Lateral Flow Testing Update

Please make sure that you have updated our website with the results of your lateral flow test on your son or daughter.

Register your COVID home test result

We need students to continue to test on Sunday and Wednesday evening.

If someone in your household tests positive, your son or daughter should still attend school so long as they are not showing symptoms themselves and have returned a negative result on a lateral flow. We would ask you to do daily lateral flow tests on your son or daughter in this situation.

Under the new guidance, even children that have tested positive in the last 90 days are ‘strongly encouraged’ to take part in lateral flow testing.

This week, Professor Sir Chris Whitty clarified that the lateral flow tests are particularly good at picking up when an individual is infectious, which is the reason for the new guidance.  He also explained that it is the PCR tests that are more sensitive to returning a positive test from a previous infection within 90 days.

If you need more tests for your son or daughter, please ask them to talk to their Crew Leader.

G28 Weekly Update – w/c 4th January 2022

Dear Parents/Guardians

Happy 2022!

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.

Kit List

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.

Staffing Changes

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.

Student-Led Conferences

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.


Mark Lovatt


XP Gateshead

Good morning, we hope that you have all had a lovely Christmas with your families.

It being a rainy day this morning I have been looking at the geology writing that students were working on for our ‘From The Ground Up’ book.

I just wanted to highlight a really smart strategy that Isabelle has been using to ensure that here writing contains everything that it needs to.

In her prep, Isabelle has been highlighting key information in the model. Likewise, she has been indicating when she has included important information in her prose paragraph by highlighting her notes. This has led to a really solid introductory paragraph.

Smart and beautiful work Isabelle, well done!

Reverse Advent: Above All… Compassion

Today was the end of our reverse advent in school. Students and families have been providing important supplies of food and household items throughout December.

This morning Emily and Macie from Crew Mosley and Lucy and Sonny from Crew Tatters were able to drop off the supplies to our local Gateshead Food Bank on the Team Valley.

The volunteers at the food bank and we would like to pass on our huge appreciation to all of the students and families that contributed. Your compassion will help spread a little more joy to families in need this Christmas.

G28 End of term message – w/e 17th December 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

We have had a busy final week of term with our first ever Presentation of Learning – sharing the story of our expedition “From the Ground Up”, work on final products, and end of term assessments.

As usual we couldn’t be more proud of our students who have stepped up to the mark and continued to be the best versions of themselves. We have also had Christmas jumper day, enjoyed our Christmas dinner, and delivered food donations to our local food bank. We are looking forward to new and exciting expeditions in the New Year.

Return to School

We will be returning to school on Tuesday 4th January and at the moment this is expected to be a normal school day and students should be in school by 8.25 am at the latest. We are however keeping a close eye on Covid and the new Omicron variant. Myself, Martin, and Julie will be meeting over the holidays and will update our website if anything changes in regard to the start of next term. We will notify you of any changes to the start of the school term by the evening of January 2nd at the latest.

On return to school in the New Year, and in line with Government guidelines, we will be testing all students with a lateral flow test on their first day back. In addition, we would also ask you to complete a lateral flow test at home on the evening of Monday 3rd January and add the result to our spreadsheet as normal. This will help us to ensure our community is safe and our school remains open.

Thank you

All that remains for me to say is thank you for your continued support, it is a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in the education of your children and we couldn’t do it without the hard work of our parents and families.

From all at XP Gateshead please have a Happy Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Best wishes

Mark Lovatt


XP Gateshead

Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Dinner today

Good morning! A reminder that today we are having our Christmas lunch in school. If students want to wear a Christmas jumper today, we’ll all be getting into the Christmas spirit.

There is an optional donation on the day of up to £1 which will go to Save the Children.

G28 Parents: COVID testing this evening

Good evening

Please remember to carry out a lateral flow on your son or daughter this evening and update on our website.

It is really helpful if you can do this in a timely manner, as when this is missed, it impacts on our crew sessions with students taken out to do testing in school.

Thanks again for your continued support in keeping our school running smoothly and safely.

