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!

 

 

May the fourth be with you…

This week has been a highly eventful week for Crew Turing, starting at the end of last week with Lexi’s birthday, followed by Alice and Torran’s on Monday. Each crew member has reportedly enjoyed their lock down birthdays despite not being able to see friends, we made sure to include some fun on our crew hangout.

With Alice and Torran’s birthday coinciding with May 4th, we did a Star Wars themed quiz on Kahoot! Congratulations to Lewis for winning top prize, with Ralph and Lewis in close second.

Academic crew: getting smart in lockdown

This week I have added a further ‘drop in’ non compulsory crew slot that I invited people to join for an academic crew. I was joined by multiple members of my crew, we shared a doc that we collaborated on to support one another with their learning. This week’s focus was hums, we built background knowledge about the new expedition, ‘Wave after Wave’. It was fascinating to learn about the Early Modern Period, I’d like to appreciate Molly, Reece and Lexi for reaching out, and for how well you worked together on this. It was almost as good as being back in school!

 

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: CALLUM ANDERSON

Callum has been (& always is, let’s be honest) a star in crew this week, he’s been cracking on especially hard while in school this week, and has received an e-postcard from Mr Pearson, for the high quality spanish work he’s producing. Not only this, on Thursday afternoon I recieved a heartwarming email from Mr Burke:

‘Bless Callum Ando! what a kid he is. He’s done right well with his maths. Such a nice lad!’

I love hearing about how my crew have been getting on. Keep it up Callum!

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: MOLLIE BUTLER

Another student who needs a mention in this blogpost is Mollie, for her frankly astounding work for HUMs on crime and punishment in the Elizabethan times, you are clearly working extremely hard Mollie. I loved reading your notes from the work set this week, you absolute superstar!!

Pupdates:

We ended the week with a bit of a daft crew session where we celebrated my dogs first birthday! I asked people with pups to bring them on hangout and we did a quiz on dogs.

I’d like to appreciate Coco (Ralph’s Pug, see picture below!), Rebel (Jess’ new puppy), Lewis and his pug Sid, Rufus (Dylan’s Labradoodle) & Mollie for sharing her pictures of her gorgeous Labs with me and making Iggy Pup’s quarantine birthday one to remember!

Important Updates for this week:

  • I’ll be hosting crew on Monday at 11:30AM, and Thursday at 2:00PM
  • I will also host another academic crew on Tuesday and Thursday to help my crew with any work, time tbc. This is a drop in session, they do not have to join!
  • I’d like them to complete a slide on the ‘Turing Memories’ slides I have shared for Thursday, or share pictures/email me with what they’ve been up to & I’ll add it to their slides
  • The students are on half term from Friday [2 weeks off!]

 

Crew-hooting

This week we’ve condensed our crew sessions and switched up our activities to make them more diverse, and I have really enjoyed the time we’ve spent on google hangouts together. I set up a kahoot this week with a tonne of questions on topics they had been learning about using their google classrooms. I mixed all their different subjects up, and added in some general knowledge and Shrek trivia, just for my crew. Annoyingly, the quiz I made didn’t actually work (I’ve saved it in my drafts for next week), but I found a good replacement and I’d like to congratulate Charlotte for winning the quiz!

I’ve had some wonderful submissions from crew members sharing what they’ve been up to this week. Sami has been going out daily to walk his dogs, and has been enjoying time at home with his brother. Jess has sent us more gorgeous pictures of the work she does on the farm with her horses and donkeys. Lewis has also showed us his new quarantine ‘do! I love these little updates!

An aspect of school that I am really missing are the community meetings on a Friday. The opportunity to appreciate someone is really important to our crew as giving thanks to others helps develop the character trait of compassion.

Just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we have to give up on all the nice elements of social interaction. I asked each crew member to create a little appreciation postcard for another member of my crew, it didn’t need to be academic, just something nice that another had done for them, no matter how small. Here’s what they came up with:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s great to hear these stories of crew members supporting each other with work, or providing entertaining discussions – something we all need while stuck at home. I’m going to look at filling some more of these in this week during crew (Monday 11:30am and Thursday 2:00PM).

Excited to update you with more shenanigans next week!

Rising to the Challenge!

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:

Oliver. S. (E26):

Jayden (E26):

Marcus (E25):

Cerrina (E26):

Raphael (E26):

Marshall (E25):

 

Crew in quarantine

It’s been lovely keeping in touch with Crew Turing during these strange times, getting to enjoy some normality while we’re all stuck inside. It’s been wonderful checking in with everyone and seeing the amazing work that’s been done both academically but also beyond their school work! The crew meetings have undoubtedly been the highlight of my days.

Can she kick it? [yes, she can]

Firstly, I’d like to thank Mollie for sending in this video of her amazing attempt at the toilet paper challenge that we’ve seen tonnes on social media. Mollie spoke about how she was finding it hard not training as she usually does, so I loved to see her switching up her normal training routine to try this out:

I also loved hearing about how Mollie and Abi had been working together on Google Hangouts on any bits of work that they had been stuck on. It goes to show that working smart doesn’t just happen at school. Equally, I want to give Molly a special mention as she has worked her socks off this week and is on top of the tasks that have been set. I’ve had some great feedback from her class teachers, keep it up!

Cake-off

Another couple of contributions I’ve enjoyed hearing about while we’ve been off school was the baking Callum has been doing with his family when he’s not been with us in school, the chocolate buns look absolutely delicious! As does Charlotte’s Victoria sponge cake:

Flippin’ wonderful:

Lexi has set up camp on her trampoline where she does a set amount of work out in the sun, followed by some trampolining. For those who know Lexi already, you’ll know she is super active and trains for hours every week to compete at the level she does with her gymnastics. It’s great to see her keeping up the hard work despite not being able to make it to the gym.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distance gaming:

I was lucky enough to be in school last Monday with Torran and Callum, I felt so rejuvenated and energised getting to leave the house and see some people from my crew (at a 2m distance). We ended the day with some games, including mafia and ‘the mind’. It was a lot of fun listening to them all try to work out who had which role.

Special Mention for Jess Rollins & her adorable new friend:

I’d like to send a special appreciation out to Jess this week, who has been a shining example during these times. Not only has she been looking after her horses, donkeys and other animals, she has also completed all her work to an incredibly high standard. She’s had a special mention from Miss Hickson about how impressed she’s been with her humanities work, and Mr Nixon was also impressed at the work she’s done for maths on Hegarty.

Also, she’s shared my absolute favourite news from lockdown that one of the Donkeys on her farm has had a foal! Meet April, Crew Turing’s honorary newest member!

I look forward to checking in again this coming week with more news from my crew, and I really look forward to the moment we are finally united after all of this is over. Until then, keep washing those hands!