And now we’re checked out!

What a way to end our Y8 journey: cakes, memories and a good old sing song!

Here’s our Soundtrack to Year 8, along with our proudest moments of Y8. We hope you enjoy… Thank you to Ali for introducing me to Twenty One Pilots, but the tune of this soundtrack is definitely ‘Eye of the Tiger’ picked by Mackenzie!

Perfect – Ed Sheeran
I feel like I have had the perfect year compared to Y7! I work hard in class, I haven’t been getting into trouble, and I am managing my anger.

Jumpsuit – Twenty Øne Piløts 
I’m most proud of my last SLC.  I have grown in confidence and I’m getting great grades!

I’ll be there – Jess Glyn
I chose this song because Crew is always there for me. This year I’m proud of  overcoming my challenges, like my dyslexia.

When I See You Again – Charlie Puth 
I’m proud of Sports Day because we had a genuine feeling of Crew. I’m looking forward to seeing you all next year!

Centuries – Fall Out Boy
I’m proud because I have been able to cope with situations better than I did in Y7.

Try Everything – Shakira 
I didn’t believe in myself at the beginning of the year.  I made a pledge to “bring my enthusiasm to school every day” which I have done and I now try my hardest in all lessons.  Thank you to Mr Ryder for encouraging me. 

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
I chose his song because it reminds me of Sports Day – it was playing as I ran the last 100m of the 1200m. I’m proud because I won!

Thursday – Jess Glynne
My proudest moment was Outward Bound, climbing up the mountain.  In the song it says “Who I am is enough” which reminds me that Crew are accepting of eachother despite our differences. 

Shotgun – George Ezra
My proudest moment was my last SLC.  I got great feedback and am proud of my progress.

3 nights – Dominic Fike 
I chose this song because we spent 3 nights in Wales! This was my proudest moment because we all came together as a Crew.  We had never been through a scenario like that and it tested our ability to get on together in tough times!

Mrs Parker:
You’ve Got a Friend in Me – Randy Newman
I chose this song because it captures what Crew is! My proudest moment was seeing how Crew pulled together after the DD1 results, and how they supported one another to improve their overall HOWLs grades for DD2.

It is such a privilege to share every school day with this lot and I can’t wait to see what Y9 brings for us all.  Crew isn’t just for the 12 young people who sit with me in our circle every morning; it’s for me, too.  I learn so much from them every day (including some new dance moves!) They inspire me to work harder and be kinder every day and, because of Crew, I am a better person.

And now I’m checked out.

As this academic year ends, we’re already looking forward to our first week back!

School starts again on Tuesday 27th August, 8.30am.  Students will require a PE kit for Tuesday and Wednesday, along with their usual stationery (pen, pencil and ruler) A kit list has been provided for Friday’s activity.

**There is no extended study during the first week back**

Tuesday: In school with a normal finish time of 3:15.

Wednesday: In school with a normal finish time of 3:15. 

Thursday: Students are out of school today, within normal school hours.  They should wear their usual everyday clothes and bring their bags and stationery. They will also need a packed lunch and a bottle of water (provided for students on FSM).

Friday: Students need to be at school for 7.45am.  We will be out of school all day so students will need a backpack with a packed lunch, a bottle of water, hiking boots and waterproofs. Students on FSM will be provided with a pack lunch.

Please check the kit list below for further details of the required clothing.  Please can students come to school in trainers, not their walking boots.  We are expected to be back at school for around 5pm (to be confirmed during our first week back.)

Please refer to these important docs and ensure you and your child are familiar with them.  A medical form will be sent home on Tuesday 27th; please return this to us on Wednesday 28th.

Have a wonderful summer break!


Crew Young – checking out this year

Yesterday Crew Young competed in a range of inter-crew sports events held at the athletics stadium, beginning with 6-a-side football mini tournament. The quality of sportsmanship,  commitment and participation were self-evident, as was our enjoyment of our annual sports day.

Today Ella brought a copy of the anthology of poems that includes her creative prose, and shared it with Crew Young. Superb work Ella, as you now have two of your creative pieces of writing published in a book. Congratulations.

This rounds off a successful term and academic year for Crew Young, and we continue to grow in stature and character some 40 weeks after we began Year 8 going Outward Bound in Aberdovey, Wales. Until we circle-up as Y9s towards the end of August, we’re checked out…..

My Pride in Crew Young

What a fabulous result towards the end of the academic year!

It is with immense pride and to my professional satisfaction that I post the results of the third Data Drop assessment of Y8/E24 HOWLs. In all three areas – work hard, get smart and be kind – Crew Young lead the way, topping the leaderboard in their Habits of Work and Learning.

