Dear Families

We enjoyed another great week last week and as always, it is great to see students pushing themselves and each other to be successful.

End of year assessments started last week for some subjects and I have been really pleased to see our students step up to the challenge showing real maturity and focus. Assessments continue (see last week’s post for details) and extended study continues to focus on revision this week.

On Thursday, we held an online whole school community meeting for all students and looked at the learning journey students have been on this year. It’s really important to stand back and reflect on journey and it is impressive to see just how much our students have achieved this year. Our students are working on a written reflection of the year which will be shared with you alongside their Crew Leader reflections and a final snapshot at the end of term.

Student Leadership 

“At XP, we build our community through activism, leadership and equity, sharing our stories as we go…”

This week we have seen multiple examples of great student leadership at work.

Year 7 Art student leaders carried out fieldwork with artist Bruce Tuckey in preparation for creating sculptures inspired by the Riverside Sculpture Park between Gateshead and Dunston along the Tyne.

A team from our Digital Leaders have been working alongside the XP Trust Comms Crew, taking on the role of professional sound technicians to carry out the important work of recording and editing the final folk songs written and performed by G30 students as well as recording final products for all cohorts including the G30 Do Your Bit radio performance, and poetry recitals from G28 and G29.

Mr Hewitt’s feedback on the day was extremely positive and complimentary:

“Could you pass on to all the students that I worked with yesterday that they were amazing and true professionals. I have many great days at work and this was one of the best days at work I’ve had.”

Crew Stanton’s Charity work this week organising and running a Football Tournament for the whole school was a huge success and enjoyed by students, staff and families alike. The work put in by this crew was stunning – advertising, organising teams and fixtures, ticket sales, refreshments including BBQ goods. The rain didn’t dampen the spirits of our teams or the spectators! A great example of activism from our students, making the world a better place.

Our Climate Action Plan student leadership group continued their work on developing a set of proposals for how we can make our school more sustainable including actions connected to: green spaces and trees, paper waste, rewilding, energy efficiency, food and food waste and raising awareness. Leaders will present to their peers our DfE project manager at the end of the academic year. They will also run a ‘teach the teacher’ session on what they have learned about sustainability. Again huge thanks to our experts at Students Owning Sustainability, in particular Gemma Sarigu.

Our student leaders in performance have been continuing to work hard to prepare for their show in Doncaster as part of the XP Trust Festival of Arts on Friday 12th July. XP Gateshead will have representation from our dancers, choir and rock band.

This week

Assessment Fortnight for all students continues

G28 Assessment timetable
  • Monday 17th June AM History / RE 1 hour
  • Tuesday 18th June PM English Language 1 hour
  • Wednesday 19th June AM Spanish 1 hour (Reading / Listening)
  • Thursday 20th June AM Science 75 mins
G29 Assessment timetable
  • Tuesday 18th June AM English Language 1 hour
  • Wednesday 19th June PM History / RE 1 hour
  • Thursday 20th June PM Science 75 mins
G30 Assessment timetable
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Monday 17th June AM English 45 mins
  • CLASS 1: Tuesday 18th June AM History 30 mins
  • CLASS 2: Tuesday 18th June AM Spanish 1 hour
  • CLASS 1: Wednesday 19th June AM Spanish 1 hour
  • CLASS 2: Wednesday 19th June AM History 30 mins
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Thursday 20th June AM Geography 1 hour
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Thursday 20th June PM Science 1 hour

Maths end of year assessment will take place in the fortnight commencing 2nd July.

PE sessions this week

Some PE sessions will not run this week due to assessments. PE time will be paid back in coming weeks with additional sessions and Crew Day

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8):
    • G29 Class 1 have PE on Tuesday this week.
    • G29 Class 2 do not have PE this week 
  • G28 students (Y9) do not have PE this week 

G28 Pathways

Information on the pathways and courses in our offer can be found here. As was posted earlier last week, we are offering a drop-in session for families who would like more support and advice from teachers and Crew Leaders on Tuesday 18th June between 5pm and 6pm.

G29 Fieldwork – Wednesday 19th June

On Wednesday of this week all G29 students will be carrying out fieldwork at the Glasshouse in Gateshead connected to their guiding question “Is migration worth the risk?” As part of national refugee week, students will visit a hosted art exhibition led by volunteer refugees. They will explore art inspired by refugee journeys to gain greater understanding of what these people faced and the factors that caused them to migrate to the UK.

Students will leave school at 9.15am and return to school for a slightly later lunch than is usual at 12.45pm. This means that you do not need to provide a packed lunch unless your child usually has a packed lunch.

Students will travel by Metro and on foot so comfortable walking shoes or trainers will be needed, as well as being prepared for the weather. The current forecast is mild and cloudy with sunny spells.  There is little chance of rain at the moment.  Suncream is needed as students will be walking during the middle of the day.

G30 Art workshop 1 – Thursday 20th June

The first workshop for art students leaders with Bruce Tuckey will be taking place this Thursday in school this week. All 24 of the student leaders will take part over the coming weeks. This week it will be: Ethan, Adam, Elina, Molly, Parisa, Joe, Lily-Ann B. Layla E. Students will be creating sculptures so should wear clothes which you do not mind getting dirty.

Staff Day – Friday 21st June

Friday is the first of our staff days this half term, the second is on Monday 24th June. Our staff team will be planning for next year’s expeditions. Students will not be expected to be in school on Friday or Monday.

Looking Ahead 

Staff day

Monday 24th June is the second of our staff days this half term (and the last this academic year).

We are also expecting an Ofsted visit this final half-term and are really looking forward to the opportunity for our students to shine and showcase their brilliant learning, beautiful work, development of their character and academic success. We will let you know as soon as we are given the indication that we will be inspected and post an update on this website.

