International visitors from five countries have visited a York secondary school this month in a bid to unleash their creative sides, as they take part in an international project to bring more creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into their students’ education.
Millthorpe School is one of ten partners from five countries participating in the DICE (Developing Innovation and Creativity in Education) Project, an international project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union which aims to foster innovation and creativity in education. The ten partners, based in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Denmark and Bulgaria, have received a joint grant of €284,000.
Two members of staff from Millthorpe School went to Spain earlier this year where they learnt about the Creative Platform, a teaching style which encourages students to let go of traditional patterns of thinking so that their creativity is not limited. The teachers were also introduced to LEGO BuildToExpress, a ground-breaking teaching technique which encourages students to build models using LEGO Serious Play, to demonstrate their understanding of various curriculum areas. Another Millthorpe teacher spent time in a Danish school and at a Danish university to look at ways to implement creativity into lessons and how Danish teachers teach.
The visiting group comprised of 27 delegates from ten different overseas institutions who spent two days at the school. The visitors spent time in classes, meeting the students and sharing best practice and ideas with each other. The main focus of the visit was on how the different partners were going to implement the methodology behind the Creative Platform, for the good of the students.
Millthorpe’s Deputy Headteacher, Tim Gillbanks, is DICE coordinator for the school. He said “As the only UK secondary school involved in DICE, it’s wonderful to be part of such an exciting project and to welcome the international delegates to Millthorpe. The new style lessons we have delivered so far using the Creative Platform methodology, have encouraged students to think differently, use problem-solving techniques and also more importantly, to realise that it’s OK to try things, take a risk and sometime get things wrong. Students have been really engaged and excited to learn in a new, creative way.
“To get the most from DICE, we are getting as many staff as possible involved so that we can all learn together and bring new techniques and innovation in to the classroom for the benefit of the students. We’ve gained so much from the experience so far and we’re really looking forward to welcoming our DICE partners to the UK later this year.”
DICE Project Coordinator Eufemia Rosso Delgado said “It has been wonderful to visit the UK and especially York, with my fellow delegates. We have all learned so much from each other and gained so much knowledge from visiting the partner schools and teacher training institutions. In turn, all of the students we come in to contact with can benefit from creative teaching and learning techniques.”
Next year, all the DICE partners will head to Bulgaria and then there will be a final visit to Portugal where the project will conclude.


Students at a York secondary school have been exploring their future education and career opportunities this week, with the help of a number of external agencies and educational organisations.
Year 11 students at Millthorpe School took part in the Exploring Pathways event organised by the school in conjunction with NYBEP (North Yorkshire Business & Enterprise Partnership) which was aimed at equipping them with the necessary information, advice, knowledge and skills to help them to start thinking about the opportunities available to them when they leave school at 16. 
Students took part in a variety of workshops, listened to talks about student finance and apprenticeship schemes, talked to employers, trainers and education establishments in the careers exhibition and also learned about interview techniques and skills. Representatives on the day included: Askham Bryan College, Derwent Training Association, the Job Centre, British Army, Royal Navy, Huddersfield University, York St John University and All Saints Sixth Form College.
Sharon Maddison, Delivery Team Lead from NYBEP said “The event is about helping our young people prepare for their future. In addition to looking at the opportunities that are available post-16, we also want to instil into them the fact that planning and organisation are essential, the importance of working hard and having a positive attitude and ways in which they can work on their confidence and self-belief to help them progress.”
Tim Gillbanks, Deputy Headteacher at Millthorpe School added “As a school we do everything we can to ensure that our students have as much information as possible about the huge variety of opportunities available to them post-16, but we also want to equip them with the skills and knowledge to make a smooth transition to that next step, whatever that might be. We are hugely grateful to NYBEP for their ongoing support and to all of our speakers and exhibitors who helped make the day such a success.”
Representatives from York College, Askham Bryan College and York St John University all commented on how engaged the students were and were impressed with the preparation the students had done before the day. 
When asked about the event, Year 11 students, Mary and Amy said “It’s really good to have everybody in school all at once so that we can talk to as many people as possible. It helps us to work out what we don’t want to do as much as what we do want to do! We’re both thinking of A Levels at the moment, but it’s been really good to see what else is available.”

