My most enjoyable time as a teacher!

Below are a few highlights of the last STEAM expedition ‘Why am I me?’
This has been by far my most enjoyable time whilst teaching in secondary.
All thanks to the hard work put in by C24 students and learning coaches of XP East.

Fieldwork: Leeds University


Presentation of learning and Final product: Student led experiment demo


Expedition Wall Curation: Photo of students at various stages of their life

Academic Research Diary- Extended Study

Crew Mandela have a new protocol for Academic Crew!

All students have their own Academic Research book, each wee a topic will be selected by a crew member for students to take home and lead their own learning on extended study tasks set by crew.

This week I chose the first topic and this was based around the STEAM expedition ‘Is knowledge power?’ and static electricity!

The research books have been taken by all members of crew and will form our academic check in on Tuesday. Raven was particularly excited about leading his own research into how lighting can strike in the same place twice and how electrical storms form.

Is Knowledge Power?

Following on from a successful POL of ‘Why am I me?’, students in Year 8 started this week a STEAM expedition called ‘High Voltage’  Over the following two months, we will explore the guiding question:

‘Is Knowledge Power?’



The immersion for our expedition focused on the key themes of ‘Where is it from?’ and ‘What’s so shocking about it?’, including: gallery walks, BBK, notice, wonder questions and silent conversation. This suggested and provided clues to the content of the expedition before the guiding question was revealed. We investigated a murder that resulted in a criminal being put to death via the Electric chair!


Year 8 HUMS Extended Study


Create your own propaganda poster to support Macbeth’s power using existing WW2 nazi to influence your design.


You could do the same, but from the perspective of Malcolm as he plans to overthrow Macbeth’s cruel rise to power.

It must:

  • Include some persuasive text;
  • Use cross hatching;
  • Use images or designs influenced by existing propaganda posters;
  • Be in pencil or pen.

Remember, the purpose of this extended study is to practise skills you will need for your final product.

Due Date

Tuesday 19th March


For ideas about designs, just search for ‘Nazi propaganda posters’.

A great video here to give you some tips on cross-hatching.

Still stuck?

Why don’t you try setting up a study group with friends to play with some ideas together?

As a last resort, email me. I’m always happy to help once you’ve already tried to unstick yourself.

Crew Young lead learning!

This week crew Young visited Crew Mandela to deliver a session on the method of loci. The method of loci (loci being Latin for “places”) is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualisations with the use of spatial memory, familiar information about one’s environment, to quickly and efficiently recall information. The method of loci is also known as the memory journey, memory palace, or mind palace technique. Crew Mandela found the method extremely useful and all students improved their memory of a single list of words!



LT: I can identify the main events that lead to Hitler’s rise to power

Watch the video on the Case Study 2 page of the expedition website. Once you have watch the video at least twice, record your learning. Use the link on the page to complete the Google form.

Click here to be taken to your extended study page.


Monday 18th February.

This lesson will focus on your learning from this extended study task. Being unprepared means you will be unable to participate.


The video is from TedEd, a fantastic resource for learning and inspiration. Complete the ‘Think’, ‘Dig Deeper’ and ‘Discuss’ pages on the website to develop your knowledge further.

Say Hello to Jeff!

This is Jeff! Jeff was the creation of Alfie and Adam in Pioneer STEAM expedition ‘Why Me?’

Jeff was the product of genetic inheritance. Pioneer found that some characteristics are controlled by a single gene, such as fur in animals and red-green colour blindness in humans. Each gene might have different forms, and these are called alleles. The monster Jeff shows the dominant and recessive genes in shown in the Phenotypes! Great work Pioneer!

Pioneer Are So Socratic!

What an afternoon with year 8 Pioneer! We headed over to use the seminar tables in the music room and had a full session of discussion using the Socratic Seminar protocol. Amazing contributions from the whole class – focussed, attentive, respectful.

And the session was so successful because of the hard work they’ve been putting in leading up to it, and being persistent when challenging themselves to investigate and understand Shakespeare’s language.

We explored 3 questions:

  1. Was Macbeth’s imaginary dagger an invitation or a warning?
  2. Was Macbeth free to choose whether to kill Duncan?
  3. Was the murder of Duncan Macbeth’s peripeteia?

Take a look at a brief moment from this afternoon.


Year 8 HUMS Home Learning


LT: I can analyse Shakespeare’s use of language to present Macbeth’s state of mind

Complete at least 2 paragraphs of analysis answering the following question:

To what extent is Macbeth’s vision of the dagger an invitation for him to kill the king?

You must include:

  • evidence from the text;
  • an explanation of the language used;
  • focus on at least 1 key word and its effect;
  • A comment about historical context.

Due date:

Wednesday 6th February


Immediately before Macbeth murders Duncan, he begins to hallucinate and sees a dagger floating in front of him. Macbeth is confused by this and immediately begins to question whether it is an invitation to kill Duncan, or a warning to follow his conscience and “proceed no further in this business”. At the beginning of his soliloquy he notices “Is this a dagger I see before me, the handle towards my hand? Come, let me clutch thee” This insinuates that Macbeth feels the dagger is encouraging him to hold the handle as it points towards him so that he might hold the handle and follow it to his victim, led by a power greater than himself. The verb “come” also implies that Macbeth wants to hold the dagger because he is driven by his insatiable greed for power and murder Duncan, as if his ambition is too strong for him to hold back, despite the severe consequences for his actions.

However, Macbeth shows that he is immediately confused and sees that the dagger could in fact be a warning, created by his guilty conscience. For instance, he refers to the hallucination as a “fatal vision”, implying that Macbeth thinks it will bring his own death and tragic demise for his sinful actions against both the king and God himself, as in the Jacobean era people believed in the Divine Right of Kings. He perhaps realises that this vision “cannot be good” Alternatively, Macbeth perhaps could infer that the vision foreshadows the death of Duncan and is simply showing him his fate, as the witches have already told him at the beginning of the play.


Use your notes from your lesson to help you explore this extract.

Click here to find the READING SKILLS LADDER to help you structure your paragraphs.


Try to cover a range of quotations from across Macbeth’s soliloquy, embedding your evidence as you analyse. Remember, you won’t necessarily fully explore every quotation you come across, but when you use one that is loaded with interesting language connotations, make sure you explore them!

Year 8 HUMS Home Learning – Due 30.01.19


Complete a QUOTATION EXPLOSION as we have previously practiced in class on the following quotation from act 1 scene 5″

“Look like the innocent flower but be the serpent under’t” – Lady Macbeth

You have creative freedom on this – do it in your books, on a device, use free mind-mapping online.


Wednesday 30th January


Does yours look like this? If it does, then you’re probably working at 3.0+ for WORK HARD.


Click here to watch a video guide to help.


Want to go above and beyond and EXTEND YOUR LEARNING FURTHER? You could turn your notes into a paragraph of analysis about how Shakespeare presents Lady Macbeth’s manipulation of Macbeth.