Another positive week for Crew Rowling!

This week saw Crew Rowling complete their Student Led Conference’s online and both Mrs Barnes and I were blown away by the effort students had put in and the level of confidence and commitment to their studies students shown.

It was a very proud moment for me personally seeing how far each individual had come since the first round of SLC’s we completed in Year 7, it also made me eager to return to school and unite as a Crew to follow up on some of the pledges and actions which were discussed.

Though all of the students did a superb job adapting to online SLCs, presenting their screen and sharing their work virtually, there were some who had gone the extra mile to also include a presentation! Great work by Harvey, Cerrina, and Tom, who had done this off their own back following a suggestion by another Crew member.

It was also nice to be able to see Logan! His camera hasn’t worked all lock down, but for the SLC he was able to use another device- Mrs Barnes and I couldn’t believe how much more grown up he looked!

It made us wonder if we would recognise our Crew when they returned!

This week, as always, we nominated a ‘Star of the Week’ for Crew and within the Y8 phase, and the winner was…


Both Crew and the year group recognised that Cerrina has been trying really hard in all of her sessions, and supporting others where possible. She has been actively engaged asking questions and also creating separate hangouts to support students in the longer lunch breaks.


Other Crew Highlights for this week:

  • Faith is working hard, contributing with amazing answers. It is clear she is always engaged!
  • Miss Barnes has been appreciated for being a very kind person who can always find a way to cheer you up! We also appreciate all of the help, guidance, and checking you did of the SLC scripts to ensure we presented well. 
  • Lily read out her SLC with the struggle of the ‘present now’ button not working, and though she is hesitant to put her hand up for questions, when she gets cold calls she comes out with amazing answers!
  • Charlotte has improved getting on calls as much as possible and has done some beautiful work!
  • Ben is always on lessons and is there to help whenever someone needs it. He always has the best answers when a teacher calls his name and many people have probably learnt from his help and critique in the SLC practise! 

We thought about some reflections in Crew this week and I wanted to share this comment that stood out to me:

“I feel the whole crew has really benefited from lockdown as we’re helping each other and pushing each other to achieve higher.”

This made us think of what we can do to have a positive impact, not only in Crew but in our school community and at home with our parents. Off the back of this we all agreed to complete an act of kindness this week, and it was great to check in and see the impact some of the appreciation emails and support we had given had had on others. After all, we all need to help each other up the mountain!

We ended last week on a very professional quiz from Shawn who had captured it on slides!

This Friday we look forward to Faith’s Quiz, who has already tested out her Quiz on her parents! Hopefully it isn’t too tough, i’m growing concerned at the amount of braincells Layton feels he is losing!

Stay safe and look after each other, 

Miss Johnson



The Power of a Quiz!

Wow, what a couple of weeks


Everyone has worked so hard on their SLC preparations within crew time over the last few weeks. Quiz Friday has become something we all look forward to and Rhys’ ‘hardest quiz in the world’ on 5th February was a great way to unwind and have some fun. Even though we found it super difficult, we all laughed throughout.


Star Student Nominations!


Each week in our crew session on a Friday afternoon we vote for an over all star student, this is within Crew and the year group and announced within our community meeting. We are proud to announce that these students were selected as nominees for start student from not only our Crew but also others within E26.


  • 22nd January 2021, Shawn was nominated for trying every challenge he is given, giving detailed answers to questions and working hard no matter the situation.
  • 5th February 2021, Lydia was nominated for always being kind, contributing in lessons, always being on time and consistently working hard and trying her best in all sessions.


Well done both of you! Your hard work is paying off- keep it up!


Crew Highlights: (Discussed and nominated by Crew members)


  • Rhys has been working really hard especially in maths. His quiz was just as hard as Harvey’s the previous week, but great fun! (We were hoping Shawn might be easy on us with his quiz)
  • Cerrina always tries her best and answers lots of questions in her science session.
  • Logan has been working really hard and has improved by speaking up more in crew sessions.


The Crew also wanted to highlight how Miss Jonson always knows what to do in any situation, how organised she is and how much support she has given to the Crew during the preparation for SLC’s which has been difficult online.


