Focus on checking in, communicating and connecting

With everything that is going on around us at the moment, it can sometimes be difficult to remember the most important stuff…. connecting, interacting, and looking after one another.

If you ask any member of crew Kahlo they will probably say that I say the same things over and over again like a broken record – but hopefully, they listen when I say (almost every morning)

‘Email me if you need me, let me know if there is anything wrong’

I say it because I mean it. I always tell them that I can’t help them unless they let me know what is the matter. That goes for all pupils at XP. Every single member of our staff wants each pupil to be safe and happy and will always be there if and when needed.

This is one of the reasons why each morning during our crew sessions we have a ‘check-in’, where each pupil is asked to share their thoughts in some way. I don’t know about other crews, but our check-ins ALWAYS spark some kind of discussion, debate, or even just an opportunity for us to have a bit of a laugh.

Here are some examples of our crew check-ins during lockdown 3.0:


Some of our check-ins provoke insightful and interesting revelations and others just make it very clear that crew Kahlo is a special little bunch who I fit in with perfectly.

My crew knows how much I love a cat meme.

Stay safe

Miss Jones

Year 9 X25 Spanish World of Work Experts

Today Year 9 were joined by two experts, Robert and Lucy Bell, to talk to them about languages, careers, and the world of work. Where will learning a language take you?

Well, according to Robert, absolutely anywhere! Robert explained his amazing job opportunities, from working in advertising all over Europe for Mars, to running an imports office in Peru…and all from knowing one language that had little to do with anything he needed at that moment in time…French!

Lucy described her gap year adventures before university, and her studies in Latin America whilst at university, becoming immersed in language, culture and tradition.

I know that Year 9 will agree that both experts were interesting, inspiring, and passionate about where knowing one language, and being open to learning more, will take you. I know they agree as two students contacted me straight after the session, to share their excitement and feedback from our guests. One student even wants to start learning another language as soon as possible. Take your opportunities where you can Year 9!


Dear parents and carers,

We are now in the 8th week of what is already a long and tiring term for our students, but it perhaps feels all the more tiring within the context of online learning. Our students’ efforts over the last 7 weeks have been nothing short of remarkable and we have nothing but admiration for them for this. Our students’ wellbeing and progress is always at the forefront of our mind and we have come to a point where we feel it is appropriate to take steps to reduce some of the screen time which we are asking of them at present. 

To enable our students to maintain their energy levels and motivation for online learning, we will be ending taught online sessions daily at 14.15 until the end of this term. In place of a taught session, we’ll be setting students a daily activity or challenge in that day’s morning Crew session. Crew’s will choose from a selection of activities and should aim to complete them in the last session of the day from 2:15pm. We hope that reducing screen time and asking students to be more active will help to avoid screen fatigue and maintain wellbeing as we move into the last two weeks of term. 

We hope that students, and their families, (where convenient!) will engage with the activities which include things such as; taking a family walk or completing a photography challenge etc. There is a whole menu of ideas which Crew will decide upon in the morning. Crew Leaders and the rest of the Crew will then check in on the activity the next day to see how everybody got on. 

We understand that there may be some concerns around the loss of session time, but with 2 weeks left to go, there shouldn’t be a massive impact and we hope that we’ll actually see a positive impact on the remaining sessions of term. As always, we want to make sure everybody makes it to the top of the mountain, and this is just one of the ways we’re going to achieve that. 

For Year 11, Wednesday’s Common Mission sessions will stay the same if they are working towards a qualification such as Diploma in Engineering or Sport, but other intervention sessions will not take place online. XP16 sessions will also continue as normal.

Our in-school provision will take place within the same hours as normal, but students will complete the ‘Screens Off’ activities at school. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to make contact with your child’s Crew Leader.

We will release a response to the Prime Minister’s announcements regarding the reopening of schools shortly.

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman

Hahn’s Friday crew breakfast

The amount of time staff and students are spending on screens because of covid is a lot and believe me it’s pretty exhausting. I don’t know why its more tiring but it really is. I really praise our students for how they are spending the day doing sessions online starting in crew every morning.


So I wanted to think of ways we can still be crew but actually get away from the screen and spend a bit of time looking after ourselves, slowing down and caring for and nurturing ourselves. What better way to encompass all those things than a nice big home cooked breakfast…. and what better time than during crew to do this together.

At the beginning of the week we each thought about a breakfast we’d like to prepare and cook for ourselves or someone else in our house. Some knew within seconds what they were mocking whereas it took others till Friday morning to decide. 


We checked in this morning (Friday) as normal to do the register and then discussed what each of us was cooking. James S must have been starving as he’d already started sending pics of him cooking his scrambled eggs!

Tom wasn’t feeling hungry so he lovingly cooked his mum beans on toast, brilliant!

James L even went to the trouble of making homemade hash browns, he said he’d over spiced them but i was still impressed.

