Hi All!

 

Well, we have covered a lot since our last post. During the last couple of weeks we have been delving in to mental health, especially with the recent mental health week. Looking at outside factors and how that can have a real impact on us and how we can take control of the situation, recognising that we always have a choice and do the right thing! this topic has sparked many really interesting conversations which i have been really privileged to be part of.

We have looked at it from; what we consume and how we consume – to – respecting our environment, ourselves and others.

We’ve also discussed times when we have got angry or upset about a situation, how we have acted and what the consequences of that were. this discussion was really POWERFUL and saw our crew really open up to each other and begin to truly trust and understand what crew really means. It was a very heartwarming moment i can tell you…#goosebumpsmoment

Riley produced some beautiful thoughtful work during a recent art class he was really proud of it, so much so he voluntarily came in during his break to try and get it finished! Now thats commitment to craftsmanship and quality. Well done!!

Alongside participating in our classes more respectfully by using our voices at the appropriate time as well as using hand signal protocols to respect our teachers and fellow classmates.

Times table Rock stars battle – last few hours can we get to the top? Lidija was smashing it out of the park!

We have also taken time to respect our immediate community by litter picking. We found some interesting bits and bobs, some a little more disgusting than others. it really made us think about how we treat the environment we spend our time in and how others feel about the environment they spend their time in.

Great work Crew Tubman, you really are getting to grips with what

We Are Crew

really means…


— R.E.S.P.E.C.T – find out what it means to me!

Returning to the classroom has been a little tricky for some of us. But yet again Crew Tubman have really risen to the challenge!

 

We’ve taken to using the crew wall as a focal point to revise our learning and get us back on track.

Mindful Mondays

Some of our points of learning on Mindful Monday have been around writing a letter to our future self about how we have faired during lockdown, asking how things are in the future and maybe if some things have changed or perhaps remained the same, what advice would we give ourselves.

 

Tranquil Tuesday

Resetting our reading targets is a really important part of our time. Looking at what we can do to make sure we are reading regularly, in order to benefit from a better understanding which, in turn allows us to make better word and sentence choices in our own work as well as growing to understand more challenging texts. Making sure we have regular times to familiarise ourselves with the written word and the many contexts we find it in, so Tuesday is a great time to sit back relax and enjoy our favourite author. We have also looked at what Genre we enjoy to help others find something to challenge their usual reads and expand our experiences, followed by a pledge to improve on where we are currently.

 

 

Wise Wednesdays

This has been focusing mainly on our mental and physical health, discussing and exploring what this means to us and how we have a choice over how we deal with things and who we can turn to. We have had some really mature conversations about where they feel mental health affects physical and visa versa, resulting in the conclusion that they both rely on each other and how best to maintain this.

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday

Here we are looking at reconnecting to our HOWLs and identifying how our behaviour directly impacts our academic achievement alongside our attendance, also how this impacts us as a crew. Over the coming weeks we will be analysing our classroom efforts and looking as a crew, supporting each other in order to get the best out of ourselves. Some of us may need a little more help than others but we are all there for each other.

 

We have taken time this week to reflect and analyse where we feel we sit with our HOWLs, really thinking and picking apart how we feel we are achieving in our lessons based on our current performance and how we are coming back after the break. As you can see they have used a lot of integrity in identifying where they need to work harder or need help in a subject in order to become a better version of themselves. This is something we will grapple with over the coming weeks with discussion, critique, notice, wonders and praise.

 

Flexible Friday

 

This is where we take time to catch up on any discussions we want to expand on, follow up work or finding time to share a good read. This week we have taken the opportunity to read Rosemary Sutcliff’s ‘Beowulf’

Whilst listening to the text we have used our visualisation skills to determine what we think Grendal, one of the main characters, would look like based on the description in the book.

Have a look at what they thought…

 

 

 

Another great week for crew Tubman, looking forward to next

 

All that best

 

 

 

— Resetting the Bar

Book Club Begins

We have had a great start to the new term! We are getting back into the swing of things and back into our routines.

On Mindful Mondays we’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness using meditations from Headspace. Some crew members have downloaded the app and been trying it out at home as well.

On Tranquil Tuesdays students have been reading their Accelerated Reader books. Well done to George for being the ‘top borrower’ in the school for March as he has loaned and read 5 books from the ePlatform!

On Wise Wednesdays we have been continuing learning about a healthy lifestyle and how we can support our physical and mental health. This has led to some very important discussions and I’d like to appreciate those students who have shared their feelings about their mental health. Crew is the place for us to be vulnerable and honest because students can feel safe with each other and trust that they will be supported.

On Thoughtful Thursday this week students began self-assessing their HoWLs. This will now happen every week. After filling in the self-assessment form students looked at how others assessed their HoWLs and offered some thoughtful critique, both on helping adjust the assessment to be more accurate but also how crew members could improve their HoWLs next week. On average, our crew assessed their HoWLs for music as the lowest so they have challenged themselves next week to work harder in music. We will check in again next Thursday to stay accountable and see how they got on.

On Flexible Friday we have some choice about what activities to do. Our goal as a crew is to improve reading ages so we have decided to start a book club on Friday afternoons where we will read a book together so students can practice reading out loud. We will also discuss the book, learn some new words and use the book as a prompt for other activities. Our first book is Rosemary Sutcliff’s re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend of Beowulf, called Beowulf: Dragon Slayer.

Firstly we looked at the front cover image to try to guess what the story might be about.

Owen thought that the bright orange colours look like flames. George noticed the boat which looks like a Viking ship. We also noticed the dragon in the distance and Morgan said he thinks that a dragon will be killed as the title says ‘dragon slayer’!

We began reading the first chapter where we are introduced to Hygelac, King of the Geats, Hrothgar, King of the Danes, and Grendel, ‘the Night-Stalker, the Man-Wolf, the Death-Shadow’, who preys on Hrothgar’s warriors. We had a go at drawing what we think Grendel might look like from his description in the book. Take a look at Nadia, Henry, Faith, Alysia and Oscar’s drawings!

Scary stuff!

Well done crew for settling in so well yet again. I think our crew’s fantastic attendance during the online sessions has really helped them to transition back to school. Let’s keep it up.

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!

We made it!

 

I just can’t say it enough about Crew Tubman, they continually blow me away with how resilient they are and have participated in all that has been thrown at them.

 

From taking part in off screen activities to writing and composing songs! this little bunch has been what has kept me sane and going through this incredibly challenging time. I honestly don’t think i could have done it without them. them and of course our honorary crew member Niamh who is 4 she has brought us a little ray of sunshine and joy to our crew check ins in the morning.

(more…)

— Across the Finish Line

Recharging after a busy week

As a crew we spent a little bit of time on Friday recharging, getting away from our screens and having fun.

The task was to recreate a crew member in found objects from around your house.

We can see Bryson’s amazing self portrait featuring the noodle head, as well as my rendition of Noah using way too many pen lids, plus a negative Covid test!

 

 

 

This week students took a test to check their reading ages. We saw that some of our crew’s reading ages had increased since September but some reading ages have decreased.

We had an honest chat about why this might be. Some students admitted they don’t read at all apart from at school, and others said that they do read but not often because they don’t enjoy it. I think this is such a shame because there are so many benefits to reading: reducing stress, building knowledge and vocabulary, improving concentration and of course just for fun. The National Literacy Trust found that children who enjoy reading are three times more likely to have good mental wellbeing than children who don’t enjoy it.1

Everyone made a reading pledge. See below – the pledges are in green and book recommendations in pink.

We will need support from families to be able to stick to these pledges. I have a few ideas for how we can encourage reading.

  • Having books available in the home is a huge factor. Of children who report having fewer than 10 books in their homes, 42% say they do not like reading and only 32% say they are ‘very confident’ readers. For children who report having over 200 books at home, only 12% say they do not like reading and 73% consider themselves ‘very confident’ readers.2 Check out the links below for where to get more books for free or very low cost.
  • Talk about reading – check in regularly with your child about what book they are reading and how it makes them feel to read. Noticing that reading makes you feel calm and happy will hopefully encourage them to continue a reading habit.
  • Setting aside specific time every day for reading. Personally I like to read just before bed as part of my routine. If this is a regular and specific time every day this will become a habit.
  • We will be starting a crew book club soon. I would really appreciate if anyone could send me recommendations for books we can read as a crew. I will compile a list for us to vote on next week.

Where to get books…

  • Students have access to an online library eReader
  • If your child prefers physical books, take a look at this website which has a list of places you can buy books cheaply without having to buy through Amazon
  • Doncaster Libraries are currently offering a click and collect service

Reading is so important and I hope that by working together we can support our crew to develop a lifelong love of reading.

Footnotes

1. National Literacy Trust Report: Mental Wellbeing, Reading, and Writing
2. Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS): National Report for England

Perspective is key

We’ve done some incredible work over the last few weeks…. Our crew have all passed their SLC’s with flying colours!! We’ve had some really interesting (and sometimes tricky) conversations during these and I am incredibly proud of how X27 is learning and growing throughout these challenges. All of our crew have shown great integrity and we’re all working hard to overcome our own personal barriers.

The other side of the coin is how hard this all is. I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling the screen fatigue, and I know through conversations that we’ve been having in the in school provision, and in crew that many of our students are feeling it too.

 

We’ve spoken this week about the positives from this lockdown to try to get some perspective, and shine some happiness on the school website through our thoughts. Here are some of the things our crew had to say about the positives that they’re finding at the moment:

 

CH I got to see my mum smile about my SLC. My mum hasn’t been smiling much during lockdown so to see her smile is great.

GB I have found online learning more enjoyable than in school because I prefer working fully on devices because everything is in one place. Also over this lockdown I have been in school so I have had the same support as normal . It has also given me the opportunity to make new friends and find different ways of learning. 

CG I’ve gotten some really great praise around my Spanish, Science and my SLC!

BG; I get to see my friends on video call. Also for the SLC’s I felt really confident and happy of what work I have done in the last two terms.

CL; I get to sleep in a bit later and my friends make sure I don’t miss my lessons if I don’t have the link. I’ve made new friends and best friends

SH; I did well on my SLC online

ML I have amazing friends that help me with life

NB; online learning is great for me because I like that it is quiet. It’s also nice that we can do whatever we want on our breaks

MA; I’ve made a new best friend

EB; I have a reason to wake up before 1 pm, so I’ve got a better routine

MS; It sounds weird but I like being at home better in my room because I really love the quiet work environment at home.

EB  I can communicate with humans so it’s less lonely

TW I’ve got to spend more time with my mum

So I want to say thank you. Thank you to all the parents supporting their small humans at home, thank you to all of the students trying their best under really hard circumstances, thank you to my fellow teachers who are exhausted – but pushing through to provide incredible learning for their classes.

XP is an incredible school, where the quality of the lessons and the honest conversations are first class. I am very proud to be part of that team. We will climb this mountain together.

#WeareCrew

As you all know I am extremely proud of this Crew. Crew Tubman have shown they are XP through and through.

 

 

They have shown many of our character traits, most importantly, they have shown…

Courage

  • To put ourselves outside our comfort zone to develop and deepen our learning and character

Looking deeper into this our students have shown great courage in learning on line and being greatly out of their comfort zones and yet have still carried on regardless.

Integrity

  •  To build resilience, responsibility and a never give up attitude.

By continuing to take responsibility for their own learning, turning up and mostly on time, to online learning and completing work in a way that has never been done before. They are making history as you read this!

Never in the history of kids going to school have kids ever had to do what our students are doing right now? No kids in the history of kids have ever had to do school at home, sitting in their bedroom, watching their teacher on a computer, staying focused surrounded by many distractions and often feeling like it is groundhog day. Our students are making history!

We haven’t given them nearly enough credit for rolling with the punches. I’ve told Crew Tubman how proud I am of them. That kids this year are doing the impossible and they’re doing a really great job.

We’ve thanked everyone from healthcare workers to grocery store employees but we haven’t thanked the kids enough for bearing the burden of what we’ve put on their shoulders this year.

We’ve said kids are resilient, and they are. But they are the real superheroes in this whole scenario for having ZERO say in their lives but doing their best to adjust every day. 

 

SLC’s

 

We also saw Student Led Conferences last week and they have worked really hard, to again do something that is daunting, unknown to them and challenging. Not only from understanding how they need to deliver it, but also dealing with the technicalities requires on top of presenting, and they took it all in their stride..

The students worked towards presenting their progression so far in HOWLs grades, Academic Progress and Minimum Expected Grade as well as how they have adapted. Sharing their highs and their lows, looking at how we can hold themselves and each other accountable and looking at our areas of improvement as well as celebrating our successes, as Lidija has done here.

Lidija’s words…

I feel that this is a beautiful piece of work, i feel like this because i spent a lot of time on It.

I used mixed media art, which is mixed art supplies used to create a piece of art. 

I am really proud of this work because i spent a lot of time on it and it came out looking very good.

My art is a recreation of a piece of art by Rowan Leckie Our learning target was LT: i can mix and apply watercolour paint with accuracy in a near and controlled manner.

 

 

After completing their Student Led Conferences we took a moment to discuss how we felt that we grew from our experience, how we had progressed, what we would do differently and how we overcame our fears. I guess you could say they felt the fear and did it anyway!

 

Well done Crew Tubman – another great achievement.

— Just keep swimming

All in a day’s work…

I am continually impressed and inspired by our student’s ability to adapt.

X27 have had so much thrown at them this year. A pandemic, two lockdowns, online learning, bubble closures, a whole new school and a whole new curriculum … and they are taking everything in their stride.

In crew we have been learning about healthy eating for our wise Wednesdays, having discussions about what we eat, and how to be healthier.

Other days we have been looking at our HOWLs data, and reflecting on how we can be better students. We’ve been having some great conversations on how we can overcome barriers to learning, and also support each other in our endeavours.

This will also help for our SLCs, when students will present their learning to their parents.

Aside from that as you can see, we had snow!!!

I was in school with the provision that day and luckily, Martin Said let us from Sheffield go at lunchtime, so that we got home before dark.

It was beautiful. It was cold.

And I literally had to dig my car out to drive home…. but all in a day’s work.