XP Outdoors: Mindfulness Walk

We didn’t let sub-zero temperatures put us off on Wednesday! We wrapped up warm in our big coats and had a lovely walk in the winter sunshine.

This was a bit different to our normal walk though; we stopped off at a couple of places, closed our eyes, took some deep calming breaths, and really tuned into the sounds around us. Students noticed the change in what we could hear from just outside the school gates (cars, noises from surrounding warehouses and the stadium) to what we could hear at our next check-in point by the lake (ducks, birds, dogs, the breeze in the trees and even their own breathing!)

We also spoke about why taking some time to focus in on ourselves is important and how what we did on our walk could help back in the classroom. Students commented that taking a moment to take some deep breaths could be used to help them to manage distractions, help them to stay focussed on a tricky task and help regulate emotions. Another great example of how what we do outside helps us when we’re back inside the classroom!

There’s S’more from XP Outdoors ;)

XP Outdoors ended a fantastic term by getting together with s’mores and hot chocolates around the firepit (which provided some much needed warmth on a blustery day!)

We had a few burnt marshmallows, but lots of smiles!

Activities such as this give our Y7’s the opportunity to get to know eachother more outside of the classroom, whilst learning new skills and appreciating the outdoors.

Each group checked out with what had been their favourite activity of the term and, whilst the firepit featured highly, it was closely followed by walks around our lovely local area and litter picking!

Lots more activities planned after the Christmas break as we take learning outside of the (normal) classroom for another term.

What have Crew Rowling been up to…

Crew Rowling have once again been extremely busy during their crew time.

On Friday last week, the lovely ladies from Big C Little Warrior came into school and Crew Rowling were able to support them by helping put together Christmas bundles for patients receiving vital cancer treatment. These included warm socks, mindfulness colouring books, pencils, hand and lip cream, power banks and much more. Crew felt really humbled to be a part of this task and enjoyed every minute of it. We were also finally able to present Annette with the funds we raised from our bake sale which totalled £105!

Today, Crew had a little bit of down time and we spent time engaging in a little festive activity with help from Mrs Watson from XP Outdoors. The task was making wood cookie ornaments. This activity gave us time to chat and have fun together while getting into the festive spirit. Faith can’t wait for her ornament to have pride of place!  

Next week we are looking forward to Harvey running his own student-led crew session which I know he has been working hard behind the scenes preparing for.

We look forward to keeping you updated on what this entails.

Mrs Barnes and Miss Johnson

XPD Outdoors – Hits the ground running!

What an awesome start to the year. XP Outdoors has really taken off this year and we have some amazing stories to share with you.

We started the term with a getting to know each other session andwe played crew building games. It was a fantastic way to find out more about each other and for staff to build relationships with students.

From here we moved on to safety protocols and expectations. Being in an outdoor environment comes with some risks and C29 certainly took on board the different safety protocols we discussed to ensure each student was safe at all times.

Our first activities were a huge success and enjoyed by students and staff. Heading down to the firepit and garden area, students took part in Hapa Zome – an ancient Japanese Fabric dying activity and Leaf Art. Here are some of our products from the sessions.

Students grappled and supported each other and were able to produce some amazing crafts.

Alongside this students also took part in a CampFire activity. Where we enjoyed biscuits and Hot Chocolate (like by a few students). We were blown away by their engagement and behaviour during the activity. Students were able to all take part and play a role during the session, from making hot chocolate to handing out biscuits and washing up the cups. It was awesome to see everyone working together as crew!

Here are a few snaps from the sessions.

As the colder weather is approaching students are reminded that additional clothing may be required. Please come prepared for all eventualities, we would love to be outdoors as much as we can.

We are looking forward to next term’s activities and can not wait to see what amazing products the students produce. 

XPD Outdoors Staff 😀

XP Outdoors – Exploring and Gardening

On Wednesday XP Outdoors explored the garden and maintained our bedding plants.

Here are a few pics…

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At XP we believe that it is important for staff and students to spend more time outdoors, especially within crews. A fire circle allows crews to get outside and interact in a circle (with or without the fire lit). Getting outdoors has lots of proven health benefits, especially with mental health. There is evidence linked to sitting around an open fire reducing blood pressure and heart rate making it a relaxing environment, allowing people to be more receptive to others and share.

So we looked at our current fire pit set up and looked at ways to improve and revamp it. The plans were drawn by our crew and I have to say they came up with some amazing ideas, I can not wait to share these with our XP Outdoors Leads.

Look out for more exciting outdoor experiences!

Mrs Watson