WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 12 February 2021

A message from the Head of School

As we break for the half term holiday, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you once again for all your support. This has to have been one of the toughest starts to a new year that many of us have ever faced and it is without doubt that there is still a great deal of uncertainty. However, with the numbers of people receiving their vaccinations increasing every day and the number of Covid cases decreasing, it does feel as if there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We do not yet know when the majority of students will return to school, but we do hope it will be soon. In the meantime, please encourage your children to take some time out from school work (and their screens!) and I hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation. We look forward to seeing/hearing everyone back in lessons on Monday 22 February.

With best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh

Remote assembly

This week’s assembly is delivered by Ms Greenhalgh, Head of School.

You can view it here.

Free school meal vouchers

City of York Council is funding the provision of free school meal vouchers for the half term break next week. Vouchers will be distributed on Monday 15 February.

Social media use

Many of our students use various social media platforms and, when used appropriately, they can be really useful ways for young people to stay in contact with one another during this difficult lockdown period.

Recently, there have been a number of high profile cases where famous people have been subjected to abhorrent abuse on social media and this has prompted us to ask you to discuss your child’s social media usage with them and remind them to ensure that they are using it appropriately.

Please can you take the time to have a conversation with your child about how they use social media? Are they willing to show you their social media profiles? If they are reluctant, why is that? Are they clear about “digital footprints” or “digital tattoos” and that once something is posted online, even if it is later deleted, there is a trail of it? Do they know that future education providers or employers may check their social media for inappropriate or unacceptable content? And also, that any form of abuse online can be reported to the police?

Whilst we hope, and are confident that the vast majority of our students use social media appropriately, we felt that this might be a good time for you to re-instigate this conversation with them in light of the recent high profile cases in the media.

Parents’ Forum

In pursuit of ever better education provision, Millthorpe School would like to invite interested parents/carers to join an online forum.

Discussion will cover a range of topics and be focused on positive and sustainable school improvement. You’ll be aware that we have asked parents to complete a number of surveys so that we can fine tune our practice. Whilst these surveys give us valuable insight, even the open-ended questions only provide parents a limited opportunity to share qualitative feedback. The forum will allow us to enter into more meaningful two-way communication and strengthen links between parents and the school.
If you would like to take part, please click here to complete the Google Form to register your interest.
We’re hoping there will be high levels of interest and you’ll understand that we may need to limit numbers to allow for effective and productive discussion. We would also like the group to broadly represent our student body, so we will aim to have representation across different year groups, for example. Other than that, admission will be on a first come, first served basis. We apologise in advance if there are any interested parents we are not able to accommodate at this time: we hope to be able to invite you to participate at a later date as part of a new group.

Parent Governor Elections

Each of our families should have received an email this evening inviting you to take part in the election of two parent governors via an online ballot. You can cast your votes up until Wednesday 24 February.

Any questions, please email a.collins@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Please bear in mind response times may be longer than usual during the half term holiday.

Year 11 Leavers’ Hoodies

Year 11 Leavers’ hoodies are now available to order directly from Keal Teamwear. Please click here to place your order before the deadline of Friday 26 March 2021.

For any queries please contact Keal Teamwear at enquiries@keal-teamwear.com

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

A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the ‘I’m a celebrity’ fitness challenge this week. The challenge has ramped up this week with the girls completing two sets of seven exercises to earn stars for their class and house. In total, the girls have achieved 6,719 stars, which is fantastic!

The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done once again Saxons!

Well done to everyone who took part. The next fitness challenge will start after half term.

Apprenticeship vacancies

Specialist engineering firm, Tadweld, is looking to recruit two apprentices to join its Tadcaster team after a record year of growth. Further information can be found here.

Toilet Roll Challenge 2021

And finally for a fun toilet roll challenge from Mr Randall.

This is a city and North Yorkshire wide challenge which runs until 1 March to give all pupils the chance to take part before, during and after half term. To see what your challenge is, click here or watch the video.

To record your results, simply go to this website and log in using the details below:

School: Millthorpe School
Username: Millthorpe8
Password: e7f2657bb7e1

You can also check how you are doing in comparison with others, by clicking here.

Best of luck!

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 5 February 2021

Remote Assembly

This week’s assembly is delivered by Ms Simpson and focuses on Mental Health Awareness Week.

Watch this week’s assembly here.

Remote learning parent survey

We would like to get your feedback once again on our remote learning provision and the quality of online teaching. Please speak to your child/ren about their online learning experience over this last week and then complete a form for each child at the school (if you wish).

We are very grateful for your time in completing this form, which will help us improve future provision.

Take the survey now.

Submitting work

We understand that handing in work that has been set online can be quite confusing, especially if it isn’t produced within Google Classroom. However, it is possible to hand in all types of work through Google Classroom. This is the best way to do it as it ensures that it arrives with the teacher successfully and in a timely manner, and makes it easier for teachers to keep all the work from each class in the same place.

Google Classroom has the function to upload all file types, including photographs of students’ off-screen work. We would be very grateful if you could go through the attached guide on how to submit work in Google Classroom with your child and would respectfully ask that all work is submitted in this way wherever possible.

Mr Beever has also produced a short video for parents called ‘Google Classroom Explained.’ You can watch this here.

GCSEs – summer 2021

Following the DfE consultation on how GCSE, AS and A Level grades should be awarded in summer 2021, we are now awaiting the outcome. We will issue guidance to parents/carers and Year 11 students as soon as the information is released by the DfE.

