Crew Young catch-up, Keisha’s butterfly!

We’ve all heard of Austin’s butterfly… how about Keisha’s butterfly? For our latest update from Crew Young I’ve captured comments from students describing their reactions to recent tragic events in America, and shared their current work and progress on the DofE First Aid course.

Keisha e-mailed me a piece of her beautiful art work last week, and I simply had to include it in our blog as an example of work that she’s really proud of:

Great work here Keisha – I like how you’ve blended the colours together in both the butterfly and the plant. Remember Austin’s butterfly? How he crafted and re-crafted his work acting on kind, specific and helpful peer feedback?

Dominic reminded us that he’s still training for MMA and for his DofE Award:

Well done Dominic, we already know that “you are amazing!” at times, but it’s helpful to be reminded of it now and again!

Summer wished to contribute her thoughts about the death of George Floyd in America:

“...Even things that many people grew up with, things such as comedic blackface or use of racial slurs, were only deemed acceptable due to the deeply rooted history of racism that, despite slavery being abolished, was never truly made illegal.

Therefore, I don’t believe that our generation is “overreacting” as many older generations may have the media believe.
No, we are not overreacting. We are thinking. We are watching. We are solving. We have seen what is wrong with the way things are, and we want to make sure it is never the same way again. 
All lives cannot matter until black lives matter.
Keisha agreed: “I support the Black Lives Matter movement and I think it was very upsetting and a little unsettling what the police did to George Floyd”.
Maclaren added : “I feel that George Floyd’s death has pushed an issue that was already
at the boiling point from all of the other deaths like this one“.
Louie thought: “The death of George was truly tragic, and it’s upsetting and scary that there are police officers out who took an oath to help and to protect the people in their community, but I’m against the rioting just because he was black, and that they think that the cops killed him because he was black, when the real story was the cop was just a bad officer…“.
Lewis was also less persuaded of a racial element to the incident: “It shouldn’t be all about racism and it has became that. What happened was a police officer was brutal and inhumane to a man. Just because it was a white man and a black man does not mean it is racist at all….”.
One of the things that I’ve really missed during lockdown is the opportunity afforded in Crew sessions for us to discuss and debate key worldwide events such as the Coronavirus Pandemic, or George Floyd’s death. We do this within a compassionate framework where differences of opinion and perceptions are welcomed, voiced, respected and encouraged, especially when they might link directly to our expeditions such as, in this case, “Stand up!”.



It’s great to have regular contact with Crew Young and hear how they’re doing during lockdown. Recently I asked them to share advice for new staff and students, with the benefit of their (nearly) three years of experience at the school, about “what makes us XP?”:

For teachers to join next year i would say take each day as it is and try and relate with students more then ever before if you actually want to know them as many fail to do so in many scenarios in the education system“.

For new teachers I would give the advice of not being afraid to teach differently to others because if you teach differently it could help the student retain information easier. For new students, I would possibly say it’s okay if you’re shy but if you know the answer to something, maybe try putting yourself out there and put your hand up“.

My advice would be to just follow what the current teachers are doing right now with feedback on work and fieldwork building onto expeditions“.

The advice I would give to any new student at XP/XP East is that they shouldn’t worry about making friends and should just be themselves. This is because, as a recent new student, I was very nervous that people wouldn’t like me or wouldn’t want to be my friend because of the way I act. However, XP East was extremely welcoming and everybody accepts who you are without hesitation. Therefore, any new student shouldn’t make the same mistake I did by doubting themselves and should instead put themselves out there, because there will always be someone willing to talk to you or be your friend”

In our next Crew blog we’ll report back on which distance learning measures Crew Young feel have been the most effective as they head towards the demands of GCSE study in Y10…..



DofE Bronze Award Update

In April we told you about changes to our DofE delivery in this blog post.

We now know that students won’t be able to complete the Outdoor Expedition within the original timescales set.

Unfortunately, this means that our Y9 students won’t be awarded the full Bronze Award this academic year.

