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

The final product for the Y8 expedition ‘A Place Of Our Own’ has culminated in a ‘Print Run’ where copies of students’ artwork will be exhibited in public buildings across Doncaster: CAST theatre, Civic Centre, Frenchgate shopping centre and Dreambakes.

This process was launched last Wednesday when Doncaster’s Mansion House hosted a group of our Y8s where we officially donated an A0 size print of the building. Check out the video below:

You can read more about the specific details concerning the expedition ‘A Place Of Our Own’ here, but I was immensely proud of the rigour that underpinned every aspect of its work: the anchor text that ran throughout the expedition was John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’, a historical enquiry revolved around studies of the causes and consequences of the 1930s Great Depression as well as the Suffragette movement in Doncaster, creative writing focused on prominent parts of Doncaster, renewable and non-renewable energy including an application for Eco School’s Bronze accreditation were explored in STEM, and the culmination of the artwork took place in X-Block where an expert from Sheffield’s Print Club taught students how to create prints of their work on local buildings.

Students also developed their scientific understanding even further by studying biodiversity and how humans can support healthy ecosystems and how to transfer energy in ecosystems, using food chains and webs, pyramids of number and biomass. Students accompanied their artwork with a first-person poem that embodied their vision of Doncaster and how to make it reflect their own aspirations – based upon Tony Walsh’s poem ‘This is the place’. In addition to this, students applied their knowledge of geometry and architecture in Maths to create blueprints of their own Eco-school, and used a computer aided design app called Room Sketcher to create specific designs.

Students, as always, then presented their work via the Presentation Of Learning to a wider audience of parents on 18th December. What an expedition!! Stay tuned for the curation of student work around school.

What does it take to design a place of our own?

C24 have been working in both maths and art on applying their knowledge of geometry and architecture to create blueprints of their own Eco-school. We firstly estimated the length and width of our own classroom in metres, which we then validated by collectively measuring the room, so we’d know roughly what size we’d need to scale the blueprints up to.

We then used computer aided design – an app called Room Sketcher. The students realised the minimum area for a classroom to cater to 25 students was 42m squared. The students then populated their classrooms with items that the Architect expert who visited in October had suggested on her blueprint of XP East.


Here are Libby and Alesha’s designs! I can’t wait until we get them finished next week. I love how Alesha has started to develop specialised classrooms and learning spaces. Libby used inspiration from our architect expert and used the adaptable sliding doors.

Another extremely stand-out piece of work was Callie’s extended study. She has re-created the corridor that my classroom lies on. I was blown away by her efforts and craftsmanship and quality – even down to the desk arrangements!

Here’s the link to the app for any C24ers who would like to carry on with their designs.

E24 STEAM: Biodiversity in ecosystems

E24 have been Working Hard learning about biodiversity in ecosystems through the use of diagrams to illustrate data: food chains, food webs, pyramids of number and pyramids of biomass.  Brendan was really proud of the effort he had put into his food web, drawing coloured circles around each organism to show whether it was a producer or different types of consumer; Theone’s food chain incorporated colour coding and a key; Mackenzie’s pyramid of numbers was a good example of a scale diagram drawn with a pencil and ruler.

Painting the town

C24’s X-Block product has finally become a reality thanks to help from our expert Hannah from Sheffield Print Club, and I am delighted to say I absolutely love how they have turned out!

This Monday and Tuesday the Year 8 groups have been in a screen printing workshop, picking up new skills and creating more beautiful work to contribute to their final product. Their learning target for this term has been ‘I can create a 2 layer screen print of a Doncastrian building’ and it has required weeks of preparation. Our product started in immersion week, where we took a gallery walk to check out the local architecture, taking pictures as we went.

Since then, in Art C24 have been creating detailed drawings and fact files of a building of their choice. Seven images were then shortlisted to be the top layer in our screen print designs for the product. We took inspiration from Andy Warhol’s screen prints, and his fascination with creating artwork from the everyday, from items such as soup cans and brillo pads. We used this theme to bring some old, and in some cases rather rundown and underappreciated buildings across Donny back to life.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Hannah, who was with us for the two days and managed to pull off a small miracle, creating 250 prints, with 49 students in the short 3 hour workshops. It couldn’t have been pulled off without everyone pitching in during de-gunge. All three sessions were a delight to supervise, and I was immensely appreciative of the year 8s for making this such a success.

It’s felt impossible choosing which prints ended up on this blog post, I was so happy with all the work that has been created. Seeing C24 produce such high quality work just goes to show how many budding artists we have here at XP East.

