On Friday, I had the pleasure of hosting our weekly community meeting for X26. I wanted to take the opportunity to speak to my crew and their peers about seeing the positives in life at the moment.

I started our online hangout by asking pupils to have a think about what this quote means:

One of the explanations from as student was ‘When you’re unhappy you don’t feel like doing anything but when you’re more positive you have more energy and you’re happier ‘. I have to say that I agree with this. 

I described my own feelings about lockdown 3.0 and the fact that we are working in a very different way. We are all going to have good days and bad days but we must remind ourselves of the positives.

It’s very easy to think negatively about ourselves, about a situation, or about an event that has happened or is about to happen. However, it’s really important that we find positive thoughts to keep us happy and feeling good. 

Finding the positives isn’t easy and is a skill that we definitely have to work on.

Last week, I asked all the teachers of Year 8 to give me some feedback about how pupils are getting on with their online learning.

I was so impressed and it genuinely gave me a warm fuzzy feeling being able to share this feedback with X26 and especially crew Kahlo.

Look at this lot!

#wearecrew

Crew Kahlo still smiling and having fun!

Well, what can I say!? What a strange time we are having to deal with at the moment! I have to say though, that I am a very proud crew leader and I am so impressed with how crew Kahlo has adapted.

We have had to change the way we do crew. We now have a video call every morning to have a catch-up and check-in. One of our check in’s was ‘Crew Kahlo Cuppa’ – where we all went to grab a cuppa to have a chat. As you can see, we have a few Harry Potter fans and one crew member who really loves his mum…can you spot which person that is?

I wanted to upload these photos of crew from just before Christmas. This is from our Christmas Jumper day in school with the fabulous MIss Haythorne!

This photo was taken on the last day before we broke up for Christmas, we had a bonus crew session at the end of the day. The last crew of 2020. It’s going to be weird to look back on these photos in years to come. Hopefully, by that time we won’t have to wear facemasks anymore! (fingers crossed!)

 

He’s taken on Piers Morgan, but can Jon McClure- lead singer of the band Reverend and the Makers- handle grillings by X26 and E26?

They may only be Year 8s, but they’re the next generation to challenge injustice and support when it’s right to ‘Fight the Power’. As well as curently raising funds to commerorate the Doncaster Suffragettes, they’re working to become young, poetic activists as they write their own verses for their ‘Fight the Power!’ expedition.

For someone who doesn’t like ‘fake news’, Trump and his pal Piers know how to create it…(cue Jon McClure stepping into the ring).

South Yorkshire star Jon, brings his expertise as a song-writer and poet, as well as having a First Class History and Politics degree! Jon has collaborated on lyrics with the Arctic Monkeys, whilst also having written the music for his own band who have had chart success with anthems such as Heavy Weight Champion of the World. From drawing festival crowds and packing out gig venues, to appearing on politics shows and Good Morning Britain, this guy has lots of wisdom to impart on our Year 8s. The man who said “When we see people like yourself fawning over Donald Trump, then we feel the need to stand up and say something,” will hopefully be inspiring our students to do the same.

Jon will be chatting with our students via Google Hangout (we’re sure he will have the same presence and ‘draw the crowds in’, despite Covid restictions) on Monday afternoon (7th December).  Good Morning Britain will be quaking in their boots…or booking us for their next debate!

 

So, crew Kahlo is back to full strength. We have welcomed another new student to our crew…Alex. He has well and truly fit in with our crew

When speaking to his teachers, it has been lovely to hear such wonderful feedback about Alex and how he has hit the ground running at XP. He has been working really hard and getting smart in his sessions. Here are a few things that his teachers have said about him:

Mrs. Sprakes (Spanish) – Alex shows COURAGE, he’s never done Spanish before but he’s come into Y8 and he’s giving it a real go. Awesome!

Mrs. Ibbotson (Hums) – Alex is doing great in Hums. He is always getting involved and has lots to say and input to the sessions. 

