Parents Update – w/c Mon 28th November

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome back after a long weekend. As a staff crew we have been working hard on our curriculum plans to ensure we continue to provide high quality for our students across all expeditions and subject areas. As always, there are lots of exciting things happening over the next few weeks.

Our students are working on their pledges around improving their HoWLs and academic performance. You will receive your child’s snapshot this week with a video which explains how the information is presented. Next week your child will share their pledges with you so that you can see which areas they are targeting for improvement over the coming months.

Presentations of Learning will take place at the end of term and our students continue to work hard on their guiding questions ready to share their learning with you. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you in advance for your attendance at these events; it’s really important that students have an authentic audience when they present and is part of our design here at XP – academic success, beautiful work and character growth. We can’t wait to see them all shine (as they always do) and for you to be dazzled! 

This week:

G29 Fieldwork

Our Y7 students will be taking part in fieldwork on Tuesday as part of their expedition From The Ground Up. They will be spending time interviewing members of the Northumberland mining community in Ashington as they continue to answer their guiding question “What do the communities of North-East England owe to the miners?”.

Robotics Club

This Wednesday’’s robotic club is cancelled due to commitments of the external provider.

XP Trust School Review

As part of our ongoing monitoring, we welcome the XP Trust Performance Team into school on Thursday. The team will be looking at the quality of our work in all areas of XP Gateshead. As part of the review, they will spend time in sessions alongside students, looking at the quality of student work and talking to staff and students throughout the day. 


Like last year, we would like to run a reverse crew advent challenge. We will be preparing for Christmas by helping others and looking at how we can focus on giving rather than receiving at this time of year. We are set to work with North East charities who support vulnerable families. Crew Frank will coordinate G28’s reverse advent and will work with Sister Josepha in support of Oaklea Convent in their Christmas shoebox appeal. Crew KDO will coordinate G29’s reverse advent in connection with the Gateshead Food Bank. Your children will get more information on this in Crew this week.



Thank you as usual for your support. I would like to give a special thanks to our parents that have organised the Christmas trampoline party at Jump Giants. It’s great to see students from across both Year 7 and 8 socialising together in the break and we know that other parents are appreciative too!

Staff Days and Parents’ Update

Good afternoon

As is usual when we have staff days, we will be posting this week’s parents’ update for the week ahead on Monday.

On Friday we spent time as a staff crew planning the exciting upcoming expeditions from January for year 7 and year 8.

We hope you have had a great weekend!

Fieldwork for G29 Students on Tuesday 29th November

Fieldwork to Ashington

All Year 7 students will be taking part in fieldwork to Ashington this coming Tuesday 29th November as part of their expedition From The Ground Up.

We will be leaving school by coach at 9.30am and will return to school in time for lunchtime in school.

This fieldwork has been organised so that students can gather oral histories from members of the Northumberland mining community. This will help them to answer their guiding question “What do the communities of North-East England owe to the miners?”

The stories that our students hear in their interviews will be written up into the final product for this learning expedition. This will be a book of stories and historical enquiries about Northumberland Pits and the wider mining community.

An excerpt from the book produced by G28 last year

Presentation of Learning

You will be able to see and hear much more about this in our students’ Presentation of Learning on Monday 12th December, which will be live streamed on Youtube at 5.30pm. A reminder that students will stay in school from 3.30pm until this event, after which students will be ready to be collected from school at around 7pm. Students can bring some healthy snacks to eat before the presentation of learning begins. This is a formal event, so we ask students to dress smartly. More information on how to join the event online will be shared in the coming weeks.

Beautiful work from Arlo and William

Arlo and William took part in a brass event on Friday last week ahead of the Brass In Concert competition – a world renowned event.

Arlo and William had a great day, and enjoyed playing some brilliant repertoire including Bryan Ferry, James Brown and Queen at Sage Gateshead.

Great work boys!

Weekly update for parents – W/C Mon 21st November

Dear Parents/Carers

It has been another great week at XP Gateshead. Our students continue to impress us with the quality of their work and the commitment they have to being the best versions of themselves. In crew this week all of our students have been working hard writing pledges to improve their HoWL grades or academic progress and it has been great to hear their discussions and see how they are already supporting each other with pledges.

