XP iPad purchase scheme

At XP Trust:

  • We support and challenge students to be leaders of their own learning
  • We pull down the barriers to learning, ensuring social equity
  • We encourage creativity; respectful, individual expression

Our approach to technology mirrors this. From September 2021 students must bring their own appropriate device to learn at XP Gateshead – smartphones are not appropriate devices for the classroom.

As we all know, technology continues to improve, and we are now highly recommending that parents purchase the latest iPads, which gives them access to Google Docs and many creative apps such as iMovie, GarageBand and art apps. We believe that iPads are now the best pound-for-pound device for learning.

To enable this to happen for our students, we have created a great value parental contribution scheme which offers all our parents affordable access to the latest iPad with comprehensive insurance.

In our scheme, you are able to buy an iPad with a keyboard case and trackpad, with the option to purchase an Apple Pencil. The case and pencil mean that the iPad can do everything a laptop can, but with the additional creative options that having a touch-screen, camera and pencil allow.

The iPads come with comprehensive insurance with accidental damage covered and no excess. If a device is lost or stolen, it cannot be used, repurposed or reformatted by anyone else.

This cost to parents is significantly cheaper than if you were to buy them from a shop (roughly 20% cheaper), and you get to spread the cost over the payment plan. After the final payment, the iPad is yours to do with as you wish.

The iPads are managed by the school, which means that during school time, only apps needed for school will be available. Out of school, any other apps can be installed by students but they will not be available from 8am to 5pm on school days. During the evenings, weekends and holidays, you can use your iPad freely.

You can order yours here.

Click here to find out more about iPad

XPG Transition Activities – Launch Event

This coming Sunday evening we will be hosting an online video meeting for all of our families and children to launch our transition activities.

The launch event will start at 6pm on Sunday 4th July. It will be around 20 minutes long. The meeting will be hosted in Google Meet, the same platform we have used for our family meetings.

We will send out a link for families to join the meeting this evening via email.

We recognise that due to the pressures of COVID, the experience for children across different primary schools will be different, and they may not all be able to work on the activities in their primary schools on Monday and Tuesday.

The meeting on Sunday will give us a chance to put children at ease over what is being asked of them. Importantly, this meeting will be a chance for our students to see each other online for the first time too.

If you are not able to make the meeting, please let us know by emailing office@xpgateshead.org . The meeting will be recorded and pertinent parts edited and shared privately for those that are not able to attend.

We are so excited to share our plans with you, and to be able to meet with you as a community for the first time.

We will follow up short Google Meet check-ins at 6pm on Monday 5th July and Tuesday 6th July to get feedback from our children and to celebrate their work.

Dress code and branded clothing

At XP, we believe that:

  • Children need to learn to express themselves responsibly.
  • Children are not all the same, so they should not be forced to look the same.
  • Families would rather spend their money on clothes that their children can wear inside and outside school.
  • Our strong community and positive culture will not tolerate any kind of bullying or teasing.

As such we do not have a school uniform. Instead, we have a dress code.

Our dress code

Our dress code asks students and staff to:

Please dress appropriately and modestly.

Dress should not be offensive, dirty, revealing, portray gang membership or sexualise the child.

We should all be clean and hygienic and avoid overpowering perfumed products and the negative effect this has on others.

We encourage students to wear our branded polo shirts for regular day to day learning.

For more guidelines on our dress code and to access the branded clothing shop, please click here.

Transition Days, funding agreement and general updates

The draft funding agreement has now been agreed, so we hope to have the funding agreement signed in the next couple of days.

In the next week we will post updates on our dress code, iPad scheme with our preferred devices for students and the Outward Bound visit too.

Transition Days – Monday 5th July and Tuesday 6th July

It has now been confirmed that the transition days on 5th and 6th July will be virtual due to the rise in cases of the delta variant.

Given that each primary school has perhaps 1-5 students joining us, we are aware that access to ICT and online meeting during these days will be difficult. To ensure equity, we are putting together some paper packs of transition activities that we are going to drop off at primary schools later this week.

We would like to be able to meet with all students online though. Since this is difficult in the primary school setting we propose the following:

  1. A short Google Meet video meeting with all families on the evening of Sunday 4th July where staff can introduce themselves and we can brief students for their work over the following two days.
  2. Paper-based work on a min learning expedition for students in school on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th July. This will include a final product which we will ask students to work on, and bring with them to the first week of term in August.
  3. Short Google Meet video meetings at home with students on the afternoons of Monday 5th July to check-in on progress and then another short video meeting on Tuesday 6th July to check-out and offer our appreciations.

We will post more details on timings and how to join these meeting later this week too.

Online family meetings

We are delighted to announce that you can now book your online family meeting with us. We would like for your son/daughter and at least one other adult to attend the meeting. The meeting will last for 30 minutes.

