G28 Weekly Update – w/c 29th November 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian

Another superb week at XPG with our fantastic students excelling as always. This week students have been interviewing more experts in the community via TV screens in their classrooms. Students prepare carefully for these interviews so they ask good questions and get the most out of these sessions. This week they spoke to Alan Cummings, Secretary of Easington NUM lodge, as part of their expedition ‘From the Ground Up’ in which they are answering the guiding question – “What do communities in the NE owe to the miners?”. This week students have also interviewed Alfie Joey. Alfie is a local radio presenter, comedian, artist, and published author. He will be talking about his latest book “The Last Coal Miner” which was informed by his experiences of growing up in a mining family.

Students will be creating and publishing a book of historical enquiries of pits in the NE as well as art work, and summaries of the interviews they have done. Students have also been learning about online bullying in Crew and how to be an “upstander” rather than a “bystander”. Staff have also been busy planning and developing our next expeditions which will begin in January. We have a busy week ahead.

The week(s) ahead…

Executive Team review – On Monday, the XP Trust executive team will join us on site at XP Gateshead as part of a review around our Key Performance Indicators (KLIs). This is an opportunity for us to receive some really good feedback on the progress we are making, on what we are doing well, and on what we can do even better. We look forward to the Trust team joining us on Monday visiting us in crew and lessons and talking to staff and students about our school.

Local Governance Board (LGB) visit – On Thursday, two of our Governors will visit our school to look at “crew” and what this means in our school. They will talk to staff and students and will spend time with Mrs Mosley. Each term Governors visit and write a short Notices and Wonders report which is discussed at our next LGC meeting.

This week’s expert – This week our students will interview Norman Strike, a former Westoe collier who kept a diary during 1984 and has since published this as a book.

Habits of Work and Learning (HoWLs)

There has been a lot of work in crew sessions last week as students returned to their HoWLs and the pledges they made looking to see where they have improved in terms of Working Hard, Getting Smart, and Being Kind. Teachers will be updating this information and making their own assessments of student HoWLs in lessons. We will be sharing this information with parents in the weeks before Christmas.

Date for your diary! From the Ground Up ‘Presentation of Learning’

In the coming weeks students will be working on preparing for their Presentations Of Learning (PoL). This is where they break down the expedition they have been working on and each student will publicly talk about an aspect of this, from the science they have covered to the art work, or from the music they have created to the English and History that have underpinned this expedition.

Our Presentation of Learning for our expedition ‘From the Ground Up’ will be on the evening of Tuesday 14th December. At the moment we are still considering whether this can be an in person event, or an online event but it looks most likely to be online. Every student will take part in the Presentation of Learning on this evening and so will be in school until around 7pm. We expect all children to have one member of their family that can attend the event, whether in person or virtually.

So that you can check dates like these, we have set up an ‘important dates for parents’ calendar which you can access here. We will post dates to fieldwork etc. on this calendar too. This is also linked from our xpgateshead.org homepage under the parents section of the menu.

Student-Led Conferences

We will be making arrangements for our first set of student led conferences (SLCs) which will take place in January. This is where students are asked to present their work to parents and their crew leader and invited to talk about what they think they have done well and where they need to improve. Students will be supported to prepare for SLCs in crew sessions when we return after Christmas.

Extended Study

We have reviewed and organised extended study and shared with students what they can expect each week and from which subject. We have published our extended study timetable on our website here so you are also aware of what your son or daughter is working on at home. In school extended study sessions will continue each day as normal, Monday to Thursday from 3.15pm to 4.30pm for any students who need a bit of extra help or support or would like to get into the habit of completing work in school before going home..

Covid Testing

Please remember to complete lateral flow tests for your child on Monday and Wednesday evening and it is just as important that you ensure these results are entered into our website please. This is an important part of keeping our community safe and our school open and I really appreciate your help and support in this respect.

As usual please get in touch with crew leaders in the first instance with any questions or queries or just to tell us how things are going.

Mark Lovatt
XP Gateshead