Crew Hawking











Marcus Bird Box

There are a number of challenges that students have been working on, linked to the learning targets of our new expedition:

  • building bug hotels
  • building bird boxes
  • bird spotting
  • doing citizen science research in Zooniverse

Well done to Marcus who has made the bird box above and shared his craftsmanship and quality with the crew and to also helping out at home in the garden sanding down the new bench swing.  This looks amazing.

Sanding the Family Bench swing

Appreciation to Marcus.












YEAR 9: New birdwatching world record*

We have a new record in Year 9 for the most birds spotted in a single session.

Kyle in X24 spotted an incredible 60 birds from 14 different species, including a sparrow hawk and two herons.

Whilst we have not set any work for students in Year 9 to complete over the two week break we would love it if they continued with their birdwatching, bug hotels and bird boxes. Please remind them to send us lots of photos. We are in competition with XP East for the most birds spotted.

*not verified by Norris McWhirter

Beautiful work in STEAM

This week I would like to appreciate a number of students for all sorts of reasons in STEAM.

We have just had our closing circle in a hangout meeting and reminded the students that we appreciate their efforts in such challenging times.

There are a number of challenges that students have been working on, linked to the learning targets of our new expedition:

  • building bug hotels
  • building bird boxes
  • bird spotting
  • doing citizen science research in Zooniverse

We’d love to see more photos from these challenges over the two-week break. But most importantly we want students to stay safe, and where possible to enjoy nature.

Here are my appreciations for the week. More images of beautiful work can be found in our expedition gallery by clicking on this link.


Hello Year 9

By now, you should be aware of the changes we’re making to DofE.  Here’s a link to the blog post, just in case you missed it:
These changes mean that you can carry on working towards your DofE Bronze Award.
Here’s what you need to do:
  • We have set up this DofE Google Classroom.
  • Join using this code: 5zzd72i

  • This is so we can easily keep track of your progress.
  • You will ALL be completing the new Skills activities, which is a First Aid course (yes, even if you’ve already done a first aid course elsewhere!)
  • Materials, instructions and the evidence tracker can be found in the Skills section of the classroom.
  • We will set tasks on a weekly basis.
**This course should be undertaken on a Wednesday afternoon during the allocated Common Mission time.**
  • Your Crew Leader will be in touch with those of you who haven’t completed the Physical Section to discuss how you’re going to move forward with this.
  • Or, if you know that you haven’t completed this, or were yet to start, there’s nothing stopping you getting in touch with your Crew Leader now so that you can get started asap!  You just need to let them know what you want to do from the options given in the classroom post.
  • Again, everything you need to get you started and the evidence tracker can be found under the Physical section in the classroom.
If you have any questions please get in touch with me or your Crew Leader.

Crew Hawking “We’ll meet again”

It has been another Work hard, Get Smart, Be kind, week for Crew Hawking.  It is great to see students engaging in learning and joining the academic google hangouts for their lessons.  This week students of Yr 9 were invited to the new expedition in science ‘Here comes the sun’.  At one point the tally on the google hangout reached 99, although this did include six staff members, but what a fantastic turn out from XP and East school Year 9 students.  

Crew Hawking would like to give appreciation to Mr. Said and Mr. Smith for putting the expedition together and making the expedition engaging and fun. I am looking forward to the products of birdhouses and insect hotels.  

Some students in the crew have also asked for a personal weekly planner as they feel this would support their focus on getting tasks completed that they had missed and they didn’t want to fall behind,  this is one of the ways they are getting smart. 

It is VE celebration weekend marking the 75th anniversary,  I know if Hawking were together we would have organised a crew tea party and played the traditional songs. The picture of the crew was taken in December 2019. I hope you have a happy celebration weekend with your family until “We’ll meet again”.

X24 – Closing Circle Hangout Meeting

This afternoon at 3.00pm we will be hosting a hangout for all of Year 9 across both schools to find out how they have been getting on with their STEAM immersion challenges.

Students can join the meeting by logging into their school account and going to:

Attendance for the launch hangout was fantastic. Thanks to all of our families for your continuing support.



We need our student to help with important medical research!

In this second challenge of the new Year 9 learning expedition: Here Comes the Sun, mitochondria research scientists in London need our students’ help.

