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.



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.”


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!

Star Bakers in Crew Parkinson!

Last week we had a baking crew session, making chocolate muffins. Crew worked really well as a team, dividing out the different roles of mixing, measuring and washing up to name a few. They helped each other throughout with everyone getting stuck in and having no passengers. Eating muffins was a lovely addition to our weekly Monday check-in  – shame we can’t do it every week!

Crew Parkinson’s Fantastic First Week Back!

Wow! What a week. It was absolutely brilliant to be reunited with Crew after the Summer holidays. The guiding question for this week was ‘how crew are you?’

Here’s a summary of our wonderful week:

Tuesday: we had a check in where we shared the highlights of our summer holidays. It was wonderful to hear about the holidays, days out and family visits the crew had over the summer. We then discussed what we want from crew in year 8 and agreed to keep building crew over this new academic year, working on specific areas that need improving. Next, came the team building games – they ranged from activities revolving around construction to races to problem solving, it’s safe to say there was lots of laughter involved and communication skills being put into use.

Wednesday: we went on our Hike in the Yorkshire Wolds. Again, it was great to see crew chatting together and enjoying themselves in the beautiful surroundings. It was also tough at times with a few hills and a fair distance to walk – not to mention the rain (thanks to the Great British Summer). However, crew’s spirits were not dampened and there was a lively atmosphere amongst us as they were supporting each other, sharing food and checking in to see if they were all alright or if they needed a rest – that’s crew!

Thursday: this was by far the most challenging day for a lot of crew (me included!). We spent the day in Derbyshire completing outdoor activities such as orienteering and abseiling. It was great to see Crew working together to find the answers to the questions along the Monsal Trail – offering to go ahead to scout out different paths and helping Ava with the navigation, as well as double checking each others answers to make sure we got the right one. Needless to say this hard work paid off, we came first out of the Year 8 crews in orienteering, getting full marks! Next came the abseiling – get ready for nerves, tears and smiles. This was a real challenge for some members of Crew but it was lovely to see everyone supporting and encouraging each other. They truly showed courage and compassion when completing this activity. Dylan was a stand out student for me – he really faced a massive fear and with the help of Crew (particularly Rosie) he overcame that fear. What a massive achievement and we are all so proud. Feel the fear and do it anyway! 

Friday: Back to school! We reflected on the question ‘how crew are you?’. The students completed a solo where they reflected on and answered the questions:

  • what are your strengths as a crew?
  • what are your challenges as a crew?
  • how are you going to overcome those challenges in year 8, as a crew?

Once crew members returned from their solo, we discussed their answers and completed a silent conversation protocol to feedback ideas. Next, we had the remainder of the day to prepare and practice our Crew’s presentation of learning to answer the guiding question and share with the rest of the year and parents our strengths and areas to work on as a crew. This was a wonderful way to see how united we are as a crew and we had some fantastic discussions. We explored the idea that in our crew we have very different personalities but that brings different strengths. Shanna and Dylan thought of a lovely idea that crew is like a jigsaw puzzle – every puzzle piece brings something different but the image is only complete with all the pieces, just like crew.

So, after kicking year 8 off with a wonderful week, I am absolutely bursting with excitement for this new academic year with crew. We have identified our strengths and challenges as a crew and agreed that together we will work on these to make crew even stronger. I really do believe that this week we have become closer and made our relationships stronger and I am so proud of and thrilled to have Harvey, Aaron, Ava, Shanna, Dylan, Rosie, Florence, Kristian, Lacey, Marcus, Bob and Callum in my Crew.

It seems appropriate to end with some words from Harvey, which overtime has become our accidental crew catchphrase: huzzah and hurrah!


School starts on Tuesday 27th August where we will be embarking on a week of crew.

Throughout the week students are required to be at school at normal time (8:30am) but finish times will be slightly different depending on the schedule for the day. Students will require a pen, pencil and ruler this week and a kit list has been sent out for Wednesday and Thursday.

The week’s schedule will be as follows:

Tuesday – In school with a normal finish time of 3:15. There is no extended study in school this week.

Wednesday – Out of school on crew activities so students will need a backpack with a packed lunch, a bottle of water, hiking boots and waterproofs.  Please check the kit list for further details of the required clothing.  Please can students come to school in trainers, not their walking boots.  We are expected to be back at school for around 5pm.

Thursday – Out of school on crew activities so students will need a backpack with a packed lunch, a bottle of water, hiking boots and waterproofs. Please check the kit list for further details of the required clothing.  Please can students come to school in trainers with their walking boots in their bag. We are expected to be back at school for around 5pm. 

Friday – Students will be in school all day. Their week will be completed with a Presentation of Learning commencing at 2:15pm which parents are invited to attend and support students as they answer their Guiding Question.

Please refer to these important docs and ensure you and your child are familiar with them.

E25 will be holding the Presentation of Learning for their current expedition ‘Three Cheers for Trees!’ on Thursday 18th July at 5.30pm.

Students have been working extremely hard throughout their expedition and this will be an opportunity for them to share their learning with parents, carers and visitors.

We will also have a surprise to share with you at the end of the evening – the grand revealing of our final product!

We look forward to seeing you!

Image result for the lorax

Character Traits in Crew Parkinson

It’s been all systems go in Crew Parkinson in preparation for their SLCs over the last 2 weeks. 9 members of Crew have had their SLCs now and I am impressed with the quality of them. It showed the students have been getting smart as overall the standard has improved since their first SLCs in November due to the work they have put in. It was great to hear the students reflect on their academic grades, their HOWLs and the work they found challenging, would like to improve and are proud of, as well as setting targets for themselves to take forward.

As a bit of relief from the SLC preparation, we played a game of Crew hockey, organised by Bob. After a great game, we circled up and reflected on where we had seen the character traits during the game. The crew identified members who had shown either respect, compassion, integrity, craftsmanship and quality or courage during the game. For example:

Ava was identified as showing courage because Bob nominated her as team captain and although she wouldn’t have chosen to lead her team she certainly stepped up to the mark!

Marcus and Kris were appreciated by Crew for overcoming a small disagreement and showing compassion and respect to each other and Crew so that the game could continue.

Callum was appreciated for his craftsmanship when scoring 2 goals – well done!

This discussion led to a wider conversation reflecting on the year. We talked about how although our Crew is made up of people with very different personalities, beliefs and interests but we have all grown together as Crew. I’m so thrilled to be their Crew leader and build even stronger bonds over the next academic year! 





Crew Parkinson Science, Space and SLCs!

Last week we started with a bang! We’ve been thrown straight into our expeditions after the holiday and Crew have certainly stepped up.

We began the week with check-ins from the 2 week holiday – it was lovely hearing the great activities, social events and relaxation that crew members took part in during their time off.

On Tuesday we didn’t have a crew session – but don’t despair we spent the day at Jodrell Bank! This fieldwork was part of the ‘Escape Earth’ expedition and was a brilliant way to spend time with crew in a different setting. I loved hearing how enthusiastic and curious crew members were when discussing physics and asking questions about space. We took part in a number of workshops which revolved around Newton’s laws of motion and gravity, an inflatable planetarium and the constellations.

What a wonderful day!

(All video credits to Miss Haughey – definitely not my area of expertise!)

When we returned to school our crew sessions were then directed around the upcoming Student Led Conferences – students began to choose the pieces of work they are most proud of, found challenging and would like to improve to showcase during their SLCs. This is a great way for crew to reflect on their learning and understand their academic strengths and areas to improve on as well as their HOWLs.

More information will be released about SLCs shortly, so watch this space!