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: [email protected]

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.

Dragons Do Exist

This week during our crew session we thought back to Wales and the time that has passed whilst we have been at XP. We couldn’t believe that this time last year, we were all getting ready to start our journey together! It was surprising to think how the quickly the time has gone…

We did an all important check-in with each other to see what everyone has been up to. Asha has been keeping up with her gymnastics, meeting her group online for practice every few days, and Oscar has been doing the same with his martial arts.

Ava has been getting creative once again, and has started her own business venture, customising fashion pieces to sell on — I’m sure you’ll see me rocking the latest line when we’re back at school!

William and Maddie have both been spending lots of time with family, celebrating birthdays or playing games with siblings, which seems more important now than ever.

Speaking of birthdays, it was Kristian’s birthday on Saturday so a big


is definitely in order. He said he had a great day and enjoyed celebrating with his family and his bearded dragon.

Yes, dragon’s do exist — here is Jeffrey, Kristian’s bearded dragon, as proof:

Anyway, stay safe Crew JNI and enjoy the bank holiday!

Crew is at 1:30 every Wednesday.

Mr Nixon will also be emailing out at the start of next week for hangouts to help go through any work that has been missed.

Year 7/8 Common Mission

As part of Common Mission in year 7/8 we are launching The Book of Memories. Crew leaders will be sharing this during google hangouts. We would like you to produce a virtual (slides) or book of your memories during this time so that we can look back and reflect on our time at home.

Each week you will be given a theme to help you create your book of memories and give you ideas of activities you might be able to do at home. Your crew leader will share the introduction with you and how you can make your book and also the first theme which is “What is in my cupboards”

We look forward to seeing your ideas and sharing with us what you have been up to whilst at home.

Stay Safe Everyone

Ilinca’s Year 8

Record Breaker!!

It’s been a record breaking week for Crew JNI

Recently, there’s been a phrase used a lot by news reporters, politicians, and even me! It goes something like this: In these uncertain times…

In fact, I almost started this blog post with the same phrase before I paused and thought, what things are not uncertain… what do we know for certain? Well there is certainly one thing:

Crew JNI have worked SUPER HARD this week

In fact, it’s been the hardest that we’ve all worked since we have been away from school. Looking over the tracker for our crew, I can see that Crew JNI have completed the most work this week than since the start of our distance learning journey!

I feel humbled that even in times as uncertain as these (there’s that phrase again), that these students are still exemplifying what it means to WORK HARD. I think it’s testament to the tenacious spirit of Crew JNI to want to succeed. On top of everything else they been doing, they’ve managed to impress me and all their other teachers.

Kristian, Charlotte and Maddie were praised by Mrs Tonwson this week for completing EVERY PIECE of science work that has been set. William has also been consistently working hard since the beginning of lockdown too!

I want to give a special mention to Kira too because Mrs Vayro has noticed her going ABOVE & BEYOND in her HUMS work and completing all tasks for the new expedition, including the optional tasks as well!

There isn’t much more to say except:

Keep up the amazing work, and keep working hard, Crew JNI

I’ll leave you with this fantastically simple, creative and yet effective message from Ava to just BE HAPPY!

Crew JNI Getting Arty

To create a work of art is to create the world. — Wassily Kandinsky

Mathematics is often a discipline that is described as an art motivated by beauty; it seeks to balance and create a harmonious existence amongst its elements, presenting life in its most abstract form. Unsurprisingly then, as a maths teacher, it is a real treat for me when I get to see the excellent art work that is being produced in Crew JNI, and I love looking at their work!

Over the past few weeks, students in X26 have been looking at the work of Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter and pioneer of abstract art. The quote above is particularly significant when we consider that our normal world has been all but shut down. To create a work of art now, in these times, is to open up a new space for us to occupy and allows us to enjoy something a bit different. I have loved seeing Crew JNI get involved and stuck in with their Art work over the past few weeks (sadly the closest I’ve come is painting skirting boards!)

Here are the excellent pieces that have been handed in so far:

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Keep up the excellent work everybody!

I will send email reminders out again on Monday for students that still have missing work.

Crew sessions are on google hangout every Wednesday at 1:30pm.


“Everyone in our crew is strange in their own way.”

Happy Easter! Hope you all managed to get out and enjoy the weather and a well-deserved break.

Whilst Crew JNI manages to smash everything a crew should be — compassionate, courageous, kind, just to name a few qualities — I think it’s definitely safe to say that we are not your ‘average’ crew. In fact, as self-confessed ‘strangest crew’, there is definitely a nonsensical aura that we hold dear; as Lydia puts it, “everyone in our crew is strange in their own way.”

It comes as no surprise then that we manage to produce some great nonsense poetry, the likes of which Edward Lear, nonsense poetry legend, would be proud of!

Here are a few from Lydia, Maddie and Ava, which they wrote during our Common Mission time over the past week. These perfectly capture an integral element of Crew JNI, our strangeness, which manages to transgress the physical distance and helps us get back to what has brought us all together: our humour, nonsense and sense of belonging through difference.

P.S. Quick reminder that crew is every Wednesday on Google Hangout at 15/04/20 and all of Crew JNI should attend

Crew JNI Week 1 and 2

In strange times, it’s good to have some normality. For Crew JNI that has meant regularly checking-in with each other and sharing our experiences of the past 2 weeks. 

There have been some brilliant activities going on! There’s been lots of trampolining, football, cycling and other sports, which is fantastic to hear. It’s good to know that so many of you have been getting involved during the Joe Wicks sessions each morning too (and managing to avoid ripping your trousers, unlike Mr Nixon!)

We’ve also been making more time for creative activities too. Ava produced a brilliant puzzle book for her younger cousin to help entertain her during these coming weeks. Maddie and Lydia have both written some great nonsense poetry (strange times calls for even stranger literary creations), and Charlotte has been doing some craft work with her mum. Lola has been out in the garden restoring an old bench, and helping her mum with some gardening too, and Oscar was super excited to share his creative venture with us, as he has decided to take a completely new direction in terms of his style and shaved his head!

And beyond this, there have even been some scientific experiments and investigations! Kira and her mum investigated plants and flowers, dissecting them to look at their biological makeup, making great notes — it looks just like Charles Darwin’s notebooks on flora and fauna. Kira didn’t stop there though: she did some experiments that looked at surface tension, and produced some stunning images!

Today’s crew finished with us setting some personal goals, and we’ll be checking-in with those next week.

All in all it has been a great few weeks for Crew JNI. Keep up the great work everyone!!

(Crew JNI has a google hangout every Friday at 2pm, where all students in Crew JNI should attend to make sure they are keeping on top of work and keeping up with all the goings on of crew).

There once was a crew at XP…

It’s been a great start to a new term for Crew JNI: lots of praise, thoughtful pledges for the new term, and another fantastic Friday crew session!

Instead of our usual Friday Book Club, we had a bit of a change this week and did a Poetry Club. We looked at Edward’s Lear’s Book of Nonsense, thinking about what makes good nonsense poetry, and the structure of the Limerick.

Everyone in Crew JNI then got to produce their own nonsense poetry, and the results were wonderful and wondrously nonsensical! We were all howling with laughter — the perfect end to a lovely first week back, for what will surely be another term where we all get smart, work hard, and be kind.