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:

DofE with a difference

Following on from this previous post about continuing with the DofE Award at home, we’d just like to explain some changes we’ve made to our programme delivery.  This information is mainly aimed at those doing their Bronze award (Y9 students) but it might also help those doing the Silver and Gold awards, too.

As you know, the Bronze Award is made up of 4 different sections:

  • Physical
  • Volunteering
  • Skills
  • Outdoor expedition

Obviously, the outdoor expedition is on hold but students can still carry on working towards achieving the other 3 sections. We would like all Y9 students to follow this adapted programme – Crew Leaders will be in touch to discuss.

In the meantime, click through the slides below to find out more:

News from the Youngsters!

It’s always great to hear from my Crew – or the “Youngsters” – as I affectionately like to call them, and despite the privations and limitations of the social distancing measures it seems some are still managing to get out and about to enjoy the sunshine and keep their fitness levels up. This will be helpful as we look into amending our plans for DofE skills, physical and volunteering activities.

Special mention should go to Maclaren who has completed each and every piece of work from Spanish, maths, HUMS, STEM and art that have been set so far, often before the submission deadline, and this shows excellent HOWLs and time management skills. Well done Maclaren! You are really setting the bar in terms of self-motivation and commitment.

Lewis is also very much on top of his work load and it is clear that he prioritises study and then, quite rightly, rewards himself with some down time. I also hear that he is using resistance bands and going for long bike rides and runs to maintain his fitness. Here is a piece of art work that he was working on recently:

Also very pleasing is how Eleanor and Dominic have received praise from Mrs Sprakes for nearing the completion of Spanish+ tasks at “Developing” standard.

This morning I heard back from Keisha, who is working towards completing hums tasks set recently, whilst also receiving a certificate in Horse Care at “distinction” grade a week ago. Great work Keisha – I know how much compassion you show when volunteering to work with disabled horse riders in your spare time.



Morning Youngsters! Make it count!

Crew Young are used to my cheery salutation of “morning, Youngsters!” to welcome them to Crew at 8.30 every morning, and also my daily “make it count!” reminder as they are dismissed at 9.15 to begin a day’s learning at XP East.

Incredibly, it is over four weeks since they last heard these greetings and reminders, as life as we know it was turned upside down by the effects of the Coronavirus restrictions. Simple routines such as this are very important to me, and to us, as they help to define our concept of “normality” in an increasingly abnormal world. Whilst we might be enjoying the extra time to ourselves, it is sometimes overwhelming to be suddenly given so much unstructured time.

I was really pleased to speak to nearly all of Crew Young and their parents today, to check in with them, recognise, celebrate and praise their work completion (and issue a few reminders) as we all come to terms with the new restrictions on our lives. I discovered that Louie recently achieved his NVQ Level 1 Fire Cadet and First Aid awards, Maclaren is managing to maintain his Tae-kwon-do skills using instructional video tutorials, and that Dominic is using lego for one of his distance learning task set. Summer was just one week away from completing the physical standard of her bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

A special shout out must go to Summer and Lewis for being completely on top of all their studies – nice work you two! Most of Crew Young are not too far behind!

Cliff Young, the Australian farmer who was the inspiration behind our choice of Crew name, became famous for approaching things from a new angle, for doing things that nobody else had even considered, and from thinking “outside the box”. It is this approach that we must all embrace as we grapple with the practicalities of working and studying from home.