Weekly Update for Families – W/C Monday 12th February 2024

Dear Families

It has been a busy week as usual at XP Gateshead this week with students working on SLCs, recording final product speeches from last term to go alongside the artwork for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, learning about colour mixing by painting carrier pigeons and much much more.

We have been really pleased with how our students have stepped up. During Friday’s community meetings with G29 and G30, it was great to hear students appreciating others for their courage, craftsmanship and quality. As you know, our expectations are high here at XPG, but as we regularly say

“There is more in us than we know if we could be made to see it, for the rest of our lives we will be unwilling to settle for less.”

― Kurt Hahn


Our year 7 students have had the privilege of working with experts in each of their expeditions this week. 

On Thursday we welcomed Rav Singh, the founder of ‘A little history of the Sikhs’ to XPG. Rav worked with our students on their current HUMAN expedition exploring the guiding question: ‘Why do we need to honour all those who made sacrifices during WWI?’, helping students to understand the experience of Sikhi soldiers.


On Friday, our students worked in our new Food Technology room with expert Trish Wright learning how to make a tomato sauce, a basic staple from which many other dishes can be made. This supports their current work in STEAM around nutrition and work towards answering their  guiding question: ‘Is survival sufficient?’. I hope families managed to get a taste of their delicious pasta and pizza dishes, or even better, have enjoyed a family meal this weekend prepared by our new experts.

A huge appreciation goes out to Trish and Rav for the work they have done with our students this week.


Our Year 8 students are studying Macbeth as part of their current expedition with the guiding question: ‘What is power?’. Student are working to create an abridged performance of the play in drama sessions developing their physical, vocal, characterisation and directorial skills. This week they worked with an expert actress, writer and director Christina Berriman Dawson. We know from the work that Christina did with our G28’s last year the impact that this will have on the quality of G29’s Macbeth performance.


Thank you to G28 parents who joined us for Thursday’s information evening. For those of you who couldn’t make it, the slides are here.

As we said during the information evening, we are working to finalise our KS4 curriculum offer. We welcome any questions or wonders from parents on this Google Form. We will respond to questions individually, and where there are common questions we will add these to our website under the frequently asked questions section.

Work on passage preparation is underway for Year 9 students. Having considered metaphors for their time at XPG, students are currently reflecting on their progress as writers and mathematicians using evidence from their portfolios across Year 7 and Year 8.

Please use this Google Form to indicate your preference for a time slot for your child’s passage presentation.

What goes around…

Some lovely feedback this week from two places. Firstly we received a card from one of our neighbours with thanks for the hamper that was gifted to them by our students at Christmas.

Secondly, Mrs Downes has been using G28’s ‘What is Power?’ postcards with Primary Age children as writing stimuli to great effect!


The week ahead

PE this week

  • G30 (Year 7)
    • Both classes have PE on Monday this week.
  • G29 (Year 8)
    • Both classes have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • G28 (Year 9)
    • Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week.
    • Class 2 have PE on Friday this week

In line with our dress code, we expect students to arrive at PE lessons with a change of kit which is appropriate for the activity and all accessories removed. This includes sports trainers with non slip soles e.g. running shoes/astro turf (not plimsolls). 

Clubs and Extended Study

We will be running all after school clubs and extended study this week now that SLCs have been completed by the majority of students.

G29/G30 online safety with Northumbria Crime Prevention Team

On Tuesday 13th and Thursday 15th February, Northumbria Crime Prevention team will run an online safety session for our G29/G30 students. This will cover some key messages about how to keep safe online, in and outside of school which will include safe use of age-appropriate social media sites.

G28 Immunisations

On Wednesday 14th February school nurses will be in school to administer Meningitis ACWY, alongside the Td/IPV booster  immunisations to  G28 students that have permission. A letter regarding this was emailed to all G28 parents in December. If you have not yet given permission, please see the attached  letter with information and a link to the consent form. 

G30 Gurdwara Fieldwork 

On Thursday 15th February our Year 7 students will visit the  Gurdwara Siri Guru Singh Sabha in Newcastle to find out more about Sikhi and how temples operate as part of their expedition ‘Do your bit’. Please see the website post for more detailed arrangements.

Half term break starts Friday 16th February 

We come to the end of a six week half term on Friday 16th February and as always, we will finish at 1:30pm for our usual end of half-term degunge. 

We return to school on Monday 26th February 2024.

A reminder that dates for Presentations of Learning for the current expeditions are as follows:

  • G30 – Tuesday 26th March in school
  • G29 – Wednesday 27th March at Caedmon Hall above Gateshead Central Library
  • G28 – Provisionally Friday 10th May in school

We will be able to confirm times for G30 and G29 at the end of this week.

As usual if you have any questions please contact your child’s crew leader in the first instance. Thank you as always for your ongoing support.

Julie Mosley