COVID Testing reminder

Good evening

Please remember to update your home testing results on our website as early as you can, as this avoids us needing to plan to make more staff available for the following morning during crew. Where we do not have a test result for your son or daughter, this means that we put in place a plan to test them in school. Updating your results on our website in good time means that the impact of in school testing on our students is minimised.

Thanks again for your continued support.

G28 Weekly update – w/c 4th October 2021

Dear parents/guardians

Welcome to our parental update for the week commencing 4th October – we have another busy but exciting week ahead of us.

Open evening – Thursday 7th October at 6pm

This week, students have been continuing with their expeditions and also preparing for our information evening on Thursday 7th October. This will be an opportunity for students to tell prospective students and parents about their school. The event will be streamed on Youtube, you are very welcome to attend by clicking on the link that will be shared on our website next week. Every student has been involved in the production of the open evening. This has been students’ first ‘project’ and we are delighted with how they have been drafting, seeking feedback and redrafting their ideas in pursuit of beautiful work in order to make the evening as successful as possible.

Covid Testing

Thank you to all parents for continuing to test your children for Covid and for completing our online document to let us know the result. This has helped us to keep our community safe and our school open. We have issued extra Covid test kits so please continue to do this every Sunday and Wednesday evening.


Vaccinations for both flu and Covid (where eligible) will take place on Tuesday 5th October for all students that have returned consent forms. We have NHS nurses on site who will administer the vaccinations.


You have been given details of how to set up your parentpay account in a letter which was sent home with your son or daughter this last week.

iPads in school

iPads have now been delivered. We will be distributing to students next we and will share instructions on how to set the iPads up at home. A reminder that once they have been issued, students will need to bring them to school charged every day.

HoWLs Assessment

Teachers have made an initial assessment of student Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) in their subject areas and we will begin to discuss with students over the next couple of weeks as part of our academic crew sessions on Thursday morning. This an initial assessment and we are interested to see how these align with students own perceptions of how they are learning and the habits that they are forming. These will form the basis of a discussion between crew leader and student about strengths and area for improvement.

External work to school site

Many of you will have noticed our beautiful new XP Gateshead signs which have appeared at our school gates. There is also currently scaffolding at the main entrance and this is to allow painting of the external wall in our school colours. There is extensive work planned for over the half-term break in October which includes levelling and reseeding the grassed area next to the Tennis court. This will mean we can use this area for sports etc in the Summer term.

Early finish on Friday 15th October

This is an early notice that on Friday 15th October we will be finishing at 1.30pm for the October half term to allow staff to “de-gunge” and set up ready for students returning after the holiday. There will not be any provision for students to stay after this time so all students need to be collected or to have left the school at 1.30pm.

Degunge is an important protocol at XP Gateshead, and is linked to the principle at Outward Bound of ‘leave no trace’. This stewardship protocol helps to ensure the efficient and effective use of resources/running of the school.

Local Governance committee

The first meeting of our local governance committee will take place on Tuesday 5th October. This will be our first meeting since the school opened and I look forward to sharing our progress with governors. Governors will be supporting us in meeting our Key Performance indicators and will carry our a number of visits each term. We have already been visited by Claira Salter (Head teacher at Green top school in Doncaster and one of our governors) and by Andrea mead, the chair of our LGC. Both were incredibly impressed and will feed back on Praises, notices, and wonders in regard to their visit at the meeting.

XP Trust Heads visit our school

This week we will host head teachers from all seven XP Trust schools who will visit us on Friday 8th October. We cannot wait to show them around.

Our students as always remain a credit to you and to XP Gateshead. A visitor last week remarked that she had never come across Year 7 students who could talk so confidently and proudly about their new school.

Thank you for your ongoing support and trust and as always please get in touch with crew leaders in the first instance with any questions or concerns.

Mark Lovatt

COVID testing and parent pay.

Please remember to do a lateral flow test on your son or daughter and update the results on our website.

Students have been given additional testing kits today,  along with a letter explaining how to set yourself up on parent pay.

Please note that no lunch charges will be added to your account if you qualify for free school meals.

G28 Weekly update – w/c 27th September 2021

Dear Parent/Guardian

From the Ground Up

This week revealed the guiding question to our learning expedition: ‘From the Ground Up”. Students have started to explore their guiding question – ‘What do the communities of North-East England owe to the miners?’

We have established clear Learning Targets in English, Science, History, Geography, and the Arts, which students will need to achieve before they are ready to complete their final product for this expedition which will be a published book of stories, interviews and illustrations associated with local mines and the importance of coal to our region.

Food Glorious Food

Students have also started studies on a learning expedition in Maths called ‘Food Glorious Food’ with the guiding question, ‘How can food bring our community together?’ This week students have been using their mathematical skills to interpret data around food waste in the UK.

Likewise students are enjoying their Spanish and PE sessions and have a set of long-term learning targets that they are now working towards. In Spanish students have started to learn common classroom language, so that Spanish can be the language that is used most in class. In PE students are studying football skills and embarking on a series of health related fitness sessions that will help them to understand the many benefits of exercise for their bodies.

Open evening – 7th October

In other news students are helping to prepare for our Open Evening which will be a virtual event broadcast live on Thursday 7th October at 6pm. This is where prospective students (and Parents) applying for schools from September 2022 will find out more about XP Gateshead. Our first cohort of students are proud of their school and will share their experiences of joining our school and tell others about what it means to join our community at XP Gateshead.

