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!

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.

How do we build an Eco School of our own?

E24’s most recent STEAM Learning Target was “I can evaluate to what extent my school meets the criteria to become an Eco School”. The Guiding Question for this joint HUMAN-STEAM expedition is “How can we build a place of our own?”

They researched what it takes to apply for Eco School Bronze Accreditation and presented their findings to E25 students; consequently they drummed up so much interest we now have 47 nominees for 8 positions on the new Eco Committee!

E24 students then carried out their own Environmental Reviews of the school, identifying what we are doing well and what we could improve on across 10 topic areas. Thank you to all the staff who helped in answering questions ranging from “do school meals use fish from sustainable sources?” to “what steps have XP East taken to reduce energy usage?” All of this builds on the work we have been doing since September on energy usage, sustainability and efficient building design.

Finally the students each created their own Action Plan with suggestions which the final Eco Committee may take forward in the real whole-school Action Plan. Here are photographs of a selection, including Nathan’s, which considered increasing student intake of fruit at sporting events; through live class critique of his work on the board Nathan could share his original ideas as well as gain constructive feedback as to how to improve his answers in the ‘monitoring’ column.

Watch this space to learn more about who is selected by their Crews for positions on the Eco Committee as well as the Committee’s final three focus topics for the school Action Plan…

Both 8 Pioneer and 8 Explorer have an extended writing task for which the deadline is next Thursday 18th October.  The question is How was XP East sustainably designed around the principle of…? – the students complete the title by including their personal area of interest following the visit from XP East’s architect, Leanne Stamp, last week. 

All the resources to support this task, including the assessment rubric, are available on Google Classroom and students have been given time in a number of sessions this week to begin their writing, with peer-critique of their work and class-critique of WAGOLLs to support their development of ideas.

The majority of students will type their final draft, but if they have limited access at home to devices they will be permitted to handwrite their work in their book.

Please do email me if you have any questions.

Mrs Townson