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

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.


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.