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Weekly email – 1 March 2024

2024 > March > 01 > Weekly email – 1 March 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

We were delighted to welcome award-winning children’s author, Christina Gabbitas, into school this week. She spoke to students in Years 8, 9 and 10 about her publications relating to county lines and knife crime, as well as her journey to becoming an author. Christina posted on her social media accounts yesterday: “I had such a warm welcome. The school has an amazing and positive buzz about it, and everybody was so helpful and friendly. The children in all year groups were very engaged with the story, characters, and topic.” This makes me incredibly proud, well done to everyone involved yesterday and thank you to Christina for visiting us.

A reminder that the Year 11 Parents’ Evening will take place on Wednesday 13 March. Further information will be sent to parents/carers in due course.

Congratulations to those students nominated by their faculty to have ‘hot chocolate with the head’ today, including Ralph, Hugo, Raya, Simao, Isaac, Cameron and James.

I hope you all have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday for 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: Creative
Conversation starters
  • Design & Technology: Groups changed teachers this week although they are continuing their studies of Sustainability and the Environment. Please ask your child which discipline they have moved to (Product Design, Graphics, Textiles or Food Preparation & Nutrition), about the environmental factors they have studied and how we can reduce the impact of human activity on our planet. You can also ask them what products they have made.
  • Fine Art: Year 7 have used their African mask research presentations to design their own masks. We have been impressed with the originality of their designs and how they responded to the challenge of incorporating African mask inspired features with their own ideas. Following a lesson to re-visit (or learn for the first time!) clay skills, students were given two hours to make their clay mask. Ask your child about the method we used to join clay, what a slab technique is and how clay is fired.
Year 8 – Faculty: Humanities
Conversation starters
  • RE: Students are considering the meaning of life.
  • Geography: Why should we protect the Holderness coastline?
  • History: How did Clarkson, Wilberforce, Equiano, Prince and others help in the abolition of slavery? Why is it so difficult to name one person as the key individual in the abolition of slavery?
Year 9 – Faculty: Science
Conversation starter

In Science this week Year 9 sat their Standard Assessment Piece and will be receiving feedback on this. You could ask your child how many marks they got and what areas for improvement they have. Students will then be starting their GCSE Science studies – learning about cells, atomic structure and energy.

Year 10 – Faculty: English
Conversation starter

Ask your child if they can tell you the difference between the deserving and the undeserving poor, and how they link to A Christmas Carol. We are within sight of the end of this set text and will be starting to plan for a literature assessment next week.

Year 11 – Faculty: Performance
Conversation starters

  • Drama: Scripted Drama Texts in Practice NEA preparation – performance of two extracts from ‘Things I Know to be True’ by Andrew Bovell in preparation for the final exam on Friday 8 March. Please help students to rehearse and learn their lines at home!
  • PE: Boys are currently on either rugby (Mr Randall’s group) or badminton (Mr Bopthman’s group), and the girls are on fitness (Miss Watts’ group) or football (Miss Lansdall’s group).
  • Music: Exam preparation – what are the musical features of the romantic era? Composition – independent coursework time completing the composition to a brief.

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.

Award-winning author visits Millthorpe

County lines and knife crime were the topics of discussion at Millthorpe this week as students and staff welcomed award-winning author Christina Gabbitas into school.

Christina spent the day with students in Years 8, 9 and 10, delivering workshops in which she talked about her journey to becoming an author and her motivation to write about topics which affect the safety and wellbeing of young people.

Prior to her visit, students spent their form-time ‘Culture Curriculum’ sessions in the previous week discussing county lines and the impact of knife crime on young people. They also watched Christina’s first animated story No More Knives or County Lines. During the workshops, Christina also showed the animated version of her sequel Trapped in County Lines.

The visit came about after Millthorpe School’s Assistant Headteacher for Teaching & Learning, Mr Baybutt, read about Christina’s work in The Press in January this year. He said: “We have been looking for an author to come and speak to our students as part of our whole school reading strategy for some time now, but we wanted it to be the right person, talking about issues that would really resonate with our students.”

In the last lesson of the day, students who attend extra-curricular reading or writing clubs were invited to attend a further workshop with Christina where they worked together to write a poem based on the story and what they had learned. This will be published in due course.

You can read the full story here.

Mobile phones

We are aware that young people are part of groups on social media platforms such as WhatsApp/Snapchat and whilst most of these allow young people to communicate with their friends in a positive way, some can be used in order to send images/messages that are not appropriate for young people.

