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Newnham Middle School
Polhill Avenue, MK41 9DT, UK Bedford




Head Teacher: Mr. R. N. S. Walmsley

 It is our intention that all pupils should, through their experiences at school, be able to develop their full potential academically, culturally, spiritually and socially so as they may be fulfilled in their lives and take their part in society as responsible caring citizens. (School Mission Statement)




The academic work of the School is continually developed and guided by senior staff including the year-leaders and curriculum coordinators.  Priorities for change and development are set with school governors and form part of the School development plan.  At Key Stage 2 and 3 we liaise with colleagues from lower and upper schools to ensure continuity of educational experience.

We recognise the middle years as being a transition from childhood to adolescence.  The curriculum is designed to develop and support children's aptitudes and abilities through this important phase in their lives.  By the time they transfer to upper school we expect the majority to be capable and enthusiastic independent learners.
Newnham School was inspected by OfSTED in February, 2006.  The report was a very positive one with significant progress made since the last inspection in May 2000.  These are the areas that "the School does well".

  • The key strengths identified at the previous inspection in May 2000 have been maintained.
  • Particularly good progress is made in mathematics.
  • The personal development and well-being of pupils is good.
  • The curriculum is broad and balanced.
  • Pupils enjoy their education and participate in a very wide range of extra curricular activities.
  • Care, guidance and support for pupils are good.
  • The school works effectively in partnership with others to promote the well-being of pupils.
  • The school’s own evaluation of its effectiveness is comprehensive and accurate.
  • Art and Design
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Maths
  • Music
  • P.S.H.E and Citizenship
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Technology

  • Academic Aspirations

    The academic work of the School is continually being developed and guided by a group of senior staff consisting of year coordinators and curriculum coordinators.   Our approach to the curriculum is based on professional inter­est in, and knowledge of, child development between the ages of 9 and 13 from which we assess the needs of children in the context of how they learn. Equally we have a genuine concern for the concepts and skills associated with the different subject areas.

    The curriculum is designed to give equal opportunities to everyone.  The School has successfully implemented the National Primary Strategy (NPS) at KS2 and National Secondary Strategy at KS3, and is in the process of cross phase liaison with lower and upper school colleagues takes place at termly subject panel meetings.

    Every child at Newnham is regarded as an individual whose academic and creative talents must be developed to the full.   We feel that it is vital to give our children a real sense of their own worth and we show them that we value their efforts by encouraging them to share their work with fellow pupils, with parents and with visitors to the School through displays in class­rooms and corridors, in assemblies and in public performances.   Excellence is also en­couraged in sport and is reflected in the chil­dren's enthusiastic support of our school teams.

    We are justly proud of the achievements of our pupils and of their commitment to giving of their very best in every activity they undertake.

    Those pupils who are recognised as gifted and talented are encouraged to take part in school extra curricular activities, local extra curricular courses and national competitions.  At present our pupils attend the “Children’s University”, “Frontiers Club” and have an opportunity to enter the UK Junior Maths Challenge.

    Beyond the Curriculum

    We hope to enrich the lives of our pupils beyond the normal school curriculum by offering a large number of activities that take place outside lesson times.  These activities give the children the opportunity to develop their interests and talents and to mix in a relaxed atmosphere with staff, and with pupils from other year groups.

    Music plays a very important part in our school life and this is reflected in the number of musical activities that take place at lunchtime and after school.  These include; an excellent Chamber Choir, a string group, a wind/brass group, a recorder group, Samba Band, chamber orchestra, junior and senior choir.

    We place particular emphasis on the running of extra curricular clubs and activities after school and lunchtime.  These help cater for and foster interests and pursuits that enrich school life and form the basis for hobbies and interests that we hope will endure into adult life.  The following clubs were offered by members of staff during the last academic year:


    Dance Club



    Flute Group



    Football (Boys)

    Rushden and Diamond Coaching


    Football (Girls)

    Samba Band

    Boys’ Vaulting

    Guitar Group

    Solid Rock Club

    Chess Club

    Gymnastics Club



    Homework Club

    Story Club

    Computer Club


    String Group

    Conservation Club



    Cricket Club

    Recorder Club


    There is an extensive programme of educational visits which complements and extends the work done in the School.  Each year group organises a number of day visits.  There is also a varied programme of extended visits.  These involve a lot of hard work but they are very valuable in developing the children's social awareness as well as being great fun.  Places that we have visited recently are; Dorset and Hampshire (Year Five), the Isle of Wight (Year Six) and Grafham Water (Year Eight).

    There have also been a number of very successful skiing trips that have been arranged during the early part of the winter term.  The venue for these varies but they are usually spent in the French Alps.

    We hope that our pupils will become responsible and caring citizens who understand that there are people in our society who need practical help and compassion.  Each year we support a number of needy causes; local, national and international and the children show great energy and ingenuity in their fund-raising.


    The School was opened in 1960 to serve the developing districts of Putnoe and Brickhill because it was originally used as a secondary school the facilities that it offers are very generous.

    The main block contains the administration wing, a large attractive hall with a good stage, a well equipped gymnasium, three fully equipped science laboratories recently upgraded and modernised to meet the present day demands of good science teaching, an art room, two well equipped computer rooms, specialist rooms for French and maths and a large resources area which includes a splendid library which we are expanding.   The block also houses the classrooms for years six, seven and eight.

    The technology block contains two intercommunicating rooms, one of which is a workshop and the other a multipurpose room providing facilities for fabrics and ICT.  All children have access to extensive ICT facilities on a school-wide high-performance network.  Over 110 state-of-the-art computers are available in three ICT suites, in clusters in specialist areas and in classrooms.

    The annexe is a single storey block which houses the year five classrooms.  The annexe provides a very attractive, comfortable and secure learning environment in which our youngest pupils can gradually become accustomed to being in a larger school.

    Our music facilities have been extended in a major £150,000+ project.  This now provides the School with five music practice rooms, keyboard suite and a large teaching/performance room.

    Two playgrounds and a very large field enable us to offer the full range of games and athletics activities.

    Open Evenings and Reports

    The parents of all children are invited into school at least once every term to meet class teachers, year coordinators, and specialist teachers in order to discuss the work being done and/or any problems which might exist relating to their child in school.

    Early in the Autumn Term, Year Five parents are invited to an evening where Mrs McInnerny (Year Five Standards Leader) explains the sort of things the pupils are going to do.

    In the Autumn Term we hold two Parents’ Evenings for appointments with Form Tutors.

    In the Spring Term we complete a Half-Year Profile.  This is actually an internal school document, but one which we believe is of value to parents and carers as an ‘interim’ report.  Soon afterwards we hold three Parents’ Evenings allowing parents to meet a number of subject staff.

    In the Summer Term we hold a final Parents’ Evening to consider the end of year report.  However, staff are always willing to meet parents at other times and we would certainly want to know, without delay, if any child were worried about any aspect of school life.  We also welcome parents into the School for a number of dramatic and musical performances.

    Additionally, parents are welcome at any time to discuss their child's education.  Year coordinators, class teachers or specialist teachers will always be glad to arrange a convenient time for such meetings.  The Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher are available if the matter is particularly serious or urgent, or if their help or advice is sought.  Meetings by appointment are always more convenient and can be arranged by telephone.

    End of year reports are issued annually in July and a half-year profile is sent home in the Spring, but parents are invited to discuss the progress of their children at intervals throughout the year.

    School Day Times

    Normal school times will be: 

     8.50 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.  -  1.30 p.m. to  3.30 p.m.

    These are the times pupils should be in their classrooms for registration.

    In the morning the first bell goes at 8.45 a.m.

    No pupils should be on the School premises more than 10 minutes before school starts i.e. 8.40 a.m. or after school finishes i.e. 3.40 p.m. unless they are taking part in a supervised and organised activity, as no arrangements can be made for the supervision of pupils outside the times specified above.

    School Term Dates

     Term Dates 2007-08


    Autumn Term
    Spring Term
    Summer Term
    Training Day
    Monday 3rd September 2007
    Wednesday 2nd January 2008
    Monday 7th April 2008
    Term Starts
    Tuesday 4th September 2007
    Thursday 3rd January 2008
    Tuesday 8th April 2008
    Half Term
    Monday 22nd October to
    Friday 26th October 2007
    Monday 11th February to
    Friday 15th February 2008
    Monday 26th May to
    Friday 30th May 2008
    Staff Training day
    Monday 29th October 2007
    Friday 4th July 2008
    Term Ends
    Thursday 20th December 2007
    Thursday 20th March 2008
    Friday 18th July 2008

          Term Dates 2008 - 09 


    Autumn Term
    Spring Term
    Summer Term
    Training Day
    Monday 1st September 2008
    Monday 5th January 2009
    Monday 20th April 2009
    Term Starts
    Tuesday 2nd September 2008
    Tuesday 6th January 2009
    Tuesday 8th April 2009
    Half Term
    Monday 27th October to
    Friday 31st October 2008
    Monday 16th February to
    Friday 20th February 2009
    Monday 25th May to
    Friday 29th May 2009
    Staff Training day
    Monday 3rd November 2008
    Term Ends
    Friday 19th December 2008
    Friday 3rd April 2009
    Friday 17th July 2009

    The Aims of the School:

    • Our fundamental aim is to promote the all-round development of each individual - intellectual, aesthetic, social, physical and emotional - to the maximum of his or her potential.
    • We want to help children develop lively, inquiring minds, enabling them to question and to argue rationally and apply themselves properly to appropriate tasks.
    • We want to help children understand the world in which we live, and the interdependence of nations.
    • We hope to foster in every child a desire for learning through the acquisition of mathematical, scientific and technical skills, concepts and knowledge.
    • We believe it is important to encourage creative and imaginative development in all its forms.
    • We regard it as important to encourage every child to become a responsible member of the community and society of which he or she is a part.
    • We hope to develop an awareness and an understanding of moral values, and a tolerance towards people, societies, religions and ways of life unlike our own.
    • We consider it is important to introduce children to the many environmental problems faced by contemporary society and to encourage a responsible attitude towards natural and man-made environments.
    • We believe children should be taught about human achievement and aspirations in the arts and sciences, in religion and in the search for a more just order.

    primary schools in Bedford, secondary schools in Bedford, schools in Bedford

    Editorial office:
    tel. + 48 (094)