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.

Year 10, week 1&2

It doesn’t feel right typing that my crew are in year 10(!!!!), entering their fourth year at the school, and their final two years at XP. We spent the first week back working together in crew, where we asked ourselves ‘how can we prepare for the next climb?’

One of the activities we partook in an intercrew competition, discussing strategies and cheering each other on while we completed the minute to win it tasks. While the activities were a little daft, it was nice to see crews circling up to strategize and making sure everyone was included.

On the Friday of the week we spent in crew, we were fortunate enough to get to walk the Monsal Trail. It was quite a physically demanding route at times, but the compassion I saw from my lovely ‘care bears/photographers’; Jess and Charlotte, was phenomenal. I’d like to give them a special mention for carrying others bags, slowing their own pace to help others catch up, and their supportive words during the route.

I’d also like to give Sami a special mention, he had the opportunity to flex his GCSE Geography skills as our navigator, and I felt he did a great job!

The walk was a great practice for the Y10s Duke of Edinburgh award, that I’m hoping that most my crew will opt to do this year. I took a tonne of pictures and videos on the day which I’ve compiled below:

Back in our new Crew Room in week 2, we discussed what is required of us over the upcoming two years with GCSEs approaching. We looked at how we procrastinate, and how we can start drip feeding a little revision into our habits at home to start the following two years right. Also, we celebrated Callum’s 15th Birthday the only way we know how – with chocolate fudge cake and lemon drizzle cake for the quirkier members of my crew.

That’s us checked into Y10!

We’ve waved goodbye to Crew Turing’s 15th member, Miss Narey, the fantastic trainee teacher who has been supporting as well as leading crew sessions the past few months. To celebrate her successes in passing her training year, we had a slightly early afternoon tea with scones. We wish her the best at Armthorpe and look forward to hearing from her through friends of my crew who attend the school.

Thanks to the girls in my crew for cracking a smile for the selfie!

Torran’s student led crew session

During half term, I received an email highlighting the incredible work Torran undertook during the break, supporting his family and local football team by supporting the coaching of the under 12s. I was inspired by his leadership and wanted to try and reboot something with my crew that we’ve not done in a long time!

I’ve got a big appreciation for Torran for hosting our first student led crew of the year. I’ve asked all of my crew to think up an activity that we can do in the remaining weeks, considering the purpose of what we do and how we can build our character doing these activities, as well as develop their leadership skills. Torran requested to lead a football skills and game crew session to help our sports day efforts. I’ve also challenged the rest of crew to come up with a session to run with us.

I’ve also added some footage of our crew stewardship duties to the video below, we spent a Friday afternoon litter picking and managed to fill two bin bags.

Pride

Miss Jones shared a really comprehensive set of resources on why we celebrate Pride, we have spent some crew sessions this month celebrating and learning about the month. Our crew is named after Alan Turing, who was persecuted for being gay which ultimately led to his suicide. We created a water painting mural to decorate our crew wall with, every crew member getting to add background rainbow colours to the image.

Here’s our final product!

Crew mile

This week, we have teamed up with other schools in the trust to run a mile to support Ray Mathews who has worked a lot with Norton Junior/ infant school raising money for charities through running. Ray is 80 this year and he would like the school to run 80 miles to help support the charity Age UK.

We did our 4 laps round both schools on Thursday this week and it was glorious! I am going to donate the money we raised to Age UK.

Just 4 weeks to go until we break up for summer, we’ve got some exciting work in the pipeline that will be ready for sports day that I look forward to sharing with you!

cake + custard + sunshine + a great set of HoWLs results = good times

Crew Turing have loved being outside during Monday’s crew sessions to do check in, catching 45 minutes of sun before we go back to session. Now that lockdown restrictions are lifting slightly the check-ins are far more interesting. Everyone seems cheerier now they’re able to see friends and family, and carry on with the sports they’re involved in.

We’ve also managed to get booked into the sports hall during crew a couple of weeks back, we enjoyed a rather competitive game of dodgeball. We mixed crew to random teams, and even Miss Narey and I played.

