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Weekly email – 23 February 2024

2024 > February > 23 > Weekly email – 23 February 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

This week seems to have galloped by! It has been lovely to have everyone back in school after the half-term break and I hope you all had a good week and enjoyed some of the first signs of spring.

During the half-term break, some of our students enjoyed a four-day trip to Krakow, Poland. I’m told it was an incredible, thought-provoking and emotional trip and that the students were an absolute credit to the school. A big thank you to the staff team who made the trip possible by accompanying the students.

This week, our SEND team held the first network meeting, welcoming a number of families into school to chat with the SEND team and hear from two external speakers. You can read more below in our SEND update. We also held our Careers Fair for students in Years 7-10 this week, which saw a number of employers and post-16 providers come in to school to share their advice and knowledge with our students. Thanks to everyone who organised and supported this event which is a vital part of our Careers programme.

I very much enjoyed meeting with those students who were nominated by their faculty to enjoy ‘hot chocolate with the head’ earlier today, including Sky, Charlotte, Louie, Gabriel, Sam and James. Well done to all of you!

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the sun keeps shining! 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: Performance
Conversation starters

  • Drama: Devised Drama – students are exploring different types of Movement-based Theatre, including Mime, Silent Movies, Stage Combat and Physical Theatre – please do ask them for a demonstration at home.
  • PE: Boys are doing handball or basketball and girls are currently doing dance or rugby.
  • Music: African Drumming – Why is a good knowledge of rhythm notation important when performing African Drumming music?

Year 8 – Faculty: Global
Conversation starters

  • Computing: We’ve been learning about logic gates (AND / NOT / OR) and how these can be combined to make logic circuits. We’ve completed truth tables which represent the input and output of logic gates/circuits.
  • German: We are talking about how we can live healthily.
  • French: We are describing where we live.

Year 9 – Faculty: Maths
Conversation starter

What is the difference between a mixed number and an improper fraction? When might one be more useful than the other? Can you explain, with a diagram, how to convert between a mixed number and an improper fraction? Now explain how to do this with an algebraic fraction. How many fraction to decimal conversions do you confidently know eg 0.5 = ½?
Year 10 – Faculty: Creative
Conversation starter

  • Engineering: Following a theory unit on the Impacts of Engineering on Society and the Environment, our engineers have just started a practice Unit 1 NEA to gain skills on the metal work lathe, orthographic drawings, detailed time plans and risk assessment. In the coming weeks, please ask them to show you their Google Slides folders and encourage them to add detail during homework time.
  • DT (3D Design/Graphics/Textiles): Students are continuing their Component 1 coursework. Please ask your child about which theme they have chosen and what they are going to do on this. Tasks to be continued at home.
  • Food Preparation & Nutrition: Students have continued to extend their range of cooking techniques and dishes. They have also been focussing on theory and practice exam questions. Please ask our Food Prep students about the dishes and cooking techniques they have studied and encourage them to get involved with food prep at home. They might be able to give you a night off cooking dinner!
  • Child Development: Students are steadily working through their RO59 coursework. Please ask them about this and support them to think about the themes and encourage them to draft any work they would like to add to their folder in the next lesson.

Year 11 – Faculty: Humanities
Conversation starter

  • Ethics: We’re looking at prejudice and discrimination.
  • History: Why did Elizabeth keep Mary Queen of Scots prisoner for 19 years? Did she officially consent to Mary’s execution?
  • Geography: How can the development gap be closed with tourism in Tunisia?

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.

Year 11 trip to Krakow, Poland

In the early hours of the morning of Friday 9 February, 45 Year 11 students, accompanied by Mr Baybutt, Mrs Cole, Mrs Cooper, Mr Wright and Miss Webb, set off to Krakow, Poland, for a four-day trip. Their trip included visits to the Galicia Jewish museum, Krakow Salt Mines, Schindler’s Factory and Auschwitz-Birkenau. After several days of culture, learning and emotionally charged reflection, the trip ended with a visit to an indoor water park, where the students enjoyed themselves on the rides and slides, or simply relaxed in the jacuzzi, before returning home last Monday. This was an incredible experience for them all which they will always remember and all of them behaved impeccably throughout.

We will publish a full account of the trip in the Millthorpe Messenger at the end of term.

SEND update

SEND Network: Nibble and Natter
Thanks to all the families who joined us at our SEND network event this week. Thanks also to Laura Brown from City of York Council for outlining the Local Offer (see below) and to Kate Frankish who explained what AdAstra has to offer. Feedback from the first event has been overwhelmingly positive. If you didn’t manage to give us feedback on the evening, please feel free to email us:

The SEND team enjoyed catching up with parents and families and are looking forward to welcoming everyone to the next Nibble and Natter in the summer term.

Local Offer
Following the Nibble and Natter event, we wanted to signpost you again to the York Local Offer website.

