WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 25 March 2022

Access to school in the morning

A reminder that in order to keep students as safe as possible, we need to make sure that they are only coming onto the school site once there are staff available to supervise them. This supervision begins at 8.30am each morning until form time begins at 8.45am. We would therefore ask you to make sure students are not arriving before this time, as all gates will be locked and they will not be able to enter the school site.

Assemblies this week

The Senior Leadership Team have delivered assemblies this week around Earth Hour. We covered sustainability, our impact on the planet, steps we can take to reduce our devastating effect on the planet and how we all have a responsibility to change the way we live, do business and value the planet we will pass on to the next generation.

You can take a look at the presentation from the assemblies here.

We encourage everyone within the Millthorpe community to take part in the Earth Hour campaign by turning off your lights at 8.30pm this Saturday night. You can find out more here.

Millthorpe Allies

In assemblies this week, Miss Richards introduced the new Millthorpe Allies initiative. Through the scheme, staff can choose to wear a rainbow Millthorpe badge which acts as a sign to students that these people are happy to talk about LGBTQIA+ issues.

Full information about Millthorpe Allies, which has been devised by Miss Richards, will appear in the Easter edition of the Millthorpe Messenger – please look out for it!

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme

The Holidays Activity and Food programme provides free activities and a meal to children and young people, who are eligible for Free School Meals in York and are aged 4-16 years old.

The HAF programme will be available throughout the Easter holidays – full details can be found here.

Year 11 National Citizen Service (NCS) residential

Students were informed in assembly last week of a two-week residential, organised by NCS, which will take place over the summer holidays. Places are limited so if your son/daughter is interested, please take a look at the attached letter as soon as possible.

NCS will also be coming into school on Tuesday 29 March to answer any queries you might have and to collect application forms. Spare forms can be obtained from Mr Noble.

York Press article

You may have seen MP Rachael Maskell’s comments in today’s York Press around capital investment for schools. Whilst we appreciate Ms Maskell’s support in this important matter and we are very aware that some parts of the school’s estate are in need of investment, we would like to emphasise that, as with any school, we have a rolling programme of upkeep and capital investment, including the upcoming improvements to the dining hall, toilets and across the site we told you about earlier in the year. We want to reassure parents and carers that students’ wellbeing is paramount and there is no risk to their safety as may have inadvertently been implied by the article.

NYP advice – check your child’s phone

We regularly encourage parents and carers to check their child’s mobile phone to ensure that they are being used appropriately and they are not being exposed to inappropriate material. We deal with issues relating to mobile phones, group chats and social media on an almost daily basis so we are supporting a request from North Yorkshire Police (NYP) for parents and carers to once again check their child’s mobile phone.

NYP are currently investigating a significant safeguarding concern relating to a viral video and whilst there is no suggestion that this directly involved Millthorpe students, we would kindly request that all parents and carers check their child’s mobile phone, satisfy themselves that the content is appropriate, and if there is anything of concern, that you ensure that it is reported to the police and then deleted from your child’s phone.

If you would like to explore free Apps that make monitoring your child’s mobile phone and social media usage easier, please visit 10 Free Apps for Parents to Monitor Social Media.

#WakeUpWednesday

This week’s #WakeUpWednesday from National Online Safety is a really handy guide for parents and carers to manage phone scams. It is useful for adults as well as for you to share with your child(ren).

Family Matters courses

A reminder that Family Matters York are offering the following courses after the Easter break:

  • Handling Anger in the Family (St Edward’s Church, Tadcaster Road and on Zoom)
  • Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years (Aroma Coffee Shop, The Village, Haxby)
  • Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years (Cornerstone at St Georges, Millfield Lane, Osbaldwick)

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.

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 18 March 2022

Aid for Ukraine – a huge thank you!

We’re thrilled to announce that our appeal for donations to support the charity SOS Children’s Villages has seen an overwhelming response from the Millthorpe community. As of today, your generous gifts amount to over £1,800! This will go to support the critical work the charity is doing with Ukrainian refugee children and families.

Representatives from the charity report that our funds will go towards:

  • Helping abandoned, orphaned children and children who lose their parents’ care.
  • Relocation support and shelter for children and their families.
  • Short-term emergency support for children and families such as psychological first aid, referrals, emergency assistance such as food, medicine and hygiene items.
  • Trauma care and mental health support for children, their families and for staff.
  • Paying for additional staff to support increased numbers of families and children needing support.

So that our donations arrive in good time, we will be closing the collection on Monday 21 March. If you’d still like to contribute, please donate on ParentPay or cash can be handed to your child’s form tutor on Monday.

Thanks again for your generosity!

