Phew! What a start it has been…!

Wow… I can’t believe what a crazy but amazing first couple of weeks this has been. Only week 3 but we have been everywhere!

Lets take it back to the first week, what a week that was. Students returned and got straight back into crew and did what we do best: had a big old catch up!! This is where it was revealed that we would be doing a ‘microadventure’ for the first week. Our microadventure in year 8 was all based on the quality of kindness and how we can show this to ourselves. each other and the wider community. We shared ideas and started on making gifts and little acts of kindness to hand out to people in our local community at Lakeside! Below you can see some of the gifts we made as a crew…

Our trip out to Lakeside was very nerve racking for a lot of us as it was hard to imagine speaking to and showing kindness to people we didn’t know. A few of us from crew needed to show a lot of courage and put ourselves out of our comfort zone. In the end, everyone managed to speak to someone at Lakeside and I could not be prouder of the crew. The feedback from the community was so positive and a lot of people were amazed and overwhelmed by the kindness that they felt from the kids. It is great that we can spread positivity in these times!

Here are some quotes from crew about what they believe kindness is and how important it is for our community:

Holly – Kindness is something everyone should do all the time. I think i made their day because it is also/could be the little things like a small gift to make someone happy.  If everyone was kind, it would stop a lot of problems and hate that is happening around the world.

Liam – I can be kind by helping other people out be that if they are a student or staff. I also always try to stay polite in any situations possible.

Nik –

I felt proud when i was handing out my kindness gifts as i was very nervous and anxious at first.

Kindness for me is very important because without kindness the world would be a dull and scary place and without kindness the people would be selfish and mean so thats why kindness is very important.

Lukas – Kindness is a source of happiness formed from doing a kind task.

Lily H – Kindness is doing something for others and Caring for others and just smiling at people.

Max – When I gave my gifts to people I felt warm and good that I had done something kind to someone and maybe made their day. I feel like they would be more impressed by XP as we were being kind and helpful to people so they would be impressed. I think that kindness impacts the world because it makes people more kind and polite. I will be kind at school by following my HOWLs and treating everyone equally and listen and be polite to everyone.

Fantastic reflections from a fantastic crew, well done guys on your first week of year 8!

Fun in the Sun for E27!

E27’s fieldwork to Sandall Beat Wood was great! We went as part of our expedition “No One is Too Small to Make a Difference” which is focusing on the world’s animal and plant species in different biomes and the threats to the environment globally.  We were lucky to have such beautiful weather which made the experience even better. We’re so pleased with how the students conducted themselves, got involved in the activities and were listening and asking questions to the experts that guided us around the wood.

Students learnt about the history of the wood, for example, when and why it was created and how it has changed over time.  We identified and learnt about different tree and insect species, where they are in the food chain and how each one of them plays a vital part in the ecosystem of the wood. Another focus of the day was the carbon cycle and the role that dead trees and wood has and the management of the wood due to its SSSI status. We discussed the importance of creating a balance between protecting the environment but also having a space for people to enjoy at their leisure.

Overall, it was a great day and we were really impressed with the students and how they could articulate what they had learnt when we returned to the classroom.

E27 Are Finally Going On Fieldwork!

I am really pleased to write that we are going to be taking E27 on their first fieldwork at XP East on Monday (7th June) and Tuesday (8th June) to Sandall Beat Wood as part of our expedition “No one is too small to make a difference” which has an environmental focus. Due to Covid, we haven’t been able to do this sooner so I am really excited they are finally getting the opportunity.

Explorer will be going on Monday and Pioneer will be going on Tuesday.  We will be leaving school at 9.30am by minibus and be back in school for 1.15 pm.

Students are advised to wear appropriate clothing for the weather that day as we will be outside for the entire time – suncream will be a definite if the weather is like it has been during the holiday! Hopefully we won’t get any rain but if it is forecast make sure students bring waterproofs. Sensible shoes such as trainers will need to be worn as we will be walking and on our feet for most of the time.

Students will need to bring a packed lunch and make sure they have plenty to drink if it is warm (unless on Free School Meals where one will be provided).

Normal school equipment (pens/pencils/device etc) should still be brought to school as the students will have their normal school lessons in the afternoon, iPads etc will be left in the classroom when on fieldwork which will be locked.

I Love Camping - Timeline Photos | Outdoor quotes, Life path, Path quotes

Back to basics…

Super glad to have everybody back in crew. It’s ace to see everyone again after such a long time and hear everyone’s stories about working from home!

