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 for XP and XP East.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)

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

From the ground up

During the expedition¬†students visit the National Coal Museum and interview mining experts to look at how they worked and lived.¬†Students read David Almond‚Äôs novel Kit‚Äôs Wilderness,¬†a story about a boy returning to his family roots in a mining community in Northumberland. They also study the rock cycle and how specific rocks and minerals came to be where they are in Doncaster.¬†The writings of all students are then gathered together to make a book called ‚ÄúFrom the ground up: how those who mined Doncaster, made Doncaster.‚ÄĚ

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

Make a stand

For the immersion for this expedition¬†students visit the Houses of Parliament. During the expedition they read ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ and investigate the history of Slave Trade and the impact it had on the people of Africa. Students analysis different speeches before writing and presenting their speech on a subject important to them. This takes places at a Celebration of Learning with their families as the audience.

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

During the expedition students explore whether kindness can change the world by learning about different religions, reading the book Pay it Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde and by taking part in service learning. The service learning takes place at Sprotbrough and Armthorpe community centres where students chat and play games with the elderly people. Students are paired with an elderly person who they get to know. They then design, make and fill a Kindness Box with things their elderly person likes before presenting their elderly person with the box at a Celebration of Learning.

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

Year 8 Expeditions

Being Human

Students study three main case studies looking at how science, history and literature convey what makes a human. This involves the study of the human skeleton, history of slave trade and the civil rights movement. They read the book Wonder by R.J Palacio and complete fieldwork at Centre for life in newcastle. The final product for this expedition is a speech and a sculpture representing what students think it means to be human.

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

What goes around comes around

The immersion for this expedition takes place at Potteric Carr Nature Reserve where students learn about water based habitats and water management systems. Students learn about the hydrological cycle, flooding and how the different ecosystems and human populations rely on the effective and uninterrupted functioning of the cycle. They also analyse an anthology of short stories which focus on flooding and water and use what they have learned to write their own story. Students carry out a soil quality and drainage assessment of the south west corner of the XP School site with a view to understanding the very real problem of poor drainage on the grassed area and how this results in poor grass growth. The final product is the short story on flooding, but also a site report which explains the findings of the assessments they completed.

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


During this expedition students learn about natural disasters¬†including volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and earthquakes.¬†Students begin by studying plate tectonics and the way in which these lead to the formation of¬†these natural disasters. They then analysis the anchor text ‘Hold tight, Don’t let go’ and look at case studies of natural disasters.¬†Students use this knowledge alongside their hazard case studies to write articles in the style of National Geographic and WideWorld. They investigate the science behind waves in relation to tsunamis and earthquakes and the chemistry of combustion as an oxidising reaction. Finally, students look at the probability of the risk associated with these disasters. The final product for this expedition is a trivia board game designed to test¬†students knowledge of the science, maths and geography of a disaster.

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


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.


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.

Year 9 Expeditions

Guns, Germs and Steel

This expedition looks at how conflict has shaped our world and covers History, English, Physics and Statistics topics. Students experience what it would be like to prepare for battle and look at weapons that would have been used and how they work. They visit Royal Armouries to research World War One which they research further when they return to school. They study poetry from the First World War and read The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. To conclude this expedition students analyse a specific conflict and create a infographics explaining their conflicts.

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

Bridges to nowhere

During this expedition students study how Maths is used to engineer a bridge. Students look at three case studies examining the engineering language of bridges, the structural systems of bridges and the mathematical principles underlying their design. Students intuitively work out what makes structures strong through experimentation and play. The final products is a 1:5 scale model of the students’ own bridge design and a written Design Proposal which includes the maths and design work that they use to engineer their own beautiful bridges.

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

Everybody wants to rule the world

Students begin this slice by reenacting life in 665 when Anglo-saxons lived. They then look at the Norman Conquest, read The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells and research Castles. Students produce educational posters to be displayed at Conisbrough Castle resource centre about what they learn.

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

I fought the law and the law won

During this expedition students look at whether crime pays. They visit York Dungeons to look at crime and punishment through the ages and then return to school to look deeper into crime and punishment in medieval times and the latter part of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Students analyse The Hound of the Baskerville by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as study extracts from a range of crime writers. Students then use what they have learned to produce their own piece of crime writing which will be displayed on the OCR History website.

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

Key Stage 4 (Years 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
  • Statistics
  • Science (Double Award)
  • History
  • Art
  • Spanish or Citizenship

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

XP East is home to our Post 16 provision, XP16.

At XP16, we currently offer the specialised creative pathways of:

  • Music Technology
  • Creative Media
  • Art & Design

These are all BTEC Level 3 qualifications.

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

If you would like to discuss our curriculum further please contact us.

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