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Weekly email – 8 September 2023

2023 > September > 08 > Weekly email – 8 September 2023
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

Welcome back to all our returning students, and a very warm welcome to all our new students and their families. I hope you have all had a lovely summer.

As our returning families will already know, we send a weekly email to all parents/carers every Friday afternoon, which is full of news, updates, announcements and achievements. As you will see, today’s email is a bit of a long one, but there’s lots to say as we start the new term.

We have had such a lovely week back at school! Our new Year 7 students have settled in well, finding their feet quickly and adapting to their new school life. I’m very proud of all of them as they have all behaved beautifully, even in this very warm weather. Please can I remind you to send your child to school with a refillable water bottle so that they can keep hydrated.

Today we awarded the first Friday Headteacher Awards of the year to some of our new Year 7 students who have created a fantastic first impression and in recognition of their excellent work. The students were nominated by their faculty and were rewarded with a celebratory ice lolly in the sunshine.

Huge congratulations to: Amelia, Paige, Ivy, Alice, George, Anikah and Rowan. What an amazing start to the year!

To any parents/carers who have children currently in Year 6, please do come along to our Open Evening, which will be held on Thursday 28 September – further information can be found below.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and we’ll look forward to seeing everyone back in school, in full uniform please, on Monday for a ‘B’ week.

With best wishes,

Gemma Greenhalgh

Greetings from the SEND Team!

It is great to welcome back our students this September. We understand that this transition can be an anxious time for both students and parents and have been impressed by our new cohort of Year 7s. I (Mrs Norman) would like to express my gratitude to our inclusion team for their exceptional dedication in providing support to our new students to help them feel at home.

For every Year 7 student on the SEND register, we have discussed in detail their needs with primary schools and reviewed all  documentation to create individual student passports. These documents have been shared with all their teachers. From their very first lesson, each teacher will be well-informed about the students’ strengths, needs, strategies for support, and any exam arrangements. We conducted training for all staff, during which we highlighted a few students with complex needs and discussed effective ways to support them. The form tutors and the SEND team have been checking in with all our students.

Our school website is a valuable resource containing comprehensive information on how we cater to students with special educational needs. We also encourage you to keep an eye on our weekly emails, where we provide links to parenting groups and additional support services offered by the local authority. You can find extensive information about our SEND provision, FAQs, SEND policy, SEND report, and profiles of our exceptional team members on our website.

Introducing New SEND contact for all parent

Based on valuable feedback from parents and staff regarding the need for a streamlined communication channel, we have established a single email point of contact. For all SEND ienquiries, please email Please use this address for all questions, feedback, meeting requests and more. Mrs Hill, SEND Administrator, will oversee this email address and will redirect enquiries to the appropriate member of the SEND team, which may be the SENCo, a SEND lead or a relevant member school staff better suited to address the query. This streamlined email system will help us efficiently manage enquiries during staff absences and help log all documentation coming through from parents.

To maintain a balanced workload for our staff, there is a general expectation that staff will respond to emails within three working days, although we strive to respond even more promptly. In the case of urgent messages related to a SEND plan, please contact the school office, which will relay the message to our team or connect you with Mrs Hill.

We understand that navigating school communications can sometimes be confusing, especially for new parents. Please refer below for assistance:

  • For queries regarding day to day school life (eg upcoming trips, uniform), concerns about friendship issues or unkind behaviour, contact your child’s Form Tutor.
  • For issues regarding attendance or planned absence or general enquiries, contact the School Office T: 01904 686400 E:
  • Questions about support plans, pupil passports, SEND provision, contact the SEND Team
  • Questions about particular lessons, contact the class teacher or Head of Faculty.

SEND Welcome Evening for Year 7 parents

We are holding an information evening for parents/carers of Year 7 students with SEND on Thursday 21 September from 5.00-5.45pm in the school library.

This gives parents/carers the chance to have a checkpoint with the SEND team and find out how we implement supporting your child in school. An initial presentation will take place then there will be an opportunity to book a longer review to take place at another point. If you are unable to attend, we will publish the slides after the event and provide a digital sign-up sheet for a review meeting with the SEND team.

Inclusion passes

To help students navigate their school days more smoothly, we have a pass system which has been explained to each student by one of our team members. These passes are designed to streamline interactions with staff, eliminating the need for students to explain specific needs, as all our staff are familiar with these passes.

Take a look at the information regarding passes that was discussed with students.

Please let us know

We are here to ensure a smooth and supportive journey throughout your child’s secondary school experience. If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at: Together, we can create an inclusive learning environment for every student, enabling all to succeed.

Grassroots Trial

Millthorpe has agreed to take part in a trial, led by researchers from University College, London to test the effectiveness of a student intervention approach known as Grassroots, which has shown promising results in trials in the USA. As part of the evaluation, all students in Years 7-9 are asked to complete a survey about their school experience (including bullying) during September. They will then complete the same survey in summer 2024.