Gracie prepared herself a beautiful healthy and colourful breakfast of crumpets, fried tomatoes and rocket, it looked so pretty!

Maddison continued the pancake day theme with chocolate chip pancakes that looked yummy!

Although Cara hadn’t a clue all week of what to cook she did a fab looking poached egg on toast, poaching an egg takes skill!

Sam did a classic egg & bacon sarnie on brown with his morning cup of coffee, our Sam does like his coffee!

Sophie also had an egg & bacon sarnie but in a bap with a perfectly fired egg, (she’s also partial to some butter on her bread by the looks of it ; )

James SK looked a natural in the kitchen and couldn’t wait to get started with his bacon and scrambled eggs which tempted me into cooking myself scrambled eggs with a couple of left over sausages.


We then rejoined the hangout and talked through how it had gone and I think everyone enjoyed themselves being off screen having some restful and much needed time looking after ourselves, I know I did!

Click here to have a look at these tasty pics!

Further to our initial update on Friday 12th February, we would like to thank those who have contributed to feeding back to us on the proposed calendar changes. 

As you will have noticed, the initial survey was for staff, parents and members of the community of XP Trust (including Norton Infants, Norton Primary, Greentop Primary and Plover Primary.) We would now like to consult more specifically with parents of our secondary schools within the Trust: XP and XP East.

Whilst some of the previous comments opposed the changes, and others supported them, there were a number of entries that said they didn’t particularly have a preference. We have therefore added a third option of ‘don’t mind’.

If you commented last time, you do not need to add them again as we already have access to the details in the previous survey, but you are of course welcome to add any additional points. We would however still like you to select one of the following options.

  • Strongly prefer the original XP Trust calendar
  • Don’t mind
  • Strongly prefer the new XP Trust calendar

As previously mentioned, we would like all of our staff and parents to select an option.

Here is the link to the survey.

Best wishes

Jamie Portman


For reference:

Original XP Trust Calendar

New XP Trust Calendar

Within our expeditionary art sessions in Year 9 we would like students to use the Pixlr app to create some digital artwork.
This is a free and fantastic online image editing app. By doing this it will allow all students to work on the same platform regardless of the device being used.

Students need to sign up for an account, however it specifies that users should be over the age of 16. This is a condition of the app creators, however there are no inherent risks in using the software. Essentially it is an online photoshop equivalent.

Could you please complete this short Google Form to let us know if you give permission for your son/daughter to sign up for an account and use the app.

If you have any questions please contact

Thanks as always for your support.

X24 Year 10 Spanish: sneak peak at product!

The Year 10 Spanish GCSE group have been working hard this term to create beautiful work for an authentic audience. The two X24 year groups are creating product for each other, describing themselves, their family, and what they like to do in their spare time. Some have taken on roles, and placed themselves in a fictional family, and some have described their real family. Watch out for the launch of this product the first week back after the holidays. For now, here’s a sneak peek, but only at the fictional families…

Y9 Student of the Week

Year 9 student of the week goes to Luke in Crew Stan Lee.

Luke you have been nominated by myself and several of your teachers for working so hard this week and term in sessions and preparing for your Passage Presentation.

We have been really impressed with your contributions during online sessions, your improved attendance online compared to the previous lockdown and the mature manner in which you have prepared yourself for Passage.

Mrs Pullham has expressed how proud she is of you and how impressed she is with your attitude to learning. I am looking forward to being a part of your Passage Presentation and hearing you reflect on your journey through XP.

It won’t be long before we return to school. Let’s keep up this impressive attitude to learning when we return to school. It will have a significant impact on your HOWLS and academic grades if you continue the way you have started this term.

Very impressed young man! Well done. 🙂

X26 Student of the Week

Student of the week in Year 8 / X26 goes to Arthur…

Congratulations Arthur, you have been nominated by so many of your teachers for working so hard in your online lessons and producing beautiful work. I am really impressed with what I am seeing and hearing about Arthur. Keep up the hard work, it is not going unnoticed.


Here are some of the comments teachers made about you:

I am really impressed with Arthur. He always has his hand up answering or asking questions. He is working and trying really hard. He has been working hard since the start of the new lockdown and i think he needs appreciation 🙂 (Miss Haythorne)

I nominate Arthur. He is working really hard in all his sessions and getting good feedback from every teacher. Dedicated to having a good SLC and being prepared and creating some beautiful artwork. (Miss Jones)

It would have to be Arthur for me for student of the week. Absolutely smashing it!! Example of work – OMAM character analysis – finding quotes to support his inferences! Independently! Always answering questions! (Miss Ibbotson)
Miss O’Grady also commented on how impressed she was in the quality of the work you are producing in PE.
Well done Arthur! Let’s hope you have a happier face when you see this post than in your picture! 🙂