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Weekly email – 8 December 2023

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

It’s been another busy week with lots of activities taking place in the lead up to the Christmas holidays. Here’s a few dates for your diary:

  • We’re looking forward to seeing parents/carers of our Year 8 students at Parents Evening on Wednesday 13 December.
  • Christmas dinner for those who have booked a ticket takes place on Friday 15 December.
  • All donations for our Christmas Charity Appeal should be brought into school by Friday 15 December please.
  • Elf the Musical takes to the stage on 18, 19 and 20 December. More information about the final week of rehearsals and how to get tickets can be found below.
  • The last day of term is Wednesday 20 December as school will be closed to students on 21 and 22 December for Teacher Training Days.
  • School reopens after the Christmas holidays on Monday 8 January 2024.

I’m blown away with how many Golden Tickets: Academic have been awarded this week – more than 200, with a handful of students getting two, and even three, tickets. Well done to you all.

Congratulations also to those students nominated by their faculty to have hot chocolate with me today, including Sofia, Olivia, Pixie, Jessica, Lewis, Lara, Leo and Queenie. Great to see you all.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend. I’ll look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Monday for a ‘B’ week.

With best wishes,

Gemma Greenhalgh

Non-uniform day

Today we held a non-uniform day in aid of the Millie Wright Children’s Charity. This charity was chosen by the student leaders as it is one personal to some of them.

Students paid £1 to come to school in non-uniform and we’re delighted that so far, the total raised is a fantastic £672. Anyone still wishing to donate can do so via ParentPay.

Well done to our student leaders, Esther, Alex, Ursula and Ella for organising the day and thank you to everyone who has donated.

Personal Development lessons

To date, we have informed parents/carers about the content of the upcoming unit of work in Personal Development (PD). Moving forward, prior to the beginning of every new topic, we will continue to routinely inform parents/carers about the content of PD lessons for the next half term and give you the opportunity to discuss any concerns with our PD leader, Miss Watts or Mrs Boyd, Assistant Headteacher.

You can see the relevant letter below for key content which will be covered for each year group this half-term.

The letters also contain a link to the school’s Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) policy which provides further information regarding the teaching of RSHE which will be delivered at points during the year.

Final call for Readathon sponsorships

Thank you to those of you who have kindly sponsored your child in their Readathon. The money will help children in hospitals throughout the UK, and will also improve our school library.

We have not managed to beat last year’s total yet so this is a final call for any further kind sponsorships/donations. The easiest way to do this is online here.

Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal

Following on from Ms Greenhalgh’s assembly last week, and the culture curriculum session this week which was written by some of our Student Leaders, the Millthorpe Christmas Charity Appeal has now launched.

Once again we are delighted to support RAY (Refugee Action York)SASH and Carecent, three local charities working to support the homeless and some of the most in need in our community.

The list of items the charities have requested can be seen here. All donations should be brought into school by Friday 15 December at the latest please, so that our Student Leaders can organise all the donations ready for collection.

Thank you in advance for your support.

The Student Leadership Team

Corridor passes

In an effort to better support students in navigating the school environment and avoiding congestion in high-traffic areas, we introduced the early corridor pass. However, we’ve noticed that the current five-minute duration is resulting in a significant number of students arriving at their next classroom three minutes ahead of schedule and subsequently waiting in the corridor. This current system means that students are missing important portions of lessons where teachers are summarising learning.

As such, we are implementing a more refined approach by adjusting the corridor pass duration to two minutes. This modification aims to provide students with a timely head start to navigate the corridors during less busy periods. Students will now have the opportunity to begin packing up three minutes before the class ends, and staff members will grant them permission to leave two minutes prior to the bell. This adjustment is intended to enhance the efficiency of our corridor pass system, ensuring that students can move between classes seamlessly without sacrificing valuable learning time.

SEND network

Thank you to all those parents/carers who came along to our SEND network meeting on Monday. Unfortunately, Laura Brown from City of York Council was unable to attend due to illness, but it was still great to catch up with everyone who popped in for a chat.

