‘Rowling’ on through isolation…

Who said technology was a bad thing? 

Crew Rowling took some time out of our new normal in order to catch up and reunite this week. It was lovely to see most of you and hear about what you had been upto!

We started off by asking “If you could be an expert in anything, what would it be?” A question which was posed to me by Mrs Poncia last week during our Google Hangout which really got me thinking. It was brilliant to hear the vast array of responses from Crew, varying from Criminology to Gaming, then some more touching ideas surrounding Science and being able to find a cure so we could end lockdown or languages so we could converse with other countries easily and share ideas! The selflessness of my Crew never fails to amaze me.


Keeping things ‘Rowling’:

This leads me to our catch up about what they had all been up to this week, again putting others before themselves for the better:

  • Faith had kindly looked after a friends dog and taken him for walks whilst they couldn’t (cue cute dog pics!)
  • Cerrina had created pictures with her sister to be displayed from her window to thank the NHS and key workers for the fantastic work they are doing.
  • Harvey had made the sacrifice of giving up his dog walks in order to protect others whilst one of the family members were ill. Now he’s keeping busy creating models,   which he knows we love to see in Crew!
  • Rhys had settled into a new exercise regime in order to allow his Mum to be able to crack on whilst working from home.
  • Lily had baked a cake to cheer those around her up (she forgot to take a picture of the cake though, so we settled for pictures of her cats as we know how mad she is about them!)





























Academic progress: 

Whilst we were all together we also had a look at what we have achieved over the last two weeks- I was blown away! Raising concerns last week which had been passed on I was worried about how we would match up against the deadlines this week, but, as always, we smashed it! I am so proud of the progress Crew Rowling are making independently! I have created a spreadsheet which logs all of the deadlines Y7 have to meet, there are specific tabs for Explorer and Pioneer. I have been encouraging Crew to use this in order to plan their days and their timetable and they seem to be doing just that! (Well, most!)

A massive well done to Ben, Harvey, Faith, Thomas, and Lydia who have managed to plan their time to ensure that they haven’t missed a deadline in these first two weeks! Also, a special well done to Logan who has been working really hard despite being ill! You’re doing a brilliant job- keep up the hard work!

Take the time to do what you enjoy!!

During our Crew Google Hangout we discussed how important it is to keep in touch with your friends and family around this time and I encouraged the students to take a step back from the work once they’d completed what they needed to for that day and have some time for self care! I demonstrated this by showing them that i’d taken an afternoon to go on a walk, find some head space, and chill out! (As much as i could, ending up in a farmers field full of sheep wasn’t on the agenda!)

I think its important that not only do we get some work done but we remember to look after each other, and most importantly ourselves.


Stay safe everyone, already looking forward to our next catch up! 

E26 are creating beautiful work in their art sessions

E26 pupils have been using watercolour paints to create beautiful sunsets and silhouettes inspired by African landscapes.

I am extremely impressed with E26 and their enthusiasm to create their artwork. We have some very talented young people at XP East! Well done!

SLC Success!

Crew NJO completed their first Student Led Conferences this week, sharing both their academic and personal progress with their families.

I was incredibly proud to see how much all of the Crew had grown in confidence and was blown away by their ability to articulate what they have learnt, what they have struggled with, where they need support and finally how their data looks after our second data drop.

It was incredible for me to see Cerrina explain HOWLs and MEGs to her mum and sister, making pledges to improve even further by creating an action plan. Data isn’t the be all and end all it is important to say, but it was moving for me to see students engaging with it in a positive way, highlighting their own strengths and weaknesses by making links to their experience in school.

Students in Crew Rowling worked tirelessly to ensure they were ready for the event, writing their own scripts, practicing to each other, providing kind, specific and helpful feedback in order to help everyone achieve.

Special mention to Summer, a Y9 student who stepped in to help a very nervous Layton at the last minute! Embracing the aspect of Crew, Summer gave up her Crew, Break and Lunch time to support Layton, not only allowing him to practice but also writing difficult words down phonetically to support his reading. She also helped him to further understand his data and praised his efforts so far!

Under all of the strain and pressure that already existed, some of the Crew were even faced with a camera too! Filming for the Edge Foundation has followed the students progress from Wales… it will be good to see how far we really have come!

