XP Outdoors: Mindfulness Walk

We didn’t let sub-zero temperatures put us off on Wednesday! We wrapped up warm in our big coats and had a lovely walk in the winter sunshine.

This was a bit different to our normal walk though; we stopped off at a couple of places, closed our eyes, took some deep calming breaths, and really tuned into the sounds around us. Students noticed the change in what we could hear from just outside the school gates (cars, noises from surrounding warehouses and the stadium) to what we could hear at our next check-in point by the lake (ducks, birds, dogs, the breeze in the trees and even their own breathing!)

We also spoke about why taking some time to focus in on ourselves is important and how what we did on our walk could help back in the classroom. Students commented that taking a moment to take some deep breaths could be used to help them to manage distractions, help them to stay focussed on a tricky task and help regulate emotions. Another great example of how what we do outside helps us when we’re back inside the classroom!

C30 – HSBC Money Management

XP Outdoors transforms to Learning Outside the Classroom – This term we have been given a fantastic opportunity to have HSBC Money Management team come and run 3 sessions on managing money. Here we are in session designed to help young people understand regular household expenses
such as rent, council tax, utility bills and food.

Students really engaged in the session provoking awesome discussions and ideas. What a way to add value and support to the amazing futures XP Students have in store.

Next we will move onto:

Savvy Shopping – Considers advertising and making smart purchases. A chance to explore what is
good value, how to spot a great offer and how loyalty, reward and store cards work.

Managing Your Outgoings – Looks at how to manage your spending and make sure you don’t get caught out by unexpected bills as well as making sure that you are getting value for money when
you do spend.

There’s S’more from XP Outdoors ;)

XP Outdoors ended a fantastic term by getting together with s’mores and hot chocolates around the firepit (which provided some much needed warmth on a blustery day!)

We had a few burnt marshmallows, but lots of smiles!

Activities such as this give our Y7’s the opportunity to get to know eachother more outside of the classroom, whilst learning new skills and appreciating the outdoors.

Each group checked out with what had been their favourite activity of the term and, whilst the firepit featured highly, it was closely followed by walks around our lovely local area and litter picking!

Lots more activities planned after the Christmas break as we take learning outside of the (normal) classroom for another term.

XP Outdoors – a (number) minefield!

Y7 had their first XP Outdoors session this week and what a cracking start the term it was!

We used the session to continue to build on the crew fundamentals introduced during the first week back. We did this by introducing Y7 to Number Minefield – a crew building activity which relies on communication and collaboration, with the aim to complete the task in the quickest time and not incur any penalty points.

Of course there were some frustrations along the way, Crews didn’t always work together (especially during the first attempt of the activity), but it was great to see how all the students reflected on how they could improve before their next try and they did all see an improvement in times! We also appreciated how some of the natural leaders in crew stepped back and allowed others to express their thoughts and ideas.

Looking ahead, we have some fantastic sessions planned for the rest of this term. We have included the weekly session details below (we are on Week 3 next week so will be out walking):

Week 1Week 2Week 3Week 4Week 5Week 6Week 7
28/08/2306/09/2313/09/2320/09/2327/09/234/10/2311/10/23
FWB 
Outward Bound
Getting to know you session with crew building activitiesLocal WalkFire Pit
Gardening
Fire Pit
Gardening 
Orienteering 
Route planning and map reading 
Local Walk using map reading skills

It is important that students come appropriately dressed for these sessions. In the winter months the outdoor area can be wet, cold and sludgy and in the summer months hot so please make sure the following items are provided.

Autumn/Winter kit:

  • Long sleeved jumper
  • Long trousers – waterproof if possible
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Waterproof coat

Spring/Summer kit:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sun hat
  • Water bottle
  • Waterproof coat

We are really looking forward to the year ahead with Y7. The XP Outdoors curriculum is absolutely essential to helping our students to continue to focus on the importance of Crew, to help them learn outside of the classroom, to help them learn new skills, to build resilience and help them become the best versions of themselves.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact our XP Outdoors lead, Miss Watson: [email protected] or your child’s Crew Leader.

Thank you from the XP Outdoors Team: Mrs Watson, Mrs Parker and Miss Dickinson

C29 XPD Outdoors – Lakeside Walk

XP Outdoors took full advantage of the sunshine on Monday. We headed out in our classes and embarked on a little adventure to Lakeside – one of our favourite spots.

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Students paired and shared creative sorties, interpretive dance and songs.

This is an awesome opportunity to develop confidence and learn new interesting things about ourselves.

We took the opportunity to also incorporate a little bit of fun! 

Here are Hill Rolling  – even Mrs Watson had a roll down the hill! 😵‍💫

I look forward to seeing you in next term for more outdoors learning and crew building activities.

Mrs Watson

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XPD Outdoors – Feed the Birds!

At this time of year, it is important to put food and water on a regular basis. In severe weather, feed twice daily if you can: in the morning and in the early afternoon. Birds require high-energy (high-fat) foods during the cold winter weather to maintain their fat reserves to survive the frosty nights. Use only good-quality food and scraps.

Our Outdoors (Indoors) session this week was about understanding the importance of looking after out wildlife during the winter months.

So we made some bird seed apple feeders and cheerio multigrain rings to support our wildlife over the coming weeks.

We grappled and supported each other and produced some awesome feeders!

Some students took them home! It would be great if you could spot and photograph any birds feeding from them in your gardens!

XPD Outdoors Crew! Have fun spotting!

XPD Outdoors

Mondays are by far our favourite day at XP – Out and about in the fresh air.

This week our activity was orienteering with a twist!

We brushed up and gained many skills during our session, from map reading, listening and speaking, riddle solving, XPD protocols, teamwork and embedding crew norms and expectations. 

Here we are embarking on a mini orienteering session around the school grounds. It was awesome to see class crews remembering our fundamentals, circling up, listening to each other,  showing courage and compassion, working together and stepping up and stepping back to allow others to shine, and all being crew not passengers!

These are some of the riddles we had to solve – They all absolutely smashed it! Awesome work C29!

Next week’s session is another outdoor session – so please remember to wrap up warm. Looking forward to this already!

XPD Outdoors Crew!

XPD Outdoors – Hits the ground running!

What an awesome start to the year. XP Outdoors has really taken off this year and we have some amazing stories to share with you.

We started the term with a getting to know each other session andwe played crew building games. It was a fantastic way to find out more about each other and for staff to build relationships with students.

From here we moved on to safety protocols and expectations. Being in an outdoor environment comes with some risks and C29 certainly took on board the different safety protocols we discussed to ensure each student was safe at all times.

Our first activities were a huge success and enjoyed by students and staff. Heading down to the firepit and garden area, students took part in Hapa Zome – an ancient Japanese Fabric dying activity and Leaf Art. Here are some of our products from the sessions.

Students grappled and supported each other and were able to produce some amazing crafts.

Alongside this students also took part in a CampFire activity. Where we enjoyed biscuits and Hot Chocolate (like by a few students). We were blown away by their engagement and behaviour during the activity. Students were able to all take part and play a role during the session, from making hot chocolate to handing out biscuits and washing up the cups. It was awesome to see everyone working together as crew!

Here are a few snaps from the sessions.

As the colder weather is approaching students are reminded that additional clothing may be required. Please come prepared for all eventualities, we would love to be outdoors as much as we can.

We are looking forward to next term’s activities and can not wait to see what amazing products the students produce. 

XPD Outdoors Staff 😀