cake + custard + sunshine + a great set of HoWLs results = good times

Crew Turing have loved being outside during Monday’s crew sessions to do check in, catching 45 minutes of sun before we go back to session. Now that lockdown restrictions are lifting slightly the check-ins are far more interesting. Everyone seems cheerier now they’re able to see friends and family, and carry on with the sports they’re involved in.

We’ve also managed to get booked into the sports hall during crew a couple of weeks back, we enjoyed a rather competitive game of dodgeball. We mixed crew to random teams, and even Miss Narey and I played.

As mentioned in my previous post, as a crew we’ve been self-assessing HoWLs leading up to the actual data drop, which finally got released last week. We spent the crew session adding our updated HoWLs to our crew narrative, gains were made across the board. We then compared the new data with our previous crew targets that were made in November 2020. Those targets were:

– Improve extended study record as a crew, aiming for 95%+: we greened this target as this has massively improved thanks to daily reminders in crew and students working together to support each other on any work they’re unsure about

– Improve HoWLs in art and HUMAN, aiming for at least secure in all HoWLs grades: this is partially completed, as HoWLs in these subjects have gone up across the board, however we’ve not 100% met the ‘secure’ section of the rubric or above in these subjects. I’ve got to appreciate Dylan, Callum, Torran, Mollie and Sami for smashing these targets, some of whom even received HoWLs in the excellence category!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at where we can be making improvements using Crew Turing’s HoWL improvement project. Every student in my crew has identified a subject in which their HoWLs could do with some work. I then asked students to write a rationale explaining why they’d chosen that particular subject and a SMART target that another member of our crew could peer-asses them on.

I then gave each student someone to peer assess on a mini HoWL tracker. Every student gave at least a secure on the peer assessment, and knowing that someone was tracking engagement, meant that members of my crew really pushed themselves in those sessions to contribute and ask clarifying questions. I’m going to try this again in a few weeks to get snapshots of what is going on in sessions.

To celebrate our successes, Dylan treated us to homemade sponge cake with custard and Torran bought in a chocolate birthday cake. Not only this, Miss Narey who has been with us over the past few months prepared a quiz for us to enjoy! Big appreciations to those who made Friday’s crew session so fun, and congratulations to Mollie, Charlotte, Dylan, Callum, Sami and Jess for winning the quiz.

We’ve Got Some Wishes To Grant!

Each crew at XP has a chosen charity that they raise money for. This charity resonates with the crew, ensuring all of the mindful work that is done is going towards something we hold near to our hearts. Crew Anoa’i chose Make-A-Wish UK.

Make a Wish Foundation UK - Local Offer

Make-A-Wish was founded in 1980 after a young boy, battling Leukaemia, wished to be a police officer for the day. The charity was inspired after Christopher Greicius’ family and friends came together to grant his wish ‘to be a police officer’. This kindness created a movement that would transform the lives of millions of sick children across the globe.

41 years later, Make-A-Wish has been granting life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses in nearly 50 countries, across 5 continents of the world. More than 500,000 wishes have been granted since that day.

Every year, Make-A-Wish brings people together in celebrating World Wish Day on April 29th, the anniversary of the wish that inspired the founding of the charity.

This year, the charity’s campaign ‘Don’t Wait for Hope. Create it.’ stems from the fact that wish families have been some of the hardest hit by the global pandemic. Feelings of detachment and trepidation have become the new normal for everyone, but they are often felt deepest by the most vulnerable, including children with critical illnesses. 

Now more than ever, wishes can bring hope, joy and a sense of normality back into the lives of wish kids and their families. We can help make life-changing wishes come true, and that’s what Crew Anoa’i did this week. 

On Thursday 29th April, World Wish Day, Crew Anoa’i held a raffle to raise money for Make-A-Wish UK. We gathered several prizes, ranging from confectionery to bath bombs sets, ensuring there were lots to be won. We then collected donations and drew the winning tickets. Let’s take a look at some of our lucky winners.

In total, we raised a whopping £90 in just two days!!

Crew Anoa’i would like to appreciate everyone who donated money towards our raffle, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you everyone!!

Above all, compassion!

#MakeAWish

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!

Today Crew Anoa’i were on litter picking duty. This involved the whole crew taking part in our weekly clean up session. During crew time, we collected the equipment and headed out to the field at the back of the school. There we started our hunt to collect all of the litter we could find and dispose of it appropriately. Everyone got stuck in, taking it in turns to use the pickers. We found lots of different things along the way! 

Surprisingly, Crew Anoa’i found this very entertaining. It was great to see some smiles this morning whilst we helped keep our environment clean and safe. As we made our way around the field, we found more and more rubbish. It was alarming to see how much rubbish that had gathered at the bottom of our school field. Good job Crew Anoa’i were here to clear things up!

It was also really great to see everyone working as a team. James and Jacob led the way by thinking outside of the box to creatively work together to gather some rubbish on the outer border of our school premises. Great work lads!

Crew Anoa’i would like to appreciate April Crawshaw in particular for getting her hands dirty and demonstrating great cleaning up skills. Well done April, keep it up!

 

Be part of the solution, not the pollution!

 

#SlamDunkTheJunk

Lost in a Good Book!

‘A spine-chilling story about a boy who finds himself drawn to an empty house. He enters the house to find twelve ghostly figures sitting around a large table. A thirteenth chair is pulled out for him. He takes his place at the table and the story begins.’

Crew Anoa’i have been reading Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton as part of our weekly book club. Each week, on Tranquil Tuesday, we read a new chapter of the book. Taking it in turns to read aloud, we follow the story of a boy called Jack. After reading a chapter, we answer a set of questions that help us understand and retain what has happened before we move onto the next chapter. Each chapter is one of the thirteen tales told by the ghostly figures. So far, we have read up to chapter 3. Each week we learn something new about the characters in the story – Jack doesn’t know anyone at the table, the ghostly figures have names and the tales that are told are eerily cryptic.A few students from Crew Anoa’i wanted to share their thoughts about our book club. Let’s see what they’ve got to say.

Lucie-Mae Cordell

I am finding the book club interesting, as it is a fun way to learn about reading. It also gives us a chance to find a new story to read. Thirteen Chairs has given me a break from my usual type of book. Having the book club helps me to focus on one story at a time.

Zachary Hague

I am really enjoying the book club in crew, as the book Miss Mitchell has chosen is interesting and it’s from a genre that I wouldn’t normally read. It’s fun to read something new and exciting. I’m looking forward to reading the next chapter!

Faith Farmery

I’m really entertained by this book club we have during crew, because Miss Mitchell has chosen a book for all of us to read together instead of reading individually. This gives us a chance to communicate over the same book and wonder together instead of alone in our own world. Everyone is there with you in this world. This type of book isn’t one that I would normally pick up off of the shelf, it is a good change and something out of my comfort zone.

 

“A book is a gift you can open again and again!”

– Garrison Keillor 

 

#JustOneMoreChapter

Together Again!

After 3 long months of lockdown and online learning, Crew Anoa’i were reunited!! To say they were excited to be back would be an understatement. Crew Anoa’i are back and ready for the term ahead, full of hard work and possibilities. This term is the term for change!

For the past week and a half, Crew Anoa’i have spent the mornings getting to know each other again. We spoke to each other about how lockdown has affected us and how we felt about it. Being around people, other than your family, was daunting for some but as a crew we overcame those fears and settled back into our tribe life. We have bonded once again and enjoyed each other’s company. This helped us to feel comfortable at school, as some of our crew felt very anxious about being back in the building. 

There have been many hilarious conversations about random topics, resulting in tears of pure joy. We’ve been able to open up and talk about personal things, which we haven’t done before. Crew Anoa’i have also played some games where we worked in teams, something we would have struggled with previously.

We then took a journey down memory lane and started to create a memory board for our crew room. We rediscovered images of each other that display togetherness and demonstrate how we are a family. Crew Anoa’i will continue to add to this as the year goes on. We wish to capture all of the best moments with each other, memories that will last a lifetime. 

Crew Anoa’i have come together and really bonded this past week and a half. I can’t wait to spend more time with them!

#ComingBackStronger

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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?!?