We expect that 2 students from each crew will be nominated to be part of the live stream on the evening, to take questions from prospective parents. More details next week.

School Lunches

We are now able to provide hot meals. These are great value at £2.50 for a main and a desert and the week two menu is included below.

Students clearly enjoyed their first taste of the new school food.

We will publish details of how you sign up to parent pay on our website this week. However, in the meantime if your child would like a meal then they simply need to ask their crew leader each  morning and we will collect payment when our parent pay system is set up.

HoWLs (Habits Of Work and Learning)

Students have begun to reflect on their HOWLs (Work Hard, Get Smart, Be Kind)  – these are our “learning” behaviours and will help students to be successful in their studies. In due course students will self-assess how well they think they are doing in each of these areas and teachers will also be reporting their assessment for each student in these areas.

Covid Testing

Please continue lateral flow tests with your child every Sunday and Wednesday evening and also complete our google spreadsheet to let us know the result of the test. This couldn’t be more important at the moment and is helping to keep our community safe and our school open so I really appreciate your support in this regard. In addition it means that we avoid disruption to our crew sessions on Monday and Thursday mornings, so again we really do need your support in this regard please.

Thank you for your ongoing support in everything we are doing at XP Gateshead.

Mark Lovatt


XP Gateshead Open Evening 2021

We are delighted to be able to give further details about our first information evening for prospective parents considering applying for a place for their son/daughter to start in September 2022.

This will be a virtual event beginning at 6pm on Thursday 7th October which will be broadcast live on Youtube, where you will have an opportunity to:

  • Meet and talk to our pioneering Year 7 students about their experience at XP Gateshead
  • Meet and talk to our staff.
  • Find out “what it means to be crew” – the basis of our school culture and foundation for the development of character.
  • View the beautiful work our students have created.
  • Learn about expeditionary learning – our unique approach to learning and pathway to academic success.
  • Hear from, and ask questions of our pioneering students and staff about how they are becoming the best versions of themselves.

To register your interest in joining the event, ask questions in advance and get details on how to join via Youtube, please complete this short Google Form.

Lunchtime today was fantastic

Many of our students enjoyed a delicious curry or jacket potato today.

As mentioned previously, each meal is £2.50 and includes main, drink and dessert. There is no charge for free school meals.

Feedback on the quality of the food from students was really positive. We’d encourage as many families as possible to take up this offer.



COVID testing this evening – Wed 22nd September

Good afternoon

This is just a reminder to carry out a lateral flow test on your son or daughter this evening and update us with the results on our Google Form.

This is such an important part of keeping our school, your son or daughter and our staff safe, we really do appreciate our support.

Hot lunches starting from tomorrow

We are delighted to be able to confirm that students will be able to eat hot lunches from our kitchen starting from tomorrow Thursday 23rd September.

Tomorrow is a week 1 Thursday on the weekly schedule:


Lunch will be priced at £2.50 per day. We are setting up parent-pay and should have the facility for you to make payment early next week – and the charge would include any meals taken this week too.

It is important to note that there will be no charge for families eligible for free school meals. We have an updated list of families from the Local Authority, however if you think you may now be eligible and would like to apply, here is the link to the Local Authority page where you check your eligibility.

Each morning as part of our crew protocol, we will ask students whether they need a hot meal from us, and encourage as many families as possible to take up this offer.

Dietary requirements

Gateshead Local Authority kitchens do not use Halal meat, however there is always a vegetarian option.

Please complete this Google Form if you need to let us know of any special dietary requirements that your son or daughter has, so that the kitchen staff can make sure that we can meet their needs each day.

Information about Gateshead’s offer around dietary needs can be found here. A guide for parents can be found here.


G28 Weekly update w/c 20th Sep 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Just a reminder that students will return to school on Tuesday 21st September this week following our teacher day on Monday.

Students continue to settle in well and have been exploring themes from diverse communities and how they support each other, to coal and the geology of the North East. They have also been analysing local maps and discovering how line, tone, form, and shape, can be used in Art. All these ideas are connected and are part of what we call “immersion” before we reveal our first expedition and our guiding question towards the end of this week. 

School lunches

There will be a slight delay to the launch of our new school kitchen so please plan to bring packed lunches for at least the first two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) of this coming week. Our kitchen is ready (and looks great) and we are just waiting for electricians to check and test equipment and to put in a second ring circuit to ensure we have enough supply. This should be completed in the early part of this week and I will update you as soon as possible.


Please continue to  let us know if your son/daughter shows any symptoms for Covid and please also continue to test your son/daughter with the lateral flow tests provided every Sunday and Wednesday evening. Thank you for continuing to enter negative test results in the google sheet as normal – this is really appreciated and helps us to keep our school open and safe.


There has been a delay to the shipping of iPads for two reasons. Firstly due to the nationwide issues with haulage, the Logitech cases were not in stock and we did not want to give the students their iPads without the protection and additional functionality that the cases provide. Secondly, we have been presented with the option to to wait a further week when newer 10.2 versions of the iPads would be in stock, which would give you as parents better value for money.

Given that there was already a delay and it would mean just one week more, we have agreed to wait until Monday 28th September, which is the estimated delivery date for the new improved models of the iPads.

As always thanks for your support