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.




Staff at Millthorpe School are unleashing their creative sides as they take part in an international project to bring more creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship into their students’ education.


Millthorpe 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 use of LEGO BuildToExpress in Danish schools is hugely popular and has been shown to create more equality in the classroom as each student plays an active role, not just those who are confident to speak up. The use of this teaching methodology has also been shown to really help with children’s education, particularly those with autism, selective mutism or other special educational needs. Having seen the success of the teaching method, the Millthorpe team has purchased a number of LEGO Serious Play sets and using the new skills and teaching techniques acquired through the DICE project, they have already begun to use the tools to encourage students to think and learn in a different way in a number of subjects including Maths, Computer Science and RE.


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.  The new style lessons we have delivered so far using the LEGO Serious Play tools, 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.”


Later this year, all the DICE partners will come to the UK when they will spend time at Millthorpe School and with the other British partner, MBM Training & Development, a teacher training agency based in Liverpool. There will then be further visits to Bulgaria and Portugal to complete the programme.