G28 Weekly Update – w/c 13th December 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian

Welcome to our final week of term and students have been working hard to get their Presentations Of Learning (POLs) ready for our live performance of everything they have been studying which will be broadcast at 5.30pm this tuesday (14th December)

This week we were visited by our local MP Ian Mearns. Ian is a strong advocate for education and among many other things, sits on the education select committee in the Houses of parliament. Ian was taken for a tour of the school by two of our student ambassadors. He commented on the calm atmosphere, high levels of student engagement, and on how well our student ambassadors could talk about “crew” and what this means to them. A big thank you from all at XP Gateshead for taking the time to visit us Ian and we hope to see you again soon.

The week ahead

Presentation Of Learning (PoL) Tuesday 14th December

A reminder that all students are taking part in our Presentation of Learning for our Learning Expedition: From the Ground Up.

All students will need to stay in school until 7pm on Tuesday 14th December when the event ends.

We will be rehearsing throughout the afternoon, however we will build in a break before the event starts at 5.30pm. During this time, students can eat a healthy snack if they choose to, so we would advise that students bring in additional food for the evening on Tuesday.

This is a formal event, so the expectation is that students will dress smartly. Students can bring a change of clothes, or come dressed smartly for the day. This is the guidance from our dress code for such events:

“On occasion it will be appropriate for students to dress more formally. This helps prepare them in advance to enter the larger arena of the professional and business world and give them the mindset of the importance of the event and its audience. We will always give advance notice for such occasions.

At such events, students may wish to wear a shirt / blouse, trousers and shoes or a formal dress. Our branded polo shirts are appropriate for these occasions too.

Although we ask students to dress smartly, this should still be modest so please refer to the guidelines for daily work within school.”

Join us at 5.30pm on Tuesday by following this link;

Christmas Lunch and Christmas Jumper day Thursday 16th December

We have combined both of these events which will take place on Thursday 16th December. Students who have pre ordered a lunch will be served a Christmas lunch and All students will sit together and get to pull Christmas  crackers. We are inviting all of our students to wear a festive jumper on Thursday and to make a voluntary contribution of £1 which will be going to our chosen Charity this year which is “Save the Children”. We will have a selection of Christmas jumpers available for any students who wish to borrow one for the day.


Notification of change of Staff

Mr Dobson has been successful in his application for a new job as an outdoor education teacher. This is Mr Dobson’s passion and while we will miss him very much, we also know it represents an opportunity to use his skills and expertise doing something he loves – we all wish him well and are grateful for the fantastic founding work he has carried out on behalf of our students and our community. In addition to my role as Principal, I will be taking over his crew as crew leader from January and can’t wait to get to know this awesome group of young people a little bit better. We will be advertising for a replacement Learning Coach in the New Year.

Early closure of school on Friday 17th December

School will close to students on the last Friday of term at 1.30pm, this is so that staff can “de-gunge” classrooms and replenish resources in readiness for the start of term after the Christmas break. The new term will start on Tuesday 4th January 2022. This is a regular school day so students should arrive by 8.25am as normal.

Important dates

So that you can check upcoming dates for your diary, 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 homepage under the parents section of the menu.

Covid Testing

On return to school in January and in line with current Government guidance ALL students will receive a lateral flow test which will be carried out in school on the morning of Tuesday 4th January. We would advise however that in addition all students complete a LFT at home on the evening before returning to school and that you complete the spreadsheet as normal. This is about keeping our community safe and our school open.

Thank you for your support this term 

Finally can I just say thank you for your continued support. You have been awesome ! We have some exciting expeditions planned for the New Year which we can’t wait for students to begin. On behalf of all at XP Gateshead can i take the opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a peaceful and safe New Year

We will  return on Tuesday 4th January and as this will be a normal school day students should be with us by 8.25am

Happy Christmas and New Year


Mark Lovatt


XP Gateshead

Fantastic HOWLs!

Product work continues in HUMAN sessions this week. I am SO impressed with the student’s work, as well as their commitment to producing something really important.

Some top quotes from today:

“I am trying to do an excellent job because this is for our final product and it is important.”, “I am really proud of my writing this lesson.” , “Maybe you could try and find a better synonym for sad?”

As well as students appreciating each other for:

“Really getting their head down”, “Giving me really kind critique”, “asking for critique and using my feedback to redraft their work”, as well as noticing that “he had a shaky start but I explained what he needed to do and he got really focused and then did some great work.”

The classroom culture that these students are nurturing is BRILLIANT.

Well done XPG!