Year 9 French Film Trip

We have recently been lucky enough to take advantage of the Into Film Festival which is taking place 4-21 November 2014. This is an annual celebration of film and education for schools and young people across the UK and offers a range of events nationwide.


58 of our Year 9 students have been able to enjoy a French language film La Reine Soleil (The Sun Queen) thanks to the project, as there was a local screening at City Screen in York. Students spent the morning immersed in real French language and enjoyed the experience immensely.

You can find out more about the Into Film Festival by visiting

Millthorpe Students Brighten up Care Home with Garden Mural

Year 9 students from Millthorpe have brought some colour into the lives of residents at a York home for older people. Residents, students and staff joined together for the unveiling of a large mural that the children had created to brighten up a communal area at Amarna House in Boroughbridge Road, York. The care home, which offers a range of care for older people, including nursing, residential and dementia, has recently been refurbished and the painting, which followed a garden-based theme, was commissioned to bring a final touch of colour.


The mural was assembled on a panel at Millthorpe School before being assembled at the care home and took students four days to complete. But the students rose to the challenge:

“I enjoyed drawing the picture. At the painting stage I enjoyed the challenge of painting the bricks and plants to make them look realistic and 3D” commented Georgia Tyssen.

Fellow student Marnie Taylor-Abbott was enthusiastic about the theme, which was chosen to be bright and cheerful for the residents:

“I enjoyed the idea of bringing the ‘outside, inside’ for the residents.”

Year 8 students at Millthorpe were also invited after their form raised over £100 for Amarna House at a sponsored run in July, which was used to buy a bench for residents to sit on in their ‘indoor garden’.

Millthorpe Remembers

As part of Millthorpe School’s remembrance programme, students attended remembrance assemblies in the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday. Mr Baybutt discussed the history of the poppy, the purpose of remembrance and outlined the work of the Royal British Legion so that students would know where their money went if they did choose to buy a poppy.


The History Department has also allocated each House a person from York to follow through the four years of conflict; Saxon House will track 15 year old Thomas Jones, Roman House will follow William Barclay and Viking House will study Ada Fletcher. This is to try to give students an appreciation of the longevity of the conflict across the 4 years, one hundred years on.

The students were an exemplary audience and many did choose to buy and proudly wear their poppies following the assembly. They also impeccably observed a minutes’ silence at 11am on 11 November demonstrating their mature understanding of the whole concept of remembrance.

Students Build Their Skills with Housing Experts

Year 10 students became property tycoons for the day earlier this term, and learnt about careers in construction from industry experts. The session, delivered by graduates from Barratt Homes, used an innovative game format to allow students to create their own property developments. Pupils had to work in teams to buy land, price the development, build a property and finally sell the house.

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And while the students had fun, they also learnt some valuable lessons. Year 10 pupil Abigail Thackway said “It was a fantastic session. It was great to see some positive female role models and I was surprised to hear about all the different jobs within the construction industry”.

Design Technology teacher Mr Bull was enthusiastic about the project: “It’s really important that students learn skills that are going to be relevant when they leave school. It was fantastic that they were able to get an insight into such an important topic from people who actually make these decisions on a day to day basis”.

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Barratt Homes hope that by raising awareness of career opportunities within the construction industry, they will be able to plug the anticipated skills gaps in Yorkshire over the next 10 years.

Christmas Fayre – Friday 12 December

The Friends of Millthorpe are looking for help and contributions towards the Christmas Fayre stalls. This year there will be two stalls: one for Christmas produce (jams, chutneys, cakes etc), and one for Christmas crafts. We would like lots of contributions from parents/carers, students and staff to ensure a successful evening of fundraising for the school.

If you can provide anything please contact:

Shona Lang for Christmas produce or

Kirstie Briggs Bateman for Christmas crafts

The Christmas Fayre is taking place on Friday 12 December 2014, 7 to 9pm in the Main Hall.

What no fish? Millthorpe Students research what new businesses would succeed on Bishopthorpe Road

Students from Millthorpe School have been finding out about the real world of retail by carrying out their own market research on Bishopthorpe Road. Over 50 students visited the popular parade of shops to speak to shoppers and retailers as part of a GCSE Business Studies project to identify what type of new business would have the best chance of success. They concluded that the most likely to net customers is a fishmonger.

Mr Bates, Assistant Headteacher and Business Studies teacher, said

‘It is much better that the students are able to learn about starting up a new business by experiencing some of the actual processes they would need to go through in real life. We selected Bishopthorpe Road not just because it is close to the school but also because it is an excellent example of a group of successful independent businesses. All of the shop owners and local residents have been extremely supportive of the students and there is a genuine community feel.’

The students, aged 14 and 15, counted the number of customers and passing trade, spoke to the business owners about their businesses and surveyed customers and local residents. They reported a thriving high street and were surprised with the full car park on a weekday morning. The students’ findings included a passing trade of 55 people in 10 minutes, which students extrapolated to identify a busy parade with a passing trade of 330 people per business hour, and a footfall of 156 per hour for the Pig and Pastry.

Ellie Enwright, Year 10 pupil at Millthorpe School, said: ‘Many people commented on a friendly and unique road.’ Duke Witter and Kelsey Rae, also in Year 10, reported that local residents prefer the shops on Bishopthorpe Road because the businesses are independent and run by local people. The class concluded that ‘the secret of Bishopthorpe Road’s success is that it is at the heart of the local community, providing local residents with the products and services they want.’

