E25 have a Quizlet task to work through as pre-learning before our lesson on Thursday 17th January 2019.  Use the resources available to familiarise yourself with the 15 words and definitions in advance of our lesson.

We discussed good ways of doing this: it is better to spend 15 minutes each day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the bus, at break or in Extended Study, than to cram it all into one session!

The link is on Google Classroom or you can click here.

Many thanks,

Mrs Townson

7 Pioneer Students Become Teachers!

We’ve had another fantastic week in Pioneer during Hums! We have started to work towards answering the guiding question to our expedition: ‘Does war unite or divide?’

We first started to bring together all the ways that war unites and divides us, drawing from HUMAN and STEAM lessons, particularly focusing on the Great War. A part of this was looking at examples of unification and division in War Horse (which is the anchor text to our expedition). Each group had a different extract of the text and had to identify where and explain why unification and division took place.

Next, the students became teachers! They taught each other about the extract they had, the examples they found and why they had chosen them. It was great to hear how eloquently the students summarised their chapter to each other and how they could provide evidence from the text to support why they had identified a section as either unification or division – or sometimes both!

I can’t believe we’ve nearly finished this expedition, it’s been immensely rewarding watching the students of 7Pioneer grow academically and socially over the last few months and I can’t wait to begin our next one in the new year.


Powerful Propaganda!

7 Pioneer threw themselves into their first source analysis today. The ability to analyse sources will be central in their Hums expeditions and into GCSE. Sources are analysed in detail to help us gain an insight into the context and attitudes of a certain period in history – in our case, we looked at the recruitment propaganda posters from the Great War to gain an insight into society’s attitudes and expectations of men during this time.

We first looked at the features that we would be looking for in a source, for example, body language, facial expressions, language and hidden messages. We then explored how these features tell us a message about the source and the historical period it was from.

It was fantastic to see how focused Pioneer were when analysing the sources. They were really thinking deeply into how and why the images and language of the posters were portraying a message. I’m excited to hear the wonderful insights the students have about the other sources we will look at. Judging by the annotations they’ve made in today’s lessons, their full written source analyses will be brilliant!

Keep up the hard work Pioneer!

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.

Leeds Armouries Fieldwork

Pioneer had a great time at the Leeds Armouries – they all got involved and took their learning into their own hands. It was fantastic to see the focus they had when asking and answering questions, recording information about the weapons used in the Great War, and taking part in the workshops. 

When we returned to school we discussed our highlights of the fieldwork which included increasing their knowledge of weapons from the Great War, watching the soldiers fire their rifles, and seeing some of the different exhibits of weapons and their use throughout history.

I’m already looking forward to our next fieldwork!

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?

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HUMAN Superstars!

7 Pioneer are just over half way through their first expedition at XP East. Time is flying by, but I would like to take a moment to pause and appreciate the students in 7 Pioneer who have consistently worked hard throughout their time at XP East in Hums.

These pupils show our Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) to an excellent level. They always Work Hard, stay focused, and put their best effort into every piece of work they do. They Get Smart by responding to all critique and feedback given to their work, whether that’s from myself or their peers, so they can improve. They are always a pleasure to have in the classroom, they Be Kind to their peers and staff, and are always respectful and compassionate.

The other students in Pioneer are also close to this superstar status – let’s get the whole class there!

Here’s our Hums superstars: Thomas, Charlotte, Junia, Abi, Jess, Ava, Charlie, Alice, Dylan, Torran, Callum and Cerys, with their drafts and final draft of their First World War Letters. I would like to appreciate them for their fantastic conduct in Hums since being at XP East.  Keep it up!

Letters, Peer Critique and Tea!

This week, 7 Pioneer have been busy drafting and re-drafting their letters from the perspective of soldiers in the trenches of the Great War. Each letter was inspired by a Doncaster soldier who is buried at Hyde Park Cemetery, whose life and death we explored during our fieldwork there.

The pupils have finished draft 2 and gave each other peer critique, making sure they were kind, specific and helpful in their feedback. A particular mention to Dylan S, Ava and Marcus who gave superb feedback that was kind, specific and helpful. Pupils get smart by responding to this feedback and using it to improve their work – it’s great to see the progression between each draft!

Before the final write up, there was one very important job for us to do! Pioneer stained paper with tea, ready for their final draft write up tomorrow. This will create beautiful work and give their letters a more authentic appearance, almost as if they’ve come straight out of the trenches on the Western Front!

Here’s Pioneer in action today:



That’s how I described today’s Remembrance Day service at our school this morning.

The event acted as the ‘final product’ for the expedition ‘Over the top!’ (for parents who are new to XP East, every expedition has a final product that culminates in a Presentation of Learning in front of a wider audience).

In my closing remarks I emphasised that our Y7s have been with us for just 9 weeks.

That’s. 9. Weeks.

The people who witnessed today’s event (including myself) were staggered by what they saw: 45 minutes of 11 and 12 year olds reading extracts of their creative writing, reciting poetry, explaining military links from WW1 to modern day Science and performing scenes related to their work in Drama – in front of 250 people. The transitions and movements between the 20 plus segments during the service were all conducted by students. There was no one hidden behind the curtain whispering ‘NEXT!’ or ‘GIRLS YOU’RE UP’. They pulled it off due to the hours of preparation that went on throughout the week.

The event embodied the work of expeditionary learning – drawing on disciplines from different subjects and linking them together via a guiding question, combined with developing the character of students.

What I saw today was nothing short of exceptional.

Well done Year 7s and what a start to life at XP East!

E25 Explorer and Pioneer using ICT in Spanish

This week our E25 students started working on their second expedition in Spanish – my school. Eventually they will be able to express and justify positive and negative opinions about their subjects and teachers, and understand and give information about their school. Here they are using ICT to work independently and to self-assess against the session rubric.