I want to say a huge appreciation to all of Crew Rowling for their continued efforts with their online sessions, their never ending support for each other and never failing to make quiz Friday so much fun!


Stay safe 🙂


(Mrs Barnes and all of Crew Rowling)

Well, back online it is… but as expected, Crew Rowling are smashing it out the park!

As we know, we’re not a competitive Crew at all 🧐 🤪  However, i am super duper excited to reveal the latest HOWLS data:

Work hard: 3.59

Get smart: 3.5

Be kind: 3.8

Which is not only impressive as far as a set of Crew averages go… but it also means…




This is down to the fantastic efforts of all members of the Crew, sharing their ideas, contributing to sessions, supporting one another, and generally being Crew. Mrs Barnes has definitely joined the best!

Speaking of Mrs Barnes, all Crew members received a phone call or email home over the last week or so and feels they were really positive. She enjoyed getting to know Crew parents and we hope that this supports the transition into having not just 1 Crew Leader.. but 2!

Over the last couple of weeks Mrs Barnes has been taking some of our Crew sessions whilst I have been attending meetings under my new role, I have been pleased to see students still logging in on time, paying attention, and completing what is expected. I am proud of the grafters they have become/ are becoming!

Crew highlights: 

  • All Crew members are attending sessions on time and completing work expected.
  • The hangout chat has been a huge success again. Students are relying on each other for support and removing any issues by simply reaching out. This has also helped students to complete work when they are struggling.
  • Shawn provided some thought provoking Check In questions.
  • Harvey has taken on the first of the returning Friday afternoon quiz (I know some parents will be pleased to hear this!) 
  • Cerrina and Harvey have been keeping everyone organised ensuring they share the relevant hangout link before sessions.
  • SLC scripts are coming along nicely and all Crew members are working hard- even adding peer critique!
  • Faith has been acting as a Learning Coach in the in school provision, alongside doing her work to support other students. Take a look at the notes she has captured:

There’s so much more i could go on all day… 


In light of the work we have been doing around Crew HOWLs, we intend to raise the profile of students being Great and Awesome by spotlighting one student per week on our blog, this will be written by a Crew member so they can highlight what has been discussed during sessions. This should give support to others who are trying to improve their HOWLs grades and inspire them to become Awesome too! Keep your eyes peeled for who is in the spotlight in next weeks blog post!

I appreciate all of the hard work Crew Rowling are doing, and i know Mrs Barnes does too. Not only are you becoming leaders of your own learning but you’re making our job super easy too!

Stay safe and well. 


Following the closure of our Y8/E26 bubble, we will now move to an online educational provision as shown below – this has proved to be highly effective in supporting students in other year bubble closures as engagement rates have regularly been above 95%.


Here is our protocol for online learning:

  • all Crew sessions and lessons will take place LIVE via Google Hangout and the timetable is highlighted below.
  • students will receive input from teachers and have time to complete activities on Google Classroom.
  • students are registered in Crew (8.30am), at the beginning of the morning session (9.15am) and afternoon session (1.15pm).
  • all students are expected to join each session.  If a student is absent, Crew Leaders will contact home to ascertain the reason why. If a student is unable to join a session, for example, they are unwell, we ask parents to please contact the office.
  • Crew Leaders and Expedition teachers will send Google Hangout invitations to their classes.
  • invites for live sessions will be sent through email.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact your child’s crew leader.

Thank you.

PS: It was amazing to have 86% (44) students join the hangout this morning with our expert Victoria, who spoke to us about the Suffragette movement in Doncaster.  What a turn out at short notice!


Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!

After a long weekend break, it was nice to get back into Crew and get down to business this morning.

Today we started by reflecting upon our Accelerated Reader results from the test we completed in last weeks Tranquil Tuesday. We were all pleased to see that we had all made progress from last year and we were keen to take this to the next level.

We spent some time thinking about a previous session, ‘Why is reading important?’ and reminded ourselves that GCSE papers are set using the reading age 15 years 7 months. We discussed how much more difficult we would make it for ourselves if we didn’t reach this goal… and although GCSE’s are a long way off, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day!’