As part of the inspection process, Ofsted will ask for your views. It has been a privilege to listen to the things that you have told families in Year 6 about our school which has been fed back to us through our transition process. 

We are very aware of the trust that you place in us as families as a new school that is yet to be inspected. There are many stakeholders of our school including Ofsted, our governors and staff. As families you are equal partners in developing and sustaining our community so that it benefits the most important stakeholders of all: our children.

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

Dear Families

We’ve enjoyed a good first week to our final Summer half term. It was great to hear appreciations, apologies and stands from students and staff in our end of week community meetings last week and all agreed on with the work we needed to do going forward to ensure we hold true to our character values every day – consistently high levels of respect for others, encouraging each other to be the best we can be, positively committed to our own education and that of those around us. Community meetings are a really special place to be, hearing students hold each other to account within a safe and supportive environment is unique and our students show sensitivity and maturity beyond their years.

There’s been high quality work in and out of sessions as usual.

G28 Grappling with depth / time graphs in the app Geogebra
Text coding rich and challenging non-fiction related to our guiding question “Is migration worth the risk?”

   

Reducing our carbon footprint whilst finding out more about Gateshead innovative solar and geothermal energy centre.

     

Great work from Ethan and Katie N in year 9 on graphs including trigonometric and exponential functions.

We have also enjoyed some real success this week…

National Writing Competition Success

We were delighted to find out that every one of our entries in a national writing competition were chosen to be published in a Young Writers Anthology with their short stories on the theme of ‘Mission:Catastrophe’. Eliza, Leo and Lyra will be published authors again and we can’t wait to add this book to our shelf. Very few schools have a 100% success rate within national competition so this really does show the quality of writing of our students. We look forward to seeing more entries in the next competition which has a poetry focus.

Stewardship and outdoor space development

We owe a huge thanks to Mr Walters, Connor, Kenzie and David for their stewardship work. Over the last few months, they have been working hard to clear an outside space and create a fire pit crew area. As you can see, they are nearly there and are set to work next week constructing a wood store. They will also get the opportunity to try out the fire pit and enjoy a well deserved marshmallow treat and identify any issues which need improvement before Crews start making full use of the area.

I’d also like to thank families who have supported this development with materials.

PE Kit

Just like last week’s update to Parents, we spent time reminding students of our expectations around attendance, punctuality, dress code and daily kit. One thing that has needed more reminders on is our PE kit expectations

“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. As a guideline we recommend the following:

  • Black T-shirt
  • Black Shorts or leggings
  • Tracksuit (top and trousers for use in winter)
  • Sports trainers with non slip soles e.g. running shoes/astro turf (not plimsolls or Converse-style baseball boots)
  • Black football / hockey socks”

 

This week

Assessment Fortnight for all students

End of year assessments will take place over the next couple of weeks, starting on Wednesday this week. Extended study has focussed on revision. These assessments will check on students’ knowledge from the whole of the academic year. Information on how well your children have done in these assessments will be incorporated into the final set of snapshots that will be shared in July. Maths end of year assessment will take place in the fortnight commencing 2nd July.

Assessments for G28 and G29 will take place in the sports hall, to get students accustomed to the environment that they will use for their GCSE examinations. Assessments for G30 will take place in classrooms.

G28 Assessment timetable
  • Wednesday 12th June AM Geography 1 hour (Calculator)
  • Monday 17th June AM History / RE 1 hour
  • Tuesday 18th June PM English Language 1 hour
  • Wednesday 19th June AM Spanish 1 hour (Reading / Listening)
  • Thursday 20th June AM Science 75 mins
G29 Assessment timetable
  • Thursday 13th June AM Geography 1 hour (Calculator)
  • Friday 14th June AM Spanish 1 hour (Reading / Listening)
  • Tuesday 18th June AM English Language 1 hour
  • Wednesday 19th June PM History / RE 1 hour
  • Thursday 20th June PM Science 75 mins
G30 Assessment timetable
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Friday 14th June AM RE 30 mins
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Monday 17th June AM English 45 mins
  • CLASS 1: Tuesday 18th June AM History 30 mins
  • CLASS 2: Tuesday 18th June AM Spanish 1 hour
  • CLASS 1: Wednesday 19th June AM Spanish 1 hour
  • CLASS 2: Wednesday 19th June AM History 30 mins
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Thursday 20th June AM Geography 1 hour
  • CLASS 1 & 2: Thursday 20th June PM Science 1 hour

G28 Pathways

Information on the pathways and courses in our offer can be found here. As was posted earlier this week, we are offering a drop-in session for families who would like more support and advice from teachers and Crew Leaders on Tuesday 18th June between 5pm and 6pm.

New staff induction

Our two newest staff members join us this week in school having completed the first week of their induction which mirrors the Outward Bound adventure that all students do when they start in Year 7. This week the focus of induction for Miss Simpson and Mr Azam will be our teaching and learning model, and the structure of learning expeditions.

Art workshops with a professional sculptor

A group of Year 7 students will be carrying out workshops over the coming weeks with Bruce Tuckey inspired by the Riverside Sculpture Park between Gateshead and Dunston along the Tyne. This will involve a walk along the sculpture park this Thursday during the school day to launch the partnership.

Students will need a packed lunch. We apologise for the shorter than usual notice for this. The event had initially been organised with another school participating but they have had to cancel. The Arts team at Gateshead Council know that we are studying rivers at the moment and so offered us the chance to take part.

We will post a list of Year 7 students involved and more details tomorrow. 

