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.

Imagination in Action

After a long week, Crew Anoa’i needed a little break, so we did something different in Friday’s crew session. As it is Children’s Mental Health Week, we discussed the topic of ‘Expressing Yourself’. 

We asked the question…

‘What does it mean to ‘express yourself’ and what does that look like?’

Some of the responses Crew Anoa’i came up with were inspiring and it really made us all think about the expectations society has of our younger generations. The pressure our young students face each day to follow the ‘norm’ has a massive impact on their mental health. So, we decided to boost our mental health by getting creative and having a laugh.

The Squiggle Game

The squiggle game is a simple game. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Make a squiggle on your page, then let your imagination run wild! What can you see emerging from your squiggle? Here are some examples created by Crew Anoa’i.

By Théa Clarkson

By Lucie-Mae Cordell

By James Hudson

By Nikodem Parzybut

By Fin Haines

By Miss Mitchell

Join us and get SQUIGGLING!!

 

#ExpressYourself

 

Hi all,

Here is a rundown of some of the beautiful artwork that has been produced by our wonderful XP and XPE students during lockdown 3.0.

As a team, we have been blown away by the effort and resilience that our pupils are showing.

I hope you enjoy having a flick through their work as much as we have.

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Very special visitors to E25 this week

In our case study ‘Snakes on a plain’, we have been learning about the adders at Hatfield Moor and how they have been so successful by occupying a niche in nature as a cold climate snake. In the coming weeks we will look at the fire at Hatfield, most likely caused by careless human action, and how the coordinated response from the Local Authority, Natural England and the Fire Service worked tirelessly to protect this important natural wonder on our doorstep in Doncaster.

To deepen our studies, this week students in E25 welcomed experts from Sam’s Safaris into school. Zoe and Joy brought with them some even more special guests. We met a range of reptiles, amphibians and mammals so that students could learn more about how they are adapted to their environments, how they are dependent upon other species and the impact that humans are having on their ecosystems (both positive and negative).

Some of the brilliant insights we gained into adaptations included the Jacobson’s organ in snakes, and how they are able to ‘taste’ the air. We also learned how chinchillas have adapted to their cold environment by having 60 hairs sprout from each of their follicles compared to just one hair per follicle in humans (or none in the case of some of our more veteran teachers). The mountain kingsnake was a particular favourite, with its bright colours mimicking a venomous coral snake to ward off potential predators.

We also heard about how deforestation – often to clear land for palm oil farms – was having a devastating impact on geckos, and how insecticides were causing damage to microbial ecosystems in the soil.

On a more positive note, our experts described how conservation work was helping to protect species, and how young people are more engaged than ever before in helping to protect the wonders of nature on which we are all entirely dependent.

Our experts were knowledgeable and showed great care towards the animals, helping some students (and staff) to overcome their fears too.

Almost everyone fell in love with Scrabble the chinchilla. Mr Doyle said his favourite was the gerbil though; what’s that about?!?

Crew Turing have made a start on the Duke of Edinburgh skills segment over the past couple of weeks. Each student is working towards their bronze award this year, comprising of a skill element, outdoor physical challenge as well as volunteer work. We’ve been completing the St John’s Ambulance first aid course, a skill that could make a difference to someone’s life in the future.

We started last week by learning about how to put people in the recovery position if they are unresponsive. Each crew member took it in turns in pairs to practice putting another crew members in the recovery position, while others gave kind, specific and helpful feedback. This week we’ve been working on what to do if someone is having an asthma attack.

Another highlight that I’d like to mention was the lovely art session I covered this week just passed. It was nice to see my crew members working hard towards their other subjects and improving their drawing skills. Above is Sami, Lewis, Reece and Lexi working on their graduated and blended colour work.

A couple of weeks back we collectively read this article in the Guardian, titled ‘At 31, I have just weeks to live. Here’s what I want to pass on‘. I was struck by the quality of reflection after reading Elliot Dallen’s life lessons, particularly this one on gratitude.

The importance of gratitude. During my worst moments – the shock of cancer diagnosis, the mental lows and debilitating symptoms of chemotherapy – it was difficult to picture any future moments of joy, closeness or love. Even so, at those times I found comfort in remembering what I have: an amazing family, the friends I’ve made and times I’ve shared with them, the privilege of the life I’ve had.

We did a whiparound on all the little things we were grateful for that we might not have had access to due to covid. Some spoke of missing hanging about with their friends at the weekend, missing gymnastics and other sporting training, or missing a hug from their grandparents. Over the past week, I’ve asked my crew to come up with some of the things they’re grateful for, here are some snippets:

Finally, I just want to congratulate my historically not-so-sporty crew on being announced as 2019-2020 Year 9 winners of the sporting competitions! Huge appreciations to Torran, Mollie and Lexi for putting on sport-related crew sessions for us to help improve stamina and skill prior to the matches. I have a feeling 2021 could be the year we don’t come last in every sport-related event….

Year 8 students have been experimenting with oil pastels this term in their art sessions to create some beautiful sunset inspired blends. Can’t wait to see the finished pieces.

E26 and E25 have been learning about warm and cool colours in their X Block art sessions.

They have a really good understanding of this, as you can see from their work!

E25 Inter-Crew competition

The weather may have scuppered our normal plans today but it didn’t dampen our spirits. We took the opportunity to run our first inter-crew competition of the year. E25 students competed fiercely in their Danish Longball contest (a mixture of cricket and dodgeball). Points were up for grabs for good sportsmanship, good individual play and, of course, for winning games. Crew Turing ultimately emerged victorious after some outstanding play by all!

E25’s first day back

While students up and down the country will be returning back to classes next week, XP East’s E25 returned on Tuesday to embark on a week long expedition, allowing them to re-immerse themselves in our school’s culture. Mr Brown kicked off the day with a community meeting centred on the incredible achievements of X21’s GCSE results. The underlying theme we noticed in the reasons for their success was crew, so we moved on to our guiding question for the week:

How crew are you?

Five weeks is a long time off, we had a lot of catching up to do in morning check in. Spending the first day back is fundamental, it allows time for us to familiarise ourselves with the support network we have built last year. We reviewed what had worked so well in the first year, and what we were going to do this year moving forward.

In session 2, we got stuck in with a crew challenge, where we had to build a tower from straws and other materials that would stand unassisted for a whole minute. Sadly, no crew managed it (it is very tricky to execute!) but the conversations that were had afterwards were reflective and really allowed students to unpack their role in the activity.

We often use the phrase ‘no pilots, no passengers’ to ensure that every person in crew is guaranteed a role. Listening to my crew analyse points where they may have taken over too much or when they were passive shows how much they’ve grown since year 7. We took the reflections from the tower session into the inter-crew competitions.

We spent the afternoon in the sports hall completing mini challenges as crews. I noticed a real difference in how well my crew cooperated in this session from the tower session. Students were giving others pointers and tips. I saw students encouraging others, sharing water, offering help with degunge. This afternoon, while it was fun, was also really valuable in reestablishing what crew is all about.

Some admitted to feeling nervous or worried about what challenges might lie ahead in year 8, with them no longer being the youngest in the school. We’ll tackle them together this year as crew. What was pretty lovely about that first day though, is that during check out, every member of crew said they had a really great first day back. Can’t wait to hear their reflections on ‘how crew’ they are on Friday!