Weekly update for parents – W/C Monday 16th January 2023

Dear Parents/Carers

It’s been another great week of learning at XP Gateshead. Our students have continued to work hard in sessions collecting evidence around their pledges. With SLCs approaching next week, they continue to work hard in crew sessions to prepare for these with the support of staff and students around them. Thank you for your support with SLCs, booking your appointments promptly.  Can I remind G28 parents to complete the google form as soon as possible to provide questions for your son/daughter to prepare for.  

Expedition guiding questions were revealed on Monday after much curiosity and speculation from our students.

G29 Expeditions

Our G29 students have two expeditions this term:

The STEAM expedition is called ‘Staying Alive’ with the guiding question: ‘Is survival sufficient?’. This week students have launched into the first case study, looking at nutrition and digestion against the backdrop of the current cost of living crisis. The other case studies will also have a social justice component, also looking at energy through the lens of the cost of living crisis and separating mixtures through with reference to sourcing potable water in low economically developed areas. The products for this learning expedition will be food boxes donated to Gateshead Food Bank and Edberts House, as well as work in Crew to twin our toilets. This work will further help our students to see that they are important and that their work is important, because they and their work can have a positive impact on and connect with their community and the wider world.

Their HUMAN expedition is called ‘Do Your Bit’ and has the guiding question: ‘Why is it important that we honour all those that sacrificed in WWI?’. The first case study for this learning expedition is about the causes of The Great War: militarism, alliances, imperialism and nationalism. A reminder that the presentation of learning for this will be on Friday 24th March at Newcastle University in the King’s Hall – a space that was used as a military hospital during WWI.

G28 Expedition

Our G28 students have one expedition this term. This expedition has the guiding question and title of ‘What is Power?’. In the cross-curricular expedition students will explore the concept of “imbalance” and how this often leads to changes both in a social or historical setting but also in a scientific context.

Students have started two case studies this week. The first is a study of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the power “imbalances” within this play. Students are so enthusiastic about this play, which is wonderful to see and bodes well for our Presentation of Learning. This PoL will be anchored by performances of key scenes from the play and will be in the week commencing 27th March. We will have more details as soon as we have the date, time and venue confirmed.

The second case study is looking at the power of Earth and big changes in physical geography such as earthquakes, and at a smaller scale how “imbalance” can lead to chemical and physical change as students explore chemical reactions and forces. In art we have looked at an atmospheric hazard in Hurricane Katrina, and the artwork that sprang up from those terrible events.

Throughout this expedition students will read from an anthology of texts about moments that have had the power to shape our world: suffrage, Newton’s laws, Rutherford’s discoveries about the atom, The Declaration of Human Rights and many more.

Tranquil Tuesdays – A part of our Crew Curriculum

Tranquil Tuesday is when we check in on progress in the AR (Accelerated Reader) programme. Remember that AR is about improving your child’s reading age and should not replace reading for pleasure – of course they can go hand in hand. On Tuesday we also read our Crew Read together.

For G29 our Crew Read is Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, which gives the students greater contextual knowledge about WWI and the stigma that was attached to perceived cowardice, which is also a theme in the play students are studying in Drama: White Poppies by Sue Saunders.

In G28 the Crew Read is the novel Tsunami Girl by Chie Kutsuwada. The story is told in part through manga artwork and in part through prose. Set against the tragic events of the 2011 earthquake in Japan, the protagonist Yuki learns about herself, and the power of imagination.

Wise Wednesdays – A part of our Crew Curriculum

Our Wise Wednesday sessions are part of our PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) and RSE (relationships education, relationship and sex education) programme. I know that, as a parent, it is really valuable to understand what is covered in school so that conversations at home can be better supported around more sensitive issues. 

G29’s Wise Wednesday work in Crew links to both expeditions  and students will be  looking at what they can do to both survive and thrive. Important issues around mental and physical well being will be covered this term. Look out for a more detailed website post this week which will give an overview of sessions, including advice and support for parents and carers too.

For G28 students, their Wise Wednesday work in Crew  ‘I’ve got the power’ links to expedition work and students will be considering making the right choices in relationships both on and offline. They will be discussing some important issues relevant to them at this age. Again, look out for a more detailed website post this week to give more details.

This week:

Extended Study

Preparing SLCs will be a focus for our students this week and staff will set less extended study to allow more time for students to work on this. Extended study sessions will still run as normal this week where support is available to students.

Please remember that there will be no extended study or clubs next week (w/c 23rd Jan) or the week following to allow for SLCs after school. The school day for all students (except those with SLCs on that day) will finish at 3:15pm.

Staff days

A reminder that Friday 20th and Monday 23rd January are our staff days this term. Students are not expected in school on these days.

See link here for this year’s term dates. 

As usual, thank you for your ongoing support. Please get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader if you have any questions.


Julie Mosley