part of its Open Lecture series. Greg Jenner will talk about his experiences as host of ‘You’re Dead to Me’ and consultant on ‘Horrible Histories’. He will also talk about his latest book ‘Ask a Historian’. Further information and booking details can be found here.

On Thursday 10 February, Dr Helen Lacey of University of Oxford will be explaining why everything we thought we knew about the Peasants Revolt of 1381, is incorrect. Please email Mrs Lingard on r.lingard@millthorpe.southbank.academy if you would like the Zoom link for this virtual event.

Social media advice and guidance for parents

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday parent guide from National Online Safety focuses on Horror Games. Please take a look for information, advice and handy tips.

This week, we also received a letter from our School Liaison PCSO, which reminds parents to be extra vigilant as the number of incidents concerning children and the internet and social media apps is increasing. Read the letter here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 14 January 2022

COVID-19 Vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds

City of York Council’s Public Health team is reminding parents, carers and young people that children can get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination from the day they turn 12 years old.

Most children can get a second dose from 12 weeks after they have had their first dose.

If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not in an ‘at risk’ group to COVID, they will need to wait 12 weeks before they can have either a first or second dose.

Children can get their vaccination:

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds go to: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

For anyone aged 16 and over who has not had either their first, second or booster vaccination there are many opportunities to book an appointment or walk-in for more details of clinics – click here for details: NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group – Book your COVID-19 vaccine and Booster appointment (valeofyorkccg.nhs.uk)

Changes to the self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19

From Monday 17 January, people who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. Full details can be found here.

Google Classrooms – Key Stage 3 students

From Monday 17 January, new Google Classrooms will be available for students in Years 7, 8 and 9 who are absent but well enough to complete school work (eg because they are self-isolating).

There is a separate classroom for each year group, where students can find all the work they need for the week in all their subjects. The work is designed to be suitable for independent home learning.

Most subjects will post a week’s worth of content at the beginning of each week in a single post. WIthin that post, there may be more than one lesson, depending on the number of lessons students would normally have in a week for that subject. Some subjects will post two weeks’ worth of lessons at a time – this will be clearly indicated within the post. Posts from the previous week will be archived as new work is posted to make it as easy as possible to find the right work.

Students should take the opportunity to join the relevant year group class even if they are currently attending school full time. This will make it quicker and easier for them to access the classrooms should they need to be absent in the future.

The Google Classroom details are as follows:

  • Year 7 – 6ceeqfy
  • Year 8 – 3a554m3
  • Year 9 – kc4hfsp
Students in Years 10 and 11 who are absent should continue to access their lessons via their classroom teachers’ individual Google Classrooms.

Year 11 Maths revision

The mathematics department has signed up to an online tutor package to help with revision and catch up. We are currently asking all Year 11 students to sign up to the programme, and will roll this out to the whole school over this half term. More information can be found in the attached document.

Students have been shown this in class but if you do have any further questions please contact Mr Bruce.

Our after-school revision sessions will start on Tuesday 18 January in PC2 and PC3. At the first session, the department staff will be on hand to help students sign up to the online platform which they will then be able to use. Subsequent sessions will take place every Tuesday in PC2 and PC3, and staff will be available to help students use the platform to create bespoke revision paths.

The department also sells revision guides. Your child’s class teacher can show these in class if you would like more information.

Job vacancies

Would you like to work at Millthorpe School? We currently have a few vacancies advertised, details of which can be found on our website. Current vacancies include:

  • Science Technician
  • Assistant Food Technician
  • School Cleaner
  • Numeracy and Literacy Tutors

Post-16 opportunities

CAPA College, which provides full time arts training and education for students aged 16-19, is holding a Virtual Open Day on Sunday 16 January at 2pm. Full details about the event can be found here.

#WakeUpWednesdays – A Parents Guide to Replika

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is about Replika – an app that we were not familiar with but does concern us. We have shared the information from NOS below and their guide which you can see here. Please could we ask you to take the time to check your child’s devices to see if they are using this concerning app, and use the guide to support you in managing it if they are.

