It feels strange ending rounding the school year off with a google hangout before we break up for summer, but it’s been a very strange year for my crew. Having spent the last few months apart, aside from hangouts, I am really looking forward to my crew returning in September so we can properly celebrate the incredible work that they have completed in lockdown.

I know that technically we’re not tracking HOWLs this term, but if we were there would definitely be a few members of my crew that would be on track for a 4.5 for their ‘work hard’ habit. Shout out to Lewis and Reece for maintaining a work rate above 95%, and a huge congratulations to Mollie and Dylan for reaching 100% across their core subjects. I am so proud of how hard you’ve worked, and am excited to see this effort you’ve put into lockdown pay off in y11.

For this week’s crew session, I’d like to have a think about what my crew would like to achieve in Y9. I have recently been organising my google drive and came across this picture of my crew tackling their first mountain. Year nine is a monumental year, my crew will be starting their Duke of Edinburgh award, as well as selecting their option subject, and completing passage to prove their readiness for their GCSE exams. I’m going to be discussing what they might like to take for common mission, as well as asking they come up with a pledge to help them tackle the many mountains that this upcoming academic year will present.

Finally, academic crew stuff aside, I look forward to checking in on hangout this week with my crew and wishing them a lovely summer break. I hope they are able to enjoy some of the great outdoors, like we did in Wales, and reflect on how much they’ve grown as people since our first crew activity, pictured above.

I guess I’m checked out!

Over the past fortnight, I have been meeting on hangouts with my crew to discuss their academic progress, their take on what’s going on in the news, and to check in with what they’ve been up to!

Black lives matter

Last week, I spoke with Alice, Dylan and Lewis about the protests that had been taking place and their purpose. We spoke about the blackout Tuesday on social media, and whether or not posting a black square to social media was an effective way of campaigning for equality or whether there were more impactful ways of doing so. It was lovely to hear how thoughtfully they considered the issue and it was nice to gain their insights on the matter.

Working hard in lockdown

I’m immensely proud of the work record that members of my crew have maintained over these first 3 weeks back after the break. Reece, Lewis, Dylan Mollie and Abi have managed to keep their hand in rate above 90%, which is really impressive!

Another highlight worth mentioning, is the graft that Torran, Callum and Lexi have put in this week with academic crew check-ins. I’ve loved discussing electron configuration and getting my head around ions and atoms.

Green thumb

I’ve also loved seeing the work Torran has been putting into their allotment while we’ve been in lockdown, many members of my crew have been helping out in their gardens (including myself!) He’s been enjoying getting to train with his football team again, similarly Lexi was able to do a gymnastics training in an empty car park!

Last week, we also had a fun crew session where crew members had to draw a Pixar movie that we had to each guess, here’s Charlotte’s example of ‘Inside out’. Congrats to Dylan who won the game. I have wished my crew a nice long weekend (due to staff days) and told them to go and get some sun this weekend!



Overall, I’m delighted with the amount and quality of work completed in all subjects by Crew since the lockdown and school closure began in March. It’s been wonderful receiving emails from other teachers praising my Crew members’ work, and as their Hums teacher, seeing the fantastic work they’ve been doing in this subject too.

I know working from home can be tough without the structure of school, teachers, classmates and the resources available but I’m thrilled with how Crew have not let this phase them and are trying their best at home.

Last week really blew me away in Hums. Our current expedition ‘Wave After Wave’ focuses on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ for the English aspect of the expedition. Students have been learning about the plot, characters and techniques Shakespeare uses in his play. One of the tasks for online learning this week was to write a descriptive piece of writing depicting Act 1 Scene 1 of The Tempest – students could decide on which format they wrote their descriptive writing in. We highlighted the need for powerful and interesting adjectives, verbs and adverbs as well as varied sentence structures and figurative language. Here’s some of Crew’s entries:











I also loved the answer Marcus wrote to the question about why Shakespeare would use a storm to open the play and what is significant about this. Here’s his response:



I think it’s clear to see that although Crew are now working at home, they are still working hard and getting smart. It’s been fantastic to see the effort that they have put into their work. I know that by taking responsibility for their own learning and always trying their best to complete the work to a high standard at home, they will definitely hit the ground running when they return to school. KEEP UP THE BRILLIANT WORK!


Stay Positive!

This week, Crew Shackleton has been very busy! 

I thought I’d share the positive take Crew Shackleton has taken from being at home with their families. I’ve been amazed by the emails I’ve received from the parents of our crew, sharing what they’ve been up to this week.

After school work in a morning, Jacob has been helping his mum do the chores, then he’s been in the kitchen cooking up a storm. Jacob and his sister made lots of treats this week, including home-made burgers and biscuits. Don’t they look delicious! And to top it off, Jacob has been on several walks and bike rides in the countryside with his family. 

Faith and her sister have been busy decorating their dad’s house with pretty chalked patterns, showing their thanks to the NHS. Faith has also been on many bike rides, keeping fit whilst scoping the local wildlife.

