G28 Weekly Update – w/c 8th November 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian

It’s been a busy first week back at XP Gateshead. Last week students carried out their first fieldwork working with experts in the North East as they found out more about the geology of our coastline and the history of our mining communities. The inclement weather on Wednesday was no barrier to our students and why would it be? These are young people who have rowed across lake Ullswater and camped out in the open in the Lake District – they have already proven their resilience and their courage. My science class presented all they had learnt to me on Friday afternoon and we will be making use of this learning in our final products and in the rest of our expedition this term.

Our students also took part in CAT tests – these are cognitive and spatial tests which help us to determine a starting point or baseline academic grade for students. The result of the CAT tests will be used to establish an initial Minimum Expected grade (ME). We will use these grades to consider the academic progress of each of our students throughout their time here and will report back to you on this in due course.

Also last week we had our first virtual visit by our Education Expert who was a trained and experienced Ofsted inspector. We have an EE visit 4 or 5 times during the first 2 years of opening as a new school. He will write a short report about each visit for the Department for Education (DFE) which in due course will be shared with me. We welcome support and advice from experts in the field and we are looking forward to getting some feedback. I am pleased to say that I am expecting this to be a very positive report for our school.

Through the week I also attended Director Led Conferences which are part of the Trust’s quality assurance procedures. This is where Heads of schools across the Trust report back to Trust Directors on Performance, Wellbeing, SEND, and Curriculum.

The week ahead

Remembrance week

We will be taking time in school to pay our respects and to remember those who have laid down their lives or been injured in defence of our freedoms and of the values we hold so high. Students will be reading relevant texts or poems in crew and Mr Dobson will be preparing resources and slides for crew on Thursday. We will also be coming together as a community to observe a minute’s silence and to think about what we owe to those who have sacrificed so much.

Maths week

It is also Maths week and Mrs Mosley can hardly contain her excitement. Throughout the week we will be hosting maths based activities and entering time table rock star competitions. We are hoping to win the XP Trust medal as we compete against other schools in our Trust.

Director Led Conferences and network meetings

As mentioned at the start, DLCs are part of XP Trusts quality assurance procedures. This week Mrs Mosely will attend the SEND DLC and I will attend the curriculum DLC. Normally we attend these by google hangout however on occasion we will join colleagues for face to face meetings in Doncaster. We are also part of instructional networks across the Trust, for example Mr Said is an instructional lead and facilitates curriculum networks across the Trust where he meets with and trains other colleagues. I will be joining Headteacher colleagues on Friday for our termly Head teachers network.

Our focus this term – Academic Progress

Our focus this term will be on expeditions and completing really high quality (Beautiful) work. We will build on the work done so far and will use the Minimum Expected grades (MEs) (established in CAT tests) to assess student work and be able to report back to you in due course on academic progress.

Covid Testing

Please remember to complete lateral flow tests for your child on Sunday and Wednesday evening and as important, please ensure these results are entered into our spreadsheet. 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.

Best wishes

Mark Lovatt