Dear parents and carers,

We are now in the 8th week of what is already a long and tiring term for our students, but it perhaps feels all the more tiring within the context of online learning. Our students’ efforts over the last 7 weeks have been nothing short of remarkable and we have nothing but admiration for them for this. Our students’ wellbeing and progress is always at the forefront of our mind and we have come to a point where we feel it is appropriate to take steps to reduce some of the screen time which we are asking of them at present. 

To enable our students to maintain their energy levels and motivation for online learning, we will be ending taught online sessions daily at 14.15 until the end of this term. In place of a taught session, we’ll be setting students a daily activity or challenge in that day’s morning Crew session. Crew’s will choose from a selection of activities and should aim to complete them in the last session of the day from 2:15pm. We hope that reducing screen time and asking students to be more active will help to beat screen fatigue and maintain wellbeing as we move into the last two weeks of term. 

We hope that students and their families (where convenient) will engage with the activities which include things such as; taking a family walk or completing a photography challenge etc. There is a whole menu of ideas which Crew will decide upon in the morning. Crew Leaders and the rest of the Crew will then check in on the activity the next day to see how everybody got on. 

We understand that there may be some concerns around the loss of session time, but with 2 weeks left to go, there shouldn’t be a massive impact and we hope that we’ll actually see a positive impact on the remaining sessions of term. As always, we want to make sure everybody makes it to the top of the mountain, and this is just one of the ways we’re going to achieve that. 

For Year 11, Wednesday’s Common Mission sessions will stay the same if they are working towards a qualification such as Diploma in Engineering or Sport, but other intervention sessions will not take place online. XP16 sessions will also continue as normal.

Our in-school provision will take place within the same hours as normal, but students will complete the ‘Screens Off’ activities at school. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to make contact with your child’s Crew Leader.

We will release a response to the Prime Minister’s announcements regarding the reopening of schools shortly.

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman

Further to our initial update on Friday 12th February, we would like to thank those who have contributed to feeding back to us on the proposed calendar changes. 

As you will have noticed, the initial survey was for staff, parents and members of the community of XP Trust (including Norton Infants, Norton Primary, Greentop Primary and Plover Primary.) We would now like to consult more specifically with parents of our secondary schools within the Trust: XP and XP East.

Whilst some of the previous comments opposed the changes, and others supported them, there were a number of entries that said they didn’t particularly have a preference. We have therefore added a third option of ‘don’t mind’.

If you commented last time, you do not need to add them again as we already have access to the details in the previous survey, but you are of course welcome to add any additional points. We would however still like you to select one of the following options.

  • Strongly prefer the original XP Trust calendar
  • Don’t mind
  • Strongly prefer the new XP Trust calendar

As previously mentioned, we would like all of our staff and parents to select an option.

Here is the link to the survey.

Best wishes

Jamie Portman

 

For reference:

Original XP Trust Calendar

New XP Trust Calendar

Student Led Conference

Crew Rashford absolutely smashed their very first SLC’s, the presentations were very professional and each and everyone of them did themselves proud. It was amazing to see their confidence shine and to really dig deep and manage themselves through the presentation.

We decided it would be beneficial to write a reflective log of the experience, this well help us lay the best foundations for our next round of SLC’s and also remember what it was like the first time around.

These are some of the reflective logs that crew have done so far!

Zak

What went well was i didn’t manage to show my work that i did and struggled with, but without it i think it still went well. (Zak is going to take a photo when he returns to school to show his parents)

It would be even better if i could show my work that i struggled with and the work that i was impressed with.

The experience was very good, i was really really nervous but it went well and i think i did good a job. I was quite scared because i was worried if i messed something up and it would be really awkward for me.

Manveer

What went well – I was very proud of my SLC. I put a lot of Craftsmanship and Quality into my work. The setting of my work and the way it was presented was very organised. I definitely showed my level of understanding. When I first joined the meeting, I had butterflies in my stomach, I was really nervous and scared feeling like something would’ve gone wrong. When I first started talking, all of my nervousness went away and I just started to feel confident which I think is really great!

Even better if – I think it would be even better if I could speak up a little louder, everything was amazing but if I could change one thing, it would be that I could speak a little louder. Concluding it, I think mostly everything went exactly to plan haha!

