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!

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.


Hola! Our E25 Explorer students had a superb session this afternoon in Spanish, with some excellent Extended Study tasks submitted and active participation throughout.

Some students took the mike to greet each other and exchange basic questions and answers all in Spanish. Some featured in paired work on the session slides.

We finished by taking a preview at a language learning website that will help students to retain and recall key vocabulary and structures.

A great start….well done everybody!


C24 Chefistry Final Products

Chefistry is a Year 7 expedition at XP East, run between January and February which looks at the science involved in cooking.

These videos was produced by C24 students to show what happens at the particle level when they cook, and also animations which help to explain the practical uses of ratio and proportion in cooking.

To find out more about this expedition and other expeditions completed so far click here.

Spanish pen-pals initial letter

Students in C24 Pioneer and Explorer who have requested a Spanish pen-pal – in order to have an authentic audience for their modern language studies – are now required to produce an initial letter to their correspondent(s), unless they have already done so and this has already been posted to them. This is in lieu of Extended Study homework in Spanish set for this week.

Ideally we need letters to be placed in a sealed envelope, with the Spanish recipient’s name written on the front and the author’s name written on the back. We intend to post them off in one large package, so they must be handed in to Mr Pearson or Mrs Sprakes by Monday 26th March.

A list of our students and their correspondent’s details can be found here.

Some slides that might be useful to help compose the letter in Spanish can be found here.

Excellent Spanish from Chloe

We’re delighted by the craftsmanship and quality of Chloe’s recent preparation work for her Spanish assessment. As you can see from the photo, she produced a draft that was far above and beyond the minimum output needed to generate her MEG in this subject.

An excellent piece of written Spanish, with copious evidence of conjunctions used to link, develop and extend her ideas. ¡Muy bien Chloe por tu trabajo fenomenal!

Linking our HUMS “anchor text” to Spanish

TKAMB in Spanish sessions!

Last week our C24 students used technology to create and describe facial features in Spanish using a series of composite faces that they had created on a specialist language learning website.

This week they developed their responses to include details such as physical build, height and personality. Before returning to their original composite faces they applied this new knowledge to describe Atticus, Scout and Jem Finch – three key characters in their current anchor text “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

Stand up! when you can describe others’ faces, build and character in Spanish!

Our students are aware that they will complete an assessment of their knowledge and progress in Spanish next week. They will be asked to write a paragraph about themselves in Spanish, that might include details such as:

  • Their name, age and birthday
  • Subjects that they like and dislike and reason(s) why
  • Food and drink that they consume and/or don’t consume
  • Details about family members such as number of brothers and sisters, names and ages of relatives etc.

To help them to prepare for their assessment they were set reading homework on self and family the week before last, they have been provided with a handout to structure their ideas, and they have received a copy of the slides used in sessions and examples of students’ work (taken from their exercise books) that evidence these learning targets. The handout is also included on these slides that have been e-mailed to our students’ school e-mail addresses.

For those students who have requested and now received a Spanish pen-pal, this paragraph could form the basis of their first letter to their Spanish correspondent.

C24 MyMaths Extended Study

Students have 3 exercises to complete in MyMaths. These are additional practice questions for our Chefistry expedition on:

Ratio and proportion.

At this stage students should not worry about whether they are too easy or too hard, as each task increases in difficulty.

The username is:


The password is:


Students then use the details I shared with them in class to get into myportal.


The deadline for both classes is Wednesday at 8pm.