However, DofE still want to recognise and celebrate participants’ achievements so far – and rightly so! – and will be awarding a Certificate of Achievement to all those who complete the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections before the end of the year (31/12/20 is the official date but we will be setting our own school deadline, which is likely to be much earlier!)

Students will receive the full Bronze Award once they have completed the Outdoor Expedition, and we already have plans in place to get this done as soon as we can!

It is important to note that students will NOT receive the full Bronze Award if they don’t have the 2020 Certificate of Achievement before the end of the year.

We really hope you continue to support and encourage your child through their DofE journey.

Here’s the WHY:

Outdoor Education is a huge part of the XPE experience; it starts with Outward Bound and carries on through fieldwork and the DofE Awards we offer from Y9.

DofE in particular helps students build key life skills – not least compassion, resilience, and teamwork – reinforcing what our CHARACTER TRAITS, HOWLS and CREW.  We want our students to be the best versions of themselves, and truly believe that DofE helps them to achieve this.

So, here’s a quick summary of where we’re at at XPE:






Students have completed the Volunteering section.  This was done in school with Y9 students becoming Volunteer Reading Mentors for Y7.


We have asked all Y9 students to complete the St John Ambulance First Aid Course. Details have been uploaded onto the DofE Google Classroom.

I’d like to give a massive appreciation to the the following students who have been working through the weekly First Aid tasks that are being set for them:

Thomas H, Ben, Aran K, Rhys, Summer, Maclaren, Kaiden, Keisha, Theone, Eleanore and Chloe

Thank you all so much – I’m really impressed with what you’ve all done so far and would definitely feel safe being out on expedition with you guys!   

There are still quite a few of students who need to join the classroom, or who have joined but have yet to start – it is really important that they make a start as soon as possible and get these tasks done!

Many students were using out of school activities as evidence for this section.  However, once we went into lockdown, these activities were stopped and some students haven’t been able to collect enough evidence to complete this section.

However, students still need to continue with evidencing some form of physical activity and we have made some suggestions of what they could easily be getting on with: walking, running, gardening, Joe Wicks’ daily PE lesson on YouTube to name a few.

These sessions can be added to any which were previously recoded before lockdown (so you don’t have to start the 12 hours again!) but you MUST agree this with your Crew Leader. New evidence sheets are on the DofE Classroom.  

Submitting Evidence

All evidence will be submitted via the eDofE mobile app.  It’s really easy to use and I’ll be in touch with each Crew to talk them through the process.

Thank you. 

Return to work for Crew Young

After a two week break we return (metaphorically) to school in what is incredibly the fifth and final term of this academic year, and the end of another Key Stage for Crew Young. As we move inexorably towards GCSE in Year 10 it’s clear that some of us are finding time to research common mission options and subjects; Maclaren is keen on computer science, Summer is interested in media and geography for a possible career in journalism, Eleanor favours business studies and Keisha prefers psychology, but Louie is still undecided.

It’s also great to receive praise shared by colleagues for the hard work that is going on at home by students that are engaging with assignments being set. This week Mrs Sprakes was full of praise for Eleanor and her progress in Spanish+, whilst Miss Batty really appreciated the effort that Louie is putting into his Empire task and the Indian Wars of Independence. Well done everybody!

There’s still lots more for us to get through:
– This term we begin a new STEM expedition entitled “here comes the sun”.
– We are now aiming to complete TWO DofE First Aid course sessions per week (Chest Pains and Low Blood Sugar both this week) to ensure full completion of the course.
– We’ve also been invited to Go Wild for 30 days (and beyond!) by Mr Said here:

YEAR 9: New birdwatching world record*

We have a new record in Year 9 for the most birds spotted in a single session.

Kyle in X24 spotted an incredible 60 birds from 14 different species, including a sparrow hawk and two herons.

Whilst we have not set any work for students in Year 9 to complete over the two week break we would love it if they continued with their birdwatching, bug hotels and bird boxes. Please remind them to send us lots of photos. We are in competition with XP for the most birds spotted. This means we need to up our game, as E24 are currently behind X24 in the leaderboard.

