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Weekly email – 19 January 2024

2024 > January > 19 > Weekly email – 19 January 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

I hope you are all well and have managed to stay warm this week!

Some of you may be or become aware of a story being run today by Look North about Millthorpe School. The views shared do not reflect in any way the reality of life in Millthorpe; and do not represent the views of the majority of our families: in surveys this year, for example, 98% of parents would recommend Millthorpe to another family.

We’re disappointed that Look North has chosen to air these inaccurate and potentially damaging claims, which undermine the morale of the skilled and dedicated staff who work hard every day to provide an excellent education for all our students with their diverse needs, but also, ultimately, the whole school community. We’re incredibly proud of our school, our staff, our students and our families and we want everyone to be able to focus on our shared aim to enable every student to be the best that they can be, both personally and academically. You can read a copy of the full statement we provided here.

As ever, we encourage all parents/carers to speak to us if they have a concern and for parents/carers of children with SEN, our team can always be contacted by emailing:

Thank you to all those who came along to the Year 9 Parents’ Evening earlier this week. It was lovely to see so many people there and I look forward to seeing you again next week at the Year 9 Options Evening.

Congratulations to our hard-working Year 10 netballers who took an amazing 30-10 victory against Archbishop Holgate’s School earlier this week, and all in a match which was just 30 minutes long! Miss Watts (who was of course thrilled with the result!) said that the girls’ perseverance and training really paid off with some outstanding play. Well done to Eliie who was voted player of the match.

Finally, congratulations to all those students nominated by their faculty to have hot chocolate with me today, including: Ralph, Johnny, Elsa, Morgan, Jemima, Moses, Hannah, Eylul, Ralph and Eddy. It was lovely to spend some time with you and hear about your experiences of school.


















I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday for a ‘B’ Week.

With best wishes,

Gemma Greenhalgh

What is my child learning at the moment?

Thank you for the positive feedback on our “What is my child learning at the moment” section in last week’s email.

We have decided to share with you one topic area, question or quirky fact from each year group each week. This will be on a rotation across our seven faculties (English, Maths, Science, Global Communications, Humanities, Creative and Performance). If your child is not forthcoming about their learning, you can then use this content to open up a conversation.

The aim is to empower you to start conversations with your child(ren) to really find out what they are learning about and perhaps discuss their learning more productively at home.

Please see below for this week’s learning conversation starters:

Year 7 – Faculty: Maths
Conversation starter

Look around you and find ten different shapes for which you know the mathematical name. For which of these shapes can you find the perimeter or area?

Year 8 – Faculty: Creative
Conversation starters

  • Design & Technology – Year 8 are all continuing their cultural studies and designs. Please ask your child which discipline they are currently doing? (Product Design, Graphics, Textiles or Food Prep & Nutrition) And ask about the culture they have studied and what product they are making. New projects/disciplines will start next half-term (19 February).
  • Fine Art – Year 8 are currently adding the final touches (outlines and metallic detailing) to their Celtic style illuminated letters (Unit 1 – Celtic Art – Cross-Cultural Influences). We are looking forward to displaying their beautiful work! Year 8 artists will start a new topic this half-term returning to our Key Stage 3 Curriculum ‘Art & Issues’ thread which explores Ai Wei Wei’s sculpture; ‘Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads’. Looking at and discussing the sculpture with your child would be great preparation!

 Year 9 – Faculty: Humanities
Conversation starters

  • RE – Where did Anti-semitism originate?
  • History – What was the greatest turning point of WW2? Why could Britain “fight on” in 1940? And why did the USA become involved in WW2?
  • Geography – We are learning about how Dubai is developing sustainably in the Middle East. Students should know how Dubai is developing socially, environmentally and economically.

Year 10 – Faculty: Science
Conversation starter

Year 10 are studying a variety of topics for their GCSE Paper 1. In Physics students are learning about the challenging topic of Electricity. In Chemistry students are learning about Structure and Bonding. In Biology students are learning about the structure and function of Body Systems and some students will have been dissecting hearts and lungs.

Year 11 – Faculty: English
Conversation starter

There are four questions in the Reading Section of English Language Paper One – they are based on retrieval, analysis, structure and evaluation. This week we have been revising these questions in preparation for the PPEs. Can your child remember what you have to do for each question and – for a bonus point – how many marks each question is worth?

