X23’s tonal self portraits looking amazing!

Y10 have been working extremely hard to get their tonal self portraits finished for their ‘Christmas Style Lecture’ that is due to take place next week.

Pupils have looked at portraits through history in order to help them with their own self portraits.

Pupils have been asked to plan a background for their portraits to show aspects of their character and what makes them who they are. They have all been asked to create a rough plan in their sketchbook. Here are some examples:

Pupils now need to complete their background and mount their tonal self portraits onto them.

Here is one in progress:

Im looking forward to seeing this piece of work completed and displayed next week! Well done X23! Keep up the fantastic work!

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:

High Quality, Beautiful Work at Plover and Green Top!

Last week, I had the honour and privilege to visit two Primary Schools and talk to students about the beautiful work they are crafting to make a positive difference to our local communities. At Green Top Primary in Thorne, Year 6 students Amelia and Myles talked eloquently about the work they are completing as part of their latest Learning Exploration. They told me their Guiding Question was, ‘Do you understand the magic of motion?’ and that they had studied the science of motion, read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone as an anchor text and considered the concept of continuity and change through researching the proud and developing history of the railways in Doncaster. I was amazed to hear the final product for the Exploration will be some stunning education signage boards (including high quality artwork) which will take pride of place at Thorne North and South Station so that everyone who passes through can read about the important heritage of the railways in Doncaster.

At Plover, Year 5 and 6 students have been considering the effect we have on our environment. They have been addressing the highly topical and urgent question, “It’s our world, what are you going to do about it?’ Joseph, Maisie, Ruby, Maddison and Lucas told me about the important work they have done through researching the negative impact single use plastics have on our oceans. They talked about fieldwork they had been on where they swam in a swimming pool filled with plastic so they could imagine what it must be like for sea life who are increasingly affected by this man-made and deadly pollution. The students also showed me the incredible artwork they had produced about endangered species that they are going to use as part of a calendar that will be on sale to the public! It was breath-taking work.

I was so impressed by the work in both schools that I shared it with XP students as part of our Whole School Community Meeting on Friday. I asked our students who they thought had produced such fantastic work and they said that they thought it was Year 11 students! High praise, indeed and well deserved. This is stunning work that is making a real difference.

Well done to all! Can’t wait to visit again!

Andy Sprakes

Kings Fund Conference 2019

Today, 4 of our students not only attended the Kings Fund Conference in Leeds, but they were speakers there, too! This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students as it’s a national conference focusing on mental health and youth services across the UK, and was a chance for them to present findings from research they took part in regarding youth services in Doncaster and how they could ‘live their best lives’.

Alfie, Kate, Scarlett and Rex have been completely amazing today from start to end, taking the delayed trains in their stride (with a hot chocolate – thanks Anna!)  and keeping their composure when we arrived at Horizon in Leeds.

The conference was split into workshops and breakout areas, ours focused on supporting young people in communities using a capabilities approach.

All 4 students spoke confidently, clearly and ‘eloquently’ (a word used by a conference delegate!) and did themselves, me, Anna and Carrie from Doncaster Council, and XP, proud!


During the Q&A session at the end Scarlett even received a round of applause from the professionals who attended our workshop as a result of her answer to a question about the negative effects social media is having on young people. Well done Scarlett!

It’s been an absolute pleasure spending the day with Rex, Alfie, Kate and Scarlett and multiple professionals stopped us to tell us how impressed they were with the young people – one lady stopped the girls to tell them how courageous they were for having the guts to stand up and present to a room of around 35/40 people – they told her “it’s just what we do!”.

Well done – that’s how we XP!

X26 student showing us how it should be done!

I wanted to give a student in my Crew a special mention for her hard work since starting XP in September. She will probably hate that I have made a fuss and posted this – but I wanted to share this beautiful book review that she passed on to me.

Nida from crew EJN in X26 produced this review based on the book ‘Ratburger’ by David Walliams in her own time. She wanted other pupils to be able to read it and know a little more information about the book before reading it. Nida really loves reading and gets through a few books per week.

She thought that producing book reviews like this might help other pupils who don’t have the same love of reading as she does.

I think you will agree with me that this is a really beautiful piece of work and I am looking forward to reading another book review!

Well done Nida! Keep up the good work!

p.s. please don’t be angry with me for posting this!

A number of students from X24 have been working extremely hard both in lesson and also in the completion of their extended study. They have completed these tasks to a high standard and also made sure that they have been handed in on time.

The students that I would like to give a special mention to are Alfie Lockey (X24 Admiral), Bella Herring (X24 Skipper) and Amber Clark (X24 Skipper) who have all finished the two studies (paper cut and sharpie block design) in class and also their extended study (Artist research).

All three of these students are now well on the way to creating a lovely charcoal study for their developing and exciting art portfolio.

Alfie Lockey:

Amber Clark:

Bella Herring:

Well done Alfie, Amber and Bella! Keep up the good work!

Beautiful Book Club

This week in Crew JNI we have been focusing our discussions in Academic Crew around our HoWLs. We each spoke about where we have seen other students working hard, getting smart, and being kind in sessions. Crew members spoke passionately about the hard work they have seen within lessons, and deconstructed what it means to work hard, get smart and be kind.


We finished this week off with our Friday Book Club. This week, we read a chapter of The Giver  together before students went and produced some amazing ‘Blackout Poetry’ (pictured below). The poetry is created by picking out and circling certain words in a text to create a poem. Students worked hard on this, creating poetry from the chapter we had read, and I think you’ll agree, they produced some amazing pieces. Keep up the good work, Crew JNI!