The aims of the Local Offer service are to:

  • Provide top tips for children and young people growing up in York.
  • Provide support and opportunities for children and young people as they get older.
  • Provide support Education, Health and Social Care services for parent carers.
  • Improve services for parents/carers and their children with special educational needs and/or disabilities; we’ll work in joint partnership to make a difference.
  • Provide links to the local and national offer available to you and your family to support emotionally, financially and in times of need.
  • Support you on your journey with SEND by working together with families and providing a list of resources, one-page guides and key information.
  • Supply information around post-16 education, preparing for and getting into work, transitioning to adulthood and living an independent life.
  • Give professionals a range of local policies and guidance for those working with children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities as well as a range of up-to-date national policies and guidance.
  • Help you to access local processes quickly when you need them, including safeguarding procedures, request for assessments and more.
  • Provide resources for Early Years professionals, school and setting professionals, health and social care professionals.

At the SEND Network event yesterday Laura Brown also signposted the Universal Offer Calendar which outlines all training and advice available to families and professionals. The Universal Offer is updated every term and is shown by month.

SEND contact
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: in the first instance. There’s also lots of useful information on the school website.

City of York Council SEND survey

As part of its SEND improvement work, City of York Council are currently refreshing the SEND Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for York and the Joint Commissioning Strategy which will set the priorities for joint commissioning across the local authority and health. A really important aspect of this work is to get the voice of key stakeholders, so they are asking parents of children with SEND to complete their survey.

This survey will inform the current Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and Joint Commissioning Strategy whilst helping them to understand what is working well and what changes can be made in regards to the Special Educational Needs and/or Disability system.

Please complete the survey honestly, and if possible, provide practical examples of how you feel positive changes can be made to the system.

The survey will end on Wednesday 6 March.

Take the survey.

Fundraising for charity

Last term, our student leaders organised a non-uniform day to raise funds for the Millie Wright Children’s Charity. The final total raised was a phenomenal £912.75.

Some of our student leaders presented a cheque to Naomi Heaton who is a TA at Millthorpe and also a volunteer for the charity.

You can find out more about the Millie Wright Children’s Charity here.

Careers Fair

On Wednesday, we held a very successful Careers Fair in our Sports Hall. Twenty-five companies were represented from across a variety of different professions, with over 40 representatives attending to support the Careers education of our students.

As part of our Careers programme, we want to ensure that students in Years 7-10 have meaningful encounters with employers and so it was wonderful to see our students engaged and interested in the many different careers options available to them. The employers were incredibly impressed with the students, feeding back that they were polite, respectful, interested and asked some really challenging questions.

Thank you to all colleagues who supported the event, to all the students for their wonderful engagement and to all the employers who kindly gave up their time to come in to support Millthorpe.

Companies in attendance were: Government Statistical Service (DEFRA) who kindly sent in representatives from two different departments, Enpointe Dance School, Ashtons Estate and Letting Agents, NHS, Indigo Greens, Siemens, Symbiosis Law, Police, SYSTRA, Transpennine Route Upgrade, British Library, Askham Bryan College, York College, Aviva, Ignite Sports Coaching, York St John University, Portakabin, Mott Macdonald, SWARCO, Army, DWP – Job Centre, Benenden Health and our Careers Advisor, Steven McClean.

Back to the Futures Fair

Students in Years 10-13 and their parents are invited to the annual Futures Fair on Monday 4 March from 4.00pm-6.30pm at St Peter’s School.

At the event, you can:

  • Connect with representatives from top universities, gap year providers and organisations and gain valuable insights into different study and career paths.
  • Attend engaging talks, gain expert advice, and unlock exciting possibilities for your future!

Please click here to register your attendance.

Job of the week – Firefighter

We continue our series of ‘Job of the Week’ posts, with a look at what a job as a Firefighter might look like. Firefighters respond to emergency situations in order to protect people, the environment and property. They also help to increase people’s knowledge of fire safety to prevent fires. This can be a full-time job or on an on-call basis alongside other work.

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

Free career tasters for students

Ahead of National Careers Week (4-9 March 2024), InvestIn are hosting another series of free online career tasters for students aged 12-18. These interactive sessions serve as a great introduction to a range of industries, while giving students an opportunity to hear from a professional and participate in an interactive career simulation.

To find out more and to register, please click here or students can find the link in their Google Classroom.

GCSE Dance

Any students who would be interested in GCSE Dance can find out more from En Pointe Studios who offer this during term time, on a Saturday from 6.00-8.00pm. Further information can be obtained on their website or by emailing:

#WakeUpWednesday – online dating and relationships

A number of teen online dating apps have emerged over the past few years – and the most popular of these recently hit a huge one million users worldwide. With some teens spending more time online than with their friends – young people are increasingly using the internet to meet new people and form relationships.

Unfortunately, making friends and dating online can come with serious issues – from catfishing, to scammers, to stalking and harassment. With the inherent risk that users might also arrange face-to-face meetups, it’s easy to see how these services can present a range of online safety risks to their young audience. This WakeUpWednesday guide dives into online dating and relationships, detailing the associated risks and offering tools and strategies to keep your child safer online.


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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