A busy couple of weeks for crew Kahlo

Well, it’s been a busy couple of weeks in crew. We have been working hard and cracking on.

This week, crew Kahlo has been looking at ‘British Values’ as part of our crew curriculum. We have been learning about how British Values teach us tolerance and respect for others.

We even made a display in our crew room.

We then moved onto looking at the difference between weather and climate. Pupils carried out research into causes of climate change.

I wanted to highlight this beautiful work by Bryan and Jessy. For our current Y8 expedition ‘Wherever I Lay my Hat’ where we have been looking at the artist Luke Dixon for inspiration. Pupils have practiced adding lines and patterns to simplified copies of his work and also using a viewfinder to zoom in on details. I don’t know about you, but I think Jessy’s pencil-tone portrait is absolutely amazing! I only asked for a line drawing – but she went for it! We didn’t want to add any lines (like Luke Dixon does) over this drawing – so we have photocopied her work and she is adding lines to a copy so she has not one but two beautiful pieces of work!

On Thursdays, crew Kahlo has started to think about the HoWLs grades that they would give themselves for that week in each subject area and crew. Pupils critiqued each other’s grades and commented on whether they agreed with them or not. This led to loads of discussion about what ‘work hard’ looks like and how they could try and improve their own ‘get smart’ in lessons. It has been really great to have Mr. Challen in crew with us as he has been able to comment on pupils’ work in their maths lessons.

A very productive couple of weeks crew! Keep up the good work.

Crew Kahlo are back in the building!

So, we got through our first week back after Lockdown 3.0. It was a tiring week but we made it.

Crew hit off the week with a covid test before they were able to mix with their classmates. They did really well and were really sensible about it.

To end the week, X26 crew leaders thought that it would be good for pupils to blow off a little steam and have a couple of games of dodgeball.

I was really impressed with crew as we didn’t come last! Even though we were two crew members down.

I was particularly impressed with Arthur who was throwing the balls so so far and properly took poor Kolby out at one point! He was a great sportsman and said sorry for the powerful take-out.

I hope Nida won’t mind me sharing this – but I was so happy to receive the following photos of some artwork she has been working on this weekend based on the artist Luke Dixon that we are looking at in Y8 art sessions. Nida always works so hard and has a real talent for drawing. Everything she does is presented so neatly with great care and attention. Absolutely brilliant work Nida!

Fantastic week back crew! Roll on next week.

 

 

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 a 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!)

 

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)

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.

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!