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Weekly email – 2 February 2024

2024 > February > 02 > Weekly email – 2 February 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

Thanks to everyone, students and staff, who has made this week such a lovely week. As ever, lots has happened, but the moments that filled me with an overwhelming sense of pride occurred during this week’s assemblies. I was so impressed with how mature, thoughtful and respectful students were, as Mr Baybutt talked to them about Holocaust Memorial Day.

We’re looking forward to welcoming parents/carers of our Year 10 students into school next week for Parents Evening. This will take place on Wednesday 7 February. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Here are some photos of those students who enjoyed hot chocolate with Mr Baybutt last Friday, after being nominated by their faculty, including: Leo, Thomas, Manee, Rowan, Emily, Harry, Griffin, Hal, Samuel, Grace, Yana and Lennon.




A reminder that we have just one more week in school before the half-term break. School will close at the end of the school day on Friday 9 February, for a week and we reopen on Monday 19 February.

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?

Please see below to find out what your child has been learning about recently in order to have productive discussions about their education:

Year 7 – Faculty: Global
Conversation starters

  • Computing: We have continued to learn how to convert binary to base 10 and vice versa and add binary numbers together.
  • German and French: We are describing where we live and finding out about how people in the target language countries live.

Please ask your child about these topics.

Year 8 – Faculty: Maths
Conversation starter
Draw or describe a distance time graph for any journeys you have made recently. Can you work out how fast you were going?

Year 9 – Faculty: Creative
Conversation starters

  • Design & Technology – Year 9 are all continuing their studies of Emerging Technology and their applications. Please ask your child which discipline they are currently doing (Product Design, Graphics, Textiles or Food Prep & Nutrition) and ask about the Modern Technology and materials they have studied and what product they are making. Projects/Disciplines change at the end of this half-term.
  • Fine Art – Year 9 are currently working in sketchbooks, planning colour schemes before painting their kiln fired ceramic pot (Unit 1 & 2 ‘The Creative Journey’ – Clay Monster Pots). Our focus for sketchbook work is ‘personal progress’ with students developing their use of different media and mark making techniques. Year 9 artists will return to our Key Stage 3 Curriculum ‘Art & Issues’ thread before Easter. We will learn about Contemporary Art which engages viewers in issues including body image, gender equality, LGBTQ+, Pride, Feminism, #Metoo, Women’s Rights, Environmentalism, Politics, Anti-Racism, Islamophobia, Unity, Displacement/Refugee, Inclusivity, Black Lives Matter, Poverty, Inequality, Anti-War/Peace & Animal Rights. Looking at and discussing the work of street artist Banksy with your child would be great preparation!

Year 10 – Faculty: Humanities
Conversation starters

  • Ethics: Revising for their end of unit test on Islamic Beliefs and teachings. What can your child tell you about these topics?
  • History: Why did the USSR not veto UN involvement in the Korean War? Was the involvement of UN forces a cover for America (and President Truman’s) desire to contain Communism? Why did the Korean War become an international crisis rather than a domestic crisis?
  • Geography: Improving life for the Urban Poor – Favelas in Rio. What can your child tell you about the Favelas?

Year 11 – Faculty: Science
Conversation starters
This week students have been preparing for their upcoming PPEs. We have been giving students feedback and areas to improve on their PPEs which they sat in November. We have been delivering lessons on key areas of the specification that are often examined. We have been preparing students for another Paper 1 exam. The Paper 1 topics that will be assessed in the coming weeks are:

  • Biology: topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
  • Chemistry: topics 1–5: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
  • Physics: topics 1–4: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

We hope that you will find this information useful when talking to your child about their learning.

Additionally, you might want to take a look at the curriculum section of our website which has lots more information about what your child is, has, or will be learning over the academic year.

KS4 Knowledge Organisers

We are pleased to share with you our ‘Knowledge Organisers’ for most KS4 subjects. Knowledge Organisers can be used in the classroom (and at home) as reference tools that students can return to as often as they need to for an effective means of categorising and processing key information, and as building blocks for the long-term retention of subject-specific knowledge. They also make an excellent starting point for revision. As parents and carers you can also use them as a quizzing tool to question and explore topics with your child/children.

