My most enjoyable time as a teacher!

Below are a few highlights of the last STEAM expedition ‘Why am I me?’
This has been by far my most enjoyable time whilst teaching in secondary.
All thanks to the hard work put in by C24 students and learning coaches of XP East.

Fieldwork: Leeds University


Presentation of learning and Final product: Student led experiment demo


Expedition Wall Curation: Photo of students at various stages of their life

Academic Research Diary- Extended Study

Crew Mandela have a new protocol for Academic Crew!

All students have their own Academic Research book, each wee a topic will be selected by a crew member for students to take home and lead their own learning on extended study tasks set by crew.

This week I chose the first topic and this was based around the STEAM expedition ‘Is knowledge power?’ and static electricity!

The research books have been taken by all members of crew and will form our academic check in on Tuesday. Raven was particularly excited about leading his own research into how lighting can strike in the same place twice and how electrical storms form.

Is Knowledge Power?

Following on from a successful POL of ‘Why am I me?’, students in Year 8 started this week a STEAM expedition called ‘High Voltage’  Over the following two months, we will explore the guiding question:

‘Is Knowledge Power?’



The immersion for our expedition focused on the key themes of ‘Where is it from?’ and ‘What’s so shocking about it?’, including: gallery walks, BBK, notice, wonder questions and silent conversation. This suggested and provided clues to the content of the expedition before the guiding question was revealed. We investigated a murder that resulted in a criminal being put to death via the Electric chair!


7 Pioneer Work Hard and Get Smart

This week in HUMAN, 7 Pioneer started a source analysis of an image relating to the abolition of the slave trade. The students looked deeply into the image focusing on the messages that are created from the body language and facial expressions of the characters in the image.

We then zoomed out to place this image in the wider context of the time  – exploring the purpose of the image, the audience it was intended for and the consequences it had for society.

Next, we began the drafting process – all students worked exceptionally hard at this. Sometimes I forget how young these students are, their conduct reminds me of being back at university with the level of focus, hard work and determination they have to achieve the highest standard possible in their work. It’s a fantastic environment to be in when 7 Pioneer are ‘on fire’ as we say!

The next step is for students to ‘Get Smart’ – one of our Howls which requires students to  ‘welcome feedback and revise their work’. I have responded to each students first draft – acknowledging what they have done well and providing questions and comments to allow them to improve on certain areas. When writing their final answer, by taking this feedback into account they will be well on their way to greatness!

This afternoon our year 7 / ES Explorer students started work on explaining where they live in Spanish, referring to ten European countries and the verb “vivir” (“to live”). At the end of the session they were given a piece of Extended Study to complete at home and submit during their next lesson on Friday 29th March.

As always, they are welcome to attend supervised Extended Study after school in order to receive help to complete the tasks.

Crew Young: Louie’s student-led session

The concept of students as leaders of their own learning permeates everything we do at XP East. This week Young’s student-led Crew session was centred around a table tennis tournament. Thanks to Louie, supported by Aaron, for setting out the equipment, explaining the rules, organising the pairings and collating the scores. Quite by coincidence Louie eventually won the tournament.

Other students in Crew Young are planning their student-led sessions – with baking and mindfulness featuring amongst the ideas currently being considered. Thanks Louie!!!

This afternoon our year 7 / E25 Pioneer students started work on explaining where they live in Spanish, competing in a group grapple challenge to identify common European countries.

At the end of the session they were asked to complete a piece of Extended Study in Spanish, based on European countries.

This work is due for submission on Thursday 28th March.

As always, they are welcome to attend supervised Extended Study sessions in order to receive help to complete their tasks.




Crew Finch are HOWL-ing!

You may remember that Crew Finch pledged to work cooperatively to improve their HOWL grades, after the last data drop saw them at the bottom of the school league table (more in this blog post.) . Well, it’s data drop time again and I look forward to seeing how my Crew have done with their academic HOWLs, which are set by their subject teachers.

As Crew Leader, I have the job of assessing them on their Crew HOWLs and – as we’re all in this together – I wanted to see if Crew agreed with my gradings.  I gave Crew the opportunity to give their opinions on what each person should be graded, based on what they specifically bring to Crew, including:

  • Do they participate fully and mindfully in all Crew activities and discussions?
  • Do they arrive to Crew on time, with all the right equipment for the day?
  • Do they show empathy and compassion to their fellow Crew members?

I was quite reassured to hear that the grades they would award to one another more or less matched the ones I had already given them.  It was lovely to hear them talk about how they thought individual Crew members had improved, and advise on how they could continue to do so.

Whatever results we get, we will continue to focus on both academic improvement and personal growth, because this is what Crew does best: we encourage each other to become better versions of ourselves 🙂

School Photographs – Friday 29th March

School photographs will take place on Friday 29th March. We will be using Tempest – the same company we used last year.

They will take individual pictures of all students with samples being given to students to take home on the same day. All siblings (just those within XP & XP East), Crew and year group photographs will also be taken.

You can then choose from a variety of packages and formats for your photos through their website. All details of which will be provided with the sample print.

XPosé 2019!

We’re delighted to announce that our XPosé conference will take place on Thursday 20th June this year. You can secure your place for this amazing day from Monday 25th March when tickets sales will open. Watch this space for details!