Guidance for parents and carers on talking to teenagers about the invasion of Ukraine

This guidance and advice article is written by Dr Sheila Redfern, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Anna Freud Centre, and published by BBC Bitesize.

In the article, Dr Redfern shares advice for parents and carers on how to talk with young people about the invasion of Ukraine – a time that will be extremely unsettling and scary for many. There is advice for parents and carers on managing their own reactions and feelings, as well as ways to reassure and support children.

North Yorkshire Police consultation on the Little Knavesmire

Local residents and young people are invited to attend a meeting led by North Yorkshire Police (NYP) at the Racecourse on 30 March to share their views on the Little Knavesmire as the lighter nights approach. Full details are available on this letter. Please note the request to email NYP to inform them of your attendance.

We are keen to secure the thoughts of young people too, so please encourage your child(ren) to complete this Google Form if they regularly use the Little Knavesmire as a social space, especially during the summer months.
This form can also be completed by parents/carers and other members of the local community if you are unable to attend. Depending on the number of responses, Millthorpe School may not be able to share all of the feedback on the night, but we will forward all responses to NYP for their consideration.

ISSP Lecture

A reminder that the second lecture in this year’s Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) lecture series will take place on Thursday 24 March from 7.00-8.00pm. Entitled ‘From MCHOS to WIMPS and the Dark Secrets in Our Cosmic Backyard: An exploration of the astronomical discoveries behind one of the biggest mysteries in Astronomy – Dark Matter’, the lecture will be delivered by Andy Parr, Head of Science Outreach at St Peter’s School.

Click here for online booking which will be available until 21 March.

“We all feel it” – Childline Mental Health Campaign

Earlier this month, Childline launched a mental health campaign, to support young people, particularly males, struggling to reach out for mental health support. Young men are significantly underrepresented in the users of Childline’s mental health support, despite the research suggesting that many young men are struggling with their mental health.

A very short video is available here – We All Feel It

We will ask Form Tutors to show this in school but also encourage parents/carers of young men to invite their child(ren) to watch it too.

#WakeUpWednesday

National Online Safety have published a guide to support parents and carers with a social network platform called Yubo and a guide to support young people who have viewed upsetting content online.

Family Matters courses

Family Matters York are offering the following courses, some online and some in person, after the Easter break:

  • 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.

Family Matters also offer Reconnect, a five-session couple-to-couple mentoring service, focusing on relationship skills to help you strengthen your couple relationship. For details contact Emma at emmamarshall@fmy.org.uk

Job vacancies

If you would like to work with us, you can see our current job vacancies on our website here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 March 2022

Reporting student absence

We would like to remind all parents/carers that they must notify us if their child is going to be absent, by calling the school office on T: 01904 686400.

Please DO NOT email the school office or contact the year teams regarding student absence. It is vital that we receive a phone call for safeguarding purposes.

Any unnotified absences create extra work for our admin and year teams as they then have to spend time contacting parents/carers.

You will already be aware that we place huge importance on excellent school attendance, so we continue to ask that students come into school, even if they are not feeling 100%. We often find that when lessons begin, students see their friends and the busy school day begins, they pick up and benefit from all school life has to offer. Please continue to remind your child that ‘every minute counts’.

Comic Relief Fundraiser – Friday 18 March

Please come along to the Main Hall after school next Friday (18 March) for a fun-packed fundraiser devised and organised by Year 9 students. There will be a raffle, a bake sale and lots of other activities guaranteed to keep you entertained and painlessly extract your small change. All proceeds will go to Comic Relief 2022. If you buy raffle tickets, you’re advised to come along in person so you can have your pick of the prizes and don’t end up with that strange ornament or the bottle of ouzo you donated two years ago.

Year 11 Prom rental project

We are pleased to announce that the Eco Laundry is expanding into formal wear. We have spent the last year collecting dresses, suits, shoes and accessories for our students to hire for prom, at a cost of no more than £5. We want to reduce financial barriers to attending prom and we have the added bonus of reducing the impact on the environment.

We will be hosting our ‘prom shopping day’ on Monday 21 March in the Main Hall from 3.30-5.30pm.

Parents and carers are welcome to accompany their child(ren) so everyone can enjoy the experience. There will be many helpful volunteers and students have the opportunity to try on some outfits before they decide which items they would like to rent.

Please feel free to contact Miss Ramadhan for further information.

ISSP Lecture

The second lecture in this year’s Independent State School Partnership (ISSP) lecture series will take place on Thursday 24 March from 7.00-8.00pm. Entitled ‘From MCHOS to WIMPS and the Dark Secrets in Our Cosmic Backyard: An exploration of the astronomical discoveries behind one of the biggest mysteries in Astronomy – Dark Matter’, the lecture will be delivered by Andy Parr, Head of Science Outreach at St Peter’s School.