Millthorpe Messenger

Millthorpe Messenger is Millthorpe School’s e-bulletin which goes out to parents at the end of each half-term.

Through Millthorpe Messenger, we keep parents in touch with news, announcements, success stories and achievements from across the school, giving you a really good insight into just some of the great things that happen at Millthorpe.

The Millthorpe Messenger can be located through the media drop down menu tab on our main page. Alternatively you can click on the link below:

Click here to read  Millthorpe Messenger

Millthorpe School’s Mental Health Champions

On Wednesday Councillor Johnny Crawshaw came to meet with Millthorpe School’s Mental Health Champions to hear about their plans to promote the well being of young people and campaign to tackle stigma around mental health. Over the last year 12 students received training in peer-to-peer support as part of a citywide initiative supported by the local authority and public health. This year, the campaign, supported by the well being Service and led by students, will be running in secondary schools across the city. It is hoped that this project will encourage students and their parents to talk more openly about pressures faced by young people. Councillor Crawshaw was impressed by Millthorpe’s student leaders and happy to swap notes on how to run an effective campaign.

Sports Facilities Update 1 August 2018

As you are hopefully aware, we have now submitted a planning application for the proposed sports facilities and parking on the Millthorpe site.

Inevitably, as with any development of this nature, this has generated a range of responses and we are aware that some of the information that has been circulated is inaccurate or misleading. As such, we thought it would be helpful to provide some key facts about the proposal so that members of the local community can reach an informed and balanced view.

  • The proposal is for one pitch, suitable for competitive junior football (smaller than a full-size adult football pitch).
  • There will be a Community Use Agreement between the schools and City of York Council (CYC) that sets out how access for local schools and community sports groups is assured, at what times, and at what cost. As well as being a Sport England requirement, income from community lettings is needed to help pay for the upkeep of these facilities.
  • The Agreement will also define how late the pitch can stay open and planners need to be satisfied that this is reasonable for local residents.
  • The drainage proposal has been checked and approved by the Senior Flood Management Engineer from CYC.
  • In addition we have submitted noise and light impact assessments, as well as arboricultural, environmental and ecological surveys, as part of the planning process.
  • We are working with the Highways Team at CYC to understand how any impact on the traffic in neighbouring streets can be reasonably managed.
  • Parking allowances are based on the standard formula used by planners for this kind of facility.

If you would like any further information about the project, please contact us by email at or write to the Headteacher of either school. Please remember that responses may take longer during school holidays.

A reminder that you can view the documents associated with our application and submit any comments via the City of York Council planning website using the reference 1801162/FUL.

A review of Year 8’s Geography Trip in June 2018, by Cherry Poyner, Year 8:

“We arrived first at Mappleton in coaches and we separated off into groups and were given booklets that we were to fill in with information about the sites we were visiting. The questions included some about the sea defences against longshore drift and the size difference between chalk pebbles in different places. Our main question that we were supposed to prove was: “is long shore drift real?”

As we walked down to the beach of Mappleton we could see far out to sea as it was a beautifully sunny day. Once on the beach, we found out about the weak boulder clay was the reason Mappleton was in danger as it was easily eroded. Our teacher even picked a bit off to show how weak it was. However we also learned that the reason that Mappleton still exists is because of the rock armour and rock walls that protects the coast and cost around £2 million to build. After that, we measured the size of 10 of the chalk rocks we believe came from the chalk cliffs up in Flamborough and were washed to Mappleton because of longshore drift, so that we could look at the differences between them and the ones from the chalk cliffs of Flamborough head. We then headed back to the coaches, so that we could travel to Flamborough head.”

