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Newstead Wood School

Coordinates: 51°22′01″N 0°04′37″E / 51.367°N 0.077°E / 51.367; 0.077
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Newstead Wood School
Avebury Road


Coordinates51°22′01″N 0°04′37″E / 51.367°N 0.077°E / 51.367; 0.077
TypeGrammar academy
MottoFortitudine Crescamus ('May we grow in strength')
TrustUnited Learning
Department for Education URN136551 Tables
Head teacherAlan Blount
GenderGirls (mixed in the sixth form)
Age11 to 18
HousesNightingale  , Wren  , Swift  , Falcon  , Griffin  , Phoenix  

Newstead Wood School is a selective girls' grammar school in Avebury Road, Orpington, south east London, England.


The school is a grammar school which admits girls in Year 7 based on the results of its own selection test. The current head teacher is Alan Blount. The school's motto is Fortitudine Crescamus (Latin for: 'May we grow in strength'). The school has been admitting boys into the sixth form since 2012.


The school was founded as Orpington Grammar School for Girls only in 1957,[1] when administered by the Kent Education Committee. In 1965, as a result of the London Government Act 1963, the local area, and thus the school, came under the authority of the London Borough of Bromley. It was at this point that the school's name was changed to Newstead Wood School. Nearby Bullers Wood School became a comprehensive in the late 1970s, and most schools in the borough are now comprehensive. There were firm plans for Newstead Wood School to become comprehensive in 1978, but the school has remained one of the only two selective state schools in Bromley. As a result, it is heavily oversubscribed.

In 1997, a survey in the Sunday Times found that the school was the best value in England for each A or B grade achieved at A-level, second to St Olave's school; Bromley was a low spender (per pupil) comparative to other LEAs.[citation needed] In 2004, a pupil gained the best result at Maths GCSE in England.[citation needed] In 2009 the headteacher told the conference in Harrogate of the Girls' Schools Association[2] that schools were not concentrating on brighter pupils, instead trying to raise average pupils' grades from D to C, and that girls in mixed-sex schools can have their ambitions crushed and be held back in male-dominated professions (girls from single-sex schools are statistically more successful in science-based professions than from mixed schools). She also criticised a government scheme to give one-to-one tuition to less able pupils, and not more-able students, when considering the lack of women in traditionally-male occupations, and she claimed there was a 'huge reluctance' to concentrate on top students.

On 1 April 2011, the school gained academy status and is now sponsored by United Learning.

Academic performance[edit]

At its last full inspection in 2022, Newstead Wood was rated by Ofsted as Outstanding,.[3] The school has a large catchment area of nine miles, from which pupils are selected on the basis of tests in verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

The school was ranked third amongst secondary schools in Bromley based on overall performance at end of key stage 4 in 2019 - all pupils on the Progress 8 benchmark.[4]

Times Parent Power [5] has ranked the School's 2019 A-level results 121st in the country (previous year 161st) and 2019 GCSE results 11th (previous year 15th) and also ranks it 11th amongst all secondary schools in Greater London.[6]

Entrance examinations[edit]

There are currently two examinations required to gain a place at the school: verbal and non-verbal reasoning.[7]

Notable former pupils[edit]

Josie Long at the Green Man Festival (Brecon Beacons) in August 2010

Orpington Grammar School for Girls[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Newstead Wood School. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  2. ^ Graeme Paton (17 November 2009). "Schools 'reluctant' to push brightest pupils". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ "Full Ofsted Inspection Report 2022".
  4. ^ "UK Government School Comparison Website".
  5. ^ "Parent Power 2021: Best UK Schools Guide and League Table". The Times.
  6. ^ McCall, Alastair (29 November 2020). "Best secondary schools in London". The Times.
  7. ^ "FAQ on admissions" (PDF). Newstead Wood School. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 July 2021.
  8. ^ Davies, Caroline (3 July 2021). "'I have high standards for myself': Emma Raducanu, Britain's 18-year-old tennis star". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2021.
  9. ^ "Barbara Harriss-White". University of Oxford. Archived from the original on 16 October 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.

External links[edit]