Year 11 Virtual Parents’ Evening

A reminder that the Year 11 Virtual Parents’ Evening will take place on Tuesday 9 February from 4.00-6.35pm. Appointments must be made online before the deadline of 11.55pm on Sunday 7 February.

Click here to go to the appointment booking system.

Year 9 options choices

Please can all Year 9 students complete and return their Key Stage 4 options forms by next Friday, 12 February.

Parent Governor vacancies

You may recall that we contacted you last term inviting parents to put themselves forward to fill the two vacancies for parent governors we currently have. Due to COVID, this process was put on hold but we are now in a position to go ahead using a secure online balloting system. Anyone who was nominated first time around will be included but if there are any other parents who would be willing to put themselves forward, please let us know by replying to this email. Responses need to be by Wednesday 10 February please, as the ballot will be sent out next Friday.

Increase in trespassing/vandalism on the railway

Schools in York have been contacted by Network Rail to ask for their assistance in highlighting an increase in trespass and vandalism on the railway network, which involves young people of secondary school age in York. There is no suggestion that this is any of your students, but they have asked that we share this concern with you as these incidents have been “alarming and dangerous.” Please can you take a look at this dedicated website You vs. Train which is designed to inform young people about the dangers of trespassing on the railway, and includes real life stories. Please share this and discuss it with your child.

Ordinarily, Network Rail would come into school with the British Transport Police to talk to students directly but as this is not possible at present, we would urge you to ensure that you know where your child is and that they have been given this reminder about the dangers of trespassing on the railway.
We are in discussions with Network Rail about how we can further highlight this concern to our students.

National Apprenticeship Week

Next week is National Apprenticeship Week so many providers and organisations are holding events and advertising vacancies throughout the week. If your child is thinking about moving on to an apprenticeship scheme when they leave Millthorpe, please see the Careers Bulletin for further details. Links to all of the events and guidance below, will be accessible from the bulletin.

  • Yorkshire Water are running a number of virtual events for students who might want to apply to do an apprenticeship with them.
  • Derwent Training will be holding an Open Event on Thursday 11 February from 5.00pm. The event will give students the opportunity to learn more about Derwent Training and the Engineering Apprenticeships they offer. They will also get to hear from current and former apprentices, as well as having a virtual tour of the specialist engineering training facilities.
  • For those interested in an apprenticeship in construction, there is a free online event for school leavers and their parents on Thursday 11 February 5.30-6.30pm.
  • There will be a Facebook Live Apprenticeship Q&A on City of York Council’s Facebook page on Wednesday 10 February from 5-6pm. The panel will be chaired by Councillor Waller and there will be representation from York College, Askham Bryan College, YH Training Services, CYC, York St John University (representing the HE sector and higher/degree level apprenticeships), NYBEP and Simpson York Ltd.
  • The NHS are also hosting a Facebook Live session on Monday 8 February at midday. Abi Changer from the NHS Health Careers team will be live to provide a snapshot of all things relating to NHS apprenticeships. (Students might have to be ten minutes late to this one as it starts at the tail end of Period Three.)

Success Beyond School

InvestIN has launched a series of “Success Beyond School” events for this term. They are free-of-charge interactive online seminars designed to help parents supercharge their children’s career potential.

You can access free expert advice on guiding your child to a successful career. Find out more and register here.

Applying to York College

If any of our Year 11 students need a little extra support with their application to York College, the Admissions Team have shared their ‘How to Apply’ videos with us – click the links below to view:

National Horseracing College

The National Horseracing College in Doncaster is holding a Virtual Open Morning on Saturday 13 February, starting at 10am – for more information please see the Careers Bulletin on the school website.

Mental health support

Thanks to our partnership with other local schools through the Independent State School Partnership (ISSP), the team at Bootham School have kindly agreed that we can invite all Millthorpe parents (not just parents of children involved with ISSP) to share content from their Saturday morning parents’ sessions.

Dick Moore, educator and mental health campaigner delivered a session last week, called ‘Dancing in the Rain’ which was described as not only important but empowering for parents. You can watch the recorded session here.

This Saturday at 10.00am, Michael Grose, educator, author, founder and director of Parenting Matters, will deliver a session on ‘Helping your child with anxiety’. Please do feel free to join here.

With thanks to Bootham School for sharing.

Supporting your child during lockdown

The Royal College of Occupational Therapists has put together Ten Top Tips for parents and carers to help you support your child(ren) during lockdown.

Please also remind your child to have a look at the “Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care” Google Classroom for more advice, websites and apps. This is updated regularly.

Support with food

York CVS and Healthwatch York have compiled a list of all the places where families can get food during lockdown if they are struggling, without needing Food Bank vouchers.

View the full list here.

THC-infused illegal sweets in circulation

North Yorkshire Police have contacted all schools in York as they are concerned about THC (cannabis) infused sweets, of which they have seen an increase across the city. They have asked all schools to share this information with parents.

The sweets are professionally packaged and appear to be normal sweets. There are two types – CBD Edibles and THC Edibles.

CBD Edibles are legal (as the THC-hallucinogenic has been extracted leaving trace amounts) but THC edibles are classed as a controlled substance and consequently are not legal.

North Yorkshire Police have shared images of some of the THC sweets in circulation in the city and have asked us to share this with parents and carers so that you are aware. Please click here to see the images.

The THC sweets are labelled as such, and some have a cannabis leaf on the packaging.

The amount of cannabis/THC in the products can vary and sometimes other harmful drugs are added too. The effects of consuming edibles are unpredictable, and it can be very easy to accidentally take a larger dose than intended.

North Yorkshire Police are dealing with this issue proactively but also wanted parents and carers to be vigilant.

