A Lilly Faith

A huge thank you to Faith and Lilly today for the student-led crew session. It was an excellent session, enjoyed by every one of us!

Read on below to find out what we did…

Check-In

We were asked to think of a song that portrays how we feel, with an explanation if possible, to share to the rest of the group. “Happy” by Pharrell Williams was a popular choice, but there was an eclectic range within the crew.

Main Task

Everyone then took a piece of paper and some coloured pencils. Faith and Lilly had carefully selected a range of different styles of music, from classical to club classics, and played them to the crew. The objective: draw on your page whatever you feel inspired to draw from the different types of music.

Closing Circle

Finally, we were invited to to circle up around everyone’s artwork and do a Notice Wonder protocol. Lots of originality, including drawing images inspired by the music, such as a beach hut when listening to more tropical music; to a collection of shapes and squiggles that represented the feel and mood of the music.

It’s brilliant to the see the character growth of the students still in year 7 that have grown in confidence to be able to lead their own session and come up with such an excellent idea. Well done, Faith and Lilly.

Yoga-T to try it!

What a fantastic joint crew session this morning with Crew Shackleton and Crew Ali, trying out a bit of yoga in the morning to flex and focus the mind and the body.

A huge thanks to both crews for keeping an open mind and giving it their all, especially those who stepped outside of their comfort zone and set themselves a new challenge.

“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Roy T. Bennett

We believe at XP East that it’s important to keep setting ourselves new goals and new challenges, however big or small it might seem.

For many students today, this was a new experience; for some, an opportunity to practise what they already do. And it’s fair to say each student will take something different from the experience.

But the world is full of many experiences, and if we’re up for it, we can make any one of them a new challenge and part of building the best version of ourselves we can.

And of course a big thank you to Mrs Townson for leading the session.

Well done all!

 

What is Crew?

I could comment on the excellent work we’ve done around tracking HOWLs recently; or as a Crew nominating three students who have made excellent progress towards their pledges; or how we’ve recently resolved conflict through the power of circling up and discussing issues maturely and sensitively.

But when two students make an effort to give everyone an Easter egg and a bag of chocolates, followed by two special presentations to students who they think have worked particularly hard to overcome challenges, you know something is going right.

That is Crew.

A huge thank you to Denim and Thea who brought Easter eggs and chocolate for everyone today, unprompted and out of the goodness of their own hearts.

I was particularly blown away by their decision to reward Lucie and Zach for the hard work, progress towards their individual targets, and work around their HOWLs. Complete with signed mug!

We continue to face our challenges, our ups and downs, our need for some positive reinforcement of expectations, some motivation to get going, encouragement – that’s life!

But life is better when there is Crew.

After watching a viral video about how simple messages can quickly become distorted over time, we decided to give it a go ourselves. Take a look at our video below.

I particularly like Fin’s ability to dig like a dog, despite the fact he was supposed to be getting some eggs out of a cupboard!

We had a lot of fun doing this, but Shackleton picked out some really important messages that we learnt from this activity:

  1. Even simple messages can change in a very short space of time;
  2. The quality of the message can be affected by people’s ability and skill in communicating;
  3. As soon as we began to lose focus, the message changed and became unclear;
  4. Perception of the original message is vital – your viewpoint can change how you receive and deliver the message;
  5. Even unintentional mistakes cause significant changes.

This was particularly powerful as we’ve been discussing a lot about rumours in school recently. I think we got an important message from this: rumours are spread easily and change easily each time it gets passed on.

We found the best way to stop rumours is to stop talking about them.

Well done, Crew Shackleton. A fun activity with an important message, executed maturely.

Shackleton #FlashbackFriday

As part of our push to try and reflect on our learning, we’ve been doing #FlashbackFriday for a few weeks now. It’s been great to really focus on what crew members have been learning and reflect purposefully on our learning each week.

I particularly liked how April focused on character growth and life skills in this week’s #FlashbackFriday; and Denim’s focus on really important social skills.

The task is simple: share one specific thing you have learnt (in or out of school) in the last week.

Yet, the purpose is much more powerful.

It’s important to ensure we focus on what we’ve learnt to identify our strengths and areas for improvement, but also to make sure we begin to move the things we’ve learnt into our long-term memory, from our short-term memory.

This week we added a self-critique of HOWLs to keep us focused on our own progress each week and reflect on HOW we learn.

Lots more to come on this! Keep reflecting Crew Shackleton!

Shackleton Lost At Sea

It’s been a brilliant half term for Crew Shackleton, but I think it’s fair to say, if you’re lost at sea with anyone from this crew, you’re in trouble.

Considering we’re named after a famous ocean explorer, we’ve got a bit of work to do.

That is according to the Lost at Sea activity we did this week where each person was given a list of 15 items they were able to salvage from a sinking ship. Items were ordered 1-15 in terms of their importance.

Once this was done individually, we worked in groups of 3-4 to decide on the best order using teamwork skills, communication and problem solving, with clear expectations about what this mean before the session started.

Our results were then compared to a panel of survival experts’ rankings to reveal how likely we were to survive.

Thankfully, most students would have survive. But only just.

And as for April and Faith…I think they’re still bobbing around in the Atlantic Ocean somewhere!

The point, however, was working as a group to solve a problem. Some of our strengths were:

  • encouraging each other to contribute asking questions;
  • being respectful with each others’ ideas;
  • having some controlled fun;
  • Excellent time-keeping – everyone finished on-time.

