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!).
It’s good to see some students already starting their online learning assignments. Here are the instructions on how to complete the work set. This was shared with students in lessons but those who were absent last week will have missed them. They must READ all the instructions on the slides/Google Classroom.
Currently on Google Classroom, there are 2 assignments set. Students need to complete the Geography one FIRST and then the English slides. They should submit the doc on Google classroom once they have got to the end of each slide.
What to complete and when
Each set of slides are broken down into ‘lessons’, students need to complete a minimum of a lesson a day or follow the ‘weekly planner’ timetable sent out my Mr Portman each week.
Whenever the students see a red ‘TASK’ symbol which looks like the one below they need to complete the activity on their doc.
On the docs, work needs to have the layout of:
Students need to write in Quicksand font, size 12.
If you have any questions, email me at email@example.com. I will be checking emails everyday and student work completion – if work is not being done, parents will be contacted.
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:
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.