Also, getting to specialise in a digital-free and rather uncommon trade, in an age where technology is involved in most of our everyday processes has been really refreshing. We discussed how unique each students 5 prints truly were, and that if we’d done this using computer aided design or manufacture, the work wouldn’t be as special.

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own Warhol pop art print, but I have got to say, that I think I’d rather hang a few of these up in my living room instead.

We have been working towards answering our guiding question ‘What does it take to build a place of our own?’ Part of that consists of looking at what we already have. Doncaster is rich in cultural and architectural history, and it has been wonderful being able to appreciate that in this expedition.

Stay tuned for more info on what’s coming up next for C24 and their final product launch!



What has maths got to do with WW1?

This week, C25 have been exploring local data of the soldiers that fell in their postcode in the First World War. They have been using the following source from the Imperial War Museum, an interactive map (A Street Near You), which presents fact files about the soldiers, their death, their rank, and any other records that are on file.

The year 7 classes have then been populating their own personal data set with information on the soldiers in their area, which we will be using this week to calculate averages, create frequency graphs and bar charts.

There were some really fruitful discussions about why some streets did not have any records, and some students noticed that they may have found brothers, or soldiers who had died just days apart. Seeing the map made us all reflect on how devastating the war must have been on our community.

Florence even found one of her ancestors at an address near her current one. We also found records for Arthur and Ernest Hickson, Miss Hickson is going to do a little research to find out if she is related to them.

I’d just like to appreciate C25 for being so respectful and working hard on this, and I’d like to remind Explorer to have it completed by our next lesson on Tuesday so we can start our research.

The digital pledges that C24 created during the Stand Up! expedition have been printed, curated and installed! We now have a first instance of beautiful work up on our walls.

Even the CEO of Doncaster Council, Jo Miller, has been tweeting about it.

Jo Miller’s pledge was: In everything I do, I want to ask ‘What do young people think about it? Have you engaged with them? Have you asked them what they think?’


Year 7 student Bob not only assisted with installing the curation, he also offered his insight on where the pledges could go. After discussing one pledge in particular, he said it should go in the centre as it was “like putting a candle in a corner of a darkened room”. Excellent work Bob, I think we have a future artist and curator!

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
— Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

STEAM C25 Peer Assessment

After a number of practical sessions and conducting a circus of experiments in STEAM, C25 have started the write up of the particle model using rubrics to peer assess their work. All students have worked hard during the session however outstanding feedback was given by Ruben, Sami and Ruby. They really helped other students to include key scientific words in their write ups to move towards excellence!


Next week we will be investigating how gas was used as a weapon in the trenches of WW1!

Inspired by Doncaster’s Architecture

This week in X-Block, C24 are starting draft one of their screen print designs:

After researching the local architecture across Doncaster, the classes each created an outline of the local museum in the session today. Over the past two weeks we have been delving into the rich history of the town and its many desolate buildings. We’ve made some incredible discoveries, for instance, that the Beatles played a gig in the old Gaumont Cinema which sadly no longer exists!

I loved how some students adopted a minimalist style in their artwork today, while others worked hard to show the detail and intricacies of the museum’s architecture.

Here’s examples of Theonie’s, Aran’s, George’s and Holly’s work from the session:


















I love how unique they are, and I can’t wait to see what each student picks for their final design next week and to continue through this drafting process!

Miss Haughey

Here is Theone’s most recent piece of homework in Spanish. She was asked to write a detailed description of her house and its location, rooms, and describe bedroom furniture using prepositions:

Theone Chan                       Mi Casa

Vivo en una casa. Es vieja y cómoda. Está en un pueblo en Inglaterra. En mi casa hay cuatro dormitorios y el dos bano arriba. Abajo hay la cocina y el salón, y fuera hay un jardín y hay garaje. Me encanta mi dormitorio blanco porque es grande y bonito. En mi dormitorio blanco hay una cama marrón, un armario marrón, una lámpara gris, una ventana, una mesa marrón, unos pósters, una  silla negro, una puerta blanco y una alfombra rosa. El armario está a la derecha de la mesa y debajo de los pósters. La lámpara está encima de la mesa y debajo de los pósters. La cama está a la derecha de la puerta y delante del armario. La ventana está encima de la cama y a la izquierda del armario. La mesa está a la derecha del armario y debajo de la póster. Los pósters están encima de la mesa y encima de la silla. La silla está delante de la mesa y al lado de la cama. La puerta está delante de la mesa y a la derecha de la mesa. La alfombra está detrás de la mesa y debajo de la silla.

Theone’s response to written feedback and critique:

When I read your email I was so thankful and proud of myself of what I have achieved. I am very shocked that I have reached my goal of going above 100 words by getting 196 words“.