We’ve waved goodbye to Crew Turing’s 15th member, Miss Narey, the fantastic trainee teacher who has been supporting as well as leading crew sessions the past few months. To celebrate her successes in passing her training year, we had a slightly early afternoon tea with scones. We wish her the best at Armthorpe and look forward to hearing from her through friends of my crew who attend the school.

Thanks to the girls in my crew for cracking a smile for the selfie!

Torran’s student led crew session

During half term, I received an email highlighting the incredible work Torran undertook during the break, supporting his family and local football team by supporting the coaching of the under 12s. I was inspired by his leadership and wanted to try and reboot something with my crew that we’ve not done in a long time!

I’ve got a big appreciation for Torran for hosting our first student led crew of the year. I’ve asked all of my crew to think up an activity that we can do in the remaining weeks, considering the purpose of what we do and how we can build our character doing these activities, as well as develop their leadership skills. Torran requested to lead a football skills and game crew session to help our sports day efforts. I’ve also challenged the rest of crew to come up with a session to run with us.

I’ve also added some footage of our crew stewardship duties to the video below, we spent a Friday afternoon litter picking and managed to fill two bin bags.

Pride

Miss Jones shared a really comprehensive set of resources on why we celebrate Pride, we have spent some crew sessions this month celebrating and learning about the month. Our crew is named after Alan Turing, who was persecuted for being gay which ultimately led to his suicide. We created a water painting mural to decorate our crew wall with, every crew member getting to add background rainbow colours to the image.

Here’s our final product!

Crew mile

This week, we have teamed up with other schools in the trust to run a mile to support Ray Mathews who has worked a lot with Norton Junior/ infant school raising money for charities through running. Ray is 80 this year and he would like the school to run 80 miles to help support the charity Age UK.

We did our 4 laps round both schools on Thursday this week and it was glorious! I am going to donate the money we raised to Age UK.

Just 4 weeks to go until we break up for summer, we’ve got some exciting work in the pipeline that will be ready for sports day that I look forward to sharing with you!

cake + custard + sunshine + a great set of HoWLs results = good times

Crew Turing have loved being outside during Monday’s crew sessions to do check in, catching 45 minutes of sun before we go back to session. Now that lockdown restrictions are lifting slightly the check-ins are far more interesting. Everyone seems cheerier now they’re able to see friends and family, and carry on with the sports they’re involved in.

We’ve also managed to get booked into the sports hall during crew a couple of weeks back, we enjoyed a rather competitive game of dodgeball. We mixed crew to random teams, and even Miss Narey and I played.

As mentioned in my previous post, as a crew we’ve been self-assessing HoWLs leading up to the actual data drop, which finally got released last week. We spent the crew session adding our updated HoWLs to our crew narrative, gains were made across the board. We then compared the new data with our previous crew targets that were made in November 2020. Those targets were:

– Improve extended study record as a crew, aiming for 95%+: we greened this target as this has massively improved thanks to daily reminders in crew and students working together to support each other on any work they’re unsure about

– Improve HoWLs in art and HUMAN, aiming for at least secure in all HoWLs grades: this is partially completed, as HoWLs in these subjects have gone up across the board, however we’ve not 100% met the ‘secure’ section of the rubric or above in these subjects. I’ve got to appreciate Dylan, Callum, Torran, Mollie and Sami for smashing these targets, some of whom even received HoWLs in the excellence category!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at where we can be making improvements using Crew Turing’s HoWL improvement project. Every student in my crew has identified a subject in which their HoWLs could do with some work. I then asked students to write a rationale explaining why they’d chosen that particular subject and a SMART target that another member of our crew could peer-asses them on.

I then gave each student someone to peer assess on a mini HoWL tracker. Every student gave at least a secure on the peer assessment, and knowing that someone was tracking engagement, meant that members of my crew really pushed themselves in those sessions to contribute and ask clarifying questions. I’m going to try this again in a few weeks to get snapshots of what is going on in sessions.

To celebrate our successes, Dylan treated us to homemade sponge cake with custard and Torran bought in a chocolate birthday cake. Not only this, Miss Narey who has been with us over the past few months prepared a quiz for us to enjoy! Big appreciations to those who made Friday’s crew session so fun, and congratulations to Mollie, Charlotte, Dylan, Callum, Sami and Jess for winning the quiz.

HoWL are Crew Turing doing?

We’ve been enjoying our reunion form lockdown 3.0 since coming back in March and we’re glad to be back together after months of isolation. We spent the first day back in crew, with an extended check in on how we’d found 9 weeks online.

The guiding question for the upcoming weeks as a crew was:

We reminded ourselves about the protocols, timings of the day and the importance of wearing masks and washing hands regularly. We then spent the afternoon discussing how lockdown had impacted our lives and wellbeing. Some members of crew had really enjoyed learning online and spending time at home, but many were like me, and much preferred being back at school.