Over the first couple of weeks back we have hit the ground running. In crew we have focussed on resetting the basics. During Wise Wednesdays, we have discussed how we can improve and keep an eye on our mental health as well as how we can support each other during tough times. There have been some really mature and in depth discussions with some fantastic points. Big shout out to Holly, Amelia, Max and Louie who consistently add to conversations in crew.

Thoughtful Thursdays have consisted of resetting our Howls and making pledges to help our learning this term. Here are some of the fantastic pleaders some crew members have made to help improve their Howls!

Liam, Amelia, Holly and Lukas pledge to get less distracted so that they can work hard.

Lilly and Poppy pledge to ask and answer more questions in order to get smart.

Max pledges to use the explore further tab on the expedition to dive deeper into his subjects. A really fab pledge to get smart.

Pledges are really important in XP to help to hold ourselves and each other accountable for our learning. I am looking forward to seeing the effect of these pledges on our next Howls drop!

Lastly, we have had a really exciting opportunity these past couple of weeks… we have had lots of experts in to talk to us in art and Human. Yesterday, students were lucky enough to hear the stories from some refugees who fled their countries in order to seek safety here in this country. Everyone sat beautifully and respectfully to listen to them speak. The stories we heard really opened our eyes to what some people experience and gave students a great idea of how to answer their guiding question “Is migration worth the risk?”.

Hearing their stories makes me grateful for what I have and I’m sure my crew will feel the same.

Aaaand Relax..!

We made it!

It’s been a long, tiring term but we are fighting until the finishing bell. There have been ups and downs but needless to say I reckon we are all ready for this 2 week break!

I think everyone will agree this Lockdown has possibly been the hardest on everyone and mental health has been a much talked about topic. In order to help with the mental health of our students, the school launched a Screens Off and Recharge initiative to help combat the screen fatigue!

That said, I wanted to take some time to show off some of the great proof of what our crew has been getting up to during our Screens off and Recharge time over the last 2 weeks of term! We made pillow forts, went on a walk, artwork, did some baking… Just see for yourself…

Looking forward to seeing everyone in one room again but until then… have a fantastic and restful break!!


The Dog Days are (almost) Over

It has been a rocky road, this online learning, but the end is definitely in sight and crew JRI is powering on until the break! There is no doubt how tough this has been and if I am honest, the difficulties started to show in work completion and attendance data. HOWEVER, crew JRI do not give up and a huge improvement on both of these has been made in the past week.

After a long week of lessons, I must say, the highlight of my week is always our crew sessions on a Friday afternoon. This is always a chance to kick back and relax after busy week and just enjoy spending some time together. We have spent these sessions enjoying a range of activities including Among Us, Kahoot, Sporcle quizzes and the ever popular scavenger hunt!! (Congratulations to Lukas who won the scavenger hunt in the week just gone!)

Appreciations for this week:

I appreciate Lily H, Lilly P, Poppy, Louie, Ethan, Olivia and Lukas for always being on crew early and ready to go to start the day.

I also appreciate Max and Poppy for consistently completing work to the best of your ability, well done.

The last thing I can say is it’s not long now until we can have a break, keep on going, we can do this!


Miss Ridout 🙂

Don’t Worry… Be Happy Crew JRI!

And so begins another week in the land of online learning and honestly? I could not be more proud of what I can see. I am amazed everyday with how my crew are grappling with the ever changing circumstances, coming to crew every morning ready to learn and fuelled with motivation. This start to term has been tough… but I want to appreciate every member of my crew and their wonderful parents for all the work and encouragement going on at home!

So far this term in crew we have been discussing about and preparing for our Student Led Conferences with a particular focus on how we can improve our HoWLs. Everyone has spent some time reflecting on their HoWLs ready to make them even better in the next data drop so we can make our way to the top of the leader board!

I wanted to make a few appreciations to some members of my crew who have particularly impressed me so far this term:

I appreciate Holly and Lily Harbour who have been early for every single session, your attendance has been brilliant. Your hard work pays off.

I appreciate Poppy and Max who has been completing work to a very high standard and helping others, well done.

I appreciate Lukas who was AMAZING in a preparing for SLCs crew session and helped everyone remember the last expedition

I appreciate Louie and Nik for reading sections of the book Wonder very beautifully in a group reading session.

Everyone really has been pushing themselves working hard, getting smart and being kind so I appreciate the whole crew for that!

Working from home has definitely has had its challenges for everyone (teachers, students and parents). We had needed to learn new skills quickly, attempt tricky tasks and use a lot more patience than usual. I think this quote from William James says it best: “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.” With a good attitude and a willingness to grapple with hard tasks, we can acieve anything!