Well done Crew Shackleton. A really enjoyable activity.

A big shout out to Faith and Lilly who circulated to help people with their maths when calculating their scores, and Nikodem who took it upon himself to help another crew member correct their mistakes.

And, Crew Shackleton, I agree. I don’t care whether it’s top of the list or not, Shark repellent is coming with me!

Shackleton Balloon Tower Challenge

What a fantastic session in Crew Shackleton this morning! With a focus on team working skills, teams of 3-4 were pitted against each other with a challenge to create the tallest unsupported balloon tower. No hands. No walls. No chairs.

The winners (aided by the collapse of taller towers) were Nikodem, Jacob and Zach’s tower.

A fantastic session with lots to unpack – so many strengths, and plenty of things to work on to become a stronger crew and more effective team members.

Well done Crew! Watch the video for a glimpse of the session.

Some wonderful ingenuity from Woody, furiously rubbing the balloons on his head to create extra static to hold them together.

Thank you to Mrs Parker for popping my balloons for me! That’s a challenge I’m not yet prepared to overcome.

Crew Shackleton – Now That’s Crew!

This week in Crew we’ve spent a lot of time supporting each other in a range of areas: we’ve looked closely at issues arising from extended study; evidence of great HOWLs in and around lessons; and offered the day-to-day support that we all need from time to time.

So I asked some of the Crew to share what it means to them.

 

Lilly

Crew Shackleton has helped me a lot. This is because whenever I’m with my crew I feel like I can say anything and that they all have my back. It has helped me become a lot more confident in myself because whenever you say something, you know that you won’t be judged. We all work as a crew to help each other out. For example, if people need help in their academic studies, we can help them out and give them ways to be more organised.

 

 

 

 

 

Faith

Crew Shackleton has helped me because when I’m in crew I feel safe and they helped me get my confidence up onto higher levels. Since crew, I have been able to speak in a year community meeting and even in a whole school community meeting. Crew has also helped me with my confidence because I know I won’t be judged. Also when I have been with crew on a Monday we do a weekend check in, on Tuesday we do an extended study crew, on Wednesday we do a crew session where we could have a crew member leading our session, Thursday we normally do accelerated reader and finally, on Friday we do a community meeting crew and we discuss stands, appreciations and apologies. We have the best most caring crew and I am thankful that I am in this crew.

 

James

My crew (Crew Shackleton) has helped me from the beginning at XP East. For instance, at the start of the year I was struggling with my maths homework and crew gave me advice on how I could make progress and improve. We are all taking responsibility of each others’ actions and show courage in everything we do together. 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacob

My crew have helped me out a lot with my academic studies such as getting my homework done I have now got 100% homework record. They have also helped with my growth mindset and how I work and speak. Our crew all help each other and all support and trust each other.

A great week for getting smart

We’ve talked a lot about the GET SMART element of our HOWLs in the last week: what it means, why we do it, and more importantly, where we are seeing it around school in our lessons too.

And I’m glad to report, Crew Shackleton are definitely getting smart!

One name that continued to pop up in crew (not to mention 8 appreciations by peers in the community meeting) was Denim. She’s made an amazing effort to go above and beyond since coming back after Christmas, extending her learning at home, and even making models of blood cells to share with her class. Voluntarily. Amazing!

Here she is taking Crew Shackleton through a presentation she’d prepared at home about the Great Depression, providing a bit of extra context to To Kill A Mockingbird:

Miss Hickson commented:

“In her own time, Denim has researched and created a powerpoint on the Great Depression. The work she has produced is of great quality and shows she cares about her learning and is taking responsibility for it. A very mature approach to improving her HOWLs and her understanding of the expedition. Fantastic!”

And it’s not just been Denim. A few students got a mention on the praise sheet for a variety of things:

Miss Haughey said, “Thea hit the ground running today, she’s been on fire in maths despite not being in this week. She was a pleasure to teach, she was more alert than others and was following my instruction really closely. Great stuff!”

Miss Haughey also commented on April’s work recently: “ALWAYS being kind to other members of her table. [She] provides great support in steering collaborative activities and makes sure everyone is involved. She is a mature voice when there is disagreement. She’s doing fab!”

A really positive week, and an amazing vibe about the work going on in and around lessons.

Keep it up Crew Shackleton!

 

Zach at the helm!

Zach showed courage this week to step out of his familiar zone and lead an entire Crew session.

His idea. His hard work. His success.

What started as a really simple idea about what we could do one morning as a Crew session, turned into an amazing session enjoyed by all of the Crew, with some excellent work produced as a result.

Zach: “Mr Brown, I’ve got an idea for a Crew. Could we do something where we all bring something in or draw something that represents us as a person so we can learn more about each other?”

Me: “Yeah. Do you want to do it?”

Zach: “Er. Okay!”

So a few days later, Zach came prepared with resources, an engaging greeting activity and a plan of the entire session, complete with protocols.

He even had a WAGOLL, which he’d worked hard on at home!

I’ve got to say, I was massively impressed with the attention to detail and enthusiasm he showed to produce the entire 45 minute session. He showed great leadership qualities and confidence – he never faltered! Like a rock!

And it would be remiss of me if I didn’t congratulate the Crew for their support towards Zach shown by their hard work and respect for the effort he’d put in. Although it is testament to the quality of the session that everyone was on task and thoroughly enjoyed the session.

Zach, great job!

Perhaps (dare I say it) a teacher in the making?