Parents’ update – w/c Monday 9th Jan 2023

Dear Parents/Carers

We’ve had a great first week back and our students have quickly got back into ‘work mode’ after their Christmas break. Thank you for the part you played in this – our students were fully equipped, on time and ready to go.

SLC Preparation and focus on HoWLs

A big focus for students this term is acting on the pledges they made after their first information snapshots and getting prepared for their Student-Led Conference. G29 students have spent time in Crew this week looking at what a quality SLC looks like and how they work towards this. Leading a 20 minute SLC is a big challenge and our students will be working to get their portfolios and scripts ready supporting each other in Crew and beyond. Our Year 8 students who have experienced SLCs have already offered their time to support Year 7 students with this work. You will be receiving an SLC invitation email from your child and find out how to book your SLC slot this week.

Immersion for new expeditions

Last week our students were immersed in their new expeditions for this term and were working hard to find out what their new guiding questions are.

In STEAM, G29 students have been reading a text called Station 11, set in a post-apocalyptic world where daily life is dangerous and challenging. Even so, there are still people travelling in caravans performing Shakespeare. They have also been investigating a range of apparently different stimulus materials including Marcus Rashford’s campaign for free school meals during the pandemic, inter-community and intra-community behaviours in primates and access to potable water in low economic status countries.

In HUMAN, G29 students have been exploring the historical British Empire, analysing the poem Salt by Trinidadian poet Anthony Joseph about the call to arms across the Empire in WWI. They have also been taking part in a gallery walk with images from 1914-1918 as well as family artefacts brought in by Mrs Downson from over a hundred years ago.

G28 students have been studying a modern prose, abridged version of Macbeth as an introduction to the plot and characters. They have also been studying how natural hazards can become disasters and had to attempt to develop an area of land prior to a natural hazard to protect as much life and infrastructure as possible. They have also been studying chemical changes, paying particular attention to the characteristics of the products in comparison to the reactants, and observing the reaction closely. Across G28 they have agreed that this is the most difficult they have found it to agree on the connections between the disciplines and how they could cohere to become and guiding question and expedition. Some students are very close in their predictions though!

The immersion activities above are a launch for our new expeditions, which aim to develop curiosity and build background knowledge about the content to be studied during the expeditions.

The big reveals will take place tomorrow; students will learn their guiding questions along with the big picture of their expeditions including the case studies, final products and crew reads which will support the expedition.

This coming week:


Students will continue to collect evidence in sessions around their pledges they made after reflecting upon their snapshots last term. It would be great if you could talk to your child about their pledges and the progress they are making towards these.


As you know, as part of our reading strategy at XPG, we expect all students to read between 20 and 30 minutes every day. We do use some time in Crew at the start of the day for reading but students do need to be reading their AR (Accelerated Reader) book as part of their daily extended study too. Please encourage your child to read on a daily basis: talk to them about their current AR book and how they are progressing with it. Contact Crew Leaders if there are any issues or further support needed.

New ‘Crew Reads’ will be launched over the next two weeks. In the past students have read books that connect to their expeditions such as ‘Show us who you are’ last term in G28 which helped students to consider neurodiversity when thinking about what makes us human, and in G29 students read ‘Seedfolks’ – set in a community garden in Cleveland, Ohio – which showed how people from different walks of life can come together to form a community when they have a common goal or mission – just as the Dulais Miners in Wales and London’s lesbian and gay community did during the 1984 Miners’ Strike.


Our new Crew Reads  will be read and enjoyed by Crew during ‘Tranquil Tuesday’ morning sessions and will likewise support the new expeditions’ themes and build our students’ background knowledge and vocabulary. 

PE sessions

As usual G28 students (Y8) will need a PE kit for Tuesday, G29 students (Y7) will need a PE kit on Wednesday.

Dress code reminder

At XP we do not have a school uniform however we do have a dress code which asks students and staff to dress appropriately and modestly. See the link here for details on dress code from our website.

There is always going to be ambiguity with a dress code rather than a specific uniform,  so we do list items which we do not think it appropriate or recommend that students wear which included:

  • Noticeable make-up, including false eyelashes
  • Valuable, sentimental or impractical jewellery
  • False nails
  • Revealing clothing, i.e. crop tops, transparent leggings

I’ve included these items in particular here as we have had to give a few students reminders of appropriate dress this week.  I am sure that, as parents and carers, you will support us when we say that school clothing should be warm, comfortable and safe. If you have any questions about this please speak to your child’s Crew Leader.

Dates for your diary

Staff Days

A reminder that we have two staff development days this half term; Friday 20th and Monday 23rd January. 

Term Dates 2022/23

See link here for this year’s term dates. 

As usual, thank you for your ongoing support. Please get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader if you have any questions.


Julie Mosley


XP Gateshead

Students are about to start work on preparing for their upcoming SLCs.

As was the case for G28 in their previous SLCs, we have asked for Year 8 families to complete a Google Form ahead of the SLC. This is so that your children can address your questions as part of their presentation to you.

If you have a child in Year 8 and you have not already done so, please could you complete this Google Form.

Dear Parents/Carers

Happy 2023! We hope you have had a great Christmas and a safe and restful New Year. We are looking forward to welcoming students back tomorrow to the start of our new term at XP Gateshead.

