St Bartholomew's School

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St. Bartholomew's School
St Barts logo.png
Address
Andover Road

, ,
RG14 6JP

England
Coordinates51°23′31″N 1°19′55″W / 51.392°N 1.332°W / 51.392; -1.332Coordinates: 51°23′31″N 1°19′55″W / 51.392°N 1.332°W / 51.392; -1.332
Information
TypeAcademy
MottoAd lucem
(Towards the light)
Established1466; 554 years ago (1466)
FounderHenry Wormestall
SpecialistBusiness and Enterprise College
Department for Education URN137465 Tables
OfstedReports
HeadmistressJulia Mortimore
GenderCoeducational
Age11 to 18
Enrolment1,751
Houses  Curnock
  Davis
  Evers
  Patterson
Colour(s)Purple (school colour)  
PublicationBartholoNews
Former pupilsOld Newburians Association
GCSE results466.9 points/student[1]
Websitewww.stbarts.co.uk

St. Bartholomew's School (known colloquially as St Bart's) is a co-educational state funded academy school founded in 1466 in Newbury, Berkshire in the United Kingdom. It accepts students aged 11–18 and has approximately 1,700 students on roll, including a sixth form of around 400. St. Bartholomew's is thought to be the 42nd oldest school in the UK still in existence.[2][3]

St. Bartholomew's is one of only a few state schools to participate in the Combined Cadet Force (a programme sponsored by the Ministry of Defence), with around 200 cadets between the ages of 14 and 18 taking part in weekly training sessions, activities, and residential trips. It is also one of the few state schools to play the sport of lacrosse. The school has produced many talented players, some of whom have gone on to represent England and Wales.

The school, in July 2007, became the first state school to win in the Schools and Universities Polo Association Cup.[4]

House system[edit]

The school operates a house system whereby the student body is divided into four houses, each named for a former pupil who died in the First World War:[5]

  • George Ashwin Curnock - Green
  • Alexander Herbert Davis - Red
  • Bertram Saxelbye Evers - Blue
  • Robert Arthur Patterson - Yellow/Purple

Patterson house colour[edit]

Patterson house uses the colour gold, whilst purple is used occasionally in conjunction with the main colour. The fourth house in the boys' school formerly always used purple, but switched to the gold of the girls' school's fourth house when the schools merged in 1975.

Competitions[edit]

Students from each house enter into annual competitions in sport, music and drama versus the other houses, where pupils represent their house. Examples of these are the house netball, house football, house rugby, house lacrosse, house hockey, house tennis, house rounders, house dance, house choir, house instrumental, and many others.[6] There are also house plays which are written by year 12 students (aged 16 and 17) and performed by year 10 students (aged 14 and 15). The winning house in each competition is awarded a certain number of points, which are accrued during the academic year. The house with the most points at the end of the year will win the House Championship. Junior/Senior House Colour Awards, in the form of ties, are awarded at the end of Years 10 and/or 12 to students who excel in a certain field, either academic or extracurricular. The ties are distinct from the normal school tie, consisting solely of the colour of the wearer's house. Girls were once given sashes instead of ties but this practice fell out of favour with the students and so they were awarded ties just as their peers were.

Other house events[edit]

Each house holds an annual house evening, where students entertain parents and staff with music, dance, drama, and comic sketches. Each house also has a nominated house charity. Students try to raise as much money as possible for this charity through sponsored events and activities during the school year.

Facilities[edit]

The Ad Lucem project[edit]

Before the Ad Lucem project, St Bartholomew's School was based on two sites. The Luker site, at one end of Buckingham Road was formerly Newbury County Girls' Grammar School. The Wormestall site, at the opposite end of Buckingham Road, was formerly St Bartholomew's Boys' Grammar School - the two grammar schools had merged in 1975 to form a large comprehensive, spread over both sites.

On 23 November 2006, St. Bartholomew's was awarded a government grant to rebuild its premises. The school was chosen ahead of three other schools in Berkshire: Kennet School, Theale Green Community School, and John O'Gaunt Community Technology College. Whilst several proposals for St. Bartholomew's were considered, the final application involved completely rebuilding the school, with access provided through Fifth Road. This application was approved by a West Berkshire Council Planning Committee on 20 February 2008.[7] The rebuild was completed in October 2010,[8] and was officially opened on 30 March 2011 by The Countess of Wessex.[9]

Both former sites enjoyed large playing fields, tennis courts and sports changing rooms. Most of this space was lost as a result of the building of the new school. The new school still retains a large playing field, and since the completion of phase two of the Ad Lucem project possesses a sizeable Multi-Use Games Area. In January 2014 the planned extension to the Patterson block was complete, allowing more space for the Sixth Form and a much expanded hall.[10]

Other Facilities information[edit]

