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Weekly email – 9 February 2024

2024 > February > 09 > Weekly email – 9 February 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

It has been a very short half term, but it feels like we have packed a great deal into five weeks!

Thanks to all those parents/carers of our Year 10 students who came into school earlier this week for Parents Evening. It was great to see so many of you. And thank you to Dolce, our catering partners for providing a ‘Taste of the Orient’ menu this week to mark Chinese New Year – the food was amazing!

At 2.00am this morning, 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 includes 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 ends with a visit to an indoor water park, where the students can enjoy themselves on the rides and slides, or simply relax in the jacuzzi, before returning home on Monday. This will be an incredible experience for them all which I am sure they will always remember.

I hope you all have a lovely half-term break. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some better weather! We reopen on Monday 19 February with an ‘A’ 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: Humanities
Conversation starters
  • RE: What was Jesus like?
  • History: How did William I (the Conqueror) secure control of England from 1066-1086?  What was the most effective form of control? Castles, crushing rebellions including the Harrying of the North (ask them about the impact on York and why William built two castles in our city), Feudal System, Domesday Book, controlling religion, replacing Saxon landowners with Normans etc.
  • Geography:  What is a meander?
Year 8 – Faculty: Science
Conversation starters
Classes are studying a variety of topics in Block 3 Adaptation and Inheritance, Separating Mixtures & Electricity and Magnetism. Students are studying Adaptation and Inheritance – you can ask: what information does DNA carry? Students studying Separating Mixtures can be asked: how can we obtain a pure substance? Students studying Electricity can be asked: how does electricity travel in a circuit?Year 9 – Faculty: English
Conversation starters
What makes an excellent piece of descriptive writing? Preparing for our half-term assessment, we have been practising this very important skill that will go on to be so important in the GCSE years! Ask your child what different language features and punctuation they could use to construct the most amazing piece of work.Year 10 – Faculty: Performance
Conversation starters

  • Drama: Scripted Drama – ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell. How can we perfect a Scouse accent? How is the context of the play reflected in the content and characters?
  • Core PE: Boys are doing rugby or badminton, and girls are doing football or dance.
  • GCSE PE: Students are learning about the Anatomy and Physiology of the Cardio-Respiratory System.
  • Music: What is the difference between melodic and harmonic devices and how can we use these to compose music?
 Year 11 – Faculty: Global
Conversation starters
  • German: We are discussing world issues such as poverty, homelessness and the environment and what we can all do to contribute to a healthy society.
  • French: We are learning how to talk about problems in the world and preparing for our listening PPE by working on our listening skills.
  • Computer Science: We are recalling previous topics in preparation for our PPEs.

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.

SEND Network: Nibble and Natter

Parents and carers, particularly those with children with SEND, are invited to a nibble and natter event on Thursday 22 February from 4.00-5.00pm in the school library. This will be a ‘coffee morning’ style event where you can connect with the SEND team in a relaxed setting.

At the event, Laura Brown from City of York Council will showcase the new York SEND Local Offer website. The Local Offer outlines the services and activities available to children and young people with SEND, offering support from birth to 25 years old. The website provides valuable information for families at every stage of their journey, covering topics such as understanding Special Educational Needs, available support with or without a diagnosis, and insights into the preparations for adulthood for young people with disabilities.

There will be tea, coffee and nibbles! All parents/carers are welcome.

SEND Reviews
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.

Post-16 options event

We were delighted to welcome our local post-16 providers into school last week to support our Year 11s. The students were given an opportunity to speak to the providers about their options for when they leave Millthorpe and get advice on submitting their applications. Some Year 9 and 10 students attended a drop-in session at lunchtime and parents and careers were invited to attend after school.

Thank you to all the providers for giving up their time to support the event. If your child needs any support with their post-16 applications, please contact Miss Watts.

Careers Fair

On Wednesday 21 February we will welcome more than 20 companies and employers into school to support our Careers Fair. During the course of the day, students will visit the Careers Fair in groups and have the chance to meet with the employers, investigate what the different professions entail and what qualifications they need to work in that discipline. We’ll be talking about employability skills and what attributes employers are looking for in the world of work.

We are fortunate to be supported by a range of private and public sector employers across a wide range of interests including: Government Statistical Service (DEFRA), Enpointe Dance School, Ashtons Estate and Letting Agents, NHS, Indigo Greens, Siemens, Symbiosis Law, Police, SYSTRA, Trans Pennine Route Upgrade, Northern College of Acupuncture, British Library, IPEX, York College, Aviva, Ignite Sports Coaching, York St John University, Portakabin, Hippo Digital, Mott Macdonald, SWARCO, Army and the DWP (Job Centre). We are really looking forward to welcoming them into school.

Job of the week – Employment Advisor

Our job of the week this week looks at employment and how you can support others to get a job. An Employment Advisor helps people learn about, find and prepare for employment. They work in schools, job centres, libraries and other community spaces. For more information on becoming an Employment Advisor you can watch this video.


When children return after half term, could we please ask that you check that they have all the stationery they need? As a minimum, students should have black or blue pens, pencils, ruler, green pen (for peer and self-assessment and improving their work/acting on their teacher’s feedback), maths set and a scientific calculator. They can also bring additional stationery such as highlighters, rubbers, felt tips etc if they wish.

Eco Laundry – donations needed!

Our Eco Laundry provides affordable items of preloved uniform, all of which are clean and in excellent condition. We are however in need of stock again, so if you have been having a clear out over the Christmas break, we would like to ask you to donate your unwanted uniform and PE kits please. We will also gratefully receive any donations of revision guides.

Uniform and books can be brought into the School Office any weekday between 8.00am – 4.00pm. Thank you in advance!

Millthorpe makes a noise about bullying

Mrs Price, Subject Lead for Design Technology, has been working with a group of students in our extra curricular Creative Club to produce a permanent display around the theme of zero tolerance towards bullying.

The display has used origami peace cranes which were made during last term’s Anti Bullying Week by the vast majority of our school community.

UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) advice on National Measles Incident

You may be aware that the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has declared a national incident following measles outbreaks in London and West Midlands. Please take a look at this advice from UKHSA, which details symptoms, what to do if you think a family member has contracted measles and vaccination.

#WakeUpWednesday – A parent and carer guide to Monkey (or Monkey Cool)

Online video calling with random strangers – it’s hardly a new internet phenomenon, but the recent demise of Omegle has prompted the creation of several similar platforms bidding to fill the vacuum. One such contender is Monkey, a service that randomly connects its users for video calls, using their mobile numbers and Snapchat account details.

Monkey has surged in popularity since Omegle’s shutdown in November 2023; visits to the site more than doubled within a month and have been climbing steadily ever since. Regrettably, it also seems that Monkey suffers from many of the same pitfalls as its notorious predecessor. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide from National Online Safety highlights these possible risks to young people in more detail.

The app has been removed from the App Store due to safety concerns, but can still be viewed in a web browser, and it is still available on Google Play. It has an age restriction of 17, but this is easily bypassed as there is no age verification so young people can simply enter a fake date of birth.

Please take a look at the guide.


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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