E24 Expedition Consolidation and Revision

E24 are gearing up for their final assessment in STEAM by revising the content we have covered in our expedition A Place Of Our Own.  They used a scaffold to support their summary notes of the main concepts and key words, using colour, text and images to highlight the information in ways which they felt were most meaningful to them.  Here they are sharing best practice and supporting one another in filling in any gaps in their knowledge:

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!

 

 

How do we build an Eco School of our own?

E24’s most recent STEAM Learning Target was “I can evaluate to what extent my school meets the criteria to become an Eco School”. The Guiding Question for this joint HUMAN-STEAM expedition is “How can we build a place of our own?”

They researched what it takes to apply for Eco School Bronze Accreditation and presented their findings to E25 students; consequently they drummed up so much interest we now have 47 nominees for 8 positions on the new Eco Committee!

E24 students then carried out their own Environmental Reviews of the school, identifying what we are doing well and what we could improve on across 10 topic areas. Thank you to all the staff who helped in answering questions ranging from “do school meals use fish from sustainable sources?” to “what steps have XP East taken to reduce energy usage?” All of this builds on the work we have been doing since September on energy usage, sustainability and efficient building design.

Finally the students each created their own Action Plan with suggestions which the final Eco Committee may take forward in the real whole-school Action Plan. Here are photographs of a selection, including Nathan’s, which considered increasing student intake of fruit at sporting events; through live class critique of his work on the board Nathan could share his original ideas as well as gain constructive feedback as to how to improve his answers in the ‘monitoring’ column.


Watch this space to learn more about who is selected by their Crews for positions on the Eco Committee as well as the Committee’s final three focus topics for the school Action Plan…

The litmus test is Friday afternoon!

Getting into classrooms, talking to students and supporting staff is the single most important aspect of my work at XP East, and one of the biggest litmus tests for looking at the quality of what’s going on is always the end of the week – Friday afternoons!

Yet again, this is what I have seen:

Students redrafting work, students responding to teacher feedback, students using rubrics to support their progress, exceptional levels of productivity, excellent student behaviour, staff working their socks off, students working their socks off, small targeted group work, Padlets being used to support student progress… Oh and did I mention students and staff working their socks off?

Remember, if the litmus test is Friday afternoon – this is working, and its working very well!

Hey, dear everyone else in the world – what does Friday afternoon look like where you work?

Like this?

Taking inspiration from the everyday

In X-Block this week the year 8 classes have taken advantage of the seasonal transition and how this can inspire our art practices.

We did a session on creating a still life composition, firstly by looking at how some professional artists create flat lay photographs using inspiration from the everyday (https://www.haarkon.co.uk/portfolio-still-life/):

The class were given 5 minutes in small groups to select their autumnal artifacts to create an aesthetically pleasing flat lay, and I have got to say, I think that they are christmas card worthy!

The classes were also given some time to work on a still life in lesson, they each selected a leaf and were allowed 5 minutes with a drawing pen to complete a short sketch, followed by a further 10 minutes to do a second draft in pencil. The discussions that arose from working with the two media (pen and pencil) were really interesting, and the focus and attention to detail in what was produced was fantastic, great job year 8!

Here’s an example of how, in just a short space of time, Theone was able to produce some really proportionally accurate and well shaded pieces of work. I can’t wait to move onto using colours next week so we can capture what truly makes autumn so magnificent!

 

Getting Smart Across HUMS & STEAM

Here’s some examples of Explorer working hard and getting smart over the last week across sessions.

 

And here’s some praise for students from staff across the week:

Rhys worked exceptionally hard during Spanish. After setting a goal of completing 10 tasks, he did so. He then moved up to 15. After further encouragement Rhys moved onto the hardest task and finished 18 on the rubric. Fantastic work Rhys!

I’ve been impressed with how much Lewis H has been writing and working hard. Particularly in HUMS. Keep it up!

Nathan volunteered to read aloud the main role of narrator in OMOM over two HUMS sessions. Class praised his courage and craftsmanship and quality as he never missed a line.

Raven read main role of George in OMOM with craftsmanship and quality, especially with American accent.

Corey read role of ‘The Boss’ in OMOM fantastically and really got into it with the American accent.

Alanis volunteered to read aloud role of Candy in OMOM over two HUMS sessions. She initially didn’t do an American accent and said “I can’t do it”, she showed craftsmanship and quality and courage by reading her line again and showed she can do an amazing American accent. 

Both 8 Pioneer and 8 Explorer have an extended writing task for which the deadline is next Thursday 18th October.  The question is How was XP East sustainably designed around the principle of…? – the students complete the title by including their personal area of interest following the visit from XP East’s architect, Leanne Stamp, last week. 

All the resources to support this task, including the assessment rubric, are available on Google Classroom and students have been given time in a number of sessions this week to begin their writing, with peer-critique of their work and class-critique of WAGOLLs to support their development of ideas.

The majority of students will type their final draft, but if they have limited access at home to devices they will be permitted to handwrite their work in their book.

Please do email me if you have any questions.

Mrs Townson