During Crew this morning we started by looking at just how much we had improved, but also how far off we were from the target of 15 years 7 months. We discovered that many of us still had work to do, but some of us were ready:

Harvey                                                                                        Shawn








I’d like to personally appreciate both boys who showed compassion towards their peers in Crew today by not bragging about how much they had exceeded the target reading age, but offering support and advise to their peers about how they too can reach the same goal and exceed it.

We decided that you don’t stick to anything unless you pledge it. So in true XP style we cut out pictures of a reading book and wrote a pledge which we thought would support us in improving our reading ages. We then agreed to include a note of just how many years and months worth of improvement we wanted, so when it lives on the wall it will be a daily reminder of our goals.

I was proud of how Crew maturely dealt with their results and supported one another to make achievable pledges. I will be even prouder to see the result when we come to the next testing period!

It would be brilliant if Crew parents could discuss the pledge your son/ daughter has made with them, and ask about their reading age and what goals they have. In school we offer reading time for 15 minutes at the start of Sessions 1 and 4 in order to reach the advised 30 minutes a day but I know some pledges included home reading too!

Dashboard update: 

I have spoken to a number of Crew parents and agreed that the blog posts will also feature an update on the praise and conduct log. Students are aware that this will happen too so the stakes are high! This weeks praise log looks like this:

We remain on the highest average praises this week too! Great effort Crew Rowling- keep it up!

Stay safe, look after yourselves. 

Nothing but Praise for Crew Rowling!

What a start!

I am super proud of the attitude and commitment to learning Crew Rowling have returned to school with! It has been great to get back together as a Crew following learning from home and the long summer break!

Our return… 

Crew sessions have had a revamp! Although we’re still checking in and catching up about what we have been up to over the weekend/ night before, we’re also getting down to the nitty gritty! Our week in Crew now looks like this:

Each day we have a different focus and it has been lovely to hear more of the quieter members of our Crew getting involved and voicing their opinions too!

Today we considered ‘Why is reading important?’ exploring the effects of illiteracy… none of us are there (thank goodness!) but we now know why we also need to make the most of our AR reading time in sessions. Some of the feedback gathered in our closing circle really highlighted the answer to our mini ‘Guiding Question’ and reflected just how much our Crew has grown (even literally!) over the Summer.

Proof is in the pudding…

It has been really refreshing opening the Dashboard and having supporting evidence that what i’m seeing in Crew is also happening in sessions. Two weeks in and we’ve all picked up at least one praise point, we’ve not missed any homework, we’ve not gained any conduct logs and most importantly… we’re top of the leaderboard! (not that we’re competitive!)

Year 7, who?

This year we’re determined to go bigger and better, making pledges to build on our success from Y7 and send us soaring into Y8… Please hold us to account!

(Due to iPad technical difficulties, please wait in anticipation for Shawn and Layton’s!)

Long may our success and good behaviour continue!

Stay safe, everyone!

After a few weeks off blogging, i couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to express how proud I am of Crew Rowling for their attitude, hard work and dedication to getting stuff done!

We decided to set up a new deadlines doc for this term, one whereby the students could project manage their own workload and track their progress. And WOW. I’ve been blown away… i can’t even count how many people i’ve bragged to already, and now i’m here to brag even more! Just look at all the completed tasks on here:

I mean LOOK AT IT!

A Crew average of 98% completion rate!!!

We’re working our socks off!!


So I know you want to know, how do we do it?!

Every Monday i sign on to my laptop with messages, which will usually have already been replied to:

Crew are keen to use Google Chat to check when hangouts are and send regular reminders which means no one can forget:

Sometimes we struggle and we need a helping hand, we know we can ask teachers but in our crew we have our own experts:











If we can’t resolve it over a chat, we take to a hangout:

I so wish i’d have recorded this so you could hear how well Harvey explained these tasks!

If we can’t solve the problem over a chat or a hangout, we leave it to the experts:

We continue to hold each other to account (they even catch me out!):





But most importantly, we recognise how hard people are working:

So as you can see, our fantastic outcomes are as a result of Crew continuing to maintain their fantastic HOWLS throughout lockdown, sticking together, supporting each other, holding one another to account and knowing there is no ‘i’ in team. It’s no good one of us being at the top of the mountain after all!

