Crew Thunberg Back At It Again!

So it turns out it’s still January even though it feels like we’ve been in lockdown 3 (or is it 2??) for about a thousand years.

HOWEVER Crew Thunberg have been rising to the challenge of distance learning and have been absolutely smashing it!

Attendance in online hangouts has been absolute near perfect and the engagement in online sessions has been great too. Here are a few of the highlights so far:

Y8 students have been working hard to produce some ‘Op Art’ and their own homages to Bridget Riley’s ‘Moving Squares’. Here you can see Lola and Ava’s fantastic work on these home projects:

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Fantastic work, girls!!

And I’ve also been sent this great picture from Kristian. A reyt good work set up! Cats? Check! Bearded Dragon? Check! Lego AT-AT Walker? Check!

Keep up the fantastic work, Kristian!

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Well done for the excellent engagement, everyone! Don’t forget to send in some more pictures – we love to see them!

Remember, it is a staff day on Friday (29th) and Monday (1st), so school and online learning will be off for those days. Also, SLCs are coming up – an email will be sent out in the next week inviting you to an online hangout where your child will be talking about their learning at XP this past term.

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…

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:

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 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!



X26 & X25 Coming Back Stronger!

It is wonderful to welcome back our students in Year 8 and 9 today, they have certainly returned with renewed energy and enthusiasm!

Today, is all about Crew.  Students have been spending their time today reflecting on the past few months, learning how to keep themselves safe whilst in school and most importantly reconnecting as a Crew.

I have had the pleasure of spending time in each of the Crew’s and it is great to see the students engaged, working collaboratively and happy!

What a way to start the year! #Comingbackstronger


A Word From Reuben on Kindness:

This week Crew JNI have been working really hard to get lots of work done. I have seen lots of beautiful work from everyone and it’s made me proud to be your crew leader!

It’s been interesting reading the work you guys have been doing on your expedition on kindness, and I wanted to share a piece of work Reuben has done.

It is in answer to the question:

What would the world look like without kindness?

Without any kindness, the world would be gloomy, grey and depressing. In school the teachers would be mean and harsh and give you terrible scores on everything on purpose. School dinners would be raw uncooked chicken and cold thick gravy, and all of the students would nudge each others shoulders when they pass each other in the corridor.  People would stick chewing gum under the desks and in each other’s hair.

At home my mum would be horrible and mean by giving me loads of extra chores. My sister would torment me and steal all my money. Also, my dog would bark at me and everyone else all the time, he would also poo in my favourite shoes.

When you walked outside, you would see dead grass. People would also be wearing horrible hand knitted sweaters that were made to feel horrible because they’re made of yarn filled with pollen that causes hay-fever. When you got on the bus there would be gum everywhere and the driver would be late every time on purpose. In shops and supermarkets there would be old chicken that they got out the bin covered in cold gravy.

If you met an old lady on the street she would hit you with her cane and torment me for being young…. And I would run away!!

I think it’s safe to say, no one wants to live in a world like that. Well done Reuben on such a descriptive and emotive piece of work.

Race for the Prize

It’s been a busy week for Crew JNI with lots of news!

Before lockdown, each crew in X26 were in the middle of a competition. The competition was to see which crew could get the best overall praise and attendance… COMBINED! It was a big one…. The winners would receive some money to be able to take a mini-day out somewhere, wherever they wanted.

Now, before the competition was over and the winning crew decided, all crews were neck and neck. It was an incredibly close call. One week we’d hear, “Crew EJN are in the lead!” The next, “Crew MRO are in the lead!” Another, “Crew SHA are in the lead!” And obviously sometimes a, “Crew JNI are in the lead!”

It was a tense few months as everyone in crew JNI raced for the prize. Just as we were coming back into the lead again, we were plunged into lockdown, and mystery surrounded the whole competition. Who was the winner? Who had received the most praise points? When were we going to find out?

These were just some of the many, many, MANY questions asked by students in Crew JNI, so when the final figures were in last week, I breathed a sigh of relief: the Winner is:


(pause for dramatic effect)…



Well done to everyone in Crew JNI for trying really hard with that competition! I am very proud to lead a crew that works so hard, gets smart and is kind at every turn —


Now as you might’ve already noticed, there are lots of letters being thrown around when crew are identified, and that’s because lockdown has also prevented us from undergoing the Official XP Process of Naming the Crew. We’ve already had lots of ideas so far, and the two current standouts are Greta Thunberg, climate activist, and Harriet Tubman, ex-slave who freed herself and then fought for the emancipation of others.

