Dear Parents and Families of Students in Year 11


As we are at an important time for students in Year 11, as they continue to work towards developing evidence of progress and attainment for Teacher Assessed Grades, we are pleased to announce the phased re-opening of Extended Study provision after school for students who wish to stay at school until 4.30. In these times there will be members of the Year 11 teaching team on hand to provide additional subject-specific support. Please see the Extended Study timetable below with specific days and timings.


Best wishes,

Mr Voltaire

D6 Resumes this Saturday 27th March

Dear Parents and Families of students in Years 10 and 11,

Now that we have returned to school, I’m pleased to say that we will be opening our doors again each Saturday at the XP East site for D6, our sixth day of school provision. D6 is led by our Student Coaches and supported by our school’s Learning Coaches and is an opportunity for students to come into school to complete any additional study they’d like in a supportive and friendly environment. Whether students want to come into school and get some additional help with a specific topic or piece of Extended Study, or support from our Student Coaches, or just find a quiet space to work on their own priorities, our school is open and staff are ready to accept students. 

Our invitation is initially to students in Years 10 and 11 from both XP and XP East but we hope to open things up to the whole school in the near future. 

D6 will begin this Saturday 27th March for students in Year 11, and then from April 10th for students in Year 10. However, there will be no session 3rd April as it is the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. 

Sessions will begin at 9.00 and end at 12.30


We look forward to seeing students back in school this Saturday!


Best wishes, 

Marc Voltaire

Assistant Principal of Years 10 and 11

X23 End of Term Update

Dear Families of students in X23,

Please see the attached letter which summarises some of our experiences of online learning of the last few weeks and also provides some information on what to expect in the upcoming term when students physically return to school on Monday 22nd March.


We hope you have a restful half-term break and look forward to seeing everyone return to school soon!

Update in Year 11

Dear Parents and Families of students in Year 11, 


Our student-led conferences are in full swing and our students have been busy preparing and delivering their reflections on their progress to date and their intentions for the remainder of the year. There have been some wonderful, mature and thoughtful examples of students in Year 11 leading their own learning and making pledges on what they still need to do. By now Crew Leaders have made contact with you to organise a time and date, and if you have not yet done so I encourage you to respond to messages from Crew Leaders so that we can give all of our students the opportunity to share their work and learning with you. Your support is as vital as ever and we would love for you to attend your child’s SLC. There is also an opportunity for you to ask any of your own burning questions about your child’s progress. 


Whilst the onset of the lockdown has changed our planned schedule for key dates such as mock exams and addressing specific concerns around student progress, we are now in a position to begin our lockdown version of this and will be offering some students some additional layers of support. This may look different for different students and in different subjects, but should there be any areas of concern regarding your child’s progress, you’ll be contacted soon to discuss how we’d like to address this in line with our ‘Narrative for Success’, where we ask; are our students safe, able to engage, attending, working hard, getting smart and being kind, and achieving academically? 


As it stands, we have no further update to provide on the shape of final assessments and how grades will be formed other than to say that the joint consultation led by the Deparment for Education and Ofqual has now closed and that we expect full guidance to be published within the next few weeks. As soon as we do know anything further, we’ll inform you as promptly as possible as this will in turn inform our plans for the rest of the year. 


At this point, I’d like to thank you all for your unwavering support in getting our students online, getting them learning and getting them to the top of the mountain. At 6 weeks into online learning, we know its getting tougher for some but I’m incredibly proud of our students and their work ethic so far. We’re not giving up, we’ve got it all to play for. Together, we’ll make sure our young people receive the grades they deserve. We are Crew. 


As always, if there are any questions or queries please feel free to contact your child’s Crew Leader or myself directly at [email protected]


Best wishes, 

Mr Voltaire

Assistant Principal of Y10 and Y11

Another Great Week in Years 10 and 11!

Dear Parents and Carers of Students in Years 10 and 11, 


It’s been another strong week for us here at XP in our phase. Whilst we are now almost four weeks into the term, our students have still managed to maintain the high levels of work and engagement and are producing some fine examples of beautiful work even from home and without access to resources they might usually have at their disposal. Friday’s community meetings were lively and happy meetings with many appreciations for students coming from staff and each other. The overall message this week was a simple one; we’re alright we are. If we keep attending and engaging with our learning online, we leave ourselves with all to play for as when we finally do come back to school and for whatever shape the final assessments do take. It is at this point that we stress again the need to attend online and get stuck into sessions. Whilst it’s been a busy week and has felt tiring at times, it is as important as ever to keep the momentum we are building as we move into next week and the long weekend with next week’s staff days. 


