It’s great to see Everyone back this week and we are full steam ahead. I’m really impressed with everyones’ commitment to learning and crew NML (soon to be renamed, watch this space…) are really settling in well. The involvement level of our crew sessions are developing, with richer conversation as we grow to trust and respect each other, in the safe environment we have nurtured during our first half term. Already I have seen them grow emotionally in this short time. I’m very excited to see how we will develop further.

One of the topics we have been investigating has been poverty. The students have asked lots of questions and have been able to empathise with the situations many people find themselves in. Some discussion turned, driven by the children, to problem solving and looking at ways in which they could make the lives of people in poverty better and what they thought they could do instead. From batch cooking meals to up-cycling, free-cycling and food banks.

During our community meeting we discussed this further with other crews, using a silent conversation. This is where the students were able to read, question, discuss and annotate other students written responses to a text. The text detailed someones (an adult) personal experience of poverty. After unpicking the information the students made their own contributions before passing it on to the next group for their input. It was really encouraging to see that this was also where students gained a good understanding of what it was to be in poverty, as some students were unable to connect to this subject before this activity.

I have also been really impressed by how the students are taking all this, uncertainty and change, in their stride, having to wear face-masks around school and in the corridors. Many students holding others accountable showing fantastic integrity and respect, by reminding fellow students to wear their masks. If we all do the right thing then everyone will be safe. Definitely a community minded bunch. Well done guys, keep going you are doing amazing.

 

 

Howls Reflection

During this half term we will begin to understand how engaging in and taking ownership of our own learning can really make a difference. Being mindful of our choices and using the people and resources around us to help when we find things difficult and be a kind and considerate community member by helping others when we know what we are doing. Making sure we are the leaders of our own learning.

 

And finally this week we have seen the launch of our eagerly awaited reading scheme. Students have downloaded the App and now have access to a wide range of reading material based on their reading ability. ask them to give you a tour.

See you soon…

— Welcome Back!

Superstars in Crew Macmillan – Term 1!

…we’ve only gone and done it! We’ve finally reached the end of the first term in what has been one of the most weird, unpredictable times that we’ve experienced.

I wanted to end this term on a positive, and so i hope this post does Crew Mac some form of justice!

Throughout this term, Crew Macmillan have worked together on a number of different tasks and topics. We’ve learned about how stress can affect us and our sleep; and how sleep (or lack of) can affect us too! We’ve completed our Star Reader tests to find out our reading ages; and started a book club on Tuesdays, reading Pay It Forward; something we, as a crew, aspire to do this year. [check out these concentration faces!!]

We’ve laughed, cried, and everything in-between. Crew really have been incredible this term – thank you, guys!

Here are crew Macmillan working hard; and as a team, to learn about stress!

 

Possibly my favourite moments of this term, though, have revolved around some of the incredible work crew Macmillan have produced. As a learning coach in Y11, it’s not often i get to see their amazing work – so i love it when i do!! Can you BELIEVE this is a drawing that Alfie has done as an artist study?! I thought it was a photo!

Courtney has also been working hard in Art: check out this brilliant viewfinder study she was working on. Some great tonal work and shading!

In 3D Art, students have been looking at steampunk style face masks; and there are some incredible examples. I was really impressed by Archie’s, and Joe’s attempts to create one!

I also wanted to highlight this fantastic piece of work done by Ricki. I don’t think i’ve ever seen a poetry analysis so detailed. Ricki led a bit of the session, along with Jayden. The amount of writing on this piece of paper is astounding!!

And finally this term, crew have been working on going above & beyond, and trying to beat the other Y10 crews on praise. I set them a secret mission, to get the most entries on the praise form as a crew. We’ve an average of 24.7 praise entries in Crew Macmillan; WOW!

Courtney has been entered on to the praise form 32 times during this half term! Courtney has worked incredibly hard and shows up every day, works hard, gets smart, and is kind, even when she isn’t having the best day! I am so proud of you, Courtney – well done! Some of Courtney’s praise entries are:

“Brilliant conduct during DofE when MCO had to tend to a first aid issue. Crew just sat and got on with DofE. Huge amounts of respect and compassion shown.” – me!   “Excellent paired work in sessions” – Mrs Batty. “These students are working so hard continuously in all sessions.” – Mrs Johnson.  Keep up the hard work Courtney!!

