C25: Out here in the fields

Our year 9 students were lucky enough to get out on fieldwork on the final week of term to complete work relating to their ‘Welcome to the machine’ expedition. Over the next seven weeks of the winter term, they will be working on their answer to the guiding question:

‘Do the benefits of industrialisation outweigh the costs?’

For their first STEAM case studies, students have been looking at conservation data, learning about how data can be collected and displayed using multiple representations. They have also been learning about specialisation and ecosystem management.

They visited The Hatfield Moors, our local nature reserve, to examine the extent of the fire damage from earlier this year. Students have been learning about the protected species that can be found at the site, particularly the adder, and how Natural England and the fire service prioritised safeguarding these species during the clear up operation.

While at the site, students conducted a series of sampling techniques, as well as collecting data on the wildlife. Sadly, due to slight delays in being able to visit the site, we weren’t able to spot any adders as they have likely gone into hibernation for the winter, however, students were still able to find other species key to maintaining and supporting the ecosystem at the wetland.

Students also conducted a number of tests on the site, in accordance with their two daily learning targets for the day:

1. I can estimate the population density of a species using random sampling techniques.

Students engaged in data collection of various parts of the site, using quadrats to provide increasingly accurate estimations of species numbers in the areas we sampled. We created a set of axes, used a random number generator to find coordinates to sample, and collected the data from those coordinates.

After collecting data in teams of three, we used all the data collected to calculate the predicted species number, based on scaling up the measurements to accommodate the size of the field. In debrief, due to a large range in answers, we went on to calculate the mean for those estimations, to create a more accurate estimation. We also discussed why using the random number generator was fundamental in keeping our research free from bias.

2. I can investigate the effects of abiotic factors using systematic sampling techniques.

Students then went on to conduct a series of pH tests on the wetlands, again using their quadrats placed along a transect, to link changes in species to abiotic factors of the wetlands. In debrief, we examined the data, looking for patterns relating to the abundance of the plant species and the abiotic factor recorded.

I feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to make it out to the site given the current circumstances, and I really look forward to hear how the work the students have done on this series of case studies will inform their guiding question answers over the coming weeks.

X25 GCSE Spanish and Spanish+ Curriculum Plans

In Year 9 and beyond, and as in previous years, our X25 students will either continue to study Spanish to GCSE standard, and be entered for external examination at the end of their Year 11, or pursue a combination of supervised self-guided Spanish study and taught GCSE Citizenship, identified as “Spanish+” on their timetable. Either course will mean three hours of study per week and lead to a GCSE qualification. This follows our current curriculum model, and begins the process of personalisation of our provision for students that is then continued with choice and common mission entitlements.

We have now concluded a careful appraisal of your child’s achievements and attainment in Spanish so far, and are in a position to make a strong recommendation that they either join the GCSE Spanish group, or the Spanish+ group. You will shortly receive confirmation as to which of the two groups your child will be placed in, and Crew Leaders will be able to answer most questions that you might have.

In the event that you wish to discuss the recommendations further, or have any questions that Crew Leaders cannot answer, then please contact Mrs Sprakes in the first instance.

Year 8 students have been experimenting with oil pastels this term in their art sessions to create some beautiful sunset inspired blends. Can’t wait to see the finished pieces.

XP Christmas Jumper Day was a big success!

Staff and students at XP came out in force sporting their Christmas jumpers today to raise money for ‘Save the Children’.

Pupils were in good spirits as you can see from the photos taken at this mornings community meeting.

I will announce the total amount of money raised when it has been counted.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for joining in and raising money for a very worthy cause.

Well done XP!

X25 -Should I Stay or Should I go?

In X25 students have been studying Lee’s Push and Pull Theory of Migration.  Students were given different scenarios in order for them to make a decision of wether they would decide to migrate or not.

Two stand out students in X25 were Beth and Georgia would worked incredibly hard together to complete their answers to question. Georgia also showed great courage standing up in front of the class and explaining the model in one minute.

Excellent work girls! Keep it up! 

The Big Reveal

With a few hints, clues and a quick game of hangman, X24 students successfully identified all the components of the new expedition.

Over the next six weeks we will be studying the expedition entitled Life through a Lens and attempting to answer the question “How can the Arts help to uncover the past?” 

 

 

A reminder about Thursdays fieldwork arrangements. Please see the original post below.

Could I also ask that parents and carers do not send students with anything containing peanuts as we have a student with allergies to peanuts, also if students require an inhaler they must bring one with them on the day.

As part of the expedition Disaster!, students will carry out Fieldwork at the Natural History Museum, London, on Thursday 30th March 2017. Students will be travelling by coach to London and will therefore need to arrive at school no later than 6.15 am ready for a 6.30 am departure. We will arrive back at school later that evening at around 7.00 pm, depending on traffic. All students except those on Free School Meals will need to bring a packed lunch, and may want to bring some money for the Services on the way home where there will be an opportunity to eat, or bring a double packed lunch instead.

We ask that any students who are travel sick take their medication in good time, sit at the front of the bus, and pass their return journey medication to myself or their Crew leader.

If there are any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Year 8 Presentation of Learning

The Year 8 Presentation of Learning for students current expedition will take place on the evening of the 6th and 7th December.

We will have more details on exact timings in due course.

It is really important that every student attends, and has someone from their family come to the event to celebrate the incredible work that they are doing.

 

The Year 8 expedition team.