DofE Awards – message from Mr Ward

We are still somewhat in limbo with regards to DofE but there are things that we and the students can be doing: so it’s time for us to be positive and make a start to get things finished off for your children and at least have some interaction with them.

We have set up a DofE class (on Google Classroom), and I would ask you to encourage your child to sign up via the class code ngb52gv. If you have any issues with signing up please do let me know. This will allow us to share information and ideas with the students.

We are planning to have a Google Meet with the students next Thursday 11 February at 3.00pm, again if you could encourage your child to attend this would be great.

If you have any questions or queries please email Mr Ward.

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

A big thank you and well done to all the girls that have taken part in the “I’m a celebrity” fitness challenge this week! The girls have been completing circuit exercises in PE lessons this week to earn stars for the amount of time taken on each exercise. In total, the girls have achieved 4,832 stars which is a fantastic achievement.

The winning classes and house can be seen below – well done Saxons!

The results for Year 9 will be announced next week. Well done all – the next fitness challenge will start next week.

LT on the BBC

Congratulations and the very best of luck to Year 8 student Louie Theaker-Spencer (known as LT to friends!) who has landed a role in a CBBC television programme, Jamie Johnson. Louie travels to Wales next week to undergo a fortnight of isolation with his fellow cast and will begin filming in a couple of weeks.

Louie has worked incredibly hard to achieve this breakthrough and everyone at Millthorpe School is so proud that one of our students will be starring on our television screens in the near future.
“Break a leg, LT!”

Safeguarding

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

We will share an assembly via the weekly email throughout the period of lockdown.

 

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 29 January 2021

Learning Conduct

All students and parents are familiar with the Millthorpe School Learning Conduct expectations. We are very impressed with how our students have transitioned to home-learning, so we have adapted our Learning Conduct grid to suit the academic ‘new normal’. This will allow us to celebrate student success and report on remote learning progress after February half term.

The principles have remained the same, but you will be able to see how our Gold Standard descriptors now link to the remote world of education rather than the physical classroom. All of the teachers are nominating students displaying this Gold Learning standard each week and we are sending letters home to parents.
As with the conduct for learning in school, the descriptors are a ‘best fit’ model and we do not necessarily expect students to be meeting all elements in the description or that they will be achieved in every lesson. They are simply to exemplify the characteristics of excellent learners over time.

To help us report accurately on progress, please support your child as they submit key assessed pieces of work (KAPs). For guidance on how to do this within Google Classroom (whether that be a Google Document or a picture or audio file) please see the video support on the website.

Remote Assembly

This week’s assembly is delivered by Mr Beever, Deputy Headteacher. You can view it here.

Pastoral Support on Google Classroom

Every student has been added to a “Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care” Google Classroom (either Key Stage 3 or 4). We update this regularly with tips and advice to help students manage during this period of lockdown and would be very grateful if you could ensure that your child(ren) is aware of it and has had a look. They might not need it immediately, but they might as lockdown continues.

This week, in addition to Mr Beever’s assembly, we have uploaded:
  • A weekly tip from the School Wellbeing Service
  • A planning sheet that guides students in planning a positive day
  • An excellent booklet which helps students to cope with lockdown
  • Tips and advice from Childline.

Protocols for online learning

Thank you to those who have already completed the short form to confirm acceptance of the school’s protocols for online learning. If you haven’t yet, could we ask that you do so by following this link as soon as possible please. This helps us to ensure that children can continue to learn in a safe and suitable environment while accessing lessons from home.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

This week’s assembly theme is “5 steps to wellbeing” so we hope that our students, and their families, find this useful.

Homework

Under current circumstances, we will not be directing students to do work or revision outside lesson times. We don’t think this is appropriate whilst students are accessing all their learning online during the day. They can choose to revise for assessments or carry out extension work if they wish.

Chromebooks

We have received some enquiries from parents/carers about providing Chromebooks for students who are having difficulties accessing online learning for one reason or another. The Chromebooks we have been provided with by the DfE are intended specifically for disadvantaged children and we have allocated them accordingly. (‘Disadvantaged children’ are defined as those who meet the criteria for pupil premium funding; with an EHCP for special educational needs and disabilities; who are receiving statutory local authority support from a social worker.)

We have very limited supplies of other devices available for use by other students, mainly those kindly donated to the school. Given the recent announcement that schools won’t begin to open more widely until 8 March at the earliest, it may be worth considering purchasing a device for your child if you feel you are in a position to do so and you haven’t already done so. New Chromebooks start from around £180 and refurbished devices can be even less: if your child got three and a half years’ use from it, that would equate to less than £1 per week. Any Chromebook or laptop should be fine for accessing Google Classroom.

If your child is having difficulty accessing online learning and you are struggling financially, please do contact the school and we will see how we may be able to help.
We are still very pleased to receive donations of any suitable devices that are no longer needed.

School supplies

You may have read in the press this week that there is a campaign underway to provide materials such as stationery to children during lockdown to help them complete schoolwork at home. As some of you will know, we wrote to all our pupil premium eligible families last week to offer them supplies of stationery as well as other essential items we are able to provide such as period products and winter clothing. You can read the full letter here.

If your child is not pupil premium but you are having financial difficulties and would benefit from anything we have to offer, please contact the school office.

Post-16 events for Year 11 students

Askham Bryan College is hosting an Open Morning For Year 11 students on Saturday 30 January from 10.00am-1.00pm. Any interested students can book to join the event via the College’s What’s On page. You can also see Askham Bryan College’s latest newsletter here.