Heather has been entered on to the praise form 21 times during this half term! What an achievement!!!! Heather has put in an incredible amount of effort since returning to school – in to all sessions!!! Well done Heather – keep working hard! Some of Heather’s praise entries are:

“For producing amazing work in Expeditionary Arts” – Mrs Johnson. “really working hard this week on GCSE content” – Mr Shakesby. “All these students were working really hard in Art today. They grappled with their 3D work and were thinking creatively to produce facemasks in a steampunk style.” – Mr Jackson. Well done Heather!!!

Alfie has been entered on to the praise form 39 times this half term. WOW – that must be a record?! Alfie is an incredibly hard worker, who comes in and shows kindness and compassion every single day to anyone he crosses paths with. An incredible effort, amazing work Alfie! Some of Alfie’s praise entries are:

“Great hotel conversation, well done.” – Mrs Sprakes. “Great focus throughout the lesson” – Miss Taylor. “For being really supportive and kind when they could see a staff member was upset/struggling. Sent a lovely email too to ensure the staff member in question was okay. Such kindness and compassion goes a long way. Well done guys, and thank you.” – me!!

Frankie has returned to school almost flawlessly! Frankie has been entered on the praise form 35 times!!!! this half term – how amazing is that!!!! Frankie has also been working on a Dr Who project outside of school, so has had tonnes on her plate this term – and still shows up to sessions and works hard with a smile! An absolute pleasure to have in Crew Macmillan – keep up the fantastic work Frankie! Some of Frankie’s praise entries are:

“Accurate use of the present tense (different people) in a writing task.” – Mrs Sprakes. “Excellent paired work in sessions.” – Mrs Batty. “Fantastic start to English GCSE. Focused and keen to get on. Brilliant HoWLS- Well done! Keep it up!” – Miss Johnson. Well done Frankie!!

Isaac has also returned to school brilliantly after lockdown, and has been entered on the praise form 31 times this term. An amazing achievement!!! Isaac has knuckled down so well, come back in to school and worked hard, gotten smart, and has been really kind this term. Keep working hard Isaac – i promise that it will pay off!!

Some of Isaac’s praise entries are: “Fantastic start to English GCSE. Focused and keen to get on. Brilliant HoWLS- Well done! Keep it up!” – Miss Johnson. “Beautiful work on KWL, well done.” – Mrs Sprakes. “Great attitude in lesson.” – Miss O’Grady. Such positive feedback, Isaac – excellent work!!!

Imogen comes into school every day and SMASHES IT. She is such an incredible person, who works incredibly hard, has great attendance and a fantastic attitude in sessions. Imogen has been put on the praise form 33 times this term – that’s 33 times where staff have noticed Imogen going above and beyond what is expected of her! Wow!!!

Some of Imo’s praise entries are: “Improvement in vocab test results from one week to the next, well done.” – Mrs Sprakes. “Working hard in Maths” – Mrs Johnson. “Brilliant level of focus. In depth annotations made. Lovely session where everyone was on it!!” – Miss Johnson. What a superstar – Amazing work Imogen!!!!

Joe has come back into y10 absolutely brilliantly! We’re working on Joe’s HoWLs – he’s been working incredibly hard this term, and his HoWLs grades are set to be tip-top! Joe excels in STEAM, and his maths talent is second to none – he knows way more than i do!!! Joe has received 14 praise entries this half term – what a guy!!! Some of Joe’s praise comments are as follows:

“For producing amazing work in Expeditionary Arts” – Mrs Johnson. “Fantastic start to English GCSE. Focused and keen to get on. Brilliant HoWLS- Well done! Keep it up!” – Miss Johnson. “Great attitude in lesson.” – Miss O’Grady. Well done Joe – have a relaxing half term!!!

Milo is just an absolute superstar, and his hard work really doesn’t go unnoticed. Milo is aiming high for his GCSE’s, and that doesn’t come without graft! He comes in every day, asks some brilliant questions, and gets on with his work day in, day out. Milo has also received 14 praise entries this half term – what an achievement!!!

Some of Milo’s praise entries are: “Always works hard in PE.” – Miss O’Grady.  “Worked hard and created beautiful work in the session” – Miss Taylor. “Creative hotel conversation in Spanish.” – Mrs Sprakes. Keep up the great work Milo!

Vinnie has also just been amazing this term! Coming back into school, Vinnie has really matured and adapted well to the regular school routine. He’s been working hard in sessions and i’ve had tonnes of positive feedback. He’s really engaged well in his Geography sessions, too! Vinnie has been entered on the praise form 18 times this term – Crew Mac really are killing it this term!!!!

