Crew Thunberg Pizza Party!

As a child I was quite the fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This quartet of humanoid turtles, working together to fight evil, always celebrated victory by eating an inordinate volume of pizza. And never have I seen a better way of honouring triumph than the humble pizza party.

Way back before lockdown (if we can remember such a time), back when Crew Thunberg were in Y7, our attendance was so high, that we actually won the whole school attendance league. The result of this was that, as a crew, we were asked to decide on a reward to celebrate.

For months we have umm-ed and ahh-ed about what our reward could be. With another lockdown seemingly on the horizon, a few weeks before October half term, we decided to take the decision to have pizza and watch a film.

Crew Thunberg absolutely loved their Friday afternoon crew: pizza all round, loads of games, and the Simpsons Movie. It was a pizza party that Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello would have been proud of.

Very well deserved, Crew Thunberg! Keep up the excellent work, and let’s hope for some great attendance this year as well…

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)

Mindful Monday: Crew charity presentations

Crew Pankhurst have been researching different charities during ‘Mindful Monday’. Each group chose a charity they’d like as our crew charity and prepared a presentation to present to Crew.
Today was presentation day.
After watching each others presentation we had a vote. Crew decided they wanted Macmillan as our Crew charity. We also decided to support another charity that was more local to our community, the ‘Doncaster cancer detection trust’

Well done to those students who really tried hard.

Part of the product for the Y8 expedition Fight the Power! is going to be a plaque that celebrates the work of Doncastrian Suffragettes. But we need YOUR help to make it happen….

From September to Christmas, the all Y8 students across XP and XP East are completing an expedition called Fight the Power! This expedition focuses upon the power of protest and rebellion, from the Peasants’ Revolt, through to the Suffragette Movement and beyond.

Fight the Power! is an ambitious study that bridges all subject, HUMAN, STEAM and the Expeditionary Arts. During this expedition students are paying particular attention to the amazing work of the Suffragette Movement, focusing specifically upon how the Suffragettes of Doncaster helped to build and improve the society we live in today.

To celebrate the work of these amazing women, all students in Y8 will be involved in raising money to produce a cast-iron plaque by a local artist that will be placed permanently in Doncaster town centre. For the rest of their lives, our Y8 students will be able to take family and friends to see how their work has positively impacted their local community by highlighting the incredible work of these unsung heroes.

Y8 would really appreciate it if you could take a look at their crowdfunding page for the project and donate anything you can:

https://www.spacehive.com/doncasters-suffragette-plaque?searchText=doncasterhttp://

Without your pledges, this won’t be able to happen!

It is really important that at this stage the crowdfunding page is NOT shared on social media -this will come a little further down the line.

If the students manage to raise enough funds for the plaque then, the crowdfunder will enter its second stage, where students will be able to raise funds to work with Sarah Smizz, another local artist. With Sarah, students will get the opportunity to help design and create trade union style banners that will immortalise the work they are currently undertaking on their expedition.

Thank you for your support with this important work.

Crew Blessed – STEAMing ahead like super HUMANs!

As we enter week 6 of the year, Crew Blessed are working really hard in both STEAM and HUMAN. Great to see the focus and enthusiasm in these sessions, well done Crew.

Personal success for Ebony Sheppard too through her interest and high level of skill in football. We are all looking forward to seeing what you achieve in the near future Ebony!

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 Thunberg: Working Hard with Werewolves

Hard work, with a bit of fun and games, keeps Crew Thunberg keeping on.

Over these last few weeks, Crew Thunberg have been focusing on how we can continually improve our performance in school. We know this means constantly revising and improving how we can work hard, get smart, and be kind.

To make sure we’re working as hard as we can we have revisited our HoWLs and have been making sure we have been getting on the praise form as much as possible. We have held each other to account to ensure we are doing the best we can do in session!

Crew Thunberg have worked especially hard these past few weeks in our Wise Wednesday sessions, where we have discussed the dangers of a single story. I have been blown away by the levels of maturity that the material in these sessions has been met with. Crew has dissected some crucial issues, such as race and gender, and assessed how individuals are judged by their sociocultural background. Here is a picture of students working hard on their contributions:

After a hard working few weeks, Crew Thunberg decided it was time for some bonding time. Ava, Lola, Oscar and Kira led a session where crew members worked as a team to decide who the saboteur was in a couple of rounds of Werewolf. It was an excellent opportunity for the members of crew leading the session to work on their leadership skills whilst providing the rest of us in crew with a much needed reward for all our hard work over the past few week. Here is a photo of Ava leading her round:

Excellent work again, Crew Thunberg! See you on Monday!

Guess Who’s Back?

Crew Thunberg is back, and what a start: Crew Thunberg have come back stronger than ever, and are already working hard, getting smart, and being kind!

I’ve had the absolute pleasure over the last two weeks to spend much more time with crew than before lockdown, as I’m back teaching X26 again (woohoo!) What I’ve loved most about this is I’m able to see first-hand how well Crew Thunberg work in sessions.

The levels of maturity in the conversations we’ve had have been astounding — members of Crew Thunberg across both classes have engaged in thoughtful discussions about racial inequality and gender inequality over the last 2 weeks, during their immersion for the expedition Fight the Power!

But more than this! Crew have brought these discussions from their sessions and back into crew, sharing their thoughts and ideas on how we construct an identity for ourselves and how that identity is influenced and affected by others.

Numerous times this week I’ve had to stop to  remind myself that the students in front of me are all in year 8.

The conversations around inequality, oppression, and identity have been as important and crucial to these times as any I’ve heard. Students in Crew Thunberg have excelled themselves this week in supporting each other in having these, often difficult, conversations about who they are, and who determines their identity.

I know I say it every time, but it’s just very true: this term looks like it will be our absolute best ever yet! I’m looking forward to getting back into sessions this week to see how Crew Thunberg are getting on beyond their sessions with me in maths. I’ve already seen them hard at work in HUMAN — keep up the brilliant work, everyone!

We’re back! And we’re ready for it all over again!

 

 

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!

Crew Blessed Back Together

It was a great start to the new school year for Crew Blessed and really nice to be in the same room as each other once again.

Ben celebrated his birthday in school last Friday which was quite a contrast from last year in a Welsh valley…

Also on Friday we took part in the first virtual Community Meeting via a Google Hangout. What a great experience and thanks to technology we could still feel part of the whole school Crew.

It’s great to be back!