PE sessions this week

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9):
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

As has been discussed above, the focus in extended study is on preparation and revision for assessments. We would appreciate your support at home in discussing your child’s preparations and quizzing them on what they know. Like any formal assessment, there may be some level of anxiety from some children. We are communicating to students in school that whilst the amount of content in these assessments is wider than typically at the end of a term, they should treat them in the same way in terms of preparing and knowing that they have given their best. More details of the tasks set for revision can be found on Google Classroom.

Looking Ahead to next week

Staff day

Friday 21st June is the first of our staff days this half term.

Assessment weeks continue into next week too.

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

 

Dear Families

Last week there was a lot of hard work from staff and students alike at XP Gateshead. Character growth alongside academic progress and beautiful work is at the core of our ‘Three Dimensional’ approach for students, staff and leadership, including governance. Our Crew Days last week and the DofE work undertaken by G28 students is key in terms of character development and Crew.

The Importance of Crew at XP Trust

Our design principles at XP Trust are summarised in one sentence:

We build our community through activism, leadership and equity, sharing our stories as we go.

Crew is integral to our school’s approach and has been designed with the above in mind as is articulated in our core practices document:

“The cultural heart of XP is expressed through the concept of Crew. This concept is pervasive and runs through everything we do from dedicated Crew sessions, through our curriculum, to the way we enable student and staff voice. Crew is our culture and promotes and sustains the building of community. Crew empowers our students and staff to be activists; to develop their leadership skills; and to be champions of equity. The measure of success in our Trust is weighed through service and kindness as well as the academic success of our children. Crew allows everyone associated with our Trust to become part of something bigger than themselves and fosters a sense of community and belonging, reflected in the stories we share with each other every day.”

G30 Crew Day – Walk for Water

G30 Crews carried out a day of fundraising at Gateshead International Stadium linked to their studies from the last learning expedition “Staying Alive”. This was part of the final case study in the expedition – ‘Water, water everywhere’. Working together in Crews, our students were challenged to carry 5 litre bottles of water around as many laps of the 400m track as they could. Money raised will be put towards twinning our school toilets with a set that have been installed in an area of need, transforming a community. 

The challenge gave students an insight into the challenges that people in the world face just to get clean water for washing, drinking and cooking every day and raised awareness of how much we have in our country that we take for granted as a basic human right.

We are really proud of our students who walked a total distance of 252.8km carrying 5 litres of water. We will post an update later this week with the total amount raised. All students worked really hard, and we had a great community meeting at the end of the day where students made appreciations for the encouragement shown to each other. Jacob in Crew Earhart was a particular standout, both in terms of his own physical effort, but also in the support that he showed to students from all crews. Great work G30!

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Of course the fundraising is in itself important, and we hope that with the funds raised we will be able to twin more of our school toilets with more facilities installed in Sub-Saharan Africa. Events like this in Crew day are also integral to the development of character and teaching your children that they are important, that they can do important work and make their community and the wider world a better place.

G29 Crew Day 

As our Year 8 students develop and mature, we challenge them to develop their leadership skills in Crews and individually. Students were challenged with several tasks across the day. 

Firstly, a Lego SPIKE robotics innovation unit challenged students to design and code a robot that could mobilise without wheels, using their iPads to code the robot and making adjustments to the design based upon testing. The kits will stay in school as part of a wider partnership with LEGO funded through SAGE. Special thanks to our robotics club members and Dr Bunce who runs the club as they contributed additional kit, training and carried out a trial run of the challenge. We will make further use of the kits to support STEAM learning in the terms and years to come.

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Our award winners for the challenge – for fastest (and most aesthetically pleasing) robots.

Crews also spent time planning how they could make an artefact in final half-term which will raise awareness of their chosen Crew charities. This is an important part of their work ahead of Crew fundraising which will take place in Year 9 and forms part of their first-week back in August.

Special thanks go to G29 for their stewardship work in our outdoor areas. As you know, it has been agreed in principle that our current site is to be our permanent site and work is underway to look at building requirements. We are a long way off getting our final school building and site but that does not mean we can not improve our environment. So G29, along with Mr Walters and our gardening club, have done a huge amount of work already. Please keep an eye out for Mr Walters and his shout outs for donations of gardening equipment on our Parents of XPG Facebook group.

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G28 Duke of Edinburgh Practice Expedition

All of our students complete a bronze DofE award in Year 9 and this, like our first week at Ullswater, is a compulsory part of our curriculum at XPG. The DofE programme aims to “develop the skills and attitudes young people need to become more rounded, confident adults. Qualities that colleges, universities and employers are attracted to” – aims that align with ours, developing in students  “confidence, resilience, focus and motivation to achieve things they never thought they would”.

Across this year G28 students have been learning new skills, volunteering and getting physical. The final part of the award is a two day, one night expedition which our students have been planning and training for last week. Students completed a day of campcraft training on Monday and carried out their practice expeditions in Crews on Friday. Students made excellent time during the day and it was a joy to hear of the levels of maturity, support and skill shown in navigating, hiking, setting up camp and cooking – all of which stands them in good stead for their assessed expedition in July in Northumberland. All students completed a 6.5km route across unfamiliar terrain with backpacks laden with their clothes, tents and cooking equipment.

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As always, our students stepped up to the challenge. Their maturity and independence was commented on throughout the day – how they supported each other, managed the physical challenge, cooked and set up camp for each other and the thorough de-gunge carried out at the end of the day.  We also managed to travel more sustainably on the Metro to get to Callerton Parkway and Airport for our circular route across country.

Thank you to those who have made voluntary contributions so far, this has helped support our purchase of a DofE loan kit for families struggling to be able to purchase the required kit. Every student was fully equipped on Friday, which is thanks to the commitment of all families in G28 as well as the kind donations we have received.

This week

G29 and G30 Student Led Conferences (SLCs) 

SLCs continue this week for our Year7 and Year 8 students.