We created a crew display with our name ‘Crew Kahlo’ by adding colour to mindful colouring pages and laminated them. I think it looks great! Every member of crew also wrote a pledge that they feel is important to them to work towards in the run up to Christmas. Some of the pledges were:

  • to concentrate in lessons (Tammy)
  • to be kind (Alex)
  • to use integrity all the time (Max)
  • to remember things (Arthur)
  • to remember to bring my water bottle and equipment (Bryan)
  • to be more organised and to concentrate more (Olivia)
  • to help other people (Kearan)
  • to speak more in class (Billie – Lou)
  • to get my homework in on time (Jessy)
  • to ask more questions in class (Harrison)
  • to be in school on time (Callum)
  • to answer and ask more questions in class (Nida)

We will be checking in on these pledges throughout the term to hold each other to account and make sure we fulfil them.

The crew has also started to analyse their HoWL’s data this week. Looking at the marks they have received for ‘Working Hard; Getting Smart and Being Kind’ for each subject

Next week, we will be making pledges on how to improve our HoWLs as the year progresses.

We will be looking at how we can support each other as a crew to do this by giving kind, specific, and helpful feedback to each other.

We also celebrated a birthday. Happy Birthday, Olivia! Now officially a teenager! (Oh dear. Haha)

Amazing prints by X26

Really impressed with Y8’s prints from today’s art lesson.

It was lovely to see the enthusiasm and excitement of the students with this new technique.

 

Crew EJN being creative!

Crew EJN have produced some beautiful work based on the artwork of Wassily Kandinsky during lockdown.

By Nida

By Tammy

By Bryan

By Arthur

By Jessy

By Olivia

They have also started their new expedition ‘Above all, compassion’ off with a bang by designing a storyboard to show the environmental changes during ‘The Lorax’.

By Harrison

By Arthur

By Jessy

There is a website that has been created especially for this expedition to help pupils find the tasks that they need to complete and to give them extra guidance. The link for the website is here.

Keep up the good work crew and remember that I want you to concentrate on the most recently set tasks on google classroom and try to meet your deadlines. If you fell behind with the work from the beginning of lock down – that needs to be done after you finish the new work.

Take care and stay safe!

Crew EJN working on their teamwork

Crew EJN discussed what they thought good teamwork looked like then put this into action whilst playing benchball to burn off some of their energy!

We played against crew HMI over at XPE and are going to organise a re-match where we will meet again and test our teamwork within crew!

Our crew circled up half way through the game to discuss how they could change their tactics to win. They took it in turns to voice their ideas. Harrison was a natural leader who took the lead.

It was brilliant for our crew to spend some time outside the classroom and having fun whilst learning about eachother and developing our skills. Well done crew!

X26 Admiral were in the lab yesterday focussing on separating mixtures. This is part of our investigations for two case studies looking at how soldiers in the trenches could clean dirty water and how they could avoid harm during a mustard gas attack.

In this session we separated sand and salt by first mixing with water. Since sand is soluble, we could then filter to separate the sand. Following this we used an evaporating basin to separate out the salt.

Every member of the class achieved some great results and managed to separate the sand from the salt.

Here are Mollie and Becky with their finished experiment and Hubert’s prediction of what would happen:

X26 XBlock Drama

This week in XBlock Drama Year 7 have been working on their use of characterisation skills. The task in today’s lesson was to create still images of traditional children stories such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  The students worked hard to create images that were interesting and realistic. I was really impressed with the craftsmanship and quality of their work!

Excellent work X26!

 

X26 Admiral – STEAM Extended Study – Revision

X26 (Year 7) Admiral have an assessment in STEAM on Thursday of this week.

X26 Admiral Students need to revise for the following two learning targets:

LT6: I can explain how the states of matter are a function of the spacing and movement of the particles that make up a substance.

LT7: I can demonstrate how the motion and spacing of particles in a substance change as the substance changes state of matter.

 

On the Over the Top expedition website, there are lots of resources to help students with their revision. Some students have also taken their STEAM exercise books home to revise.

The expedition website can be accessed from the school homepage at any point by clicking n the menu on Students,  Year 7, 7 Expeditions.

Under “STEAM Case Study 1” there are revision guides, quizzes and example assessment questions.

 

How should my son or daughter revise?

The most important things to remember about revision are that watching videos or reading information are not revision. You can help at home by quizzing your son or daughter and testing what they know.

The most effective way to revise is to do retrieval practice and the apply this knowledge to questions. This video explains how that works.

Students have set their own priorities for revision based on areas for development from mini-quizzes this week.