Plastic Everywhere

This week, the blog for Crew Obama has been written by Lleyton and Robert and is a brief summary of their thoughts about plastic pollution. The topic generated some really varied responses from crew members. We learned that plastic pollution does not just harm exotic species in far away places. Only last month, I saw birds using plastic as nesting material at Lakeside. 

“Recently in Wise Wednesdays, we have been learning about how plastic impacts the environment. We were angry to learn that the baby whales are dying from plastic pollution. 

I noticed that there are over 15 things made of plastic in our Crew room. These included obvious items such as pens,chairs, and highlighters but we were surprised to find plastic in the door frame and the electric sockets!

We have spent time together as a Crew working on a letter we could send to a local MP. It suggests how to change packaging and make rules so that we only use a certain amount of plastic. We would like adults to change their lifestyles to use less plastic. If something isn’t done about plastic pollution soon then we will kill other species.”  Lleyton and Robert


Over to Crew!

One really important part of the XP identity is the compassion and maturity pupils show when delivering appreciations, stands and apologies in front of their peer group. The appreciations really showcase the breadth of reasons we have for valuing our fellow members of the XP community. I especially liked an appreciation this week for someone who tried, even though they ultimately failed to achieve their goal!

Crew members have spent time considering their progress this week by assessing their own HOWLs scores. This is yet another example of how children at XP are given a voice. Over to Imogen and Scarlett for a reflection on Crew Obama’s progress this week:

“During our HOWLs self assessment this week, we noticed that we have been struggling with maths this week as we are doing a new topic. We wondered how we could improve on the subjects we struggle with. We could do this by contributing more in our lessons and working hard. Our HOWLs in HUMS and STEAM have been very good because we engage more in these lessons. Currently in HUMS we are writing a first person narrative through the eyes of a migrant and this has been spread across all our lessons. We had some experts come in and we had a look at the ‘I am A Migrant’ website. This helped us collect our ideas to put into our work. In science we have been looking at parachutes and how the different forces act on them. We made our own to see this for ourselves and timed it to find out the perfect design.”


Mood Monsters

Crew Obama returned to school with a mixture of enthusiasm and trepidation. We spent our first day back in Crew and used the time to share any worries we had. An overall sense of tiredness told us that we needed to get back into the routine of having earlier bedtimes! 

This week we spent Mindful Monday reflecting on our own feelings and emotions. We used the ‘Colour Monster’ to help us to visualise our mood, and to convey it to others. There were some really good discussions about the connotations of colours such as blue or green, and whether they should be used to represent feelings of calmness, sadness or happiness. 

The completed colour monsters were used to illustrate just how varied our moods and feelings can be at any given time. Not just within our Crew, but within individuals too. I don’t think there was a single member of Crew Obama who used just one colour for their mood monster. The activity showed how important our character traits of kindness and compassion really are in order to look after ourselves and each other. 

Enjoy the Bank Holiday,

Miss Cross

Goodbye to Remote Learning!

I would like to send a huge appreciation to all the parents and pupils who have helped this term to go as smoothly as possible. XP determination and compassion have served us well!

It has been an absolute pleasure to see Crew Obama get behind the ‘Screens Off and Recharge’ initiative during the final two weeks of term. Pupils have reported reconnecting with their families and forgotten interests in a variety of ways. Siblings have called truces and gone out for bike rides together. Savvy parents have encouraged make-over challenges resulting in gleaming bedrooms, kitchens, dogs and scooters. Art and reading books have been opened and enjoyed. Pupils have tried new crafts or skills such as photography and origami. Crew Obama really are a talented bunch! 

I will leave you with a few of the many images pupils have shared in Crew, and to wish you all a restful two weeks. 

Miss Cross

Student Led Conferences Appreciation


Massive appreciation to everyone in Crew Obama for making my first experience of Student Led Conferences such a positive one. It was inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking, to hear all about your achievements and the challenges you have faced. 