Some of Vinnie’s praise entries are as follows: “Brilliant conduct during DofE when MCO had to tend to a first aid issue. Crew just sat and got on with DofE. Huge amounts of respect and compassion shown.” – me!! “Working so well on their assessment in citizenship ” – Mrs Burrows. “Excellent recall of knowledge in quick fire test” – Mrs Batty. Keep it up, Vinnie, and you’ll achieve amazing things this year!

Finn is an absolutely wonderful human – what a joy to be around, and to have in crew. Finn constantly asks fantastic questions, he works hard, gets smart, and focuses on being kind – this comes with being the resident comedian!! Finn has had an amazing term and has been entered on the praise form an impressive 20 times!!!

See here some of the comments about Finn this term: “Working so well on their assessment in citizenship ” – Mrs Burrows. “really working hard this week on GCSE content” – Mr Shakesby. “All these students were working really hard in Art today. They grappled with their 3D work and were thinking creatively to produce facemasks in a steampunk style.” – Mr Jackson. Amazing work, Finn – keep it up after a nice 2 week break!!

Ricki has settled properly into Crew Macmillan absolutely perfectly. He has had some tough moments this term – but has been proving to everyone what an incredible young man he is! Ricki has received 30 praise entries this term as a result of his hard work and his dedication to turning things around in school. He really has blown me away – i really hope this continues Ricki – you’re a fantastic addition to crew Mac!!!

Some of Ricki’s praise comments are as follows: “Admiral have been on fire since they returned to School. Its a pleasure to be in their sessions.” – Mrs Johnson. “Working so well on their assessment in citizenship” – Mrs Burrows. “Excellent paired work in sessions” – Mrs Batty. Keep up the brilliant work; you’re capable of amazing things!!

Charlie has also returned to Y10 almost flawlessly. She goes above and beyond every single day to help others where she can, all with a smile on her face. Charlie, you’ve been an absolute delight to have in Crew this term – I really hope you know how much we appreciate your hard work! As a result of this, Charlie has been put on the praise form 29 times this term; AMAZING!

Some of the comments made about Charlie are: “Really impressed with the last few lessons, listening, helping with equipment and putting effort into the sessions. Well done girls. Please keep it up.” – Miss O’Grady. “Great translation into Spanish, well done.” – Mrs Sprakes. “Worked hard and created beautiful work in the session” – Miss Taylor. Keep up the fantastic work, Charlie – you’ll go far!!

And last but certainly not least, Archie; who has worked like an absolute trooper this term. Archie has produced some top quality work this term which demonstrates XP’s character values. He has worked SO hard this term, he’s getting involved in sessions, and he’s being kind every day. And his efforts have been noticed by staff-  Archie has received 15 praise entries this term – along with some praise postcards!!

Some praise entries for Archie are: “Remained on task and didn’t say a word for a whole 18minutes! Record!!” – Miss Johnson (haha!!), “Working hard in Session 1. Expeditionary Arts” – Mrs Johnson. “Working hard on demonstrating an understanding of key plots in Stave 2 of A Christmas Carol” – Mrs Mawby. Archie seems to be really smashing it in Humanities; please do keep this up, Arch – i’m so excited to see what you achieve this year!

So, Crew Macmillan – it’s over and out for 2 weeks. Don’t miss each other too much… try and relax a little – you need to recover ready to work just as hard next term!!

See you soon… stay safe!

Miss Cocliff x

This week we have welcomed a new arrival to crew Kahlo. Introducing Kearan!

He fits in fantastically with our quirky little bunch and he has told crew that he is so so happy to be a student at XP and that really shines through!

Kearan’s teachers have been really impressed with his attitude and enthusiasm in sessions. He has just got stuck in and is thriving.  

Miss Ibbotson (Human) told me that Kearan is a superstar. She said that they have done an assessment this week and he just cracked on with it. He wasn’t worried at all. She said that he is awesome!

Miss Ridout (Science) said ‘Kearan has been amazing in my sessions!!! He is fab and should keep up the great work. He always gives amazing answers!’

What a cracking start! We are so happy to have you in crew Kahlo!

On another note…

I have noticed that this week has been especially difficult for a few members of crew Kahlo (and other pupils at XP) when it comes to their emotions and worries about the COVID-19 pandemic. Firstly, I would like to say that I really do feel for our students and I am super super proud of how they are handling our ‘new normal’ at school. 

