Our Curriculum

The curriculum at XP is standards-based and teacher-led. We use the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and 4 to guide us as to which standards we cover deeply.


Our approach is to teach this knowledge and skills-based content through cross-subject learning expeditions. Each expedition is rigorously mapped against the National Curriculum standards to ensure coverage and depth.

You can see how we do this by looking more deeply at our expeditions.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7 & 8)

Below summarises what our students are learning each year in our school. The expeditions are updated as each year is completed. We have mapped the National Curriculum (NC) standards to each expedition through their associated learning targets.

Year 7 Expeditions

All Together Now

During this expedition our students explore what makes a successful community and how the Doncaster community has changed over the years. Students read the novels The Giver by Lois Lowry and SeedFolks by Paul Fleischman and reflect on the nature and importance of community within these. The final product for this expedition is a written reflective piece on what the individual students thought about what makes a community a successful community. These essays are edited to form a short paragraph that encapsulates the essence of their writing. This is then used as a page in a book, opposite their visual representation of ‘community’.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Rock on

This expedition starts with students visiting a site of scientific interest and examining the land. During the expedition students learned about how scientists apply mathematical principles to measure, collect and interpret data reliably and accurately, the rock cycle and hydrological cycle. For the final product students have to produce a site report looking at the hydrology and geology of an area.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.


The Chefistry expedition was designed for students to understand the link between Chemistry and cooking. The immersion for this expedition takes place at Sheffield Hallam University where students take part in a number of experiments looking at how Chemistry is used in cooking. This expedition covers national curriculum across Maths, Design Technology and Science. The final product for this expedition is a film showing how to cook a simple meal with annotations and narration of how Chemistry and Maths is involved in this process. Students also host a meal for parents where they showcase their films and serve them the meal they have made.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Grand Designs

During this expedition students learn about a number of topics across STEM and Humanities and Arts subjects including Evolution vs Creationism, Fibonacci sequence, Golden Ratio, lino printing and DNA.  For the immersion students explore Potteric Carr and form ideas and questions about the reserve. They are then assigned a species that can be found at Potteric Carr and throughout this expedition they visit to research their species. Students complete a first person narrative of a day in the life of their species along with a lino print. Every student’s narrative and lino print are then used to produce a field guide that was designed by the students and then sold at Potteric Carr for the public to buy. In the second year of this expedition the final product was species information boards showing their lino print, narrative and scientific writing which would be displayed around Potteric Carr.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.


During this expedition students learn about energy conversion, gravity, algebra and designing and making a turbine. The immersion for this expedition involves students watching a film of an elastic band being fired and discussing the energy conversion. The final product for this expedition is the design and making of a turbine that could light a room.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Spread a Little Happiness

Students explore kindness in different religions by visiting different religious buildings and asking questions to religious experts. They also visit Lakeside Shopping Village to complete random acts of kindness – handing out flowers, water, sweets, cake, dog treats and balloons to the general public. Using the reactions of the public and their experience of different religions students write about whether they think kindness could change the world. The final product is an e-book with all their essays in.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Something Better Change

During this expedition students study a range of different themes from the Medieval period. Alongside the work around the changes during the Medieval period students also investigate the relationship between England and France. The life of and impact of Joan of Arc is studied through the reading of the factional novel ‘Sparrow’ and watching the film ‘Joan of Arc’. As a result of this research, students write two essays, one looking the consequences of the Black Death on Britain and the other comparing the portrayal of Joan of Arc in both the film and a novel based on her life. The expedition culminates through the creation of artwork based on the Book of Kells, students study and recreate illuminated letters for each letter of the alphabet.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

That’s Sick

Students study the composition of the human body starting at the microscopic scale by observing different types of cell, and then examine key organs and systems of the body. They then look at different illnesses that can affect different organs and how this affects the body. Students complete a piece of scientific writing along with a proportionally correct drawing of key organs. They write about the organ and how it is specialised for it’s function, and also describe particular illnesses that could affect them.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Year 8 Expeditions


Students study the role of women during the Victorian Era and how this changed over time through the development of the Suffrage movement, which included a focus on the skill of analysing source material. They also consider the struggle for suffrage from a male perspective by examining the work of the Chartist movement. Alongside the historical content students read Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and examine the rebellion in and between families. Students each write an essay examining the theme of conflict between individuals and family groups.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Get Up Stand Up!

