Student overview for WB 13.04.20

Hi everyone,

I hope all of our families have been able to enjoy the Easter break, even during this difficult period for us all. As I look outside this morning, Spring is definitely in the air and let’s use our continued educational provision to establish some sense of routine back into our lives. I for one am raring to go with regards to meeting up with our staff online in order to get stuff done!

Please find below this week’s overview for students. You will notice that due to the Easter bank holiday weekend, and due to the calendared Staff Days, no work was set for Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Also, check out our video by the Edge Foundation entitled ‘XP: All about Crew’. We love it!

Best wishes everyone.



Updated ‘timetable’ for students

Hi everyone,

we have updated our approach to the weekly overview for students. The timetable should act as a guide that can be used flexibly depending on your circumstances. Essentially, families and students should ‘try and do what you can – when you can’. We don’t want any of our families to be worried or stressed about the challenges surrounding completing work at home.

To build on this, there isn’t a specific amount of time that students need to be working on school work. If parents would like their children to enjoy the sun (if it comes back) with their family, then that is absolutely fine with us! Whilst it is important that students engage with what teachers are setting, the timetable is there as a guide to provide structure for families.

Read more about the changes here, especially the suggestions for ‘Common Mission’.

Click below for the overview timetable for this week.

A family’s guide to online learning at XP.

Dear parent / guardian,

We have created ‘A family’s guide to online learning at XP’ which can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlink, or the image below.

Part of our strategy revolves around helping students and families to structure their days in order to establish routine. Where possible, we would like students to follow their normal timetable and complete the work that has been set by their teachers. A ‘weekly planner’ will be available for each year group and published on our website on a weekly basis. This will provide a very brief overview of the week in order to highlight what students should be working on.

Whilst the weekly planner will provide an overview of the week, Google Classroom will be used to provide specific details for tasks. Staff will be able to set work, provide resources, and even create videos in some instances which will go some way in ensuring that families are supported.

As mentioned, following the normal timetable is only a suggestion but establishing a routine at home may help families to ensure that students can focus on their learning.

We are also setting up a ‘Parents support centre’ which will be released as soon as possible. This will contain useful resources, a contact list for teachers and staff, and other information to support parents during this time.

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman (Principal of XP and XP East )


Update 19/03/20

We will keep our schools open for as long as possible, whilst ensuring that we keep our students / children safe. This is our top priority.

* Updated on 20.03.20 due to the recently released Government guidance on key workers.

As you are aware the Government has announced the closure of all schools from the end of the day tomorrow, Friday 20th March 2020.

We will be keeping the school open for those children whose parents/carers work as key workers and those who are open to social services, support agencies or have an Education, Health and Care Plan. Key Workers that we are aware of include:

  • Health and social care
  • Education and childcare
  • Key public services
  • Local and national government
  • Food and other necessary goods
  • Public safety and national security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, communication and financial services

I am sure you will appreciate, a plan needs to be prepared urgently and therefore we would really appreciate a response to the following request:

  1. Please contact the school offices as soon as possible should you believe you fall into one of the categories listed above. We appreciate the phone lines may be busy, therefore please also use our admin email if you need to which is
  2. Please state your child’s name and your reason you request your child to remain in school during these difficult times.

We are continuing to look at supporting our families who are entitled to free school meals and will provide updates as soon as we can. Please keep checking the website daily for updates.

Best wishes,

Jamie Portman (Principal of XP and XP East)

Accessing our curriculum online

The video below provides parents and students with instructions on how to access our curriculum online.

All of our students are familiar with Google Docs and Google Classroom, and each of them have an email address which will contain updates on what they should / will be doing.

Please bear in mind that our staff are still teaching lessons, and some of them are in self isolation because they have symptoms of the virus.

However, you will see that our expedition and subject websites have been part of our practice for some time now and we are in a strong position to continue our work remotely.

Coronavirus update from the Trust: 17/03/20

Good Morning,

The leaders of the XP School Trust would like to update and clarify our action plan on the Coronavirus situation.

