Crew Macmillan: Spotlight

This week has been really successful for Crew Macmillan!

Crew have, once again, worked really hard in crew and in sessions, and have received tonnes of praise from staff! See some examples below:

Miss Johnson: Ricki & others in his group: “brilliant team effort on their work around ACC plot. Worked together well as a team and proved me and RJO wrong!”

Miss Taylor: Alfie, Milo, Ricki & Charlie: “Worked hard, created lovely paintings!”

Miss Johnson:  All of Crew Mac! “Fantastic start to English GCSE. Focused and keen to get on. Brilliant HoWLS- Well done! Keep it up!”

Mrs Sprakes: Alfie – Detailed responses in writing, well done.”

Mrs Batty: Vinnie –Excellent recall of knowledge in quick fire test

I absolutely love reading through the praise entries for crew and seeing how excellent you guys really are in sessions!

This week we also focused both Wise Wednesdays and Thoughtful Thursdays on some revision materials – we know that in Y10&11, we need to be organised and consistent with revision.

So far, we’ve looked at Procrastination (and the dangers of it – we learned that Crew don’t like tidying bedrooms, or adding pots to the dishwasher!!) – then we’ve seen what makes an effective flashcard, and put that into practice in preparation for a history assessment.

Members of crew were focused and engaged, which resulted in some beautiful examples of flashcards created, and some brilliant teamwork in Crew Macmillan.




















Keep up the brilliant work guys!

Miss C x

Return of the Mac[millan]

Welcome to Year 10, Crew!

What a start to year 10 it’s been, too! Members of Crew Macmillan have returned to school after such an uncertain time and have done so really positively, coming back in like they’d never been away – even if most of them are about a foot[and a half] taller!

Last week we spent our first day together in crew and looked at coming back stronger. We looked at how we can keep ourselves and each other safe when back in school. Thursday saw us straight back into sessions, where teachers have been praising Crew Mac!

We’ve also spent some time together thinking about pledges, and what we can do in crew to make sure Y10 goes smoothly – and spoke about how we can hold each other to account!

I’m hearing really positive feedback from staff about how Crew Mac are getting on in sessions. I’m really hoping we can keep this up – along with good attendance, good HoWLs and good focus will mean that every member of crew succeeds this year! (Did i mention that we’re currently joint #1 for attendance, too? 😉 )

I’ve spoken before about how I am so proud of what Crew have achieved over lockdown, and it’s lovely to see that continue with their almost flawless return to school – Ricki has even branched out and learned to cook more (he eats things now that are not chicken nuggets!!!) – Frankie is well on her way to her first book being written, and Heather is ready for GBBO!

Keep doing what you’re doing, keep working hard, getting smart, and being kind.

I’ll leave you with this, at the start of your Y10 journey…












X24 Fundraising

As previously posted. This summer, X24 are taking part in fundraising for the toilet twinning scheme by walking 2 miles with 4 litres of fluid on their back, just a portion of what those we are trying to help do on a daily basis. Here is evidence from one students walk:

This is an opportunity to provide support for countries who don’t have the simple facility to wash their hands, at a time when hand washing is vital. To support please donate money via this link.

Happy July!  The month that will conclude what has been one of – if not THE – weirdest school year I’ve ever encountered (and my secondary school burnt down when I was in year 11!!!). Crew Macmillan have 2 weeks of year 9 left, and that blows my mind. 

Crew have done themselves – and me – proud during this school year. They’ve worked so hard, and adapted to our ‘new normal’ better than anyone could’ve hoped for.

I thought it’d be quite fitting to take a look at the past year, in which i’ve had the privilege of being Crew Macmillan’s crew leader – big shoes to fill, after Mrs Waterhouse!!

Take a look at our year in action… and Crew, let me know what your favourite memory has been of this year!


Not long to go now – keep up the hard work for the last 2 weeks!

Over & Out – Miss C! x

Crew Mac Gets a Guest Blogger!!!

Crew Macmillan have again impressed me this week. Most have been really consistent with academic work, and are hitting those deadlines.

