E26 and E25 have been learning about warm and cool colours in their X Block art sessions.

They have a really good understanding of this, as you can see from their work!

E25 (Year 8) STEAM Presentation of Learning

The Year 8 STEAM presentation of learnings will be held on:

  • Pioneer: Wednesday 18th December, 5-6PM at XP East

  • Explorer: Thursday 19th December 5-6PM at XP East

The students look forward to sharing the work they’ve been studying in the STEAM expedition, where they have been working towards the guiding question “What is the state of the nation’s health and what should we do about it?”

We welcome you to invite family and friends to the event, sign in will begin at 4:45PM on both nights. We also ask that students remain in school from 3:15PM until the event, if there’s an issue with this don’t hesitate to drop me an email: khaughey@xpeast.org

E25 Sponsored Run

As you will be aware, E25 were due to complete their 5k sponsored run/ walk around Lakeside today afternoon (26th Nov) but unfortunately due to unforeseeable circumstances and staff absences this has had to be postponed until next week, Tuesday 3rd December. Could we please ask that all sponsorship forms are brought into school by Thursday 28th November. Sponsor money will should be brought in by Friday 6th December – thank you to those who have already done this.

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Please be aware that students are still expected to bring in their PE kit on Tuesday. 

We appreciate all of your support in helping us to fund an education and support people in Doncaster’s Community.

A special mention to Aaron and Denim who have raised between them £55! – this is fantastic and any amount sponsored will be much appreciated, it’ll all add up!

 

ABOVE ALL, COMPASSION. 

Marginal gains in Crew Turing

 

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Green for coming in and doing a session on careers with my crew! I can’t wait to build on the work she did helping my crew come up with careers they might be interested in or suited to based on the questionnaires they filled in. This week we’ll look further into some options and what they will need to do in terms of qualifications or work experience to enter certain industries or careers.

This week, my crew have been focusing on our position on the crew dashboards comparatively with other crews in E25. I’m delighted that we have almost no entries to the negative conduct form and that on the whole, extended study is handed in on time and equipment is organised amongst my crew.

There were two aspects of the dashboard that we acknowledged needed working on: praise form entries and our attendance. There were lots of bugs being passed about last term, even I ended up really poorly at one point! However, we’ve made an agreement that this term we focus on making marginal gains in terms of our attendance percentage as every day at school mattered.

We even did the maths, since our average attendance last term was just 90%, as a collective crew we’d miss out on over 100 days of school if we carried on like this! I’m already seeing a great improvement this week.

The issue of our praise form entries was something that we also needed to intervene in as a crew. We discussed how we could improve our number of entries on the praise form, and we decided to set a challenge. Daily, each member of my crew were to record how many times another crew member put their hand up and answered a question or posed a question to a teacher to help clarify their understanding. Here’s how they got on:

I’d like to massively appreciate Torran for his improvement from no entries on day 1 to 5 by day 3 and Dylan for increasing his to 13 on one day! Most of my crew really rose to the challenge and I, amongst others, noticed a real difference in sesion. We even went from the bottom scorers on the praise entries, to the 3rd crew in the year, making gains of +4.0 in our entry average. I’m going to carry this on next week until we reign supreme at the top of the crew dashboard, I’m determined that each marginal gain will have a huge impact on our comparative scores across the crews.

Another focus we’ll be looking towards as a crew this week is the general election and taking a wider look at the world around us. I’ve got us a subscription to National Geographic magazine which I’m going to make the focus of this week’s accelerated reader crew, I can’t wait to delve into important issues in our global community!

Crew Parkinson’s Clean Up Crew

This week, Crew Parkinson had our clean up crew session. We went out litter picking on the school grounds and braved the weather to do our bit. We discussed stewardship and why it’s important to clean up litter for environmental reasons and to make our area look better so it’s more enjoyable to be in. Here we are in action:

E25 Sponsored Walk for the Conversation Club

On the 26/11/19, E25 will be taking part in a 5km sponsored walk or run. This will be part of their HUMAN expedition ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’ and will take place during their PE session.

We will be raising money for the Conversation Club, a charity in Doncaster who supports asylum seekers and refugees. This charity is vital in creating a support network for people who have had to flee their country due to political and religious persecution.

Earlier in the expedition, we were lucky enough to be visited by a group of asylum seekers who are supported by the Conversation Club. It was lovely to see the students so engrossed in listening to the stories of each of the asylum seekers but also sharing a laugh with them too! The students were shocked by some of the reasons why our visitors had to flee, what would’ve happened to them if they had stayed and were moved by the stories of being separated from their family and the emotional impact this has. It was also interesting to hear how many misconceptions there are in society about asylum seekers and by speaking to our visitors we all learnt a lot about this.

We were pleased to hear our visitors enjoyed the experience of visiting our school as much as we enjoyed having them!

Asylum seekers have to live on only £37.75 a week and any support they receive from the Conversation Club is funded through charity and the kindness of volunteers. E25 and X25 will be taking part in this event (separately) so we have the potential to raise a lot for this charity.  We will be taking part in other fundraising activities throughout this term to raise more money towards this cause.  If each student can be sponsored £1 then it will be a massive help in reaching our target amount for the charity, but feel free give as little, or as much as you can.

Students were handed a sponsor form last week in crew but if they have lost it then they can ask myself or Miss Johnson for another one.

Without wanting to get political it is important to remember instead that these are people who just want to secure their safety. Our character traits of respect and compassion ring out in the students when they get involved with members of our community in this way and I am be proud to work with such mature and compassionate students at XP EAST.

 

ABOVE ALL, COMPASSION. 

Start the day with gratitude

So this week in Crew we’ve been focusing on gratitude and appreciation. How can we be more grateful for the things we take for granted? How can we remind ourselves of all the positivity around us when there are so many negative images forced upon us each day? How can we use gratitude to shift our feelings from negative to positive?