SLCs, like PoLs, are key moments in the development of our students and it is vital that parents, carers and families fully support SLCs. It has been wonderful to hear of the pride our families, staff and students have felt following SLCs last week and we look forward to hearing more this week.

G28 New Learning Expedition

G28 start a new learning expedition this week with a very quick immersion and then into learning targets proper from Tuesday. We will post more details of the expedition including the guiding question next week once it has been revealed to students.

PE sessions this week

Our PE sessions this week are as follows. Please ensure that your child has their full PE kit.

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9) 
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will not be running this week due to G29 and G30 Student led Conferences.

G31 In-Person Information Evening, Thursday 23rd May at 6pm.

As part of our transition work, we are nearly there in meeting all of our new students and their families online. This is a huge undertaking, as you can imagine but having 30 minute family meetings allows us to start getting to know our students well.

On Thursday at 6pm, we will hold an Information Evening for all of our new families in Year 6. It is vital that all families attend as we will give important information about the Outward Bound course that takes place for all students at the start of Year 7 as well as our iPad scheme. In addition, we will address some of the misconceptions about our school so that families are completely clear on what we are: ‘A mainstream school with a relentless focus on beautiful work, character growth and academic success’, and also what we are not. There will be an opportunity for you to ask us questions too of course.

Half term break starts Friday 24th May 

We come to the end of a six week half term on Friday 24th May and as always, we will finish at 1:30pm for our usual de-gunge. 

We return to school on Monday 3rd June 2024. 

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

Dear Families

Another week of great work at XP Gateshead, even though we only had 4 days in school! 

Misconceptions continue around the work we do at XPG and, at times, there is a lack of understanding about the academic rigour of our work. Developing literacy is a key aspect of activism and empowerment for all learners. Students need to be great readers and communicators to become effective and positive agents for social change. Therefore, we provide lots of opportunities to read and understand difficult text, as well as to infer and interpret complex ideas and meanings in, and through engaging with texts.  All of our students read and write extensively and present their work publicly to a variety of audiences. Literacy unlocks learning and access to all areas of curriculum – reading, writing, speaking and listening.

    

XPGPHC – Healthy Food for All?

Our inaugural Public Health Conference last Friday hosted by our Year 9 students was entitled ‘Healthy Food for All?’ and was a great example of what our young people are capable of when supported and challenged to engage with rich texts in readiness to present their learning.

   

The conference was an in-depth look at inequality in health outcomes and life expectancy in Gateshead viewed through the specific lens of food inequality. This is just one aspect of what our Year 9 students have been studying as part of a longitudinal expedition looking at the people’s health since 1250 in the UK. To be ready for the conference students have had to read widely and internalise data to be able to defend propositions when quizzed by delegates. After keynote speeches and expert panel interviews written and presented by our students,  Year 9 then ran marketplace information stalls and important discussions around public health. As you can see from the examples unpacked below the image, students are grappling with big questions which require sophisticated knowledge which comes from their studies and wide reading:

Nutrition and Social Media: The Risks –  As the popularity of social media grows, who is moderating the advice that is shared? How do we know who to trust? In a world where anyone can present themselves as an expert, how can we make safe and healthy choices and where can we find reliable and professional nutritional advice? Explain how to identify reliable sources. Explain the risks of taking nutrition/diet advice from social media and how to keep yourself safe when using social media for guidance on nutrition. 
The Cost of Obesity – Estimates show that the current social annual cost of obesity in the UK at around £58 billion, equivalent to around 3% of the 2020 UK GDP. Use data to describe the scale of the problem, comment on what you think about this based upon what you research and suggest better ways to spend this money and improve the nation’s health
Food Policy: Free School Meals extension? – In the UK, anyone who receives government benefits or has a household income less than £16,190 per year, is entitled to free school meals. However, there are other countries in the world who offer universal free school meals until the age of 16. Should the Free School Meals programme be extended in the UK and what would the impact be on public health? Explain the current FSM guidance and the impacts of free school meals on nutrition and health. Give examples from other countries about possible benefits and summarise what the data you find suggests would have the best impact on public health.

   

Our students are challenges to present on complex topics, to an audience beyond the classroom and demonstrate presentation skills that will set them apart from their peers in the next stage of their education or training.

A special thanks to all of our experts from the day:

  • Councillor George Kasfikis – Felling Ward
  • Ruth Sharrock – Consultant respiratory physician and lung cancer lead at QE Gateshead.
  • Lesley Ann Watson – Gateshead Food Bank
  • Alice Wiseman – Director of Public Health for Gateshead

 

This week

Crew Day – Monday 13th May

On Monday, Crew Day takes place for G28, G29 and G30 to take time to reaffirm the importance of Crew building positive relationships through shared experiences and challenges. Students at XPG are ‘Crew not passengers’.

G30 (Year 7) will be carrying out a walk for water at Gateshead Stadium. As part of their studies for their Spring expedition ‘Staying Alive’ students learned about the processes by which water can be purified, and the lengths that many people in the world go to each day to get water to cook, drink and wash. Students will be raising funds to support Toilet Twinning by taking part in a challenge as a crew to collectively carry 5 litres of water as far as is possible around Gateshead athletics track. See website post for further details of how to sponsor your child and kit needed.

G29 (Year8) will be taking part in a carousel of activities including a design and coding challenge using our Lego robotics kits, a plan for raising awareness of their chosen crew charities and some stewardship around the green areas of our school site. See website post for further details and kit needed for the day.

G28 (Year 9) will be carrying out campcraft training in readiness for their DofE practice expedition. At the end of the day on Monday they will also be carrying out a full kit check and bag pack from 3.30pm – 4.30pm. See website post for further details and kit needed for the day.