We then adjusted to the regular testing that we’ll be doing in the coming weeks, we all had a bit of a laugh watching each other swabbing noses and throats! Luckily, we’ve not had any issues with having to self-isolate so far, we hope to keep it that way!

Last term we started working towards our Duke of Edinburgh award, we completed the First Aid element of the award. For the second segment, we are working on fitness. Students were able to select from either 5 mile walk, ultimate frisbee or football. We then spent the Friday afternoon in groups, playing best to 5.

Another important feature of crew over the past few weeks has been the work that my crew have done self-assessing their HoWLs (habits of work and learning), namely, work hard, get smart and be kind. Coming back to school has been a big shock to the system for many of us, leaving us exhausted after the first few weeks, but we’re getting there.

In order for us to get a handle on our learning, we have been grading the HoWLs across each subject to look at areas for development and improvement, as well as celebrating where we’ve been doing really well and applying those principles to other classes.

Here’s a summary of week 1, PE and art have been a highlight for my crew. Being a stickler on students giving themselves 3.0 (secure) for HoWLs that aren’t always so secure, I decided to reboot what we mean when we talk about ‘beginning’ or ‘excellence’, so the self-assessments made can be accurate. I felt that some members of my crew are working more on a 2.8-9 across the lessons I’ve been visiting, and I felt that this also reflected my experiences in the maths lessons I teach.

My crew got into groups and worked on creating their own rubric for the HoWLs, and we spoke of times where students in E25 had fallen into the beginning, developing, secure and excellence categories. We uncovered that from those conversations, we were going to work on avoiding passenger behaviour in sessions moving forward into next week. I am wanting each student to be in at least secure across the board in the upcoming weeks, and we’ll be setting crew challenges and working on encouraging others to achieve in their HoWLs.

E25/X25 Year 9 Common Mission

Year 9 Common Mission 


Purpose

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.

 

 

X25/E25

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.

 

Topic Options:

 

 

Common mission Option  Potential Qualification Specification
Business Studies GCSE AQA
Engineering NCFE Level 1/2  NCFE
Maths pushing 9.0 Additional Study  GCSE AQA AQA Maths
Music ABRSM  Level 2
Music qualification through the Rock School (RSL)
BTEC PE BTEC Pearson Edexcel
Triple Science GCSE AQA Triple Biol, chem, phys
Psychology GCSE AQA
Dance BTEC BTEC Pearsons Level 2
Geography GCSE AQA
Core Expeditions Additional Study  STEAM, MATHS, HUMAN
Self Study Mix Mix

 

XP Self Study Website Examples:

 

Business Studies

Psychology

Geography

 

 

Have any questions?:

 

 

I’ve got a massive appreciation for a really impressive first couple of weeks of remote lessons, for the most part, attendance has been excellent. I have really enjoyed checking in with them in the morning, despite people not being up to much. Every single crew member made it to almost every session this week (X meaning ‘attended online’). I’ve loved to hear stories of crew members phoning each other with reminders to get up!

Crew News:

This week, on Tranquil Tuesday, rather than doing accelerated reader, I tasked my crew members to go on BBC News, or another reputable media outlet, and find a news story that interested them. After giving them some time to read the article, I then asked them to share a jist of the article they had been reading.

Callum shared an article that sparked his interest after checking he was allowed to read about football, the West Ham loss last week. He explained that to crew that this meant that they’d be playing Doncaster, and while he wasn’t so hopeful about celebrating a win, he was still excited to see the two teams play. Jess shared a really excellent article in relation to the Capitol riots this week, which highlighted the work of a Police Officer that had been trying to keep protestors out of the US Congress building. We had some other lovely stories, ranging from a Star Wars spin off from Lewis, to a heartwarming story from Alice about a group who had been helping locate missing dogs.

Thoughtful Thursday – an eye for an eye?

On Thoughtful Thursday, we looked into a story that had dominated the news this week, the story of Lisa Montgomery – the only female inmate on federal death row in the US who was executed on the 13th.

I asked my crew after we read the article together, whether they felt that Lisa deserved to be executed. Having looked into her background together, it was a difficult decision to make, and most felt that the case was far too complicated. There was a general consensus that she definitely deserved a life sentence, but that the death penalty was cruel considering her upbringing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a lighter note, we finalised the information on our Crew Narrative this week, which consolidates our crew’s data for the term. Each crew member has a pledge for their HoWLs, and their academic progress for the next term. It was really positive on the whole, we even came joint first in terms of our ‘Be Kind’ HoWL with Crew Ali. We’re definitely working on pushing more of our data in to the great/awesome categories though.