The coronavirus has caused significant changes in our daily lives (at home and at school) and left us feeling stressed, anxious, and even afraid. The world has experienced pandemics before, but nothing quite like COVID-19. 

I have been trying my best to help my crew to stay positive and focus on the things we can control in order to make it through the coming days and months. 

We have had some really lovely crew discussions about how we can try to support each other when we are feeling a bit rubbish and worried about stuff. 

Here are some of the things that we thought were important:

  • We need to keep washing our hands while we are at school. 
  • We should be mindful when we are outside for break and dinnertime. There are still classes on so we shouldn’t be too loud and we should also be sensible and safe (not jumping on each other or playing silly games) 
  • Talk to each other about our feelings and worries. Especially in crew. 
  • Be understanding of other people’s feelings and realise that everyone’s circumstances are different. 
  • Remember that some things are out of our control and all we can do is be there for each other. 
  • Try to have fun… as we did in crew to blow off a little steam on Friday afternoon. We decided to have a bit of a dance-off and a giggle.
  • Focus on the positives. Remember to appreciate others and be kind to one another. Like crew did for their community meeting appreciations, which finished off our 5th week nicely.

An Oscar worthy performance!

 

Crew Rosa Parks have been looking at the use of social media. We have looked at both the positive and negative impacts that social media can have. They have looked at their own use and have made pledges such as:-

I pledge not to go on social media/phone after 8pm

I pledge not to go on social media as much as i do

I pledge to warn others about their use of social media

I pledge to pay more attention to my family

I pledge to listen to others and concentrate what is going on around me.

We will regularly revisit the social media pledges that they ALL made.

With these pledges in mind we incorporated the arts into our Crew sessions, using drama and freeze frame techniques to present some of the negative impacts of social media.

The two groups came up with their own ideas to dramatise. In the photos above Alfie is an actor on the screen in a cinema, the rest of the group are portraying the audience who are not paying attention to the screen, they are more interested in their phones.

In the second group Sareena is showing the frustration of someone not receiving an expected reply to a message on social media and throwing her iPad to the floor. In the background Holly and Maddi are portraying visibly upset youngsters who have received unkind  comments on a Facebook post. Guraaj is pointing out to Elijah and Fin that they are looking at illegal websites for their age.

It was a really enlightening and enjoyable few Crew sessions. I have some natural performers, We may see their name in lights one day!!

 

What does a Thoughtful Thursday look like in Crew Earhart…

This week in our Thoughtful Thursday crew session we focused on supporting each other to get on top of our academic work. Some students decided they wanted to work on revising for their test in History by studying the rise of Hitler, whilst others used this time to do additional work for Common Mission.

I was really impressed with Crew Earhart’s focus during this session. Well done to Bobby who also wrote a superb essay on how Hilter gained power in 1933.

 

Hahn

It has been great getting back in crew. I got to spend the first 2 full days with them for their immersion. This was so much fun but had a really important message about being the best version of yourself and that we need to work hard to achieve our dreams.

Students seem to have settled back into school really well, especially in crew. I’m delighted with the way crew are engaging in the topics we talk about and although we started a bit wobbly with not speaking in turn, everyone has quickly got back to using our norms such as not speaking over people and being on time.

We’ve had a slight facelift when it comes to delivering crew across the 2 schools which i think will make our sessions even better. This week we have focused on accelerated reading which allows us to identify students reading age. Being able to read is so important and has a direct impact on their exams. Every Tuesday during crew we will be reading, either individually or as a group looking at texts that will come up in their GCSE’s.

Many of crew Hahn have received post card praises from teachers and learning coaches for their hard work and general attitude since we returned, WELL DONE GUYS!

We are also having a big push in coming to school everyday prepared. This is part of getting smart. If we are not prepared and dont have the appropriate equipment then we can’t work to the best of our ability.  Please can you support your child in making sure they come to school everyday with a pen, pencil, ruler, charged device, reading book, water bottle and school bag.

I’d like to thank everyone in crew for adhering to the guidelines for social distancing and following our school procedures. We check each morning that all of crew have washed their hands and don’t have any of the symptoms. As a reminder please dont send your son or daughter (and siblings) to school if they have any of the symptoms. If you are unsure and need further advice please speak with the office staff or check the web posts.

