Crew Kahlo at the end of Year 9

As they are coming to the end of Year 9, crew has been reflecting on their year. When thinking about their journey throughout the year, here are some of their highlights.

They have been looking at their HoWLs and AP grades from the last data drop. They have then made pledges each week to focus on small changes they can make to try and improve. Crew holds each other to account during this process, discussing whether they think they have been successful in achieving their pledges.

They have finished their second expedition of the year called ‘Every Picture Tells a Story’ by creating beautiful work. They looked at Islamic tiles and then used rotational symmetry to design their own patterns to paint with acrylic paint.

Here are some examples from Crew Kahlo:

 

Crew also chose their options for ‘Leading Our Own Learning’ that they will be studying next year. The crew has picked a range of options such as Engineering, Citizenship, Psychology, Further maths, ICT / Computing as well as some members of the crew decided to take up the opportunity to join the ‘pushing for 4’ group that will support them with Maths, English, and Science leading up to their exams.

They cant really believe that they are coming to the end of Year 9 and going into Year 10!

Crew Kahlo going into Year 9

What a busy first couple of weeks crew Kahlo has had in Year 9!

There’s never a dull moment at XP, especially at the beginning of term. We kicked off the new year with an outward bound trip where we went abseiling off a bridge (80ft!) and caving:

On our second day of Year 9, crew took part in a number of fun challenges (working as a crew) in the morning and then played the other Year 9 crews in a bench ball tournament. We ended the day with a community meeting.

On our third day of Year 9 we walked to Potteric Carr nature reserve and then did a ‘Solo’.

When we got back to school, crew prepared for their POL to explain what they had done that week and what they had learnt from it. They worked well as a team to present to their peers and parents.

As you can see – we don’t mess about! We start as we mean to go on here at XP.

Cant quite believe that crew Kahlo are in Year 9 already – bring it on!

 

X26 (Year 9): First week back reminder

Hi X26 – just thought I would add another blog post to remind you all what the plan is for your first week in Year 9 (I can’t believe you’re going to be Year 9’s!!)

Your first day back is Wednesday 1st September and you need to be in school at 8 am (this is because you all need to do a covid test before we set off). You will be out of school all day so you need to come prepared with the following:

  • Backpack
  • Packed lunch (this will be provided for students on FSM)
  • Bottle of water
  • Hiking boots (these should be in your backpack – come to school in your trainers
  • Waterproofs (trousers and a jacket)
  • Plastic carrier bag (to keep everything dry in your backpack if it rains)
  • Baselayer top (not cotton)
  • Midlayer top (not cotton)
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Hiking trousers (not cotton)
  • Hiking / thick socks (not cotton)
  • Wellies (or these can be hired on the day for £1)

(All of these items will be used again throughout Year 9 – not just for this week).

We are expected to be back at school between 4.30 pm and 5.00 pm if you need to organise a lift home or plan which bus to catch. 

On Thursday 2nd September you will be in school all day and need to be in for the normal time (8.20-8.30 for crew). You need to make sure you bring your usual school equipment with you (pen, pencil, ruler, and device). Make sure you wear sensible footwear as you will be doing some activities in the sports hall and outside. You will be able to have a school dinner if that’s what you usually do or bring your packed lunch with you.  

School will finish at the usual time of 3.15 pm. 

On Friday 3rd September you need to arrive at school at the normal time for crew (8.20-8.30am) but will be out of school in the morning. You need to bring the same things that you have been asked to bring on Wednesday (apart from wellies – you don’t need those). You also need to bring your equipment and device to use in the afternoon. 

You also need to bring a packed lunch and a bottle of water as we will be out at lunchtime (this will be provided for students on FSM)

School will finish at the usual time of 3.15 pm. 

I hope you have all had a lovely summer break and we will see you all next week!

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.