I felt that because of the fantastic work done in the first two weeks, as well as a really positive data sheet, we ended the final crew session of the week on a game of Among Us. It was lovely to hear everyone having a laugh to end the week on a high note, before a appreciation-filled community meeting.

 

Crew Turing have had a really eventful end of term 1. We’ve been spending time as part of the Wise Wednesday sessions looking into the effects of social media on our lives and mental wellbeing.

The sessions have been centred around deconstructing how much time we spend on social media, each crew member looked at their average screen time using their smartphones. We were all gobsmacked that so many people had clocked over 10 hours on one of the days at the weekend!

We also watched The Social Dilemma, the documentary that explores the damage social media has caused to society, focusing on its exploitation of its users for financial gain through data mining. It explains how its design is meant to nurture an addiction, its use in politics, its effect on mental health (including the mental health of adolescents and rising teen suicide rates), and its role in spreading conspiracy theories such as the flat-earthers.

At the end of last term we culminated the work done in Wednesday’s crew sessions by preparing for a debate, arguing for and against the motion:

‘social media has caused more harm than good’,

All crew members prepared speeches as well as rebuttals. I was especially impressed with how maturely my crew took on board the debate, as we’d spoke in the Wednesday afternoon sessions on the difference between a formal and structured debate, and an argument. Both sides were actively listening to the other, and responding to the opposing team’s arguments. I’m hoping that this work will help them prepare for their PoL towards Christmas.

Another activity I have really enjoyed has been following the US presidential election. On Tuesday last week, we examined the presidential system of the US and how the electoral college works. We discussed the merits and pitfalls of this electoral system, as well as learned about the two presidential candidates. Over the following days last week, we were checking the BBC news website to see how the swing states were looking, it was really exciting watching the votes roll in.

We also went on to watch the Newsnight broadcast from the night of the election, and noted down tonnes of key information about both of the campaigns, and the candidate’s policies. Congratulations to Dylan, Mollie and Ralph who managed to call bingo on their note catcher sheets!

I’d like to give a special mention to Jess, who was able to fill in her entire sheet with key information from the broadcast, I was totally blown away. All crew members except one person predicted Biden’s win on Wednesday afternoon, after we did the maths on how many votes Trump would need.

Finally, my crew came back to school knowing that their teachers had been asked to input the data for their habits of work and learning. Last week during academic crew, I created a doc with all of their names and subjects on, so they could predict their HOWLs before the data was released to them. We had really interesting discussions about homework records, effort in class, and it was great to see people showed real integrity if they felt this term hadn’t been their best. I’ve minimised the images below, but blue is excellent, green in good, and yellow is secure.

I was slightly disappointed to see that some students felt that they dipped in certain classes, and I’m expecting upcoming pledges to relate to those lower than average predicted HOWLs. We’re going to review these predictions this coming week once the actual grades are released!

Crew Turing have made a start on the Duke of Edinburgh skills segment over the past couple of weeks. Each student is working towards their bronze award this year, comprising of a skill element, outdoor physical challenge as well as volunteer work. We’ve been completing the St John’s Ambulance first aid course, a skill that could make a difference to someone’s life in the future.

We started last week by learning about how to put people in the recovery position if they are unresponsive. Each crew member took it in turns in pairs to practice putting another crew members in the recovery position, while others gave kind, specific and helpful feedback. This week we’ve been working on what to do if someone is having an asthma attack.

Another highlight that I’d like to mention was the lovely art session I covered this week just passed. It was nice to see my crew members working hard towards their other subjects and improving their drawing skills. Above is Sami, Lewis, Reece and Lexi working on their graduated and blended colour work.

A couple of weeks back we collectively read this article in the Guardian, titled ‘At 31, I have just weeks to live. Here’s what I want to pass on‘. I was struck by the quality of reflection after reading Elliot Dallen’s life lessons, particularly this one on gratitude.

The importance of gratitude. During my worst moments – the shock of cancer diagnosis, the mental lows and debilitating symptoms of chemotherapy – it was difficult to picture any future moments of joy, closeness or love. Even so, at those times I found comfort in remembering what I have: an amazing family, the friends I’ve made and times I’ve shared with them, the privilege of the life I’ve had.

We did a whiparound on all the little things we were grateful for that we might not have had access to due to covid. Some spoke of missing hanging about with their friends at the weekend, missing gymnastics and other sporting training, or missing a hug from their grandparents. Over the past week, I’ve asked my crew to come up with some of the things they’re grateful for, here are some snippets:

Finally, I just want to congratulate my historically not-so-sporty crew on being announced as 2019-2020 Year 9 winners of the sporting competitions! Huge appreciations to Torran, Mollie and Lexi for putting on sport-related crew sessions for us to help improve stamina and skill prior to the matches. I have a feeling 2021 could be the year we don’t come last in every sport-related event….