G29 and G30 Student Led Conferences (SLCs)

SLCs start for our Year 7 and 8 students and their families this week. Students have worked hard to prepare for their conference, preparing to share their recent work, evidence of work around the pledges they have shared and responses to the questions parents and carers have asked to be addressed in the conference. Please can I remind all families that SLCs, like PoLs, are key moments in the development of our students and it is vital that parents, carers and families fully support SLCs. 

PE sessions this week

There are some changes to PE sessions this week due to Crew Day and G28’s DofE practice expedition . Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit for sessions.

  • G30  students (Y7) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • G28 students (Y9) have PE on Thursday this week

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will not be running over the next two weeks due to G29 and G30 Student led Conferences.

G28 DofE Practice Expedition – Friday 17th May 

Our Y9 students will be carrying out their DofE bronze practice expedition on Friday. This will take place offsite for most of the day with the final part taking place on our school site until 7pm. Students should arrive at school for the normal time, we will travel by Metro to the start of the circular practice hike near Callerton Parkway, then return to school by Metro in the afternoon where students will practise setting up camp and cooking an evening meal. We expect the day to conclude at around 7pm.

This is part of getting them ready for the final assessed expedition which will take place on Friday 5th July – Saturday the 6th July. Please see the recent letter for more details on the practice and final expeditions along with the kit needed. 

Supporting families with DofE kit – XPG Voluntary School Donation

As a school, we fully fund DofE and have allocated a significant budget for start-up costs (tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc). We would also like to add to this kit over time and be able to loan hiking boats, waterproof coats and trousers to support families who are not in the position to be able to buy these items for their children. 

We have been approached by several parents over time who have wanted to make voluntary financial contributions to the school to support XP Gateshead and the work we do in learning expeditions and other activities. We have decided to open up an option on Parent Pay ‘XPG Voluntary School Donation’ to allow for any parent/carer to be able to make a contribution if they would like to. At the moment, we will use contributions to build our DofE loan kit so that all students have access to the required kit and this will be in place for future generations of Year 9 students.

Thank you to those families who have offered to support our work and for their generosity.

…and to all families for doing what you can to support your children to produce beautiful work, develop character and see academic success.

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

Principal

Dear Families

Here we are at the end of our first May Bank Holiday weekend. I hope you have enjoyed the additional family time over the past two weeks.

Last week saw a lot of hard work from students in and outside of the classroom. Here are some images of work underway across the week:

Stumuli for Creative Writing in LOOL (Leading our own learning):

   

Cell and tissue microscopy in our new Y7 expedition “Hold Back the River”:
      
Map reading prep for DofE G28:
Stewardship or our school grounds from Gardening Club:
Safeguarding sessions for Years 7 and 9 with John Ord from the violence reduction unit of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office:

G31 Transition – Online family meetings

We have enjoyed meeting many  of our new students and their families this week online. Family meetings will continue this week. This is all part of us getting to know our new students and their families as much as possible before they start with us on Tuesday 27th August 2024. Our transition timeline is shown below and, as you can see, after our family meetings, we will start our visits to feeder primary schools to meet our new students in person and their current teachers.

G29 and G30 Getting ready for Student Led Conferences (SLCs)

Our Year 7 and 8 students have started their preparation work for SLCs which take place over the fortnight beginning Monday 13th May. G29 and G30 parents will be receiving emails from their child which includes  the pledges they have made to improve their work and a request for questions which students will prepare responses to as part of their SLC. Please note that we expect all families to attend SLCs. These, like PoLs, are key moments in the deliberate development of character for our young people and it is vital that parents, carers and families are present to support these events. 

You will soon receive an email with an updated snapshot from your child and a link to ask questions of them in advance of the SLC. You should already have received a link to sing up for a time slot. Please contact [email protected] if you have not received this.

G28 and our Key stage 4 (KS4) pathways

This week we have held a Year 9 community meeting to talk through our finalised KS4 offer. Our offer remains the same as was suggested during the information evening we held evening in February with one adaptation.

Since we have not been able to staff the DT/Engineering in the Leading Our Own Learning strand, we are unable to offer a GCSE or Level 2 qualification here. However we will work with partners to provide suitable education for students that wish to have a practical design element to their pathway albeit without necessarily including an examination at the end.

Slides with more information on the nature of the courses in our offer can be found here. We will publish a ‘pathways website’ prior to the half-term with further details to support conversations at home.

As you can see from the timeline below, over the coming weeks, students will get more details around courses from subject experts to support their choices and families will be involved in discussions ready for finalising choices with Crew Leaders after Summer half term.

This week

G29 Immunisations

On Tuesday 7th May school nurses will be in school to administer HPV immunisations to  G29 students that have permission. A letter regarding this was emailed to all G29 parents in March, and a reminder sent last week. We are delighted with the family response and 90% of our students are set to receive HPV immunisations on Tuesday.

G28 XPG Public Health Conference 2024; Healthy Food for All – Friday 10th May

Our Year 9 students will be hosting an inaugural Public Health Conference on Friday 10th May. We will be opening our doors to families and delegates from 1.30pm. Please use the pedestrian gate if arriving on foot, or push the bell on the vehicle gate if using our car park. Car parking spaces on site are limited, so if parking on the street please be considerate of our neighbours.

The event starts at 2pm and we expect to be finished at around 4.15pm.

PE sessions this week

There are some changes to PE sessions this week due to the bank holiday and G30 (Y7) students will not have their usual PE sessions. G29 and G28 students PE sessions are shown below, please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit for sessions.

  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • G28 students (Y9) have PE on Thursday this week

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will be running Tuesday to Thursday this week.

