Return from Lockdown – WB 22.03.21

We are now in a position to outline our plans for the full return of students beginning on Monday 22nd March. 

I can confirm that all of the measures that we had in place before the current lockdown will still be in place. For instance, the organisation of year groups into year bubbles, the staggered start and end to the day, the arrangement of year bubbles into zones in each school building, hand hygiene etc.

The arrangements for the 1st week back have an additional layer of complexity due to the recent Government announcement that ‘Pupils should return to face-to-face education following their first negative test result’. In addition to this, on their first day back students need to be tested before a year group’s normal lessons can resume. As you can imagine, the challenges around organising this for nearly 700 people are considerable but we are confident that the following plan is the best way for mitigating as much risk as possible.

Firstly, whilst we do have a mass testing provision in school that has tested key worker children and staff throughout lockdown, we simply do not have the capacity to be able to manage the testing of 700 people all at one time. Therefore, we have had to stagger the return to school due to the fact that students must be tested before normal lessons can resume. Two subsequent Covid tests (for those who have consented) will be given in school over the next fortnight, and home testing kits will be provided for students after this initial period (more updates will follow). 

As you can see from the table below XP16, Y11, Y10 and Y9 students in both schools will come back on Monday 22nd March at different times in order to facilitate their first test (unfortunately we have no alternative but to make Monday 22nd March an additional holiday day for Y7 and Y8). The reason for this staggered start for year groups is to allow us to test 100 students in designated blocks of time. In addition to this, students will remain in Crew bubbles at all times until confirmation of results have been received on that first day (results from Lateral Flow Tests take approximately 30 minutes) We have organised students into Crew bubbles because we wanted to do everything that we possibly can to prevent a full year bubble being sent home should a student test positive on the first day back. After confirmation of negative test results, Crew bubbles will once again become year bubbles ultimately allowing normal lessons to resume.

* Please note – we need Y9 students to have their lunch at home before coming into school for a 12:30pm start because we do not have the capacity to test students before lunchtime (students cannot go into the wider premises until negative results have been confirmed). Please contact Crew Leaders should this be an issue.

Students and staff should continue to wear face coverings (unless exempt) but a significant change to the Government guidance is that it is strongly recommended that face coverings should now also be worn in classrooms.

When students come into school for their first day back they will be greeted by staff who will direct them straight to their Crew room. Once here, students will engage in the testing registration procedure (once consent has been given) and they will be collected by a member of staff who will escort the Crew bubble to the mass testing area in XP’s Drama Studio. 

After 9 very long weeks of Lockdown, we cannot wait to get our students back. I couldn’t be more proud of our staff who have worked so hard to support our kids. As a parent myself, I just want everything to get back to normal as quickly as possible, but we’re still not fully out of this yet. We must observe the guidance that we are receiving from Government and Public Health England the best we can. Coming back to school after what will be 13 weeks off is a very important milestone for us, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to allow us all to get through this as safely as possible. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about these arrangements, please contact your child’s Crew Leader in the first instance.

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman.

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Dear parent / carer,

Please read the information below and then complete the covid test consent form before Thursday 4th March so that we are able to start testing students after the holiday.

This consent form is for participation in tests designed to detect asymptomatic coronavirus cases. Anyone experiencing symptoms should follow government guidelines to self-isolate, even if they have had a recent negative lateral flow test. 

Consent relates to the following groups of students/pupils and staff as follows:

  • For pupils and students younger than 16 years – this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to participate in testing.
  • Pupils and students over 16 who are able to provide informed consent – can complete this form themselves, having discussed participation with their parent / guardian if under 18. 
  • For any pupil or student who does not have the capacity to provide informed consent – this form must be completed by the parent or legal guardian. Please complete one consent form for each child you wish to participate in testing.
  • Staff will complete this form themselves.

Terms of consent

  1. I have had the opportunity to consider the information provided by the school about the testing, ask questions and have had these answered satisfactorily, based on the information presented in the letter dated 01/03/2021 and the attached Privacy Notice. 
  2. In the case of under 16s, I have discussed the testing with my child and my child is happy to participate. If on the day of testing they do not wish to take part, then they will not be made to do so and consent can be withdrawn at any time ahead of the test. 
  3. I consent to having / my child having a nose and throat swab for lateral flow tests. I / my child will self-swab if I / my child is able to otherwise I understand that assistance is available
  4. I understand that there may be multiple tests required and this consent covers all tests for the below named person. If, on the day of testing I / they do not wish to take part, then I understand I / they will not be made to do so and that consent can be withdrawn at any time ahead of the test.
  5. I consent that my / my child’s sample(s) will be tested for the presence of COVID-19.
  6. I understand that if my /my child’s result(s) are negative on the lateral flow test I will not be contacted by the school/college except where I am / they are a close contact of a confirmed positive.
  7. If the lateral flow test indicates the presence of COVID-19, I commit to ensuring that I / my child is removed from school premises as promptly as possible, bearing in mind I / they may have some anxiety following a positive test result.
  8. I understand that I / they will need to self-isolate following a positive lateral flow test result.
  9. I agree that if my / my child’s test results are confirmed to be positive from this lateral flow test, I will report this to the school / college and I understand that I/ my child will be required to self-isolate following public health advice.
  10. I understand that if a close contact of my child tests positive that my child will self-isolate for 10 days in line with Government guidance.

