Our school opened in September 1954 as Orpington Grammar School for Girls in response to the rapid growth of Orpington and Petts Wood over the previous forty years. The first single form entry was housed temporarily at Midfield Girls’ School. The present site was acquired in 1954 and we moved in as a three form entry school on 23rd September 1957.
Our school has grown considerably over the past 60 years and our buildings have expanded to accommodate our growing numbers. The site now includes a purpose built Sixth Form block, a dedicated Music Block, a Technology Block and Engineering suite, Sports Hall, and, of course, our Tennis Centre.
In 2017, we reached our current full capacity with six forms of entry in each year group. At this point our new house was established as we added Phoenix House to the previous five houses of Nightingale, Wren, Swift, Falcon and Griffin. As is always the case at Newstead, this was chosen by a student vote. We believe fully in embracing fundamental British values and this was just one example of how we embrace democracy at Newstead.
We are proud of our school and its excellent academic success. However, we know that this academic success is only possible with the right support, a kind and nurturing environment and an extensive co-curricular provision. We encourage all students to build resilience and to balance their academic studies with sport, music and culture. Examples include trips to Japan, New York, Borneo and Malta, our elective programme which features Film Studies, Model United Nations, Reading and Research for University, Fencing and Archery, our Year 7 Foundation Studies programme as well as extensive careers and University application support.
Newstead prides itself on providing an exciting learning environment, both in terms of resources and expectations, so that each individual can flourish. We recognise the range of students’ abilities, both in terms of specific subjects and personal and social education, and try to respond, often through links with the wider community. Newstead is nationally and internationally renowned for offering the best ways to provide for the needs of very able students both through the formal curriculum and beyond.
Newstead Wood School is a very special place which provides an excellent opportunity for all its students. In 2017 we joined United Learning and embarked on the next chapter in our life. We are delighted to be working alongside some of the very best schools in the country - academies and indpendent, primary, secondary and all-through - as we continue to ‘grow in strength’!