WEEKLY EMAIL Friday 23 October 2020

Changes to the school day

We have been running with the revised school day for about seven weeks now and on the whole it is working really well. Year groups are successfully separated during break times and the atmosphere in corridors and the canteen is calm and orderly. However, as the weather worsens, the 55-minute lunchtimes are proving increasingly problematic: for most children, it is simply too long, either to be outside when it is cold and dry or to be inside with little to do. Ball games and clubs are not available, so many children become uncomfortable, bored and restless. In a few instances, this can lead to poor behaviour. It also places a large burden on staff supervising lunchtimes and it is hard to accommodate three year groups inside together for an extended time when the weather is wet.

In response, we are planning the following changes that will take effect when we return after half term:
  • Each year group will have a 40 minute lunch break
  • These will be staggered in a similar way to morning break times, during an extended Period 4 that runs form 12.20 to 2.00:
    • Years 8 and 10: lunch from 12.20 to 1.00
    • Year 7: lunch from 1.00 to 1.40
    • Years 9 and 11: lunch from 1.20 to 2.00
  • When not at lunch, students will be in their Period 4 lesson
  • As a consequence, school will finish at the earlier times of: 
    • 3.00 for Years 7, 10 and 11
    • 3.20 for Years 8 and 9
  • Timings of the school day will be the same as other days on B Week Wednesdays whilst these arrangements are in place, with the exception of Year 8 and 9 Registration, which will finish 15 minutes early at 3.05
  • We are also seeking to set up quiet reading rooms for students to use at lunchtimes within their year groups.
We understand that this is quite a significant change, and we have consulted with staff and governors before going ahead. We concluded that the urgency of resolving the current challenges meant that a parental consultation was not appropriate. We will review the arrangements after four weeks and will seek a range of feedback at that time to judge how successful the changes have been. If you have specific concerns about the changes, please contact us.

Millthorpe Remembers 2020

With remembrance services being cancelled and the selling of poppies proving difficult this year, we wanted to ensure that Millthorpe School continues to ensure that the next generation “never forget”.

The amazing poppy display that Mrs Frankland and colleagues organised in 2018 will again be displayed in the main house lobby, and we are asking for students, staff and parents/carers to contribute handmade poppies to add to this display. They can be made of any material and, if you wish, be dedicated to a specific serviceperson who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Full details can be found here.

Lest We Forget

Millthorpe Careers newsletter

The Autumn term editions of the Millthorpe Careers Newsletters are out now. They can be found on the website here – scroll to the bottom of the page to see the links.

The Year 11 edition has plenty of information about next steps for our students, and all currently available dates for virtual open evenings at post-16 providers.

Planning Your Future

The Planning Your Future booklet produced by City of York Council is now available. Parents/carers of Year 11 students should receive a copy with an accompanying letter via e-mail or you can see it on the school website here.

The booklet is an invaluable guide to the options available to Year 11 students once they leave Millthorpe in the summer.

Applications to CAPA College

CAPA College, a performing arts college in Wakefield, is now accepting applications for September 2021 entry. Full details of their application process, including links to their online and paper application forms, can be found on their website here

You can find out more about CAPA in this information pack.

Social media use

Please could we ask parents and carers for their continued support in monitoring their child’s use of social media? We sometimes receive concerns from parents/carers or even the students themselves that the nature of group chats on social media platforms such as Snapchat and WhatsApp are not appropriate.

Students are not allowed to use their mobile phones at all during the school day and if students are seen using their phone, they are confiscated for the remainder of the day. We would be really grateful if you could speak to your child and check that the content of any group chats or conversations over social media are appropriate.


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.