Checking in with Crew Turing

Firstly, I’d like to state a massive thank you to all members of Crew Turing that helped out with our Y6 Open Evening, you were fantastic! I was so impressed to see Sammi’s, Jess’, Callum’s, Dylan’s and Charlotte’s confidence in talking to parents and year 6s about their expedition. They have grown so much in their maturity and character just 6 weeks into school and I really appreciate them taking time out their evenings to help us out!

This week during crew we’ve had three separate focuses, one being stewardship, another being their WW1 expedition, and the final being a personal focus on their life so far.

Whilst at Outward Bound, we came across the protocols of “de-gunge” and “leave no trace”. We spoke this week about how important it is that we respect our environment and how we can adopt these same protocols in school, especially after our busy open evenings. This is why stewardship has been our first focus, we spent half a session clearing up after we had the year 6s visit. We discussed the value we felt in keeping our school tidy, and how it should not be left to other staff to sort it.

Another highlight from our sessions has been the time we spent dedicating to show and tell. Lewis brought in some real ammunition which we passed round and some members of the crew were able to identify. Callum and Alice showed us pictures from their weekend trips to War Museums, which was insightful and really interesting! Finally, Reece brought in his family’s medals and historical documentation, as well as some pictures, which we really enjoyed looking through. I love to see how engrossed we all are in our expeditions, and how we’re taking time at the weekends and evenings to do additional research!

Finally, this week we’re working on a piece of art work in our crew, where the students will create a ‘river of their life’. We discussed pivotal events in their lives, such as starting school, siblings being born, getting pets etc., which they have all been encouraged to add to their rivers. It’s opened up some really amazing discussions about where our crew members have lived (Oman and South Africa!) and what fantastic achievements they have made, be it sporting, academic, with their friendships or families.

Jess’ piece showed just how incredibly creative she is, she added a beautiful drawing of herself kayaking, which she also competes in during the weekends – I loved this little touch that made her river so personal.

I look forward to updating you with our final products!

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!

Miss Hickson and I would like to say a huge thank you to our crew members for such an exciting game of dodgeball this morning during crew!

We spoke about the importance of showing the character trait of integrity during friendly games. Our crew members gave us specific examples of when what integrity looked like, for instance, if you were hit, you had to be honest about it.

Not only was it a lot of fun, it was a great way to start our day and get our 30 minutes of exercise! We can’t wait for the rematch…


The votes are in…

Update from Crew Turing, formerly known as Crew Haughey (KHA)

This week, our crew voted on the name that we would be adopting for the next 5 years. We had a very large selection of inspirational people’s names (over 50!), for instance: Obama, Henry Ford, Anne frank, Aneurin Bevan, J. K. Rowling, Alan Sugar, JFK, Churchill, George Washington, Steve Jobs, Lincoln, MLK, Mary Shelley, Queen Elizabeth, Bob Marley, Frida Kahlo, Ben Parkinson, Newton, Edison….

Firstly, we did some research at home for our own choice that we were to present to crew in the morning sessions. We each found out key facts, quotes and prepared a piece on how they had embodied the character traits during their lifetimes.

Once we had all presented, we all voted to see who would be our crew name. After one round of voting we ended up with a tie, so we did a second vote of our top two selections, Enid Blyton and Alan Turing, and Alan Turing was chosen in the 2nd round of votes.

Alan Turing was a very gifted mathematician, some even argue that he was a math genius, who studied at Cambridge University where he made some amazing breakthroughs.

We chose Alan Turing because he showed the character traits of courage for telling people he was gay in a time when being gay was illegal. He showed craftsmanship and quality for managing to crack the Nazi’s enigma code using his invention, ‘the Bombe’ (if he didn’t it is predicted that World War 2 would have lasted 2 more years!) as well as building the first machine that is considered to be the first modern computer – Turing’s machine. He showed commitment to working hard and getting smart (the HOWLs), by riding his bike 60 miles just to get to the first day of school!

He also was the father of the modern computer science. Sadly, Turing committed suicide after his employers found out about his homosexuality, he was prescribed a hormone treatment and was sent to prison. He inspired Steve jobs so much he used the icon of the apple laced with cyanide as the Apple logo. He was awarded the Smiths prize and an OBE for cracking the enigma code and decoding the messages the Nazis were sending, but this remained a secret until 50 years after his death.

Alan Turing played a crucial role in winning the Second World War, he was a pioneer of modern computing and mathematics. Despite being a war hero and revolutionary, his life had a tragic ending.

We felt that Turing was not given the dignity and respect for his achievements during his lifetime, and this is why we’d like to acknowledge his greatness by honouring his name as our crew name. We know that at XP East, we will always reward hard work, efforts in getting smart, and kindness and compassion, as well as make stands against all forms of prejudice, such as the homophobia Turing faced, and the way he brought down the Nazis.

We’d like to finish our blog post with a quote from The Imitation Game (a biopic made about Turing’s life):

Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine

We are Crew Turing, and we will continue on our journey through education, doing the things that no one could imagine we are capable of.

Introducing crew KHA

This weekend I’ve been reflecting back on our first day as crew, particularly the half hour we spent in the car park at the very start of our journey: the uncertainty of what the next few days had in store for us, the slight worry of not knowing the strangers stood around our circle, combined with the usual first-day nerves (yes, teachers feel them too!) It feels so surreal thinking back to those moments now, knowing how far our crew have come in just 2 weeks.

Just 4 short hours after meeting in the car park, our crew were running into the freezing estuary, all linked up, with a promise not to let go no matter how cold it got. We finished our ‘jog and dip’ with chattering smiles. I was immensely proud, and I know the 12 shivering crew members standing before me were too.

This was possibly our first experience of what ‘crew’ truly is. Crew is a fundamental part of what we do across XP and XP East, some think of it as like a small form, but the reality runs deeper than that. Naomi, our fantastic Outward Bound instructor, explained that crew is a navy term. She told us that during training, navy crews would spend hours floating in the same formation that we did our jog and dip in, so if one crew member fell asleep in the water, the rest would keep them afloat.

That analogy felt fitting for the rest of the weekend. Various members of the crew, at times, were struggling. This was due to their heavy bags, walking uphill, making beds, setting up camp, packing their bags, doing a speech, missing home, rowing – the experience was challenging but extremely rewarding. What impressed me above all of the amazing outdoorsy achievements we made during the week, was actually how compassionate and respectful our each student was to their fellow crew members. I truly believe that what got us up the mountain wasn’t physical strength, or stamina, but the support my crew provided for each other during the expedition.

Members of our crew assisted others putting tents up, they carried each other’s gigantic bags, they reassured their fellow crew members when they were feeling a bit homesick, I couldn’t possibly list every kind act I saw out on Outward Bound – there are too many great examples. They each showed a level of maturity that I wouldn’t expect of some adults, it reassured me that we were about to embark on a fantastic 5 years together.

We finished the week delivering a speech to over 100 other students and staff. We decided to propose a toast to our crew, this had become a bit of a tradition to keep hydrated on our expedition. This toast was to tackle the question, “what is crew?“. The general consensus was that ‘crew’ was not necessarily something that we could do justice in explaining, but that we all felt it, and had experienced it. Still, the toast that was proposed was beautiful, and as I watched my 12 crew members clink their empty plastic bottles, with beaming smiles, I can’t describe the sense of pride I felt in each of them, particularly those who had told me public speaking was a big deal for them.

So I guess I’d like to finish this blog post with a toast to Crew KHA; for a delightful 4 days during Outward Bound, and to the 12 bright sparks that I am lucky to call my fellow crew members. May their futures be bright – I am certain that they will be.