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Weekly email – 8 March 2024

2024 > March > 08 > Weekly email – 8 March 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

We had lots of fun during World Book Day yesterday, thanks to everyone who came in costume and got involved so enthusiastically with the activities. Thanks also to the staff team who went the extra mile with their costumes! You can see some photos below.

We’re looking forward to welcoming Year 11 parents/carers into school next Wednesday for Parents Evening and on Thursday, SEND Reviews will be taking place. Parents/carers of children with SEND shoild have received an email with details about how to make an appointment. If you have any questions about the reviews or concerns about SEND provision, please contact: in the first instance. There’s also lots of useful information about SEND provision on the school website.

Have a lovely weekend and we’ll see 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: English
Conversation starter

World Book Day fell this week – that was exciting news for Year 7! Linking to their class study of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the children enjoyed lessons based on this text in periods 1, 2 and 3 on Thursday, taught by colleagues from all around the school. Ask your child how they were able to use their language skills to persuade their teacher that Narnia – a land under the harsh rule of the White Witch and where it is always winter and never Christmas – is actually THE perfect holiday destination!

Year 8 – Faculty: Performance
Conversation starters

  • Drama: Scripted Drama – ‘Our Day Out’, Willy Russell – students are nearing the end of their study for this unit and are preparing for their end of unit theory written assessment and practical performance assessment involving performing a scene from the play with a partner – please do get involved with helping them to learn their lines at home!
  • PE: Boys are currently in a block of either handball or basketball and girls are in a block of dance or rugby.
  • Music: The Journey of Music – How has music evolved over time and inspired the music of today? This week we are focusing on the Baroque and Classical eras.
Year 9 – 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 school trips.
  • French: We are describing where we live.
Year 10 – Faculty: Maths
Conversation starters
  • Look around you and name as many different polygons (straight sided shapes) as you can. Which of these shapes could you confidently find the area for?
  • Look around you and see if you can find a cuboid, cube, triangular prism, cylinder, cone or any other prism. Explain how to find the surface area or volume of these shapes.
Year 11 – All subjects
Conversation starters

Year 11 students have been working hard to analyse their PPE (mock exam) papers in all subjects. Teachers have been supporting students to celebrate their areas of strength, and also work on areas for improvement. We have adopted a “marginal gains” approach and your child should be able to tell you what they need to do to make meaningful improvements in all subjects where they sat an exam.

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.

Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award

A reminder that any completed application and medical forms should be returned to the school office by Monday 18 March please. The requested payment can be made on ParentPay. Please mark envelopes with ‘DofE Bronze Y10,’ not Y9 as stated in the letter.

Copies of the documents can be found on our website or collected from the school office.

World Book Day – 7 March 2024

Yesterday was World Book Day and we celebrated it in style at Millthorpe School!

As you are aware, the previous week, we had a visit from award winning author Christina Gabbitas and this week, Mr Baybutt has led assemblies to Years 7-10 about World Book Day and the benefits of reading for pleasure.

In form time, students also watched a video of Mr Baybutt reading a short quote from his favourite book of all time, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, where he explained how this one book, which was one of his GCSE texts as a child, changed his life in several ways. This includes making him want to be a teacher, informing how he interacts with students, shaping his strong anti-discrimination views, and instilling a love of reading.

During World Book Day, students in Year 7 enjoyed three lessons based on their current text: CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. These lessons were expertly crafted by Dr Bates, Head of English, but were delivered by colleagues across the school.

Students in Years 8 to 11 read a short story across the school day, written by Ray Bradbury who has been described as “a master storyteller, champion of creative freedom, space-age visionary, and guardian of the human heart.”

In every lesson on Thursday, teachers read a section of one of his short stories during their normal lessons, culminating in the ending during the last lesson of the day. The students were so engaged and many were excited to arrive at Period 5 to find out what happened.

Teachers again shared their subject reading lists and referred to their own reading poster, which informs students about a book that they are currently reading, or have read and loved. Some teachers also gave reading recommendations from beyond the curriculum or their current read, including hobbies and interests.

Teachers either dressed up as a character from a book or wore a badge identifying a character from a book and this served as a real talking point with the students throughout the day.

As always, the school library was open at social times and some students managed to get hold of a free book token!

As students were reminded in assembly, our school library is brimming with books that are completely free for them to borrow. World Book Day’s mission is “to promote reading for pleasure, offering every child and young person the opportunity to have a book of their own. Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more than their family circumstances, their parents’ educational background or their income. We want to see more children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with a life-long habit of reading for pleasure and the improved life chances this brings them.”

Please encourage your child to have a book on loan from the school library and set aside a time for them to read it. Reading before bed, away from screens, is the perfect time and will lead to a better night’s sleep.

If your child is a reluctant reader, please take a look at the Reading Support section of our website for practical help and advice.

A huge thank you to all of our wonderful colleagues for all of their help and for supporting World Book Day, and to the students for their amazing engagement throughout the day. Happy reading!


A warning to all parents that there have been sweets found to be in the local area which have contain illicit substances (edibles). On this occasion, the sweets have been described as “blue and red fizzy cola bottles in a see through carrier bag”.

Edibles are food products which have been laced with the mood-altering ingredient cannabis (THC). They come in various forms but commonly, sweets, cakes, chocolate, drinks etc. They often contain a much stronger element of cannabis but, due to eating and then the digestion process, take longer for the effects to be felt.

Please can you ensure that you speak to your children and advise them not to eat anything if they can’t be sure where it came from. If you become aware of any concerns that your child has taken an illicit substance, please ensure you seek medical advice and report this to the police.

York Neurodiversity Programme 2024 – Parent / Carer Webinars

In conjunction with City of York Council, the ADHD Foundation is offering a series of webinars for parents and carers.

The sessions are live, online session that are 90-minutes in length and have been tailored for parents/carers of children in York schools. The topics covered include:

  • Understanding and supporting sensory integration
  • Understanding and supporting ADHD
  • Understanding your child’s early development (age 7 and under)
  • Understanding and supporting emotional self-regulation
  • Understanding diet and nutrition

Full information can be found on the attached flier. If you have any questions, please contact Emma Weaver from the ADHD Foundation by email:

Job of the week – Hotel Porter

Have you ever considered a job in hospitality? The role of a Hotel Porter is to ensure guests receive the best experience possible whilst staying in a hotel. They may meet and greet guests as well as ensuring their luggage is taken to their rooms. They can also make dinner reservations for guests or suggest interesting things to do. It’s all about providing a great service.

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

Better By Bus scheme

City of York Council is encouraging families to take up the new, lower and free bus fares offered through its ‘Better By Bus’ scheme.

The scheme which already offers a number of reduced tickets to young people travelling by bus in York, has recently been extended to cover young people aged 5-18.

The new offers include:

  • A £1 single fare for unaccompanied 5-16 year olds, which was introduced in September, has been extended to include 16-18 year olds (up to day before their 19th birthday).
  • Up to three passengers under the age of 16 accompanied by an adult (whether fare paying or not – eg grandparents using concessionary pass) travel free.
  • The All York Young Person’s Day ticket has been extended to include 17-18 year olds and is £2.50, valid at all times of day on any bus in the boundaries of City of York Council.
  • A new All York Young Person’s Weekly ticket, applicable to 5-18 year olds and priced at £12 and cover all journeys within the CYC boundaries.

These tickets will be available until December 2024, and can be purchased on the bus or on the mobile apps of the service provider.

You can find out more online, here.

Free activities over Easter

Please take a look below for information about free-to-access activities for young people which are taking place over the Easter holidays.

#WakeUpWednesday – A Parent and Carers guide to Tekken 8

£10 million in sales within ten days. 50,000 simultaneous players. The fighting game Tekken 8 has enjoyed an astounding degree of success since its release in late January. Its impressive presentation and entertaining roster of characters has struck a chord, both with long-term fans and newcomers to the Tekken series – many of whom are children and young people.

Tekken’s relative lack of gore distinguishes it from similar titles such as Mortal Kombat, making it seemingly more suitable for under 18s. Its inherent focus on violence, however, plus a highly competitive online play mode against (often older) strangers and some potentially problematic strands of the plot combine to earn it a PEGI 16 age rating.

This #WakeUpWednesday guide from National Online Safety has the full story. Please take a look if your child plays this game.


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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