  • Phase one of the Ad Lucem project was completed in October 2010, meaning that the school is now located on one site, with an entrance from Buckingham Road, adjacent to the old Luker site.
  • In January 2014 the planned extension to the Patterson block was complete, allowing more space for the Sixth Form and a much expanded hall.
  • In early 2019, the Wormestall 6th Form Block was extended with a new Wormestall Conference Room and smaller Wormestall meeting room. These rooms were designed to accommodate more exam students during exam season. The rooms also act as new meeting rooms, meaning that the 6th Form has now been able to expand into two previously meeting rooms on the ground floor of the main block, while the new rooms are used for meetings. This development has allowed the 6th form to continue to expand. These rooms are also hired out by the school.[11]


  • The new school retains a large playing field, and since the completion of phase two of the Ad Lucem project possesses a sizeable Multi-Use Games Area.
  • There is a large hall with a temporary stage, where assemblies and some lessons take place. Larger, whole school assemblies take place in the 'Hub', a central atrium at the heart of the building.
  • The new school building has interactive whiteboards available in each classroom and many computer rooms. Every student and teacher are unique users, able to access a personalized area of the network. Since 2007, every permanent teacher has had a laptop provided by the school, and all registration throughout the day is controlled through a student information system.
  • Each House has a separate wing, or "block", within the new building. Every House block features an area dedicated to a specific subject. Most blocks have three floors, with the exception of the Patterson block which has two. Wormestall, the Sixth Form area, has three floors, including a floor dedicated to computing and business studies, and a floor for the school's library.

The facilities are spread out as following: Curnock: English, Maths, Arts. Davis: Design and Technology, Humanities. Evers, Science, Modern Foreign Languages. Patterson: PE, Drama, Dance, Music (Including Berkshire Maestros lessons).

History[edit]

The school was founded in 1466 from the legacy of Henry Wormestall who set aside £12 2s 4d annually for "teching gramar scole of the whiche that toune hath grete nede".[12]

  • 1466 Male-only St. Bartholomew's Boys' Grammar School founded in a building near the junction of Pound Street and Bartholomew Street. Moved to Wormestall around 1880.[6]
  • 1904 Female-only Newbury County Girls Grammar School founded at the Newbury Technical Institute site in Northbrook Street.[13]
  • 1910 Female-only Newbury County Girls Grammar School moved to the Luker site on the Andover Road.[13]
  • 1966 The school celebrates quincentenary. School Pageant attended by Agatha Christie.[citation needed]
  • 26 May 1972 Visit by Queen Elizabeth II, who opens Luker Hall.[6]
  • 1975 Newbury County Girls' Grammar School and St. Bartholomew's Boys' Grammar School merge to form the present-day comprehensive school.
  • 1993 School receives second visit from Queen Elizabeth II [14]
  • September 2002 School designated as a Business and Enterprise College – a specialist school status
  • 22 November 2010, opening of the new St. Bartholomew's School buildings for academic purposes.
  • 30 March 2011, official opening of the new St Bartholomew's School building[15]
  • 1 September 2011, St Bartholomew's School gains academy status [2]

Narrative History[edit]

The earliest mention of an established grammar school in Newbury is in 1548 when the school is recorded as being at the Litten chapel, part of St Bartholomew's hospital between Newtown Road and Argyle Street. The hospital itself was established in the late 12th century and by 1548 had been affected by the dissolution of the monasteries. There is a much quoted earlier will of a cloth merchant, Henry Wormestall who in his will dated 1466 bequeathed funding to pay for a teacher. The school took its name from the hospital and would remain at the Litten for centuries. In the 16th century Newbury was well known for its cloth and in particular the father and son merchants Jack O’Newbury who devised production line processes. The only head teacher known during the next 300 years is Thomas Parker, head teacher in 1630. In 1634 he left and led 100 Wiltshire men to found the town of Newbury, Massachusetts on the estuary of what became the Parker river on America's east coast, near Boston. He continued teaching there until his death in 1677. Part of this town of Newbury split off and became Newburyport in 1764.

