WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 22 May 2020

Message from the Head of School

Dear parents/carers

I hope that you are all well and are able to enjoy a little more fresh air as the lockdown has eased.

May half term
Next week it is half term at school, so children and staff are encouraged to take a break from their school work. School holidays bring a welcome break for teachers and students and enable them to refresh and engage in other activities so they can return to their learning with renewed energy. Although we are in very different times it is still important that children and teachers get some form of a break. We recognise that some pupils will still want to learn and may still have work to complete that has been set by teachers already. However teachers will not be setting any new school work over the next week.

Home learning
If your child does want to continue to learn throughout the holiday there are some excellent resources at BBC Bitesize and Oak Academy. After half term teachers will ensure that they continue to set work and provide feedback to students in Years 7-9. Your child can continue to send any Key Assessed Pieces or work they are particularly proud of to their class teachers during half term if they wish to, but they will not be expected to reply until after the break. Teachers have really enjoyed receiving the work your children have been sending in and have even taken to sharing some of it with other Millthorpe teachers. We would just like to reassure you that all of the work that is being assessed and the feedback given is to improve our remote teaching and will not be used to inform groups and set changes next year.

Year 10
You will be aware that the government intends that many children will return to primary schools from 1 June and that secondary schools will provide some degree of face-to-face teaching to supplement online learning for Year 10 students; these wider school openings of schools are still subject to the government review on 28 May. We continue to support those students that need essential supervision because they are identified as vulnerable or children of key workers whilst they complete the work provided to all students on ClassCharts in school. The details of how we intend to open to Year 10 students in small groups as safely as possible will be shared with Year 10 parents for their consultation today; this will enable parents to be in an informed position to decide whether their child attends. We are currently working as schools in York to look to begin that provision for the week commencing 8 June.

School uniform
At the moment we are unclear what will happen and when students will all return to school. We are aware that parents will begin to think about school uniform soon and may begin to purchase it sooner as shopping is not as easy at the moment. Our advice to parents is to wait at the moment, to continue to plan to budget for uniform but not to purchase it until the national picture is much clearer as we wouldn’t want parents buying uniform when there is still no clarity on full return.

Parents usually begin to purchase uniform towards the end of June. We will notify you by Friday 26 June, ten weeks before the expected return date in September, whether we will be in full uniform or partial uniform to enable you to have time to plan.

Uniform donations
You may also remember reading about our Eco Laundry in Friday emails last term. You can use our Eco Laundry to buy, swap or donate items of school uniform as a way of protecting the environment and of keeping uniform costs down for everyone. At a time when many people’s family budgets are being squeezed and we are all trying to reduce the negative impact of our daily lives on the environment, we are keen to collect as much uniform as we can so that everyone is able to buy good quality pre-worn uniform at a very low cost. If school were open as usual, this would be easy to do but as it isn’t we have come up with a creative solution. During the half term holiday next week we will place a wheelie bin at the front and back gate for uniform donations. If your child has grown out of any items of uniform we would be very grateful if you could bag these up securely by tying the top of the bag shut and place them in one of the wheelie bins which you will find attached to or just inside the front and back gate. The uniform donation wheelie bins will be available 8am-1pm Tuesday to Friday next week and will be emptied everyday by our site team. Ms Andrle and Mrs Cooper are looking forward to restocking the Eco Laundry with your donations, ready to provide both our new Year 7 students and our current students with recycled uniform at a small fraction of its cost when new. We do realise that making a trip to school to donate your uniform is not the most exciting of half term activities, but we would be absolutely delighted if as many of you as possible were able to do this. We will let you know how you can buy uniform for next year from our Eco Laundry as soon as we are able to do so safely.

Many thanks for all of your support as parents and carers. I hope that the weather enables you all to have some quality time together over the Bank Holiday weekend and half term and that you all keep safe and well.

Miss Greenhalgh

Peer Mentoring Programme 2020 – Calling all Year 8s!

We are looking for Year 8 students who are interested in becoming a Peer Mentor, to help the new Year 7s settle in during their first year at Millthorpe. Click here to find out more.

Keeping children safe online

Please take a look at this information from the Department for Education (DfE) which contains helpful links to websites which will support you in keeping your child(ren) safe online.

Coronavirus support line

City of York Council’s Education Psychology Service is offering a Coronavirus Support Line to parents and carers who live in the City of York and practitioners who work with children and young people who live in the City of York. They can provide confidential telephone support, to talk through questions or concerns about children and young people’s wellbeing or learning during the current pandemic.

Find out more

Summer School at Christ’s College, Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is running a summer school for students who would like to study:

  • Bio-Chemistry (Human/Medical)
  • Bio-Chemistry (Non-medical)
  • Physical Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • English
  • History
  • Law
  • Social Sciences

Full information about the Summer School and entry requirements can be found here.

Year 6-7 Transition Information

The latest information for prospective Year 7 students has now been sent out. You can also take a look at all of the information on our website.

Online courses from Family Matters York

Family Matters York are running the following online courses to support parents in a number of ways:

Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
Tuesday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Time Out for Parents – the Teenage Years
Thursday morning 9 to 11am for 5 weeks starting 4 June

Time Out for Parents – the Early Years
Tuesday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Time Out for Parents – the Primary Years
Tuesday afternoon 2 to 4pm for 5 weeks starting 2 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Wednesday morning 9 to 11am for 4 weeks starting 3 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Monday afternoon 2 to 4pm for 4 weeks starting 8 June

Handling Anger in the Family
Monday evening 7.15 to 9pm for 4 weeks starting 8 June

Separated Parents
Wednesday afternoon 2-4pm for 2 weeks starting 24 June

All these courses will take place online via Zoom.

To book a place or for further information please contact Helen Atkinson on 07393 147259, email: helenatkinson@fmy.org.uk or you can book via the Family Matters website.

Year Seven Read Theory Challenge

We have been overwhelmed by the incredible amount of work Year 7 have put into their online reading comprehension quizzes. They have taken an amazing total of 1736 quizzes in just one week.

These quizzes are for everyone – they adapt to your individual reading level. By doing these quizzes students are: learning new vocabulary, boosting their general knowledge, honing their skills of inference and logic and learning about literary devices. Regular, challenging reading makes such a huge difference to students’ progress in school.

The form with the most Read Theory points this week was 7BLO (with 7AIN very close behind). We are so proud of all one hundred and one Year 7 students working so hard on this reading challenge. Well done!

If your child hasn’t signed up yet, just send an email to Ms Bradsell and she will help them get started.

Keeping up with current affairs

The Week Junior is a current affairs magazine for children aged 8–14. Filled with with fascinating news and engaging information, it helps children make sense of the world.

You can see this week’s edition here.