I would just like to thank students, parents, staff and governors for their support, belief and hard work in the first term at XP. Students have made amazing progress and I have been astounded by their growing confidence and willingness to engage in the culture of the school. To end the term with Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) was a big ask but one which students responded to with incredible maturity and skill. The comment below is just one of the many we received from parents and we are extremely grateful for the support and trust shown in our approach to educating our young people.
‘Just thought we would pass on our thanks for this evenings student led conference. If for any second you guys doubt what you have done in regards to developing the school then don’t. We could not be prouder of our son after tonight’s conference. The commitment, calmness and drive to develop our son’s education but more importantly his well being for the future is superb.’
For me, SLCs are one of the ways we empower students with responsibility and accountability for their own learning. In short, they become leaders of their own learning.
Students talked eloquently about Learning Targets and how they have met/exceeded them and/or where they have fallen short and what they need to do to ensure this is addressed. Indeed, to witness students talk about assessment rubrics and how this relates to their achievements, and areas for improvements, has been mind-blowing! In addition, students discussed our Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) and where they have Worked Hard, Got Smart and Been Kind and where they haven’t! The clear emphasis we have on building character and creating a culture of learning, the backbone of academic success, is evident even after eight weeks.
To be honest, I have been moved to tears as I have witnessed our students discuss and present their learning to parents after only eight weeks into their time at XP. Without this opportunity students wouldn’t have shown this significant progress. Without our approach to curriculum their learning wouldn’t have been as deep and without the support of Crew Leaders and their Crew in general students wouldn’t have engaged so confidently in this process. Also, the support from parents must be highlighted here; to have 100% parent attendance at SLCs shows how committed our parents are to XP. Thank you!
At this point, it would be remiss of me not to mention the inspirational commitment of staff to the students at our school. The level of dedication and hard work from our team is, without doubt, breath-taking. I have rarely seen staff go above and beyond so often and so willingly to ensure that students make exceptional progress. The remarkably positive relationships that have been built already between staff and students will ensure that this continues. Thank you!
I have never seen students being given such responsibility for their learning after such a short time at secondary school;
I have never seen parents so proud of, and commenting upon, the growth of students not only in their learning but also in their character;
I have never seen such enthusiasm from students about the process of learning (and how much they are enjoying expeditions);
I have never seen Year 7 students prepare, research and then plan high level questions (and supplementary ones) which they have then used to probe experts (and blow them away!) in pursuit of knowledge to assist them in answering deep and searching guiding questions;
I have never seen students respond so comprehensively to fieldwork that is keenly focussed on learning outcomes and subsequently highlight to parents how this has had a positive impact on their progress;
I have never seen such desire from students to produce multiple drafts because of the authentic outcomes and public destinations they have for their work;
I have never seen students lead a Year 6 Parents Evening;
…….. until we opened XP eight weeks ago!