Our dress-code addresses items of clothing but additional essential kit that students will need day-to-day are:

  • A school bag that can hold the following:
    • A water bottle
    • A device appropriate for school work – such as the iPads through the school scheme
      • IMPORTANT: Smartphones are not appropriate for school work. Students can bring phones to school but they must be switched off and out of sight during the school day
    • Headphones – ideally not expensive ones, for example here
    • Pencil case including: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser and pencil sharpener


What are the timings of the school day?

Our school opens at 8.00am each morning. Between 8.00am and 8.25am students can socialise outside or come into the building to do some productive activities.

Students must be on site for 8.25am for the call to Crew.

The end of formal academic sessions is at 3.15pm. All students remain in school until 3.15pm.

Part of our design means that we are flexible with our timetable, so we will often create bespoke timings for the day to accommodate fieldwork, or working with experts for example. We would always provide notice in good time to students when a timetable change was to be made.

Typical timings for the school of the day are as follows:

8.30am – 9.15am: CREW

9.15am – 10.15am: SESSION 1

10.15am – 10.30am: MORNING BREAK

10.30am – 11.30am: SESSION 2

11.30am – 12.30pm: SESSION 3

12.30pm – 13.15pm: LUNCH

13.15pm – 14.15pm: SESSION 4

14.15pm – 15.15pm: SESSION 5

From 15.15pm to 16.30pm the school remains open. The school day ends at 16.30pm.

This allows for extra-curricular activities and extended study. Extended study is open to all students, and can be used to complete homework. We will also ask students to attend extended study where we identify that they need additional support and/or challenge.

What are XP Gateshead’s values?

At XP we focus on three things:

  • Character growth
  • Beautiful work
  • Academic success


We believe that through a relentless focus on the development of character, students will learn to produce beautiful work of a quality beyond which they ever dreamed possible. As a consequence of this, they go on to achieve academically.

We have a shared language around development of character, and have five traits that we reflect upon constantly:

  • Courage
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Craftsmanship and quality
  • Above all… Compassion

We keep our expectations of each other simple. We ask for students and staff to:

  • Work Hard
  • Get Smart
  • Be Kind

These are our habits of work and learning.

What are your holiday patterns?

Our holidays can be found on our trust website here.

They are aligned to other schools in our trust and are similar to the holiday patterns in Gateshead Local Authority with three roughly 12-week terms.

The two key differences are the two-week break in October, and importantly the staff days during the middle of each half-term.

We have more staff days than most schools to allow us to collaborate across the trust on our curriculum and professional development for our staff.

What is Crew?

Think of this as like a tutor group in a more conventional school, however it has as much more fundamental importance at XP. At XP schools, each student is placed into a crew of 12-13 students who will be their school family throughout their time with us.

The tradition of Crew is both a culture and a structure. The term “crew” comes from educator Kurt Hahn, the founder of Outward Bound. Hahn’s said “We are crew, not passengers, strengthened by acts of consequential service to others”.

Crew is a place where character, adventure, and a sense of family are developed in a deliberate fashion. 

Crew fosters a sense of belonging in students, and is a place where students learn to be the best version of themselves, whilst helping all students achieve in their common mission of being university-bound.

We Are Crew *super-cut* from Relational Schools on Vimeo.


Students at XP Schools learn through cross-curricular learning expeditions. Each expedition is mapped to National Curriculum and GCSE standards.

Expeditions are centred around a guiding question which provokes thought about a range of disciplines. Each expedition starts with an immersion which builds background knowledge. There are then a number of case studies that look at different people, places, periods or concepts. Students work with their teachers and in addition alongside experts in the community to carry out purposeful fieldwork. Expeditions then culminate with students producing purposeful products that have an audience beyond the classroom and impact upon their community.

For example year 7 students studied an expedition called From the Ground Up with the guiding question “What do we owe to the miners?” creating a book which is now one of the best-selling local history books in Doncaster. Click on this link and you can even buy the book.

We ask parents/guardians for complete commitment and support for the values of XP School. These being an emphasis on:

  • Developing Character
  • Producing Beautiful Work
  • Aspiring to Academic Success

At XP Schools, parents’ evenings are replaced with ‘Student-Led Conferences’ in which students discuss their progress with parents and their crew leader.  These take place at least twice each year. It is an expectation that all parents/guardians attend ‘Student-Led Conferences’. Students show their portfolio of work and illustrate how they are mastering academic learning targets, and developing their character through the production of beautiful.

In addition, Every learning expedition ends with a public-facing product or presentation. On average we ask for parents to come to around four presentations each year.

We also use the expertise of parents to help with our curriculum delivery, with students working alongside parent experts, or parents volunteering to join important fieldwork.

Our crews are deliberately sized with around 12-13 students per crew. This means that crew leaders are in regular contact with parents to share success, and to support and challenge where needed.

Will XP Gateshead be suitable for all students?

XP Gateshead will be a mainstream school. Students are taught in mixed-ability groups. Students in our existing XP Schools in Doncaster are enjoying academic success from the full range of starting points in Year 7. Likewise we have experienced success with students with SEND needs.

However, our proposal is for a mainstream school and we are not proposing an alternative education or special education provision.

If you have any specific questions about your son or daughter’s educational needs, please contact us via [email protected]

What are XP’s long-term plans for the North-East?

Should we be successful in our application to open the school, our initial focus will be to successfully set up XP Gateshead and to ensure this is providing an outstanding experience for young people in Gateshead.

Once we have established XP Gateshead to the same high standards as our schools in Doncaster, we will consider how the school could become a new ‘hub’ for XP in the North-East.

Our expectation would be for this to follow a similar path to our Doncaster hub, with primary schools whose values are aligned to XP’s joining our trust, and additional secondary schools where there is a demonstrable need for this kind of provision.

How do universities respond to our way of working?

Our Doncaster schools work in close partnerships with university providers to give students experiences on university campuses throughout their school year. We have a very strong relationship with Sheffield Hallam University in particular. Our focus on character growth, beautiful work and academic success means that XP students will be highly prized when it comes to university places.