To explain how we use Common Mission to support students to access different pathways to academic, career and life readiness at XP. Common Mission is a curriculum process that is additional to our Core GCSEs, where we further develop character and positive habits of work and learning in our students. In addition to our Core GCSEs, we run one session a week from Year 9 called ‘Common Mission’. These sessions allow students to think about, prepare and take qualifications in pathways that will help them to become who they want to be later in life. Common Mission sessions include career and further education advice, as well as time for them to study a GCSE of their choice if they have the motivation, capacity and capability to do so. Common Mission includes the opportunity to study a Choice qualification or to pursue other curriculum or personal interests. In these sessions students develop their self-study skills so they are ready for their next steps in the education process.
On Wednesday the 14th of April, students at X25 and E25 students will choose one of the following common mission options to develop their self-study skills so they are ready for their next steps in the education process, with the potential to gain the listed qualifications. 28th of April will be the start date Your support and guidance as parents will be invaluable to our students making a choice that is right for them. As well as discussions at home, our students will spend time in crew this week. Please see the video below outlining the overview of Common mission. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate use the form attached and I will answer any questions as soon as possible.
I’ve been left speechless by the outstanding passage presentations we’ve had this week. The quality of reflections from the students in Crew on their character and academic growth since year 7 has been eye opening. They have spoken with such maturity and integrity that has made myself (and their families of course) so proud. I’ve been pleased to have been able to mark so many of the students as exceeding the standard – all the hard work has paid off!
It’s not happened by accident though, the students have been busy preparing, redrafting and rehearsing for months. Here’s Florence practising her passage in Crew this morning – all students so far have been very professional in their presenting skills and are way beyond their years in their ability to speak to adults and a guest panelist they have never met before, it takes some real courage and I’m sure there’s not many 13/14 year olds out there who could do this.
For students in year 9 to be able to so confidently identify and present their strengths, weaknesses and how they overcome challenges to improve, not only academically but personally as well, is exceptional – and all in a national lockdown! I can’t praise them enough for the strength they have shown. I am so proud of them and I hope they all realise how brilliant they are – I’m excited to see the rest of Crew’s passage presentations next week!
Crew Parkinson have had a wonderful return to school despite it being an online return rather than in person. The last time we were all together we were celebrating Christmas with each other, opening secret Santa gifts, listening to music and having a laugh as you can see below – it all seems so long ago now. I don’t think any of us thought that we’d be returning to school under lockdown number 3 and facing the next term online, but we’re making the most of it.
In terms of how they’ve been getting on – they’ve been absolute angels! Despite the challenges of online learning we’ve had nearly 100% attendance for every crew session and lesson for the last 3 weeks! Students are doing so well tackling their new expeditions online – I got an email through with this lovely praise for Ava from Miss Haughey, it’s great to see she’s smashing it in maths.
We’ve also been busy preparing for Passage over the last few weeks in crew, continuing the hard work students put in when we were at school. We’ve had to adapt a lot over the last weeks and Passage is included in this but I’m so proud of the quality reflections students have made on their time at XP East so far and how they have grown and changed since year 7. I’m sure they will be able to explain really articulately during their Passage presentation why they are ready to start their GCSEs – watch this space for updates over the coming weeks!
Crew have started their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is a really exciting opportunity and experience for year 9 and will help to develop their skills, character and relationships. The expedition is not until next year but I’m sure when we start it will remind us of our time in Wales when we walked with our massive rucksacks for a night of wild camping – I’m sure we’ll have just as much fun but hopefully it’ll be a little easier this time as they’ve grown so much!
But, for now we have started our Skills section journey – students are undertaking a 12 week course to learn all about how to deal with different first aid scenarios. This week was focused on how to cope in an emergency, the steps to take and how to put people in the recovery position. These are valuable skills that are needed not only to complete DofE but will potentially help students in the future if they ever need to give first aid. As you can see, the level of focus was fantastic in this session as students worked independently using their booklets, videos and specific websites to understand and develop their knowledge of the correct way to give First Aid.
Crew have been fantastic in the way they have conducted themselves around school and in their lessons since returning from lockdown/summer. I’m proud of how they have matured, grown in their characters and come back stronger!
I was so happy when we all returned on our Crew Day on the first day back to discuss our experiences over summer and lockdown, have a catch up and explore the impacts the pandemic has had on our lives and society.
Since then it’s been full on back into lessons. It’s lovely to see Crew building relationships with their new teachers and hearing all the exciting expeditions that they are starting. From what I’ve seen and heard they have been working so hard during their sessions and have really stepped it up now they’re in Year 9 – I can’t wait for all the exciting new experiences they will have this year, from Passage, to Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and their GCSE choice option. We’ve got a great year ahead!
Here they all are looking so much more grown up! (and thrilled at having their photo taken)
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!
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!
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:
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!
We said goodbye to each other on Friday and we’re not sure when we will be back in school again. We’re in very uncertain times as a country right now but what really made me proud was how mature Crew has been over the last week. We had some very sincere discussions about how we were feeling about what is happening right now and it has been a pleasure to spend time with them.
Despite the seriousness of the situation and the sombre tone in Crew this week we have still managed to look on the positive side and come together as a Crew. It’s been great hearing how we’re going to check in and support each other during the school closure.
We don’t know when we’ll all be back together again but I can honestly say I’m going to miss my Crew. They never fail to bring a smile to my face (even when they’re driving me mad) and it’s great to spend another year with them – it’s strange thinking these could be the last photos of year 8 – but who knows? While we are all social distancing at home, I wish Crew and their families the very best and if you have any worries or questions, I’m only an email away.
Please continue with all your hard work at home and take responsibility for your academic development. Whilst it is important to continue with your school work, in these challenging times, it’s also important to keep a positive mindset and look after your wellbeing so keep time free to do what you enjoy (as long as you’re social distancing!).