Weekly Update for Families – W/C Monday 16th October 2023

Dear Families

Welcome back after what I hope has been a restful and safe half term holiday.

We are looking forward to seeing all of our students again, raring to go and ready to continue their hard work on current expeditions.

As always, a return to school gives us all the opportunity to make a strong start in terms of getting into good habits and being organised. I would like to remind everyone of the importance of punctuality, attendance and being fully prepared for learning and ask for your support in this to make sure that all of our students are getting it right.

This week G28 parents will receive invites to upcoming SLCs. G29 and G30 students will finalise their studies in the part of our curriculum called “leading our own learning”. This is an hour each week on Thursday mornings where students can consolidate their learning if needed in literacy/numeracy or stretch themselves by following interests or skills. Our offer includes:

  • Targeted Support* – Literacy, Numeracy, Life Skills
  • Mandarin
  • Fitness
  • Creative writing
  • Personalised research with a focus on ethics and worldviews or STEM.
  • Art across time
  • Theatre

If your child is in Year 7 or Year 8, please talk to them about what they are considering or feel that they need to become the best version of themselves.


All students need to be in school for an 8.30am start so they must arrive by 8.25am at the latest. A minority of students were regularly late for school last half term which impacted on the learning of others (staff and students). Please talk to your child about their punctuality and ensure that they are arriving on time every day. 


At XPG we celebrate attendance and will support those students and families who need to improve their attendance. The snapshots shared with you last half term included attendance information and Crew Leaders will be talking with students and their families  about how important attendance is to academic achievement and success in school.

As you may have seen in the news over recent months, school attendance continues to be a concern across the country. At XPG, we were really proud of our attendance last year with attendance figures higher than local and national. There is no doubt that this was down to the hard work of all – students, parents/carers, Crew Leaders and our inclusion team. We all understand that school attendance is vital to the life chances of young people and that being in school improves health, wellbeing and socialisation throughout life. 

In the winter months we are all more susceptible to mild respiratory illnesses including general cold symptoms. It is usually appropriate for parents and carers to send their children to school at these times but it can be tricky making these decisions. The following NHS guidance includes information which may be useful – NHS ‘Is my child too ill for school?’ guidance.

Please share any worries you have around attendance or punctuality with your childs’ Crew Leader. 

Being organised

As always, students need to bring a school bag every day with the following items. Please make sure your son/daughter is fully equipped for learning and contact us if there are any problems.

  • A filled water bottle
  • Pencil case including: pens, pencils, ruler, eraser and pencil sharpener
  • A fully charged iPad (80%+)
  • Headphones – ideally not expensive ones
  • A healthy snack for break (no confectionery (sweets), fizzy drinks or energy drinks, nut products)
  • A notebook
  • A reading book (e-reader book, school library book or book from home)

Our week ahead 

Working with experts and fieldwork

G30 – What do the communities of NE England owe to the miners?

Students will this week learn from an expert journalist to prepare them for interviewing members of the mining community. They will also work with a musician to help them to prepare for the writing of folk songs to honour these stories.

G30 students are also carrying out fieldwork to St Mary’s Church at Heworth to see the location of their PoL and also to see the site where their information and artwork boards honouring the Felling Pit Disaster will be located and hear from Reverend Lucy about the close relationship the church has to the disaster. Students will be walking to and from the site so will need to be prepared for the weather. They do not require a packed lunch as they will return to school for normal lunchtime.

G29 – What does it mean to be human?

Students will hear from members of the humanist community to hear their perspective on what it means to be human.

G29 Students are also carrying out fieldwork at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital connected to their studies in Science around organ systems in the human body. They will also meet our contact at the hospital who has commissioned their final product: artwork which promotes organ donation.  More details on this fieldwork can be found here

PE sessions this week

Our PE sessions this week are as follows. Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit.

All G30 students (Year 7) have PE on Monday this week.

All G29 students (Year 8) have PE on Wednesday this week.

For G28 students (Year 9)

   G28 Class 1 students have PE on Thursday this week.

   G28 Class 2 students have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Our clubs will all run this week (see schedule below) along with extended study sessions every day except Friday. If a student attends an after school club or extended study session they must attend the full sessions until 4:30pm. We are working with external providers to offer further sports sessions after school on Wednesdays and Thursdays and will update you as soon as we have more information.

G29 Remembrance Radio Broadcast 

We are extremely proud that the work of our G29 students from last year’s ‘Do Your Bit’ expedition,  “Why is it important that we honour all those that made sacrifices in WWI?” will be broadcast on Memory Radio as part of their Remembrance programming on 11th November. More details on how to listen will be shared in a separate post.


Like I have said at the start of this post, we are really looking forward to our next half term where we will be continuing to focus on our culture of beautiful work, character and academic success.

As usual if you have any questions about your son or daughter please get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader in the first instance or email general enquiries to [email protected].

Julie Mosley