We hope you have had a great Christmas and a safe and restful New Year and we look forward to welcoming students back to the start of a new term at XP Gateshead.
Arrangements for the start of term
Students should arrive at school on Tuesday 4th January by 8.25am as normal. We would ask that students complete a Lateral Flow Test on Monday evening and enter the result on our spreadsheet as normal. We really appreciate your support with this. It has been one of the things that has helped us to keep our community safe and our school open.
Covid Guidance – Department For Education
In line with DFE guidance we will also be completing additional “in school” testing on Tuesday morning and will inform students of arrangements when they arrive at school.
Masks in classrooms
Further and In light of a recent change to guidance issued by the DFE we will be asking students to wear masks when they are in the school building and this will include in classrooms. Students should bring a mask to school with them although we do have a supply of spare masks if students require them.
We will also be keeping classrooms and in door areas suitably ventilated so students should dress appropriately with additional layers of clothing to keep themselves warm.
It would also be helpful to us if you would check with your son/daughter that they have everything they need to get back into learning such as pens, pencils, fully charged iPad etc. Please refer to our kit checklist here as a helpful reminder.
PE and after school sports clubs
In light of staffing changes PE will now take place weekly on a Tuesday with our first PE sessions starting on Tuesday 11th January. There will be no PE on our first day back. Additionally there will be no after school sports clubs in our first week back. The regular academic Extended Study will go ahead as usual after school until 4.30pm this week.
As parents will know Mr Dobson has been offered a new job as an outdoor education lead in another school. While we are sad to see him go we understand that this is his passion and we pass on all our good wishes in his new role. This has necessitated some staffing changes. I am delighted to say that I will be taking over as crew leader for Mr Dobson’s crew and I am looking forward to getting to know this group of students and parents even better over the coming months. I hope to continue to be the crew leader for the rest of the academic year at least. Ms Victoria Downes will also join us in the short term to give us some additional capacity in the classroom. Ms Downes is a qualified English teacher who already knows our students well and has been volunteering with us each Thursday morning since we started. Additionally our own Mr Devitt will be leading PE in the school and teaching all of our PE sessions. In due course we will be advertising for a new member of staff who will replace Mr Dobson as a learning coach in the classroom.
New Term – New Expeditions
Obviously the ongoing situation re COVID and the new variant Omicron is of concern and we will be following DFE guidelines and reviewing the situation as we move forward. We will always act in the best interests of our students and will ensure their safety (and that of their families) comes first. Nevertheless a new term means new expeditions and we are looking forward to an exciting term of new learning and challenges for our students. This will involve the unveiling of new expeditions and also the beginning of student portfolios which will be a place to curate the beautiful work students complete.
SLCs (Student-Led Conferences) replace the conventional parents’ evenings at XP Gateshead. During an SLC, your son or daughter will share their learning with you and their crew leader. You will have an opportunity to look at work from their portfolio and ask questions about their AP grades (Academic Progress) and HoWLs (Habits of Work and Learning).
These SLCs will take place this term in the two weeks commencing 24th January. In around a week’s time you will receive an invite from your son or daughter’s crew leader. Whether these events will be in school or online is currently under review. We will update you as soon as possible about further arrangements for SLCs.
As usual if you have any questions please contact your child’s crew leader in the first instance.
We’re all very much looking forward to welcoming our students back into school this week.