Launch of C26’s Fight the Power plaque – Friday 3rd December 2:00PM

The Fight the Power final product is being officially launched on Friday 3rd December at 2PM, at Sir Nigel Gresley Square (just outside of CAST).

We’d like to say a massive thank you to parents, carers, and our community for supporting the crowdfunder, and we look forward to launching it with students and those involved with the expedition.

If your son/daughter is in C26 (Year 9) and you would like to attend the event to celebrate its launch with us, please join us – feel free to email [email protected] if you have any questions about the grand reveal.

Mindful Monday

It was Crew Obama’s turn this week to take on some Monday morning litter picking duties. The weather was rather dull and overcast but at least we weren’t rained on! Pupils found a surprising amount of rubbish which may have blown onto the school site from elsewhere such as KFC chip cartons, but there were no complaints about clearing up after others. I was really impressed by the tenacity and determination of some Crew members to collect old items which had likely been hidden in the hedges until the leaves dropped. 

Please check the school’s homepage to see the lost property for this week. Remember to claim what belongs to you!

Tranquil Tuesday

Crew Obama spent Tranquil Tuesday updating their books, and catching up on some private reading. Reading is one of the most effective ways to raise performance in humanities, so AR time is highly valued here. We also worked in teams to apply our reading skills to a set of instructions to construct some new furniture for our crew room, which turned out to be trickier than expected!

C26: What does it mean to be Crew? (and an invitation!)

What a cracking start C26 have had to our new school year!

So far, students have spent time with their crews both in school and out of school thinking about our guiding question for our first week back: ‘What does it mean to be Crew?

In school, crews have taken part in several inter-crew activities which have required our character traits of respect, courage, integrity and compassion. Craftsmanship and quality has also been crucial to succeed in each challenge. Students have had to go on a magic carpet ride, take part in a tea party and make sure their knees didn’t tremble too much!

Students have also had to dig deep and show real courage whilst they have travelled to Derbyshire to go caving and abseiling. Being crew has really mattered as some students were incredibly nervous about this but, with the support of crew and by making sure no one gets left behind, everyone succeeded! Take a look…

Tomorrow morning, students are once again heading out of school to take some time to reflect on their week as Crew and to think about their answer to guiding question.

An Invitation:

In the afternoon, students will be presenting their reflections of the week and we would like to invite parents to join us. This is a very exciting opportunity for us all as it will be the first time since Year 7 that we can all meet together again. Current COVID guidelines now make it possible for parents and carers to come to school and see the fantastic work which students have been working on. Students will be presenting at 2.30pm in the heart of both schools. Parents will be able to park in car park 3 and then enter their child’s school and join us on the stairs. Face masks are optional and we will ensure that both spaces are well-ventilated.

Please join us if you would like.

Kerry Poncia (Phase Lead C26)

E26 (Year 9): First Week Back 

E26 (Year 9): First Week Back 


As this academic year ends, we’re already looking forward to our first week back!

School starts again on Wednesday 1st September when we will be embarking on a week of Crew.  Please take a look at the outline for the week so that students are fully prepared for each day.  


Students will be in school all day (normal school hours).  They will require their usual equipment (pen, pencil, ruler and device). Sensible footwear is required. School dinners will be provided as usual.


Students will need to be at school for 8am as they will be out of school on crew activities. Students will need a backpack with a packed lunch (provided for students on FSM), 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 between 4.30pm and 5.00pm.


Students will be out of school today for the morning (normal school hours).  They should wear the same clothes as required for Thursday (please refer to the kit list) and bring their bags and equipment (including their device). Sensible shoes and waterproofs will be needed so please make sure that students bring these, too.

Students will also need a packed lunch and a bottle of water (provided for students on FSM).

*We have been advised that students wear and bring insect repellent for our morning fieldwork.

Please refer to these important docs and ensure you and your child are familiar with them.

Have a wonderful summer break!



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