What if my child develops symptoms?

If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or loss or a change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self isolate, and book a test by calling 119.

We will continue to support staff and students throughout, but please contact us if you need this information in any other language or format or have any questions. You can call the office on 01302 898792 or email or depending on which school your child attends.

Additional Information:

Testing Leaflet


We made it!


I just can’t say it enough about Crew Tubman, they continually blow me away with how resilient they are and have participated in all that has been thrown at them.


From taking part in off screen activities to writing and composing songs! this little bunch has been what has kept me sane and going through this incredibly challenging time. I honestly don’t think i could have done it without them. them and of course our honorary crew member Niamh who is 4 she has brought us a little ray of sunshine and joy to our crew check ins in the morning.


— Across the Finish Line

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!

Calling XP and XP East students (aged 14+) who might be secret scribblers, closet novels or part time poets…

WordHatch creative writing taster programme wants YOU!

This is a five-week programme of relaxed, fun and free creative writing workshops run by local writers on Zoom. And it ends in publication!

You don’t have to think you’re a great writer to attend. Everyone is welcome from those with a hobby interest in writing or words, to those who dream of being a writer.

Here’s a little audio note you can listen to for more information

Starts: This Saturday 6th March 11.30am on Zoom (camera off is fine after check in!)

You can find out more and sign up here:

Jamie Portman – Principal of XP School and XP East.

XP School
XP East
Principal’s blog

We made it!

So, we made it crew! A 9-week term online – WOWZER!

It’s been tough, but we have got through it.

There has been some wonderful work produced by crew Kahlo this term and they have worked so so hard and I’m really proud of them.

These last two weeks we have been able to log off lessons and have some time at the end of each school day to do something a little different.

The crew have been….

  • Building dens:
  • Taking time out to read.
  • Meditating and relaxing to music.
  • Creating their own perfect playlist of music.
  • Taking part in a rainbow photography challenge.









  • A world book day scavenger hunt










It’s been great to see the crew doing something a little bit different!

For our crew members that have been in school, they have been working off some of their energy by playing badminton, basketball, or busting out some shapes following ‘Just Dance’ routines with their friends. Look at Olivia go!!!

Have a relaxing 2 weeks off crew Kahlo and try to stay off those screens!

X26 Year 8 Spanish Food Session

Over the last three weeks, Year 8 have been focusing on most teenagers’ favourite topic…food! Starting with an immersion experience which made all of us inquisitive (and hungry!), moving through different meals, and ending up today by ordering quantities of food in a market. Take a look at Becky and Kira’s annotations on their conversation, with the use of colour to highlight the main ideas. Great work Year 8!




C27 Spanish Conversation Club Experts

This week E27 and X27 were visited by two experts from El Salvador, who talked to students in Spanish about the types of houses people there might live in (from high rise flats to homes made of clay and straw) and how they compare to our own homes here in the U.K.

Students developed their listening skills by focusing on key words relating to homes and housing, and then had an opportunity to ask our experts questions about their lives in El Salvador. Students then followed this by continuing to develop their own skills by listening to a poem and matching key words in Spanish with pictures.
A great experience and fantastic work by E27 and X27.

Proud As Punch!

Congratulations to Crew Stan Lee for all completing their Passage Presentation!

All smiles as passage was over!!

To say that Passage Presentation has been tough this year is a slight understatement, due to students completing it virtually.

Crew Stan Lee have all worked extremely hard and produced some fantastic presentations, all students presented their work to their parents, crew leader and a mystery guest.

I was brought to tears by the passion shown by our crew and the dedication to their own learning.

I feel confident that crew members are ready to move on to the next phase on their journey through XP.

Thank you for all your continued support.

Mrs Pulham.



Brief update / early close on Friday 5th March

In order to briefly update parents, we are making the final arrangements for the first week back after Lockdown and we will communicate this with you shortly.

As normal, school will close early for students on Friday 5th March due to our degunge process, with the day closing at the end of session 2 at 11:30am. Our in school provision will also be closed from 11:30am onwards.

This period of time will also provide us with an opportunity to fully brief staff on the final extensive arrangements for the return from Lockdown.

As we come into this final week of a 9 week term, may I thank parents for their continued support as student engagement and hard work has been simply stunning – five more school days to go before a well earned rest!

Please stay tuned for further updates.

Best wishes, Jamie Portman.