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

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!


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.

E24 Expedition Consolidation and Revision

E24 are gearing up for their final assessment in STEAM by revising the content we have covered in our expedition A Place Of Our Own.  They used a scaffold to support their summary notes of the main concepts and key words, using colour, text and images to highlight the information in ways which they felt were most meaningful to them.  Here they are sharing best practice and supporting one another in filling in any gaps in their knowledge:

E24 STEAM: Biodiversity in ecosystems

E24 have been Working Hard learning about biodiversity in ecosystems through the use of diagrams to illustrate data: food chains, food webs, pyramids of number and pyramids of biomass.  Brendan was really proud of the effort he had put into his food web, drawing coloured circles around each organism to show whether it was a producer or different types of consumer; Theone’s food chain incorporated colour coding and a key; Mackenzie’s pyramid of numbers was a good example of a scale diagram drawn with a pencil and ruler.

Painting the town

C24’s X-Block product has finally become a reality thanks to help from our expert Hannah from Sheffield Print Club, and I am delighted to say I absolutely love how they have turned out!

This Monday and Tuesday the Year 8 groups have been in a screen printing workshop, picking up new skills and creating more beautiful work to contribute to their final product. Their learning target for this term has been ‘I can create a 2 layer screen print of a Doncastrian building’ and it has required weeks of preparation. Our product started in immersion week, where we took a gallery walk to check out the local architecture, taking pictures as we went.

Since then, in Art C24 have been creating detailed drawings and fact files of a building of their choice. Seven images were then shortlisted to be the top layer in our screen print designs for the product. We took inspiration from Andy Warhol’s screen prints, and his fascination with creating artwork from the everyday, from items such as soup cans and brillo pads. We used this theme to bring some old, and in some cases rather rundown and underappreciated buildings across Donny back to life.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Hannah, who was with us for the two days and managed to pull off a small miracle, creating 250 prints, with 49 students in the short 3 hour workshops. It couldn’t have been pulled off without everyone pitching in during de-gunge. All three sessions were a delight to supervise, and I was immensely appreciative of the year 8s for making this such a success.

It’s felt impossible choosing which prints ended up on this blog post, I was so happy with all the work that has been created. Seeing C24 produce such high quality work just goes to show how many budding artists we have here at XP East.

Also, getting to specialise in a digital-free and rather uncommon trade, in an age where technology is involved in most of our everyday processes has been really refreshing. We discussed how unique each students 5 prints truly were, and that if we’d done this using computer aided design or manufacture, the work wouldn’t be as special.

I’ve always dreamed of owning my own Warhol pop art print, but I have got to say, that I think I’d rather hang a few of these up in my living room instead.

We have been working towards answering our guiding question ‘What does it take to build a place of our own?’ Part of that consists of looking at what we already have. Doncaster is rich in cultural and architectural history, and it has been wonderful being able to appreciate that in this expedition.

Stay tuned for more info on what’s coming up next for C24 and their final product launch!