‘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! 

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!

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.

Yesterday during community meeting Mrs Poncia asked X25 about their highlight of the week, and I amongst other members of my crew struggled to pick! We have just six weeks left of this academic year, it is wild to think how quickly my crew’s first year at high school has passed and how much we’ve crammed into 2018-2019.

Both staff and students are winding up to the grand finale of the STEAM and Human expeditions, where they will be working on final products and preparing to share their learning in a presentation of learning. In STEAM, they are continuing on with ‘Escape Earth’ and yesterday their new Human expedition was announced.

On Tuesday X25 visited the Jodrell Bank Space Observatory, which is home to the UK’s largest radio telescope and the 3rd largest in Europe! Each student was immersed in workshops and classes that allowed them to discover elements of our universe, experience Newton’s Laws, and watch real accounts of the astronauts that visit the Space Station. I’ve uploaded the video file above, check out the incredible resources and facilities that we had access to!

We will be taking the lessons we learned from the specialists back into school to help answer the expeditions guiding question:

“Should humans leave Earth?”

With growing reports of the danger that climate change poses, and the scientific advancements in the technology that could allow us to potentially re-locate our species to another planet, X25 will be concluding what they think the future for our species and our home will be. I can’t wait to hear their responses.

I chose the backing track for the video from an album I really love by a band called Public Service Broadcasting, I was struck by this line that was originally part of a JFK speech from 1962:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things
Not because they are easy, but because they are hard”

I’m taking this particular message back to crew this week. We will be encountering difficulty over the next six weeks with deadlines. We will be setting up Student Led Conferences over the coming weeks, to reflect on and review this years work. We will be finalising products and developing our presentations of learning. It may be the last few weeks, but as per every other day we spend at XP East, I hope that each of my 12 crew members recognises that despite this work being hard, it is also extremely important, and that working hard, getting smart and being kind is fundamental if we are to achieve.

Showcasing talent in Crew Ali

This week we were fortunate to see some of the artwork Junia has been doing at home, as drawing is a passion of hers.  She uses a range of styles and particularly enjoys drawing and painting her favourite anime characters.  We discussed the craftsmanship and quality in her work and invited her to to lead a Crew session on drawing skills with Lacey, who is also a keen artist.  It also takes courage to share your work with others; well done Junia!

Keeping our eyes on the prize

This week in Crew Turing, we have been building on the data analysis that we completed last week during crew. I asked that each member of my crew come up with 2 specific action points to work on between now and the next data drop, so we can work on our weaknesses and improve our standing in the crew league tables.

I have loved how well considered these targets have been. Each member of my crew have really honed in on what aspects of their school life they need to work on, be it through their grades or their HoWLs. Here are a few examples:


My actions points are keeping up productivity in lesson and keeping my extended study organised, I can use my fries post-it notes to remind me what deadlines or if I need to remember my kit the following day. I also need to remember to bring a ruler and pencil to class, because I always forget these 2 pieces of equipment.


My action points are to let people talk in crew and don’t talk over them because in my data drop 2 my be kind in crew is a 2.8 and a 3.8 in the previous one.

My other action points is working hard in science because in November it was a 4.0, but now it is a 3.6 and I think I could use the explore further section of the website to push for excellence.


My science grade went down by 0.5 and that could be because my homework wasn’t in on time and I wasn’t paying enough attention because I drift of a lot,  so my target is to stay on task and be tuned in. I will do this by trying to contribute at least twice, by either asking a question or answering one.


In maths my action points are to work harder on be kind as my grade decreased. I will do this by working well in collaborative groups and staying focussed. I will also try to be more active in leston and try not to drift off. I will also work harder on my WH average and GS average as they stayed the same I will improve these by:

  • Contributing more in lesson even if I don’t think my answer is correct
  • Stay more focused on my work
  • Putting extra effort into my hegarty to consistently get 100%


My HUMs grade has gone up 0.7 but i’m slightly off my MEG by 0.1 To improve my grade in HUMs to achieve my MEG I will be more productive in lessons and use the expedition website more often to further my understanding of the topics we study.

I will be doing fortnightly check-ins with crew to make sure they are showing integrity and working hard to achieve the targets I have set them. I hope that as a group, we can all maintain that level of crew accountability and make each other proud by fine tuning and ironing out those targets.

During another crew session we were inspired by the words of Greta Thunberg, and her impassioned TED talk on climate change. I felt this was a really good example of a WAGOLL of their HUMAN final product and also was an issue that my crew are really passionate about.

It moved us on to a really interesting discussion about why nothing (or not enough) was being done about climate change?

In previous weeks in the news, Lexi pointed out that billions had been raised in the space of a week for Notre Dame Cathedral, yet the destruction of our planet was not attracting any attention despite calls from climate scientists and experts on the issue. Dylan built on this, pointing out how many of the victims of Grenfell are still homeless, where are the millions being raised for them and other victims of tragedy? We’re going to follow the climate stories over the next few weeks and also address what we might be able to do as a crew to contribute our bit, however small, to protecting our planet.

These last two weeks have also seen the birthdays of three members of Crew Turing: Lexi, Alice and Torran! We ended the week on a fully deserved high – eating cake!

Crew Ali have had a busy couple of weeks, trying to get lots done around our days off for Easter.  We have checked in as a Crew this week by sharing what we have been up to over the holiday.

The data drop results have of course been at the forefront of our minds, as we analysed our HOWLs grades first of all and this is discussed in a previous blog post.  This week and last we have been focussing on individual subject grades, taking into account progress against MEGs in English, History, Geography, Science, Maths and Spanish.  Each Crew member has completed their own data record which we can use as a supporting document in our Student Led Conferences in June. We have used colour coding to help us see what progress we are making against MEGs.

It is really important to mention that we look at progress very much on an individual basis; two Crew members may have the same grade, but it is their Minimum Expected Grade which we measure against, rather than one another.  We’re very open about grades and it’s important we can celebrate and further challenge those that have met or even exceeded their MEGs and support those who are working towards theirs.  A student’s MEG will rarely change, but the content will become increasingly more difficult as they go through school, so even if you meet your MEG now, be prepared to keep working even harder to maintain that grade!

Each Crew member is also working on an individual pledge which they will focus on in the next three weeks leading up to our May holiday.

Zak: I pledge to achieve my MEG in at least one more subject.

Billy: I will maintain my Work Hard grades and increase some of them to at least a 4.0 by arriving on time and participating fully and mindfully in class.

Charlie: I pledge to keep trying my hardest in maths and stay focused on what is going on in the lesson. I will try to get more work done and do it to the best of my ability at all times.

We also saw a new side to one another when we did a ‘show and tell’ activity on Tuesday morning, including visits from Ruby’s budgie, Blue, and Caiden’s stick insect, Woody; a taster of one of Zak’s favourite albums by Billie Eilish; a photo of Charlie’s top of the league football team; Lacey’s new business venture making hair bands; Cerys’ family holiday album from a visit to Rome, as well as many more.