York College is holding its next Virtual Open Event on Thursday 11 February from 5.30–8.00pm. Students can register online by visiting the York College website.

Family Matters – online courses

The team at Family Matters York are offering a range of online courses, starting after half-term. These include:

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

You can find out more about the courses here. To book a place please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 or email helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk

The Week Junior

Due to the current restrictions The Week Junior magazine is available online and can be accessed via the following link: magazine.theweekjunior.co.uk. To log in, select ‘Have you got a voucher code?’ and enter the code: TWJ2678tuv

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 22 January 2021

Message from the Head of School

Thank you once again for all your support during another challenging week. We hope that your children have benefited from more live and interactive content in their lessons. We’re reviewing how this is going and looking at ways to further improve the online learning experience. This includes analysing the responses to the parent survey from last week (see below) which will be very helpful in shaping or approach.

In particular, thank you for your many messages of support – we always share these with staff and it really does mean a lot to them to know how much their work is valued.
There’s still lots of uncertainty surrounding the coming weeks. The possibility of not all schools opening fully after half term has been acknowledged by the government, who have committed to giving schools and parents at least two weeks’ notice of when schools will open again to all students. The grading of GCSEs is now under consultation and testing of close contacts is also under review (see below for more details).
Year 11 – preparation for GCSE grading
As notified earlier in the week, the consultation on how to grade GCSEs this summer is now underway. If you wish to take part in the consultation, please click here.
It is clear from the wording of the consultation that students will almost certainly be expected to continue studying as far into the academic year as possible (probably into June) to give them the maximum opportunity to learn. There is also likely to be more emphasis placed on evidence gathered near the end of the course, possibly involving materials supplied by exam boards.
This means that it is really important that Year 11 students continue to engage with learning and apply themselves over the coming weeks as they still have the opportunity to influence their results at GCSE. Alongside this, they are still developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that will help them move successfully to the next phase of their education.
We have been immensely proud of the way Year 11 students have conducted themselves throughout the unprecedented challenges of the last 12 months and particularly how hard they worked on their return to school in September. Whatever happens now, we want them to give themselves the best possible chance of leaving Millthorpe with the outcomes they deserve.
We will of course keep you updated with any developments.
DfE Chromebooks

As many of you will be aware, the DfE has allocated each school a number of Chromebooks, which we are pleased to have been able to distribute to disadvantaged students in accordance with DfE instructions. We have very limited capacity for providing devices to other families but if you are struggling to provide a suitable device/s for your child/ren, please contact us to see if we are able to help.

If you have a laptop or tablet that is in good working condition, we would still welcome any donations. You can drop devices off in Reception between 8.00-11.00am or email a.collins@millthorpe.southbank.academy to make arrangements.

Asymptomatic COVID-19 Testing
Staff attending school are now testing themselves twice a week to help reduce the risk of transmission, but plans for testing students and staff who are identified as close contacts of positive cases as an alternative to self-isolation have been ‘paused’ by the government whilst it seeks further clinical evidence. As usual, we’ll keep you updated with any new information.

Best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh
Head of School

Remote learning – parent survey feedback

Early on in the remote learning process we asked parents for feedback on our remote learning provision and the quality of online teaching. Thank you to those parents/carers who responded. Please read this short report which details how we have taken your comments on board and improved our offer.

Form-time welfare sessions

This week has seen the launch of our Google Meet Form-time Welfare sessions and unlike in lessons, we ask that wherever possible, students have their cameras and microphones on. We also ask that backgrounds are blurred and, as some students have reported finding it difficult, we hope this handy guide from Google will help. There are options for phones, tablets and computers.

Remote Assembly

In the recent parent survey, we received a number of requests for remote assemblies as this was something that many students and their families appreciated during previous periods of lockdown. We were only too happy to oblige and here is the first remote assembly of 2021. We will continue to share an assembly in this weekly email throughout the period of lockdown.

Each assembly will also be uploaded to the “Health, Wellbeing and Pastoral Care” Google Classroom, which every student has access to, every Friday so that they can watch it at a time of their choosing.
However, in order to listen to the assembly from Google Classroom, they will need to download it first. The instructions of how to do this are as follows:
1. Click on the PowerPoint in the Google Classroom.
2. Click on the three dots in the top right corner and select “Open in a new window”
3. When the new window opens, there will be an arrow facing down next to the 3 dots which is the download button. Students should click this to download the PowerPoint.
4. Play the PowerPoint as a slideshow. They should then be able to listen to the assembly providing they have speakers/headphones.
This week’s assembly theme is “5 steps to wellbeing” so we hope that our students, and their families, find this useful.

Holocaust Memorial Day

Every January, Year 9 Millthorpe School students spend a day learning about the horrors of the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, and are encouraged to make a pledge to ensure that they are part of a world in which such atrocities do not happen again.

This year, our plans to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with Year 9 students have been postponed because we felt that it was too emotive a topic to teach remotely, and that we needed to have the students in front of us in a classroom to monitor their reactions and emotions and ensure that there are no misconceptions.
However, we have received this resource from an organisation called “Big Ideas”, which has partnered with the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation to launch a national project called “Foundation Stones.” Full details are on the PDF but essentially, students, parents and carers are encouraged to find and paint a small stone to commemorate the Holocaust, a subsequent genocide or maybe a message of hope for the future. The stones will then become part of a new national UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre which is being built. They say “Each painted stone is a commitment to remember the past and to build a future free from all forms of prejudice, discrimination and hatred.”
We wanted to draw your attention to this project and ask you to consider participating. Obviously many young people in our school (especially those in Key Stage 3) may not have a good understanding of the Holocaust and it will not be appropriate for every child. But if you felt confident in sensitively explaining the Holocaust to your child(ren) and explaining why they might choose to take part, we would be delighted if some of our students and families could contribute to this national project.

