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!

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE FOR THIS EVENT (now on Tuesday 17th December, not Thursday 19th as previously stated)

E26 (Year 7) will be holding the Presentation of Learning for their current expedition ‘Over the Top!’ on Tuesday 17th December, 5.30-6:30pm at XP East.

Students have been working extremely hard throughout their expedition and have been working on answering the guiding question: ‘Does war unite or divide?’

This will be their first formal opportunity at XP East to share their learning with parents, carers and visitors and we very much look forward to seeing you there.

E25 (Year 8) STEAM Presentation of Learning

The Year 8 STEAM presentation of learnings will be held on:

  • Pioneer: Wednesday 18th December, 5-6PM at XP East

  • Explorer: Thursday 19th December 5-6PM at XP East

The students look forward to sharing the work they’ve been studying in the STEAM expedition, where they have been working towards the guiding question “What is the state of the nation’s health and what should we do about it?”

We welcome you to invite family and friends to the event, sign in will begin at 4:45PM on both nights. We also ask that students remain in school from 3:15PM until the event, if there’s an issue with this don’t hesitate to drop me an email: khaughey@xpeast.org

E25 Sponsored Run

As you will be aware, E25 were due to complete their 5k sponsored run/ walk around Lakeside today afternoon (26th Nov) but unfortunately due to unforeseeable circumstances and staff absences this has had to be postponed until next week, Tuesday 3rd December. Could we please ask that all sponsorship forms are brought into school by Thursday 28th November. Sponsor money will should be brought in by Friday 6th December – thank you to those who have already done this.

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Please be aware that students are still expected to bring in their PE kit on Tuesday. 

We appreciate all of your support in helping us to fund an education and support people in Doncaster’s Community.

A special mention to Aaron and Denim who have raised between them £55! – this is fantastic and any amount sponsored will be much appreciated, it’ll all add up!

 

ABOVE ALL, COMPASSION. 

Marginal gains in Crew Turing

 

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Green for coming in and doing a session on careers with my crew! I can’t wait to build on the work she did helping my crew come up with careers they might be interested in or suited to based on the questionnaires they filled in. This week we’ll look further into some options and what they will need to do in terms of qualifications or work experience to enter certain industries or careers.

This week, my crew have been focusing on our position on the crew dashboards comparatively with other crews in E25. I’m delighted that we have almost no entries to the negative conduct form and that on the whole, extended study is handed in on time and equipment is organised amongst my crew.

There were two aspects of the dashboard that we acknowledged needed working on: praise form entries and our attendance. There were lots of bugs being passed about last term, even I ended up really poorly at one point! However, we’ve made an agreement that this term we focus on making marginal gains in terms of our attendance percentage as every day at school mattered.

We even did the maths, since our average attendance last term was just 90%, as a collective crew we’d miss out on over 100 days of school if we carried on like this! I’m already seeing a great improvement this week.

The issue of our praise form entries was something that we also needed to intervene in as a crew. We discussed how we could improve our number of entries on the praise form, and we decided to set a challenge. Daily, each member of my crew were to record how many times another crew member put their hand up and answered a question or posed a question to a teacher to help clarify their understanding. Here’s how they got on:

I’d like to massively appreciate Torran for his improvement from no entries on day 1 to 5 by day 3 and Dylan for increasing his to 13 on one day! Most of my crew really rose to the challenge and I, amongst others, noticed a real difference in sesion. We even went from the bottom scorers on the praise entries, to the 3rd crew in the year, making gains of +4.0 in our entry average. I’m going to carry this on next week until we reign supreme at the top of the crew dashboard, I’m determined that each marginal gain will have a huge impact on our comparative scores across the crews.

Another focus we’ll be looking towards as a crew this week is the general election and taking a wider look at the world around us. I’ve got us a subscription to National Geographic magazine which I’m going to make the focus of this week’s accelerated reader crew, I can’t wait to delve into important issues in our global community!

‘Just one thing’ about Crew

We didn’t have the best start to Crew this week.

I received an email from Mr Pearson telling me that (with the exception of 2 students) Crew Finch hadn’t behaved very well during Friday’s DofE session.  They’d been disrespectful to him and to each other.  To top it off, other teacher had similar feedback about certain members of Crew.  As you can imagine, I was not a happy Crew Leader!

So they spent Monday’s session writing out reflections on what they’d done and how they were going to put things right with Mr Pearson, myself and with each other.

However, what struck me about their reflections is that there was no sense of accountability in any of them and that they were all blaming each other!  We had a discussion about this during Tuesday’s Crew session, and it became apparent that Crew are actually a bit fed up with one another at the moment, be it because of general conduct, missing extended study deadline, or not respecting each other during Crew time (talking over people is a major issue in my Crew!)

I thought it was worth regrouping and revisiting what Crew should be, and all it has been to us in the past.

I set up an activity where they had to tell me “just one thing” about Crew, focussing on the following areas:

  • Crew makes me feel…
  • Without Crew I would be…
  • How has Crew helped me?
  • How have I helped Crew?
  • What could be improved?
  • If I could give one piece of advice to another Crew it would be…

We used the silent conversation protocol for this – a dialogue using writing rather than speech –  meaning that we all had chance to have our ‘voices’ heard.

It was heartwarming to see that Crew is still something special: it makes us feel safe, welcome and not alone.

There were lots of examples of how Crew had helped one another (Aden broke the rules here and added 3 things rather than just the one!)

The ‘What could be improved?’ sheet gave us the chance to reflect on what is going wrong at the moment, and open up discussions on how we are going to fix these issues.