I have included a couple of images of the work pupils commented on during their SLCs, but it is sadly not possible to include everyone here. It was fascinating to learn about your expedition ‘Fight The Power’. Not only did pupils share the work they were most proud of, but they were able to talk meaningfully about what they found difficult. Pupils identified where they felt the quality of their work had fallen short, and explained how they intended to improve further. This is quite an undertaking for pupils of this age. It is especially impressive when we consider the extent to which remote learning has replaced traditional classes for these children over the last twelve months. As such, grappling with this task and adapting to its online delivery, is really something!

It was also wonderful to ‘meet’ so many parents and guardians, albeit through a computer screen. Thank you all for your continued support and for the probing questions you asked during the Student Led Conferences.

Miss Cross

Student Led Conferences

It is time for Student Led Conferences!

This time, we will be using the wonders of modern technology to hold our conferences online via Google Meet, which we have been using for lessons during lockdown. If your child is in Crew Obama, please use this link  to select a suitable time for the conference to be arranged.

Looking forward to seeing everyone,

Miss Cross



Crew Obama have been following their remote lessons during lockdown. Wifi supply issues and lost links to Google Hangouts for lessons haven’t held us back! Pupils have shown great kindness by sharing links, technology tips, and helpful explanations. Great appreciation to the individuals who have managed to attend every single session this week, and be on time too! 

You may have noticed that we had a little snow yesterday. Those of us in school were amazed at how quickly it came down! The first photograph of the school playground was taken just after morning Crew at around 9am, whilst the second was taken around midday.



Pupils at home were sorry that lockdown robbed them of the chance to play out with all their friends in the snow. However, Crew Obama are a resourceful lot who tried to make their own fun.

Christmas Jumpers!

Crew Obama worked hard during the recent bubble closure. The children didn’t want to be left out of Christmas jumper day so they joined in from home instead. It was great to see so many pets joining in too! I am sorry that I didn’t manage to snap everybody, but here are a few anonymous crew members. Can you guess who they are? 

Despite the bubble closure, we are still hoping to send a selection of food, treats and toys to the animals at the local RSPCA branch this Christmas. We were inspired by our hangout with an expert from the branch and we want to help. Please send any donations to our crew room (AO7) on the last day of term and we will make sure the animals get them. 

Merry Christmas everyone!




Following the closure of our Y8/E26 bubble, we will now move to an online educational provision as shown below – this has proved to be highly effective in supporting students in other year bubble closures as engagement rates have regularly been above 95%.


Here is our protocol for online learning:

  • all Crew sessions and lessons will take place LIVE via Google Hangout and the timetable is highlighted below.
  • students will receive input from teachers and have time to complete activities on Google Classroom.
  • students are registered in Crew (8.30am), at the beginning of the morning session (9.15am) and afternoon session (1.15pm).
  • all students are expected to join each session.  If a student is absent, Crew Leaders will contact home to ascertain the reason why. If a student is unable to join a session, for example, they are unwell, we ask parents to please contact the office.
  • Crew Leaders and Expedition teachers will send Google Hangout invitations to their classes.
  • invites for live sessions will be sent through email.

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact your child’s crew leader.

Thank you.

PS: It was amazing to have 86% (44) students join the hangout this morning with our expert Victoria, who spoke to us about the Suffragette movement in Doncaster.  What a turn out at short notice!


Mr Portman’s Lunchtime Football Academy

Year Eight were honoured at lunchtime today to receive some top flight tuition in the beautiful game from Mr Portman. Despite one spectator’s concerns for Mr Portman’s shoes, he proceeded to give a dazzling display.  

The pitch was filled with gasps of amazement from the other players as he tore up the tarmac and made several shots on goal. Luckily, Year Eight had a competent keeper who was able to thwart most attempts. The match was hotly contested with great tackles, clearances and headers from pupils from all Crews. Mr Portman was ably assisted at one point by Mr Kellet and Miss Ridoult, but alas, their efforts were in vain and Year Eight were triumphant.

Well done everyone for great sportsmanship and determination. What a lovely way to spend a lunch break!