The experience was overall exciting because I couldn’t wait to show my work to my teachers and it was my first time with an SLC so I didn’t really know what to do.I think if I could change one more thing, I would change my speaking and my voice, I was speak loud but maybe I could speak a little louder. I would like to praise my older sister, Aran because she helped me with my SLC and helped me present it because I was calling on my iPad and my sisters laptop and I felt really. Scared but my sister was there and I felt really calm and relaxed :).

It was a joy to part of the process from start to finish and despite the nerves and the hurdles of being at home, they all did a sterling job.

Hello too!🙂

Hi

Many of you parents/carers may have seen me on the SLC hangout and you should any received an email from myself last week. Apologies if you haven’t. My email address is as follows ewatson@xpschool.org, please send me an email and let me know if you haven’t received it.

I am super excited to be part of Crew Rashford and the journey they will take through XP. I hope with your support they can individually and collectively be the best of the best.

Thank you 😊

We Are Crew

Another positive week for Crew Rowling!

This week saw Crew Rowling complete their Student Led Conference’s online and both Mrs Barnes and I were blown away by the effort students had put in and the level of confidence and commitment to their studies students shown.

It was a very proud moment for me personally seeing how far each individual had come since the first round of SLC’s we completed in Year 7, it also made me eager to return to school and unite as a Crew to follow up on some of the pledges and actions which were discussed.

Though all of the students did a superb job adapting to online SLCs, presenting their screen and sharing their work virtually, there were some who had gone the extra mile to also include a presentation! Great work by Harvey, Cerrina, and Tom, who had done this off their own back following a suggestion by another Crew member.

It was also nice to be able to see Logan! His camera hasn’t worked all lock down, but for the SLC he was able to use another device- Mrs Barnes and I couldn’t believe how much more grown up he looked!

It made us wonder if we would recognise our Crew when they returned!

This week, as always, we nominated a ‘Star of the Week’ for Crew and within the Y8 phase, and the winner was…

Cerrina!

Both Crew and the year group recognised that Cerrina has been trying really hard in all of her sessions, and supporting others where possible. She has been actively engaged asking questions and also creating separate hangouts to support students in the longer lunch breaks.

 

Other Crew Highlights for this week:

  • Faith is working hard, contributing with amazing answers. It is clear she is always engaged!
  • Miss Barnes has been appreciated for being a very kind person who can always find a way to cheer you up! We also appreciate all of the help, guidance, and checking you did of the SLC scripts to ensure we presented well. 
  • Lily read out her SLC with the struggle of the ‘present now’ button not working, and though she is hesitant to put her hand up for questions, when she gets cold calls she comes out with amazing answers!
  • Charlotte has improved getting on calls as much as possible and has done some beautiful work!
  • Ben is always on lessons and is there to help whenever someone needs it. He always has the best answers when a teacher calls his name and many people have probably learnt from his help and critique in the SLC practise! 

We thought about some reflections in Crew this week and I wanted to share this comment that stood out to me:

“I feel the whole crew has really benefited from lockdown as we’re helping each other and pushing each other to achieve higher.”

This made us think of what we can do to have a positive impact, not only in Crew but in our school community and at home with our parents. Off the back of this we all agreed to complete an act of kindness this week, and it was great to check in and see the impact some of the appreciation emails and support we had given had had on others. After all, we all need to help each other up the mountain!

We ended last week on a very professional quiz from Shawn who had captured it on slides!

This Friday we look forward to Faith’s Quiz, who has already tested out her Quiz on her parents! Hopefully it isn’t too tough, i’m growing concerned at the amount of braincells Layton feels he is losing!

Stay safe and look after each other, 

Miss Johnson

 

 

Within our expeditionary art sessions in Year 9 we would like students to use the Pixlr app to create some digital artwork.
This is a free and fantastic online image editing app. By doing this it will allow all students to work on the same platform regardless of the device being used.

Students need to sign up for an account, however it specifies that users should be over the age of 16. This is a condition of the app creators, however there are no inherent risks in using the software. Essentially it is an online photoshop equivalent.

Could you please complete this short Google Form to let us know if you give permission for your son/daughter to sign up for an account and use the app.