I am in awe of the bravery and confidence of all of the Crew this past couple of weeks, they have worked tirelessly so ensure that they understood their role in an SLC and get everything prepped and ready. I am looking forward to seeing what you achieve in the next data drop!

Well done all! Keep up the hard work!

Crew Young reaching out to Crew Rowling

This has been a short, but extremely positive week for Crew Young. Following my pride in no fewer than four successful Passage Presentations so far – from Summer, George, Adam and Maclaren – Crew Young returned to their DofE Volunteering role this morning, as they listened to members of Crew Rowling reading aloud, or practising their SLC presentations.

Crew Young were reminded to give their younger reading buddies some non-verbal feedback and encouragement, mindful of exhibiting positive body language such as maintaining eye contact, nodding and smiles, as well as checking for comprehension of the reading material. Awareness of body language and its effect on the audience is one of the four core aspects against which Passage standards are assessed.

Crew Rowling read with confidence and fluency and some seized the opportunity to practise their Student-Led Conference preparation with their more senior counterparts.

Well done everybody!

E26 and E25 have been learning about warm and cool colours in their X Block art sessions.

They have a really good understanding of this, as you can see from their work!

PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF DATE FOR THIS EVENT (now on Tuesday 17th December, not Thursday 19th as previously stated)

E26 (Year 7) will be holding the Presentation of Learning for their current expedition ‘Over the Top!’ on Tuesday 17th December, 5.30-6:30pm at XP East.

Students have been working extremely hard throughout their expedition and have been working on answering the guiding question: ‘Does war unite or divide?’

This will be their first formal opportunity at XP East to share their learning with parents, carers and visitors and we very much look forward to seeing you there.

Crew NJO braved the cold this morning harvesting the vegetables that were planted during the staff induction in the Summer.

Using gardening tools, we uprooted the carrots, leeks and beetroot and placed them into a bag ready to be sent to the food bank. Some of us enjoyed getting our hands dirty and I therefore need to apologise to parents sending students home to parents with muddy clothes! It was all for a good cause!

As a crew we felt this was another great example of us being kind. We hope those accessing the food bank enjoy the vegetables just as much as we did harvesting them!

We would like to appreciate Alfie and Charlie who helped us by showing us how to use the equipment, refresh the soil ready for replanting and taking pictures!



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.

  • What is the difference between a meter and a metre?
  • How could we use two straws, an elastic band and two paper clips to find the mass of an object?
  • How is mass related to weight?

All this and more will be revealed at our STEAM Presentations of Learning on 10th and 11th July (click here for further information)

Family are invited to come along and find out from our student experts, but expect to be asked about your own learning!

In our STEAM lessons this week, Year 7 have been grappling with the concept of speed, distance and time.  We have been using constructivist principles of learning to develop understanding, by kicking the week off with a practical investigation outside, measuring the time and distance travelled when we walk fast or slow.

We then discussed the relationships we could see in our data and some data generated from the ‘Marbleympics’ 5m sprint.  We noticed that when the speed changes, the time and/or distance change and there is a direct relationship between this; ultimately we deduced the equation:

In today’s session Explorer were applying this by substituting our own data, with the challenge being to use the equation in unfamiliar contexts – check out Faith’s attempt at four of the challenge questions on the photos below!  The level of engagement in this task was excellent, and not only did I have a lot of verbal praise to give individuals, as well as the class as a whole, but we also had a spontaneous round of applause!  Zak was using purple pen to remind himself of how to improve his calculations next time, and Caiden and Sami got their heads together to see where they went wrong in their calculations and correct them.

We also tried out some new more flexible seating arrangements to support us in building our confidence; as we experiment we find we have different skills and qualities to offer one another in our problem solving and all students engaged really positively in the process.  I loved Marshall’s quote, particularly as he had rated his confidence at the beginning of the lesson as a 1 out of 3, but at the end of the lesson he said “this is a breeze now!”

Our learning focus this week has been to keep trying to get ‘unstuck’, even when we are grappling with something new or a concept we can’t quite get our head around; at XP East it’s all about getting to the top of the next ‘mountain’.  That’s why we have a new quote on the wall from Carl Sagan:

When you make the finding yourself, even if you’re the last person on Earth to see the light, you’ll never forget it“.