HUMAN Superstars!

7 Pioneer are just over half way through their first expedition at XP East. Time is flying by, but I would like to take a moment to pause and appreciate the students in 7 Pioneer who have consistently worked hard throughout their time at XP East in Hums.

These pupils show our Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) to an excellent level. They always Work Hard, stay focused, and put their best effort into every piece of work they do. They Get Smart by responding to all critique and feedback given to their work, whether that’s from myself or their peers, so they can improve. They are always a pleasure to have in the classroom, they Be Kind to their peers and staff, and are always respectful and compassionate.

The other students in Pioneer are also close to this superstar status – let’s get the whole class there!

Here’s our Hums superstars: Thomas, Charlotte, Junia, Abi, Jess, Ava, Charlie, Alice, Dylan, Torran, Callum and Cerys, with their drafts and final draft of their First World War Letters. I would like to appreciate them for their fantastic conduct in Hums since being at XP East.  Keep it up!

Letters, Peer Critique and Tea!

This week, 7 Pioneer have been busy drafting and re-drafting their letters from the perspective of soldiers in the trenches of the Great War. Each letter was inspired by a Doncaster soldier who is buried at Hyde Park Cemetery, whose life and death we explored during our fieldwork there.

The pupils have finished draft 2 and gave each other peer critique, making sure they were kind, specific and helpful in their feedback. A particular mention to Dylan S, Ava and Marcus who gave superb feedback that was kind, specific and helpful. Pupils get smart by responding to this feedback and using it to improve their work – it’s great to see the progression between each draft!

Before the final write up, there was one very important job for us to do! Pioneer stained paper with tea, ready for their final draft write up tomorrow. This will create beautiful work and give their letters a more authentic appearance, almost as if they’ve come straight out of the trenches on the Western Front!

Here’s Pioneer in action today:



That’s how I described today’s Remembrance Day service at our school this morning.

The event acted as the ‘final product’ for the expedition ‘Over the top!’ (for parents who are new to XP East, every expedition has a final product that culminates in a Presentation of Learning in front of a wider audience).

In my closing remarks I emphasised that our Y7s have been with us for just 9 weeks.

That’s. 9. Weeks.

The people who witnessed today’s event (including myself) were staggered by what they saw: 45 minutes of 11 and 12 year olds reading extracts of their creative writing, reciting poetry, explaining military links from WW1 to modern day Science and performing scenes related to their work in Drama – in front of 250 people. The transitions and movements between the 20 plus segments during the service were all conducted by students. There was no one hidden behind the curtain whispering ‘NEXT!’ or ‘GIRLS YOU’RE UP’. They pulled it off due to the hours of preparation that went on throughout the week.

The event embodied the work of expeditionary learning – drawing on disciplines from different subjects and linking them together via a guiding question, combined with developing the character of students.

What I saw today was nothing short of exceptional.

Well done Year 7s and what a start to life at XP East!

E25 Explorer and Pioneer using ICT in Spanish

This week our E25 students started working on their second expedition in Spanish – my school. Eventually they will be able to express and justify positive and negative opinions about their subjects and teachers, and understand and give information about their school. Here they are using ICT to work independently and to self-assess against the session rubric.

We’ve hit the ground running!

7 Pioneer have made a great start back at school.

They are busy preparing for the Remembrance Day service they will be holding with 7 Explorer on Friday, which all parents are invited to.

They also handed in their first drafts of their letter from the trenches. I look forward to marking them, giving praise and critique, so improvements can be made next week when we continue the drafting process.

A special mention to Aaron for his beautiful work and superb craftsmanship and quality. He had the initiative to stain his paper and add an envelope to make his letter look authentic!

A Service of Remembrance: Over the Top!

As part of our first expedition ‘Over the Top!’, E25 have been working hard learning about what life was like for soldiers during WW1. Our final product for the expedition is a little bit different – it isn’t taking place at the end of the expedition but rather in the middle and this is for a very good reason.

2018 represents 100 years since the end of WW1 and, so, we are asking students to host a Remembrance Day Service in school.

We would like to take this opportunity to invite parents, staff and visitors to join us remembering all the service men and women who gave their todays for our tomorrows.

The service will take place on Friday 9th November at 10:30am to 11:30am at XP East.

Refreshments will be available to purchase on the day from FXP who have kindly offered to support us.

We look forward to seeing you on November 9th.

7 Pioneer have celebrated the beautiful poetry they have created about the First World War in their lessons this week.

After working hard, drafting, redrafting, critiquing and finally writing their final piece, Pioneer have presented their poetry for the whole class to enjoy.

It is fantastic to hear how imaginative and empathetic each pupil is and celebrate the determination shown in finding specific words and figurative language to use in their poems. This resulted in the poems conjuring imagery about the horrors of the war.

The pupils practiced their poem in groups of six and received critique to help them project their voices and speak with interesting intonation.

All pupils showed courage and compassion when reading their poems and listening in the  audience to each other.

A big congratulations to all!

Energy of C25.

This week C25 have been learning about conduction, convection and radiation. To consolidate our learning further, in pairs students produced beautiful posters to explain what they have learnt.












We then shared our learning with the class and took peer feedback to address any misconceptions. A fantastic end to a week of hard work.


Modelling in Maths?

This past week C25 have been tackling some really tricky maths problems, where they have been required to convert worded problems, to pictorial models, to mathematical calculations, to finally find an answer!

We’ve been required to multiply and divide integers (whole numbers) by fractions, and divide/multiply fractions by fractions, which many of us wanted to know how to do after our grapple! However, we have found using bar models has really helped.

The activity set out was a card sort, Where students had to find all 3 matching cards, and work out the answer at the end. Some superstars realised that there was more than one calculation that they could use to complete a problem. eg. 3 ÷ 1/3 would give me the same answer as 3 x 3, so as long as we multiplied/divided (depending on the inverse operation) by the reciprocal, we’d be able to work out our answers.

Once each pair had completed their activity, we then went on a bit of a gallery walk, and peer critiqued our work, making suggestions and corrections when we disagreed with other table’s answers. It was fantastic to hear students use our mathematical keywords, such as reciprocal, inverse operation, denominator and numerator in their answers. The collaboration on this task was really impressive, and I heard some fantastic discussions filled with mathematical reasoning.

I was especially impressed with students who used bar models to represent their solutions. This provided everyone with a really intuitive, visual representation of what 1/2 ÷ 1/4 looked like, and why the answer was 2!

7 Pioneer HUMAN extended study

Today 7 Pioneer have been set HUMAN extended study, due 16th October. They need to research what life in the trenches was like for soldiers in the First World War. This will complement our fieldwork to Hyde Park Cemetery and will be vital in the students work in lessons next week.

There are resources for students to use on Google Classroom (accessed by students logging into the school website) and I have given them a paper copy of the notecatcher in today’s lesson – it is also available on Google Classroom if students would rather type their homework.

They are welcome to attend extended study to use the school’s devices (I will be there to help on Wednesday). If students are confused about what to do, they need to speak to me and I will offer support.