Act early on potential extremism

The Head of Counter Terrorism Policing has advised parents and carers to Act Early and keep a close eye on signs of extremist grooming as young people spend more time out of school and online.

Whilst this is not something that we ordinarily deal with, this is a national project that we have been asked to share with all parents/carers so that you are aware of the potential signs of online extremist grooming and can act accordingly. Please follow this link below to find out more:

ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER CALLS FOR VIGILANCE AMID NEW LOCKDOWN | Counter Terrorism Policing

York College Virtual Open Event

York College is holding its next Virtual Open Event on Thursday 11 February from 5.30–8.00pm. Students can register online by visiting the York College website.

Support with food

York CVS and Healthwatch York have compiled a list of all the places where families can get food during lockdown if they are struggling, without needing Food Bank vouchers.

The Week Junior

Due to the current restrictions The Week Junior magazine is available online and can be accessed via the following link: magazine.theweekjunior.co.uk. To log in, select ‘Have you got a voucher code?’ and enter the code: TWJ2678tuv

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 15 January 2021

Message from the Head of School

This has been another busy (slightly crazy!) week for everyone at Millthorpe and across the sector, as we continue to work and learn in an ever-changing landscape. Please accept our apologies for the number of emails we have sent over the last few days, but we are keen to keep you as informed as possible throughout this period of lockdown.

Remote learning
We’ve had a very successful week of remote learning, with an average of 97% of students engaging. Thank you to our students and to parents/carers for their support with this. Next week, we will be delivering some live content in at least one lesson for each subject – full details about this can be found below.

The school day
Just to remind everyone that from Monday 18 January, we will be moving to our new timetable. The school day will be as follows:

  • 9.05 – 9.55am:  Period 1
  • 10.05 – 10.55am:  Period 2
  • 10.55 – 11.20am:  BREAK
  • 11.20am – 12.10pm:  Period 3
  • 12.10 – 1.00pm:  LUNCH
  • 1.00 – 1.50pm:  Period 4
  • 2.00 – 2.50pm:  Period 5
  • 2.50 – 3.10pm:  Welfare

GCSEs
This week, the Secretary of State for Education announced a two-week consultation on the approach to grading this year’s GCSEs (and A Levels). Until this is concluded, it will not be clear exactly how final grades will be determined, what evidence will be used, or whether students will be required to sit any form of test or exam if and when they return to school. As always, we will keep you informed as soon as we have any updates.

Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) in school
Plans are now in place for undertaking LFTs for students in school and we will be regularly testing staff. We are awaiting further news about the testing of close contacts.

Best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh
Head of School

Live content in remote lessons

Having hopefully had a chance to read the protocols setting out our expectations during live video/audio in lessons, please could you confirm your acceptance by completing this short form.

Hopefully many children will already have had the chance to experience some live interaction in lessons in the last few days. Next week, your child can expect to have live content in at least one lesson for each subject (small departments like Drama, Art and Music may have slightly different arrangements).

If you, as parents/carers, wish to get in touch with an individual teacher, you can do this direct via email. Please don’t try to make contact during lessons via the Stream or other Classroom elements. Also note that students can only access Google classes using their school Google/Gmail account; they will be unable to log in using a personal Google account.

Take a look at these videos on our website if you need assistance with Google Classroom or Google Meet.

Thank you to everyone who has donated devices, which we can use to help students who are struggling to get access. Please do contact us if your child is having difficulty accessing any aspect of the online learning and we will give you whatever assistance or advice we can.

Form Tutor Welfare Check-Ins

From Monday 18 February, Form Tutors will begin contacting their tutees weekly to check in with them and make sure they are OK. This will either be a small group Google Meet, a telephone call (we will call you and ask to speak to your child) or occasionally, an email. These check-ins will take place from 2.50-3.10pm each day, but your child will only be involved on one of the days. Their Form Tutor will inform them which day they are expected to attend a Google Meet or when they can expect a call.

Please can you check that your child knows when their Welfare session will be taking place because if they do not attend a Google Meet, we will need to phone you to check they are OK. Unlike during lessons, students are asked to have their camera on so that their Tutor can see them and have a proper conversation. Please make sure that you have discussed the Google protocols with your child and that they are dressed appropriately and are in a suitable room in the house. Please contact your child’s Form Tutor if there are any issues.

Help in keeping safe online

All our students are taught about internet safety within the school curriculum, but if parents want to reinforce the message during this home learning period, there are some excellent resources available.

We recommend https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk – a website established by the government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection unit (part of the National Crime Agency). You can find online resources for family activities to do with online safety as well as individual resources for ages 11-13 and 14+.

Help and guidance for lockdown worries

School and normal family life will undoubtedly change again during this latest lockdown and problems may emerge. All families are different, and not everyone will need additional help or guidance, but we hope the information on our website may prove helpful to some.

The team at City of York Council has also produced a leaflet to give children, young people and parents simple information about who to go to for help during lockdown.

Increasing data allowances on mobile devices

A reminder that if you would like us to apply for increased data allowances on your behalf and you meet the criteria, please email admin@millthorpe.southbank.academy quoting ‘mobile data offer’ in the subject line. We will then contact you to gather the precise information we need to apply.

You can find out more about the scheme here.

