Newlands Girls School
Windsor and Maidenhead, United Kingdom
About Newlands Girls School
HISTORY OF THE SCHOOL
Maidenhead Girls' High School was founded in 1905 by Miss Burn, the first Headmistress, with eleven pupils. In 1907 the school moved to "The Elms" on Castle Hill (now the Youth Centre) by which time there were forty girls and four staff. By 1958 the school had out grown the Castle Hill site and moved to the present building on Farm Road with five hundred and forty girls and thirty staff.
The school took its first comprehensive intake in 1973 and was re-named "Newlands". During our years on the present site there have been many changes. The school has continued to grow and new blocks have been added to the original main building. At a later date we acquired several temporary classroooms to accommodate our expanding intake; these separate classrooms were later replaced by more modern blocks. The Library was extended to provide a quiet study area and additional Science and Technology accommodation was provided to enable us to meet the needs of the National Curriculum. Under the government's re-organisation of the school system from September 1999 we became a community school and we changed our name to "Newlands Girls' School". In September 2002 we achieved specialist school status as a Technology College: this resulted in many changes, including a new science laboratory and an additional computer room. We have been able to increase teaching resources in Science, Mathematics, ICT and Design Technology.
Music has always been a strength of the school and, in 2004, the Music department gained the accommodation it deserved with a wonderful new music block and practice rooms.
Inside the building there have been many changes to meet the needs of the evolving curriculum. We now have five fully equipped computer rooms, a Drama Studio, a Sports Hall, Gymnasium, Fitness Room, School Library, Science laboratories, a Media Studies Room and Technology block. In recent years, with the growth of vocational courses, we have developed two Business Studies rooms. The Library now stocks multi-media reference material in addition to books and provides computer facilities and a careers database covering both careers information and materials about courses at colleges and universities. The Library also houses a trolley of laptops for sixth form independent study. As a Technology College, we recognise the importance of using Technology in order to help students to learn. In addition to our five dedicated IT rooms, students also have access to laptops at tablet computers that can be used in class to support the curriculum.
The school was inspected in 1998 and again in 2004 and received excellent reports on both occasions. There is a link to a copy of the latest report on our school website.
The number on our roll is now around one thousand one hundred girls. The teaching staff number over eighty and we are supported by a full complement of ancillary staff in laboratories, offices and classrooms.
THE AIMS OF THE SCHOOL
Our aim is to:
• Create confident, independent young women
• Give all students the opportunity to fulfil their potential
• Be a Learning Community
As a Technology College we aim to prepare our students for life in the twenty-first century. Our ultimate aim is for our girls to become confident, adaptable young women who can work co-operatively but who are also capable of thinking for themselves, making rational decisions and taking control of their own lives. Staff and Governors at Newlands are united in their belief in the value of single-sex education for girls, both in terms of academic achievement and social development. We have high expectations of all our girls, believing this is the best way for every girl to achieve her potential.
We aim to provide a supportive environment in which every individual is valued and able to develop to the full her academic, moral and spiritual potential. At the same time we set very clear standards for our girls in terms of both work and behaviour. We believe that learning can only take place in an orderly environment, and we make it clear to our pupils from the outset that staff work hard on their behalf and we expect them to respond in like manner.
“Students have a clear understanding of the school’s high expectations of self-discipline…During lessons they show commitment and take pride in their work in order to achieve the best possible results” (Ofsted 2004)
Our academic results are consistently above local and national averages; we are also conscious of the need to educate the whole person and therefore value highly the contribution which extra-curricular activities make to an individual's experience of school. All girls are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities which are available at lunchtime and after school. Newlands is renowned for its music: we have several choirs, an orchestra, a variety of instrumental groups and many talented individual performers. Our Madrigal Choir performs in most of the local music festivals and has recorded regularly for the BBC. We have a concert each term with large numbers of girls participating. We enjoy similar success on the sports field: many of our girls play for county and national sides as well as for the school and we have a particular reputation for our hockey - both outdoor and indoor - as well as for our athletics and netball. We are equally delighted by the number of girls who gain certificates and badges for athletics and swimming. Drama flourishes within the curriculum and in public performances. Every year our main school production involves well over a hundred girls. This is supported by smaller scale productions at other times of the year. Lunchtime clubs cater for those who wish to follow up a particular interest and for those who wish to pursue areas which we cannot offer within lesson time.