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Weekly email – 14 June 2024

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A message from Ms Greenhalgh

I hope you’ve all had a good week and managed to stay warm and dry! (Who’d have thought I’d be saying that in June?!)

We’ve had another good week in school. Some of our Year 11s have now completed their GCSEs, with the remainder of them due to finish next week. They have been amazing and I am very proud of they way they have conducted themselves during exam season. They now have the Leavers Assembly and Prom to look forward to in the next few weeks. I am sure both events will be as wonderful as always!

There’s been some nice bits of sporting news this week. Some of our students took part in the Trust’s SportFest on Tuesday at York Sport Village. This was a fantastic opportunity for all six of the South Bank schools to come together to collaborate, champion and celebrate each other’s athletic achievements. A fun day was had by all. You can read more about SportFest here.

Well done to all those students who took part in the York and District Athletics competition yesterday and to Rowan and Robin who have had their own sporting success outside of school. It was fantastic to see so many girls using the astro at lunchtime today for the first of our ‘girls only social football’ sessions. This will take place every Friday lunchtime, so any girls wanting to play, just bring your boots and come along.

Next week, our SEND Team are holding SEND reviews with parents/carers of children on the SEND register (who should have been contacted this week).

Congratulations to all those students who received a Golden Ticket this week – amazing to see such a long list of names! And well done to those students nominated by their faculty for being awesome, including Martha, Xander, Madeleine, Molly, Ava, Poppy, Luke, Milo and Griffin. Deputy Headteacher, Mrs Rothenburg enjoyed an ice lolly with the students this week.

Have a lovely weekend everyone, we’ll be back in 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: Humanities
Conversation starter

  • History: What were the real causes of the Black Death? What did the people in Medieval England believe caused it? Can you name three symptoms of the Black Death and three ways that Medieval people tried to cure it, or avoid it altogether? How is the Black Death similar to the Covid-19 pandemic that we have all lived through? Can students tell their parents/carers what the following key words mean: Buboe; Yersinia Pestis; Flagellant; Miasma Theory?
  • RE: What does pacifism mean? Was Jesus a pacifist? What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
  • Geography: How many ‘courses’ is a river split into? What is discharge? What is velocity?

Year 8 – Faculty: Science
Conversation starter

In Science this week Year 8 students have been receiving feedback on their Standard Assessment Piece. You could ask them how many marks they got and what areas for improvement they have. Students will then be starting to study Health and Wellbeing and Modern Human Diversity.

Year 9 – Faculty: English
Conversation starter

Alongside the end of Year 9 exams, students have been carrying on their study of the challenging class reader, Of Mice and Men. Set against the backdrop of the American Depression of the 1930s, it tackles some serious social issues that are sadly still very relevant today. You could ask your child about the way in which some of the characters – such as Crooks, Curley’s wife and Lennie – are treated.

Year 10 – Faculty: Performance
Conversation starter

  • Drama: Students are working hard perfecting their performances of two scenes from Willy Russell’s popular play ‘Blood Brothers’, ready for their performance PPE on Thursday 27 June – please do continue to help them rehearse at home. Parents/carers of those students involved are invited to attend on the evening in the Drama Hall starting at 5.00pm.
  • Music: Students are continuing to work on their performance pieces.
  • PE: Boys are continuing with athletics, cricket and softball whilst girls are on tennis and rounders. There will be changes in a couple of weeks to look forward to. GCSE students are completing work on the unit ‘Physical Training’ where students are learning about training principles, methods of training and exercise rules.

Year 11 – All Faculties
Conversation starter

We have been hugely impressed with our Year 11 students during their GCSE examination series which, for some, concluded today! Very well done to those who have finished. There are a few exams and final revision sessions left, so if your child still has a few to go, please check in with them and ensure that they attend these.

If needed, you could direct your child to some online resources for managing exam stress or general wellbeing:
Padlet – exams and revision support
Exam stress – Student Minds
Coping with exam pressure – a guide for students – GOV.UK

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

We will return to the normal school day timings on Tuesday 25 June. Timings will be the same until the end of term.

  • 8:30am: School gates open to students
  • 8:45am: All students must be through the outside gates and on the school grounds by this time
  • 8:45-9:15am: Registration and Form Time/Assemblies
  • 9:15-10:15am: Lesson 1
  • 10:15-11:15am: Lesson 2
  • 11:15-11:30am: Break
  • 11:30am-12:30pm: Lesson 3
  • 12:30-13:30pm: Lesson 4
  • 13:30-14:15pm: Lunch
  • 14:15-15:15pm: Lesson 5
  • 15:15pm: School day ends

Year 11s, please donate your uniform to the EcoLaundry

Our Eco Laundry provides affordable items of uniform, all of which are clean and in excellent condition. We are however running low on stock again and would like to make a plea, particularly to our outgoing Year 11 students, to donate their uniform and PE kits when they leave school. 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, and we will also be organising a big collection of items at the Year 11 Leavers Assembly on Thursday 4 July.

Aspiration raising for our pupils

Across our family of schools, we know that the parents and guardians of our pupils have hugely varied and exciting careers. Our goal is to broaden aspirations for all pupils attending schools within the Trust and part of this involves learning about the wide and wonderful range of careers which exist!

We would be really keen to informally interview as many adults as possible about their career journey and we’d love you to be involved!

We would like to record this interview and share it across our schools, to enable as many students as possible to meaningfully benefit from your experience. We would work around your schedule for arranging interviews and can also conduct these via Zoom if easier for yourself.

Please complete the Google Form here or contact Vicky Bettney on for more information. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Helping you to help your child to read more

We know that many of our students already have a passion for reading, and often read to learn and for pleasure. Reading regularly is proven to improve educational outcomes and life chances, as well as offering a source of escapism and improving wellbeing.

Mr Baybutt is currently undertaking a National Professional Qualification (NPQ) in Leading Literacy, and was really intrigued by an article that he read as part of this course. It really resonated with him, and may with you.
The article, entitled “Ending the Reading Wars” by Castles et al. acknowledges that motivating children to read has “plagued educators and parents for decades” but, drawing on research by TD Willingham, offers two broad solutions:
  1. Maximising the value of reading
  2. Giving students the opportunity to choose what they read.
The article suggests: “Children will value the activity of reading more if they have opportunities to read texts that they are interested in, that their friends are reading, or that are of some practical use to them. For example, comics, books of song lyrics, movie novelizations, or sporting skill manuals are all texts that—although they do not fall into the category of great literature—may be intrinsically motivating to a child.”
“In relation to making the choice easy, Willingham notes that the amount of personal time that children spend reading depends not just on whether they want to read but also on whether they want to do it more than all the other available options. He refers to a recent survey in which 30% of teenagers reported that they enjoyed reading “a lot” but also reported that they enjoyed other activities such as watching videos and gaming more. To shift the decision in favour of reading, Willingham suggests making that option as available as possible, noting that even small increases in availability have been shown to affect choices in other contexts; for example, moving the salad bar closer to restaurant diners by just 10 inches is enough to make them more likely to select food from it. Therefore, Willingham recommends making sure that reading material is highly visible—in every classroom, in multiple rooms in the house, in the car, and so on—to maximize the chance that children will pick something up and read it.”
We would therefore like to request that all parents and carers encourage their child to read widely, allow them to read material that interests them, acknowledge that they may have other interests that they enjoy even more than reading, but ensure that you prioritise it and set aside time each day for your child to read. If you are able to have reading materials visible and accessible at home, in the car etc, that would also be great.
Further advice on supporting your child to read is available on our website – Reading support – Millthorpe School
If you have any ideas or suggestions to help encourage young people to read, Mr Baybutt would love to hear from you. You can contact him via email:

National Thank a Teacher Day

National Thank a Teacher Day is celebrated on 19 June 2024. You may be aware that we do our own in-house “Staff Appreciation Cards” each term, where students write a thank you card to one (or sometimes more) member of staff in school whom they appreciate. These have proven very popular with staff and many are proudly displayed in classrooms or in offices around school.

National Thank a Teacher Day does something similar, where a card can be sent, free of charge, to a member of staff in school. We have shared this with students in school this week, and would like to ask you to encourage them to send a thank you card to a member of staff in school who they feel deserves it. Despite its name, National Thank a Teacher Day recognises all staff in schools, so your child may want to appreciate a member of staff other than a teacher. They can send as many as they wish, send one to a whole team or even one to the whole school.

They just need to go to and complete a brief form.

Parents and carers are also able to send a thank you card so if one of our colleagues has gone above and beyond and you would like to recognise them, we are sure that they will really appreciate it. Simply click the above link and follow the instructions.

Poland trip – February 2025

The deadline for deposits for the Poland Trip (Krakow, February 2025) is today. This is the final call for any current Year 10 students to pay the deposit on Parent Pay. We will leave this option available on Parent Pay over the weekend and it will close first thing on Monday morning.

Matilda auditions – message from Mrs Sladen

I am thrilled to announce that I have managed to secure the rights to perform ‘Matilda the Musical Jr’ for our Christmas production 2024. All students are invited and welcome to audition – details below. Rehearsals will begin in September, initially on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday after school and we will perform on the evenings of the 17, 18 and 19 December – students involved will need to be available at these times.

To audition, students need to prepare a song from the show (using backing tracks available on YouTube). Students will perform this in a ‘closed’ audition to staff leading the production on the days detailed below. Please don’t worry if you are not the most confident singer; I just need to get an idea of how everyone involved sounds and there will be parts available for students who want to sing as part of the ensemble rather than as a soloist.

Auditions will take place in the Drama Hall at the following times:

Year 7 – Monday 1 July – lunchtime
Year 8 – Tuesday 2 July – lunchtime
Years 9, 10 and 11 – Thursday 4 July – lunchtime

Students should come to the Drama Hall at the beginning of lunchtime. On the day of their audition it would be helpful if they could bring a pack up to eat whilst they wait.

The cast list will be announced the week commencing 15 July and scripts issued to principal actors so that lines can be learned over the summer holidays.

I can’t wait to see our talented students perform – such an exciting time!

Physics Olympics

This week, four of our Year 8 pupils participated in the annual Physics Olympics hosted by St Peters School and won, beating 27 other schools from around the country.

Joely, Sam, Mathilde and Ervin (pictured) completed six different physics based challenges, coming first place in two individual challenges, a feat that no other team has ever accomplished. They also came first overall to bring the trophy to Millthorpe School for the year.

As well as winning the competition, the pupils also enjoyed the free biscuits on offer! We are very proud of the pupils’ accomplishment!

Robin rows to first place

Congratulations to Robin in Year 10, who came first in the Junior 15 double race at Chester Regatta last Saturday.

Robin is pictured below (second right) with his team mate from York City Rowing Club.

Rowan strikes gold – twice!

Year 10 student, Rowan Whitaker, competed at the North Yorkshire Schools Athletics Championships last weekend, bagging two gold medals in the 200m and 400m. Despite the terrible weather conditions, he won with fantastic times of 51.3seconds in the 400m and 23seconds in the 200m.

Rowan continues to impress us with his athletics ability and success even though he is competing against athletes a year older than him.

Great job Rowan, keep it up!

County lines poem/song competition

Students in Year 8-10 will remember a session with Christina Gabbitas, the author and campaigner against county lines and knife crime, earlier this year. Christina is running a national competition where students can write a poem, song or rap about this topic, and there are cash prizes of £200, £100 and £50. Additionally, the top 50 entries will be published in a book.

If your child is interested, please take a look here.
We would love for some of our students to enter this competition and know that we have the talent to get their entries published…and even scoop a cash prize! Please encourage your child to submit an entry.