Looking ahead

Crew Day – Monday 13th May 

Every term, we look to run a Crew Day which is an opportunity to ‘tend’ to crew and culture. Crew is our support network at XPG and key to the continued success of everyone at our school. We will revisit what it means to be crew, and our responsibilities in getting everyone to the top of the mountain.

We will put out separate posts this week for each year group to give further details of each Crew Day and the kit needed for each year group.

In brief:

  • Year 9 will be carrying out campcraft training in readiness for their DofE practice expedition. At the end of the day on Monday 13th May they will also be carrying out a full kit check and bag pack from 3.30pm – 4.30pm.
  • Year 8 will be taking part in a carousel of activities including a design and coding challenge using our Lego robotics kits, a plan for raising awareness of their chosen crew charities and some stewardship around the green areas of our school site.
  • Year 7 will be carrying out a walk for water at Gateshead Stadium. As part of their studies for their Spring expedition ‘Staying Alive’ students learned about the processes by which water can be purified, and the lengths that many people in the world go to each day to get water to cook, drink and wash. Students will be raising funds to support Toilet Twinning by taking part in a challenge as a crew to collectively carry 5 litres of water as far as is possible around Gateshead athletics track. As stated above further details of how to sponsor your child and kit needed will be published on our website this week.

G28 DofE Practice Expedition – Friday 17th May 

Our Y9 students will be carrying out their DofE bronze practice expedition on Friday 17th May.

This is part of getting them ready for the final assessed expedition which will take place on Friday 5th July – Saturday the 6th July.

Please see the recent letter for more details on the practice and final expeditions along with the kit needed. G28 Crew Leaders will be checking their crews to ensure students have all the required kit and are fully prepared.

Students should arrive at school for the normal time on the morning of Friday 17th May, their bags will already have been packed on Monday 13th May. We will travel by Metro to the start of the circular practice hike near Callerton Parkway, then return to school by Metro in the afternoon where students will practise setting up camp and cooking an evening meal. We expect the day to conclude at around 7pm.

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

Principal

Dear Families

It has been another busy week at XP Gateshead with some great work from students and staff alike. We have had several visitors in school this week who have all commented on how confident and articulate our students are when talking about their learning, the strength of relationships at XPG and the structures in place which mean our students are safe, are known, feel seen and valued.

Central to this is the nature and design of our curriculum, which is rooted in Crew, and learning through rigorous and challenging cross-curricular Learning Expeditions. As you know our 3-Dimensional curriculum has a relentless focus on beautiful work, character growth and academic success. We have seen that when children are supported and challenged to go beyond their comfort zones, to produce beautiful work beyond which they thought possible, then in turn they grow and become stronger in character. This sets them on a pathway to achieve well and enjoy academic success. In other words “There is more in us than we know…”

It is worth stating that all three dimensions of our model are of equal importance.  When choosing our school, the choice for families is for the whole of our curriculum, and not just one aspect. Our culture is built upon this curriculum and, at XPG, we ‘sweat the small stuff’ to make sure that our culture is strong – when mistakes are made (and they will be), students put them right and we support them to do this.

Staff CPD this week

Being the best version of yourself, doesn’t just apply to our students. As a staff we regularly take opportunities to continue our learning. Continued professional development (CPD) happens during collaborative planning time, our meetings using our internal expertise along with external experts. Last week gives an insight into the ongoing CPD that happens at XPG

Expert session on eating disorders

Last week we were lucky to have a session with Dr Fiona Trewe, a Principal Clinical Psychologist working in Leeds Community Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Service. Fiona shared the work she does with families and young people living with eating disorders and how schools can have better conversations, support and education around healthy eating.

Training for our DofE team

In Year 9 all of our students complete the bronze award DofE so this year staff and students have been completing training required to achieve this. On Tuesday our DofE team (Mr Devitt, Miss Marshall, Miss Jones and Miss Tatters) successfully completed a day of XP Trust campcraft training. Next week this team will complete their Countryside Leader Award which means our staff are fully trained and ready to take G28 on their DofE expedition – the work is now about getting our students ready for this! Mr Devitt is leading this work making sure students have the skills and confidence needed. For more details see recent website post.

Gateshead training for schools around behaviour and communication 

Miss Blain and Mr Walters attended an afternoon of training at Gateshead Lifelong Learning Centre@Kingsmeadow last week on behaviour as a form of communication. As always, this training will be shared with wider teams.

Food menu development with Gateshead 

On Tuesday, 15 of our students from years 7 to 9 worked with catering leads from Gateshead giving their feedback on our current menu and insight into lunch menus for next year, including tasting some new dishes. This was a great experience for our students, not only having a voice on school lunches but working alongside experts, seeing how this is part of the planning process.

Update on permanent site for XPG

As you know, discussions on a permanent home for XP Gateshead have been ongoing between the Local Authority (LA) and the Department for Education (DfE). Decisions have now been made that our current site will be our permanent site and heads of terms and agreements are currently being worked through. Full feasibility studies will be carried out on the building so that plans can be put in place for future work. 

I’m sure, like us, you will be pleased with this decision. 

Current expeditions

Year 7 and Year 8 have now had their new guiding questions revealed.

G30  – “How does water shape our world?”

Students have this week started work on learning targets for their new expedition. They will look at the importance of water for life as well as physical processes around coasts and rivers with multiple pieces of fieldwork looking at human settlements around rivers, and also carrying out important conservation work for water-based species. More information here.

G29  – “Is migration worth the risk?”

Year 8 have also been introduced to their new learning expedition. Studies will include in depth analysis of push and pull factors that cause people to move, and study of the connection between the climate emergency and future patterns of migration. Again more information can be found here

G28  – “How can we continue to make progress on public health?”