A special mention to Archie, Alfie, Imogen, Joe, Heather, Harrison and Milo –  who have a 100% hand in work rate this week! Great stuff, guys, i’m impressed!


This week also saw our first Crew Hangout with 100% attendance. 16 people in one hangout! Amazing stuff. Our check in this week was “did you have a teddy/blanket when you were a baby that you still have now?’ Most of crew were actually able to show us their baby items, which was adorable – my favourite had to be Milo’s shark, or Ricki’s build-a-bear that talks – a message that Ricki recorded when he was 4!!!


Some of crew have also received mentions this week for their work in HUMS. A shout out to Ricki, Imogen, Alfie and Finn!

Heather has also been busy this week, baking again! After lockdown, it wouldn’t surprise me if Heather changed her mind about a future career, or entered GBBO!  Great work, Heather!

This week, after 1:1 academic check ins, I had a conversation with Alfie about how he’s been keeping himself busy. So without further ado, our guest blogger this week is Alfie. Here’s what he came up with:

With the current pandemic sweeping the world and forcing us to stay at home, most of us have found ways to keep busy and entertain ourselves. I have taken this time to start painting – something I have wanted to do for a long time, but could never find the opportunity.

The main medium I work with is watercolour paint. I like using them as they allow more room for abstract subjects, and it allows me to paint without worrying about getting it picture-perfect. Watercolour is also more natural in my opinion, which is why I chose to paint wildlife with them. 

I started off initially painting butterflies – I liked the symmetry and vibrant colours, which were easier to transfer to paint. I then expanded to other insects, such as moths and eventually hornets. I later experimented with other animals, mainly sea creatures such as the nautilus.

In future, I want to be able to paint flowers, and other animals such as lions or birds. Each type of animal needs the use of certain techniques to look realistic, for example I would have to practice painting feathers before I paint birds.

Painting is a very time consuming hobby, which, to be honest, is what makes it ideal for the current situation. However, it also teaches the importance of patience, and how taking your time when working on something can really pay off. 

I hope I am able to continue this hobby – even when things get back to normal – and encourage you to give it a try. It’s immensely rewarding, and with practice, you’ll only get better and better!

Alfie Lockey”


How have you been keeping yourself busy during lockdown? Let us know – this may become a permanent blog feature!

Have a fantastic week, guys  – keep working super hard!

DofE Bronze Award Update

In April we told you about changes to our DofE delivery in this blog post.

We now know that students won’t be able to complete the Outdoor Expedition within the original timescales set.

Unfortunately, this means that our Y9 students won’t be awarded the full Bronze Award this academic year.

However, DofE still want to recognise and celebrate participants’ achievements so far – and rightly so! – and will be awarding a Certificate of Achievement to all those who complete the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections before the end of the year (31/12/20 is the official date but we will be setting our own school deadline, which is likely to be much earlier!)

Students will receive the full Bronze Award once they have completed the Outdoor Expedition, and we already have plans in place to get this done as soon as we can!

It is important to note that students will NOT receive the full Bronze Award if they don’t have the 2020 Certificate of Achievement before the end of the year.

We really hope you continue to support and encourage your child through their DofE journey.

Here’s the WHY:

Outdoor Education is a huge part of the XP experience; it starts with Outward Bound and carries on through fieldwork and the DofE Awards we offer from Y9.

DofE in particular helps students build key life skills – not least compassion, resilience, and teamwork – reinforcing what our CHARACTER TRAITS, HOWLS and CREW.  We want our students to be the best versions of themselves, and truly believe that DofE helps them to achieve this.

So, here’s a quick summary of where we’re at at XP:






Students have completed the Volunteering section.  This was done in school with Y9 students becoming Volunteer Reading Mentors for Y7.

We have asked all Y9 students to complete the St John Ambulance First Aid Course. Details have been uploaded onto Crew Classrooms.

I’d like to give a massive appreciation to the the following students who have been working through the weekly First Aid tasks that are being set for them:

Archie N, Imogen T, Alfie L, Freddi N.