You can find the Knowledge Organisers on our website.

This week’s assembly – Holocaust Memorial Day

Holocaust Memorial Day was on Saturday 27 January, so this week, Mr Baybutt delivered assemblies to students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 11 (Year 10 had an external speaker booked).

The theme this year was “the fragility of freedom” and students explored the impact of the Holocaust by studying a toddler’s shoe. Ask your child about it! Every single student listened intently and respectfully, and we were incredibly proud of their conduct during an assembly on a difficult topic.

SEND reviews

A reminder that SEND Reviews this term will take place on 14 March, further information to follow. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns about SEND provision, please contact: send@millthorpe.south in the first instance. There’s also lots of useful information on the school website.

Options Evening presentation

Thank you to all those who came along to the KS4 Options Evening last week. The presentation from the evening, together with our Options Brochure, is available on our website. If you have any queries, please contact Mrs Armitage, Deputy Headteacher.

Hair styles and colour

Could we please remind parents/carers that students’ hairstyles must not reflect extremes of fashion and that natural hair colours only are permitted at school.

Guidance about our uniform expectations can be found on our website.

Nut allergy reminder

In the UK around 1 in 200 adults have an allergy to nuts (the figure for young people isn’t as clear because it often goes undiagnosed until later in life) which makes it the most common type of severe food allergy. Some reactions are so extreme that the individual may experience symptoms even if a packet of nuts is opened near to them and accidental contact can cause severe symptoms. We have several students and staff with serious nut allergies and may have more who are currently undiagnosed.

Please can parents/carers be mindful of this when they are putting together snacks and packed lunches? We recognise that many students really enjoy nuts as a snack, but can we politely request that they are not brought into school in support of the students and staff that suffer from this sometimes extreme and potentially dangerous food allergy. We also ask that students refrain from sharing food they have brought in if there is any risk of accidental exposure to nut products.

Ski Trip Parents Evening – Presentation

If you were unable to attend Mr Boothman’s presentation yesterday evening about this year’s ski trip, you can watch a recording here.

Year 7 boys football fixture

Due to the fantastic number of Year 7 boys regularly attending football training on a Friday (often around 30!), Mr Randall is delighted to announce that we have our first friendly B team match after half term. This fixture, which is against Bootham School on Monday 26 February, is for those who have not yet played in a match but are keen to do so. The team sheet is on the Sports Hall display board. Best of luck boys!

Lunch menu w/c 5 February – Taste of the Orient

To mark Chinese New Year, our catering partner, Dolce, are offering a Taste of the Orient menu in the preceding week. You can take a look at what is on offer below.

York College Open Event and Apprenticeship Employer Fair

The next York College Open Evening is on Monday 5 February, 5.30pm to 8pm. As part of this event, to promote their apprenticeship offer and some of the opportunities they have with employers, they are holding an Apprenticeship Employer Fair. Please see below for the businesses that will be attending the event.

To register to attend, please visit Open Event | York College & University Centre

Job of the week – Disaster Manager

This week’s Job of the Week is a Disaster Manager, otherwise known as an Emergency Planner. This role requires planning ahead for emergency situations such as fires, floods, medical emergencies and natural disasters. They make key decisions to ensure that the emergency is dealt with effectively.

For more information on becoming a disaster manager you can watch this video.

#WakeUpWednesday – A Parent and Carer guide to Persuasive Design Online

Apps and sites are all competing for our attention. Over the years, numerous strategies have been developed which are intended to influence users’ behaviour – making us more likely to remain on a site, game or platform for longer periods of time. These techniques are known as ‘persuasive design’ and can have a particularly profound effect on children and young people.

Despite these tactics’ evident effectiveness, there are still plenty of ways to help prevent yourself (and your child) from being psychologically swayed. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide breaks down the potential risks posed by persuasive design online – and offers some top tips for recognising and reducing its impact on young people’s decision making. 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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