Getting a good start…


School opens at 8:00am every morning. Students should arrive between 8:00am and 8:25 am and there are spaces available for socialising, reading or completing extended study. Students must be on site for 8.25am for the call to Crew. A calm start to the day is really important for students to settle into learning so we ask that parents support their child with this.

Daily kit list

As always, students need to bring a school bag with:

  • A filled water bottle
  • Pencil case including: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser and pencil sharpener
  • A fully charged iPad 
  • Their AR reading book (please remember that as part of our reading strategy, we expect all students to read between 20-30 mins. each day)
  • Headphones 
  • A healthy snack for break (no confectionery (sweets), fizzy drinks or energy drinks, nut products)
  • A notebook

PE sessions

There are timetable changes for PE this week as there is no PE on the first day back.

  • G28 students (Y8) will need their PE kit for Wednesday this week.
  • G29 students (Y7) will need PE kit on Thursday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Clubs will all run this week along with extended study sessions every day except Friday. As usual, if a student attends an after school club or extended study session they must attend the full sessions until 4:30pm.

New Term – New Expeditions

A new term means new and exciting expeditions for our students. Immersion takes place this week and our students will be working hard to find out what their new guiding questions are and the challenges and new learning their expeditions will bring. 

Curriculum Updates 

There are some curriculum changes which continue to give our students a breadth and depth of experience at key stage 3. 

G29 are studying two new expeditions. As part of their studies for their new HUMAN and ARTS expedition, G28 will be continuing with drama with a new text and also studying computer science to help them to organise and analyse data from an expert.

G29 also have a new STEAM expedition which will include some food technology and a really great final product that will have an impact on our local community.

G28 are studying one new expedition that combines HUMAN, STEAM and ARTS. This will include some really challenging drama and music, both of which will be instrumental to their final product and presentation of learning.

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 HoWLs (Habits of Work and Learning) and AP grades (Academic Progress) .

These SLCs will take place this term in the two weeks commencing 24th January. In the coming weeks you will receive an SLC invite from your son or daughter’s crew leader.  

Over the coming weeks students will be working hard on their pledges and HOWLs in sessions. They will share their progress with you during the SLC and you will be able to ask questions around these. 

Staff Days

A reminder that we have two staff development days this half term; Friday 20th and Monday 23rd January. As normal, students are not expected to be in school on these days.

As usual if you have any questions please contact your child’s crew leader in the first instance. Thank you as always for your ongoing support.


Julie Mosley


Merry Christmas from XP Gateshead

Dear parents and guardian
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

What a term it’s been. We have welcomed a new year group (G29) and also several new staff to our growing “crew” at XP Gateshead. We couldn’t be more proud of the beautiful work our students have accomplished which culminated in Presentations of Learning (PoLs) last week and at the beginning of this week. I am sure you will agree that G29 were fantastic in their very first PoL and G28 stepped up to a raised challenge as they presented on their guiding question and shared their work with a live audience.
We could not do the work we do without the continued support of all of our families and the whole community. Thank you for all you do as parents and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New year. We look forward to seeing students at the usual time on Tuesday 3rd January.
Best wishes from all of us at XP Gateshead

Final update from the week

Good afternoon.

It has been such a lovely final week of term for us here at XP Gateshead.

Year 7 – Presentation of Learning

Thank you so much to Year 7 parents for your feedback from the Year 7 PoL. We are so proud of the students and their hard work. You can watch the PoL back by clicking on this link.

Christmas Lunch

A massive appreciation to Suzanne and Cheryl in our kitchen for a beautiful spread and themed desserts too. Students gave our kitchen staff a lovely round of applause this morning – most definitely well-earned.

Year 7 Reverse Advent

Crew KDO have co-ordinated our reverse advent and dropped over 100 items at Gateshead Stadium this morning to be donated to the food bank.

Year 8 Reverse Advent

Crew MRS have co-ordinated our year 8 reverse advent and yesterday Sister Josepha came into school for our Christmas shoe boxes.

All donations from Year 7 and Year 8 have been gratefully received and will make such a difference to families this Christmas.

Year 8 presentations

Building on their work on diversity and belonging from their expedition Being Human, students in Year 8 have been working on presentations to their Crew about what makes them unique. It has been lovely to see students recognising their own strengths and reminding each other why they are admired.

Expert Speaker in Nature Club

After school yesterday we had an expert guest at Nature Club from the Marine Conservation Society. Students were fantastic in their questions and really enjoyed learning about this important work.

A final week to be proud of!

G29 Parents – An important date for your diaries

Our next presentation of learning for Year 7 will be an in person event and will take place at the Kings Hall at Newcastle University.

We’re giving lots of advance notice for this one as the event is on a Friday evening.

Friday 24th March at 6pm. Kings Hall. Armstrong Building. Newcastle University. NE1 7RU

This is part of a planned progression for students in terms of their presentation skills and character development. We can’t reveal too much about why the PoL is being held here as that is all top secret until students their new learning expeditions in January.

Thanks so much for your support this term; we’re so proud of Year 7 following their very first PoL this week.

We can’t wait for you to be able to see them in person next time and look forward to welcoming you into school at the end of January for Year 7’s first SLCs (Student-Led Conferences).