Nearly every cell in our body contains hundreds to thousands of mitochondria. These tiny structures are incredibly important. They are often referred to as the ‘powerhouses’ of the cell. This is because they convert the fat, protein and sugar from the food we eat into the energy we need to survive.

We couldn’t live without mitochondria, and if they do not work properly it causes very serious problems.

Students’ job is to identify mitochondria in images of cells at a very high level of magnification.

Volunteers like our students’ work will eventually train AI computers to help analyse new data even faster. This will help the scientists to do their research more quickly and develop new drugs.

More details can be found on Google Classroom or on the immersion section of our expedition website.


THIS WORK CAN ALSO COUNT TOWARDS DofE Volunteering during lockdown too!

Our new Year 9 STEAM expedition is called ‘Here Comes The Sun’. The website for the expedition is live now.

This afternoon we kicked off STEAM immersion week in Year 9 with a huge Google Hangouts Meet.

The meeting was attended by over 60 students from both XP and XP East who met to learn about the challenges we have set for their immersion this week.

One of the main things that we want students to get out of this week, and the whole of this term’s Year 9 STEAM expedition is an appreciation of nature.



We have asked students to spend at least 30 minutes spotting birds. We have shared a guide and record sheet with them in Google Classroom. Staff have been having a go this week and spoke to the students about how lovely it was to spend time out enjoying nature.

We would love to see lots of photos from students of any birds that they see or just general shots inspired by nature. We are also determined to beat XP East with the number of birds that we spot!

In our meeting we had a massive game of quizlet live to compete with other in identifying 20 of the most common garden birds.

Spoiler alert: Penguins won! 🐧 🏆



There are also some optional challenges that we would like for the students to try if they can:


If you have a garden or patio space, it would be amazing if students could gather resources to build a bug hotel, these can be as complex or simple as students want to make them.

Students don’t need to complete all of the work on it this week during immersion, as we will revisit it throughout the expedition. Again we would love to see photos of any that students build. Here is mine that I built with my son, we had a great time:



If students have the resources and space they might want to build a small nest box.

This would be a great project to do with family members.

Again students would not need to complete it in this immersion week. It is something we will ask them to return to every week.


Details of all of the above are on Google Classroom.


There is another important challenge we will be sharing tomorrow, after which I will add a new blog post.



It was wonderful to see so many students this afternoon to kick off the new expedition. Charlie even played us out of the meeting with what I believe the young people call ‘The Rave Music’.

On Thursday we will be gathering again on Google hangouts Meet at 3.00pm to see how students have been getting on with their challenges and share the photos that they send to us.

We will also share the guiding question and more exciting details about out new expedition then too.

Please do encourage your son or daughter to get outdoors and enjoy nature wherever possible, get them to send us photos and to join us in the hangout at the end of the week.

Thanks as always for your support.

Have a great week and enjoy VE Day with your family on Friday.



Crew Hawking

Crew Hawking have had a productive week in completing tasks for their subject classes.  It was great to see lots of Week 6 Maths completed by the crew and  I would like to appreciate Milla, Kate, Jack and Evan for their hard work in Maths and keeping on top of the Week 6 work set.

Appreciations this week go to:






Kate has also been busy baking at home and it was great to see the beautiful cakes that she cooked and shared via email with me.  Only wish I could have tasted the cake, well done Kate, they look delicious.

Crew Hawkings Week 5 check in

Crew Hawking students and their parents have all been shared a crew tracker. This decision was made so students and their families have a weekly overview of the work that is set by teachers and how each student is progressing in each subject with the tasks set.  

Crew Hawking has a weekly Google hangout where students can highlight tasks set that they don’t understand and can share new information that is to be actioned by them.  This Friday we got to discuss Duke of Edinburgh and changes that would affect some of them in changing the number of months they could adjust for Physical Skills or Volunteering.  

 Appreciations for Helen, Coen, Max D, Kate and Jo who have attended some of the google hangouts and checked in.  Building on this Helen has attended 100% of the crew google hangouts so a massive appreciation and respect to you Helen 

At XP I am so proud of the craftsmanship and quality that students have learned and produced to show their understanding of expeditions.  It is a big Well done! and You are amazing! to Coen and Helen this week, both students learnt 3D modelling for their Art class and went onto be creative and customise their own house with additional features.

You have worked hard and grappled with many of the tasks set in this week 5.