Post-16 taster events

As you will know, due to Covid-19 restrictions, most post-16 providers are hosting virtual taster days for Year 11 students this year. The date and links for All Saints RC School and Joseph Rowntree Sixth Form are below:

Symptom-free COVID-19 testing

If you previously booked appointments for your child(ren) to have a symptom-free Covid test at one of the university sites and no longer need the appointments as your child(ren) are not returning to school, please cancel the appointments as soon as possible.

Cancel test appointments here

Follow us on Twitter

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter to keep up with news and updates from school – find us at @MillthorpeNews.

Also, a reminder to tweet us photos of any work your child has done during lockdown so far – it could be a science experiment, artwork, design, food, written work or anything else they (or you!) are proud of. We are also asking staff to tweet any great examples they see too (with permission of course).

All you need to do is mention @MillthorpeNews in your tweet and use the hashtag #homelearningheroes so that we can create a compilation of tweets in future.

Separated Parents course from Family Matters York

Family Matters York is offering a two-session Separated Parents course which will explore some of the challenges of parenting after separation and what we can do to help our children thrive. The next course will take place on Tuesdays, 2 and 9 February, 9.30-11.30am. It will be online via Zoom.

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259 email: helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk

You can find more information on the Family Matters York website.

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 8 January 2021

Great start to an unusual New Year

Well we’ve had a very successful first week of online learning at Millthorpe and I feel very proud of what our staff and students have achieved at one night’s notice. Thank you firstly to all of our parents for helping students get on board with the new arrangements so quickly. Secondly, I’d like to thank our students for their excellent engagement with the online provision. Yesterday, there were 4018 ‘marks’ for attending lessons out of a possible 4780 – that’s over 84%. 75% of all students attended four or five lessons and 94% engaged with learning during the day and these figures are set to rise today.

Remote learning timetable from 18 January
When a staggered return was announced, we felt that continuing to follow the normal timetable was the simplest thing for students. Now that the closure has been extended, we have carefully reviewed the position to make sure we are able to provide the best online learning experience for our students and fulfil government expectations. In conclusion, the model we have chosen does not deviate substantially from the current arrangements that seem to be working well for many students but shortens lessons.

Please see below the new model that will begin on 18 January (not 11 January).

  • 9.05 – 9.55am:  Period 1
  • 10.05 – 10.55am:  Period 2
  • 10.55 – 11.20am:  BREAK
  • 11.20am – 12.10pm:  Period 3
  • 12.10 – 1.00pm:  LUNCH
  • 1.00 – 1.50pm:  Period 4
  • 2.00 – 2.50pm:  Period 5
  • 2.50 – 3.10pm:  Welfare

The benefits of this approach are as follows:

  • Students continue to study the same variety of subjects for the same number of lessons and continue to be taught by their class teacher as we believe that effective relationships are key.
  • Lessons start at the same time but are reduced from one hour to fifty minutes to allow students (and staff) to stretch their legs and have a comfort break between lessons.
  • Teachers can continue to collaborate to ensure resources are high quality and consistent.
  • The additional welfare slot at the end of the day provides tutors the opportunity to check in with their form. This contact might be via phone, small group Google Meeting or a direct message through their tutor group Google Classroom.

Enhancing our learning with live audio/video content
Over the next week, we are going to explore the use of live audio and/or video content as part of the range of interactive elements in online lessons. Follow the link here for more details of our approach to live content.

Parents will be contacted next week with online protocols that clearly set out our expectations of online conduct. It is absolutely essential that these are shared with students before we begin to deliver using live video or audio.

Assessment and feedback 
In the previous lockdown we didn’t have a platform with interactive functions in place; the move to Google Classroom has allowed students to interact with their teachers. Students now have the opportunity to check their understanding, receiving immediate feedback, while also benefiting from their peers’ responses. This has clearly been very well received by the vast majority of our students and has increased the level of engagement dramatically. The school network has held up well – problems earlier in the week were more widespread as children everywhere logged in to Google.

Whilst features such as the Google Stream, Google Questions and Google Forms all provide excellent vehicles for personalised feedback, we recognise that there also needs to be some opportunity for more ‘traditional’ assessment through Key Assessed Pieces (KAP) with detailed, high quality feedback leading to an opportunity for our students to improve their work. Our staff have been asked to ensure every student receives at least one of these summative assessments before half term in all of their subjects in line with our normal ‘in-school’ assessment policy.

Student praise 
Even though we don’t have the vast majority of our students in front of us in school we still want to continue to recognise the great work they produce. The golden ticket is going virtual! All staff are asked to identify one student that has clearly gone over and above that week: this might be their contribution in the Google Stream or the effort that’s gone into an assignment. Please always keep an eye on the Friday email when the list of student names will be published. Each time they appear they will be entered into a half termly prize draw.

New appointment 
I’m delighted to inform you that Rob Beever has joined Millthorpe School as Deputy Headteacher at the beginning of this week. By 8pm on his first day, the country went into a six-week lockdown! It’s definitely been an interesting time to join us; nevertheless Rob has settled in well and is looking forward to working with the student body when they return. He will be supporting the pastoral team as well as leading on curriculum developments in school. Rob’s teaching career has seen him work across both the pastoral and academic sides of school life. He spent 10 years at Rossett School in Harrogate moving through the pastoral system to be head of pastoral and achievement at KS4. Four years ago he left to become Assistant Headteacher at Outwood Academy Ripon, responsible for the Quality of Education. An intense two-day interview process clearly highlighted that his core educational values align with those we hold so dear at Millthorpe. I know he is very excited to contribute in the fullest sense to the success of our students.