Glad to be back

I was absolutely delighted to welcome my crew back this week after a long few months of distance learning and the summer break. The change in all thirteen members of my crew that I’ve picked up on over the past week and a half has been astonishing – and I don’t just mean the fact that they’ve all shot up and I don’t recognise their broken voices!

We started back a couple of weeks ago sharing what we’d been up to during the break and making pledges about the sort of person we want to be in year 9. This is a really important year with passage and the Duke of Edinburgh award, so getting our priorities right in these first few weeks is vital. Everyone is excited about doing the outdoor element of the DofE award, as am I. We’ll be working on their first aid skills in coming Friday crew sessions.

Academic crew

We held our first academic crew of the year on Thursday this week. We fetched all workbooks from the short-lived year 8 year, and had a flick through them to discuss what we felt proud of and what elements of our work we wished to improve. There were a few comments about craftmanship and quality that we will be holding each other to account over the coming months, and a few people who noticed that they’d not put as much detail as others in certain activities, so pledged to be productive in their session time.

On the whole I was incredibly impressed with the quality of their work, and am excited to see what they’re capable of producing this year.

Notting Hill Carnival – Why’s it important we celebrate different cultures?

I’d like to appreciate Mrs Hannam for sharing the work she did on Notting Hill Carnival that should have taken place over the August bank holiday weekend. We learnt about the history of Carnival and discussed why these sorts of events and customs we celebrate that are similar. We also discussed historical issues surrounding the press and police involvement in Carnival celebrations, and how that may have influenced people’s perceptions of the celebration.

Birthday celebrations!

We ended crew this Friday with cake and co-op activities, to celebrate the many crew members birthdays that are in late August / early September. We reflected on the arrival of a new year 7 cohort and comparing it with our crew in year 7. We laughed about how sweet all the year 7 friendship-based appreciations were in the community meeting and how during the first few community meetings, I had to limit them to one appreciation each. If only they were still so keen!

It feels strange ending rounding the school year off with a google hangout before we break up for summer, but it’s been a very strange year for my crew. Having spent the last few months apart, aside from hangouts, I am really looking forward to my crew returning in September so we can properly celebrate the incredible work that they have completed in lockdown.

I know that technically we’re not tracking HOWLs this term, but if we were there would definitely be a few members of my crew that would be on track for a 4.5 for their ‘work hard’ habit. Shout out to Lewis and Reece for maintaining a work rate above 95%, and a huge congratulations to Mollie and Dylan for reaching 100% across their core subjects. I am so proud of how hard you’ve worked, and am excited to see this effort you’ve put into lockdown pay off in y11.

For this week’s crew session, I’d like to have a think about what my crew would like to achieve in Y9. I have recently been organising my google drive and came across this picture of my crew tackling their first mountain. Year nine is a monumental year, my crew will be starting their Duke of Edinburgh award, as well as selecting their option subject, and completing passage to prove their readiness for their GCSE exams. I’m going to be discussing what they might like to take for common mission, as well as asking they come up with a pledge to help them tackle the many mountains that this upcoming academic year will present.

Finally, academic crew stuff aside, I look forward to checking in on hangout this week with my crew and wishing them a lovely summer break. I hope they are able to enjoy some of the great outdoors, like we did in Wales, and reflect on how much they’ve grown as people since our first crew activity, pictured above.

I guess I’m checked out!

Over the past fortnight, I have been meeting on hangouts with my crew to discuss their academic progress, their take on what’s going on in the news, and to check in with what they’ve been up to!

Black lives matter

Last week, I spoke with Alice, Dylan and Lewis about the protests that had been taking place and their purpose. We spoke about the blackout Tuesday on social media, and whether or not posting a black square to social media was an effective way of campaigning for equality or whether there were more impactful ways of doing so. It was lovely to hear how thoughtfully they considered the issue and it was nice to gain their insights on the matter.

Working hard in lockdown

I’m immensely proud of the work record that members of my crew have maintained over these first 3 weeks back after the break. Reece, Lewis, Dylan Mollie and Abi have managed to keep their hand in rate above 90%, which is really impressive!

Another highlight worth mentioning, is the graft that Torran, Callum and Lexi have put in this week with academic crew check-ins. I’ve loved discussing electron configuration and getting my head around ions and atoms.

Green thumb

I’ve also loved seeing the work Torran has been putting into their allotment while we’ve been in lockdown, many members of my crew have been helping out in their gardens (including myself!) He’s been enjoying getting to train with his football team again, similarly Lexi was able to do a gymnastics training in an empty car park!

Last week, we also had a fun crew session where crew members had to draw a Pixar movie that we had to each guess, here’s Charlotte’s example of ‘Inside out’. Congrats to Dylan who won the game. I have wished my crew a nice long weekend (due to staff days) and told them to go and get some sun this weekend!