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 should you wish to discuss any issues. 


We are Crew!


Marc Voltaire

Assistant Principal of Years 10 and 11

X24 Art: Beautiful Work

Year 10 started this expedition with an immersion task practising their skills on digital design apps.  Students worked on a range of devices and using different apps which allowed them to edit and filter images that they’d chosen.  We grappled with the apps and started off by creating a horror film poster.

We also looked at the principles of good design, and then started to create our own posters for the fictional movie – Emerald Bay.  Miss Taylor and Mr. Jackson were really pleased with the work that everyone managed to produce – especially considering the wide range of skills and experience that the classes started out with.  Well done year 10!

X24 Immersion

For Immersion, Students are Looking into “Bauhaus”, and In particular one of the artists Kandinsky.

Using different media, X24 have worked on Kandinsky inspired pieces of work, with the aim to “Bring the Spiritual to Life”.

Kandinsky famously was inspired by the composer Schoeberg. For a more modern twist, Students have interpreted their own music into expressionist and abstract Art forms.

Here are some examples..


The Vaccination and Immunisation Team will be attending East School on


for all those students who have consented to have the adolescent vaccinations.

Year 9 XP School students   09:00 – 10:30 am

Year 10 XP School students 10:30 – 12:00 am

If you have not received a Vaccination email then please contact Mrs Mawby or your child’s crew leader.

Further information on the vaccination Leaver Booster and Men-ACWY can be found on NHS Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber.

In order to keep everyone informed, a member of staff has tested positive for Covid19 in our in-school provision at XP East.

Public Health England have advised me that no further action is required because the member of staff first developed symptoms yesterday (Sunday 10th January) and was last in school on Thursday 7th November.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any concerns.

‘How We XP… during Lockdown’ (Crew)

Sharing our stories as we go is an important part of what we do at XP as having a wider audience helps us to be accountable to our students, parents, community and to each other. It’s also one of a number of different reasons that help to explain why we have Presentations of Learning, Student Led Conferences, ‘Passage’ in Y9 and so on. Therefore, the story of Crew during Lockdown has to be told.

As parents will be aware, Crew acts as the cornerstone of our work at XP. Each student belongs to a Crew of no more than 12 or 13 students, and an adult acts as their Crew Leader. Unlike other schools, every school day begins with a 45 minute Crew session. Within our online provision preparations for Lockdown 3, the first point was ‘whatever happens, Crew continues…’ and yesterday during my walk around the in-school provision highlighted just how special Crew is.

As I stood in the middle of the Y7 and Y8 double classroom I saw about 20 students, all with their earphones in, sat with their iPads or devices – all engaged in their Crew session (remotely via Google Hangout). I saw students laughing, Crew Leaders laughing, students checking in on their reflections from the previous day’s work, and students sharing their own stories on what they were finding difficult during the first week of Lockdown. Unbelievably, I was literally in the middle of 20 crew sessions and it was amazing!

When I explain the concept of Crew to other teachers, it’s clear that they don’t quite get it, and that’s understandable because you have to see it, hear it and feel it. I’ve experienced Crew sessions where a student’s apology to their Crew for their poor behaviour as been so sincere that it left some students and Crew Leader in tears. I’ve seen other Crew sessions where students have articulated the daily challenges that they face as a result of being autistic, struggling with dyslexia or the difficulties associated with a family bereavement. Yes, Crew is a place to reflect on academic performance and learn about connecting with the world via our Crew curriculum, but more importantly Crew is a place where we reflect on who we are, who we want to be and where we want to go.

Yesterday, I overheard one lad talking about his Mum. He explained that she was working in Doncaster Royal Infirmary hospital, and how he was a bit worried about her. The student went on to talk about how proud he was of her work, about the hours she puts in, and how she was going to get the vaccine. I saw another Crew giving a student a round of applause because his HOWLs had recently improved in nearly every category as seen within the recent performance snapshot.

Sharing students’ own stories as they go might seem insignificant to some… but having a safe and personal space to talk about their situations, achievements, worries, challenges, successes, ambitions and goals means that all of our students have that reassurance that Crew is always there for them – even during Lockdowns, and even during pandemics.

Beautiful STEAM work from Beth in Year 9

In STEAM this week we have been learning about the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic life.

All students have been working hard and completing some great work on their google Docs for me, but I just wanted to share these beautiful and thorough notes from Beth in Admiral.

it’s clear that Beth is developing a passion for learning about the nature of life itself.

And as a bonus, it’s only on Spiderpaper!

D6 Postponed until further notice

Dear Parents and Students in Years 10 and 11,


In light of the current circumstances, D6 will be postponed until further notice whilst we review if and how we are able to maintain provision during the lockdown.

We look forward to the end of the lockdown where we will be opening our doors on a Saturday to Year 10 and other Year groups, but for now keep an eye out for further updates.


Best wishes,

Mr Voltaire

Free School Meals Update

For the 6 week lockdown period XP will be providing all FSM families with ASDA vouchers to the value of £90 (£15 per week). 

Vouchers can be printed, or shown on a device and can be used either online, or in store. Vouchers can be used unlimited times until the balance is £0.

The vouchers will be sent to you by email, hopefully before the end of this week.

From Monday 11th January 2021, there will be no catering provision on site.

Any students attending the in-school provision will need to bring their own packed lunch (using the vouchers in the case of FSM students). 

Thank you.

January / February Lockdown update

Good evening,

following on from the PM’s announcement concerning the nationwide lockdown period, I can confirm that our original plans for the online provision and the in-school provision remain.

As per this update, you can find the timetables and other details for each year group at both XP and XP East.

As mentioned previously, we will provide an in school provision for children of key workers, Looked After children and students with Special Educational Needs (as per the previous March lockdown period) beginning tomorrow on Tuesday 5th January.

The provision will be based at XP East and will begin at 8:30am / close at 3:15pm. They will need to bring headphones, their devices, and a packed lunch (attending students who qualify for free school meals will have a sandwich lunch provided for them). Please complete this brief survey if your child qualifies for a place and you would like them to attend.

We’re really looking forward to seeing and catching up with all of our students online, beginning with Crew at 8:30am!

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman