Happy New Year!

Schoolgateway Logo

The Minsthorpe App

We are always looking for ways to make communication with home easier, faster and more effective. We’re pleased to advise that we’ve introduced a new text and email service – Schoolgateway. This means that we can communicate with you more quickly and cost effectively via email, text and smartphone app. If you have a smartphone, both you and the college can save money when you download the Schoolgateway app for your smartphone from your app store (Android and iPhone). Using the app means we can send you app messages that you can reply to for FREE.

It’s quick and simple to do. All you need to provide is your email address and the mobile number that the College holds on record for you. If you have trouble logging in, please contact the General Office on 01977 657600. We will be able to give you so much more information in the future using this app – for example, personalised information about your child, information about the college, the ability to book school trips, and book appointments for parents evenings: the app will become your access to the college and a one stop shop – so much more than just a text messaging service!

Minsthorpe Students – Here To Help

Minsthorpe is a fantastic place to make friends, socialise, and (hopefully) learn! But things aren’t always the way we want them. Just around the corner may be a bully, or a family problem lurking in the shadows. It’s often hard to shine a light on the matter, especially with adults who seem too different from those being affected to understand. This post is also intended to draw your attention to the student-led activities that we have here in the college that provide our students with someone to provide help and support them when the going gets tough.

The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors

In 2015 Minsthorpe hosted an Anti-Bullying Ambassadors Conference for hundreds of students from both primary and secondary schools. It was a hands-on event designed to inspire young people to creatively explore bullying issues and to think about how they could help to tackle the problem of bullying in schools. Two years on, led by Ms Tallon, Minsthorpe has a thriving Anti-Bullying Ambassador scheme with sixteen trained students from Years 7, 8 and 9 who make themselves available in the MAP Office during Snack Breaks every day to offer a listening service for students who feel that they are being bullied. The students are an important peer support group who refer cases to heads of year who then deal it with via our anti-bullying policies if necessary. The Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are great role models and play a vital role in our policy of zero tolerance to bullying in the college.

Peer Listeners

Throughout 2016 we have been training a group of students to become Peer Listeners. The service will be launched by Mrs Collins this month and, like the Anti-Bullying Ambassadors scheme, because it is led by students it represents a real drive to understand the problems being faced by our young people because it is being led by students who have often experienced similar issues themselves. Whatever the worry that a student may have, be it the blues or unhappiness at home, this friendly, confidential service will try to get them back on track.

Students HOPE

The dreadful events before Christmas showed how important it was for students to have someone to talk to and we remain eternally grateful to The Samaritans, the Kooth Counsellor and both teaching and associate staff who were there for our students who experienced the whole gamut of emotions after the tragedies. Out of this has been born Students HOPE (Students Helping Other People Every day). Led by Mrs Pidd and the Year 12 Health and Social Care students, this is a Post 16 student buddy service in which our sixth formers will act as big ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ to our younger students, be a friendly face around the college and direct them to the many sources of help that we provide if they are troubled by something.

Above all, we want students to be happy at Minsthorpe. Whilst happiness doesn’t cause students to earn higher grades, happy students do tend to get higher grades as they are more likely to do well. We want the best for our students as the days that make us happy also make us wise.

Holidays

As you know from my blog before Christmas, Wakefield Council undertook a public consultation on school holiday dates and is seeking to align them with those of neighbouring local authorities. For this reason only the current school timetable and the 2017-18 dates are published on their website and a new three-year timetable will follow after further discussions and consultations. The 2017-18 timetable can be found on the Wakefield Council website.

Ray Henshaw
Principal