Will XP Gateshead be suitable for all students? How do mixed ability classrooms work?

XP Gateshead is a mainstream school. Students are taught in mixed-ability classes of 25 students.

We are not set up to cater to any one particular type of student or students from a specific background – we are a comprehensive school.

Our admissions policy has been designed to ensure that we have a comprehensive intake of students that is representative of Gateshead as a whole.

We are often asked about our approach to working with students with SEND. Our first strategy for students with SEND is quality-first teaching in the classroom from excellent teachers accompanied by a skilled learning coach. Additional scaffolding and differentiated materials are also provided to students as is appropriate to help ensure that they make progress.

Our scale means that we do not have the capacity for nurture groups or taking students out of classes frequently.

Unusually for secondary schools we do have a second adult, a learning coach, in every classroom. This is to help ensure the progress of all students in our mixed ability classes.

The role of the learning coach is to support the teacher in making sure that all students in the mixed ability classroom are making progress, this includes SEND students, as well as students with lower and higher prior attainment. Our learning coaches do not work individually with specific students for a whole lesson.

Children with medical needs, for example allergies or asthma, are given an individual health plan as is appropriate. We are a no nut school.

If your child has and Education, Health and Care Plan and you are considering XP Gateshead for your child then you should talk to the local authority about this as part of the annual EHCP review. This takes place between May (when your child is in year 5) and October (when your child is in Year 6).