The school survived the Civil wars including the two battles of Newbury but declined as its funds were appropriated by the unreformed corporation in the late 18th century and in the early nineteenth century it closed. In 1849 a new body of trustees rebuilt the Litten and revived the school which opened with 60 boys being taught. The headmaster was Henry Newport. In 1876 the headmaster was the Rev. J. Atkins. In 1885 the charity commissioners agreed to the provision of new buildings in Enborne Road at the corner with Buckingham Road for 150 pupils including 20 boarders. In 1902 the Rev. Atkins retired and was replaced by Edward Sharwood-Smith. He had considerable enthusiasm for the school and in 1903 composed the (very Victorian) school song and the school moto. After the tragedy of the first world war he named four school houses after ex-pupils who had died in the 1914-8 period, three of them killed in action. These were Curnock, Davis, Evers and Patterson. Sharwood-Smith retired in 1924 and in 1925 he was replaced by the Rev.T.Rutherford-Harley. He led the school through the second world war and in 1948 was replaced by J. Andrew Ballantyne. In that year the combined cadet force (C.C.F.) was established at the school. The 1950s was a period of recovery from the war, in which many of the teachers had fought. There were many older-style features – teachers wore gowns, the head master could still use the cane and games were restricted to cricket and rugby. In 1960 Andrew Ballantyne retired and was replaced by Basil E.D. Cooper. There followed a period of progressive reform. In 1968 the boarding house closed and in 1975 he was to take over running of the comprehensive school formed by the merging of the boy's grammar school with the girl's high school at the other end of Buckingham Road.

The Newbury girls grammar school had opened in 1904 in the technical institute in Northbrook Street. Miss Esther Jane Luker was the first headmistress and seems to have had an enthusiasm and charisma to match that of Sharwood-Smith. Both led their schools through the first world war. In 1910 the girl's school moved to purpose-built premises in Andover Road with 250 pupils. The school groups, equivalent to the houses at the boy's grammar school, were Jade, Flame, Blue and Gold. In 1933 Miss Luker retired. After the second world war Miss Ireland became headmistress in 1945. She retired in 1968 and was replaced by Miss Gray who carried on till the merger with the boy's grammar school in 1975 when, as noted above, Basil Cooper became headmaster of the combined comprehensive school.

The comprehensive school formed in 1975 took over the name of St Bartholomew's School together with its motto. Initially the school used the previous buildings with the boy's grammar school buildings given the name of Wormestall while the girl's high school buildings took on the name of Luker. The boy's house names were kept but each was merged with one of the girl's colour groups. In 1985 Basil Cooper retired and was replaced by Robert Mermagen. In 1994 he, too, retired and was replaced by Stuart Robinson. In 2009 he was replaced by Mrs Christina Haddrell but stayed on to cover the transfer to new school buildings in 2010. These were built between the sites of the two previous schools on Buckingham Road, but nearer the old girl's High School on the south-west side of Fifth Road. Both of the previous school buildings were converted into private flats. In 2011 the school gained academy status. In 2014 Mrs Haddrell retired and was replaced as Headmistress by Ms Julia Mortimore.[16][17]

Ofsted inspections[edit]

The school was last inspected by Ofsted in February 2015 and was rated 'good'.[18] A further short inspection in 2018 stated that the school continues to be rated 'good'.[19]

Alumni[edit]

The alumni of St. Bartholomew's are referred to as Old Newburians.[20] This list encompasses students from the earlier Boys' School, the former Newbury County Girls' Grammar School, and the modern comprehensive formed from their merger.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GCSE results
  2. ^ a b Gov.Uk statistics - St Bartholomews School Retrieved 2019-6-25.
  3. ^ St Barts School History Retrieved 2019-6-25.
  4. ^ Bannerman, Lucy (1 August 2007). "State pupils gallop to glory by beating public schools at their own game". London: The Times (Online). Retrieved 13 August 2007.
  5. ^ St Bartholomews House system Retrieved August 2020.
  6. ^ a b c St Bartholomew’s Celebrates 550 Retrieved August 2020.
  7. ^ West Berkshire Council Planning Committee Decision Details on the Application to rebuild St Bartholomew's School[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Council vote for Newbury school to get government grant to help rebuild premises Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, newburytoday.co.uk, 23 November 2006
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ St Barts Foyer Extension plan leaflet - Architecture Live
  11. ^ Conference Centre Extension 2019
  12. ^ The Cotswold Pages – Newbury Grammar School Archived 2005-03-10 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b St Bartholomew’s Grange Retrieved August 2020.
  14. ^ "Queen Visits St Bart's 1993". Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 March 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ Peacock, David (2011). The Story of Newbury. pp. 22–91. ISBN 9781846742736.
  17. ^ "the Old Newburians Association". Old Newburians.
  18. ^ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/oxedu_reports/display/(id)/117269[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ [2] Retrieved 2019-6-25.
  20. ^ Old Newburians Society
  21. ^ Fletcher, Martin. "Arron Banks: the man who bought Brexit". New Statesman. Retrieved 25 January 2017.
  22. ^ "Mrs Sue Hayman, MP Authorised Biography | Debrett's People of Today". www.debretts.com. Archived from the original on 17 June 2016. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  23. ^ "The school run". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Newbury Spring Festival 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  25. ^ "Robert Newton Biography". Archived from the original on 22 September 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2009.
  26. ^ a b c "Sites named after former students". Archived from the original on 21 August 2020. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  27. ^ Burke's Peerage Archived 2012-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]