Yesterday, X27 had a talk from Dr Fionntan Roukema, a lecturer from the University of Sheffield. He spoke to us about different number systems from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to the base-60 system of the Babylonians.


Students became historians for the hour, translating the Egyptian Narmer Macehead and a Babylonian clay tablet. We learned about the hieroglyphs for 1, 10, 100, 1000, and so on. Students thought that the symbol for 100,000 looks like a bird and 1000 looks like a ‘pacman plant’! The generally accepted theory is that they are a tadpole and a lotus flower respectively, but it was interesting to learn about how the ability to read hieroglyphics was lost for hundreds of years until the discovery of the Rosetta stone – what knowledge might we lose from our current culture in the future? Students translated the Narmer Macehead and found that it shows Pharoah Narmer being presented with the spoils of a conquest: 400,000 cattle, 1,422,000 goats and 120,000 slaves. Can you spot the numbers?

Students also translated the Babylonian clay tablet and noticed that it is a multiplication table for the multiples of 9. The first six rows show that they used a mark that looks like a ‘V’ to show the digit 1 and a mark that looks like ‘<‘ to show 10. The seventh row shows an unusual feature of Babylonian mathematics. 7 lots of 9 is 63 so we would expect to see 6 of the ‘<‘ mark and 3 of the ‘V’ mark. Instead we see one of the V mark, then a space and then 3 of the V mark. This means that they used the ‘V’ symbol to also represent 60. This is because they used a base-60 system. Fionntan explained that we can see remnants of this system still today with 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour!

I want to echo the students’ appreciations for Fionntan for coming and speaking to us and for inspiring them to follow their passions in life. I also want to appreciate X27 students for their enthusiasm, respect and kindness. I felt so proud of them as they really got involved and I know Fionntan was impressed as well. In particular I want to appreciate Roxy, Callum, Joseph, Charlie, Josh and Jaxon who answered and asked some great questions. This lecture and these activities are normally for final year maths undergraduates (I took this course myself at Uni) so our year 7 students were doing work 9 years above their age level!

Miss Boon

X27 and E27 and their first art expert!

On Thursday, all our Year 7 students had a hangout with their first art expert.

Their expert was called Derek Robertson who was speaking to our pupils about his ‘Migrations‘ exhibition.

These pieces of artwork that Derek created fitted in perfectly with Y7’s current expedition called ‘Wherever I lay my hat’ where they are answering the guiding question of ‘Is migration worth the risk?’

Our expert was able to give our students information about his experiences when visiting refugee camps around the world and insights into the lives of the people he met.

Mr. Wilmot made loads of notes!

Mrs. Marshall was on fire with the anchor charts.

Miss Hickson was busy making notes on the board

Manveer and Maisie shared the notes that they wrote during the hangout.

Keegan even recorded the whole hangout as a voice note on his iPad and sent it to me!

I was so impressed with our Year 7’s. They were respectful and inquisitive. They asked some fantastic questions and wrote brilliant notes.

Well done Y7!

Wow! Year 7! What an amazing start to your art sessions at XP. You have all been a pleasure to teach and I am sooo excited to see your skills in art get better and better.

This half term, we have been concentrating on ‘line’ and ‘mark-making’.

I asked pupils to look carefully at this artwork by Olga Gamynina and have a go at re-creating it. Look at this beautiful work!

by Ben (X27 Admiral)

by Lidija (X27 Skipper)

Amazing work Year 7! Well done!

X27 has had their first extended study set for art this week and I have been really impressed with their submissions.

Here is some of the beautiful work by X27 Admiral.




Well done X27 Admiral. I am looking forward to seeing X27 Skippers’ efforts (they are due in on Monday……no pressure).