Crew members that would like to offer an idea for someone to name our crew after need to think of somebody who embodies our characters traits of: Respect, Craftsmanship & Quality, Courage, Integrity, and above all, Compassion. You then need to make a presentation to explain why you think our crew should be named after that person and present it to the rest of us on Google Hangout.

Any questions, then please send me an email!

So to finish of, I just want to present some beautiful work that has been produced by Crew JNI over the last week or so, around the theme of nature:

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Have a Break, Have a Chit Chat

It’s been great catching up with everyone in Crew JNI this week to see what everyone has been up to over the break, and it seems you guys have been up to lots!

Oscar has been out fishing with his family, waking up at 6 in the morning (on a half term???) to make sure he was ready bright and early to catch the best fish. And it looks like it paid off: look at that absolute whopper he caught — Captain Ahab will be coming to you for tips, Oscar!

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Kira has been learning how to do tie-dye, and even taught her younger brother how to do it too! Continuing with this creative streak, Kira has also been doing some cross-stitching, loads of baking, and even been experimenting making different ice-lollies from Ribena and even Pepsi!

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Asha has also been getting arty! She told us all about how she has been getting into painting, something she hasn’t done for a while, and creating all sorts of brilliant pictures. She’s also been recycling old cans and turning them into flowers, and doing lots of baking as well!

Ava updated us all on her entrepreneurial venture as well. Over the break she has been busy finalising some designs for the t-shirts that she’s been making. She produced a fantastic design for her art work one week, and she’s printed it on a t-shirt and added to it, and it looks BRILLIANT! She’s got some on order to start selling — Well done, Ava!

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Maddie has been busy catching up with family and spending that all important quality time together. One highlight of Maddie’s time off was getting to catch-up with her grandma and go on a walk with her up to the old railway bridge. It’s always important to do this, and it’s great to hear Maddie has been able to make time to do stuff with her family!

Kristian has been busy spending lots of quality time with his family too! They had a fabulous celebration for VE Day and he’s also been busy at the allotment too. He’s growing some great veg: carrots, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes and more! There’s something almost magical about growing something from nothing, and Kristian’s definitely inspired me to get back to the garden!

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All in all it seems everyone has had a fantastic break!

I also want to say a big WELL DONE to Crew JNI for all he hard work that has been put in this week to make sure that all of your tasks are completed! At this rate, it looks like we’ll be winning the crew prize for most work completed — KEEP IT UP!

Crew JNI meet on google hangout every Wednesday at 1:30, so keep your eyes peeled for the invite each week.



Kira’s Week

For most people, an important part of staying sane during this period of lockdown has been keeping in touch with friends and family. It’s been such an important part for us as a crew too.

As you know, we have regular hangouts every Wednesday to hear what everyone has been up to. This week, Charlotte’s been busy on her Animal Crossing game, starting her adventure on her very own island. Ava has been continuing her entrepreneurial fashion pursuits and Maddie has been spending lots of time playing games with her siblings.

However, this week we’ve been treated, as we didn’t just hear about Kira’s past week. Instead, her mum also shared some brilliant pictures with us — it’s nice to see so many smiling faces (and amazing looking cakes!)

There’s more to lockdown than washing your hands, there’s marshmallows and organelles…

Over the past week Kira has had an incredibly busy one: she’s been getting her Mary Berry on and baking for her brother’s birthday. She made some fabulous cupcakes and an excellent birthday cake. It all looks worthy of a Paul Hollywood handshake — very well done, Kira!


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Alongside working hard and completing lots of school work, Kira has also been working with her mum and looking at cells and the different organelles! She’s mixed this with her artistic flair and has has produced an excellent diagrammatic model of a cell. After all that hard work its always good to relax, and Kira certainly been making the most of her down time! She’s been enjoying the sun in their pool, and toasting marshmallows as the evenings draw in. But to top it all of, Kira’s had a wonderful tea party, which looks like something straight out of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

What an absolutely fabulous week, Kira!

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Keep the pictures coming, we love to see what everyone has been up to — you can send them to:

Remember, we have 2 weeks off, so make sure you give yourselves a well-deserved break! I will be sending a reminder on Monday for any work that needs catching up on as well, so check your inboxes.