All hail Macbeth!

Last Friday we invited three very talented actors from Box Clever to deliver our own personal performance of Macbeth, complete with interactive workshop. And what a performance it was!

Year 8 were amazing and were fully immersed in the experience – a real credit to the school! They made such a positive impact on our visitors, who decided to join us for lunch to soak up some of the XP East ethos and chat to the students.

Take a look…

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:

What does it take to design a place of our own?

C24 have been working in both maths and art on applying their knowledge of geometry and architecture to create blueprints of their own Eco-school. We firstly estimated the length and width of our own classroom in metres, which we then validated by collectively measuring the room, so we’d know roughly what size we’d need to scale the blueprints up to.

We then used computer aided design – an app called Room Sketcher. The students realised the minimum area for a classroom to cater to 25 students was 42m squared. The students then populated their classrooms with items that the Architect expert who visited in October had suggested on her blueprint of XP East.

 

Here are Libby and Alesha’s designs! I can’t wait until we get them finished next week. I love how Alesha has started to develop specialised classrooms and learning spaces. Libby used inspiration from our architect expert and used the adaptable sliding doors.

Another extremely stand-out piece of work was Callie’s extended study. She has re-created the corridor that my classroom lies on. I was blown away by her efforts and craftsmanship and quality – even down to the desk arrangements!

Here’s the link to the app for any C24ers who would like to carry on with their designs.

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!

 

 

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…

Taking inspiration from the everyday

In X-Block this week the year 8 classes have taken advantage of the seasonal transition and how this can inspire our art practices.

We did a session on creating a still life composition, firstly by looking at how some professional artists create flat lay photographs using inspiration from the everyday (https://www.haarkon.co.uk/portfolio-still-life/):

The class were given 5 minutes in small groups to select their autumnal artifacts to create an aesthetically pleasing flat lay, and I have got to say, I think that they are christmas card worthy!

The classes were also given some time to work on a still life in lesson, they each selected a leaf and were allowed 5 minutes with a drawing pen to complete a short sketch, followed by a further 10 minutes to do a second draft in pencil. The discussions that arose from working with the two media (pen and pencil) were really interesting, and the focus and attention to detail in what was produced was fantastic, great job year 8!

Here’s an example of how, in just a short space of time, Theone was able to produce some really proportionally accurate and well shaded pieces of work. I can’t wait to move onto using colours next week so we can capture what truly makes autumn so magnificent!

 

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

C24 Expert visit from architect, Leanne Stamp

Last week we had the pleasure of welcoming Leanne Stamp, the architect who designed our school, to XP East.  It was not the first time Leanne had visited the school, but she expressed her joy at finally seeing the school full of students, staff and furniture and being used just as she had envisaged!

Both 8Pioneer and 8Explorer demonstrated excellent focus during each of her two hour sessions, in which she detailed her role as an architect and explained where it fitted into a wider team; she also shared with our students the design principles behind developing a building from concept to actual use, before setting up a group activity for them to apply these principles to the design of XP East.

This week we have followed up Leanne’s visit by consolidating our notes, using marketplace activities to share our learning from the group work sessions.  8Pioneer students have each chosen an area of the design principles which interests them and 8Explorer will identify their own areas of interest next week.  Each student will use this area of interest as the focus for a piece of extended writing on how XP East was sustainably designed and how we could develop it in the future.

Many thanks to all of our students for their questions, keen interest and for demonstrating the Character Traits during Leanne’s visit, particularly those of Respect and Craftsmanship and Quality.  I really enjoyed the day and I know it was a turning point in the expedition for many of our students, as it really brought the importance of sustainability to the fore.