Weekly update for families – W/C Monday 25th March 2024

Dear Families

Welcome to the final week of our Spring Term.

As always, the hard work continues here at XP Gateshead and we couldn’t be prouder of our students as they continue to strive for high standards and support those around them to do the same. Students have been working hard on termly assessments, completing their final products for expedition and getting ready for presentations of learning (PoLs). This week we look forward to seeing the culmination of G29 and G30 work in their PoLs.

Here are just some of last week’s highlights: 

On Wednesday afternoon Year 7 students continued to work with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and then put theory into practice visiting St Mary’s Church to investigate war graves with expert Elizabeth Smith. 

Our thanks to Elizabeth and the CWGC for the rich opportunities they have given our students in this Human expedition, supporting them to answer their guiding question ‘Why should we honour all those who sacrificed during WW1’. A thanks also goes to Reverend Lucy at St Mary’s Church for her ongoing support of our work.

Our Year 8 students have been working hard on their Macbeth performances as part of the ‘What is Power?’ expedition. Our students are showing real courage and stepping up to the challenge of performing in front of an audience; it was great to hear students’ appreciation for the work of each other in our Friday community meeting.  This is another important moment in developing character, especially courage and we can’t wait for families to see the students’ work on Wednesday evening this week.

On Thursday, we enjoyed a live music performance from indie band The Mercians who are currently touring UK schools to promote their music and raise awareness of mental health issues and the importance of looking after yourself, seeking help through family, friends, teachers and organisations. 

I think it is safe to say that the band have got themselves a bigger fan base at XPG! Our students loved the gig and the chance to see live music. The band stayed around after the gig so students had plenty of opportunities for photos and signature collection – I’m not sure The Mercians have ever been asked to sign a croc before?!

Crew Parks were busy on Friday afternoon carrying out service learning connected to their charity ‘Trees for Cities’. They supported the planting of 200 trees  in the grassed areas just outside our school gates as part of a project with Gateshead Council and Durham Wildlife Trust. 

As you know, the DofE is part of our curriculum at XPG and all year 9 students will complete the bronze award. In readiness for this, Tom Devitt has been working with the team of staff who work alongside our students and on Thursday and Friday last week. This team completed two days of training to achieve the ITC Level 3 Award in Outdoor First Aid qualification. Congratulations to Tom Devitt, Rebecca Marshall, Rebecca Jones and Emmy Tatters!

The week ahead

G30 Steam expedition, working with Edbert’s House

On Monday, Miss Jamieson and a group of G30 students will be working alongside the team at Edbert’s House to find out more about their service they offer the community and do some cooking for the community kitchen.  The students will then share their insights and feedback to all year 7 students as new experts in the Steam expedition,  ‘Staying Alive’ with the guiding question: ‘Is survival sufficient?’. Edberts House are our partners for this expedition. Through their work they have identified families in need that we can support with our food boxes with a week’s worth of recipes from ‘Cooking on a Bootstrap’.

During the Easter break G30 students will be gathering the ingredients needed to put together for the food boxes. Where possible, we are asking for your support to each contribute a few ingredients so that together as a cohort of 50 we can put together two food boxes. More information on this from Miss Jamison later this week. 

Lego tournament

On Tuesday, we are taking a team to compete in the regional First Lego League tournament. Students involved will be travelling to Quorum Business Park by coach from school and returning during the school day, but will need a packed lunch. Look out for an email from Mr Said if your child is in the Lego team.

Energy audit and decarbonisation

On Wednesday, our Climate Action Plan leadership group will be meeting with Matt Fulford to learn about how energy audits can be carried out on buildings to assess how energy efficient they are, and what changes / investments could be made to make them more sustainable and cost effective in the long term.

In addition to this all G30 students will have a workshop with our Climate Action Plan expert Gemma Sarigu on decarbonisation which connects to their studies for ‘Staying alive’ as a more energy efficient future is one way that we know that as a nation we can tackle inequalities such as fuel poverty.

Presentations of Learning this week

G30 Presentation of Learning – Tuesday 26th March

Year 7 will be presenting their learning from their current HUMAN expedition Do Your Bit with the guiding question: “Why do we need to honour all those who made sacrifices during WWI?”

This Presentation of Learning will take place in our theatre space in school on Tuesday 26th March and will start at 4.30pm. We anticipate that we will be finished by 6pm. This is a formal occasion so students should dress appropriately for the event – our polo shirts are great for events such as these.

G29 Presentation of Learning – Wednesday 27th March

Year 8 will be presenting their learning from their current expedition “What is Power?” on Wednesday 27th March. This Presentation of Learning will take at Caedmon Hall, above Gateshead Central Library and will start at 4:30pm. We anticipate that we will be finished by 6pm. Students should dress in black, with as little branding as possible please – our polo shirts are suitable for this if students have them.

A reminder that students will stay in school until they present. If you want to provide healthy snacks or a packed tea, students will be given some time during the afternoon to get a break between rehearsals.

Presentations of learning are an integral part of our learning model for all students, they are important and planned points which allow students to showcase their beautiful work. These, like Students Led Conferences (SLCs) and Passage Presentations are key moments in the deliberate development of character for our young people and it is vital that parents, carers and families are present to support these events.

PE this week

Preparation for PoLs and a shorter week mean that we PE sessions are running for two cohorts this week (those who have had a reduced offer in previous week):

  • G28 (Year 9) have PE on Wednesday this week
  • G30 (Year 7) have PE on Thursday this week.

No Extended Study and Clubs

Due to the Presentations of Learning this week we are not running clubs or extended study this week.

Easter Holidays

We break up for Easter holidays this Thursday 28th March and return to school on Monday 15th April. Please remember that, as always, our students finish at 1:30pm on Thursday to allow staff to de-gunge and replenish rooms and teaching spaces ready for the Summer Term.

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].

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Julie Mosley


XP Gateshead