E25 will be holding the Presentation of Learning for their current expedition ‘Three Cheers for Trees!’ on Thursday 18th July at 5.30pm.

Students have been working extremely hard throughout their expedition and this will be an opportunity for them to share their learning with parents, carers and visitors.

We will also have a surprise to share with you at the end of the evening – the grand revealing of our final product!

We look forward to seeing you!

Image result for the lorax
  • What is the difference between a meter and a metre?
  • How could we use two straws, an elastic band and two paper clips to find the mass of an object?
  • How is mass related to weight?

All this and more will be revealed at our STEAM Presentations of Learning on 10th and 11th July (click here for further information)

Family are invited to come along and find out from our student experts, but expect to be asked about your own learning!

What does ‘Working Hard’ look like?

Well, I think 7Explorer are a clear example of the answer to that question!

Take a look at all students working in class today.

 

So, remember, Working Hard focuses on the following criteria:

  • I arrive for each class on time and prepared – BIG TICK
  • I participate fully and mindfully in class – MASSIVE TICK
  • I complete all my work in a timely manner and to the best of my ability – EVEN BIGGER TICK

Enough said!

 

 

‘Three Cheers for Trees!’ Fieldwork

Next week, E25 will be taking part in fieldwork linked to our current expedition, ‘Three Cheers for Trees!’

Students will be heading to a location not too far away on the following dates:

7Pioneer: Tuesday 2nd July

7Explorer: Friday 5th July

Fieldwork will take part during the normal school day with students travelling on our school minibuses.

Students will require a packed lunch, appropriate footwear and clothing as we will be outside for the day whatever the weather!

Fingers crossed, if the sun is shining, please ensure students bring plenty to drink (no fizzy drinks or glass bottles) and suncream.

Image result for trees quote where are we going

Peer Critique: Ascending the Amazon!

So, today in HUMAN, 7Explorer have been deepening their knowledge and understanding about the Amazon Rainforest and the flora and fauna found within each layer.  Then, along with their senses, they have created a piece of descriptive writing, capturing what their journey might be like as they travel from the forest floor to the emergent layer.

Image result for rainforest layers

The quality of students’ writing was excellent!  Look at some of the sentences students identified as having the ‘WOW’ factor.

Ruby:

‘All of a sudden, the cool rays of exhausted sunlight penetrated the vibrant, green, detailed foliage and stroked my skin.’

Billy:

‘The orchids stand out in the rainforest, adding a florescent and vibrant aspect to this colourful creation.’

Callum:

‘Stridulating crickets fill the rainforest with their loud song which stretches deep into the Amazon’.

Students then went on to critique each others’ work, commenting on ‘What Went Well’ and ‘Even Better If…’  Students were also eager to grade their work.

Take a look at the focus of Marshall, Sami and Ruben as they read each others’ work, write their critique and then share out.  Absolutely wonderful!

E25’s final HUMAN expedition is called ‘Three Cheers for Trees’.

For our final product we will be creating a piece of graffiti artwork which encompasses the messages and learning of this expedition. For example, deforestation, the rainforest and the importance of trees in our environment due to the services they provide.

The artwork will be on a wall in our school (cheers Gywn!) and every child in E25 will make their mark in the product.  The inspiration for the final product came from our anchor text – Dr Seuss’s The Lorax. We watched this film during Immersion Week and saw the mural dedicated to the trees which are loved so dearly. I’m sure ours will look even better! Related image

So that we could create beautiful work we are very pleased to be working alongside an expert, Craig, who has been running design and practical sessions with the students to create the image and build technique with the spray paints. The first group to experience the practical session was E2 and it’s safe to say they had a great time!

I think the students found that using spray paints is harder than it looks – Craig was able to explain to the group how the paint would react differently when sprayed close/far away from the surface and the difference in the outcome when spraying quickly and slowly. The students responded well to his advice and they were clearly writing their names in no time, he was very impressed!

 

E1 and E3 will have their practical sessions on Monday 24th June. It is advised they come to school in clothes they do not mind getting paint on as it is permanent – just in case!

Three Cheers for Trees!

E25 have started their final expedition of Year 7 which is entitled ‘Three Cheers for Trees!’

At the end of immersion week, students were introduced to the name of the expedition and the guiding question: ‘Who Speaks for the Trees?’