During this expedition students study World War One, the Treaty of Versailles and why these led to World War Two. Students read In Black and White by Donald McRae and look at the prejudice in the novel. Students focus on the main acts of the civil rights movement which include: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, The Greensboro Sit ins and the Selma to Montgomery walks. Students are introduced to Martin Luther King and why he targeted certain towns to get the Media attention by using nonviolent tactics. The students write a speech on one of the following topics, The right to an Education, The right to not be discriminated against and The right to be protected from conflict and cruelty.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Stormy sea, toil and Tempest

Students study how and why migrants move from North Africa into Europe, the risks they take in doing so, with the backdrop of Shakespeare’s The Tempest linking the ideas of sea travel and different geographical landscape. They visit some hills to understand the contours and shapes of them. Students produce a 3D topographical map, with extracts from a first person narrative as a migrant, and comments on the setting and island where The Tempest is located.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Get Physical

Students examine the muscular system and the skeletal system and understood their structure and how they worked together to produce movement. In PE students look at health and fitness and take part in fitness training sessions which examine how the musculoskeletal system is used during training and how training can improve performance. Students create anatomical drawings of the skeleton and the muscular system which help students to produce scientifically accurate sketches which they then write about in their science journals. Students produce educational posters detailing different field events and how they affect the musculoskeletal system, the specific types of movement and the biomechanics of the technique, forces and key coaching points.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Natural Disasters

During this expedition students look at natural disasters that have happened in the past and look how areas with different wealth react to them. Students also look at the probability of different incidents occurring. Students complete this expedition with the design and production of a prototype of an earthquake resistant building. They then have to pitch their building to the rest of the class.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

CSI: Doncaster

A “murder” scenario was created for this expedition with the final product being evidence presented to an audience and a written piece with further details. Students collect evidence in a number of ways using a variety of scientific and mathematic methods, complete a blood test and a blood splatter pattern analysis (using maths) as part of this process in their attempt to find evidence to convict the suspects.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.


Students are challenged to follow a set of bearings and distances on the large car park to discover a shape. They read about George Boole who is a teacher’s assistant in Doncaster and a mathematician who wrote about the laws of logic, which are the fundamental laws in all modern day computers. Students play games with logic gates such as AND, OR, NAND, NOR and XOR to work out how inputs change their output, learning how to express these using Boolean algebra and Venn diagrams. Students work in teams to build and programme a robot.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Keep On Moving

Students create their own pieces of artwork after listening to various styles of music inspired by Kandinsky. Students choose one of three artists Alasdair Banks, Franz Marc, William Turner or John Constable and analyse their chosen piece of work to be able to understand their style and technique. Students experiment with different materials to develop their understanding of the style of the artist and form their own ideas. The Horse and Wind by Ted Hughes are examined. The final product is artwork in the style of their chosen artist and a figurative poem to go alongside it.

To view the learning targets and read more about this expedition click here.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9, 10 & 11)

Students study through cross-subject learning expeditions until January of Year 11. This provides our students with a broad and balanced curriculum. As a consequence of this, our approach to GCSEs is that our students take a core of GCSEs, then a personal choice.

The Core GCSEs that all our students take are:

  • English Language
  • English Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Science (Double Award)
  • History
  • Spanish
  • Art

Students then have a personal choice where they choose any other appropriate GCSE and study this with guided help, such as Computing, PE, Triple Science, Music, an additional language, Design & Technology, Geography, Economics, Psychology, Drama etc.

Some students may have the capability and capacity to do more than one Choice GCSE.

The reasoning behind our approach is that the Core GCSEs offer an academically rigorous blend of subjects that are covered within our learning expeditions, and the personal choice offers a specific route that they may want to follow towards A Level and beyond.

Our expeditionary curriculum at Key Stage 4 is much broader than the eight Core GCSEs and covers other subject areas, such as music, computing, design & technology, geography as well.

The Core GCSEs cover the English Baccalaureate with the addition of Art. They are also ‘gateway’ qualifications, meaning that students will be able to study any subject post 16.

Provision for alternative GCSEs and other qualifications may be put in place if we deem that a student is better served this way.

Key Stage 5 – Post 16

The vast majority of students will study the International Baccalaureate Diploma or Career-related programme.

Some students may study a more personalised programme of suitable qualifications.

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