Nikodem has taken the opportunity to spend some time to enjoy this lovely weather, either on his bike or out exploring near his home. He has also enjoyed completing some of his work. As we can see, he’s in full concentration mode. Good job Nikodem!

This week, Zach has been on several nature walks along the river Don. On his journey, he learnt some new skills. Zach learnt how to forage for wild plants! He picked some wild garlic with his brother and sister. I wonder what he’ll make with that.

This week Zach has been in the kitchen, baking his mum a birthday cake. So sweet! To celebrate, Zach and his family had afternoon tea in the garden. They also had the pool up this week as it has been warm. Zach has been touring round his local canal on his family’s boat, looking for all kinds of wildlife.

This week, Lilly has really enjoyed baking cakes as well as helping her parents with meals, encouraging them to eat healthy. She has spent time with her family, having BBQs in the garden and playing on the new VR headset. Lilly has been keeping her fitness up too alongside her sister. And of course, she’s been watching lots of Netflix in bed. Lilly even cut her sister’s hair this week!!!

Each day this week, after a long day at school, Woody went home to spend some quality time with his pet cat, Sox.

It’s great to see everyone enjoying themselves at home, spending some much needed time with their families. I just had to share Crew Shackleton’s positive vibes during this trying time.

Can’t wait to see what you all do next week! 

Stay positive!

May the fourth be with you…

This week has been a highly eventful week for Crew Turing, starting at the end of last week with Lexi’s birthday, followed by Alice and Torran’s on Monday. Each crew member has reportedly enjoyed their lock down birthdays despite not being able to see friends, we made sure to include some fun on our crew hangout.

With Alice and Torran’s birthday coinciding with May 4th, we did a Star Wars themed quiz on Kahoot! Congratulations to Lewis for winning top prize, with Ralph and Lewis in close second.

Academic crew: getting smart in lockdown

This week I have added a further ‘drop in’ non compulsory crew slot that I invited people to join for an academic crew. I was joined by multiple members of my crew, we shared a doc that we collaborated on to support one another with their learning. This week’s focus was hums, we built background knowledge about the new expedition, ‘Wave after Wave’. It was fascinating to learn about the Early Modern Period, I’d like to appreciate Molly, Reece and Lexi for reaching out, and for how well you worked together on this. It was almost as good as being back in school!



Callum has been (& always is, let’s be honest) a star in crew this week, he’s been cracking on especially hard while in school this week, and has received an e-postcard from Mr Pearson, for the high quality spanish work he’s producing. Not only this, on Thursday afternoon I recieved a heartwarming email from Mr Burke:

‘Bless Callum Ando! what a kid he is. He’s done right well with his maths. Such a nice lad!’

I love hearing about how my crew have been getting on. Keep it up Callum!


Another student who needs a mention in this blogpost is Mollie, for her frankly astounding work for HUMs on crime and punishment in the Elizabethan times, you are clearly working extremely hard Mollie. I loved reading your notes from the work set this week, you absolute superstar!!


We ended the week with a bit of a daft crew session where we celebrated my dogs first birthday! I asked people with pups to bring them on hangout and we did a quiz on dogs.

I’d like to appreciate Coco (Ralph’s Pug, see picture below!), Rebel (Jess’ new puppy), Lewis and his pug Sid, Rufus (Dylan’s Labradoodle) & Mollie for sharing her pictures of her gorgeous Labs with me and making Iggy Pup’s quarantine birthday one to remember!

Important Updates for this week:

  • I’ll be hosting crew on Monday at 11:30AM, and Thursday at 2:00PM
  • I will also host another academic crew on Tuesday and Thursday to help my crew with any work, time tbc. This is a drop in session, they do not have to join!
  • I’d like them to complete a slide on the ‘Turing Memories’ slides I have shared for Thursday, or share pictures/email me with what they’ve been up to & I’ll add it to their slides
  • The students are on half term from Friday [2 weeks off!]


What are you looking forward to?

Our Crew check-in this week on our Google Hangout was “what are you most looking forward to when lockdown ends?” and we had some lovely answers!

  • Eating at McDonald’s came to mind for Marshall
  • I think all of us are looking forward to seeing family and friends
  • A number of the Crew are just excited at the thought of being in school (XP East is just that good!)
  • Cerys is really looking forward to ice skating – not something you can really practice from home!
  • Going to festivals – Zak has tickets to Leeds Festival in August and it is still happening as far as we’re aware…
  • What are you most looking forward to?

And what have we been getting up to, to pass the time when we’re not doing our school work?  Leoni has been doing mindfulness colouring, Zak is continuing with his basketball and Cerys with her baking – check out the cake below!

Charlie and Ruben have both shaved their heads to keep cool in the warmer weather and keep their hair under control – though we haven’t got photographs to share yet!

