Weekly update for families – W/C Monday 1st July 2024

Dear Families

Sometimes, when you look back on the week past it is hard to believe that so much can be achieved in a week and this is definitely the case for last week when we only had four days with our students!

We get the chance to see your children and their greatness every day and see how hard they are working to produce beautiful work, grow their character and be successful academically. We also get the chance to see and hear them challenging and supporting each other to be better and, like staff here, our students ‘sweat the small stuff’ and have high expectations of themselves and their peers.  This is not the norm in schools and I feel really proud of our school where staff and students work together building this culture, doing this as crew and not passengers.

G28 Fieldwork 

As part of their current expedition, ‘Hold Back the River’ our Year 9 students had an amazing fieldwork experience at the coast this week, studying the river at Seaton Burn and the Seaton Sluice coastline.  The fieldwork incorporated geography standards around map reading, fieldwork skills including data collection and analysis and also physical geography standards about river processes, giving students an opportunity to test a hypothesis about the long profile of a river, and the changes from the middle to the lower course. In addition students spent time on a solo, using their surroundings to help prepare them for writing standards in English language associated with poetry and connected to the literature pieces that they have been studying. Finally, they also spent time observing the dune ecosystems at Seaton Sluice, building on learning about biotic and factors and variation in biology, to look at the adaptations, abundance and distribution of species that thrive in the dunes.

G30 Fieldwork

Our Year 7 students carried out fieldwork along the River Tyne this week as part of their current expedition and guiding question ‘How does water shape our world?’

They packed so much into one day, including using the physical model of the river catchment at Newcastle Central Library to look at how features can affect the river catchment and flow of water, using their sharp vocabulary to discuss how changes to the landscape impact on the whole system. They also walked the length of the Tyne from the quayside to Felling Shore to study human geography standards, looking at the change in land use on both sides of the river along the section sampled.

G29 workshop – Climate Adaptability

Year 8 students continue to consider their guiding question,  ‘Is Migration worth the Risk?’,  as part of their current expedition, ‘Should I stay or should I go?.’ Last week they spent time with expert Gemma Sarigu from ‘Students Owning Sustainability’. The session fit into the wider expedition, where students are seeing how changes in climate are becoming an increasingly prevalent push factor which causes people to migrate. Protecting our planet is one of our curricular seams that runs throughout expeditions, and this session was important in addressing potential feelings of ‘climate anxiety’. Much of the session was spent considering opportunities that climate change poses in terms of developing technologies, careers and bringing people together.

G30 Art Workshops

Our final workshops with Bruce Tuckey for art students leaders took place this week. This involved students creating sculptures inspired by the works on the Tyne Riverside Sculpture Park. We will post images of the final products soon.

PE collaboration with Felling Cricket Club 

This week our Year 9 students enjoyed the chance to test their cricket skills at Felling Cricket Club. We are really lucky to have such facilities on our doorstep, allowing our students to experience expert facilities and give them a platform to play cricket locally outside of school. All year groups will be using this facility in the coming weeks and months. Special thanks to Mr Devitt, Danny Norman and Macolm Norman who have supported this collaboration.



This week

Like was said on our early look ahead last week, it’s another packed week!

G31 Year 6 Transition Days – Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd July

This week we meet our new G31 students for their transition days at XP Gateshead. We are really looking forward to getting to know our G31 cohort and for them to get to know each other. Please see the website post for full details on transition

Please note that for all students (including Year 6 students), our school day will start at the usual time of 8:25am each day with students able to arrive from 8:00am. Each day will end at 3:15am for all students (there are no clubs or extended study running on Tuesday or Wednesday).

G29 Crews working in the kitchen – Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th July

As part of the preparation for their presentation of learning on 17th July, this week Crew King and Crew Watson will be working in the kitchen this week to prepare dishes from around the world for the event.

  • Crew King – Wednesday 3rd July, 
  • Crew Watson – Thursday 4th July

The ingredients will be already sourced for students. In terms of safety, long hair must be tied back, and students should wear clothes that are OK to get dirty. 

Over the next week, each of our G29 Crews will be working in the kitchen to prepare dishes for the presentation of learning event where our students will be hosting and catering an evening to celebrate their learning through their expedition ‘Is Migration Worth the Risk?’ This celebration of learning will be held at XP Gateshead School on 17th July 2024.

G28 Duke of Edinburgh Kit Check – Wednesday 3rd July, 3:30pm

Students in G28 will carry out a full kit check in school in readiness for their assessed expedition which is taking place on Friday and Saturday this week. The kit check should take no more than 1 hour and students will contact families to let you know when they will be finished if they need a lift home from school.

G30 Fieldwork – Thursday 4th July

On Thursday, G30 will be carrying out an important fieldwork at the Durham University Biosciences Department to further study aquatic food chains – both under the microscope and by looking at the variety of species caught from the nearby pond. For Year 7, this will be their first visit to a University Campus which is a really important moment for our students. As you know, university-readiness is part of our mission at XP Gateshead, to ensure that our students are on a path to university if that is what they choose for their future.

Students should arrive at the regular time and will finish school at 3.15pm as normal. They will need their regular kit for the day, a packed lunch and will need to be prepared for the weather (the current forecast is mild, sunny spells with a chance of showers). Students that normally have a free school meal will be provided with a packed lunch.

G28 Assessed Duke of Edinburgh Expedition – Friday 5th and Saturday 6th July

This week our G28 Pioneers embark on their final assessed Duke of Edinburgh expedition. As you know, DofE (like Year 7 Ullswater Outward Bound) is an important aspect of our curriculum in challenging students to develop their character and push them beyond their comfort zone. As a school we invest a great deal of time, money and staff resources into helping all students to achieve the award. We expect all of our students to complete the DofE.

Students should arrive at regular time on Friday and will be transported to their Duke of Edinburgh drop off point in Wark, Northumberland. Students will then be staying at Greencarts Campsite, next to Hadrian’s Wall, before completing day two of the expedition and being collected in Acomb, Northumberland. Students can expect to arrive back to school in the late afternoon on Saturday the 6th May.

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The forecast is mild, sunny spells and showers. The kit list reflects these possibilities, please ensure that your child is equipped for sun, rain and changes in temperature.

PE sessions this week

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

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Monday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week
  • G28 students (Y9) have PE on Thursday this week 

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will not be running this week due to transition, DofE preparation and staff Educator Led Conferences (think SLCs for adults – what’s good for our children is good for us!). 


Can I remind all families about the importance of good punctuality. A calm start to each day is really important for students to settle into learning and as you know, we ask all parents and carers to support their children with this, it is part of the XP Home School Agreement that every family has signed.

We are starting to see a small minority of students arrive after 8:25am without real justification. Please note that school opens at 8:00am every morning 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. 

Students have been given clear reminders about punctuality and I know that Crew Leaders have been in contact with families to remove barriers around punctuality. We monitor lateness closely down to precise time lost and where punctuality issues continue, students will make up lost time at the end of the week. 

Thank you as always for your ongoing support. 

As usual if you have any questions please contact your child’s crew leader in the first instance. 

Julie Mosley