If you have any questions please contact jdoyle@xpschool.org

Thanks as always for your support.

Passage presentations are in full swing!

Week One of Passage presentations is over!

I’ve been left speechless by the outstanding passage presentations we’ve had this week. The quality of reflections from the students in Crew on their character and academic growth since year 7 has been eye opening. They have spoken with such maturity and integrity that has made myself (and their families of course) so proud. I’ve been pleased to have been able to mark so many of the students as exceeding the standard – all the hard work has paid off! 

It’s not happened by accident though, the students have been busy preparing, redrafting and rehearsing for months. Here’s Florence practising her passage in Crew this morning – all students so far have been very professional in their presenting skills and are way beyond their years in their ability to speak to adults and a guest panelist they have never met before, it takes some real courage and I’m sure there’s not many 13/14 year olds out there who could do this.

For students in year 9 to be able to so confidently identify and present their strengths, weaknesses and how they overcome challenges to improve, not only academically but personally as well, is exceptional – and all in a national lockdown! I can’t praise them enough for the strength they have shown. I am so proud of them and I hope they all realise how brilliant they are – I’m excited to see the rest of Crew’s passage presentations next week!

The Power of a Quiz!

Wow, what a couple of weeks

 

Everyone has worked so hard on their SLC preparations within crew time over the last few weeks. Quiz Friday has become something we all look forward to and Rhys’ ‘hardest quiz in the world’ on 5th February was a great way to unwind and have some fun. Even though we found it super difficult, we all laughed throughout.

 

Star Student Nominations!

 

Each week in our crew session on a Friday afternoon we vote for an over all star student, this is within Crew and the year group and announced within our community meeting. We are proud to announce that these students were selected as nominees for start student from not only our Crew but also others within E26.

 

  • 22nd January 2021, Shawn was nominated for trying every challenge he is given, giving detailed answers to questions and working hard no matter the situation.
  • 5th February 2021, Lydia was nominated for always being kind, contributing in lessons, always being on time and consistently working hard and trying her best in all sessions.

 

Well done both of you! Your hard work is paying off- keep it up!

 

Crew Highlights: (Discussed and nominated by Crew members)

 

  • Rhys has been working really hard especially in maths. His quiz was just as hard as Harvey’s the previous week, but great fun! (We were hoping Shawn might be easy on us with his quiz)
  • Cerrina always tries her best and answers lots of questions in her science session.
  • Logan has been working really hard and has improved by speaking up more in crew sessions.

 

The Crew also wanted to highlight how Miss Jonson always knows what to do in any situation, how organised she is and how much support she has given to the Crew during the preparation for SLC’s which has been difficult online.

 

I want to say a huge appreciation to all of Crew Rowling for their continued efforts with their online sessions, their never ending support for each other and never failing to make quiz Friday so much fun!

 

Stay safe 🙂

 

(Mrs Barnes and all of Crew Rowling)

Crew Young’s SLCs – a window into our world

Student-led conferences require and empower students to take the lead role in communicating their learning. The practice helps to build dispositions and skills—such as adapting speech to the appropriate context and organising and presenting information—that will be vital for students in college and careers…..” (Ron Berger).

When Ron Berger captured in his definitive EL book “Leaders of their Own Learning” the essence of Student-Led Conferences, he could not possibly have foreseen the challenges of delivering these remotely during a global pandemic!

I’ve been very pleased with and proud of Crew Young recently as they prepared and delivered their latest round of SLCs, this time to a remote audience, selecting examples of work that they were proud of, showed their mastery or indeed require improvement, all without physically having them to touch in their hands.

The depth of their reflections on their learning, the correlations that they articulated between their attendance, their HOWLs, and their Assessment Point 1 data, all self-assessed against their Minimum Expectations were thoughtful and well-considered throughout. I particularly like how Isabel invited and then acted on Eleanor’s critique to improve her first draft before then presenting this to her audience, and how both Aaron and Dominic chose to include photos of their HOWLs trackers to evidence demonstrable improvements in working hard and getting smart over time.

I would like to appreciate students and their parents for arriving promptly to these events, and especially those students who kindly agreed to having their SLCs video-recorded for critique and modelling purposes. Crew Young have consented to sharing some of their work, showcased in their SLCs, below.