Learn Latin opportunity for Year 8 students

York ISSP is pleased to launch a GCSE Latin opportunity for 2024-2026 for students in Year 8. As a result of consultation with the teachers involved in teaching Latin across the ISSP, they have requested the offer be made to all students in Year 8. They are recruiting students who have a real interest in studying Latin for their GCSE and will be passionate and engaged with their study.

Please watch this video for more information about the course. Any student who would like to apply should contact Miss Watts for a letter which will contain a link to the application form. The deadline for applications and for students to submit their task is 1 July.
Please be aware that by applying, students are not guaranteed a place. Places are allocated fairly across the different schools and take into account their task. We do not yet know the days of the sessions but they will be held after school.

Job of the week – Veterinary Surgeon

This week we have been looking at the role of veterinary surgeon. These amazing people diagnose illnesses, prescribe medicines and perform procedures on animals. They are incredibly skilled, as don’t forget, the patient can’t tell them their symptoms! They look to prevent illness as well as treat it. Most of the time, you work in a practice, like a doctor, but some vets get to work in a zoo or out on farms for example.

For more information on becoming a veterinary surgeon, you can watch this video.

York College apprenticeship vacancies

York College is currently advertising a number of apprenticeship vacancies which can be seen on the attached pdf. Each vacancy has a hyperlink to the Apprenticeship Service website, where you will find full job details and where you can submit your application.

Also attached are Hair & Beauty and Construction vacancies, which require an email or phone call directly to the employer.

A note on closing dates: vacancies often close earlier than the stated date, so if you are interested please make sure you apply as soon as you can.

You can also read the attached guidance on how to write a strong application to ensure the best chance of success.

General Election Hustings

Bootham School and York ISSP will be hosting a General Election Hustings evening with candidates from the parties standing for election in York Central and Outer on Tuesday 25 June at 6:30pm. Students interested in attending can get the ticket link and question registration details from Miss Watts.

The event will hopefully be live streamed at

Contemporary art event in aid of SASH

Bombsquad presents an exhibition of retrospective and contemporary art at 2 Low Ousegate on selected dates in June and July It’s free to attend and all funds raised will be donated to SASH.

North Yorkshire netball programme

The North Yorkshire Netball Performance group will be operating Under 13s (school years 7 and 8) and Under 15s (school years 9 and 10) performance programmes (in line with the England Netball Performance Pathway for 2024/25 season).

North Yorkshire Netball will be working in conjunction with Leeds Rhinos to develop future athletes to move through the county programme and into the Superleague franchise programmes.

Before applying for your daughter to trial we would suggest that you read the county’s selection policy. Which can be found on their website.

Further information and the application form is available here.

York Acorn RLFC seeking U12 and U14 girls

York Acorn RLFC are currently recruiting girls in Years 7-9 to join their U12 and U14 teams. All are welcome to join regardless of experience. Training takes place on Mondays from 6.00-7.00pm.

Free junior tennis sessions

York Tennis Club is offering some free junior girls and boys tennis sessions running for five weeks starting this Friday as part of a project for Yorkshire Tennis. You do not need to commit to all sessions, you can just book one session at a time.

Bookings can be made here.

#WakeUpWednesday – 10 top tips for encouraging Fair Play and Healthy Competition

According to Statista, 69% of children currently engage in competitive sport, either in or out of school. Thanks to the Euros, it’s very possible that percentage will see an uptick in the coming weeks. Enjoying sport and revelling in healthy competition can have a fantastic impact on children’s development, but when presented with the idea of a winning side, emotions can sometimes run high, and feelings can be hurt.

A healthy approach to any kind of game or contest, not just the sporting variety, is an important quality to teach to children and young people; and this week’s #WakeupWednesday guide can help you to do that. The list of expert tips explains how to emphasise the value of playing fair and dealing with both victory and defeat in a reasonable, mature manner. Please take a look and discuss this with your child(ren) if appropriate.


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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