Please can we ask for your support in managing these groups, by continuing to monitor your child’s phone use regularly.

You can refer to the Parent Support padlet on our website for support with managing your child’s phone use and online safety.

SEND news

This term’s SEND reviews for students on the SEND register will take place on 14 MarchPlease look out for an email next week about booking an appointment to talk to the SEND team.

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.

You can also take a look at the support available for parents on the Local Offer website: Universal Offer Calendar

A message from our Student Leaders – Non-uniform Day

Dear parents and carers,

We are happy to announce that we will be holding a non-uniform day on 8 March to support the charity “Equality Now” in light of International Women’s Day. This charity campaigns for legal and systemic change to address violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world.

International Women’s Day is a UN officially recognised day which aims to not only recognise women for their achievements without regard to divisions, but also to call for the further positive advancement for women. This year’s theme is “Inspire Inclusion”, aiming to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion.

Equality Now is a large charity and, working directly with the UN, they contributed to changing twelve laws and policies globally, in one year alone. Laws in 2021 were set to benefit 1,573,000 women and girls.

If you are interested in further reading about these topics, please visit the following pages:

If students wish to participate in non-uniform day they can either bring the suggested £1 donation in on the day and give it to their form tutor or donations can be made on ParentPay.

The Student Leaders

‘An Invisible Man’ presents YOLO

On Monday, Year 10 will watch a Theatre in Education performance called YOLO and then attend a workshop that looks at risky behaviour. The workshop will support the work being done in Personal Development lessons and focuses on grooming, self-harm, drug taking and consuming alcohol.

The sessions will be delivered by An Invisible Man theatre company who have done a lot of work with the school in the past. We have always found this performance of YOLO to be hugely impactful.

Uniform and clothing donations

If you are planning a spring clean and declutter, would you please look out for any items of preloved school uniform which your child/ren no longer wear? We are once again running low of stock in our Eco Laundry so any items of school uniform would be gratefully received.

Also, as we are now approaching prom season, if anyone has any dresses, suits or accessories, we would love to add these to our ‘promdrobe’.

Donations can be dropped off at main reception during school opening hours. Many thanks in advance!

Year 11 prom

The date for this year’s prom will be announced in assembly next week so we know our Year 11s will undoubtedly start to get excited about their outfits!

Preloved prom wear will be available to purchase/rent from our ‘promdrobe’ in the main hall on Thursday 14 March from 3.30-5.00pm. Please do come along to have a look.

Duke of Edinburgh

On Tuesday, Year 10 students had an assembly introducing them to the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, which provides a range of valuable and enjoyable opportunities and experiences for participants. They were able to pick up a letter, application and medical form if they were interested – copies can also be found in the school office or on our website.

Please return any completed application and medical forms to the school office and make the requested payment on ParentPay. Forms and deposits need to be received by Monday 18 March.
Previous participants
We are in the process of completing the transition to a new DofE centre manager following the departure of the previous DofE leaders. Once activated, this will allow us to access the records of previous DofE bronze and silver participants, so we can sign off completed records and issue certificates or identify any missing evidence that needs to be uploaded. We’ll be in touch shortly once this is underway.

Year 10 boys football

Well done to the Year 10 boys football team who beat Huntington School 6-1 last night. Goal scorers were Finn, Sami, Rowan (3) and Sam.

It was a great performance from the boys who dominated the game throughout. Whilst the whole team played well a special mention to Finn and Ewan who played brilliantly in midfield which is where we won the game. Rowan deserves recognition too for scoring a second-half hat trick coming off the bench too.

The boys play against Manor CE Academy on Monday – we wish them good luck!

Back to the Futures Fair

A reminder that 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 – Games Tester

Did you know that you can get paid to play computer games, to check they work and to suggest improvement? Well you can! This week’s ‘Job of the Week’ is a Games Tester. Whilst it may sound interesting, you may find yourself playing the same part of the game over and over… and over again for long periods of time to identify any glitches or issues. For more information on becoming a Games Tester you can watch this video.

#WakeUpWednesday – A parent and carer guide to supporting children who are experiencing bullying

Sadly, bullying can happen in any setting, at any time. At Millthorpe School, we are completely committed to supporting students and their parents/carers if issues of bullying arise. All good schools accept an “it could happen here” approach when it comes to bullying and safeguarding.

Please take a look at this guide and discuss it with your child(ren). If you have any concerns, please reach out to us. Your child’s Form Tutor, Deputy Head of Year or Head of Year (or any other adult in school) is on hand to support any students who feel they are being bullied.


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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