I look forward to introducing him to you in person when things return to normal. He is available for parental contact by email: r.beever@millthorpe.southbank.academy

Laptops and devices
Thank you to those of you who have offered to donate laptops or tablets for use by students who don’t have access to a suitable device at home (including one very generous parent who has donated two brand new laptops). If you have a device that is in good working condition and you would like to donate it to school, please drop it off in Reception between 8.00-11.00am or email a.collins@millthorpe.southbank.academy to make arrangements.

Best wishes

Gemma Greenhalgh
Head of School

Pastoral support during lockdown

We are very aware that some young people will find another lockdown difficult. You can find a document attached with a number of useful websites, apps and phone numbers that you might want to share with your child if they are struggling.

If your child requires pastoral support from a member of staff within school, please get in touch. All staff contact details are available on our website. Form Tutors will also be making contact with their tutees from 18 January.

Increasing data allowances on mobile devices to support disadvantaged children

You may be aware that the Government has introduced a scheme to increase data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is to enable disadvantaged children to access remote education if their face-to-face education is disrupted.
As a school, we can request mobile data increases for students who:

  • do not have fixed broadband at home
  • cannot afford additional data for their devices
  • are experiencing disruption to their face-to-face education

Children with access to a mobile phone on one of the following networks might be able to benefit:

  • Three
  • Smarty
  • Virgin Mobile
  • EE
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Sky Mobile
  • O2

If you would like us to apply on your behalf and you meet the criteria, in the first instance please email admin@millthorpe.southbank.academy quoting ‘mobile data offer’ in the subject line. We will then contact you to gather the precise information we need to apply.

You can find out more about the scheme here.

Year 11 studies

It is vitally important that Year 11 students continue to complete the learning and assignments given to them by their subject teachers. It has not yet been confirmed exactly how GCSE grades will be determined this year but it seems certain that the work completed between now and the end of their time here will have an impact on their outcomes in some way.

Year 11 taster sessions at York College

Just a reminder that York College is holding its Virtual Taster Days for Year 11 students next week.

Students can still register for these, or they can simply go to the York College website next week to take part. Students can join at any time of day and see a huge range of videos and activities, information and FAQs. They can also email the subject areas directly with any questions they may have.

If you have any questions, please contact the Schools Liaison team at York College on info4schools@yorkcollege.ac.uk

Home learning heroes

We’ve had some amazing engagement with remote learning this week and we would love to see what your children have been up to in their remote classes so far. It would be great for families and students to share their experiences, so please tweet us photos of any work your child has done – it could be a science experiment, artwork, design, food, written work or anything else they (or you!) are proud of. We are also asking staff to tweet any great examples they see too (with permission of course).

All you need to do is mention @MillthorpeNews in your tweet and use the hashtag #homelearningheroes so that we can create a compilation of tweets in future.

Year 9 options process

As we are unable to hold our usual Options Evening for Year 9 students this year, information about the process and different subject choices will be available virtually. More details will follow nearer the time.

Safeguarding

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.

Christmas performances 2020

The music plays on….

As with so many things this year, our Christmas performances have had to adapt to the new rules, but our students have still made some wonderful music. Well done to them all!

This performance of Christmas Star is from our Year 11 GCSE Music students.

And this video features our Year 10 GCSE Music students performing Prokofiev’s Troika. Please enjoy!

WEEKLY EMAIL Thursday 17 December 2020

Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe Christmas break

We wish you all a very happy and restful Christmas break. We hope that everyone stays well and we have been reminding students in assemblies of the importance of following rules around social distancing during the holidays to keep themselves and everyone else in the community safe.

If your child does develop symptoms and test positive for coronavirus, please remember the following important advice for families over the holidays:
  • if your child develops symptoms within 48 hours of the last time they were in school (i.e. by Saturday afternoon for most students) and subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, please alert the school using the dedicated email address urgentcontact@millthorpe.southbank.academy only. Safeguarding concerns should continue to be reported via safeguarding@millthorpe.southbank.academy. No other emails or telephone numbers will be monitored over the break.
  • if your child develops symptoms more than 48 hours after leaving school, please follow the contact details provided by NHS track and trace.

Arrangements for return to school in January 2021

At the time of writing, we are still awaiting details of the government’s plans regarding asymptomatic testing in secondary schools and a staggered start in January. The lateness of these announcements makes it impossible for us to prepare properly and keep you informed of our plans in the way that we would wish but we will make every effort to let you know what is happening with as much notice as possible once the information we need has been provided.

Christmas Jumper Day

Thank you to everyone who wore a festive jumper on Friday last week and/or made a donation. We collected a fantastic total of £502.73 which has gone to SASH this week. SASH is a registered charity preventing homelessness in young people aged 16 to 25 throughout North and East Yorkshire, including York and Hull.

Changes to the behaviour system from January 2021

We are currently undertaking a full review of our behaviour systems in order to have a revised policy in place for September 2021. Reviewing policies regularly and ensuring that we are using the most recent research-based systems is part of our self-review process and continued strive towards providing the best education for our students.

Currently we are working with an amended system due to COVID restrictions. Having reviewed the first full term, we are going to make some small changes to improve consistency and to ensure that high quality learning can take place. The amendments are unlikely to affect the overwhelming majority of students who are very well behaved and have excellent learning conduct. The changes will address low level disruption and refusal to comply with expectations and sanctions. There has also been a change to how we manage access to toilets during the school day to ensure that students don’t miss or disrupt learning. A small number of students have been taking advantage of being able to leave lessons.