As mentioned in my previous post, as a crew we’ve been self-assessing HoWLs leading up to the actual data drop, which finally got released last week. We spent the crew session adding our updated HoWLs to our crew narrative, gains were made across the board. We then compared the new data with our previous crew targets that were made in November 2020. Those targets were:

– Improve extended study record as a crew, aiming for 95%+: we greened this target as this has massively improved thanks to daily reminders in crew and students working together to support each other on any work they’re unsure about

– Improve HoWLs in art and HUMAN, aiming for at least secure in all HoWLs grades: this is partially completed, as HoWLs in these subjects have gone up across the board, however we’ve not 100% met the ‘secure’ section of the rubric or above in these subjects. I’ve got to appreciate Dylan, Callum, Torran, Mollie and Sami for smashing these targets, some of whom even received HoWLs in the excellence category!

In the coming weeks, we’ll be looking at where we can be making improvements using Crew Turing’s HoWL improvement project. Every student in my crew has identified a subject in which their HoWLs could do with some work. I then asked students to write a rationale explaining why they’d chosen that particular subject and a SMART target that another member of our crew could peer-asses them on.

I then gave each student someone to peer assess on a mini HoWL tracker. Every student gave at least a secure on the peer assessment, and knowing that someone was tracking engagement, meant that members of my crew really pushed themselves in those sessions to contribute and ask clarifying questions. I’m going to try this again in a few weeks to get snapshots of what is going on in sessions.

To celebrate our successes, Dylan treated us to homemade sponge cake with custard and Torran bought in a chocolate birthday cake. Not only this, Miss Narey who has been with us over the past few months prepared a quiz for us to enjoy! Big appreciations to those who made Friday’s crew session so fun, and congratulations to Mollie, Charlotte, Dylan, Callum, Sami and Jess for winning the quiz.

Passage presentations are in full swing!

Week One of Passage presentations is over!

I’ve been left speechless by the outstanding passage presentations we’ve had this week. The quality of reflections from the students in Crew on their character and academic growth since year 7 has been eye opening. They have spoken with such maturity and integrity that has made myself (and their families of course) so proud. I’ve been pleased to have been able to mark so many of the students as exceeding the standard – all the hard work has paid off! 

It’s not happened by accident though, the students have been busy preparing, redrafting and rehearsing for months. Here’s Florence practising her passage in Crew this morning – all students so far have been very professional in their presenting skills and are way beyond their years in their ability to speak to adults and a guest panelist they have never met before, it takes some real courage and I’m sure there’s not many 13/14 year olds out there who could do this.

For students in year 9 to be able to so confidently identify and present their strengths, weaknesses and how they overcome challenges to improve, not only academically but personally as well, is exceptional – and all in a national lockdown! I can’t praise them enough for the strength they have shown. I am so proud of them and I hope they all realise how brilliant they are – I’m excited to see the rest of Crew’s passage presentations next week!

Hi all,

Here is a rundown of some of the beautiful artwork that has been produced by our wonderful XP and XPE students during lockdown 3.0.

As a team, we have been blown away by the effort and resilience that our pupils are showing.

I hope you enjoy having a flick through their work as much as we have.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We’re Back!

Crew Parkinson have had a wonderful return to school despite it being an online return rather than in person. The last time we were all together we were celebrating Christmas with each other, opening secret Santa gifts, listening to music and having a laugh as you can see below – it all seems so long ago now. I don’t think any of us thought that we’d be returning to school under lockdown number 3 and facing the next term online, but we’re making the most of it.

In terms of how they’ve been getting on – they’ve been absolute angels! Despite the challenges of online learning we’ve had nearly 100% attendance for every crew session and lesson for the last 3 weeks! Students are doing so well tackling their new expeditions online – I got an email through with this lovely praise for Ava from Miss Haughey, it’s great to see she’s smashing it in maths.

Students have also been doing really well in their live science lessons – here’s some of the scores from the quizzes set by Mr Said on Prokaryotes & Eukaryotes and specialised animal and plant cells. Great scores from Lacey, Bob, Rosie and Aaron! 

We’ve also been busy preparing for Passage over the last few weeks in crew, continuing the hard work students put in when we were at school. We’ve had to adapt a lot over the last weeks and Passage is included in this but I’m so proud of the quality reflections students have made on their time at XP East so far and how they have grown and changed since year 7. I’m sure they will be able to explain really articulately during their Passage presentation why they are ready to start their GCSEs – watch this space for updates over the coming weeks!