This is down to sheer hard work and to the collective effort of each and every member of our Crew. But it is only part of the story, and it encouraged me to reflect on the individual successes – academic and otherwise – that contributed to our cumulative grades during this academic year:

Adam – overcoming significant personal difficulties and now making concerted attempts to close the gap between his MEG and current grades.

Louie – featuring on round two of our student pledge successes board, Louie led a highly -organised Crew session demonstrating admirable sports leadership qualities.

Lewis – showed quiet determination to honour his pledge to volunteer more of an oral contribution in Spanish, justifying his position on round one of the student pledge successes board. Lewis is also justly proud of his excellent 100% attendance record for the year.

Eleanor – exceeding her MEG in Data Drop 3 for maths, science, English and history, Eleanor has consistently demonstrated a secure grasp of the concept of HOWLs. She also routinely volunteers her time to help out at FXP events, all selflessly for the benefit of other students.

Maclaren – Making it onto round two of our student pledge successes board, Maclaren has worked hard to widen his social circle, and he is also developing confidence through the mountain biking club.

Ella – Showed integrity in her latest SLC, and an awareness of her strengths and areas for development. Ella led a very powerful Crew session on mindfulness and had one of her poems published from amongst 8000 entries in a national competition.

Alesha – Alesha has an excellent 100% attendance for the whole year. Latest Data Drop assessments show she continues to exceed her MEGs in four areas and her HOWLs are consistently above 4.0. Another outstanding year for this highly industrious student.

Isabel – A recent addition to round three of the student pledge success board, Isabel has now accelerated her progress and attainment and is currently exceeding her MEG in English, maths and science.

George – George hosted his SLC yesterday and made his mother extremely proud of him, especially when she discovered that he had absolutely smashed his MEG in STEM…..exceeding it by a huge 0.9 grade. What a way to end the year George!

Keisha – I’ve lost count of the multiple spontaneous peer appreciations for compassion that Keisha has received in Community Meetings this week! Academically, Keisha has made it to the pledge board on account of her exceeding her MEG in HUMS, maths and history. She’s also a member of the Eco-Crew.

Aaron – Another member of the Eco-Crew, Aaron has offered countless positive contributions in session, and this year he has improved his fitness by regularly joining the mountain biking club.

Nathan – Nathan has often been prepared to set up and take down sports equipment, and he has frequently “bought into” the extra-curricular sporting provision on offer after school. He plays football for his club at the weekends.

Dominic – Out of school Dominic has secured his black belt in Mixed Martial Arts and delivered a very interactive Student-Led Conference recently. He doubled his HOWLs grades from term 1 to term 2 and he is now beginning to widen his social circle.


Our recent HOWLs are the best grades we’ve had so far…..but like any “personal best” they are there to be beaten, and they’re still not as high as they could be, just yet.

I expect even more of my “Youngsters” next year, and I’m confident they will rise to the challenge. Great work, Crew Young. Enough said.

We have recently welcomed a new student to Crew Finch – welcome, Kobe!

Kobe joined us at a time when we’ve been busy preparing for SLCs, so I was conscious that – three weeks on – he doesn’t really understand the concept of crew, or why it’s so crucial to us as a school.  This was confirmed to me when I asked him if he felt like he was part of crew yet, and he answered: “Almost.”

Now, I know it’s a difficult transition for any student joining a new school and making new friends, but to join an already formed, tight-knit crew, who have literally and metaphorically climbed mountains together for 2 years, must be doubly difficult.

“Almost” made we realise that we haven’t done enough over the past 3 weeks to make sure that Kobe is Crew and gets Crew.

We took Kobe right back to the beginning of Crew Finch by showing him this video (cue goosebumps!)

It made us all remember what it was like on that very first day, and the feelings we had about joining a new school and making new friends: anxiousness, worried, scared, excited…  But by the end of that day, we had become crew.

It’s true that our shared experiences have made us crew, but we’re excited that Kobe has now joined us just in time for the next stage of our journey: Year 9!  And I hope that when I ask him at the end of term if he feels like crew yet, he will reply with a resounding “Yes!”

One last thing (well done if you’ve got this far!)

A few weeks ago I had the absolute privilege and pleasure of facilitating a workshop for the Trusts’ annual XPosé conference, looking at the power of relationships in crew.  This session was led by Y7 and Y8 students who spoke confidently and passionately about what crew means to them.  As part of this, the workshop participants had been asked to do a mind mapping activity where they had to write down what they thought crew was and I thought these were worth reviewing with crew today.

They looked at the sheets and picked out the words/phrases which really illustrated or reminded them what crew was about.  I was worried that we have forgotten – or become complacent about – the power of crew.  Maybe an “outsiders” perspective would remind us, and give Kobe a better understanding, too.