Thank you all so much – I’m really impressed with what you’ve all done so far and would definitely feel safe being out on expedition with you guys!

There are still quite a few of students who need to join the classroom, or who have joined but have yet to start – it is really important that they make a start as soon as possible and get these tasks done!

Many students were using out of school activities as evidence for this section.  However, once we went into lockdown, these activities were stopped and some students haven’t been able to collect enough evidence to complete this section.

However, students still need to continue with evidencing some form of physical activity and we have made some suggestions of what they could easily be getting on with: walking, running, gardening, Joe Wicks’ daily PE lesson on YouTube to name a few.

These sessions can be added to any which were previously recorded before lockdown (so you don’t have to start the 12 hours again!) but you MUST agree this with your Crew Leader. New evidence sheets are on the DofE Classroom.

Submitting Evidence

All evidence will be submitted via the eDofE mobile app.  It’s really easy to use and I’ll be in touch with each Crew to talk them through the process.

Thank you. 

Welcome back, Crew Mac!

Welcome to the final term of Y9!

This week saw the beginning of a new term – a fresh start, in week 11 of lockdown. I don’t know about anyone else, but i’m so fed up of not being in school now – I miss crew so much!

This week i’d like to give a special shout-out to a number of members of Crew Macmillan, who have gotten straight back into the swing of work. I’d like to start off with those who have completed all of their maths work this week! Great work Frankie, Harrison, Archie & Ricki!

Other members of crew have shone in other subjects – Well done to our HUMS superstar, Heather; and super work Vinnie, Alfie and Imogen in Science!

Keep up the good work – i want to see lots of green boxes on subject trackers, not red! 

Crew should also be on with completing a First Aid course during common mission time, to boost their evidence for their Bronze DofE award. An extra special mention goes to Archie for this, as i am consistently receiving high quality work as evidence of completion. Well done Archie!

Check out Heather and Maddie’s cake, too – it’s lovely to see what Crew have been up to when they aren’t working hard on academic work! I’ve heard that Alfie has cracked Macarons, too – and even made his own pop tarts from scratch!!!

This week we had great attendance on our weekly crew hangout too. We discussed some important issues surrounding the protests and riots in America, and crew have pledged to spend some time at the weekend educating themselves more and doing some extra reading. We may never fully understand, but we can pledge to continue learning, and listening.


I’d like to end this week’s blog with something that I very rarely have to do in crew – by making a stand. I like to think that I support my crew (and all students) as much as I possibly can – so if this is the case, and you have asked for help, or we have organised a hangout – please have the courtesy to show up to the session. There have been a few instances this week where I’ve wasted a fair bit of time waiting for students who haven’t shown up, when i could have been supporting others elsewhere.

Have a great weekend – I’ll check in with you all next week – and i’ll see you again today at 2:45pm for STEAM Closing Circle!

Miss C x

YEAR 9: New birdwatching world record*

We have a new record in Year 9 for the most birds spotted in a single session.

Kyle in X24 spotted an incredible 60 birds from 14 different species, including a sparrow hawk and two herons.

Whilst we have not set any work for students in Year 9 to complete over the two week break we would love it if they continued with their birdwatching, bug hotels and bird boxes. Please remind them to send us lots of photos. We are in competition with XP East for the most birds spotted.

*not verified by Norris McWhirter

Beautiful work in STEAM

This week I would like to appreciate a number of students for all sorts of reasons in STEAM.

We have just had our closing circle in a hangout meeting and reminded the students that we appreciate their efforts in such challenging times.

There are a number of challenges that students have been working on, linked to the learning targets of our new expedition:

  • building bug hotels
  • building bird boxes
  • bird spotting
  • doing citizen science research in Zooniverse

We’d love to see more photos from these challenges over the two-week break. But most importantly we want students to stay safe, and where possible to enjoy nature.

Here are my appreciations for the week. More images of beautiful work can be found in our expedition gallery by clicking on this link.