The students also asked how Bishopthorpe Road could be improved and where there was a gap in the market for a new business. Josh Allenby, Year 10, said that customers would like free WiFi on the street and repairs to the pavement. Overwhelmingly, people said that a fishmonger was most needed on the road, with 40% of the 107 people asked responding that this would be most successful. Other popular responses included a Post Office and a bank.

Chair of Bishy Road Traders, Johnny Hayes, was enthusiastic about the project.

“It was positive on a number of levels” he commented. “The information the students have produced is of genuine interest to the traders but it is also good to have a new generation of people learning about how to establish a successful retail business. Hopefully it will foster some local entrepreneurs for the future.”

The School and the Traders have more collaborative projects in the pipeline, including traders sharing their business experiences with students.

Historical Association Quality Mark

Millthorpe’s History department is proud to announce that Millthorpe is the first state school in the country to be awarded the Historical Association’s Quality Mark. This accolade is given to schools that are judged to be outstanding in the quality of their teaching, the breadth of their curriculum, the opportunities for enrichment and the leadership of the department. Two assessors from the Historical Association spent a day with the department in early October. They scrutinised the curriculum offered, observed lessons and had lunch with present and past pupils.  The report highlighted the impact a dedicated teaching team is having on the students.

The report’s final summary was: “The history department at Millthorpe is an exceptionally hard-working, dedicated and professional team who know their strengths and areas for development clearly. Through these qualities, they have rightly earned the respect of senior colleagues, pupils and parents and deserve to be the second school in the country to receive the Quality Mark.”


Millthorpe’s History department would like to thank all the students who spoke to the assessors and thank the school for supporting their application.

Mrs R Lingard and Mrs S Bowland, Joint Heads of History

Zumba Fitness Classes

It’s time to forget the fact that you are exercising and fall in love with your workout.

Mondays – Millthorpe School (Drama Studio) 6:30-7:30 pm
CYC Learning 4 Everyone programme
3rd Nov-8th Dec (6 week course) £30

Book a place by calling 01904 552806

There are short cuts to happiness… Dancing is one of them. Find out why these classes are moving millions of people toward joy and better health. For more info visit

Amazing Alumni

At Millthorpe we are immensely proud of all the achievements our students make during their time at school which we celebrate at our annual Awards Evening, taking place this year on Friday 17 October.

We would also like to share the success and achievements of some of our former students who you can read about on our new Alumni page on the school website. They include some recent graduates from York College as well as some familiar faces from Mill Mount School and Nunthorpe Grammar School, which merged to become Millthorpe in 1985.

After leaving Millthorpe, the majority of our students go to York College or one of the school Sixth Forms in York. Askham Bryan College is a popular choice for students wanting to study land-based courses which range from Agriculture and Land Management to Adventure Sport. Watch the video below to see former Millthorpe student, Dan Hickey, talk about the Sports Studies course and why he chose Askham Bryan College.

You can find a full list of the York post 16 providers on the Careers page of our website. Dates for open evenings taking place at the colleges and sixth forms can be found on the school calendar.

Businesswoman Karen Jones Inspires Millthorpe Students

Students at Millthorpe had an inspiring insight into the world of business recently when one of the school’s most successful alumni, Karen Jones CBE, called back in to talk about her experiences.

Karen, who was made a CBE in 2006 for services to hospitality, made her name by founding the Café Rouge chain of restaurants which she sold for £133 million in 1996 and is now the owner of the Food and Fuel chain of pubs. She attended Mill Mount Grammar School, which merged with Nunthorpe Boys’ Grammar and Knavesmire Secondary Modern to form Millthorpe in 1985, from 1967-74. She was invited back by Jenny Kent, a parent governor at the school, as part of a programme to raise aspirations among Millthorpe students.

Headteacher Trevor Burton was delighted that Ms Jones agreed to the visit:

“The chance to hear first-hand about Karen’s experiences, of building up a hospitality empire from scratch and operating in the highest spheres of business, is an incredible opportunity for Millthorpe students. What really struck a chord is when they heard how, at 17, she was waiting tables at Betty’s tearooms in York, something they can all relate to. Then, just a few years later she was running her own multimillion pound chain of restaurants. So the message for students is very much: if you have the belief and the commitment, the sky’s the limit.

Sarah Watts, Head of PSHE, who helped organise the visit felt that she was a great role model for young people. “The fact that she is a former student is a great inspiration to many of them and shows them that they too can be ambitious and set their sights high.”

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Ms Jones spent 45 minutes speaking to students about her experiences, explaining what has helped her to achieve what she has and recalling how one of her teachers inspired a love of English, which she went on to read at university. She also stressed how important it is to take advantage of opportunities when they arise, whether in school, business, or in life more generally; and how you need to be prepared to work hard to fulfil your potential.

Students then had the chance to quiz Karen on a range of topics, from handling stress to overcoming failure. One student asked whether she would carry on running a company if it wasn’t making much money and learnt that it wasn’t the profits that motivated her but the satisfaction of creating a successful enterprise.

Ella Field, a Year 10 student who asked her about how studying English helped her in her career, commented:

“I was fascinated to hear about her life; she came across as very intelligent and likeable. It was really inspiring to see how she has been able to succeed in an area dominated by men and how she has managed to balance her achievements in business with a successful family life. I would have liked to speak to her for longer!”