Crew online check-in with Mandela

It has been fantastic to have a Google Hangout from everyone in Crew Mandela. It seems a lifetime since we had to finish at school so abruptly, however all crew members are in  good spirits and we discussed some ways that people have been keeping busy!

Everyone in the crew commented on how the new timetable has made routines much more manageable learning to be a solid structure of the day.

Big shout out to Alfie and Chloe who have been completing STEAM work to an excellent standard. Check out the pictures below:


Also a huge shout out to Beth who has been going above and beyond in Spanish Plus and completed all tasks to an excellent standard! well done Beth!

Our next Check in online will be Tuesday at 11:30 am. Holly is going to lead the check in- with a pub quiz style competition to follow. See you then!


In praise of productivity in E24/Y9 GCSE Spanish

I was very pleased with the high levels of engagement and focus in E24 (Y9) GCSE Spanish on Friday. Our students were practising asking and answering health-related questions, using a board-game and dice to introduce an element of unpredictability and “spontaneous speech” – exactly how our students will be assessed in their final GCSE Spanish speaking exam.

Due to the level at which they are working now, when using interrogatives and correct intonation it is no longer a case of what they say, but also how they say it. These are higher level thinking skills that our young linguists are developing with great proficiency. Well done!


E24 / Y9 GCSE Spanish Extended Study

This week’s E24/ Y9 GCSE Spanish Extended Study is centred on learning the irregular verbs “tener” (“to have”) and “estar” (“to be”), currently being used to describe ailments and injuries. Vocabulary retrieval, i.e. a test on these two verbs, will take place in session on Friday 17th January. Relevant slides will be shared with students.

Thank you.

Crew Mandela Passage Presentation

Crew Mandela are continuing their journey towards starting GCSE choice. All students have begun their reflections from year 7 to year 8. It is hard to believe how much some of our crew has changed in such a short space of time, as shown in the video below!


The purpose of the passage presentation is to reflect on ‘what makes me ready to start GCSE’ We did this by following the below three case studies.

Case Study 1 : ‘Where I can be?’

Case Study 2: ‘How to get there ’

Case Study 3: ‘What makes me ready?’

E24/Year 9 How to build a rollercoaster workshops

Year 9 have been lucky enough to experience another fantastic day of fieldwork, helping them build background knowledge for their STEAM expedition, ‘Slow Down’. In a few weeks time, their learning will culminate in a final product that answers the guiding question:

What does physics and maths have to with saving life?

This Thursday, the year group visited Alton Towers’ education department to learn about how they assess the safety and functionality of their roller coasters. Students were briefed on how they might want to design their own roller coasters using the principles of physics and mathematics.

They also applied their knowledge of algebraic substitution by calculating gravitational potential energy, as well as velocity at each hill of their roller coasters and centripetal acceleration. Students were then given a workbook to fill out as we travelled through the park – they were able to explain why they felt so weightless during the drop on oblivion, and were able to calculate GPE on the coasters across the theme park using the knowledge gained in the workshops. Plus, we all had a lot of fun on the rides!

We will be picking up this new physics and maths content once we get back into school this coming week and applying it across the STEAM sessions.


In addition to the fieldwork on Thursday and Friday (more details in this post here) Y9 students will also be out of school on Monday, 2nd September.  This fieldwork will kick-off our immersion activities as we embark on the first STEM expedition of Y9.

Students will need to be at school for 8am to allow for a prompt departure at 8.15am. We will be back at school for the normal finishing time of 3.15pm.

Appropriate closed-toe footwear must be worn – trainers are ideal!

A packed lunch is required (no fizzy drinks or sweets!). Be aware that we are now a nut free school.

A lunch will be provided for those students on free school dinners.

**Please note that we will also be out on fieldwork on Thursday, 12th September – details to follow!**

Welcome back, E24!

Today saw all students returning to school following the summer break.  It was wonderful to see students smiling and sharing how they are looking forward to the new school year.


For E24 (Year 9), it has been a busy first day back, with students rejoining their crews and starting the day with a summer check-in and inter-crew puzzles and challenges to get everyone warmed up!

We then had an informative introduction to the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme by Mrs. Ap Harri and discussed how we would be taking part in the scheme as crews.  It’s fair to say everyone is looking forward to how they can take part in voluntary and physical activities and how they can learn and develop new skills.

This was then followed by the introduction to our new guiding question:

‘What makes me ready to start GCSE?’

This guiding question will be explored over the coming weeks as students prepare for their passage presentation which holds the key to them being considered ‘GCSE ready’.

Today saw the introduction of Case Study 1: ‘Where can I be?’

Throughout the day, students investigated how professionals in a number of trades and industries started their journey and investigated potential career paths starting at GCSE. This was done by a three hour career carousel of experts, including the police, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Polypipe and GoGreen, who visited XPE.

And this was all in one day!

It’s a full on week for E24 so keep checking the website for what else has been going on.

Above all- Compassion

Crew Mandela have been investigating their habits of work and learning this week. This is to fully understand the ‘why’ behind the grades from teachers and understand how they can improve. Students have really taken ownership in the crew to investigate their own HOWLS. There has been a major increase in the crew average for Be Kind that we were especially proud of as a crew. As the sign reads outside the school front gates…

Above all, is compassion



SLC Preperation

The crew today have started their student led conference (SLC) preparation to be ready for the final parent meeting of the year. The crew have paid particular attention to selecting key artefacts of the expedition. The whole crew have decided that this will be the first SLC that they will deviate from the script and go ‘solo’. In past SLCs, students have prepared scripts and almost read this word for word. 

It has been great to see the growing courage and confidence of crew Mandela, as they now have decided they no longer need this support and only work from bullet points when talking to parents. Great work crew!