Around 100 schools are taking part in the trial; as it is a randomised controlled trial, schools will be randomly selected either to receive the intervention or not. This will help researchers understand whether Grassroots works or not. Students in all of the schools will complete the surveys. If a school is selected to receive the intervention, further details will be provided about what this involves. Full details can be found in the attached letter.
As part of the research, the school will share data about the students completing the survey, including name, date of birth, tutor group, sex, free school meal eligibility and ethnicity. At this stage, we only need to hear from parents if they are not willing for the school to share this data about their child/ren – please complete this form. If you are happy for this information to be shared, you do not need to do anything.

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC)

You may have seen press coverage regarding some schools affected by RAAC and the possibility of closure due to this. We wanted to ensure you are updated on what this means for Millthorpe and the rest of South Bank MAT’s schools.

We have been working on this for some time and can confirm that we have taken the following actions:

  • As the responsible body, the Trust has engaged with the Department for Education’s (DfE) survey process;
  • Where there was a possibility of RAAC being identified, we carried out further investigative work;
  • Where needed, we commissioned intrusive surveys which have now been carried out;
  • The surveys confirmed that there is no RAAC present in any of our schools;
  • We have notified the DfE and the Local Authority of this.

All of our schools started the new academic year as planned and we were delighted to welcome pupils back.

Open Evening

Our annual open evening is always a lot of fun, giving families the chance to see our community in action and to understand our culture and ethos, and experience the characteristic warmth that makes Millthorpe School so distinctive.

This year’s event will be held on Thursday 28 September, from 6.00 – 8.00pm.

We’d love to see you there – there’s no need to book, and all are welcome!

Find out more here.


Any lockers which were not emptied before the end of the summer term have now been emptied by our site staff and we now have a number of unclaimed PE kits and school bags in the Main Office.

If your child is missing anything, please ask them to come to the office before Friday 15 September to collect their belongings. Any PE kits not collected by that date will be donated to the Eco Laundry.

#MillthorpeReads – the winners

Thank you so much to our students and staff who participated in the #MillthorpeReads Summer Holiday Challenge. You can view all of the entries on our social media channels.

The winners are…
Catherine in Year 7, pictured reading on the ski slopes of Switzerland, and Sam in Year 8, pictured reading on a cable car in the Austrian Alps. All students who entered have been given a Golden Ticket, and Catherine and Sam will receive a £10 voucher to buy their next book in their assembly next week.

Mr Baybutt and “Mickey Mouse the Camel” at the Pyramids of Giza won the staff competition, voted for by the students, but as Mr Baybutt organised this challenge, he has humbly declined any form of reward. He said managing to read a book in 44 degree heat, in the desert, on a temperamental camel was reward enough for him!

A message from the PE team

We are delighted to be able to get going with the PE curriculum after a long summer. Please see the schedules below for information about who is doing what, where they are getting changed and which kit to bring:

We have seen most students this week to let them know of any changes to groups. It may be that a teacher appears on a timetable, however that may not correspond to the teacher they are working with. The students have been told who they are working with.

If i can remind all parents that we expect students to arrive with PE kit for all lessons regardless of injury  and/or illness unless an arrangement has been agreed with your child’s PE teacher. For students that are not fully able to partake in the physical aspect of the lesson, they will be involved in other capacities such as officials, coaches, mentors etc.
For any issues with injuries and or illnesses, and also for any issues with kit, we ask that a note is written in the students planner explaining the situation. We will always take into consideration this information when involving the children in our care.
Finally, please ensure that all students are sent to school with the correct medicines, inhalers etc which they may need following physical activity.
Many thanks
Mr Boothman and the PE team

Lunchtime football

As noted earlier in the week, we will be alternating year groups on the AGP. See the table for which days your child will be able to play.

A reminder that boots with moulded plastic studs must be worn.

Bouldering Club

Our popular Bouldering Club starts again after school next Thursday, 14 September. It is open to any student who is 14 years old or over and runs every Thursday after school at Red Goat Climbing. Mr Randall drives all participants there in the school minibus.

It is a great way to keep fit, to test yourself and to do something different. Anyone interested should contact Mr Randall.

Support for parents/carers from the Specialist Teaching Team for autism support

Please see the attached flyer for details of the support available to parents/carers this term through the City of York Council’s Specialist Teaching Team for autism support.

Educational Psychology (EP) Support Line

A confidential telephone support service, staffed by Educational Psychologists, is available through City of York Council, to talk through questions or concerns about children and young people’s wellbeing or learning.

It is open to all parents/carers of children with additional needs or SEND living in the City of York (who have not had recent EP involvement), and any practitioners working with children who live in/attend an educational setting in York.

Take a look at this flyer for further information.

Big Book Sale

Acomb Library’s next big book sale will take place on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 September. Grab a bargain or find a hidden treasure!

#WakeUpWednesday guides

National Online Safety have produced several handy guides for parents and carers over the summer holidays. Please take a look.


If you have significant concerns for the welfare of a child, in addition to being able to contact Mrs Cole, Mrs Cooper or Mr Beever 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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