Maestras/Maestros de Español

As a Crew the HOWLs grades we collectively needed to work on were in Spanish. We discussed in Crew why we thought this was and we established that many were not as confident to offer answers in these sessions because they were unsure of pronunciations of words. So in true Crew spirit we decided that we would practice Spanish together via the website linguascope. in Crew, Miss Johnson and Mrs Barnes included! Our first go at this was great fun and we look forward to improving with this and building everyone’s confidence, hopefully resulting in an increase in HOWLs grades and becoming Spanish masters (maestras/maestros de Español).


We have also been looking into which local charity we would like to support. Crew Rowling selected Big C Little Warrior which is a Doncaster based charity that works in hospitals, homes and hospices in the surrounding area providing free beauty and grooming treatments to anyone undergoing treatment for cancer. We thought this linked with our drive to encourage confidence. During our sessions we are looking at possible ways of fundraising for the charity and we can’t wait to get started!

We look forward to keeping you all up to speed with our Spanish and fundraising efforts.


Mrs Barnes and Miss Johnson


Sun Safety and Hay Fever

UV rays are most intense from 10 AM to 4 PM, and this is when students are usually outside for break, lunch and Physical Education. XP offers the following recommendations for keeping students sun-safe during the spring/summer months:

  • Clothing is the single most effective form of sun protection for the body, so send kids to school in densely woven and bright-coloured fabrics, which offer the best defence. The more skin you cover, the better, so choose long sleeves and long pants whenever possible.
  • Send children to school with a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, to protect their face, neck and eyes. If they won’t wear a wide-brimmed hat, a baseball cap is better than nothing.
  • Make sunscreen part of the morning routine: At least 30 minutes before children go outside, parents should apply a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher to their skin. Older children should learn to apply sunscreen themselves and make it a routine habit. To remain effective, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating. At a minimum, remind children to reapply sunscreen before outdoor activities.
  • One ounce of sunscreen (about the size of a golf ball) should be applied to the entire body. Remind children to cover those easy to miss spots, such as the back of ears and neck, as well as the tops of the feet and hands.

You should also note that windy, warm, and sunny days can increase levels of pollen turnout.

If you’ve ever suffered from a snotty nose, watery eyes, or itchiness, then you know exactly how annoying allergy season is for many – especially when it’s finally warm enough to enjoy the outdoors again.

Allergies can be especially frustrating in a year like 2021, when most people have been limited to the confines of their homes for months on end. Plus, thanks to climate change, it turns out that people’s allergies are actually getting worse over time. Temperature increases lead to more pollen production, which can be a major irritant for those with respiratory issues like asthma. This might be the longest, most intense allergy season yet.

But knowing when exactly allergy season will start this year, and how to prep your body for any allergen invaders, will help you fight back. To get specific information around this, has a National Allergy Map that provides an up-to-date allergy forecast in different areas around the country and an Allergy Alert app that gives five-day forecasts with in-depth information on specific allergens.

Allergists recommend you start taking medication a couple of weeks before the allergy season arrives, or at the latest, take them the moment you begin having symptoms. Taking them early can stop an immune system freak-out before it happens, lessening the severity of symptoms.

If your child requires hay fever medication, please ensure you fill in a medical form and hand their medication to a staff member at reception. We must not have medication in students’ bags.

Any questions, please email or


DofE: Walking on Sunshine!

What a wonderful start to the term for our Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Walking Group! We have finally been allowed to stretch our legs beyond the school grounds so this week we ventured out for a brisk walk around the lake, where we spotted ducklings, cygnets and some massive Koi carp!

We managed to walk the full lake loop in just over 48 minutes… I wonder if we can beat that time next week?

This is Week 7 of our DofE physical activity programme which our Bronze and Silver participants take part in every Friday afternoon.  The other activities on offer are football, dodgeball, rounders and basketball.

As a general update: last year’s Bronze participants (current Y10) are in the process of having their voluntary, physical and skills sections signed off. They will receive a Certificate of Achievement. Once they complete their Expedition, they will receive the full award (their practice Silver walk qualifies them for the full Bronze award).

We are currently planning how both groups can safely complete the Expedition element of the award and will provide an update soon.

Some people may think that writing is merely putting words onto paper.