We are looking forward to meeting with you as a family, and finding more about your son/daughter.

During the meeting we will discuss our values and expectations through our home/school agreement. We will also share some forms for you to fill in and return as well as a document where you son/daughter can tell us all about themselves.

There will also be an opportunity for you and your son/daughter to ask any questions that you might have. You can also share anything that you would like us to know about your son or daughter too.

You will have received an email with details on how to sign up to a meeting slot. Please contact office@xpgateshead.org if you have not received that email.

Introducing our Local Governing Committee

We are delighted to announce the names of the members of our Local Governing Committee.

The Local Governing Committee’s role will be to provide support and challenge to us in order to help us achieve XP Trust’s vision for XP Gateshead.

We feel privileged to have such a strong and varied team with a wealth of experience.

The members of our committee are:

Andrea Mead – Chair of the Local Governing Committee, parent governor and headteacher of a special school in Northumberland with a wealth of experience in SEND.

Phil Latham – Principal of Macmillan Academy and CEO of Endeavour Academies Trust with expertise in school leadership and systems leadership.

Julie Mosley – Parent governor and staff governor with experience in secondary school improvement and particular expertise in pastoral leadership.

James Renwick – Experienced primary school teacher with expertise in the KS2 curriculum and primary education in Gateshead and partners in the local area.

Elizabeth Shipley – Clinical psychologist and governor of a local primary school too with a wealth of experience in supporting young people with mental health.

Jane Sutton – Primary link inspector for Gateshead Local Authority with a focus on school improvement, with expertise in the Ofsted framework and school leadership in a range of leadership roles including headteacher.

For more information on our governance click here.

What are the timings of the school day?

Our school opens at 8.00am each morning. Between 8.00am and 8.25am students can socialise outside or come into the building to do some productive activities.

Students must be on site for 8.25am for the call to Crew.

The end of formal academic sessions is at 3.15pm. All students remain in school until 3.15pm.

Part of our design means that we are flexible with our timetable, so we will often create bespoke timings for the day to accommodate fieldwork, or working with experts for example. We would always provide notice in good time to students when a timetable change was to be made.

Typical timings for the school of the day are as follows:

8.30am – 9.15am: CREW

9.15am – 10.15am: SESSION 1

10.15am – 10.30am: MORNING BREAK

10.30am – 11.30am: SESSION 2

11.30am – 12.30pm: SESSION 3

12.30pm – 13.15pm: LUNCH

13.15pm – 14.15pm: SESSION 4

14.15pm – 15.15pm: SESSION 5

From 15.15pm to 16.30pm the school remains open. The school day ends at 16.30pm.

This allows for extra-curricular activities and extended study. Extended study is open to all students, and can be used to complete homework. We will also ask students to attend extended study where we identify that they need additional support and/or challenge.

Updates from today

Today we took our new staff to visit the school site and looked around what will be our accommodation from August 31st in what was B-Block in the Thomas Hepburn building.

We also met with out Local Governing Committee for the first time, and have a fantastic team with a wealth of experience and expertise that will enable them to provide support and challenge to help us deliver our vision for XP Gateshead. Mr Lovatt will post more on our governing body in an update tomorrow.



Another important milestone…

This week we began inducting our new XP Gateshead staff into the XP Trust.

As you know, the first day for students at XPG is to get on a bus and carry out an outward bound expedition to discover what it means to be crew through the power of a shared adventure.

So for our staff, their first day of school is to get on a bus… and you know the rest!

A great start for our new staff

On Monday and Tuesday our XP Gateshead staff crew joined with colleagues in Doncaster to navigate a walk in the wilderness, carried out a an introspective solo, abseiled from a bridge 25m up and used bushcraft skills to cook up some food on an open fire.

These experiences are so important to our staff crew, not just in building bonds between us, but in helping us to prepare for leading crews of your children through their first outward bound expedition and establishing the strong culture for the years to come.

I have been privileged to be in involved in, and at times lead the staff induction for the last six years. It is safe to say that your sons and daughters are going to be in safe hands.

I’d like to thank all of our colleagues in Doncaster for being so welcoming, but especially our new XPG staff crew who have each faced and conquered personal challenges over the last couple of days. It’s hard to believe that we got on that bus on Monday morning – it feels like we’ve been together for years already.



We have our 50 students!

We are delighted to confirm that we now have our 50 students that have accepted their place at XP Gateshead.

This means we can now press ahead with our transition arrangements.

We will be in contact with successful families later this week with more details.

In due course we will also contact the families that were not successful, but again would like to express our gratitude for the support we have received from the whole community of Gateshead from the very beginning of our application.

Today we also received notification of our pre-registration inspection from Ofsted which will happen on Wednesday 16th June.

This is another important step towards the funding agreement being signed, which we anticipate will happen before the end of the month.

We’re so excited to begin working with our 50 students and families.