We will be holding SEND network meetings each term and hope that Laura will be able to come along to our next session. We will be in touch in the new year with further dates.

If you have any SEND enquiries, please email:

Guest speaker welcomed into school

We were delighted to welcome Keira Moulds into school this week. Keira, who is Deputy Director of Primary Care for the NHS, came into school to talk to our Year 10s about her career pathway to date and what her top tips would be for our students moving towards making their post-16 choices.

Keira talked about her background, of being ‘Yorkshire through and through’ and her desire to be a solicitor. She also talked about how she didn’t feel the need to join a ‘big’ firm and that she was happy practising law on behalf of the smaller firms. In 2008 she moved to the Care Quality Commission’s legal team before taking up her post in the NHS. As the fourth biggest employer in the world, she highlighted the vast array of people who choose to work there and the diverse backgrounds they come from. In her team alone, there was a social worker, a teacher and, believe it or not, a former set manager from Strictly Come Dancing! In other words, what you choose to do now doesn’t have to be what you do all your life.

Keira finished her talk by sharing the advice she wished she’d been given as a teenager:

  • follow what you enjoy rather than what you think people expect you to do;
  • what you are good at now might not be what you are interested in ten years from now;
  • a career is a career at all levels, not just at management or director level;
  • no-one owes you anything – you have to work hard to progress to where you want to be.

Keira then took part in a small group Q & A where 20 students stayed behind to ask questions about career paths and ask for more personal advice.

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome Keira into school and we thank her for her time.

Elf the Musical tickets and rehearsals

Next week is the last week of rehearsals before Elf the Musical hits the stage on 18, 19 and 20 December.

Tickets are now on sale at £3 each via Parentpay. On booking, you will need to pick the day of your choice and tickets will be delivered to students via their form tutors.

We hope everyone is feeling excited and looking forward to what is gong to be a wonderful end to term – Mrs Sladen can’t wait to watch you perform!

Arrangements for this final week of rehearsals are as follows:

Monday 11 December: No rehearsal after school as staff have a meeting.

Tuesday 12 December: Full Cast Rehearsal – Main Hall – 3.30-6.00pm

Wednesday 13 December: We are performing in assembly – students should come straight to the Main Hall at 8.30am to get into costume and Mrs Sladen will register you there. Students will then go to their normal lessons for the rest of the day after assembly.

No rehearsal after school as it is Year 8 parents evening.

Thursday 14 December: We are performing in assembly again – morning arrangements as above.

This is our technical rehearsal day, which means that students will not be in normal lessons for the rest of the day – we will be rehearsing and making the finishing touches to the show with lighting, sound and costume throughout the day. Students will be able to have lunch at the normal time, but will need to bring drinks and snacks to keep them going throughout the day as they will be using a lot of energy! We will rehearse until 4.30pm on this day.

Friday 15 December: We are performing in assembly – morning arrangements as above.

This is our dress rehearsal day and first performance, which means that students will not be in normal lessons for the rest of the day. We will be rehearsing and then performing with full lighting, sound and costume to a hall full of Year 5/6 students from local primary schools. As above, students will be able to have lunch at the normal time, but will need to bring drinks and snacks. We will rehearse until 4.30pm on this day.

In this final week it is incredibly important that everyone attends all rehearsals if we are going to make sure that the performance is the very best it can possibly be . . . and it could be amazing!!

Thank you, as always, for all of your hard work.

Music – singing lessons

We have a new singing teacher, Dr Alisun Pawley, starting at Millthorpe in January. If you are interested in your child receiving singing lessons, please get in touch with Alisun directly at

YIK’s Parent Carer Forum

To find out more about events and support available from the YIK Parent Carer Forum, please take a look at their latest newsletter here.

#WakeUpWednesday – Disney+

Disney+ is enjoyed by children and adults alike, but there are a few pitfalls to be aware of. This week’s handy guide from National Online Safety explores these so that you can ensure that your family viewing is suitable for all. 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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