We started with some appreciations, then looked at this meme and discussed what resonated with each of us in Crew?

It was really interesting that our discussion took us into a way of realising that actually even in really difficult, sad, troubling or depressing situations, gratitude and spending a moment to think about either the positives in an apparently negative situation, or even looking for the things we are grateful for can help to lift us into better spirits: more contentment and happiness.

We explored the language of “cultivating a shift” – how can we take control of our emotions and feelings, to not ignore them (it’s ok to be sad, feel down, have a tough day!) – but we can choose whether we let those emotions control our mind, or whether we want to try and shift our minds into a more positive state.

We can dwell on situations out of our control. For instance, Fin showed courage and talked about his bad knee, and how it prevents him from doing activities and being as physical as he’d like to be, but he realises there is little he can do about the situation.

We discussed how this could be really frustrating or depressing. But with a shift in thinking about what good has come out of his injury – what he has to be grateful about – he could see that his friends really step up and look after him when he’s in pain, rallying around him; his friendships are strengthened by his injury!

We ended the session by writing down as many things as possible on a post-it note that we are grateful for.

Try it at home? What are you grateful for today? Can you acknowledge the things that make us depressed or sad or down, and “cultivate a shift” towards using out emotional energy to be grateful and feel positive about what we DO have?

Crew Parkinson’s week looked like this:

Monday – weekend check-ins, I love hearing what Crew gets up to during their weekends and they always have plenty of questions to ask each other about their activities

Tuesday – we did our Star reader test. Reading is so important for increasing vocabulary and academic progress, so as part of the accelerated reader programme, students complete a Star reader test multiple times a year to measure their reading age and progress. The next time we have an accelerated reader crew session we agreed we will begin a book recommendation chart to share great books and help crew find others which may be of interest.

Wednesday – students who were helping out at the open evening had a chance to speak to the member of staff they were helping out to organise what they would be doing that night – I’d like to appreciate all members of Crew Parkinson who helped out on either or both of the evenings, we couldn’t have done it without you!

Thursday – this was our activity day so we had a session on team building, students were in groups of 4 and had to build the tallest free-standing tower made of balloons and sellotape. The winning team was Shanna, Dylan, Rosie and Kris thanks to their speedy balloon blowing up skills and great design. Here’s how they did:

Friday – We looked at the praise sheet and poor conduct sheet this session. I’m thrilled to have 10 out of the 12 crew members on the praise sheet, many multiple times and across a variety of sessions. However, we also discussed the entries on the poor conduct form where 6 members of crew unfortunately appeared. We discussed how this made us feel and shared our thoughts on the reasons that these members were on – when we look next week we hope there will be no members of Crew Parkinson added to the poor conduct sheet!

But to end on a positive, here are some of the praise sheet entries for Crew Parkinson:

Callum : “Made a comment in Hums today about the work being hard, but was trying all throughout and made some great contributions! Keep up the hard work!”

Aaron : “Increased contribution in Hums – great to see Aaron putting his hand up more and offering answers, keep it up!”

Kristian : “A series of excellent maths lessons, mega impressed with Kristian’s focus and how he works with those around him – keep it up!”

Ava : “Consistently working hard in class [science], quick to start tasks and giving detailed answers.”

Bob : “Bob showed great resilience when learning an 8 Beat on the drums during Music.”

Lacey : “Lacey has been concentrating really well and working hard in her art lessons.”

 

Crew Turing’s 2019 Challenge

This year started on such a positive for Crew Turing after ending the year on a high. We are seeking to further our self improvement this coming year as my crew recognise they are no longer the youngest in the school and will be stepping up to the plate as role models for E26.

One student who had fantastic news to share with crew who I’d really like to spotlight in this post is our very own Lexi, who has made impressive amounts of progress in her gymnastics training since starting at XP East a year ago. She has continuously moved up into more advanced classes and is competing regularly. Check out her skills:

I love it when members of crew bring in items to crew for us to celebrate! Another member of crew whose achievements we’ve loved hearing about is Torran, who is currently top of his football league and who has scored in the past few games.

One item we really reflected on rebooting was reading now we’re all back from summer. It was heartening to hear that so many of my crew had enjoyed books over the holidays – Jessie deserves a special mention for reading 8+ during the break! We know there is a correlation between grades and reading, but more importantly, it’s so important to invest time in reading for your wellbeing.

 

My crew stated that they want to up the stakes for the reading challenge this year. I hoped all 13 of us would read 100 books be December 2019 – I personally have read 16 so far! They suggested various ideas for prizes or competitions for those who were reading. I have taken their ideas into account and have ordered these badges. Anyone in my crew, or beyond for that matter, who reads 8 books between now and Christmas break will earn themselves a Lifetime Book Lovers Club Member enamel pin. I will also take the book length into consideration, but I’d love to hand a few of these out come December time.

To track our progress some members of my crew have created goodreads accounts, where they can review books they have read, track their reading progress, and set themselves targets. This website is also fantastic for book recommendations, lots of students were able to find curated lists of books they’d like based on genres they enjoyed.

I’ve ordered 5 badges for now, let’s see how many I’ll be handing out!

What makes Crew Parkinson happy?

Each member of crew brought either a photo or an item in which either makes, or represents, something that makes them happy.

It was lovely hearing about the hobbies that Crew does. For example, Callum and his fishing to Marcus and Fortnite to Florence, Rosie and Dylan and their various types of dancing. There were also lots of lovely photos of crew member’s dogs – I always love a cute dog photo!

It was great for crew to share their interests and hobbies with the everyone, why they enjoy them and how it makes them feel. It acted as a great starting point which sparked some very interesting conversations!