After that, in the week commencing February 1st we will begin Student Led Conferences which are always a positive occasion and this time around our students will be reflecting on their progress to date and what they need to do for the rest of this year in order to achieve the academic success which will set them up for the next phase of their education. Crew Leaders will be making contact with you to arrange times to take part in an online version of the SLC. We look forward to seeing you there. 


I’ll leave you this week with some more examples of beautiful work going on in online sessions and some of the praise that our students have received this week. 

Have a great week. 

Mr Voltaire

Assistant Principal of Years 10 and 11

Year 11: Climbing the Final Mountain

Dear Parents and Carers of students in Year 11, 


As a school we wanted to provide you with some information and updates regarding Year 11. The past two weeks have presented a challenge to both our staff and students as we moved our curriculum online, but I’m pleased to say that it is a challenge that we have all risen to. We have seen some wonderful examples of lessons being delivered online and we’re proud of the way our students have been accessing these sessions, and of the beautiful work they are producing. Even now, X23 are working hard, getting smart and being kind. Here are some wonderful examples: 


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I’d also like to share some updates in terms of where we are now as a result of the lockdown and how we’ll move forward in the short term. Currently, there is little firm guidance on what final assessments and grades will look like after the message from the government that GCSE exams will not go ahead. At present, all we know is that there may be some form of teacher assessments and that there may be some shorter externally set exams, but we await further guidance on this, so we will continue to work in the way that we have and focus on the key topics in the curriculum. This will then inform how we move forward longer term. 


Therefore, in the coming weeks, it is imperative to run Student Led Conferences so that students can reflect on where they are in their learning and what they need to do to ensure success in their upcoming GCSEs whatever form their assessments take. Although the focus and format may be somewhat different and will likely be completed online, students in Year 11 still have much to reflect upon. Keep an eye on the website for further information on when SLCs will take place and how, as it will be a great opportunity for students to review their progress and set targets for the coming months, and is a brilliant opportunity for parents and Crew Leaders to work together in supporting students to GCSE success. 


We would also like to take this opportunity to celebrate student attendance in our online provision. We have had very high levels of student attendance and engagement in sessions and we hope to see this continue. There is however, some room for improvement and so again we must stress the importance of students attending all sessions online including Crew so that they are best equipped to deal with whatever form GCSE assessment takes. We’re really proud of our student engagement so please keep encouraging them to get to session on time and to stay for the whole session. 


We know that for our students and our families it can be a worrying time with so much uncertainty about the next few months, but we are Crew  and we’ll do what we’ve always done: listen to our students and families, support them in any way we can and navigate the road ahead together. It’s times like these that we reflect on why we ask our students to climb mountains in their first week at school. We conquered that one, and we’ll conquer this one too. 


As always, if you have any questions or concerns, you can get in touch with your child’s Crew Leader, but you can also contact me directly at [email protected] should you wish to discuss any issues. 


We are Crew!


Marc Voltaire

Assistant Principal of Years 10 and 11

A student’s final years of secondary school and the build up to GCSEs can be a challenging and difficult time in itself; not to mention having to do it after missing 6 months of school and in the middle of a global pandemic. But our students in Year 11 are here. They are showing up. Working hard, getting smart and being kind. I am unbelievably proud of the courage that they showing each day. It is a difficult time for all of us, but one thing that stands out is the sense of Crew in all if our young people and amongst our members of staff. Every day I see students looking out for each other and supporting each both in and out of session, and never has it been more apparent that ‘Courage, Compassion, Respect and Integrity are not just words written on the wall. But something that I see our young people living and breathing. They’ve also managed great Craftsmanship in their work despite the adjustments we’ve have had to make.


Whilst lessons are working almost as normal for now, we are introducing a number of additional layers of support for Years 10 and 11 which I’d like to share with you all.



D6 is our voluntary Saturday School planned and led by our XP alumni. Students in Year 11 at XP are welcome to join us each Saturday at the XP East site to access this wonderful provision where they can tailored and personalised study support from experts who have been through the process themselves and who are now continuing their studies at A level. Our first two sessions have been a tremendous success and have had lively and supportive atmosphere, and despite being an amazing start, its can only get better. Out Student Coaches will be working with Dr Pountney from Sheffield Hallam University to develop their mentoring and coaching skills to make this provision even more successful. Whilst D6 is currently only open to Y11, in the new Year we are looking to extend this offer to Y10 in both XP and XP East. Further details can be found on an earlier blog post here.


The GROW Project 

Building on the success of the pilot programme in the summer term, I am delighted to share that the GROW project facilitated and delivered by Sheffield Hallam University has begun this week. The GROW project sees 30 students in Year 10 and 11 access personalised 1:1 mentoring from accredited Post-graduate mentors for up to two hours per week for 7 weeks. The purpose of the GROW project to provide our young people with personalised support in dealing with the consequences of lockdown, helping to manage academic study and begin thinking about careers and next steps after XP. The pilot was a great success and received national attention in the media and I look forward to seeing how our students respond.