In recognition of his participation and commitment to Crew Hangouts every week, I also nominated Marshall for a mention on Mrs Poncia’s Associate Principal blog:

It’s also great to see several of the Crew going above and beyond in their learning, even when working remotely.  Special mentions in the last week or so go to:

  • Ruben for getting ahead on his HUMAN work and asking for even more before the new expedition started!
  • Cerys, Caiden, Leoni, Marshall and Zak for full completion of their HUMAN immersion.
  • Cerys, Charlie, Marshall, Ruben and Tom for going above and beyond in Maths on at least one occasion, in Cerys’ case, with every single task!
  • Billy, Leoni, Marshall and Ruben completing their STEAM tasks way ahead of this week’s deadline on 8th May.
  • Great completion rate across the Arts for Leoni and Cerys, again ahead of the deadline in Leoni’s case.
  • Zak, Ruby, Leoni, Lacey, Charlie and Cerys all receiving e-postcards from Mr Pearson in Spanish.

I’m really impressed that there are so many names of our Crew members mentioned by staff in a positive light in the various meetings we have each week.  Let’s make sure any deadlines we are behind on are caught up and that we keep helping one another to be successful despite the wait until you can all have a celebratory McDonald’s!

Catching up on Crew Hangouts

Each week since COVID-19 caused schools to close we’ve been having Crew over Google Hangouts. It’s been wonderful to see Crew and have a chat to them, despite not able to be all together. We’ve not yet managed a whole crew hangouts – our maximum being 10 out of 12 members getting involved at once so it’d be great if we can all reunite soon!

Our conversations have covered what we’ve each been up to since the lockdown, how we’re getting on with completing work and our highlights and lowlights of the week. It’s been lovely to hear that crew having been busy baking, going out walking, going on bike rides, watching Netflix (Tiger King generated a lot of conversation the other week!), chatting to each other on PS4 and trying not to go stir crazy!

One of my favourite sessions we’ve had was today when we shared photos of us as babies/toddlers. Thanks for sharing these Crew – what a cute bunch you were!

Can other students/staff guess which photo belongs to which Crew member? Email me your answers!

Crew member 1:

Crew member 2:

Crew member 3:


Crew member 4:

Crew member 5:



This week we’ve condensed our crew sessions and switched up our activities to make them more diverse, and I have really enjoyed the time we’ve spent on google hangouts together. I set up a kahoot this week with a tonne of questions on topics they had been learning about using their google classrooms. I mixed all their different subjects up, and added in some general knowledge and Shrek trivia, just for my crew. Annoyingly, the quiz I made didn’t actually work (I’ve saved it in my drafts for next week), but I found a good replacement and I’d like to congratulate Charlotte for winning the quiz!

I’ve had some wonderful submissions from crew members sharing what they’ve been up to this week. Sami has been going out daily to walk his dogs, and has been enjoying time at home with his brother. Jess has sent us more gorgeous pictures of the work she does on the farm with her horses and donkeys. Lewis has also showed us his new quarantine ‘do! I love these little updates!

An aspect of school that I am really missing are the community meetings on a Friday. The opportunity to appreciate someone is really important to our crew as giving thanks to others helps develop the character trait of compassion.

Just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we have to give up on all the nice elements of social interaction. I asked each crew member to create a little appreciation postcard for another member of my crew, it didn’t need to be academic, just something nice that another had done for them, no matter how small. Here’s what they came up with:
















It’s great to hear these stories of crew members supporting each other with work, or providing entertaining discussions – something we all need while stuck at home. I’m going to look at filling some more of these in this week during crew (Monday 11:30am and Thursday 2:00PM).

Excited to update you with more shenanigans next week!

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):


Quality Work from Crew Parkinson!

We’re now in week 5 of lockdown and Crew have been very busy. It’s lovely to catch up with Crew each week using Google Hangouts – we check in to see how everyone is and what they’ve been doing. It’s great to hear that Crew have been out on bike rides, baking and dog walks – it’s so lucky that we’ve had this lovely weather to enjoy.

It’s also been fantastic to see how each student is taking responsibility for their own learning and responding so maturely to the change to normality. Have a look at the quality work Crew have been producing:

  • in Art students have been producing waves in the style of ‘The Great Wave’ by Hokusai – here’s Marcus and Ava’s fantastic work: 
  • In Hums to end the ‘I’ve Got the Power’ expedition, students have been analysing persuasive articles and writing their own – here are examples again of Marcus and Ava’s articles on whether power is a force for good or not.
  • Callum also worked super hard on this article, always trying to push himself and Get Smart – here’s an email I received from him so that he could respond to my feedback before the final submission – what a responsible and hard working young man! 


  • Rosie also blew me away with her commitment to analysing an article by Jo Butler – answering the question ‘How does Jo Butler try to convince the reader that British people are being taken for granted?’ – here’s her great response!


  • Last but not least, over to maths! Aaron has been working above and beyond on Hegarty maths – it was lovely to be copied into this email from Mr Nixon to Aaron and his Mumwhat a superstar!


I’m so impressed with all crew members – here’s just a selection of work and praise but I’m so proud of everyone for how they have adapted to these times – I love checking in with Crew each week and hope you all continue to work hard and play hard!

Stay safe everyone