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Weekly email – 26 April 2024

2024 > April > 26 > Weekly email – 26 April 2024
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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

We were thrilled to publish our Ofsted report earlier this week, announcing that we received a judgment of ‘Good’ across all areas. I hope you have had a chance to read the Ofsted report and our letter. I would like to thank colleagues, parents/carers and of course our wonderful students not only for their input and valuable feedback during the inspection, but for what they bring every day that makes Millthorpe such a special place to learn and to work. We were especially pleased that inspectors recognised the school’s distinctive character as well as the many other strengths they found across the different areas they inspected. The improvement areas they identified are reflected in our plans to keep making the school better and better and we hope you are able to continue to support us with these.

A reminder that school will be closed on Monday 6 May for the May Day Bank Holiday. School will reopen on Tuesday 7 May as normal.

With GCSE exams becoming ever closer, we wanted to make sure Year 11 parents/carers have as much information to hand as possible. Further down this email you can find some websites which may help if your child is finding the lead up to exams stressful and you can also check out our Padlet for further advice and support. The exam timetable and exam handbook can also be found on our website. As ever, please do contact us via the school office or your child’s form teacher if you have any concerns or worries.

It is wonderful to see such a huge list of names of those students who have received a Golden Ticket this week – well done to you all! Congratulations also to those students nominated by their Faculty to have hot chocolate with Deputy Head, Mrs Rothenburg, today, including Dorothy, Zoe, Theo, Loki, Haneen , Nadia and Luke.

Next week is an ‘A’ Week – I look forward to seeing everyone back in school on Monday. Have a great weekend.

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: Students are preparing for their upcoming Physical Theatre assessments – please ask them to share their ideas with you, they are very creative!
  • PE: Summer sports are our focus. Students will be doing either athletics, cricket or rounders over the next few weeks.
  • Music: African drumming: What is a typical African drumming performance structure and how can I perform this effectively as part of an ensemble?

Year 8 – Faculty: Global
Conversation starters

  • Computing: We’re learning how to plan video production and how to find clips of videos we can use online.
  • German: We are revising key concepts from previous topics.
  • French: We are describing where we live.

Year 9 – Faculty: Maths
Conversation starter

Describe Pythagoras’ Theorem to someone at home, can you show how it works with a diagram? Some right-angled triangles have a whole number side length. These are known as Pythagorean triples (for example 3, 4, 5), can you find any more?
Year 10 – Faculty: Creative
Conversation starters

  • 3D, Graphics and Textiles: students are continuing with their Component 1 project, studying the work of artists that inspire them, and showing they can work in a range of techniques exploring their chosen project. They should all have taken their own set of photos relating to their theme, but if you are out and about and feeling inspired, please do continue to take photographs to include in their project. They can show you their work in their sketchbooks – they are really proud of what they are doing.
  • Art: Fine Art students are presenting their coursework for the first stage of the ‘Identity’ project before developing their next personal response based around an Easter research task ‘Objects, Memories & Identity’.

Year 11 – Faculty: Humanities
Conversation starters

  • History: We have been looking at our Historic Environment in recent weeks. This is worth nearly half of the marks available on the Elizabethan England module and is 10% of the whole GCSE. Please ask your child to tell you everything that they know about Francis Drake’s circumnavigation of the globe, what happened in The Americas, and what a study of Drake’s circumnavigation and The Americas tells us about life in Elizabethan England. They should also be able to tell you the reasons for the voyages of discovery, quirky facts along the way (what happened at the Cape Verde Islands? Who was Diego? What happened to Maria? What did Drake do when he reached California? How much was the treasure taken from the Nuestra Senora de la Concepción worth in today’s money? How much profit was made on this voyage? How did Elizabeth show astute leadership to manage Drake’s return when the Spanish Ambassador was furious? Why is the portrayal of Drake as a total hero a fallacy?), and also the consequences and changes that happened as a result of the voyages.
  • Geography: Should the Tudeley Village Development go ahead? How do resources influence wellbeing?
  • RE: We are currently finishing off our final theme and exploring attitudes towards the wealthy and the poor. Ethics is the first exam so please ensure that your child is completing focussed revision. We recommend completing practice questions and these are on Google Classroom. The RE/Ethics Team will mark any answers that are submitted. As well as practice questions, ask your child to keep practising key words for Christianity and Buddhism so that they do not mix key words up!

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.

School day timings

A reminder that from Monday 29 April we will be making some small changes to the school day timings to cater for the Year 11 exams which require longer afternoon sessions.

The new school day timings are as follows:

  • 8.45-9.15am: Registration
  • 9.15-10.15am: Period 1
  • 10.15-11.15am: Period 2
  • 11.15-11.30am: Break
  • 11.30am-12.30pm: Period 3
  • 12.30-1.15pm: Lunch
  • 1.15-2.15pm: Period 4
  • 2.15-3.15pm: Period 5
Once exams are completed, we will let students and families know when the school day timings will return to normal.

Helping your child cope with their GCSE exams

We wanted to share some helpful links with parents and carers of Year 11 students as they embark upon their GCSEs. An excellent website for parents is:

There are also links for students below, and these have been shared with the students via the Prom Google Classroom (as we know that they will check this regularly!)

SEND: Save the dates

Nibble and Natter event
Now that the summer term is well and truly underway, we’re delighted to announce our second ‘Nibble and Natter’ event. The event will take place on Thursday 23 May at 4.00pm in the school library. Our guest will be Jen from Family Matters York, who will discuss the work of Family Matters (who they are; what they offer) and their course ‘Parenting Children with Additional Needs’. For more information, you can visit their website.

SEND reviews
Our SEND reviews will take place on Tuesday 18 June. Our focus this term is preparing all our students for the next steps in their learning journey. We will be visiting primary schools to start our enhanced transition process with our new cohort starting in September. If you have any questions about SEND provision, please email:

There’s lots of useful information on the school website and you can take a look at the support available for parents on the local offer website: Universal Offer Calendar.

YIK’s Parent Carer Forum

To find out more about events and support available from the YIK Parent Carer Forum, please take a look at their latest newsletter here.

Taster session for parents/carers of children with additional needs

In conjunction with Family Matters York, SBMAT are offering a taster session, ‘Time Out for Parents: Parenting Children with additional needs’. The session, which is for parents/carers with children with additional needs at any of the Trust schools, will take place on Tuesday 7 May at Scarcroft Primary School.

Further information can be found in the flyer below. To book a place, visit or scan the QR code.

Job of the week – Marine Biologist

If you like the water and are really interested in the environment below the surface, then a career as a Marine Biologist might be for you. There are lots of careers in marine biology, from fieldwork and academic research to laboratory work and policy making.

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

Cybersecurity & the Digital Environment

York College is offering a new T Level in Cybersecurity & the Digital Environment from September 2024. This is a two-year course developed in collaboration with employers and businesses and offers a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the job’ experience during an industry placement of 45 days.

If you would like to find out more about this course or York College’s range of digital pathways, please take a look at the York College website or get in touch with Matthew Longman E:

York College Open Evening

York College’s next open evening will be held on Wednesday 19 June from 5.30-7.30pm. (Please note that the College previously advertised this event as taking place on 20 June, but further to the announcement of an England football fixture on that date, the event has been brought forward to 19 June.)

The event is aimed at students in Years 10/11 thinking of studying at York College.

Mr Cooper and Mrs Coles’ marathon update

Huge congratulations to Millthorpe colleagues, Mr Cooper and Mrs Cole, who both successfully completed the London Marathon last Sunday, Mr Cooper in a time of 3:54:03 and Mrs Cole in a time of 4:13:16. A fantastic effort from both of them.

They would like to thank all those who have already donated to their chosen charities and if anyone would still like to donate, you can visit their JustGiving pages below:

Mr Cooper’s fundraising page
Mrs Cole’s fundraising page

#WakeUpWednesday – A guide to online shopping platforms

As internet shopping continues to grow, sadly, so does the risk of scams, hackers and breaches of privacy. This week’s guide from National Online Safety provides parents and carers with practical tips to help educate your child(ren).


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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