Learning Lab

Our teachers in Y11 are now running our Learning Lab sessions which are additional study and intervention sessions in each subject which take place both in school time and after school where students are given additional targeted support to help them to get exam ready.


Coffee with Cocliffe

One of our most important additional layers of support is ‘Coffee with Cocliffe’  where the wonderful Miss Cocliffe spends 1:1 time with any student who needs support with their health and wellbeing. Students can ask to meet Miss Cocliffe and she’ll make time to check in on them and help to develop strategies for managing emotions and relationships over the course of the year. Miss Cocliffe has already had an incredibly positive effect on a number of our students and I can’t thank her enough for the work that she does for us all.



All this, on top of our usual sessions and interventions, and of course our most powerful support mechanism; Crew.

D6 begins this Saturday for Year 11


D6 is our voluntary sixth day of school which will take place each Saturday during term time. D6 is led by ex-students of XP who are returning to provide our current students with peer to peer academic study support. There will be additional support from our school learning coaches and members of the Leadership Team. Existing students will be able to come into school on a voluntary basis on a Saturday morning from 10.00-12.00 each week to access this additional support.

The long-term plan is to open this up to students in all year groups, but in light of the recently announced lockdown, we are currently only extending this invitation to students in Year 11 as an additional layer off ‘catch-up’ support in response to the previous lockdown. Whilst we understand that there may be some concerns around coming into school on a weekend in the current lockdown, we feel it is justified in light of ensuring our students are able to access the education and additional support they deserve. Therefore, all Year 11 students are welcome at XP from this Saturday 7th November. Sessions will usually begin at 10.00 until 12.00 for the time being.

Appropriate risk assessments and protocols around safe and hygienic working have been prepared, and we will ensure that rooms used in the school have been sanitised before and after use. Refreshments will also be provided.

We hope students in Year 11 can join us this Saturday! If there are any questions or concerns please email Mr Voltaire  at [email protected]

Y10 & 11: We Are Crew!

It’s been the most unusual starts to a year that we’ve ever had here at XP as it has been for most school across the country. But during this time of change and uncertainty, there has been one thing if which I am absolutely certain; the commitment and work ethic of students in our phase, Years 10 and 11. Walking around the school during Crew time I see the same thing everyday; our young people sitting in their circle speaking with compassion, maturity and usually with smiling faces. It’s been a big adjustment for some of us returning to school after such a ling break from routine. Some of us have struggled to slip straight back into the daily routine which has left some feeling tired, but still I’m delighted to see just how well our students are working. In lessons, I have seen students in years 10 and 11 working with focus, purpose and downright graft! Our ‘Crew Dashboards’ where we log all of the positive things we see are bursting at the seems with positive comments from out teachers and learning coaches which is wonderful to see. Here are a few excerpts:



Admiral have been on fire since they returned to School. It’s a pleasure to be in their sessions.

-Kyra and Alfie: PERFECT translation of a text, wow, well done.

-Max W: Max worked really well in Citizenship an History, completing work both in a group, shoulder buddies and independently. Well done Max.

-Jayden, JD, Ricki, Max, Jaggy: Brilliant team effort on their work around ACC plot. Worked together well as a team and proved me and RJO wrong!

-Sam and Milo: Students supporting each other in difficult tasks, well done! Wonderful to see!



-Charlotte: Absolutely fantastic work , attitude and student. Keep going.

-Abi: Brilliant attitude to come back with stronger than ever.

-Mills: Know you’re finding it tough but you’re awesome and a role model to others.

-Tyler and Levi: Working incredibly hard in session, with a positive attitude. Grappling with tricky concepts. Really pleased.

-Isaac: Issac was great in art, head down and on task throughout. I’ve been impressed the last few sessions how Issac has joined a smaller group with myself, found images, shared and expressed, constructively his thoughts.

-Liam: Brilliant effort. This is reflected in your grade, well deserved

-Jac, Alex, Jon: Brilliant work in history today. Detailed answers and very involved – absolutely on fire!!!

There are hundreds more!


What has been even more pleasing this term is the way that our young people seem to be looking out for watch other and supporting each other in their own unique way. I’m seeing people take the time to check in with others and see how they are doing, hearing people speaking up and reaching out and feeling great about the way that our young people see us all as in this together. Our community meeting in X24 was a wonderful thing to see today as every single student wrote a personal positive message of support to their peers in X23. It made me unbelievably proud to see the maturity and compassion being shown to other students in the school have a lot on their plate and a lot on their mind. X24 are shaping up to be a fine set of young adults and I look forward to seeing them develop throughout the rest of the year!