The key changes are:

1. Disruptive behaviour in lessons

 If a student is issued with a Negative Comment in a lesson, after having been calmly given a Rule Reminder and a Formal Warning by their Teacher, this will now result in a 30-minute after school detention, rather than 10 minutes as previously. The reason for this change is to emphasise that disrupting the teaching and learning environment for everyone in their lesson is more serious than not meeting a baseline expectation such as not having correct equipment or being late to lessons, for which a 10-minute detention is given. This should help to ensure all can learn without disruption.

2. Failure to successfully complete sanctions

If students fail to comply with the sanction they have been given, for example by not turning up to a detention, this will be escalated to a more serious sanction. We have explained these to the students so that they are clear on what is expected and they will be reminded of this in assemblies in the first week back in January.

3. Use of toilets during lesson times

When we first returned to school in September, students were given free access to the toilets at all times of the school day in order to reduce overcrowding at the previously busy times of break and lunch. However, as year groups are now separate at break and lunch, it is more appropriate for them to use the toilet during these times. As such, we will now generally limit students to one visit per day during lesson times to minimise loss of learning time and disruption, though, as has always been the case, teachers have discretion to allow students to go at any time if they clearly need to. If a student has a medical condition which requires unrestricted access to the toilet and we are not already aware of this, please contact their Form Tutor in the first instance.
 
Mr Baybutt
Assistant Head (Pastoral)

Winter Support Grant

Has your income been affected by the Covid pandemic? Are you struggling to pay your bills? The Winter Support Grant can help. The scheme is there to support you and your family with food and energy bills this winter. You can apply for it now at www.york.gov.uk/wintersupportgrant

For help with applying or for more information on other sources of support please visit www.york.gov.uk/benefitsadvice, or www.livewellyork.co.uk or call City of York Council’s Covid Helpline on 01904 551550.

National Saturday Art Club

An exciting creative opportunity is starting in the New Year at York College. Over the past three years many Millthorpe students have taken part in the National Saturday Art Club, developing their creativity on a Saturday morning and gaining from a wide range of exciting extra-curricular opportunities including trips, special events, visiting art galleries and even seeing their own work exhibited!

Applications are invited from interested and enthusiastic students in Year 9, 10 or 11. Click here to apply or if you have any questions please contact Ms Cockburn.

Safeguarding

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.

WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 11 December 2020

Important: School Closing for Christmas on Thursday 17 December

This year Millthorpe will be closing for Christmas on Thursday 17 December. School will end at the normal time on that day and full uniform should be worn. We have made this decision in line with the Government’s suggestion that schools make Friday 18 December a non-teaching day in response to the pressures of remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic. We apologise for the timing of this decision but the guidance from the government was only released on Tuesday.

This will allow staff and students to get a good break after a very challenging term. In the run up to Christmas, it also brings forward by a day the point at which there is no longer any risk of picking up the virus in school or being identified as a close contact of someone in school who has tested positive. In the circumstances, we have decided to disaggregate the training day for staff so they will not be required to work on the Friday. Instead, they will complete training outside of teaching time at a later point in the year.

The DFE have indicated that they expect schools to assist with track and trace for six days following the last day of opening. Closing a day early means that, should there be a positive case that comes to light after term has ended, school will be able to let families know sooner. If school had remained open until Friday, this may have resulted in staff having to contact families on Christmas Eve to advise children to self-isolate.

Confirmation of the arrangements regarding positive cases, as provided by the DfE, is given below:

  • Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  • For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school

During the holidays, to report a positive case, parents/carers should only use the following email: urgentcontact@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Safeguarding concerns should continue to be reported via safeguarding@millthorpe.southbank.academy. Other email addresses and phone numbers will not be monitored.
We would urge anyone developing symptoms after school has ended to get tested straight away so that staff can identify contacts and notify them as early as possible.

The school will provide an extra days’ worth of vouchers for each child eligible for free school meals on top of the vouchers for the two-week holiday that the Government has eventually agreed to fund.

Christmas Dinner

A reminder that Christmas Dinner will be on Wednesday 16 December. Whatever your child chooses will be charged as normal through his/her school meals account.

Christmas Jumpers

There were some fantastically sparkly Christmas jumpers on show today: we haven’t totted up all the donations but we’ve definitely raised a good sum of money for SASH.

NSPCC’s Young People’s Board for Change

The NSPCC is looking for 15 young people, aged between 13-16, from across the UK to join its Young People’s Board for Change (YPBC).

The YPBC will place children and young people at the very heart of steering, advising and influencing the NSPCC’s work. Members will share their views and ideas with decision-makers like NSPCC trustees, staff and politicians. Members will also get involved in fun projects and travel across the country to take part in residentials, meetings, and workshops.

To apply, the first step is to fill out an online application form and a parent/carer consent form. Applications should be made by 11 January 2021 and you will need to be available for a virtual interview between 18 – 21 January 2021. 

Full information about the scheme can be found on the NSPCC website.

TikTok Update Parental Controls with Family Pairing Feature

TikTok is used by many teenagers and sometimes children younger than 13, despite its terms and conditions. Using the new Family Pairing feature can allow parents to guide their child’s TikTok experience in a safer way. Features include:

  • Search: Decide what can be searched for. This includes content, users, hashtags, or sounds.
  • Screen Time Management: Sets how long your teen can spend on TikTok each day.
  • Discoverability: Decide on the account being private (you decide who can see their content) or public (anyone can search and view content).

To find out more information about TikTok’s Family Pairing feature and to download a helpful poster please click here.

Safeguarding

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.