England Maths week is off to a FLYING start with the TTRS England Rocks competition. We have been challenging ourselves to get as many correct answers as possible in our 60 minutes a day for the competition. We’ve even had a few competitions with opportunities to beat the teacher! Here’s an update on the leaderboards.
We are eighth place in the country out of ALL of the 4000 secondary and primary schools taking part!
We are the second placed Secondary School in the country and top of the region!
Here’s the leaderboard for the classes in XPG, there is still time tomorrow to have an impact on the leaderboard!

Beautiful work from Harry T in G29

Harry has produced a wonderful draft detailing the growth and decline of Whitburn Colliery using the research that he carried out during our fieldwork and his additional reading in school.

Not only is this writing strong in terms of accuracy and a coherent structure, but there is an academic tone to the writing that is very impressive too.

Beautiful writing Harry!

Olivia has ben experimenting with the apps on her iPad to create digital art which is very much reminiscent of the manga style. What a fantastic piece!

Meanwhile Lucy in Year 8 has been creating art inspired by Paloma Faith. What is very impressive about this is that Lucy is developing a style of her own inspired by the art that she sees around her.

Beautiful work Olivia and Lucy!

Weekly Update for Parents – W/C 14th November 2022

Dear Parents/Carers

Welcome to another exciting week at XP Gateshead. Our students and staff continue to work hard and, as always, produce high quality work. 

This week we took time to remember and commemorate military and civilian service, thinking of those who have defended and protected the nation’s democratic freedoms and our way of life. During our crew sessions this week we have considered what service means, looked at poetry from WW1 and created painted pebble memorials which will be added to our memorial sculpture above our doors in reception.

On Remembrance Day it was great to see Delaney and Lily standing proud in their cadet uniforms.

G28 continue to explore the guiding question ‘What does it mean to be Human?’. In HUMS sessions they have considered Humanism and interviewed two experts from North East Humanists finding out more about how their beliefs and views could link to the guiding question. As always, our students were very impressive with their questions and willingness to be open to debate.

In STEAM sessions, as part of our expedition – Being Human, Students in G28 have been learning about the human reproductive system and normalising discussion of our reproductive organs. Students were fantastic at showing kindness and understanding to each other and discussing such important learning maturely.

In ARTS student have been working on various media in preparation to complete a self-portrait. These last few lessons have focussed on digital pop art, with portraits in the style of Julian Opie.

As part of their learning expedition ‘From The Ground Up’, students in Year 7 continue to consider the guiding question: “What do the communities of North-East England owe to the miners?”. In HUMAN students have been redrafting their historical enquiry into the growth and decline of Whitburn Colliery and have been reading extracts of our anchor text Billy Elliot. In STEAM, students have been delving deeper into the particle model to learn about atoms, elements and compounds as a means to better understand important chemical changes such as combustion.

In ARTS students have been experimenting with different mark-making techniques to create mono-prints of mining artefacts. Here are some examples of their beautiful work.

Thoughtful Thursday – Pledges

During Thursday’s crew session, all of our students have been analysing their new assessment information and identifying areas they want to focus on to improve their learning. They have started to work on pledges around these areas; what they want to improve and how. When the pledges are complete, they will be shared with you along with the information snapshots.

Attendance information forms part of our snapshots and Crew Leaders will be talking with students about how important attendance is to academic achievement and success in school. This poster is on display in all of our Crew rooms in school and referred to often:

At XPG we celebrate attendance and will support those students and families who need to improve their attendance. Please share any worries you have around attendance with your childs’ Crew Leader.

This week: 

Maths Week

This week is England Maths Week AND Times Tables Rockstars’ ‘England Rocks’ competition. We’ll be making sure we celebrate and enjoy the challenge of Maths in as many ways as we can this week: taking on schools from across England in TTRS, looking for maths in nature, finding our way around a maths scavenger hunt, paper aeroplane competitions and much more! Look out for the Maths posts this week which will keep you updated on what our students get up to.

G28 Fieldwork- 2 pieces of fieldwork on Friday 18th November

13 students from our G28 student-leadership group are carrying out a one-day architecture project linked to their guiding question: “What does it mean to be human?”. This fieldwork project will look at the link between our built environment and how we live and act as members of society. Parents of these students have been contacted by Mr Said, as these students will need to bring a packed lunch for the day. Students will travel by metro to Central Station at Newcastle, and will walk to the station at Heworth from school. A huge thanks to our partners Ryder Architecture for organising the day – which will be a pilot for similar future projects for other students in Year 7 and Year 8.

The other 37 students in Year 8 will be carrying out fieldwork at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sherriff Hill. This fieldwork Students will walk to the hospital from school but will be in school for lunch so no packed lunch is needed.  The fieldwork will connect to the work students have been doing on the respiratory system and associated anatomy/physiology.


Miss Tatters’ post last week gave details around Reading at XPG, please read this by clicking here if you missed it. Accelerated Reader is part of our reading strategy and will be in place soon for all of our students and as part of this programme we expect all students to read between 20 and 30 minutes every day. 

