Dear Parents/Carers

It has been great to see so many of you in person this week attending your child’s Student Led Conference (SLC). Our students have shown real courage this week presenting their learning, especially G29 students where this has been their first time presenting a SLC. 

The feedback from parents and carers collected on exit tickets has been full of praise:

‘My son has changed so much in his confidence. It was amazing to see his confidence, lack of nerves and how he just got on with it in what could have been a stressful time for anyone. I am super proud of him, I had a tear in my eye’ (G29 parent)

‘A really high standard of work and honest appreciation of areas to improve which is hard when the standards is consistently high’ (G28 parent)

‘We could see that she cares about her learning and that she enjoys learning through expeditions. A thoughtful presentation that she’d clearly spent a great deal of time planning’ (G29 parent)

‘More articulate and able to answer questions with authenticity but also not afraid to point out where she struggles to remember the content or context. Well prepared, good engagement and eye contact throughout. Well done!’ (G28 parent)

‘His confidence gets better every time and to present without looking at a script is brilliant!’ (G28 parent)

‘At a standard I would admire in work colleagues. Excellent! We recognise the nurture and support that has gone into getting him here.’ (G29 parent)

We will be sharing the feedback with students as part of their SLC debrief where they will reflect on this experience against the rubric and set themselves targets for their next SLC.

This week:

SLCs and Extended Study

Extended Study and clubs are not running this week to allow for SLCs to take place. School will end at 3:15pm for all students apart from those with SLCs on that evening.

Safeguarding Review

On Friday we will be joined by Trust colleagues who will work with us to complete a peer safeguarding review. Every school in the Trust has regular  safeguarding reviews to ensure we are carrying out our statutory requirements and our students are safe. We will be looking at attendance, our work with students on how they keep themselves safe, staff training and our work with families. 

As part of this review, we are asking for all families to complete a short survey. Your feedback is incredibly important to us and helps us to ensure that we continue to run an excellent school for your children.

Please complete this short Google Form and hit submit.

We look forward to the review and to any feedback we receive.

NEU strike action – Wednesday 1st February.

School will be fully open on Wednesday even though some of our staff will be on strike. XP Trust respects the right for our staff to strike and we support their action. 

There will be no PE on Wednesday for Year 7.

Looking ahead:

Growing our Staff Crew

You may be aware that we are looking to appoint new staff to our growing team. Our first adverts have gone out for teachers and we will be shortlisting applications this week for interviews during the final week of this half term. Our students will be involved in the interviews as always along with our staff.

Half Term and early finish on Friday 10th February

Please be aware that it is half term for one week from w/c 13th February and so as normal students will finish at 1.30pm on Friday 10th February to allow staff to replenish resources and to de-gunge rooms and teaching spaces ready for after the half term holiday. Students will return to school at the normal time on Monday 20th February.

Thank you as always for your ongoing support.

Julie Mosely

Co-Principal

Date: Sunday 12th February 2023
Time: 10am- 4pm
Venue: Gateshead Music Service Chowdene Children’s Centre
Waverley Road,
Harlow Green
NE9 7TU

Gateshead Music Service are looking for students to join the English Folk Dance and Sing Society for an inspiring day of creative folk music making.

The Folk Experience Day is for instrumentalists who can play basic scales and have experience of playing or accompanying a melody.

Participants will:
• Have a positive introduction to folk music
• Gain skills in learning and playing music by ear
• Develop creative arrangement ideas
• Experience playing in a band for the day
• Learn from highly skilled professional folk musicians
• Experience techniques and repertoire used with the National Youth Folk Ensemble

Please note:
• All instruments are welcome
• No experience of folk is necessary
• There will be no provision for vocalists
• Participants will need to bring their own instruments and equipment e.g. amps

This event is organised by the English Folk Dance and Song Society with funding from Arts Council England and there is no charge to parents.

To book a place on this for your child, please contact Mr Said who will be able to pass the booking form onto you. Bookings must be made by Friday 3rd Feb.

[email protected]

 

Parents’ update – W/C Mon 23rd Jan

W/C Monday 16th January 2023

Dear Parents/Carers

Student Learning Conferences (SLCs) have continued to be a real focus for all students over the last week and there has been lots of hard work put into preparations for these. Students have been gathering their work together, organising books and portfolios, and planning how they present their learning. This work will be ongoing over the next two weeks and students will be supporting each other to ‘get to the top of the mountain’ working together both in and outside of Crew time to share their experiences and coach each other.

