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Weekly email – 27 October 2023

2023 > October > 27 > Weekly email – 27 October 2023
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

Although it has been quite a long half term, we seem to have soon arrived at the half-term break! Thank you to our students for a great eight weeks and to you all for your continued support.

Year 11s will be sitting their PPEs from Monday 6 November to Friday 24 NovemberYou can see the exam timetable here. If your child is in Year 11, please encourage them to dedicate time for revision over the holidays, but also to take some time out for fun activities and self-care. There are lots of great resources on Padlet, our online support service, if anyone is struggling.

Congratulations to our students nominated by their faculty to have hot chocolate with me earlier today. Well done to Ty, Beba, Harry, Jared, Arthur, Erin, Kiera, Marianne and George. We were also joined this week by Cloe and Leighton.

Well done to those who received a Golden Ticket this week too – it’s great to see another long list of student names!

Please keep an eye open for the Millthorpe Messenger which will be in your inboxes over the weekend – we love to share our good news, so if you’d like to submit a news story, please email

Wishing you all a lovely half-term break and I’ll look forward to seeing everyone back on Monday 6 November for an ‘A’ week.

With best wishes,

Gemma Greenhalgh

Online homework

We have been very impressed with how diligently our students have applied themselves to their homework so far this academic year. At Key Stage 3, most homework is set online and at Key Stage 4, students should expect a variety of homework tasks – some online and some offline. We use a variety of platforms for the online homework but everything is accessed via Google Classroom. 

We have received some feedback about Seneca, which is one of the platforms we use. Please ensure that your child is logging on using the single sign on via Google. This means that they log in using their school GMail account (ending and therefore does not require a password. If your child has had any issues with Seneca, it is likely that they have been logging in using a username and password. If they use the single sign on option via Google, this should solve the problem.

Please see the attached document which is a guide for parents/carers, so that you can see what homework your child is completing on Seneca.

Please note that Seneca has advertisements built into its software which may invite you to pay for a tutor in a certain subject. You are absolutely not expected to do this. Any help and support that your child may require will be provided by their teachers so please do not think that we are encouraging you to pay for online tutoring. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any concerns about their progress in a particular subject.

Finally, if your child has any issues with completing their homework that is beyond their control, please either write a note in their planner or email their teacher to explain the issue and they will not be sanctioned for incomplete homework. The library and PC1 are available every lunchtime and after school every day (apart from Wednesdays after school due to staff training) if your child would prefer to complete their homework in school or has issues with access to devices or reliable internet connection.

Winter break/lunchtime arrangements

Form tutors explained the winter plans for break and lunch to their tutees this week and showed them a video which clearly explains where they need to enjoy their social time after half term. If you would like to take a look, or your child(ren) would like to have another watch of the video, it is available here Winter Plans – YouTube.

This is in place to ensure that everything is calm, safe, sensible and supervised.

Morning form time will be extended on the first day back after half term so that students can be reminded of the plans and watch the video again, and as always, staff on duty will be understanding if it takes the students a few days to get used to the new arrangements. We just ask that they respond positively to any polite reminders.

Platform for communicating with parents

As noted in previous emails, we were hoping by now to be able to share more information with you about your child’s positive contribution in lessons. However, we have run into difficulties with the IT platform we intended to use. We’re working hard to resolve this as quickly as possible and will let you know when we’re able to start communicating in this way. In the meantime, we’ll continue to let you know about students who achieve golden tickets and other forms of recognition for their great work and effort and you can check your own child’s planner to see how many positive stamps they’ve been given and by whom.

School uniform reminder

Thank you to all those who have continued to look smart in their uniforms as the school year progresses. We have seen a few lapses, particularly relating to footwear and jewellery, so ahead of next half term, a few reminders:

  • Trainers must not be worn as school shoes, unless a medical footwear pass is already in place. Where trainers are permitted for medical reasons, they must be all black.
  • Minimal jewellery is allowed, specifically one stud only in each ear and one ring. If students are seen wearing more items of jewellery, they will be confiscated. Repeated confiscation will result in a request for parents/carers to come in to school to collect the item(s).
  • No nose piercings are allowed. If your child has a nose piercing a clear plastic retainer should be used. As the majority of piercing shops state that a nose piercing should not be removed for a number of weeks before it heals, please speak to your child about waiting to get a nose piercing.

Thank you in advance for your support with maintaining a high standard of uniform. We would much rather focus our energy on conversations related to learning and wellbeing instead of having to remind students about the uniform policy.

Full details about school uniform requirements can be found here.

Millthorpe Remembers

Students in all year groups have attended assemblies this week about Remembrance. The history of the poppy and how they are made was explained to the students by Mrs Bowland and Mrs Lingard (Heads of History). Arthur Kay in Year 11 also read ‘In Flanders Fields’ as part of the assembly.

All students have the opportunity to get a poppy from school and are also asked to make a poppy for our display.

We will be holding a two-minutes silence on Friday 10 November, as Remembrance Day falls on a Saturday this year.

Post-16 open evenings

Year 11 students and their families are invited to the following events:

National Saturday Art Club

National Saturday Art Club starts at York St John University on Saturday 25 November.

This is an exciting opportunity for students in Years 8, 9, 10 & 11 (age 13 to 16) to experience a range of different artistic techniques led by expert professional artists. The club has an ‘immersive arts’ focus which means they combine fine art and drama techniques as the focus for most sessions. Students get full access to the arts facilities on the York St John campus which is a great opportunity for exposure to university study. In the summer, participants have the opportunity to go on a trip to London to see their work exhibited at the National Saturday Club’s Summer Show. The trip, as well as all sessions, is free and fully funded.

This is a popular club available to students across the city with limited places. Interested student must sign up as soon as possible, which can be done by following the QR code on the poster below or through this link.

The deadline for sign up is mid-November.

Elf the Musical rehearsals

Thank you to everyone for your hard work this half term – we’ve made a lot of progress and the play is starting to look great – well done! Please can those with lines do their best to learn these over the holiday?

Rehearsals for the first week back after the break are as follows:

  • Monday 6 November, 3.30-4.15pm: all singers, please come to the Drama Hall.
  • Tuesday 7 November, 3.30-4.30pm: Full cast to run through Act One and recap all of our work from before we broke up for the holiday.
  • Thursday 9 November, 3.30-4.30pm: All principals and New Yorkers to finish blocking Act One, particularly ‘A Christmas Song’.

Allied Health Professional careers

Are you interested in a career as an Allied Health Professional? These are roles that play a crucial role in helping patients live their lives as fully as possible. There are 15 different roles ranging from Paramedics, Physiotherapists and Radiographers, to Art and MusicTherapists.

#WakeUpWednesday – A Parent and Carer guide to Five Nights at Freddy’s

To chime with Hallowe’en, this week sees the release of a cinematic adaptation of Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNaF) – a suspenseful series of horror games which, despite their 12+ age rating, have gained significant popularity with younger children.

With one gaming journalist describing the franchise’s original entry as “hands down … the most terrifying game I have played in my life”, FNaF blends an unsettling atmosphere with jump scares and creepy characters.

Have a look at the handy guide from National Online Safety if you are concerned about your child playing this game.


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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