Parent Support Centre

Our new ‘Parent Support Centre‘ is now online.

The video below shows how you can access advice on how we are using technology at this time. This includes:

    • How students are set work
    • Why we use different online technologies
    • How to access these technologies
    • Frequently Asked Questions
    • How to contact staff

Even more content will be added to the website in the next few days.

A family’s guide to online learning

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 from Mr Portman

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.

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:

  • NHS Staff
  • Police
  • Fire Fighters
  • Social Care workers
  • Teachers & Nursery Nurses
  • Delivery drivers
  • Other essential Public 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)

Sports galore

Yesterday Year 7 were taking part in their PE presentation of learning. Students from XP and XP East were pitted against each other in a table tennis competition. Josh, Jack and Asten were umpires for each table having been involved in PE sessions leading up to the event.

Down on the athletics track, Year 8 students were taking part in the run a mile challenge for Sports Relief. Our XP16 students were there to cheer them on, with Klaudia and Harrison taking photographs as part of their A Level course, and Rory and Ethan setting the pace on the track.

Fine tuning

“Fine tuning” A Level Required Practical 1 – Investigation into the variation of the frequency of stationary waves on a string with length, tension and mass per unit length of the string.

Seriously grappling with physics assessment today;

AT – a
Use appropriate analogue apparatus to record a range of measurements of length and to interpolate between scale markings
AT – b
Use appropriate digital instruments, to obtain a range of measurements time
AT – c
Use methods to increase accuracy of measurements in timing over multiple oscillations.
AT – i
Generate and measure waves using a vibration transducer

Who needs McDonalds… not us.

6 students from Post 16 have had their first session cooking today for part of the life skills section of their XP Diploma.

And what a fab start! Thanks to Mrs ap Harri for leading the session.

They each cooked Sausage, egg and cheese mcMuffins.

Prior to this they have each completed the Safety & hygiene level 2 award in food.

Here are some photos of a really fun afternoon.

Keep posted for what we cook up next week!

Yesterday’s crew session

Yesterday morning in crew students were split into two groups. We carried out an activity based on a staff crew session which Mr Walker and Miss O’Grady had led the previous week.

Each group had to race to grab post-it notes from the centre of the hall. Each post-it had a piece of sports equipments. Students were then challenged to develop a game using that equipment using the following criteria:

  • The game must involve all players
  • The game must not be a replica of an existing game (although modified is OK)
  • The game must have a (preferably silly) name.

Each group nominated a chair to facilitate discussion.


The chairs found it tough to get the groups working collaboratively and creatively. So we circled up and talked about how this type of activity was analogous to what many job interviews look like, where applicants are placed in groups and asked to complete a task, whilst being observed all of the time.

Students were asked to give a fist to five on their contribution and enthusiasm and those that needed to had the integrity to admit that they perhaps had not been helping their team as best they could. We also talked about the nature of creativity and how taking existing ideas or games and changing them is an appropriate ay of being creative. All creative ideas are built on knowledge and ideas that have come before.

The photos above are the outcome of this mid-task debrief. Two teams circled up with chairs leading the discussion. A lot more progress was made from this point on. We are going to play the games next week with some input from each team, especially the chairs on how it went this week and what can be done better.

Thanks to Mr Walker and Miss O’Grady for their staff crew session which helped us to plan this one. And also thanks to Anthony and Rory for stepping up to be chairs. Looking forward to playing the games next week – one of which looks as if it is set to involve cones for hats!