The activity really helped to clear the air and we’ve now got a plan to get back on track.  I guess like most relationships, we will have falling outs and annoy each other from time to time, but what matters is that we make the time and space to address the issues and make things right!

An appreciation goes out to Libby for making an apology to Mr Pearson on behalf of Crew Finch during our Y9 community meeting.

 

Crew Parkinson’s Clean Up Crew

This week, Crew Parkinson had our clean up crew session. We went out litter picking on the school grounds and braved the weather to do our bit. We discussed stewardship and why it’s important to clean up litter for environmental reasons and to make our area look better so it’s more enjoyable to be in. Here we are in action:

E25 Sponsored Walk for the Conversation Club

On the 26/11/19, E25 will be taking part in a 5km sponsored walk or run. This will be part of their HUMAN expedition ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ and will take place during their PE session.

We will be raising money for the Conversation Club, a charity in Doncaster who supports asylum seekers and refugees. This charity is vital in creating a support network for people who have had to flee their country due to political and religious persecution.

Earlier in the expedition, we were lucky enough to be visited by a group of asylum seekers who are supported by the Conversation Club. It was lovely to see the students so engrossed in listening to the stories of each of the asylum seekers but also sharing a laugh with them too! The students were shocked by some of the reasons why our visitors had to flee, what would’ve happened to them if they had stayed and were moved by the stories of being separated from their family and the emotional impact this has. It was also interesting to hear how many misconceptions there are in society about asylum seekers and by speaking to our visitors we all learnt a lot about this.

We were pleased to hear our visitors enjoyed the experience of visiting our school as much as we enjoyed having them!

Asylum seekers have to live on only £37.75 a week and any support they receive from the Conversation Club is funded through charity and the kindness of volunteers. E25 and X25 will be taking part in this event (separately) so we have the potential to raise a lot for this charity.  We will be taking part in other fundraising activities throughout this term to raise more money towards this cause.  If each student can be sponsored £1 then it will be a massive help in reaching our target amount for the charity, but feel free give as little, or as much as you can.

Students were handed a sponsor form last week in crew but if they have lost it then they can ask myself or Miss Johnson for another one.

Without wanting to get political it is important to remember instead that these are people who just want to secure their safety. Our character traits of respect and compassion ring out in the students when they get involved with members of our community in this way and I am be proud to work with such mature and compassionate students at XP EAST.

 

ABOVE ALL, COMPASSION. 

Start the day with gratitude

So this week in Crew we’ve been focusing on gratitude and appreciation. How can we be more grateful for the things we take for granted? How can we remind ourselves of all the positivity around us when there are so many negative images forced upon us each day? How can we use gratitude to shift our feelings from negative to positive?

We started with some appreciations, then looked at this meme and discussed what resonated with each of us in Crew?

It was really interesting that our discussion took us into a way of realising that actually even in really difficult, sad, troubling or depressing situations, gratitude and spending a moment to think about either the positives in an apparently negative situation, or even looking for the things we are grateful for can help to lift us into better spirits: more contentment and happiness.

We explored the language of “cultivating a shift” – how can we take control of our emotions and feelings, to not ignore them (it’s ok to be sad, feel down, have a tough day!) – but we can choose whether we let those emotions control our mind, or whether we want to try and shift our minds into a more positive state.

We can dwell on situations out of our control. For instance, Fin showed courage and talked about his bad knee, and how it prevents him from doing activities and being as physical as he’d like to be, but he realises there is little he can do about the situation.

We discussed how this could be really frustrating or depressing. But with a shift in thinking about what good has come out of his injury – what he has to be grateful about – he could see that his friends really step up and look after him when he’s in pain, rallying around him; his friendships are strengthened by his injury!

We ended the session by writing down as many things as possible on a post-it note that we are grateful for.

Try it at home? What are you grateful for today? Can you acknowledge the things that make us depressed or sad or down, and “cultivate a shift” towards using out emotional energy to be grateful and feel positive about what we DO have?

Our Year 9 Pledges

As we come to the end of the first term of Y9, Crew Finch took time to reflect on their progress so far and made pledges for next term.

We focussed on three specific areas:

Attendance:

We are tracking attendance because, as our board says, every day at school matters!  When we mapped this on the board we soon noticed that our overall attendance needs improvement: only 4 out of 12 Crew members have achieved 100% attendance this term!  It was a bit of a wake up call to realise that if you’re around the 96% attendance mark (which sounds quite high) you’ve actually missed 7 days of school per year, which equates to a whopping 35 lessons!

Accelerated reader:

All our students sit STAR Reading tests at the beginning and end of the school year to track progress in reading ability.  I’m pleased to report that the latest results shows that all Crew Finch have improved their reading levels.  We all know that reading improves comprehension and vocabulary, which in turn helps us to understand texts and write more creatively in other sessions.  Well done Crew Finch!  We still have one dedicated reading session per week, and Crew will also be helping Y7 students out by listening to them read for 15 minutes a week.

Crew HOWLs:

Crew are assessed on their Crew Habits of Work and Learning.  I have shared the data with Crew and they agreed that I have been fair.  There are a few students hitting 4.0 across the board, but I have had to take into account those students who let Crew down by consistently not completing extended study, or by not coming to school with the right equipment, or by appearing on the conduct form.  This has been reflected in scores.

Our pledges:

So – after all that discussion Crew have set themselves targets for each of these areas for the next term.  These range from “I will aim for at least 98% attendance” to “I pledge to read at least 3 books to end without skipping any pages” (!!)

This lot are so focussed so I know that they’ll smash their targets by the end of next term!