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.

 

Fight the Power!

The year 8 students across XP School and XP East are working towards part of their final product for the ”Fight the Power’ expedition. C26 have been learning about the power of protest, and the impact activists have had on the rights and freedoms we enjoy today. The goal is to commemorate this work, both in a plaque that will live proudly in Doncaster train station, and through works of art that we will be curating celebrating local activism across Donny, should we raise the funds.

Check out our crowdfunder here!

With only 19 days left to reach their crowdfunder goal, students will be pushing to make the final £800 over the coming weeks with their fundraising efforts. We have arranged raffle prizes, because our busking plans were unfortunately no longer feasible due to lockdown restrictions, but we’re not letting it stop us!

Students have recently had an expert visit from Olivia from Black Lives Matter Doncaster, who shared with the groups about the protests earlier this year. Her insights into structural racism and her experiences of micro-aggressions helped open up a dialogue in our school on difficult but deeply important topics.

I would like to thank her for the work she continues to do and we look forward to working with her in future.

Students also have a hangout / expert visit arranged this Friday morning, where they will be learning about the impact of the local Suffragette movement, and the impact Doncastrian suffragettes had on women’s rights across the UK.

We were shocked earlier in the expedition to learn that of the 500+ statues in the UK, only 80 were of historical women. We wanted to do something to address this imbalance, so we feel that commemorating the work of Doncastrian women’s rights activists is a great place to start.

Students will be coming round over the coming weeks to sell raffle tickets, prizes include

  1. A chocolate hamper (worth over £30)

  2. A McDonalds meal of your choice (+ McFlurry), delivered to you during dinner time

  3. A pass to skip the dinner queue for an entire week

We appreciate all donations, and ask that if you can continue to share this if you are unable to donate to hopefully spread the word!

C25: Out here in the fields

Our year 9 students were lucky enough to get out on fieldwork on the final week of term to complete work relating to their ‘Welcome to the machine’ expedition. Over the next seven weeks of the winter term, they will be working on their answer to the guiding question:

‘Do the benefits of industrialisation outweigh the costs?’

For their first STEAM case studies, students have been looking at conservation data, learning about how data can be collected and displayed using multiple representations. They have also been learning about specialisation and ecosystem management.

They visited The Hatfield Moors, our local nature reserve, to examine the extent of the fire damage from earlier this year. Students have been learning about the protected species that can be found at the site, particularly the adder, and how Natural England and the fire service prioritised safeguarding these species during the clear up operation.

While at the site, students conducted a series of sampling techniques, as well as collecting data on the wildlife. Sadly, due to slight delays in being able to visit the site, we weren’t able to spot any adders as they have likely gone into hibernation for the winter, however, students were still able to find other species key to maintaining and supporting the ecosystem at the wetland.

Students also conducted a number of tests on the site, in accordance with their two daily learning targets for the day:

1. I can estimate the population density of a species using random sampling techniques.

Students engaged in data collection of various parts of the site, using quadrats to provide increasingly accurate estimations of species numbers in the areas we sampled. We created a set of axes, used a random number generator to find coordinates to sample, and collected the data from those coordinates.

After collecting data in teams of three, we used all the data collected to calculate the predicted species number, based on scaling up the measurements to accommodate the size of the field. In debrief, due to a large range in answers, we went on to calculate the mean for those estimations, to create a more accurate estimation. We also discussed why using the random number generator was fundamental in keeping our research free from bias.

2. I can investigate the effects of abiotic factors using systematic sampling techniques.

Students then went on to conduct a series of pH tests on the wetlands, again using their quadrats placed along a transect, to link changes in species to abiotic factors of the wetlands. In debrief, we examined the data, looking for patterns relating to the abundance of the plant species and the abiotic factor recorded.

I’d also like to thank our very own Marshall Jones, for taking his time on the day and spare time to create this amazing vlog documenting the day:

I feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to make it out to the site given the current circumstances, and I really look forward to hear how the work the students have done on this series of case studies will inform their guiding question answers over the coming weeks.