Weekly update for families – W/C Tuesday 7th May 2024

Dear Families

Here we are at the end of our first May Bank Holiday weekend. I hope you have enjoyed the additional family time over the past two weeks.

Last week saw a lot of hard work from students in and outside of the classroom. Here are some images of work underway across the week:

Stumuli for Creative Writing in LOOL (Leading our own learning):


Cell and tissue microscopy in our new Y7 expedition “Hold Back the River”:
Map reading prep for DofE G28:
Stewardship or our school grounds from Gardening Club:
Safeguarding sessions for Years 7 and 9 with John Ord from the violence reduction unit of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office:

G31 Transition – Online family meetings

We have enjoyed meeting many  of our new students and their families this week online. Family meetings will continue this week. This is all part of us getting to know our new students and their families as much as possible before they start with us on Tuesday 27th August 2024. Our transition timeline is shown below and, as you can see, after our family meetings, we will start our visits to feeder primary schools to meet our new students in person and their current teachers.

G29 and G30 Getting ready for Student Led Conferences (SLCs)

Our Year 7 and 8 students have started their preparation work for SLCs which take place over the fortnight beginning Monday 13th May. G29 and G30 parents will be receiving emails from their child which includes  the pledges they have made to improve their work and a request for questions which students will prepare responses to as part of their SLC. Please note that we expect all families to attend SLCs. These, like PoLs, 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. 

You will soon receive an email with an updated snapshot from your child and a link to ask questions of them in advance of the SLC. You should already have received a link to sing up for a time slot. Please contact [email protected] if you have not received this.

G28 and our Key stage 4 (KS4) pathways

This week we have held a Year 9 community meeting to talk through our finalised KS4 offer. Our offer remains the same as was suggested during the information evening we held evening in February with one adaptation.

Since we have not been able to staff the DT/Engineering in the Leading Our Own Learning strand, we are unable to offer a GCSE or Level 2 qualification here. However we will work with partners to provide suitable education for students that wish to have a practical design element to their pathway albeit without necessarily including an examination at the end.

Slides with more information on the nature of the courses in our offer can be found here. We will publish a ‘pathways website’ prior to the half-term with further details to support conversations at home.

As you can see from the timeline below, over the coming weeks, students will get more details around courses from subject experts to support their choices and families will be involved in discussions ready for finalising choices with Crew Leaders after Summer half term.

This week

G29 Immunisations

On Tuesday 7th May school nurses will be in school to administer HPV immunisations to  G29 students that have permission. A letter regarding this was emailed to all G29 parents in March, and a reminder sent last week. We are delighted with the family response and 90% of our students are set to receive HPV immunisations on Tuesday.

G28 XPG Public Health Conference 2024; Healthy Food for All – Friday 10th May

Our Year 9 students will be hosting an inaugural Public Health Conference on Friday 10th May. We will be opening our doors to families and delegates from 1.30pm. Please use the pedestrian gate if arriving on foot, or push the bell on the vehicle gate if using our car park. Car parking spaces on site are limited, so if parking on the street please be considerate of our neighbours.

The event starts at 2pm and we expect to be finished at around 4.15pm.

PE sessions this week

There are some changes to PE sessions this week due to the bank holiday and G30 (Y7) students will not have their usual PE sessions. G29 and G28 students PE sessions are shown below, please ensure that your child has their  full PE kit for sessions.

  • 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 be running Tuesday to Thursday this week.

Looking ahead

Crew Day – Monday 13th May 

Every term, we look to run a Crew Day which is an opportunity to ‘tend’ to crew and culture. Crew is our support network at XPG and key to the continued success of everyone at our school. We will revisit what it means to be crew, and our responsibilities in getting everyone to the top of the mountain.

We will put out separate posts this week for each year group to give further details of each Crew Day and the kit needed for each year group.

In brief:

  • Year 9 will be carrying out campcraft training in readiness for their DofE practice expedition. At the end of the day on Monday 13th May they will also be carrying out a full kit check and bag pack from 3.30pm – 4.30pm.
  • Year 8 will be taking part in a carousel of activities including a design and coding challenge using our Lego robotics kits, a plan for raising awareness of their chosen crew charities and some stewardship around the green areas of our school site.
  • Year 7 will be carrying out a walk for water at Gateshead Stadium. As part of their studies for their Spring expedition ‘Staying Alive’ students learned about the processes by which water can be purified, and the lengths that many people in the world go to each day to get water to cook, drink and wash. Students will be raising funds to support Toilet Twinning by taking part in a challenge as a crew to collectively carry 5 litres of water as far as is possible around Gateshead athletics track. As stated above further details of how to sponsor your child and kit needed will be published on our website this week.

G28 DofE Practice Expedition – Friday 17th May 

Our Y9 students will be carrying out their DofE bronze practice expedition on Friday 17th May.

This is part of getting them ready for the final assessed expedition which will take place on Friday 5th July – Saturday the 6th July.

Please see the recent letter for more details on the practice and final expeditions along with the kit needed. G28 Crew Leaders will be checking their crews to ensure students have all the required kit and are fully prepared.

Students should arrive at school for the normal time on the morning of Friday 17th May, their bags will already have been packed on Monday 13th May. We will travel by Metro to the start of the circular practice hike near Callerton Parkway, then return to school by Metro in the afternoon where students will practise setting up camp and cooking an evening meal. We expect the day to conclude at around 7pm.

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