Another year over!

I’m writing our end of year blog whilst self-isolating, which is not where I was expecting to be!  I know that members of Crew have also been told to self isolate, so it’s a very strange end to Y10 for Crew Finch.  Maybe not as strange as our last day of Y9, though… 

However, we were lucky enough to be at school for our end of term breakfast yesterday, where I did get to take our traditional end of term selfie! I can’t believe next year’s selfie will be our last one together as Crew… We’re already starting to think about what we can do to celebrate end of term next year, with a request to go back to Malham Cove to specifically recreate one of first ever Crew photos:

So, despite it being another year of lockdowns, restrictions, in-school bubbles and online learning, Crew Finch have so much to be proud of:

  • Smashing out over 800 collective miles for our Crew challenge and raising £130 for Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support.
  • Mock Exam results. Or, more accurately – Crew being able to reflect on their mock exam grades and HOWLs data and create some really mature, honest reflections and pledges to take them forward into Y11.  These have been shared with parents via the end of year reports.
  • Working together to identify areas of success and improvement from our Crew data:
  • Recognising already that Y11 is going to be hard, but having the motivation and ambition to achieve great things.
  • Starting to plan post-16 choices, with support from Mrs Burns.  Most have a real clear pathway mapped out of where they want to go and how they’re going to get there.
  • Showing resilience.
  • Welcoming Callie to Crew!
  • Showing compassion at all times when listening to how other Crew members are dealing with the ongoing restrictions.
  • …and so many more little wins that add up to bigger and brighter things!

As much as I’m looking forward to the summer holidays, I’m already excited for getting back together on Wednesday 1st September for 3 days of Crew activities.  Let’s get ready to smash Y11!

Wishing all of Crew and their families a Summer full of sunshine and smiles.

Mrs Parker 🙂


We are Crew!

After the exceptionally challenging year that our premises cleaner, Bev, has had in terms of helping to keep us safe through deep cleaning, regular wipe-downs of high contact points in school, and routinely replenishing hand and surface sanitisers, we were only too happy to lend her a hand to move products delivered to a local stockist yesterday.

We appreciate your efforts, Bev, for we are Crew!


Students who hold prescribed medication at school will be handed back their medication tomorrow. Students who require medication to be taken at school in the new term 2021/22 will be required to fill in the medication form.

The Google form is required to be filled in and then press send. This then gives staff consent to administer medication and for it to be kept on school premises.

Please ensure Inhalers, Epi-pens and other prescribed medications are sent into school with the child’s name and expiry date clearly visible.

Thank you!

Y10 Virtual Work Experience Day

I am excited to say we are having our first Virtual Work Experience day at XP and XP East tomorrow, 8th July.

This will be for all our year 10 students at both schools including the ones unable to attend at the moment, so a fully inclusive event.  We have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to have a full day of employer based presentations and workshops.

Students from XP East who are at home will be sent a link and Miss Parker and myself will support them through the day and the students in school will be supported by staff. This is an amazing opportunity to look through the lens of work with some key sectors onboard for the experience.

As Careers Lead for both schools, I am super excited to be planning a range of Further Education and Careers opportunities for the next academic year so please watch this space for updates.

Mrs Burns

We are super excited to be taking C24 out on fieldwork on Thursday, 1st July.

We have arranged to take the whole of Y10 to Shrewsbury Prison, to support our final expedition of the year: Karma Police – have we got justice right?

Shrewsbury Prison was decommissioned in 2013 and now provides an “interactive prison experience” for visitors. It was also recently used as the location for BBC’s drama ‘Time’, which gave a harrowing picture of prison life.

We’re not giving too much away about the activities we’ve got planned for students, but we promise not to leave any of them locked in the cells 😉

We are booked in at the prison at 9.30am meaning that we do have to set off between 6.45am-7am at the latest.  If this is a problem for anyone, please let your Crew Leader know as soon as possible.

We will be leaving the prison at approx 1pm, so hope to be back at school between 3.30-4pm, traffic dependant. We will update socials on the day.

Please make sure students wear comfortable clothes and take a jacket as it can become cold in the prison and sensible shoes. Students will also need a packed lunch and sufficient water for the day. Please don’t pack any products containing nuts in packed lunches as we are a nut-free school!  If your child is in receipt of free school meals, a packed lunch will be provided for them.

Some people may think that writing is merely putting words onto paper.

And in a way, that’s true. But to some, writing is so much more. Take a minute to really think about it; how much of our human expression is through our language? Our texts, our songs, our blogs, even things as small as our Instagram captions. So much of our lives are dedicated to these funny little letters and the things they create. When we owe so much to so little, can it really be said that words are just words?

It was this thought process that first inspired me to try my hand at writing. It began small – I’d scribble excerpts onto the back of my school homework, nonsensical pieces of writing based on imaginary places I’d made inside my young mind. At this time, as young as seven or eight, I dreamed of becoming an author. Of course, with age, you begin to realise that certain career prospects don’t hold up financially. That doesn’t mean the passion died along with the dream.

I continued to write, and continued to read, so enamoured by these vibrant words and the pictures they created. I wanted someone, one day, to read my work and feel the same way I had as a child opening a good book for the first time. I didn’t just want to create a picture with my words; I wanted to create a masterpiece.

It was only towards the beginning of this year I actually began to reach my goal.

At the beginning of 2021, with lockdown confining me to my room for hours on end, I picked up a laptop for what felt like the first time in eons; life had been hectic, and it had been a long time since I’d taken the time to write. I began to plan an entirely self-written, self-illustrated, self-published novel. The initial plan was seven chapters, each of around seven thousand words. This quickly became eleven chapters, with varying chapter length, and a strategically-hidden lesson of morality between the worded lines. I designed characters, I created Kingdoms, I wrote conflict into existence. And the best part? I discovered the beauty of words once more.