We will confirm that we will support our school community by:
-Keeping our schools open for as long as possible, whilst ensuring that we keep our students / children safe. This is our top priority.
-Place our curriculum online for all children / students to access online in school and at home.
-We would like all of our adults in our schools to follow the ongoing / updated guidance from the government.

Please could you support the schools by ensuring:
-Your children / students wash their hands before they come to school and when then get home
-You keep the communication between home and schools open via email, websites and phone calls
-Follow the government guidance on household self isolation

In all our schools today we are preparing our children / students to be able to access our curriculum online. You will be receiving communication from our schools on how to access and get involved in this process.

We will continue to send out updates where the situation changes and for your reassurance and information.

As always the usual lines of communication to schools will be open if you have any specific concerns related to your child or circumstances.

Thank you for your support at this time,

Coronavirus update: 15/03/20


Please read the following and share with others. I’ve written this in the hope that this will alleviate some of your concerns, at what is proving to be a testing time for all of us.

Firstly, I want you to be reassured that staff and I have been extremely busy over the recent week preparing for students to come back to school.

Our plan – to support the challenges currently surrounding the coronavirus pandemic – are to maintain calm by carrying on with normal school life and routines (where possible), to help our students develop habits around hand hygiene and to concentrate our efforts into making learning accessible online.

Underpinning the points above are a large number of practicalities and procedures that will support our efforts, and these have already been shared with staff. I should also state at this point that our plans are guided by the Government’s Public Health England agency, and that we are also in regular contact with Doncaster Local Authority’s Public Health department.

My final Google Hangout (online video chat) with 10 members of staff who have leadership and management responsibilities was very constructive this morning. We have common strategies that have already been shared with the wider staff, and which I will outline in a meeting at 8am tomorrow morning.

However, we do need your help.

Firstly, as instructed by the Government, it is imperative that if your child has a new continuous cough and / or a high temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) that you keep your child at home and away from school and make sure they self isolate for the necessary period of 7 days. If this develops at school we will contact parents and carers in order to collect them. Staff will also be sent home should they too develop these symptoms.

Secondly, whilst we do have plenty of soap in our schools (the preferred method for washing hands as suggested by Public Health England) unfortunately we have not been able to secure large amounts of antibacterial agents, or boxes of tissues as I’m sure you will understand (although we are obviously working on this.) Therefore, we would appreciate it if parents could send their children into school with these items in order to support the wider national campaign if you have them and can spare them to help us.

(However, if Doncaster’s shops are anything like the shops near me in Barnsley, I understand that this may not be possible due to the national shortage.)

Overall, we must maintain calm despite the challenges that we face and I’m confident that as always we will pull together as a community to make this happen.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us during this worrying time should you have any questions. Also, please be aware that things may change as the days and weeks go by.

Jamie Portman (Principal of XP and XP East)

XP East: HQ for the British Army

We were delighted to be able to host 200 soldiers from the British Army this week to help out with the Doncaster flood campaign.

Despite only getting the phone call late on Tuesday evening, our school was able to act as a base in which to conduct briefings on Wednesday morning due to the effects of the last week’s heavy rain.

Many of our staff volunteered their support from well before 7am in order to ensure that the soldiers had hot cups of tea and coffee, and everything else that they needed to move on into areas like Bentley and Fishlake.

It was a special moment when Mrs Poncia (whose own home has been devastated from the floods) was able to personally address and thank the soldiers for helping out. Despite lots of excitement, our students’ conduct was superb and it was great to see the spontaneous rounds of applause when the soldiers walked through the school yard!


Wales updates

We’ve arrived at Aberdovey after a 5 hour drive, and students are currently preparing to go out on expedition. This will involve crews camping or staying in wooden cabins. Everyone is happy and there are no issues to report.

Parents can stay tuned by clicking on the following link which will take you to our Twitter home page. We will be using #XPEOB2019.

I will update this as quickly and as often as possible.

DAYS 3 & 4:

DAY 2:

DAY 1:



XP East Y6 Transition Day

As I said during the final Community meeting in front of Y6 parents this afternoon:

‘I’ve got a brilliant feeling about this year group!’

Check out the video below for a summary of the day’s events (who knew we had such acrobatic dancers coming up to XP East!)