It has been a busy week for G28. As well as starting research for their briefs as part of planning for our Public Health Conference, students carried out fieldwork which looked at the environmental evidence of deprivation and different parts of Gateshead, in order to support the arguments that they will make in the conference. G28 families, if you have not yet signed up for the conference, please do so here.

Connected to this fieldwork, and in support of their DofE expedition, students received training on map reading earlier in the week. G28 families will receive a letter via email today, and in print tomorrow with further information on the kit needed for their DofE expeditions.

This week

G31 Transition – Family meetings

Transition has started for our new G31 cohort. We are really looking forward to getting to know our new students and families this week as online family meetings take place for every child with their family. Families will receive invites to these meetings in the coming days.

Sessions from Northumbria Police Violence Reduction Unit

John Ord returns to XP Gateshead on Wednesday to run sessions with our students as part of our safeguarding work. He will run a session on Malicious Communication and the law around this with Year 9 students and a session for our Y7 students on knife crime awareness.

PE sessions this week

There are some changes to PE sessions for G30 this week due to staff DofE training.  Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit for sessions.

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Tuesday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9) 
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will be running Monday to Thursday as usual this week.

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

Principal

Dear Families

It has been a good start back to school and most students have settled back with us quickly and, as always, have impressed us with their HoWLs, character values and their engagement in learning. 

G30 Staying Alive

As part of rounding off last term’s expedition for Year 7, students had an expert session with Alice Roberts who is carrying out a PhD which aims to explore opportunities to improve the food and drink environment in UK secondary schools. Students will soon be gathering the ingredients needed for the food boxes which will be donated to families in need through our partners Edberts House.

G29 and G30 Immersion

This week has been immersion week for our Y7 and Y8 students marking the start of our new Summer expeditions. Both G29 and G30 students have been puzzling over what their new guiding questions will be after 5 days of immersion this week. 

G29 have been looking at a wide range of stimulus materials on the theme of people on the move including the poem Home by Warsan Shire, a briefing from a minister from the Pacific island of Tuvalu which addresses rising sea levels and the context that has led to the ongoing civil war in Syria. Their guiding question will be revealed this week.

G30 have spent the week looking at literature, in particular poetry associated with rivers and developing their knowledge of the water cycle. Mrs Ross has been particularly impressed with the connections that Year 7 have been making back to previous our expedition in term 1 which looked at the nature of the ground beneath our feet.

G30 had the reveal on Friday afternoon and now know that their guiding question for STEAM, HUMAN and ARTS this term is “How does water shape our world?”. Students will carry out three case studies focusing on how water is essential for life, how water shapes the world around rivers and also around coasts. There will be some great fieldwork this term too, more information on that to come.

G28 Expedition ‘You Give Me Fever’ 

Students are coming towards the end of this expedition, and are looking at the story of public health in the modern period and making connections between this and the pathology of non-communicable diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

As we have posted previously, we have asked all Year 9 families to sign up for the student-led Public Health Conference which is taking place in school on the afternoon of Friday 10th May.

You can sign up by clicking here. Please check your emails for more details on timings of the event etc.

Work on the grounds of the school site

Connor and Kenzie in G29 have been supporting Mr Walters to develop an area of the site which will be used for outdoor learning sessions. G28 will have some campcraft sessions soon as part of their DofE and G29 will soon be introduced to some elements of campcraft as part of an upcoming Crew Day. Thanks to Kenzie, Connor (and Mr Walters) for their hard work on preparing the ground here.

We need your support

Monitoring online activity 

There are some students who have taken longer to settle the week and we have invested a significant amount of staff time this week picking up issues around friendships which have played out online outside of school. This is definitely not what we expect or want to spend time on and we ask for your support, as parents and carers, to monitor your child’s online communications outside of school hours. 

As you know, character growth is a key component of our 3-Dimensional curriculum at XP Gateshead and we all (students, staff and families)  have a responsibility to support the development of our character values of courage, craftsmanship and quality, respect, integrity and compassion.

I understand the challenges that being a parent or carer of a teenager brings and how difficult this can be, especially around social media and finding the right balance between privacy, monitoring and trust. This term we will look to run some online safety sessions for families involving experts from the wider community. More information to follow.

Stewardship

Last week we drew attention to some of the areas around dress code where we most frequently challenge students. This week we would like to also ask for your support around chewing gum. Whilst it is not endemic in school, we have recently spoken in community meetings about chewing gum under tables and how this should not be something that our cleaners have to attend to.

We have made it very clear to all students that chewing gum is not to be brought into school as this is the most effective way to ensure it does not end up under tables. Where children are found to have brought chewing gum into school this we will arrange for them to do some stewardship work in school over a number of days. This reflects an important principle of our school and our restorative practices. Where mistakes are made in any regard, it is vital that these mistakes are put right. Doing acts of service in terms of stewardship helps students to understand the work that our staff and cleaners do in ensuring that we have a clean and hygienic environment for learning.

This week

G28 Geography fieldwork – Wednesday 24th April

G28 students will be completing important fieldwork to help them answer the geography enquiry question: “Why are there differences in life expectancy in Gateshead?” This will support the students creating a final report investigating health inequalities in Gateshead which will be shown at their presentation of learning.

Students will be in crews walking from Felling to Gateshead collecting primary data to answer their fieldwork question. Please see the website post for full details and the kit list required.

PE sessions this week

Our PE sessions this week are as follows. Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit.

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9) 
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will be running from Tuesday 23rd April onwards as we have some important whole-staff training taking place on Monday after school. 

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

Dear Families

Welcome back, we hope you have enjoyed your Easter break.  We are looking forward to welcoming our students back tomorrow for the start of a new term at XP Gateshead.