On a Friday afternoon i also get chance to spend More time this year with my crew doing leisure activities. It’s so important for students to do some physical activity, especially during what could be a stressful year for them. Last week we played badminton which was great fun beating them all and I’m looking forward to doing it again this week.

 

Crew Kahlo are back!

It’s all go at XP after our time at home during the lockdown. It’s so good to have the crew back together again. I’m really proud of crew Kahlo for settling back into their school routine (even though they’re all a bit tired). Each and every member of crew has made a fantastic start to Year 8 and has received some lovely feedback from their teachers.

For our first day back we had a full day together to re-connect and catch up.

I was impressed with their mature attitudes towards the new rules that we have to follow to stay safe in school. They also let off a little steam by playing a few games outside to get some fresh air…

We discussed ideas for crew pledges to try and help each other when we need support

The crew has had some changes this week like our first whole school virtual community meeting:

We also had the introduction to ‘Wise Wednesdays’. For our first week, we were looking at ‘Understanding Identity’. We discussed how social and cultural factors help to shape our identity. It was a chance for the crew to explore who they were as people and think about how others see them. It was challenging for some members of the crew but they grappled with the tasks and supported each other. It was lovely to have the chance to speak to them all about ‘what makes them who they are’.

Well done for having a great start to Year 8!

Return of the Mac[millan]

Welcome to Year 10, Crew!

What a start to year 10 it’s been, too! Members of Crew Macmillan have returned to school after such an uncertain time and have done so really positively, coming back in like they’d never been away – even if most of them are about a foot[and a half] taller!

Last week we spent our first day together in crew and looked at coming back stronger. We looked at how we can keep ourselves and each other safe when back in school. Thursday saw us straight back into sessions, where teachers have been praising Crew Mac!

We’ve also spent some time together thinking about pledges, and what we can do in crew to make sure Y10 goes smoothly – and spoke about how we can hold each other to account!

I’m hearing really positive feedback from staff about how Crew Mac are getting on in sessions. I’m really hoping we can keep this up – along with good attendance, good HoWLs and good focus will mean that every member of crew succeeds this year! (Did i mention that we’re currently joint #1 for attendance, too? 😉 )

I’ve spoken before about how I am so proud of what Crew have achieved over lockdown, and it’s lovely to see that continue with their almost flawless return to school – Ricki has even branched out and learned to cook more (he eats things now that are not chicken nuggets!!!) – Frankie is well on her way to her first book being written, and Heather is ready for GBBO!

Keep doing what you’re doing, keep working hard, getting smart, and being kind.

I’ll leave you with this, at the start of your Y10 journey…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its official! We have a crew name!

So, crew EJN presented their crew name suggestions to Miss Robinson in last week’s crew hangout. They were prepared, confident, and articulated their reasons for each individual really well.

I was very impressed!

After almost an hour of presenting their slides, Miss Robinson decided that our new crew name was going to be…(drum roll please)…

This is after the famous Mexican artist ‘Frida Kahlo’. You may recognise some of her artwork below:

She created a number of self-portraits as well as paintings about her disabilities.

She had a really tough time and was in a lot of pain throughout her life.

 

Here are some of the pages that Arthur in our crew prepared to describe her:

 

So, as you can see from Arthurs slides – she didn’t have it easy. She had a lot of challenges to overcome in her life – but she was so determined and courageous!

Harrison read through most of the slides as Arthur had a few technical issues and was losing connection. Harrison read really well, he was clear and confident. He showed a lot of courage as I know he was not in his comfort zone whilst doing it. Well done Harrison.

For Arthur’s last page he described why he thought that we should name our crew after Frida Kahlo…

The reasons that he gave above absolutely blew me away and actually brought a tear to my eye – thinking about how far we have come as a crew and all that we have been through!

We have been through some hard times, some challenging times, some difficult times – but we are crew and we can get through it! We support each other and back each other up.

I am a very proud, emotional, embarrassing, and ‘cringy’ crew leader – but I don’t care!

I’ll leave you with this quote from Frida which I think is VERY true.

Our last week as crew EJN

This week, crew EJN have been working on their crew name presentations that they will be showing Miss Robinson next week during their weekly crew hangout.

Crew have a few ideas about who they would like to be named after and why:

Crew have also been busy completing their home learning, creating some beautiful work.

These are for the nature page for their visual diaries:

 

Positive and motivational quotes for their visual diaries:

In other news, Olivia has been swimming in a river!!!

…and Jessy has a new dog called Callie.