And in a way, that’s true. But to some, writing is so much more. Take a minute to really think about it; how much of our human expression is through our language? Our texts, our songs, our blogs, even things as small as our Instagram captions. So much of our lives are dedicated to these funny little letters and the things they create. When we owe so much to so little, can it really be said that words are just words?

It was this thought process that first inspired me to try my hand at writing. It began small – I’d scribble excerpts onto the back of my school homework, nonsensical pieces of writing based on imaginary places I’d made inside my young mind. At this time, as young as seven or eight, I dreamed of becoming an author. Of course, with age, you begin to realise that certain career prospects don’t hold up financially. That doesn’t mean the passion died along with the dream.

I continued to write, and continued to read, so enamoured by these vibrant words and the pictures they created. I wanted someone, one day, to read my work and feel the same way I had as a child opening a good book for the first time. I didn’t just want to create a picture with my words; I wanted to create a masterpiece.

It was only towards the beginning of this year I actually began to reach my goal.

At the beginning of 2021, with lockdown confining me to my room for hours on end, I picked up a laptop for what felt like the first time in eons; life had been hectic, and it had been a long time since I’d taken the time to write. I began to plan an entirely self-written, self-illustrated, self-published novel. The initial plan was seven chapters, each of around seven thousand words. This quickly became eleven chapters, with varying chapter length, and a strategically-hidden lesson of morality between the worded lines. I designed characters, I created Kingdoms, I wrote conflict into existence. And the best part? I discovered the beauty of words once more.

The novel is called SONDER, a word which is described as “the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”

At four chapters and fifteen thousand words so far, alongside a live reading audience of (currently) 3,381, the novel itself is going places I couldn’t have even dreamed.

It follows the story of an orphan pick-pocket, forced to join the War effort after becoming entangled with an Imperial Officer. A story of love, of loss, and of the constant transitory state of our small world, I aim not only to prove that the smallest of things matter, but that life is what we make of it, not what it is perceived to be.

The cover was entirely illustrated by me using Ibis Paint X and PicsArt, and the entire novel so far has been written on a singular Google Document. I attached a small excerpt from the book, a brief introduction of the King of the Empire, though this alone does not truly give justice to the entire plot line . Someday soon, I will hopefully finish this novel, and be able to proudly present it here. But until then, I’ll continue to write like a madman, just as you should continue to remember the beauty of language and the weight of your words:

“Golden wings and a golden crown. Those were two things of which the Kingdom would grow to associate their King with. However, in his own eyes, Philip was worthy of neither of those.

The mellow ruler heaved a held-sigh, his aged skin crawling with a sense of perturbation. It had been fifteen years since the death of his late Father, after which he was crowned King within the week, and seven years since the death of his late wife. He knew the glacial touch of loss better than most. He’d shed few tears, and not once had he grieved to the extent of which he wished to. For  he was the King of an Empire, and Kings do not cry.

Kings do not cry, but they do bleed. Perhaps that was what unnerved him the most. After a lifetime of loss, was Death the true beast he was afraid to face? He could face the most highly-trained guards, he could face the notorious Corrival Empire cutting down both his people and country, but it was in the face of Death that he hesitated? Was that truly all that it took? Philip did not know himself and he did not care to find out. He straightened his crown.

He made his way up to his bedchambers, his wings a trail of vibrant aureate in his wake. His arrival was astute, akin to the setting sun, or the perpetual closure of his tired eyes. The weary King made way for his billet, pausing as he caught sight of himself in the mirror at the far end of the room.

Golden wings and a golden. Those were two things which he’d be known for long after his death. The craven King only hoped he’d live long enough to change that”.

Until next time! (Summer C, Crew Young)

Fieldwork Wednesday 16th June!

Finally, we are allowed to go on fieldwork! We have managed to squeeze one in before the end of term!!

We are currently doing the expedition “Call the cops”, looking at crime and punishment through time. We will be looking at the introductions of police and prisons, having already looked at crime and how it was dealt with before this!

In order to support our work for the introductions and developments of our system, we have arranged fieldwork to Shrewsbury Prison. The prison was closed in 2013 and is used for educational purposes now, so rest assured students will not be walking around a working prison with inmates.

The students will take part in being booked in as prisoners, shown around, then participate in an escape room activity! It is an amazing experience and will be extremely beneficial to the expedition!