We are really looking forward to seeing our students shine in their SLCs and the feedback they receive from you. When you sign in for your SLC at reception, please remember to take an exit ticket for completion afterwards.

As a staff, we have enjoyed professional learning across our two staff days. Our focus has been around two key aspects of our school:

  • Quality first, and inclusive, teaching
    • How do we ensure that we limit cognitive load in the way that we present materials to students?
    • How do we ensure that we maximise the impact and productivity of the first five minutes of sessions?
    • How do we ensure that we sequence ideas and lessons in a way that makes the most of what we know about how learning happens?
  • Developing crew to ensure a continued strong school culture 
    • How do we foster strong relationships with all of our students?
    • How do we build and tend to Crew as we grow?
    • How can we solve problems through restoration and relationships?
    • Delivering a high quality RSHE curriculum.
    • How can we optimise Crew Reads on Tranquil Tuesdays?

This week:

Extended Study and clubs are not running this week to allow for SLCs to take place. School will end at 3:15pm for all students apart from those with SLCs on that evening.

To allow students time to prepare for their SLCs, we have reduced the amount of extended study work set again this week and next. Reading for 20-30 minutes each day is still expected.

Looking ahead:

Strike Action

As you may be aware, the NEU teachers union have balloted and agreed strike action on the following dates: Wednesday 1st and Tuesday 28th February 2023.

The NEU are striking around the following reasons:

  • Recruitment and retention of staff 
  • Underfunding of education by the current government
  • Wage increase for staff which is below the rate of inflation

As leadership, we will do our best to minimise disruption to child’s  education and we will update you in due course.

As usual, thank you for your ongoing support. Please get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader if you have any questions.

 

Julie Mosley

Co-Principal

PSHE Information for parents – Jan 2023

Here at XP, we want to ensure that our students receive a well rounded and meaningful education so that they not only flourish academically but feel empowered to make the right choices for themselves. 

Each week, students have a Wise Wednesday session during Crew, where they examine topics central to PSHE (personal, social and health education) that are in line with DfE national standards. Our sessions fall into case studies that often connect with current expedition themes.

As a staff team, we constantly consider what is relevant and appropriate for our unique cohort of students. We also think it is crucial that our staff receive regular training so that they feel confident and informed when delivering sessions. Last term for example, all of our staff achieved the Mental Health First Aid qualification, which is invaluable to support our young people. 

G29: Surviving or Thriving?

This term, the case study for G29 is called “Surviving or Thriving?”. Students are encouraged to consider the importance of their mental and physical health. The first few sessions focus on what mental health is. For some, this will be challenging and may bring to the surface new questions, feelings and emotions. 

If you would like to know more about talking to your child about mental health, or have any questions, take a look at these resources: 

NSPCC: Support for parents

YoungMinds

Action for Children: Parent Talk

We want our students to feel comfortable and free to talk about how they feel and know where to get support if they need it. 

G28: I’ve got the power

G28 will be looking at a case study called “I’ve got the power”, focusing on how students can make the right choices for themselves online, in their relationships and in their communities. Students will therefore be studying PSHE with an additional focus on RSE (relationships and sex education).

During this case study, we will be discussing some sensitive themes that are-appropriate. This includes ‘sexting’ and pornography. Sessions are designed so that students discuss these themes with a view to being safe, knowing the law and feeling empowered to make the right choices.

If you would like to know more about any of these themes, have a look at the website below. It is designed for young people, but has a wealth of information for all: 

Brook: Sexual Health and Wellbeing

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

 

Thank you for your continued support, 

Sophie Pegg

Dear Parents/Carers

It’s been another great week of learning at XP Gateshead. Our students have continued to work hard in sessions collecting evidence around their pledges. With SLCs approaching next week, they continue to work hard in crew sessions to prepare for these with the support of staff and students around them. Thank you for your support with SLCs, booking your appointments promptly.  Can I remind G28 parents to complete the google form as soon as possible to provide questions for your son/daughter to prepare for.  

Expedition guiding questions were revealed on Monday after much curiosity and speculation from our students.

