Weekly update for families – w/c Monday 29th April

Dear Families

It has been another busy week at XP Gateshead with some great work from students and staff alike. We have had several visitors in school this week who have all commented on how confident and articulate our students are when talking about their learning, the strength of relationships at XPG and the structures in place which mean our students are safe, are known, feel seen and valued.

Central to this is the nature and design of our curriculum, which is rooted in Crew, and learning through rigorous and challenging cross-curricular Learning Expeditions. As you know our 3-Dimensional curriculum has a relentless focus on beautiful work, character growth and academic success. We have seen that when children are supported and challenged to go beyond their comfort zones, to produce beautiful work beyond which they thought possible, then in turn they grow and become stronger in character. This sets them on a pathway to achieve well and enjoy academic success. In other words “There is more in us than we know…”

It is worth stating that all three dimensions of our model are of equal importance.  When choosing our school, the choice for families is for the whole of our curriculum, and not just one aspect. Our culture is built upon this curriculum and, at XPG, we ‘sweat the small stuff’ to make sure that our culture is strong – when mistakes are made (and they will be), students put them right and we support them to do this.

Staff CPD this week

Being the best version of yourself, doesn’t just apply to our students. As a staff we regularly take opportunities to continue our learning. Continued professional development (CPD) happens during collaborative planning time, our meetings using our internal expertise along with external experts. Last week gives an insight into the ongoing CPD that happens at XPG

Expert session on eating disorders

Last week we were lucky to have a session with Dr Fiona Trewe, a Principal Clinical Psychologist working in Leeds Community Children and Young People’s Eating Disorder Service. Fiona shared the work she does with families and young people living with eating disorders and how schools can have better conversations, support and education around healthy eating.

Training for our DofE team

In Year 9 all of our students complete the bronze award DofE so this year staff and students have been completing training required to achieve this. On Tuesday our DofE team (Mr Devitt, Miss Marshall, Miss Jones and Miss Tatters) successfully completed a day of XP Trust campcraft training. Next week this team will complete their Countryside Leader Award which means our staff are fully trained and ready to take G28 on their DofE expedition – the work is now about getting our students ready for this! Mr Devitt is leading this work making sure students have the skills and confidence needed. For more details see recent website post.

Gateshead training for schools around behaviour and communication 

Miss Blain and Mr Walters attended an afternoon of training at Gateshead Lifelong Learning Centre@Kingsmeadow last week on behaviour as a form of communication. As always, this training will be shared with wider teams.

Food menu development with Gateshead 

On Tuesday, 15 of our students from years 7 to 9 worked with catering leads from Gateshead giving their feedback on our current menu and insight into lunch menus for next year, including tasting some new dishes. This was a great experience for our students, not only having a voice on school lunches but working alongside experts, seeing how this is part of the planning process.

Update on permanent site for XPG

As you know, discussions on a permanent home for XP Gateshead have been ongoing between the Local Authority (LA) and the Department for Education (DfE). Decisions have now been made that our current site will be our permanent site and heads of terms and agreements are currently being worked through. Full feasibility studies will be carried out on the building so that plans can be put in place for future work. 

I’m sure, like us, you will be pleased with this decision. 

Current expeditions

Year 7 and Year 8 have now had their new guiding questions revealed.

G30  – “How does water shape our world?”

Students have this week started work on learning targets for their new expedition. They will look at the importance of water for life as well as physical processes around coasts and rivers with multiple pieces of fieldwork looking at human settlements around rivers, and also carrying out important conservation work for water-based species. More information here.

G29  – “Is migration worth the risk?”

Year 8 have also been introduced to their new learning expedition. Studies will include in depth analysis of push and pull factors that cause people to move, and study of the connection between the climate emergency and future patterns of migration. Again more information can be found here

G28  – “How can we continue to make progress on public health?”

It has been a busy week for G28. As well as starting research for their briefs as part of planning for our Public Health Conference, students carried out fieldwork which looked at the environmental evidence of deprivation and different parts of Gateshead, in order to support the arguments that they will make in the conference. G28 families, if you have not yet signed up for the conference, please do so here.

Connected to this fieldwork, and in support of their DofE expedition, students received training on map reading earlier in the week. G28 families will receive a letter via email today, and in print tomorrow with further information on the kit needed for their DofE expeditions.

This week

G31 Transition – Family meetings

Transition has started for our new G31 cohort. We are really looking forward to getting to know our new students and families this week as online family meetings take place for every child with their family. Families will receive invites to these meetings in the coming days.

Sessions from Northumbria Police Violence Reduction Unit

John Ord returns to XP Gateshead on Wednesday to run sessions with our students as part of our safeguarding work. He will run a session on Malicious Communication and the law around this with Year 9 students and a session for our Y7 students on knife crime awareness.

PE sessions this week

There are some changes to PE sessions for G30 this week due to staff DofE training.  Please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit for sessions.

  • G30 students (Y7) have PE on Tuesday this week
  • G29 students (Y8) have PE on Wednesday this week.
  • For G28 students (Y9) 
    • G28 Class 1 have PE on Thursday this week
    • G28 Class 2 have PE on Friday this week.

Extended Study and Clubs

Extended study and after school clubs will be running Monday to Thursday as usual this week.

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