NOS describe Replika as “a virtual best friend who’s available 24/7 and almost exclusively wants to talk about you. Sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Replika mixes deep questions about a user’s hopes and fears with lighter enquiries about their preferred pizza toppings. Confiding in a realistic bot can also ease the stigma that someone might feel in opening up to another human about emotional or mental issues.”

“The app’s makers, however, are at pains to stress that it is not a medically certified service. As our #WakeUpWednesday guide discovers, the chance of actually worsening a mental or emotional problem is among the possible risks of using Replika – along with the potential for addiction, expensive in-app purchases and receiving inappropriate content from the chatbot.”

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 7 January 2022

Happy New Year

We hope you had a lovely break over the Christmas holidays and managed to stay safe and well.

As you will have no doubt heard in the news, regulations relating to the pandemic have changed again over the last week. Below is a summary of where we are currently regarding lateral flow testing, vaccinations and face coverings:

Lateral flow device (LFD) tests
Thank you for your ongoing support with lateral flow testing. We encourage your child(ren) to continue with twice-weekly testing, but from Tuesday 11 January, if the result of the LFD test is positive, a confirmatory PCR test will NOT be required. This will mean that anyone who receives a positive LFD test result will be required to self-isolate immediately.

Young people aged 12 to 15 in England are now being offered a second dose of the vaccine, if it is at least 12 weeks since their first dose. Currently, vaccines can be booked via the NHS website, however over the next few weeks, the vaccination programme will be rolled out in schools. We are awaiting contact from the school age immunisation service (SAIS) regarding dates and will share details of what is happening at Millthorpe as soon as we can.

Face coverings
The advice on face coverings in classrooms will be in place until Wednesday 26 January, when Plan B regulations are currently scheduled to expire, at which point it will be reviewed. Please could you make sure that your child(ren) has a face covering with them every day as we are still giving out a large number of disposable masks.

Year 11 taster days – 11 and 13 January

Year 11 students may attend a college, sixth form or apprenticeship taster day on either Tuesday 11 Janaury or Thursday 13 January or both. On either day, if they do not have a booked appointment at one of the sixth form providers, they should attend school as normal.

Pure Praise Assemblies

The assembly programme during the last week of term gave the Senior Leadership Team a lovely opportunity to celebrate students’ academic success and their wider contribution to the school community. All year groups engaged in an explanation of the research behind praise and how we are all hard-wired to respond well to positive feedback as the brain benefits from an injection of dopamine. We looked at how we should all endeavour to share praise more widely both at school and in our private lives. The start of the assembly was loosely based around research from Grant, Bohns and Epley who found that:

  • people generally don’t realise that small amounts of praise have such a big impact.
  • people significantly underestimate how happy the other person would be to hear the praise.
  • people worry they wouldn’t articulate the compliment correctly, without striking the wrong tone.

The second half of the assembly recognised students’ achievements in the following areas:

  • Golden Ticket Academic
  • Golden Ticket Wider Contribution
  • 100% Attendance (recognising that this number would have been a lot higher had COVID not been a factor)
  • 3Rs Badge winners for being Respectful, Responsible and Ready
  • Top form groups – combined reward score
  • Friday 5 winners – individual students with the highest reward scores
  • Average Learning Conduct score for each year group which ranged between 3.43 to 3.53

We hope that these ‘Purely Praise’ assemblies really show the students how much we appreciate their hard work, care and consideration for others and commitment to be the best they can be here at Millthorpe.

Job vacancies

Would you like to work at Millthorpe School? We currently have a few vacancies advertised, details of which can be found on our website. Current vacancies include:

  • Science Technician
  • Assistant Food Technician
  • School Cleaner

Family Matters course – Handling Anger in the Family

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.

They have three Handling Anger courses starting the week commencing 17 January, one in person and two online.

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.

T Levels and open events at Bishop Burton College

Bishop Burton College is now offering a range of T Level courses in addition to a range of other post-16 qualifications. To find out more about T Levels, order a prospectus, attend a taster event or open event, please take a look at their latest e-newsletter.

#WakeUpWednesdays – two to share!

National Online Safety have sent us two handy guides for parents and carers since we last emailed you: one to help with setting up new devices that your child may have received for Christmas, and also another handy guide to the ever-popular Fortnite.