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!


What an evening!

Today as crew leader I was incredibly proud of the crew for showing the courage to once again speak in front of the entire year group and 50 parents for the latest HUMs expedition. 

In particular, the moment where Corey spoke about his family to the audience brought the entire crowd close to tears! It was an emotional evening and all students produced high quality work, this was highlighted by Frida’s explanation of the Macbeth story and how this contributed to ‘fake news’

Chernobyl Discussion

This morning in Academic Crew, as I came in, the crew were already seated and in a deep discussion about the Chernobyl disaster. The Chernobyl disaster was a catastrophic nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986, in the No. 4 nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, near the city of Pripyat, in the north of the Ukrainian SSR, near the Byelorussian SSR border.

Holly was leading the discussion and explained how radiation can affect humans and its damaging effect of DNA. We then investigated as a crew the most radioactive places on Earth. Links were made by Corey and Raven to the current joint expedition in STEAM and HUMS as the term radioactive had been mentioned during the immersion.


Building Circuits

The crew have conducted their own revision session on current resistance and voltage today. Corey and Raven led the revision session where students were asked to construct series and parallel circuits and compare the difference between current drops. 

Raven noticed that when a component in a parallel circuit is removed, other bulbs and components still allow for electrons to flow, Raven also noted that this is why houses use parallel circuits and not series!