We had a really interesting conversation afterwards about the impressions of crew from these sheets, and we made a list of the ones that were most important to us.

The most powerful one being this:

XP wouldn’t be XP without Crew.

Say no more 🙂

Getting Smart ‘Theone’ Style!

E24 are busy preparing for their STEAM exam which is taking place today.

In Crew, students have used revision notes to help them revise.

Some students have gone over and above by revising at home for considerable lengths of time.

Take a look at how Theone has been revising…

Total number of revision cards – 77!

Wow, Theone!  Well done and good luck!

This should, of course, read: “demonstrating Final Product in his SLC” as this afternoon Dominic chose to invite his parents to try out his Final Product in STEM – an electronic buzzer – during the course of his Student-Led Conference.

Dominic concluded his SLC by also sharing a time-lapsed video recording of the creation of his propaganda / fake news collage. Whilst I am so far very pleased by the high quality discourse used by Crew Young to articulate their learning and progress, I was delighted with how Dominic used digital media to help justify his inclusion of the propaganda collage amongst the work in his portfolio that he is proud of, shows mastery, and requires improvement.

Well done, Dominic!

SLCs and Data Drop 3

As part of their preparation for their upcoming SLCs, Crew Churchill were eager to find out their new academic grades and HoWLs.

This information forms part of Data Drop 3 and was shared with students during crew at the beginning of the week.

As a crew, we were delighted to see how grades had improved.

Tyler is ‘smashing’ his MEG in HUMAN.

Alyssa is ‘smashing’ her MEG in maths and Spanish.

Denzil is ‘smashing’ his MEG in maths and science.

Adam is ‘smashing’ his MEG in science and all his HoWL grades are now 3.0 and above!

Kyle is ‘smashing’ his MEG in Spanish.

Ruby is ‘smashing’ her MEG in maths and all her HoWLs are 3.5 and above!

Theone, Aran and Ben are ‘smashing’ their MEGs in ALL subjects and all their HoWLs are 4.0 and above – brilliant!

Can’t wait for your SLCs now, Crew Churchill!  Well done!



Data drops and highs!

We’ve been analysing and discussing our DD3 (data drop) grades and, whilst I’m pleased with Crew’s progress, there have been a few slight drops in grades which unfortunately will see us slipping down the HOWLs league table.

Having said that, I’d just like to take a moment to celebrate Bryn’s progress.  It’s fair to say that he didn’t display the best learning behaviours at the beginning of the year, and this was reflected in DD2’s habits of work and learning grades.

This was discussed during his last SLC and, since then, we’ve been having regular check-ins to make sure he has been working hard, getting smart and being kind in all lessons.

Just take a look at the difference between DD2 and DD3 (in bold):

Work Hard Get Smart Be Kind Work Hard Get Smart Be Kind Work Hard Get Smart Be Kind
DD2 2.8 2.5 3.0 3.0 2.9 3.5 2.3 1.8 2.5
DD3 3.2 3.3 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0

I’m sure you’ll agree that Bryn’s improvement in his HOWLs are outstanding. Jaw dropping, in fact!

He knows that he still has to put more effort in towards working hard and getting smart, particularly in relation to extended study and he discussed this during his SLC.

Crew would like to say a massive “Well Done” to Bryn for responding to feedback after his last SLC and DD2, getting his head down and working exceptionally hard.  His class members tell me that he has been showing perseverance and resilience in all classes, particularly in Maths.  I’d also like to thank his teaching staff, especially Mr Ryder, for always pushing him, supporting him and making Bryn realise his own potential.

Keep it up, Bryn.  You’re absolutely flying into Year 9!

But don’t forget to do your homework 😉

Kicking off our SLCs!

A big well done to Noah and Mackenzie for kicking off Crew Finch’s last Student Led Conferences of Year 8!

Both boys spoke articulately and with confidence about their learning and progress to their guests, as well as reflecting openly and honestly about the areas they need to improve on.

For example, Noah said that he needed to try harder to manage his distractions in class and stay 100% focused at all times.

Mackenzie acknowledged that he needs to get better at doing his homework.  He has therefore pledged to stay for extended study at least once a week, either to complete his homework or just to extend his learning by using the resources on the Expedition website.  He recognised that this would help him improve his grades moving forward into Year 9.

We’ll be checking-in weekly to make sure that both boys are sticking to these pledges!

I’m really looking forward to attending the rest of my Crews SLCs over the next couple of weeks.  If any Crew Finch parents haven’t yet booked a slot, you can book here:  Crew Finch SLC Booking (June 2019)