The novel is called SONDER, a word which is described as “the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”

At four chapters and fifteen thousand words so far, alongside a live reading audience of (currently) 3,381, the novel itself is going places I couldn’t have even dreamed.

It follows the story of an orphan pick-pocket, forced to join the War effort after becoming entangled with an Imperial Officer. A story of love, of loss, and of the constant transitory state of our small world, I aim not only to prove that the smallest of things matter, but that life is what we make of it, not what it is perceived to be.

The cover was entirely illustrated by me using Ibis Paint X and PicsArt, and the entire novel so far has been written on a singular Google Document. I attached a small excerpt from the book, a brief introduction of the King of the Empire, though this alone does not truly give justice to the entire plot line . Someday soon, I will hopefully finish this novel, and be able to proudly present it here. But until then, I’ll continue to write like a madman, just as you should continue to remember the beauty of language and the weight of your words:

“Golden wings and a golden crown. Those were two things of which the Kingdom would grow to associate their King with. However, in his own eyes, Philip was worthy of neither of those.

The mellow ruler heaved a held-sigh, his aged skin crawling with a sense of perturbation. It had been fifteen years since the death of his late Father, after which he was crowned King within the week, and seven years since the death of his late wife. He knew the glacial touch of loss better than most. He’d shed few tears, and not once had he grieved to the extent of which he wished to. For  he was the King of an Empire, and Kings do not cry.

Kings do not cry, but they do bleed. Perhaps that was what unnerved him the most. After a lifetime of loss, was Death the true beast he was afraid to face? He could face the most highly-trained guards, he could face the notorious Corrival Empire cutting down both his people and country, but it was in the face of Death that he hesitated? Was that truly all that it took? Philip did not know himself and he did not care to find out. He straightened his crown.

He made his way up to his bedchambers, his wings a trail of vibrant aureate in his wake. His arrival was astute, akin to the setting sun, or the perpetual closure of his tired eyes. The weary King made way for his billet, pausing as he caught sight of himself in the mirror at the far end of the room.

Golden wings and a golden. Those were two things which he’d be known for long after his death. The craven King only hoped he’d live long enough to change that”.

Until next time! (Summer C, Crew Young)

Dom’s now a Second Dan!

We’re thrilled to hear that Dom has recently reached black belt Second Dan standard in martial arts, despite the significant limitations on training due to Covid. This is an AWESOME achievement, of which Dominic and his family and martial arts club should be justly proud!

I have never met anyone other than Dom who has reached black belt Second Dan, and this proves just what can be achieved when you work hard enough to reach your goals! Well done, Dominic!!

Anatomy of an examination room

As I sit here reflecting on the past week, Crew Young are in the middle of their last mock exam sitting a science paper based on hydrocarbons and electromagnetism. It’s been a very challenging week for Crew, and at times they’ve had to dig deep and support each other; whether it be through the vagaries of a GCSE Spanish speaking exam, the intricacies of communicable and non-communicable diseases, or the concept of living under Nazi rule, they’ve coped with everything in their stride and with consistently secure HOWLs.

















Here they are inputting their penultimate self-assessed HOWLs grades, prepared to be cold-called and to share work that substantiates the grades that they are entering. A busy last week as we “wind up”, rather than “wind down” towards the end of their term. Well done Crew Young – you make me very proud of you all!

Crew Finch mock-ing about

Mock exams are in full flow and Crew Finch have been working so very hard!  We’ve been trying to keep our Crew time quite relaxed this week but it has, of course, been dominated with exam talk – be it comparing answers or discussing how easy or hard the previous days exams were.

We’re always up for finding ways to make revision a bit more fun, so today we played History Hangman.  The usual rules applied but with an added twist: whoever chose the word had to end their turn by explaining how that word or phrase linked in with either of our two History exam topics: The People’s Health or Living under Nazi Rule.

Top Marks to Kenzie for ‘hanging’ the rest of Crew with his choice, John Snow.  Kenzie then went on to remind us that Snow was responsible for identifying the water source responsible for a major Cholera outbreak in Broad Street in 1854, by plotting cases on a map of the area.  The water pump was removed and cholera infections immediately dropped.

Crew have been absolutely amazing throughout this first week of mock exams.  This is their first experience of sitting in an exam room and having to work under exam conditions. Having to stay still and quiet for up to 1 hour 45 minutes at a time is probably more difficult for them to manage than the exam content itself!  As ever, they are making me proud 🙂

Here’s an update on Crew Finch’s 500 Mile Challenge for Firefly.

We have pledged to walk, run or cycle a total of 500 miles over a 3 month period – find out more in this previous blog post.

We’ve totted up the miles for March and I’m delighted to announce that we have already smashed our target with a combined total of 509 miles done in the first month of the challenge!  

Massive shout out to Noah for clocking up the most mileage, by walking and cycling a total of 167 miles – that’s the same distance from Doncaster to Cardiff (although Noah stuck to walking around the lake and woods near his house 😉 )

When we first spoke about setting the mileage target we thought 500 miles was going to be tough for us.  But Crew have really pulled together here to reach the target and to raise much needed funds for our Crew charity, Firefly.

Even though we’ve reached our target, we’re going to carry on walking until the end of the challenge to see just how far we can go together.

Thank you for the donations so far.  We are still a little way off our £100 target so all donations are gratefully received and will really push us to put a few extra miles in.

Here’s the link to our Virgin Money Fundraising Page.

Thank you 🙂