C27: Coastal walk on 31st August

As ever, we will be kicking off our first week back at school by regrouping and rebooting Crew.

On Wednesday 31st August – our C27 (new Y9) students will be going on a coastal walk to Flamborough.

Students should arrive at school between 8am-8.15am so that we can leave at 8.30am.  We are aiming to be back at school by 3.30pm, but will keep you updated on the day.

All students will be expected to bring the Outdoor Kit listed below:

  • Appropriate rucksack for walking.
  • Packed lunch (those on FSM will be provided with a school pack lunch.)
  • Water bottle: approx 2 litres (no energy drinks, milkshakes or fizzy pop)
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Appropriate walking trousers/shorts/leggings for the weather.
  • Walking top/base layer; made from synthetic, man made material (polyester, nylon etc). This type of material removes sweat away from your skin keeping you cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather
  • Appropriate outdoor shoes (sturdy trainers, walking shoes or walking boots are compulsory – no open toe sandals, canvas shoes or sliders)
  • Sun hat/Sun cream
  • Medication

For further information or questions please email your child’s crew leader.

Thanks!

Crew Goodall gets outdoors

In our crew sessions this term we have tried to get outdoors as much as possible. We had a lovely visit from Rufus where we took him for a walk around the school, ran around chasing him and some crew members had a go at grooming him. Thank you Rufus and Kate ap Harri for a lovely morning!


The other Friday we made it out the school grounds for a walk. Can you see XP in the background? It reminded us of our walk in Wales. I was so impressed with how crew worked together and made sure no one was left behind just like in Wales.

Last week it was our turn to litter pick around the school. This was really important that we took action for stewardship of our school and we enjoyed getting out and seeing what we could find.

A fantastic start to year 8, well done crew Goodall!

Crew Goodall at Outward Bound

It’s been a week since X27 got back from our incredible trip to Outward Bound. Here is a photo before we left for Wales!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived about 6 hours later, and that evening we set off to the beach for ‘jog and dip’. On the beach we circled up and spoke about comfort zones and stretch zones. While staying in your comfort zone feels safe, it’s when you can move a bit beyond that into your stretch zone is when you will learn and develop the most – this became a theme of the week as all of crew did things that were outside of their comfort zone. For some of us a dip in the sea was the first challenge whereas others loved the idea but we all went in together and encouraged each other. We all felt amazing after we’d done it – see the pictures below.

The next day we went to the estuary for canoeing which was another new experience for a lot of us. This was a test of teamwork and communication and it really did challenge us as a crew. When we got home we had a fantastic debrief where crew discussed what went well and what went wrong with a lot of maturity. Crew resolved to move forward by pledging to speak to each other with kindness and being open and honest with each other when they find things difficult so we can support each other better.

We packed up our bags for camping and hiking. We had to carry everything we needed as a team so everything was shared out between us and the bags quickly became very heavy!

We arrived late in the evening at the campsite and crew helped each other put up their tents for the night. The sky was clear and we could see the Milky Way clearly and also spotted Saturn. As Owen said, it was ‘magical’!

In the morning we went to hike up a nearby mountain. The views were beautiful and we stopped half way up for a ‘solo’ where we each took some time alone with our thoughts to reflect and to just enjoy the moment. The hike was challenging as some parts were really steep and a few of our crew are scared of heights so we helped each other through it by being kind and trying to stay positive even when it was hard. Thanks to Morgan and Joseph who led us up there.

When we got back to the Outward Bound centre on Thursday we had to unpack and degunge and crew worked together to get it sorted. I was so proud to see how much they had come together during the week. That evening we met as a crew and celebrated each other’s achievements. We went round the circle and everyone was appreciated for what they had brought to crew at Outward Bound. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Roxy was appreciated for her positive attitude and confidence
  • Owen was appreciated for his compassion in looking out for Oscar and going out of his way to help others
  • Morgan was appreciated for his leadership in our mountain climbing expedition and how he made sure to wait for everyone to catch up
  • George was appreciated for his maturity and calmness and for ‘keeping everyone in line’!
  • Nadia was appreciated for her courage; she came out of her shell and overcame many fears
  • Joseph was appreciated for his perseverance and keeping everyone laughing
  • Harry was appreciated for being helpful and his knowledge about space when we were stargazing
  • Oscar was appreciated for his compassion and was always the first to volunteer to do anything helpful for crew
  • Alysia was appreciated for being supportive and for conquering her fears
  • Ellie-May was appreciated for her compassion and for looking out for others
  • Ruby was appreciated for her positivity and her leadership and organisation skills

It was an incredible start to year 8 and I’m so excited for this year to see how we can build on what we’ve learned to continue pushing ourselves and supporting each other.

“There is more in us than we know. If we can be made to see it, perhaps, for the rest of our lives, we will be unwilling to settle for less.”

–Kurt Hahn

 

Students today and tomorrow who hold prescribed medication at school will be handed back their medication.  Students who require medication to be taken at school in the new term 2021/22 will be required to fill in the medication form.

The Google form is required to be filled in and then press send.  This then gives staff consent to administer medication and for it to be kept on school premises.

Please ensure Inhalers, Epi-pens and other prescribed medications are sent into school with the child’s name and expiry date clearly visible.

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.

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

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.

Reviewing Our HoWLs

Students received their first HoWLs grades recently. HoWLs are our Habits of Work and Learning: Work Hard, Get Smart, Be Kind. It’s been a great chance to celebrate students and overall everyone found something to be proud about when they saw their grades. However, it doesn’t stop there…

Firstly, we analysed these grades to find patterns in the data.

We reflected on what each student could do to improve and everyone made pledges so these improvements could be put into action. We will be checking in on those pledges regularly to ensure students don’t forget.

X27 students have had to self-isolate and have been able to continue their education online through Google Classroom and Google Meet hangouts. In our hangouts, crew continued our HoWLs analysis from the comfort of their own homes!

We worked on our crew narrative, identifying the key areas we need to improve on as a crew and focussed on the students who might need a bit of extra support to raise their grades. We decided that as a crew we should all focus on improving ‘Get Smart’ grades. ‘Get Smart’ is all about taking responsibility for your learning by asking questions, seeking help and improving your work. In our hangout this morning we discussed ideas for what they could do to ‘Get Smart’ in all the different subjects when they are at home…

  • Spanish: George told us all about Duolingo which is an app to help you learn languages and Oscar told us he has been using Linguascope which is a similar idea.
  • Maths: Students can go on Hegarty Maths and watch videos and take quizzes on any topic that they need extra help with. Oscar showed us how he using the ‘Memri’ quiz which quizzes you on questions that you have already done before to help you remember old topics.
  • Hums: We spoke about how you could read around the topics to find out more – could be articles from newspapers or books that are relevant. Another idea was talking to our family and friends about what you are learning to find out their ideas and experiences, particularly as students are currently learning about Doncaster’s history and the history of the mining and the miners’ strikes. Ruby told us that her grandad was a miner so he would be a fantastic person to ask!
  • Science: Someone suggested searching the internet to learn more about topics in science. Youtube and Clickview videos would also be a good resource for this.
  • Art: Practicing at home! Alysia spoke about how some people say they ‘can’t do art’ but all they would need to do is practice and try out the different techniques they learned at school. I really agree with this and I believe that every student has the ability to create beautiful art.

 

I am challenging crew this week to try out one of these ideas for ‘Get Smart’ and they will feedback next week on ‘Thoughtful Thursday’ to discuss what they tried out and how it helped them. I’m looking forward to seeing them all in person again tomorrow!