Click here for online booking which will be available from 14-21 March.

York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

A reminder that the York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event will take place on 15 March at York High School. The event, which runs between 4.00-7.00pm, provides young people with a great opportunity to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There is no need to register and students are encouraged to take an up-to-date CV with them to the event.

Job vacancies

We are seeking to appoint exam invigilators to work with students who are not currently attending school and are not expected to attend school for their GCSE exams in the summer. To find out more, please click here.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 4 March 2022

Access to school in the morning

In order to keep students as safe as possible, we need to make sure that they are only coming onto the school site once there are staff available to supervise them. This supervision begins at 8.30am each morning until form time begins at 8.45am. We would therefore ask you to make sure students are not arriving before this time, as they will not be able to enter the school site.

Year 11 Prom payments

A reminder that this weekend is the last chance to pay your deposit for the Year 11 prom.

World Book Day

We have celebrated World Book Day throughout the week with a wide range of activities including: teachers displaying posters about their favourite book; teachers creating and sharing videos about their favourite book; and a range of fun quizzes and challenges. On the day, we shared diversity-themed readings in all classes, some staff members dressed up, students brought in props and accessories, and in the library we had a ‘Guess the Book Character’ competition and a Harry Potter themed Jellybean Challenge.

This is not the end of our celebrations, however, and we have a trip to Rowntree Reading Café and an outing to The Portal Bookshop to look forward to, as well as nominated star readers receiving book prizes next week. Also, further reading lists for each subject will be made available on the school website soon, with all the suggested books being available and easily accessible in the library.

We are always keen to promote reading at Millthorpe as it has amazing educational benefits as well as being a relaxing, fun and informative activity. Please do encourage your child/ren to read as much as possible. Reading for fifteen minutes a day adds up to over 100,000,000 words in a year. A good time to encourage reading is before bed. It is a particularly good time to turn off screens or the blue tone of back lights, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Bookbuzz Books and World Book Day

A few weeks ago we shared the great news that through a scheme called Bookbuzz all Year 7 students received a book of their choice from a great selection. This week we put out quizzes and activities related to the books for students to complete. After completing these and returning them to Miss Brooks in the library, students will receive a substantial sweet treat or a set of bookmarks, and a golden ticket. Please encourage your child/ren to get involved.

Refugee Aid for Ukraine

The Millthorpe community has watched the events unfolding in Ukraine with sadness and concern. This week, we have shared information with classes about the war in Ukraine, using reliable sources for learning information and how to spot misinformation.

We are proud of our longstanding tradition of supporting other communities, near and far, who need extra help and many people are keen to support refugees and citizens who remain in their homes in Ukraine. The effort to provide aid is a fast and very changeable situation. Mrs Featherstone, who has connections to charities in Poland, has organised a link between our school and SOS Wioski Dzieciece/SOS Children’s Villages who are presently working to evacuate children and families to safe places, provide those still in Ukraine with food and other supplies, and provide trauma support for children and families. You can find more information about this charity here.

Using Mrs Featherstone’s links to the Children’s Villages Charity and Ms Garner Steel’s connections in the foreign aid sector, we have followed the advice of aid workers on the ground, who have said they are currently struggling to process and store the amounts of well-meant material donations at this time. Therefore, we have chosen not to collect material donations at this point, but to ask for donations of money which will go to fund the vital work the SOS Children’s Villages are doing with Ukrainian refugees who have fled to Poland. You can donate money on ParentPay or students can bring cash donations to form until Friday 11 March.

As the situation unfolds, we will continue to look to see if there are other initiatives we may be able to support and we will let you know about these in future emails.

York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event

A reminder that the York Apprenticeship Recruitment Event will take place on 15 March at York High School. The event, which runs between 4.00-7.00pm, provides young people with a great opportunity to find out about apprenticeship opportunities in the local area. There is no need to register and students are encouraged to take an up-to-date CV with them to the event.

SEND Inclusion Review – Parent Carer focus group invitation

In May last year, City of York Council launched an Inclusion Review Survey which asked children and young people with SEND, their families, carers, health and childcare professionals, for their views on proposals to change provision for young people with SEND in York.

The Council are now onto the next phase of the SEND inclusion review and they would like to invite parents and carers to share their views and help shape future support and provision via two parent/carer focus groups. These will take place on:

  • Wednesday 16 March 6.00-7.30pm (virtual meeting via Zoom)
  • Thursday 24 March 1.30-3.00pm (Hob Moor Children’s Centre)

To book your slot, please email Laura.Brown@york.gov.uk