We will be leaving school at 7:30am on Wednesday 16th June in order to arrive at Shrewsbury for 10:30. We are leaving the prison at 14:00 with the hope of arriving back at school between 16:30 – 17:00. This will be a long day for the students, but I am sure they will love it! Please make sure students wear comfortable clothes and take a jacket as it can become cold in the prison and sensible shoes. Students will also need a packed lunch and sufficient water for the day. Please don’t pack any products containing nuts in packed lunches as we are a nut-free school!

Any questions please feel free to email me on or your child’s crew leader!

Thank you!


Dom’s now a Second Dan!

We’re thrilled to hear that Dom has recently reached black belt Second Dan standard in martial arts, despite the significant limitations on training due to Covid. This is an AWESOME achievement, of which Dominic and his family and martial arts club should be justly proud!

I have never met anyone other than Dom who has reached black belt Second Dan, and this proves just what can be achieved when you work hard enough to reach your goals! Well done, Dominic!!

And the winner is……Save the Children!

Our C25 / Year 9 GCSE Spanish students have been working hard to promote a charity fundraising initiative in aid of Save The Children, as part of our current work on Fair Trade, social equity and child poverty in Latin America. This involved students producing and displaying posters in both schools, and visiting Crew rooms to invite their peers to guess the number of Fair Trade chocolates in a jar. At £1.00 a go, the winner with the closest guess to the actual number of chocolates would get to keep them and the jar.

This morning we can reveal that Mrs Cunningham and Crew Rosa won the chocolates in XP School, and Mrs Newrick correctly guessed that there were 99 chocolates in XP East’s jar. As a result of our students’ activism, they helped towards fulfilling the volunteering element of their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award, but more importantly (and with the odd extra donation) they raised a total of £122.55 for Save The Children.

A huge appreciation goes to C25 students and Crew Leaders for helping to raise a three figure sum for charity.

Getting smart in E26 Explorer Spanish

Recent work covered by E26 Explorer Spanish students is centred on describing clothes using colours and other adjectives. Having played picture bingo to consolidate the correct position and spelling of colours, our students then completed a clothing wardrobe graphic to show learning, before applying it to celebrities to describe what they usually and sometimes wear. It was really pleasing to see students getting smart by using several sources of reference material to work independently. Special appreciation goes to Imogen for being our impromptu bingo caller!


Anatomy of an examination room

As I sit here reflecting on the past week, Crew Young are in the middle of their last mock exam sitting a science paper based on hydrocarbons and electromagnetism. It’s been a very challenging week for Crew, and at times they’ve had to dig deep and support each other; whether it be through the vagaries of a GCSE Spanish speaking exam, the intricacies of communicable and non-communicable diseases, or the concept of living under Nazi rule, they’ve coped with everything in their stride and with consistently secure HOWLs.

















Here they are inputting their penultimate self-assessed HOWLs grades, prepared to be cold-called and to share work that substantiates the grades that they are entering. A busy last week as we “wind up”, rather than “wind down” towards the end of their term. Well done Crew Young – you make me very proud of you all!

Crew Finch mock-ing about

Mock exams are in full flow and Crew Finch have been working so very hard!  We’ve been trying to keep our Crew time quite relaxed this week but it has, of course, been dominated with exam talk – be it comparing answers or discussing how easy or hard the previous days exams were.

We’re always up for finding ways to make revision a bit more fun, so today we played History Hangman.  The usual rules applied but with an added twist: whoever chose the word had to end their turn by explaining how that word or phrase linked in with either of our two History exam topics: The People’s Health or Living under Nazi Rule.

Top Marks to Kenzie for ‘hanging’ the rest of Crew with his choice, John Snow.  Kenzie then went on to remind us that Snow was responsible for identifying the water source responsible for a major Cholera outbreak in Broad Street in 1854, by plotting cases on a map of the area.  The water pump was removed and cholera infections immediately dropped.

Crew have been absolutely amazing throughout this first week of mock exams.  This is their first experience of sitting in an exam room and having to work under exam conditions. Having to stay still and quiet for up to 1 hour 45 minutes at a time is probably more difficult for them to manage than the exam content itself!  As ever, they are making me proud 🙂