*not verified by Norris McWhirter

Cracking week from Crew Young!

This week I’ve received countless positive comments from Crew Young students and our staff that work with them, and it’s been a great end to a shorter working week than usual. I also asked them to identify a celebrity who they would like to share a Google Hangout with and why, and these were their thoughts:

Lewis would probably choose last year’s NBA league MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo or the iconic Lebron James due to his passions around basketball, whilst Maclaren would prefer to share a Hangout with family members that live in Australia.

Summer would host So Hyang, a South Korean singer who is often classified as the best Vocalist of modern day. She has survived cervical cancer and can no longer have children, and uses this story as her power when singing.

Keisha would interview Kylie Cantrall because she’s a really good actress and singer; she’s only 14.

Here are some of the appreciations and recognition from staff this week:

Crew Young have also been busy working on their Duke of Edinburgh bronze award skills challenge. Here are Lewis and Summer placing family members into the recovery position:

I’m really impressed with how versatile and creative Crew Young members are being whilst subject to the lockdown measures. Great work everybody!

E24 – Closing circle hangout meeting

This afternoon at 3.00pm we will be hosting a hangout for all of Year 9 across both schools to find out how they have been getting on with their STEAM immersion challenges.

Students can join the meeting by logging into their school account and going to:

Attendance for the launch hangout was fantastic. Thanks to all of our families for your continuing support.


Brief update from Crew Young

This week I’ve heard back from most Crew members, the majority of whom appear to be busily working their way through distance learning tasks that staff have been setting, as well as re-considering how they might now achieve the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award.

I was delighted to hear about Lewis D’s nomination as one of the few “Hegarty Heroes”, and this is timely recognition for all the hard work he puts into his mathematics tasks. He’s still training with resistance bands and going for a few runs to balance the academic with the athletic.

Maclaren continues to stay on top of his work, with a 100% work completion score in every subject area – well done Maclaren! He’s also keeping up with his online Tae-kwon-do training, and has bought himself a computer science book.

George reports that: “This week I’ve been going for walks in the woods with my family, such as Cantley Park and Kingswood. I have also been walking my dog Frequently” (strange name for a dog!).

Glad to hear that Keisha is still able to continue her voluntary work with horses whilst observing social distance measures, and has made a start on the St. John’s First Aid course in Common Mission.

Summer has swapped ice skating for dog walking for her DofE physical challenge, and her father is helping her with the First Aid training in Common Mission.

Isabel is catching up with Hegarty maths and Tassomai science, but missed the deadline this week for posting photos of her work.

Sounds like we’re on it!


On the 4th of May- all year E24 and X24 at XP Trust will be starting their new expedition for STEAM. This will be starting with a week of immersion, adapted for the current lockdown home learning. Including experts, fieldwork and whole school Google Hangout quiz challenge!

All students in year 9 in both schools will receive a Google Hangout invitation hosted by Mr Smith and Mr Said and learning coaches. This will have key information and challenges for the week to come. 

The Hangout will be 1pm Tuesday 5th of May. 

Below is a Teaser Trailer to the new expedition- Here Comes the Sun!


A bit of show and tell from the Youngsters!

This week we can show and tell you about some of the work that Crew Young have been getting their teeth into whilst under the current lockdown restrictions.

Earlier in the week each “Youngster” and their parents received a personalised “work completion review” document designed to reward and recognise those with consistently secure HOWLs, and also intended to prompt an informed discussion around emerging distance learning issues, and how these might be mitigated. It might be something as simple as incorrect work sharing permissions on a Google classroom, but at times it’s not always such an easy fix!

It’s clear that nearly all of us are sticking to the basic principle of “do what you can, when you can” and here Summer has shared some of her most recent digital art work.

George‘s contribution to this blog is centred around his current humanities work text study, whilst Lewis continues to make progress with his digital graphics:

Dominic is prioritising his art assignments, practising drawing sketches of characters from memory, whilst Louie has been considering how his involvement with the Fire Cadets might help enable him to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh bronze award through a different pathway than he’d originally planned: