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.

We thought it was time that we let you know we have finally chosen our crew name. The students worked long and hard deliberating over who would best represent us and how we felt about crew, ourselves and each other.

There were many names researched and presented but we finally settled on ….

Harriet Tubman

This was Darcy’s suggestion and we all felt that she perfectly captured what we as a crew were about through Harriets legacy.

 

Here are the important values that we felt we as a crew, shared with Harriet, and if we did’t have theses values, we would aspire to them.

“We chose this name because we can relate to her because she was brave, She showed integrity, she stood for honour, she stood for truth, she stood for equality, she didn’t give up and she stood up for the right to do amazing things.” Evie

“We chose this person because she is independent and she escaped slavery at the age of thirteen which was a big accomplishment – proving that we can accomplish whatever we put our hearts and minds to. She showed our character traits and we felt she represents our crew.” Nenna

“We think she is a good role model because she showed integrity and courage by standing up for what was right and the courage to stand by her beliefs even though she could have lost her life. She took responsibility for her family and went back to save them from being slaves.” Riley

Snow Day

Very proud of my crew as they have continued to turn up for crew and lessons regardless. They really are showing perseverance and commitment to their learning.

Special mention

One person who I am particularly proud of this week is Jasmin. She has also been made this weeks honorary Vice President, (in honour of the recent Inauguration). As she has supported our crew not only in session but has given up her own time to do a little hang out with a small group of crew members, to support them with their understanding of an extended study maths task. I was impressed with her leadership and supportive skills. Not only did she guide but she checked with them for understanding. Asking relevant open questions to gather whether they had understood what they had done. Truly inspiring. Fantastic integrity and compassion Jaz!

 

Winning Formula

We are currently top of the leaderboard in our howls across the board! This is a great start to the year, but it doesn’t mean we can rest on that achievement. We now have to work at maintaining and improving that! Watch this space I know they will smash it.

 

“Stay safe and take care”

From Crew Tubman

— Its all in a name…

SLC?

We have spent this week grappling with not only the idea of what is a student led conference, but more importantly how this will shape up during online learning.

Working through we are getting prepped, recapping on our first expedition, checking our HOWLs, setting our targets and making some really person reflections.

Onwards and upwards!

A Great Attitude

Welcome back crew!

The last two weeks have been a challenge for us all adjusting to a new way of learning. I’m so glad we are still able to get together as a crew every morning virtually and it’s been so important to support each other through new challenges and share our successes. On Friday, our crew check-in was ‘What are you proud of from the last two weeks?’. I want to share a few highlights:

  • Alysia was proud of herself for getting all her work done on time and not leaving her homework too late.
  • Nadia was proud to achieve 100% in a Hegarty task for maths – woohoo that’s amazing!
  • George was proud that he is improving in maths. I’ve noticed he has worked so hard in his lessons and has asked some brilliant questions that show how deeply he’s thinking about the work.

I shared this quote with crew on Friday:

A positive attitude is important now more than ever. Personally, I really believe in the power of our thoughts. There’s so much in life we can’t control and this last year has brought that home. But a change in your mindset can transform what feels like scary change into an opportunity for growth. In crew we develop a positive attitude by celebrating what we are proud of and expressing gratitude for one another. These twelve young people have brought to crew so much kindness, resilience and lots of laughs. I hope you can recognise how brave and brilliant you all are – you continue to inspire me every day.

Little things make a big difference!

Our crew have been working together this term and we have produced this blog as a crew.

This Christmas we are helping the French-gate centre support the Trussell Trust Foundation which is the largest food bank in the UK. Each of us are doing our bit by donating either socks or chocolate (if you’re feeling generous then both). These gifts are going to people in poverty who don’t have these luxuries, and they will receive these gifts every time they go to a food bank in the coming festive weeks.

It is important to give chocolate and socks to the people that aren’t as fortunate as us. During Christmas time children will not feel as left out around their friends, it would also put a smile on their face and that makes us happy. People who need the gifts will go to the food-bank during Christmas time and get a gift to open. It will help the food bank provide more for those who are in poverty this year.

What we are doing is giving people who aren’t as fortunate as ourselves items like chocolate and socks. We are doing this because we want people to be happy on Christmas day and so they have items under their tree on that delightful day. Thanks to charities like food banks these people can get the items they need to make them happy. 

 

It’s important because it helps people in poverty or people who can’t afford good things like socks or chocolate. We ask people to help out that little bit for Christmas just because a lot of kids and people don’t have any presents under the tree so we ask you to help out just that little bit for everyone else who deserves a Christmas. The littlest gifts we give mean the world to some adults and children living in poverty or that are less fortunate, that’s why at Christmas we give gifts

We have learnt that poverty is a lot more common in places like Glasgow, London and even Doncaster. We found that Poverty was more common than we initially thought. It’s not just homeless people but that is not the case even people with a job can be in poverty, not able to pay all their bills or buy enough food. It is very difficult to get out of but easy to get into and will change a lot of things in our lives, it can change your relationships, friends, people in your life. Although benefits help they are not enough to live comfortably. Many people still have no where near enough and with people limited to a few food bank vouchers a month, this becomes quite difficult.

At this time of year helping charities and people less fortunate than ourselves helps us to remember to be grateful for the things we have and that gifts need to come from the heart, that you think about the gift you are giving and how it can benefit that person.

Many thanks for reading our Blog.

Have a lovely Christmas see you all again in the new year.