Once we had reached Flamborough, we headed down to the bay, which meant we had to go down the thin steep steps, once again in our groups. The bay had a wave cut platform just a little way down the beach which we could sit on to fill in our sheets and the view from the bay was stunning as the sun shone on the sea and the chalk cliffs were brilliantly bright. Another thing we noticed was how high the water level rose when the tide came in due to the dark makings on the headlands. Two groups at a time, we headed through an arch to see a smaller beach – which had been created by erosion of the headlands around us – and was where we collected data for another set of 10 chalkstones that seemed larger than the ones at Mappleton just by sight. Some people took pictures of the wonderful view as the arch cast a deep shadow contrasting the bright sky, some people even paddled in the water! Unfortunately, two people slipped and fell into the shallow water, drenching their legs but they soon dried out because of the warm sunshine of the afternoon

After paddling and sitting on the rocks, we clambered back up the stairs and to a large grassy patch where we stopped to eat our packed lunches as myself and my fellow students sat in large huddles in the sunshine. Once we had finished our lunch we all finished our booklets and headed back to Millthorpe on the coaches.”




This year students celebrated their achievements in terms of progress and learning conduct in house at our two award celebration events.

The evening for Years 9 and 10 was well received, as students were nominated by departments and each received a personalised message from their nominee. In Years 7 and 8, students were awarded their certificates in front of their peers in a less formal event with speeches and nominations interwoven with old-fashioned style party games.

The learning conduct certificates were awarded to students in each year group who had the highest average learning conduct across all subjects.




Thanks to our Art Technician, John Fletcher, some of our students now have their artwork on display at the John Lewis store in York.

On visiting the John Lewis café, John noticed that they used small jam jars which would be perfect for providing students with ink sets to use in class. The staff kindly washed out a number of jars for John to take away, so as a thank you, he has since worked with the store team to provide artwork for the café walls and windows.

The window artwork has been created by our Year 8 students who designed a Celtic-style illuminated letter after studying Celtic Art, Year 10s concentrated on the themes of ‘Expressive Portraiture’ (pictured) and some of the Year 11s have now got their external exam pieces on display.

We’re hoping to work more with John Lewis next year!


Millthorpe School has been named as the lead school for a new Careers Hub which will help to transform careers education for young people in the region.

The York, North Yorkshire, East Riding region (YNYER) has been named as one of just 20 Careers Hubs around England, which will receive a funding boost to help prepare the region’s young people for the world of work.

The YNYER Careers Hub will be made up of 35 local schools and colleges working together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals to improve careers education. Millthorpe will be the lead school within the project, coordinating activity and building networks across the Hub. Each school will have access to a bursary to allow them to train ‘careers leaders’ and support employer encounters such as careers events, mock interviews and aspiration-raising workshops.

Tim Gillbanks, Deputy Head at Milthorpe School, said: “Quality careers education, advice and guidance for students is at the heart of everything we do at Millthorpe. We look forward to working alongside other schools in North Yorkshire in equipping students with the skills and advice they need for their future careers.

“By working together, we can better prepare our young people for the world of work, improving their prospects and also benefiting the regional economy.”

YNYER Enterprise Partnership will be launching the Careers Hub in September.




Some of our young people have raised over £800 for two of the city’s mental health charities, thanks to their involvement in the national Diana Award Mentoring Programme.

Year 9 and 10 students from Millthorpe School have been taking part in the Diana Award programme for most of the school year working with leaders and mentors from the charity. The Diana Award is the living legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better. It requires its participants to develop a campaign around a social issue that affects their community so the Millthorpe students chose to focus on the issue of young people living with mental health challenges.


The students arranged for guest speaker, Rab Ferguson, Young People’s Co-ordinator at York Mind, to give talks in their school assemblies about the challenges that many young people face and the work that support organisations do to help them. They also held a non-uniform day and a bake sale to help raise funds and awareness amongst their peers.

Their fundraising activities raised a fantastic £838.93. The funds will be divided between two local mental health charities – York Mind and The Island – both of which do incredible work to support young people.

Angela Nicholson, Millthorpe School’s Student Support Officer and Diana Award project coordinator for the school, said: “The students have been amazing and totally committed to the premise that they do have the power, the ability and the drive to make the world a better place. Not only have they raised a substantial amount of money for their chosen charities, they have also gained some valuable skills along the way such as organisation, problem-solving, working as part of a team, communication and interpersonal skills. We’re very grateful to the team at The Diana Award for all their time and support and to everyone who has been involved.”

Earlier in the year during Carer’s Awareness Week, the Millthorpe students held another non-uniform day in school to raise money for York Carers Centre.  This raised a total of 646.73.