G29 Expeditions

Our G29 students have two expeditions this term:

The STEAM expedition is called ‘Staying Alive’ with the guiding question: ‘Is survival sufficient?’. This week students have launched into the first case study, looking at nutrition and digestion against the backdrop of the current cost of living crisis. The other case studies will also have a social justice component, also looking at energy through the lens of the cost of living crisis and separating mixtures through with reference to sourcing potable water in low economically developed areas. The products for this learning expedition will be food boxes donated to Gateshead Food Bank and Edberts House, as well as work in Crew to twin our toilets. This work will further help our students to see that they are important and that their work is important, because they and their work can have a positive impact on and connect with their community and the wider world.

Their HUMAN expedition is called ‘Do Your Bit’ and has the guiding question: ‘Why is it important that we honour all those that sacrificed in WWI?’. The first case study for this learning expedition is about the causes of The Great War: militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. A reminder that the presentation of learning for this will be on Friday 24th March at Newcastle University in the King’s Hall – a space that was used as a military hospital during WWI.

G28 Expedition

Our G28 students have one expedition this term. This expedition has the guiding question and title of ‘What is Power?’. In the cross-curricular expedition students will explore the concept of “imbalance” and how this often leads to changes both in a social or historical setting but also in a scientific context.

Students have started two case studies this week. The first is a study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the power “imbalances” within this play. Students are so enthusiastic about this play, which is wonderful to see and bodes well for our Presentation of Learning. This PoL will be anchored by performances of key scenes from the play and will be in the week commencing 27th March. We will have more details as soon as we have the date, time and venue confirmed.

The second case study is looking at the power of Earth and big changes in physical geography such as earthquakes, and at a smaller scale how “imbalance” can lead to chemical and physical change as students explore chemical reactions and forces. In art we have looked at an atmospheric hazard in Hurricane Katrina, and the artwork that sprang up from those terrible events.

Throughout this expedition students will read from an anthology of texts about moments that have had the power to shape our world: suffrage, Newton’s laws, Rutherford’s discoveries about the atom, The Declaration of Human Rights and many more.

Tranquil Tuesdays – A part of our Crew Curriculum

Tranquil Tuesday is when we check in on progress in the AR (Accelerated Reader) programme. Remember that AR is about improving your child’s reading age and should not replace reading for pleasure – of course they can go hand in hand. On Tuesday we also read our Crew Read together.

For G29 our Crew Read is Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, which gives the students greater contextual knowledge about WWI and the stigma that was attached to perceived cowardice, which is also a theme in the play students are studying in Drama: White Poppies by Sue Saunders.

In G28 the Crew Read is the novel Tsunami Girl by Chie Kutsuwada. The story is told in part through manga artwork and in part through prose. Set against the tragic events of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, the protagonist Yuki learns about herself, and the power of imagination.

Wise Wednesdays – A part of our Crew Curriculum

Our Wise Wednesday sessions are part of our PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) and RSE (relationships education, relationship and sex education) programme. I know that, as a parent, it is really valuable to understand what is covered in school so that conversations at home can be better supported around more sensitive issues. 

G29’s Wise Wednesday work in Crew links to both expeditions  and students will be  looking at what they can do to both survive and thrive. Important issues around mental and physical well being will be covered this term. Look out for a more detailed website post this week which will give an overview of sessions, including advice and support for parents and carers too.

For G28 students, their Wise Wednesday work in Crew  ‘I’ve got the power’ links to expedition work and students will be considering making the right choices in relationships both on and offline. They will be discussing some important issues relevant to them at this age. Again, look out for a more detailed website post this week to give more details.

This week:

Extended Study

Preparing SLCs will be a focus for our students this week and staff will set less extended study to allow more time for students to work on this. Extended study sessions will still run as normal this week where support is available to students.

Please remember that there will be no extended study or clubs next week (w/c 23rd Jan) or the week following to allow for SLCs after school. The school day for all students (except those with SLCs on that day) will finish at 3:15pm.

Staff days

A reminder that Friday 20th and Monday 23rd January are our staff days this term. Students are not expected in school on these days.

See link here for this year’s term dates. 

As usual, thank you for your ongoing support. Please get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader if you have any questions.

 

Julie Mosley

Co-Principal