I couldn’t be any prouder as a Crew Leader.

To me this proves, ‘if we get crew right, we get everything right’. 

It doesn’t get much better than being blessed by these smiling faces twice a week (yes, we even get 100% attendance on those!) Keep going, we’re nearly there. I’m so proud of everything you have all achieved so far.

Thank you Crew Rowling, and your parents for all their support!

Rising to the Challenge!

I think it’s fair to say that, even though we’re not in school and have the challenge of working at home, our staff and students in E26 (Year7) and E25 (Year 8) are still Working Hard, Getting Smart and Being Kind.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen determination (when the work has been tricky), compassion (when helping our fellow crew members who have been stuck) and the completion of so much beautiful work, ranging from stand-out science assessments, amazing artwork, passionate speeches and marvellous maths!

Here are just a few appreciations for students and their beautiful achievements:

Oliver. S. (E26):

Jayden (E26):

Marcus (E25):

Cerrina (E26):

Raphael (E26):

Marshall (E25):


As the weeks go by homeschooling seems to becoming easier for Crew Rowling! We’ve had a much more productive week this week and i’d like to appreciate the parents for their support in us reaching this point!

At the end of the Crew Session on Monday, I asked Crew if by the end of this week they could share with me some work they are proud of and I have to say it has been extremely uplifting to see my inbox inundated with positivity and work which has well and truly blown me away! This blog post will highlight some of the fantastic work thats been going on!

Hums has proven difficult for many of us in Crew Rowling, many a hangout has been conducted in order to assist us all in reaching the ‘hand in’ button… but we’ve done it, and we’ve done it together! It gave me a real sense of achievement for all of the Crew members therefore when I looked through some of the work I had been sent, and it was Hums!

You go Crew Rowling!!

Faith had completed her DRC Speech:

I particularly liked how Faith has used persuasive techniques in order to capture the readers attention alongside our shared language of ‘making a stand’ in order to emphasise her points. Excellent job, Faith!

Rhys wanted to write something he was passionate about in order to change peoples viewpoints, therefore his speech surrounded the idea of children gaming:

Its great to see Rhys also including some presentational devices in his work, meaning his speech can be displayed for clarity! Great work Rhys, keep it up!

As Harvey is whizzing through the work that has been set for him, he spent some time this week completing tasks for the new Y7 Expedition:

This work clearly captures Harvey’s understanding of ‘The Lorax’ by Dr Seuss. I am impressed with the vocabulary Harvey has chosen to use! You are working so hard- i am really impressed with the progress you are making!

Layton had trouble completing his speech, but with a little help from his friends in Crew he was able to produce this belter:

A fantastic job showing clear understanding of the topic and implementing some persuasive and presentational devices, alongside a link to really get his point across! Fantastic! Well done Layton for persevering with this.

The stand out Crew member for me this week though, had to be Cerrina! Its no secret that Cerrina has struggled to settle into a new routine, working from home, managing her own timetable and deadlines and in the first few weeks we had to strip things back, take manageable chunks, and settle for getting done what we could, when we could! And that was fine! But this week we’ve seen a huge leap forward in Cerrina’s progress, she has met all her deadlines for this week, is happier, and has also been able to spend time doing things she enjoys! It was particularly uplifting for me to receive emails from other members of staff this week about Cerrina’s progress too. Check this out!
















The best part for me about all of this though, although the work is superb, has actually been to see the smile return to Cerrina’s face! Sometimes we all need to take a moment to remember that having an off day (or couple of days) is fine! We need to give ourselves time to rest and recuperate in order to return to our best!

Well done Cerrina, i am incredibly impressed with all that you have achieved this week. You have worked super hard and it has paid off! Keep it up!

It would be fair to say that Cerrina’s success has stemmed from having the support of Crew around her. Every day I am blown away by the support and compassion they show one another. I mean, just imagine stumbling across Crew messages like this.. using language like this!

To quote Cerrina’s Mum: “The support from Crew is great!” 

The commitment they show to helping each other ‘up the mountain’ in times of trouble, at such a young age is like nothing i’ve ever experienced. Thank you all for your time and patience, for not only each other but me too!


