The only way is up!

What a start to 2019!

It’s been a fantastic week for Crew Shackleton. After a well-deserved break over Christmas, we’ve really come back with the determination to build on a fantastic first 2 terms.

But it started with a difficult conversion. We reviewed our HOWL grades from last term, and realised (to the shock of many, to be honest) that on average, as a crew, we were bottom of year 7 for EVERY section!

“Disappointed” and “embarrassed” were a couple of words I heard mumbled amongst drooping heads. UNTIL I pointed out that even though we were bottom, it was only just at the bottom, and all of our HOWLs were above 3.0.

“We’re working hard Crew, just not as hard as the other Crews!”

Actually, Lilly, Faith, Zach and Nikodem are all on the wall of fame for smashing their megs!

So we set about how we could build on the genuine successes of 2018, thinking about our guiding question for the week: How do I hit the ground running?

We kicked it all off with a silent discussion focussing on what ‘hitting the ground running’ sounds like, looks like, and feels like. And the response was fantastic. Our ability to pick apart how we can improve and reflect on our strengths, especially at such an early stage in their XP East academic career is fantastic.

I’m told:

“Fin’s hit the ground running because he’s constantly got his hand up to answer questions.”

“I think Woody’s hit the ground running because he’s really focusing on getting his head down and concentrating in lesson.”

“Lilly’s hit the ground running because she’s working so hard on her tennis outside of school and still is smashing her MEGs in lessons.”

“Some of us have had a tough week and still come in and get straight back to lessons, even if they don’t feel very well.”

So, will we bottom of the year 7 Crews when we next look at assessment data? Maybe, I don’t know (year 7 are pretty amazing right now). Will we be working our socks off to work harder, get smarter, and be kinder? Definitely, I have no doubt!

Great start Crew Shackleton!

Crew Shackleton Getting Smart

After a fantastic couple of weeks of SLCs, we decided that yes, we’re smart, but it would be even better if we were even SMARTER!

So we decided to do a silent discussion around what ‘Get Smart’ looks like, feels like, and sounds like.

Fin seemed to enjoy it.

Crew Shackleton ready to go with SLCs!

So Crew Shackleton are raring to go with their SLCs. We’ve done plenty of paired work, independent work, work with C24, work as a class…and generally just HARD work.


Here’s what they had to say on the matter:

Zach H: “I feel ecstatic and am looking forward to my SLC!”

Jacob: “I’m looking forward to my SLC because I have put a lot of hard work into it and I would like to see them to see what I have been up to in my academic studies AND HOWLs.”

Finley: “I feel excited because I haven’t done an SLC before and I’m excited to show my parents my work.”

Nikodem: “I am really looking forward to my SLC because I can’t wait to share my progress in learning.”

Lilly: “I am really excited and well prepared for my SLC. I can’t wait to share all my work. However, I am still a bit nervous.”

Zach M: “I am really ready because I feel that I’m really prepared and I’m really focussed on the work that I’m doing.”

Woody: “I feel good about it because I’m ready for anything.”

Thea: “I feel good about my SLC and I am excited to show my parents my work.”

Lucy-Mae: “I’m feeling organised but excited to share what I have done here to my mum.”

Denim: “I’m feeling organised and read to do my SLC. I’m excited to talk in front of my parents and share my work with them and share who I am as a learner.”

James: “I feel confident towards my SLC because I have prepared so much and worked really hard on it.”

Faith: “I am really well prepared and excited for my SLC. I can’t wait to present my beautiful work to my parents.”



An ‘Ernest’ decision…

An update from the newly christened Crew Shackleton!

I am delighted to announce the new name of our crew, as nominated, researched and voted upon by each member of our crew.

There were some brilliant nominations: Crew Hamilton (Lewis Hamilton), Crew Columbus (Christoper Columbus), Crew Spencer (Princess Diana), and Crew Edison (Thomas Edison). Presentations were carefully planned, and confidently delivered to the rest of the crew, but in the end, Crew Shackleton won!

Sir Ernest Shackleton was a courageous and bold adventurer who was famed for his dramatically failed expedition to the Antarctic. His vessel, The Endurance, became stuck in thick ice, and eventually gave way to the immense pressure of the shifting ice packs and sank.

Shackleton, The Boss, was credited for his determination, leadership and positivity in the face of adversity, which enabled him to launch a daring a treacherous rescue mission to save all 22 members of his crew.

There’s more to that story, but anyone from Crew Shackleton can fill you in with the amazing details…

I was delighted for the reasons our crew voted for this individual. As it was the name of our crew given to use during our Outward Bounds expedition, we felt it would be a great opportunity to forever remember the challenges we faced and the mountains we climbed on our first week of school together. And what a week!

Also, his courage, respect and compassion shown before his crew embodies everything we believe here at XP East.

We’ve already spent a little bit of time looking at a famous advert he placed in the newspaper to understand about the type of man he was:

Our new name marks the beginning of what has already been a fantastic start to XP East. We’ve tackled our challenges head on every day from day 1, and long may it continue!

“By endurance, we conquer.”

Great work, Crew Shackleton.