Thank you!

Thank youWhat an amazing first term!  

I would just like to thank students, parents, staff and governors for their support, belief and hard work in the first term at XP. Students have made amazing progress and I have been astounded by their growing confidence and willingness to engage in the culture of the school. To end the term with Student-Led Conferences (SLCs) was a big ask but one which students responded to with incredible maturity and skill. The comment below is just one of the many we received from parents and we are extremely grateful for the support and trust shown in our approach to educating our young people.

‘Just thought we would pass on our thanks for this evenings student led conference. If for any second you guys doubt what you have done in regards to developing the school then don’t. We could not be prouder of our son after tonight’s conference. The commitment, calmness and drive to develop our son’s education but more importantly his well being for the future is superb.’

For me, SLCs are one of the ways we empower students with responsibility and accountability for their own learning. In short, they become leaders of their own learning.

Students talked eloquently about Learning Targets and how they have met/exceeded them and/or where they have fallen short and what they need to do to ensure this is addressed. Indeed, to witness students talk about assessment rubrics and how this relates to their achievements, and areas for improvements, has been mind-blowing! In addition, students discussed our Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) and where they have Worked Hard, Got Smart and Been Kind and where they haven’t! The clear emphasis we have on building character and creating a culture of learning, the backbone of academic success, is evident even after eight weeks.

To be honest, I have been moved to tears as I have witnessed our students discuss and present their learning to parents after only eight weeks into their time at XP. Without this opportunity students wouldn’t have shown this significant progress. Without our approach to curriculum their learning wouldn’t have been as deep and without the support of Crew Leaders and their Crew in general students wouldn’t have engaged so confidently in this process. Also, the support from parents must be highlighted here; to have 100% parent attendance at SLCs shows how committed our parents are to XP. Thank you!

At this point, it would be remiss of me not to mention the inspirational commitment of staff to the students at our school. The level of dedication and hard work from our team is, without doubt, breath-taking. I have rarely seen staff go above and beyond so often and so willingly to ensure that students make exceptional progress. The remarkably positive relationships that have been built already between staff and students will ensure that this continues. Thank you!

Finally ……..

I have never seen students being given such responsibility for their learning after such a short time at secondary school;

I have never seen parents so proud of, and commenting upon, the growth of students not only in their learning but also in their character;

I have never seen such enthusiasm from students about the process of learning (and how much they are enjoying expeditions);

I have never seen Year 7 students prepare, research and then plan high level questions (and supplementary ones) which they have then used to probe experts (and blow them away!) in pursuit of knowledge to assist them in answering deep and searching guiding questions;

I have never seen students respond so comprehensively to fieldwork that is keenly focussed on learning outcomes and subsequently highlight to parents how this has had a positive impact on their progress;

I have never seen such desire from students to produce multiple drafts because of the authentic outcomes and public destinations they have for their work;

I have never seen students lead a Year 6 Parents Evening;

…….. until we opened XP eight weeks ago!

Thank you

Mural visit

Last week both Admiral and Skipper went to see the Mural at Bentley as part of their work for Humanities and Arts. The fieldwork allowed students to see a mural and understand the reasons why murals exist.

Instrumental Music Lessons

Lessons will be starting in the first week back following our term break. Follow the link below for timetables. There are tabs along the bottom of the screen to see the different times for different instruments.

There are a couple of quirks with our calendar though. Some Mondays and Friday we have extra training days, so I will work with the music teachers to see how we might rearrange these. Also because we are a new school and have started later than others, we will only be able to fit a maximum of 30 lessons in this year. The money you have paid covers up to the dates on the timetable (the February term rather than January as the letter stated).

If there are any questions (or errors) please email me at

Link to lesson timetables

Cancellation of after school activities

We are sorry to announce that due to Student Led Conferences taking place this week, we are having to cancel Football practice this Tuesday and Craft Club this Thursday which normally take place after school.
The Doncaster Rovers Foundation after School football club on a Friday afternoon will continue to take place as will Homework club.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Student Led Conferences – October 13th-17th

Dear families
A letter regarding Student-Led Conferences went home with students today. This will be a chance for you to come into school and look at work produced by your son/daughter in their first term at XP.
Crew Leaders will contact you this week to arrange a time for you to visit that is mutually convenient.
We are really looking forward to seeing you!
Best wishes
Andy Sprakes

Please find a copy of the letter attached below:


Announcing Friends of XP

Dear Parents / Carers,

We are delighted to announce that we have been putting steps in motion over the past few weeks to lay the foundations for a Friends of XP group.

The aim of the group is to enhance our children’s learning experience through events and activities which will bring the home, school and the local community together, whilst raising funds to enrich our students education.

We are looking for three parents, hopefully with relevant experience to create the framework for our Friends of XP group. Please note this steering group will not necessarily be the committee of the group. The committee will be democratically voted in at the first Annual General Meeting.

If you are interested in being involved in our steering group please email Kate ap Harri, by 17th October

Once we have your replies, we will arrange the first steering group meeting. The exact date and time of this is to be confirmed.

Best wishes,

Kate ap Harri
Volunteer of XP

Cinema visit to see The Giver

It is the Humanities and Arts fieldwork trip to see The Giver at VUE Cinema tomorrow. Unfortunately the weather is not meant to be very good. All students need to ensure that they are wearing appropriate footwear and have a waterproof coat/jacket for the walk to the cinema.
Thank you.

realsmart Student Portfolios

On this coming Monday, 6th October, the team from realsmart will be showing students how to use their new learning portfolios. The realsmart portfolios will become an important part of our students’ learning and development throughout their school career.

To ensure that all students are able to access the realsmart portfolio and take part in the session, we are inviting them to bring in their own device. Students may bring their laptop, tablet or smart phone which should enable them to use the features of realsmart.

If students don’t have access to a portable device that they can bring in, each classroom is equipped with a number of suitable devices which can be used and so students are very welcome to use those. We now feel it is appropriate to invite our students to bring in their own devices on set days, if they wish, to support them in their studies in line with our ICT acceptable usage policy.

Best wishes

Fieldwork to see The Giver at the Cinema 7th October.

A letter has been sent home today to inform parents of a trip to the Vue cinema to see The Giver, a text we are currently studying as part of the Humanities and Arts expedition.
If there are any questions about the fieldwork please don’t hesitate to contact Miss Thornton at School or via email.
Thank you.

Humanities and Arts- Meeting Experts

Last week both Admiral and Skipper group had the opportunity to ask questions to two experts, Norman Edmanson and Liam Scully.
Norman has a great deal of experience of industry within Doncaster and Liam Scully is Chief Executive of Doncaster Rovers Community Foundation. The students were asking questions to gain a greater understanding of what makes a successful talk 2
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