7 Explorer started to investigate the geographical context of the expedition further today in HUMAN when they considered the world’s different climate zones and where the Amazon Rainforest is located.

Zooming in even further, students looked carefully at and analysed climate graphs and then constructed their own rainfall and temperate graphs to show the climate of a tropical rainforest.

It’s fair to say that the craftsmanship and quality of students’ work today was excellent!

In our STEAM lessons this week, Year 7 have been grappling with the concept of speed, distance and time.  We have been using constructivist principles of learning to develop understanding, by kicking the week off with a practical investigation outside, measuring the time and distance travelled when we walk fast or slow.

We then discussed the relationships we could see in our data and some data generated from the ‘Marbleympics’ 5m sprint.  We noticed that when the speed changes, the time and/or distance change and there is a direct relationship between this; ultimately we deduced the equation:

In today’s session Explorer were applying this by substituting our own data, with the challenge being to use the equation in unfamiliar contexts – check out Faith’s attempt at four of the challenge questions on the photos below!  The level of engagement in this task was excellent, and not only did I have a lot of verbal praise to give individuals, as well as the class as a whole, but we also had a spontaneous round of applause!  Zak was using purple pen to remind himself of how to improve his calculations next time, and Caiden and Sami got their heads together to see where they went wrong in their calculations and correct them.

We also tried out some new more flexible seating arrangements to support us in building our confidence; as we experiment we find we have different skills and qualities to offer one another in our problem solving and all students engaged really positively in the process.  I loved Marshall’s quote, particularly as he had rated his confidence at the beginning of the lesson as a 1 out of 3, but at the end of the lesson he said “this is a breeze now!”

Our learning focus this week has been to keep trying to get ‘unstuck’, even when we are grappling with something new or a concept we can’t quite get our head around; at XP East it’s all about getting to the top of the next ‘mountain’.  That’s why we have a new quote on the wall from Carl Sagan:

When you make the finding yourself, even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light, you’ll never forget it“.

Yesterday during community meeting Mrs Poncia asked X25 about their highlight of the week, and I amongst other members of my crew struggled to pick! We have just six weeks left of this academic year, it is wild to think how quickly my crew’s first year at high school has passed and how much we’ve crammed into 2018-2019.

Both staff and students are winding up to the grand finale of the STEAM and Human expeditions, where they will be working on final products and preparing to share their learning in a presentation of learning. In STEAM, they are continuing on with ‘Escape Earth’ and yesterday their new Human expedition was announced.

On Tuesday X25 visited the Jodrell Bank Space Observatory, which is home to the UK’s largest radio telescope and the 3rd largest in Europe! Each student was immersed in workshops and classes that allowed them to discover elements of our universe, experience Newton’s Laws, and watch real accounts of the astronauts that visit the Space Station. I’ve uploaded the video file above, check out the incredible resources and facilities that we had access to!

We will be taking the lessons we learned from the specialists back into school to help answer the expeditions guiding question:

“Should humans leave Earth?”

With growing reports of the danger that climate change poses, and the scientific advancements in the technology that could allow us to potentially re-locate our species to another planet, X25 will be concluding what they think the future for our species and our home will be. I can’t wait to hear their responses.

I chose the backing track for the video from an album I really love by a band called Public Service Broadcasting, I was struck by this line that was originally part of a JFK speech from 1962:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things
Not because they are easy, but because they are hard”

I’m taking this particular message back to crew this week. We will be encountering difficulty over the next six weeks with deadlines. We will be setting up Student Led Conferences over the coming weeks, to reflect on and review this years work. We will be finalising products and developing our presentations of learning. It may be the last few weeks, but as per every other day we spend at XP East, I hope that each of my 12 crew members recognises that despite this work being hard, it is also extremely important, and that working hard, getting smart and being kind is fundamental if we are to achieve.

ADVANCE NOTICE:

E25 (Y7) students are in the middle of their current expedition, Escape Earth, exploring the guiding question: “Should humans leave Earth?”

Over the course of three case studies, they will have studied Earth’s ‘postcode’ and position in the universe; the impact humans are having on the Earth today and the physics behind building and launching a rocket to leave Earth.  They will be ready to share their learning with you on the following dates:

7 Pioneer: Wednesday 10th July, 5:30-6:30pm.

7 Explorer: Thursday 11th July, 5:30pm-6:30pm.

We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your continued support.