Please note that there was a small error in last week’s conversation starters for Year 11 Child Development – it should have said: Completing RO59 coursework (deadline 26.01.24). Students should be completing sections in class. From February, theory units prepare for the Feb mock and final exam. Students should be revising (1hr a week).

Post-16 applications

A reminder that the deadlines for applications to sixth forms are coming up at the end of this month. If your child is in Year 11, can you please encourage them to submit their applications as soon as possible as most sixth forms are oversubscribed and won’t accept late applications.

For those applying to York College, students should apply as soon as possible and if at all possible, by the end of February.

If anyone needs any support, they should contact Miss Watts.

Homework leads to progress!

We know from academic research that homework can add up to five months of progress for a young person each year. We have recently analysed the homework completion data for all year groups and the overwhelming majority of our students are doing superbly with their homework and are ensuring that they are making the best progress possible.

Our Homework Policy, with some FAQs can be viewed here.

Your child is receiving regular homework from their teachers and you can help them by doing the following, if you are not already doing so:

  • Check their planner every day. All homework tasks should be written in their planner. 
  • Check their Google Classroom. All homework tasks are uploaded to Google Classroom by their teachers. 
  • Set a specific time aside for your child to complete homework. Encourage them to access the Library or PC1 at lunchtime or after school if there are issues with devices or internet connection.
  • Contact their teachers via email if they have any difficulty in completing homework. 
  • Take an interest in what they are learning and discuss this with them. 
Thank you in advance for your support.

Lockdown preparation

Next Wednesday in form time, we will be letting students know about what we do if we have an emergency lockdown in school because of an external threat, such as an intruder in or near school.

We’ll talk about why we have a lockdown procedure and when we might use it. We’ll also let them know the signal for a lockdown and what they are expected to do when it sounds. This includes not using mobile phones during an emergency and explaining why that is so important.

At the end of form time, we’ll sound the lockdown signal (ten short blasts on the school bell) so they are familiar with it. We will also explain that we will be practising lockdown regularly (once a year) just like we do with fire drills. We will reassure them that emergency situations are thankfully very rare but, just as with fires, we need to be prepared if the worst were to happen, as well as explaining that all schools are expected to have lockdown arrangements and practise them regularly and this isn’t in response to anything in particular.

If you have any questions or concerns, including if you think your child may find such discussions difficult, please contact the school.

Head lice

As a case of head lice has been identified in school, we wanted to inform you so that you can check your child’s hair if you are concerned. Further advice on the treatment of head lice can be found on the NHS website. and over the counter treatments can be purchased at any pharmacy.

‘Time out for Parents’ in collaboration with Family Matters York

We are pleased to be working in collaboration with Family Matters York to deliver workshops for parents/carers. Family Matters, which helps to support, equip and encourage families to make small steps for change in their family relationships, deliver a range of courses to suit families with children of all ages.

Next term, Family Matters will deliver workshops to support parents with teenagers. Entitled ‘Time out for parents: the teenage years’ the sessions will help you to learn more about the changes your teenager is experiencing, how to communicate clearly, ways to stay connected and how to support their wellbeing.

There is an initial online taster session followed by a five-week programme at York High School.

Taster session
This will take place online on 31 January from 7.30-9.00pm. To sign up you will need to contact Mrs Cole E: with your name, email address and a contact number please.

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.

Job of the week – Barber

This week’s ‘Job of the Week’ is a Barber (which means ‘beard’ in Latin). Barbers cut and trim their customers’ beards, moustaches and hair. Around 57% of barbers are self-employed which means they run their own business.

For more information on becoming a barber, you can watch this video.

Apprenticeship Open Event at Derwent Training

Derwent Training are holding an Apprenticeship Open Event on Tuesday 6 February to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. The evening will be on a drop-in basis between 4:30pm and 7pm so there is no need to book.

The evening will give visitors the opportunity to speak to apprentices about their own experience, meet with some of our partner employers and have a look around our specialist training facilities. Further information is on the poster below.

#WakeUpWednesday – Smartphone Safety Tips

This week’s excellent guide from National Online Safety will help almost every parent and carer – Smartphone Safety Tips.

From passcodes to apps, respecting parental controls to disabling geolocation, there is something for every parent/carer who wants to ensure that their child’s mobile phone use remains safe. 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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