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Weekly email – 16 December 2022

2022 > December > 16 > Weekly email – 16 December 2022
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

The last day of the autumn term has always been one of my favourite days at school. You can feel the excitement in the air as we prepare to break for Christmas and it’s always so lovely to see our students full of smiles and laughter. SLT colleagues and I welcomed everyone at the gates this morning, and despite the temperatures being below freezing, there was lots of singing and dancing – many of the students even joined in! I also had the chance to wish all our form groups a Merry Christmas at the end of the day. There was much excitement as they all received a small Christmas treat (chocolate of course!).

Our Millthorpe Messenger newsletter will be coming out to you over the weekend, so you’ll be able to read about some of the great events, activities and initiatives that have taken place this half term, including our festive Big Sing and an update on our Christmas Homeless Charity Appeal.

Thank you to everyone who came along to watch our Mary Poppins spectacular this week. The shows seemed to just get better and better as the week went on and as ever, I am amazed at the talent we have in school. Well done to everyone who took part, both on and off stage, and to Miss Sladen who has worked tirelessly with the students all term.

School will reopen on Tuesday 3 January 2023 with an ‘A’ week and we look forward to seeing everyone then. It just remains for me to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you all have a restful, happy break with your friends and families.

Kind regards

Gemma Greenhalgh

Movement around the site

Unlike purpose-built schools, we know that Millthorpe has an interesting but complicated site. This week, we have introduced the students to some new routines for break, lunch and before and after school, with the aim of making the school as safe and calm as possible and with expectations that are clear and consistent. This includes making it really clear which areas can be used at break and lunch times and how to move around the site safely, as well as simple expectations around things like eating and mobile phones, so that it is easy for students to remember what is expected of them. We took students through the changes and the reasons behind them in assemblies and, with the exception of Year 11, walked them through the relevant areas.

Parents/carers should be aware that, as part of these changes, from January, we will no longer be using the pedestrian gate on Southlands Road at the beginning and end of school. This is to reduce the risk of intruders and to help us supervise the safe entrance and exit of students. All students should use either the entrance on Nunthorpe Avenue or Philadelphia Terrace.

Students in all year groups can join informal, supervised games of football on the AGP every day as long as they bring their usual boots (moulded studs). Numbers will be limited for safety, so it will be first come, first served. Existing clubs run by PE will continue as normal on a separate part of the pitch.

The new arrangements (apart from the gate) started yesterday and the students have responded really well. As new routines bed in, no doubt they will appreciate how everyone benefits if the school is safer and calmer.

Flu vaccinations

A team from the Harrogate and District Foundation NHS Trust’s School Age Immunisation Service is due to visit Millthorpe School on 16 January to deliver the flu nasal spray to students in Years 7, 8 and 9 whose parents have consented. All parents should have received a letter earlier this week.

Further information can be found on our website.

Merry Christmas from the Maths team

The Maths Department would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Well done for all the hard work this term and particularly to the puzzle fans who have been doing the challenges. Here is a special seasonal one courtesy of GCHQ – maybe one day you’ll be writing it!


If you need a little help over the Christmas period, there are a number of foodbanks across the city which you can turn to. You can see a full list on the City of York Council website here.

The community foodbanks are open to the public, you don’t need an appointment or a voucher, you can just turn up.

To access the main York Foodbank, you will need a voucher. These can be provided by school. All you need to do is contact school (E: and we will deal with your request discreetly.

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme

The Holidays Activity and Food programme provides free activities and a meal to children and young people, who are eligible for Free School Meals in York and are aged 4-16 years old.

The HAF programme will be available throughout the Christmas holidays – full details can be found here.

Dangers of ice

We are sure that you were all shocked and saddened by the events in Solihull last weekend where a number of children died after playing on ice. We have delivered the attached presentation to students in school this week to remind them of the dangers of ice and instruct them not to play on it. Please can you view this presentation and reiterate this message at home?

National Online Safety – #WakeUpWednesday

National Online Safety have produced another two excellent guides for parents and carers: one on social media and mental health, and one on a social media app called HiPal which turns phones into walkie-talkies. Please have a read of these and discuss the content with your child(ren).


If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Mrs Cole or Ms Simpson during school hours by emailing, 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.

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