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 Shackleton: that floating sensation!

What an amazing day abseiling in Monsal Dale, Derbyshire. Feeling a little sore from the 8 mile walk yesterday, Crew Shackleton tackled the short walk to the bridge we’d be abseiling from and then confronted their fears with courage and compassion for each other.

For many, this was a new experience, so hats off to everyone who gave it a go!

See the highlights from our morning…

Orienteering was excellent in the afternoon after a brief lunch stop. Unfortunately we were too busy dodging cyclists, checking out lime kilns, reading maps, looking for clues and attempting to trick Crew Ali with cunning decoys….that I forgot to take photos. But take my word for it, it was a great afternoon.

Well done, Crew Shackleton!

Shackleton Crew Day 1: Egg Drop Challenge

What a fantastic start to the academic year for Crew Shackleton today. It was great to be back and see everyone again, and most of all see how keen (if not a little tired) everyone was to be back at school again.

Guiding question for the week:

How Crew are you?

Yesterday, as our Crew Challenge to help us consider the guiding question, we split up into random groups of 3, and undertook the challenge of protecting an egg as it was dropped from the top balcony of the school. All the groups had was:

  • 3 marshmallows
  • 10 cocktail sticks
  • a small piece of pipe foam insulator
  • 3m of tissue paper
  • sticky tape
  • a plastic bag

Highlights below…

A really successful activity that allowed us to start to get back into working as a Crew and work towards answering out guiding question by the end of the week. We made some excellent observations and reflections on how well we managed to work together, or not so well in some cases, and promised to revisit the challenge later in the term with fewer materials and a harder set of rules for the challenge. To not only complete the challenge more successfully, but work better as Crew to do it.

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

A Lilly Faith

A huge thank you to Faith and Lilly today for the student-led crew session. It was an excellent session, enjoyed by every one of us!

Read on below to find out what we did…

Check-In

We were asked to think of a song that portrays how we feel, with an explanation if possible, to share to the rest of the group. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was a popular choice, but there was an eclectic range within the crew.

Main Task

Everyone then took a piece of paper and some coloured pencils. Faith and Lilly had carefully selected a range of different styles of music, from classical to club classics, and played them to the crew. The objective: draw on your page whatever you feel inspired to draw from the different types of music.

Closing Circle

Finally, we were invited to to circle up around everyone’s artwork and do a Notice Wonder protocol. Lots of originality, including drawing images inspired by the music, such as a beach hut when listening to more tropical music; to a collection of shapes and squiggles that represented the feel and mood of the music.

It’s brilliant to the see the character growth of the students still in year 7 that have grown in confidence to be able to lead their own session and come up with such an excellent idea. Well done, Faith and Lilly.

Yoga-T to try it!

What a fantastic joint crew session this morning with Crew Shackleton and Crew Ali, trying out a bit of yoga in the morning to flex and focus the mind and the body.

A huge thanks to both crews for keeping an open mind and giving it their all, especially those who stepped outside of their comfort zone and set themselves a new challenge.

“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Roy T. Bennett

We believe at XP East that it’s important to keep setting ourselves new goals and new challenges, however big or small it might seem.

For many students today, this was a new experience; for some, an opportunity to practise what they already do. And it’s fair to say each student will take something different from the experience.

But the world is full of many experiences, and if we’re up for it, we can make any one of them a new challenge and part of building the best version of ourselves we can.

And of course a big thank you to Mrs Townson for leading the session.

Well done all!

 

What is Crew?

I could comment on the excellent work we’ve done around tracking HOWLs recently; or as a Crew nominating three students who have made excellent progress towards their pledges; or how we’ve recently resolved conflict through the power of circling up and discussing issues maturely and sensitively.

But when two students make an effort to give everyone an Easter egg and a bag of chocolates, followed by two special presentations to students who they think have worked particularly hard to overcome challenges, you know something is going right.

That is Crew.

A huge thank you to Denim and Thea who brought Easter eggs and chocolate for everyone today, unprompted and out of the goodness of their own hearts.

I was particularly blown away by their decision to reward Lucie and Zach for the hard work, progress towards their individual targets, and work around their HOWLs. Complete with signed mug!

We continue to face our challenges, our ups and downs, our need for some positive reinforcement of expectations, some motivation to get going, encouragement – that’s life!

But life is better when there is Crew.

After watching a viral video about how simple messages can quickly become distorted over time, we decided to give it a go ourselves. Take a look at our video below.

I particularly like Fin’s ability to dig like a dog, despite the fact he was supposed to be getting some eggs out of a cupboard!

We had a lot of fun doing this, but Shackleton picked out some really important messages that we learnt from this activity:

  1. Even simple messages can change in a very short space of time;
  2. The quality of the message can be affected by people’s ability and skill in communicating;
  3. As soon as we began to lose focus, the message changed and became unclear;
  4. Perception of the original message is vital – your viewpoint can change how you receive and deliver the message;
  5. Even unintentional mistakes cause significant changes.

This was particularly powerful as we’ve been discussing a lot about rumours in school recently. I think we got an important message from this: rumours are spread easily and change easily each time it gets passed on.

We found the best way to stop rumours is to stop talking about them.

Well done, Crew Shackleton. A fun activity with an important message, executed maturely.