In order to continually improve what we do at XPG, we gather feedback from our stakeholders and are currently doing this around Accelerated Reader (AR). Can I ask all G28 parents (who haven’t already done so) to complete the short parent voice questionnaire on AR by clicking on this link. Your feedback is important and will help us get AR even better this year.

Looking forward, dates for your diary: 

We have two staff development days this half term: Friday 25th and Monday 28th November

As usual, students are not expected to be in school on these days.

Thank you as always for your support and as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your children’s crew leader in the first instance.

Julie Mosley


Our students have been doing some beautiful work in the sporting field (and pool).

Students took part in the Junior Great North Run recently, and contributed to the wider wonderful work that the Great North Run does in raising money for such a wide range of great causes.

Well done to Harris, Arlo, Drew, Elyse and Ethan here with their medals!

And last weekend, Winnie was swimming in the Sheffield North of England regional competition. Winnie was representing Gateshead and Wickham Swimming Club in what is an  event for elite level athletes with super-fast qualifying times!

Winnie’s club have said that Winnie and her team had an excellent attitude throughout the weekend.

Reading at XPG – Parent Voice

Good afternoon,

I just wanted to share with everyone some important information about our reading strategy at XPG.

The strategies are designed to equip students with the tools and skills to meet and exceed expected age-appropriate reading level, but also to develop a love and inquisitiveness around texts offered both in and out of school.

At the heart of XPG Reading Strategy is the Reading Curriculum, which is designed such that students will ‘learn to read as they read to learn.’ Every expedition has a carefully chosen anchor text which has sits within one of three curricular streams; social justice, the climate emergency or diversity & belonging.

Through a carefully designed curriculum map, XPG pupils will become expert readers throughout their time at XPG. Our expert reading strategies promote the importance of students being curious, confident, and reflective whilst reading.

AR (Accelerated Reader) is part of our wider reading strategy with them aims of developing and monitoring the reading age of our students.

For students to get the most out of this programme, they must engage with 20-30 minutes of accelerated reader per day. 

We launched accelerated reader last year with year 8, and will soon look to launch for Year 7. As part of our continual drive to refine and improve our processes we are taking feedback from students, staff and parents. This is where we would like your help.

To help us with this, can I ask all year 8 parents to complete this short parent voice questionnaire before Friday 11th November at 5pm. You can complete the questionnaire by clicking on this link.

Dear Parents/Carers

We’ve had a great first week back and our students have returned to school approaching learning in their usual manner – working hard, getting smart and being kind. As always, much has been achieved in one week!

Common Mission

Common Mission started this week for both G28 and G29. This is an hour each week where we personalise our curriculum to support and challenge students to become the best versions of themselves?”. Common Mission provides our students opportunities to uncover and develop passions in areas outside of our core offer, with some students getting additional academic support where appropriate. 

For the first time, this weekly session was an opportunity for both year groups to work together. It was a fantastic scene when we walked around sessions and a real testament to the strong culture and community we are building when we saw our students step up to fresh challenges with new people and readily support each other. 

This term’s Common Mission sessions are:

Creative Writing; Directed Numeracy; Directed Literacy; Fitness; Mandarin; Mindful Arts; Personalised Research and a STEM project.


Our clubs started this week and lunchtimes and after school have been full of activity. Students have enjoyed a real variety of clubs:

Expedition sessions

As always our students have been working hard in sessions striving always for high quality. G29 have been producing beautiful artwork, exploring mark making using mono printing.

G28 showed courage this week in STEAM sessions when they carried out heart dissections. They demonstrated real maturity approaching this challenge, carrying out these experiments with care and precision, working as scientists.

HoWLs – Habits of work and learning

HoWLs snapshots were shared with students in Thoughtful Thursday Crew this week and our students got to see teacher reflections on their HOWLs alongside their own weekly HOWLs self reflections. 

There were some real highlights in this snapshot from both G28 and G29. In G29 we now have 42% of students who have achieved an average HoWL of 3.5 and above. This means that they are demonstrating consistently great habits of learning: working hard,  getting smart and being kind in all sessions. These students will take greater leadership roles this term and have been offered the opportunity of being the first students to attend a one-day project with one of our careers partners,  linked to their current expedition with an architecture focus. More details on this for students involved this week. 

G29 students who have demonstrated similar greatness in HoWLs will join our G28 HoWL leaders in student focus groups taking place this term. These are sessions which allow students to work with staff and share their insights on different areas of school (sessions, extended study, clubs, etc) as part of our school improvement and student voice.

Over the next few weeks all students will be working on pledges to improve areas of their HOWLs  and these will be shared with you. Crew Leaders and Y8 Crew Buddies will support our new Y7 students with this process.

This week: 

We will be taking time this week to work with our students on remembrance of service and the importance of honouring those who serve to defend our democratic freedoms and way of life. 

We will explore this in our Crews and take the opportunity to revisit the radio podcast from last year’s ‘Do Your Bit’ G28 expedition which had the guiding question ‘Why do we need to honour all those who sacrificed in WWI?’.

For our new parents who haven’t heard this, here is the link to a really beautiful product from Y7 last year.

I did say that it has been a great week back and we have achieved lots! 

Thank you as always for your support and as usual, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact your children’s crew leader in the first instance.

Julie Mosley