Feedback from G29/G30 families 

We would like to gather feedback from G29 and G30 families following last term’s PoLs so would appreciate your time in completing the following questionnaires which include some school wide questions too:

If you are a G29/30 parent or carer please click here to complete the short form which should take no more than 5 minutes.

Our usual reminders for a good start back…

Punctuality

School opens at 8:00am every morning. Students should arrive between 8:00am and 8:25 am and there are spaces available for socialising, reading or completing extended study. Students must be on site for 8.25am for the call to Crew. A calm start to the day is really important for students to settle into learning so we ask that parents support their child with this.

Dress code 

Please refer to our website post for full details on our dress code. Can I remind parents of the following expectations around daily dress within school and ask for your full support around this as we move in to a new term. In simple terms we ask students to dress appropriately and modestly. We have highlighted some of the areas where students have been challenged more frequently last term around what is not appropriate/modest for school.

For a normal day within school, we do not think it appropriate that students wear:

  • Hats, hoods & coats inside school
  • Revealing clothing, i.e. revealing the midriff, chest or upper thigh
  • Noticeable make-up, including false eyelashes
  • Valuable, sentimental or impractical accessories / jewellery
    • For example heavy chains, thick sovereign rings, or false nails
  • Impractical footwear:
    • For example sliders, flip-flops or high heels.

Daily kit list

As always, all students need to be fully equipped for school and bring a school bag with the below. Generally students do well in this regard and we can support if you are having problems sourcing these at home. iPad charge is the most frequent issue we deal with each morning. Whilst iPads are not needed for every session, they are needed daily, and without charge, this means that students are at a disadvantage.

  • A filled water bottle
  • Pencil case including: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser and pencil sharpener
  • A fully charged iPad
  • Their AR reading book (please remember that as part of our reading strategy, we expect all students to read between 20-30 mins. each day)
  • Headphones 
  • A healthy snack for break (no confectionery (sweets), fizzy drinks or energy drinks, nut products)
  • A notebook

This week

New Term – New Expeditions for G29 and G30

A new term means new and exciting expeditions for our Y7 and Y8 students. Immersion will take place this week and our students will be working hard to find out what their new guiding questions are and the challenges and new learning their expeditions will bring.

G28 Expedition ‘You Give Me Fever’ 

G28’s bumper 16-week long new expedition with the guiding question: ‘How can we continue to make progress on public health?’ continues this term. Our students continue to look at public health over time and investigate health inequalities in Gateshead today, looking at the correlation between disease and deprivation.  We will update you with the rescheduled date for Geography fieldwork soon.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: G28’s Presentation of Learning will be a ‘Cost of Living Conference’ which is scheduled to be held in school on Friday 10th May, 2pm – 4pm.

This will be another step up for our students, hosting a conference , delivering keynote speeches with an audience including families and more. We appreciate this is an earlier than normal start, however this has been carefully considered and will allow us to make use of professionals as part of the process and end the week and expedition with a bang!

The theme for the conference relating to public health is ‘Healthy Food for All?’. Students will be working with and putting forward a case for change to local experts and politicians.  More details to follow.

PE sessions this week

Our PE sessions this week are as follows. Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit.

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9) 
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

As is usually the case at the start of a new term there will be no extended study or after school clubs running this week. After school sessions will all start again next week.

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

Dear Families

Here we are at the end of another fantastic term at XP Gateshead and what a term it has been! 

G30 and G29 Presentations of Learning

Over the last week we have enjoyed two amazing PoLs  and our students have dazzled sharing their learning for this term and answers to their guiding questions. 

Year 7 students presented their ‘Do Your Bit’ expedition on Tuesday in our school theatre. This was the first time we have used this venue for a PoL and G30 have set the standard. The depth of knowledge, quality of writing and drama performance was stunning. We were all so proud of the courage and confidence our students displayed sharing their learning to an audience.

Year 8 students presented their ‘What is Power?’ expedition at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead Central Library on Wednesday. We were all blown away by the quality and depth of their understanding – performances of Macbeth intertwined with insights into the meaning of the word power in society, science, history, geography and art. Our students’ artwork also took centre stage with every student creating an image about an aspect of social justice they feel strongly about.

   

This week’s PoLs have been a real challenge for our students and they have shown real courage in terms of presenting to an audience and being part of a drama performance. It has been wonderful to see the pride in our students today reflecting on the mountain they climbed this week, especially those who thought they couldn’t (and there were many). Students are definitely starting to see that there is more in them than they know!

Can I thank you all for your attendance and support at PoLs. We will share online feedback forms with G30 parents in the coming weeks so that we can collect your exit ticket feedback from the ‘Do Your Bit’ expedition.

Lego tournament success

On Tuesday, the Lego Robotics team competed in the regional First Lego League tournament. Our students had a great day competing with other young people in the region and came back with our first trophy (it’s not silverware, it’s made of lego).

We are really proud of our team –  Harrie, Lucy, George, Elina, Evan, Dylan and James

Celebrating Reading at XPG 

Our final community meeting of the term was full of celebrations as we got this term’s Accelerated Reader roundup. This term’s lottery winners were Rafa, Penny and Molly. We also gave a special appreciation to Leo, who in this shorter term was our one word millionaire. All crews have been challenged to up their game next term, for this term our champion Crews in each cohort were Darling, King and Parks!  

     

I am sure that you will all agree that our students have continued to rise to the challenge – they continue to work hard, get smart and be kind on a daily basis producing beautiful work, developing their character to achieve academic success.

Thank you so much for your continued support. 

We look forward to seeing you after the holiday on Monday 15th April at the usual time where we will be starting on our next exciting expeditionary adventures.

Happy Easter from all the staff crew at XP Gateshead.

Julie Mosley