We had a Governor visit this week which focused on how we continue to ensure a strong culture as we grow by developing Crew. We’re really pleased with the feedback we received in our Local Governor Committee meeting on Thursday which included:

Students across both year groups talked about how valuable they felt Crew was and described the almost instant bonds that they felt with their crew members from their very first experience of Crew at Ullswater. They have complete ownership of what crew means for them and there were common themes that arose from these discussions; around support, nurture, friendship and resilience.   

“I would like to praise the G28 students for doing such a fantastic job of modelling and mentoring the new cohort of students and helping them to embrace the culture of XPG. They talked about taking on a parental role with the new cohort and helping them to learn what it means to be a student at XPG.”

We enjoyed a great Maths Week last week and our students stepped up to every challenge set; from scavenger hunts to paper aeroplane construction. All students got behind the Times Tables Rockstars’ ‘England Rocks’ competition and we are delighted with our positions in the final tables – on average scores, we achieved 2nd place in the 194 Secondary schools across England who took part in the competition and overall 7th out of all 3492 schools  (Primary and Secondary schools) who entered the competition. We are delighted with the combined efforts of all students, well done XPG!

Our G28 students enjoyed fantastic fieldwork this week with medical staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead as they continue to explore their guiding question ‘What does it mean to be Human?’. They experienced first-hand the challenges of working in a ward and were challenged with responding to simulated pulmonary issues in patients. Students worked in the clinical skills lab here at the hospital and felt the pressure of needing to think on the spot to some high level emergencies. We only lost one virtual patient!

Thirteen of our Y8 students spent the day with architects on Friday exploring how architects consider the needs of communities and end users in the design of buildings and spaces. Students developed some really interesting ideas to make use of a plot in the Helix development in Newcastle having surveyed the area and did an analysis of the surrounding community.

Our huge appreciation goes out to Dr Ruth Sharrock from the Division of Medicine at the QE Gateshead, and to Jess Goodwin at Ryder Architecture for organising these days for our students.

This week: 

Accelerated Reader

This week we will be launching our  Accelerated Reader (AR) programme with G29 students. As part of our reading strategy we expect all students to read between 20 and 30 minutes each day. The AR programme monitors reading practice and progress. Students are guided to read at the individual level and take short quizzes after each book to check their understanding. 

Thank you to G28 parents who provided feedback on AR. We have used this along with feedback from staff and students to make AR even better this year.

Staff Days

Remember that we have two staff development days this half term; Friday 25th and Monday 28th November. Our staff will be working on final products for current expeditions and planning next term’s expeditions. As usual, students are not expected to be in school on these days.

Looking forward, dates for your diary: 

Monday 28th November – Staff Day

Tuesday 29th November – Provisional day for G29 Year 7 fieldwork to Ashington to interview members of the Northumberland mining community. We are awaiting final confirmation of that and should have more information early this week.

As usual, thanks for your ongoing support. Please contact your child’s Crew Leader with any questions or issues. 

Have a great week

Julie Mosley


Regular setting of Extended Study for students

For more details on our rationale for extended study, please click on this link.

Students are set work through Google Classroom, which students access through their school login.

This table shows what a typical week looks like, the days on which extended study is set, and when it is due.

In time all parents are added to Google Classroom and receive weekly updates, For a more detailed view of the work set, ask your child to show you in Google Classroom, as detailed in this video.

At the end of every learning expedition, students present their learning to an authentic audience.

Year 7’s first presentation of learning will be streamed live on Youtube on Monday 12th December at 5.30pm-7.00pm with families watching at home. This presentation will include extracts from the book students are writing and dramatic and musical performances. This is part of wider plan of public speaking where Year 7 students; in their next learning expedition in the new year Year 7 carry out their second presentation of learning to an audience, which we hope to be at Newcastle University.

For Year 8, their presentation of learning will be in school on Thursday 8th December at 5.30pm-6.30pm. Class 1 and Class 2 will do separate presentations with excepts from speeches and an opportunity for families to look at portfolios and quiz students on their learning following an interval.

Students stay in school on the evening of their respective presentations of learning and can bring some healthy snacks to have after 3.30pm.

These are formal occasions so we ask for students to dress smartly – our polo shirts are great for these events.

We are really looking forward to a great pair of presentations before the Christmas break, and we know your children will be excited to show you what they have learned.