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

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!

Since January, Year 7 have been learning about the human body in their Human Machine STEAM expedition.  They have been studying cells at the ‘microscopic machine’ level as well as the organs of the digestive and respiratory systems at the ‘macroscopic machine’ level, in order to answer the guiding question “Why is my body like a machine?”

They are now ready to share their findings with you, and would like to invite you to join in with a series of activities to present their learning on the following dates:

7 Explorer: Wednesday 27th March, 5:30-6:30pm

7 Pioneer: Thursday 28th March, 5:30-6:30pm

For a taster of what we have been studying, visit our expedition website.

We look forward to seeing you and thank you for your continued support.

All E25 students have been sent an email reminding them to revise their Case Study 2 content of the Human Machine expedition.  We will use some of our class time after the holiday to revise Case Study 1, but they are free to work on this on their own over the holiday too.

We will have a written assessment on this (as well as Case Study 1) on Friday 22nd March.

There are many resources to support them in their revision, including the expedition website, which itself contains many helpful links, videos, learning target rubrics, quizlets and lesson resources.  Some students chose to take their class books home with them and all students were given a paper copy of the revision grid for Case Study 2 to start them off.

Please continue to encourage your child to talk about their learning at home and to share their revision progress with you.

Many thanks,

Mrs Townson

Fabulous Dancing from 7X1

All the hard work since January has paid off! 7X1 showed courage and craftsmanship & quality whilst performing this dance routine to the rest of year 7. This has been achieved by showing determination and the HOWLs, with many students never having danced before – a superb effort from everyone.

A special mention to Lexi – fantastic gymnastic skills – and a massive appreciation to Sharna who has worked with these students to teach them this routine.


7 Pioneer Travel the High Seas

During HUMAN this week, we began learning about the Trans – Atlantic Slave Trade. We created and acted out the trade triangle – with some of the class becoming Europeans, Africans, Americans and the traders which linked these continents together during this significant time in history.

Each continent had particular resources and products that they wanted, and certain ones that they could sell in exchange for the items they desired. To name a few, Europe and the UK needed raw cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane from the Americas, Africa desired weapons from Europe, and the Americas wanted slaves from Africa. This interconnected trading allowed the slave trade to become a profitable and inhumane form of early globalisation.

Here’s Pioneer at each continent ready to trade their goods – it was fantastic to hear the students bartering, working together to make sure they got the best deal and understanding the exchange of goods that took place. 

Travelling the Trade Triangle!

In our HUMAN sessions, 7Explorer have been experiencing what it was like being part of the triangular trade system which became established during the time of the Transatlantic slave trade.

First of all the traders set sail from Europe…

First stop, Africa! Here, the European traders exchanged weapons, cigars, cigarettes, iron, steel and clothing for ivory, gold, wood, spices and slaves.

From Africa, the traders continued their voyage until they reached The Americas. Here, the American traders wanted hard-working, obedient and cheap slaves! Lots of slaves!

The European traders exchanged the slaves for goods such as raw cotton and silk, tobacco plants, indigo, rum and whale oil. They then set sail back to Europe.

The traders arrived back in Europe with the goods they wanted, having made lots of money along the way!

As we come to the end of our current STEAM expedition, Y8 students will be visiting Leeds University on Wednesday 27th February.  The Health Sciences Outreach Team have organised an exciting day of workshops which will enable students to consolidate their learning and prepare their answer to the expedition’s guiding question: “Why am I me?”

The arrangements are as follows:

  • All students to arrive at school by 7.45am to ensure a prompt departure from school at 8.00am.
  • Students will need to bring a bottle of water and optional snack (no glass bottles or fizzy drinks or sweets.)
  • Please bring any prescribed medication required, clearly labelled in a plastic bag or envelope with your child’s name and required dosage.
  • Sensible clothing, coat and shoes need to be worn (we will be outside for part of the day.)
  • Lunch will be provided free of charge for all students.
  • Students will return to school at approximately 3.15pm – although we will post updates on the website and social media.

In the interests of ensuring a prompt departure from, and return back, to school it is important that – as always – our students arrive on time on these fieldwork days.

7 Pioneer Explore Africa

Last week, 7 Pioneer began their second case study in the ‘Stand Up!’ expedition. We spent the beginning of the week getting to grips with the world – what is a continent? How many continents are there, where are they and what are they called? What’s a country?

This brought our attention to focus on the continent of Africa with its vibrant, diverse and wonderful physical and human geography features. This sets the context for case study 2 and 3 in our expedition. Students were in groups with different expert texts which focused on the 4 major biomes of Africa and their characteristics. Once the students had read their own expert text it was over to them to complete the notecatcher for each biome by teaching each other the information they had discovered.

Next up – human features! The students had a range of information about the different countries of Africa or of averages about the whole continent. Students soon realised the variety between the different countries and how there were many similarities and differences between the UK too. This was completed using a GoGoMo protocol – a personal favourite!

We then zoomed in on two countries in Africa, Nigeria and Somalia, by watching documentaries and news reports. The students learnt how Nigeria is the richest and most populated country in Africa and completed a notecatcher based on the different human features of the country. It was clear to see the inequalities between the multi-millionaires and the slum-dwellers of Lagos  We then compared this to Somalia, a country which faces the challenges of civil war, drought, famine, poverty and piracy – focusing on Mogadishu and the changes that it has undertaken in the last few decades. Students were asking really thought provoking questions about the countries, it’s been a fantastic week!

Y8 (E24) Presentation of Learning: “Why Me?”

As part of this term’s STEAM Expedition, “Why Me?”, Year 8 students have been studying genes, DNA, cells, reproduction and the theory of evolution in order to answer the guiding question “Why am I me?”

They are now ready to share their findings with you, and would like to invite you to join in with a series of practical activities on the following dates:

8 Pioneer: Tuesday 26th February, 4.30pm-5.30pm.

8 Explorer: Thursday 28th February, 4.30pm-5.30pm.

You’ll even find out how making a marshmallow critter helped us to learn more about ourselves!

We look forward to seeing you, and thank you for your continued support.