It’s safe to say, I miss having this lot around. I sure am looking forward to more laughs, discussions and funny check ins when we are all together again. For now though our daily Google Meet catch up will have to do. To finish off, here are a few pictures that I took in one of our last crew sessions before Christmas where we were doing Christmas crafts! Enjoy these festive photos!

Checking out for now…

Crew JRI


Oh, it’s good to be back!

Our year 7s have been back at school now for a week after their 2 week isolation. Despite the uncertainty of school at the moment and ever changing environment, they were happy to be back in the crew room and I was ecstatic to see them.

This week on Wise Wednesday, we took a chance to regroup and remember what it means to be crew. When everything around us feels so crazy and fast, we need to come back to crew. Crew isn’t just the 45 minutes in the morning before lessons begin, crew is the school, it’s what we always come back to. As beautifully put by Louie, crew is like a family. We had some lovely reflections from various crew members about how they plan to be more crew in every aspect of school because in the end, if we get crew right, we get everything right.

One way that we can be more crew is by showing the HOWLs in every aspect of our learning. The HOWLs are our Habits of Work and Learning (Work Hard, Get Smart and Be Kind). Students are marked (out of 4.5) by their teachers and myself as to how they are showing their HOWLs at school. I am so pleased with the progress crew JRI as their HOWLs marks came back generally fantastic! I am so proud of this crew!

As my finishing segment, I just wanted to sing my crew’s praises a little bit more… I was passing through the sports hall on Friday when something caught my attention. It was Crew JRI working as a brilliant team in Mat Ball! When stopping to watch, I could see Poppy and Olivia trying to throw balls to the other side of the pitch where the rest of the crew were trying to catch them so that the person who threw it could join them. I was in awe as I watched them encourage each other and persist until eventually… they won! It truly is amazing what crew can do! I think the action shots below show some of the excitement!

We have come a very long way as a crew from day 1 but it is all movement in the right direction. We are brilliant, we are a team, we are crew!

Keep Calm and Carry On

It’s been an interesting start to the term for our Year 7s in XP East but Crew JRI have taken it all in their stride. After only 2 days back at school after the holidays, everything was shaken up again and 2 weeks of home learning began. I am constantly amazed by the adaptability of our students to be able to thrive in every setting and remain positive and enthusiastic!

During this time of virtual home learning, we have had to get creative with lessons and crew sessions! This has included a lot of problem solving with how to use new apps and remembering to mute our microphones! This requires much integrity. But what has been fantastic to see is the willingness to help each other with the tricky issues which technology can bring. Louie has been especially helpful, sharing his screen to help his crew mates access the apps we have been using!

On Remembrance Day, we talked about what remembrance means to us. A few crew members showed a lot of courage by speaking about family members who have fought for the country both during wars in the past and more recently. This year especially, remembrance has even more importance. With the global pandemic causing big shifts in the NHS and other public sectors, we took a chance to remember and thank those brave key workers who have been on the front line, making sacrifices for us. See below some of the notes that Amelia, Nikodem and Louie wrote on Padlet about this topic.


We also have taken some time to discuss the importance of mental health, especially when working from home. The crew were fantastic at discussing this topic with great maturity. They shared some fantastic advice on how to manage mental health which can be seen below:

Louie: Be kind to everyone, give what you would like to receive. Don’t be scared to tell people if you aren’t feeling the best

Liam: Be friendly and be kind despite the conditions

Holly: Take more take for yourself

Lukas: It is scientifically proven that exercising helps

Amelia: Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Check up on each other.

Poppy: Open up to people

I’m looking forward to being together again for crew on Tuesday!

Until then 🙂

Things are getting musical in Crew JRI

As another week draws steadily to a close, its really beginning to feel like our new year 7s have been at school forever (can’t believe it’s only been 5 weeks!) It has been fab to walk around lessons to see members of the crew working hard, getting smart and being kind.

In crew sessions lately we have been focussing on the topics of friendship and bullying, two very important topics for XP East and XP School. As a crew, we took some time to really look deeply into what makes a good and fulfilling friendship and I am very pleased that these kinds of friendships are already beginning to bloom beautifully as our time in school continues. Especially in times such as these, meaningful friendships are more important than ever. We also spoke about the tricky issue of Bullying and how this can affect peoples school lives. Everyone in crew was very supportive to each other about this topic which was fab to see, it was lovely to see such maturity when discussing such a serious issue. Shouts to Poppy and Amelia who gave fantastic contributions to the discussion

A particular highlight from the last two weeks was when Holly performed her song about 2020 for us (lyrics attached). Her voice was lovely and the words had brilliant meaning. I see a new star on the horizon!

I am enjoying seeing so much talent arising in our crew and I hope there will be more to share soon!