Rowling on for another 3 weeks… at least!

…another week down, and here we are with another Crew Rowling break down!

After a long weekend of rest, recuperation and sunbathing in the garden Crew Rowling were feeling refreshed and ready to attack the work set from a different angle, meet any outstanding deadlines and crack on to meet this weeks!

Our Crew Classroom has been busy with members of the Crew logging in and checking the ‘Crew Deadlines’ spreadsheet, supporting students to manage their time, meet deadlines and most importantly gaining the huge sense of achievement when you can tick something off your ‘to do’ list and say ‘I’VE DONE IT!’

The satisfaction of going from red to green. 

Each week I have been outlining the deadlines Crew have for each week. This has been shared with them in order to provide a visual aid of all the work outstanding alongside the due date and a colour code so you can say: Nope, i’m not onto that yet. OR Yes, smashed it!

In previous weeks much of our hangout has been spent with me going through each of the students individually and asking for a yes or no for each of the pieces of work outlined. As you can imagine, this has been gruelling for the likes of Faith who is superduper organised and even keeps her own second list to ensure she doesn’t let any go under her radar!

I’ve therefore been asking students to mark this off themselves once they complete the tasks and this will help them to manage their time and (hopefully) become more productive. I have to say this week they’ve amazed me!

Especially Charlotte! Having suffered some technical (and motivational) difficulties, we were gathering up a long list of work which was outstanding from previous weeks before even getting onto the current weeks deadlines in order to check them off. But she hasn’t let this stop her in her stride this week, piece after piece they’ve been submitted and crossed off the outstanding list and this week… WE EVEN SMASHED THE WEEKS DEADLINES IN!

This is a huge achievement if you consider that in previous weeks Charlotte had only completed 1 or 2 pieces of work! I have been so impressed with her perseverance and determination to catch up this week. We have also loved having you in Crew Hangouts more frequently!

Speaking of hanging out…  

After our Crew Check In where both Cerrina and Logan expressed some difficulty with the work they were completing, i caught them using the Hangouts feature in order to gain the support of whizzes Harvey and Ben!

Hearing the discussion from the students as they worked through tricky calculations and Spanish Lingo was incredible! Even I learnt a thing or two!

Well done guys!!

About those ‘challenges’! 

Well as you can see… Crew Rowling would stop at nothing in order to ensure they could meet the deadlines and would even work as a team to do so! No more problems here!

What we did find however, was that some Hangouts were more productive than others, through no fault of the students, but the use. We therefore got together and decided on the following protocol for gaining support from a friend via Google Hangout:

  1. Be polite and respectful. You must stay engaged throughout the call! (and remember to thank them for giving up their time at the end)
  2. Listen to the information given.
  3. Make notes- You may wish to ask clarifying questions during this process.
  4. Share your screen with the person you are speaking to, this will help them to support you further.
  5. Share any work you are currently working on so they can see where it is specifically you need further help.

We’re hoping that these 5 simple steps will help ensure that supporting a peer via Google Hangout isn’t an onerous task and stops you from making progress too!

Again, we’re going to review this next week to see if there are any amendments. So far, so good!

The Rowling Quiz  

In line with our Friday Challenge, this Friday I created a quiz for the Crew as a bit of fun and some downtime before the weekend commenced. The quiz consisted of 5 categories:

  1. TV/ Film
  2. School Subjects
  3. Sport
  4. Music
  5. General Knowledge

A mixed bag of questions, the win was anyones for the taking! But… it was GIRL POWER! Charlotte, Lily and Faith shared the winning score of 16 leaving the boys wallowing in self pity! As a consequence of being our lowest scorer of the week, totting up a total of 6, Layton was nominated to host next weeks quiz! I am looking forward to being able to take part this week!

Upcoming stars in Crew Rowling 

It all seems a very long time ago now, but this video from The Edge Foundation captures some unseen footage of Crew Rowling in action in Wales at the very start of the year! Crazy the changes that can be seen already!

The week ahead 

Lots to look forward to! More deadlines to work towards, more Crew Hangouts (Tuesday and Friday), more structured ways to receive support from peers, but most importantly… more staying home!

Look after yourself everyone, stay safe.