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Girls’ School

Learning at Newlands

Our curriculum is designed to give all students a broad and varied learning experience that sets no limits on what students can achieve.

Students study a wide range of subjects which are rich in knowledge, skills, enrichment and personal development. Using the National Curriculum as a starting point, our subject specialist teachers expertly plan our curriculum to stretch and excite students and to be responsive to their needs, regardless of their background or individual starting points including SEND and disadvantaged students. This allows everyone to make the strongest academic progress while developing into rounded, courageous, committed and compassionate young people.

Key stage 3 – Building the foundations

The curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9 is designed to take the knowledge students have developed at their previous schools and build a firm foundation that prepares them for their future studies. Students will discover new passions in subjects that they have not previously studied as well as discovering new areas where they excel.

Subjects studied at Key Stage 3 are English; Maths; Science (comprising Biology, Chemistry and Physics); Modern Foreign languages (French, German and Spanish in Year 7, of which students then choose 2 to take through into Year 8); History; Geography; Fine Art; Design and Technology (Food; Graphics; Resistant Materials, Textiles); Drama; Computing; Music; PSHE; Physical Education and Religious Studies. 

Years 7 to 9 are not just about getting ready for studying GCSE exams in the future. The carefully crafted pastoral and PSHE programmes develops students’ character, allowing them the opportunity to be courageous, committed and compassionate young people, and preparing them for the next steps in their journey.

Students are able to take part in a vast range of enrichment and extra-curricular activities which take their learning beyond the core classroom curriculum. Year 7s visit the Clubs Fair at the start of their Newlands experience, and we encourage everyone to sign up to something - thus broadening and enriching their education.








Key Stage 4 – Developing knowledge, passions and expertise

Key Stage 4 gives students an opportunity to focus their studies on disciplines in which they are passionate and strive to be experts in, while continuing to build their knowledge in core academic areas.

In Years 10 and 11, the core curriculum consists of English Language, English Literature and Maths, all of which are essential for future progress. In addition, students study Science, which leads to either a combined or a separate science pathway; both of which cover Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students then opt for an additional 4 subjects, chosen from 15 different GCSE subjects: Geography; History; French; German; Spanish; Art; Business Studies; Food and Nutrition; Design and Technology; Drama; Music; Physical Education and Religious Studies. To ensure we maintain a broad and balanced curriculum, most are required to choose a Modern Foreign Language and a Humanity subject.

As well as subjects which are examined at the end of Year 11, core PE, RS and PSHE lessons form an important and enriching element of the programme.

In addition to their academic studies, students have the opportunity to take part in numerous extra-curricular activities and trips that enhance their learning.


Key stage 5 – Future aspirations and specialisms

Our thriving Sixth Form is an important feature of Newlands and one we are very proud of. The Sixth Form curriculum emphasises depth of study and rewarding content that goes far beyond the syllabus. The courses we offer allow specialisation for those who know exactly where they want to go, but preserve diversity of choice and the opportunity for breadth for all students. Most girls study three subjects in depth, and have the opportunity to complement these with an Extended Research Project which is highly regarded by universities and employers. Teaching takes place in small groups affording great opportunities for high-quality teaching and learning in university-like seminar and research environments.

While academic achievement is only one facet of Newland’s life, we are nevertheless extremely proud of our students’ exam results and university destinations. This year, 83% of our students went on to university, with 31% accepting places from the Russell Group institutions.

Greater responsibility, independence and freedom are given in these final two years of school as students make their transition to adulthood. We aim to enable the young people in our care to move confidently and happily from school to university and beyond. There is also expert guidance and support provided to help them prepare for exams and university entry.  Our experienced Careers Leader offers students specialist advice, support and a full programme of events introducing them to the very broad range of higher education opportunities and career pathways that lie ahead of them.

Beyond the classroom, societies, clubs and extra-curricular activities flourish. Many students assume significant roles in the school leadership including: Head Girls, Deputy Head Girls, Prefects and Subject Leaders.  All students are supported by the dedicated Sixth Form Team, as well as by all other staff in the school and a comprehensive pastoral programme ensures that equal emphasis is given to student wellbeing.



There are more than 70 different clubs and societies throughout the school ranging from Chess Club to Competition Gym, the Biomedical Society to Swing Band. These popular activities allow students to broaden their school experience even further and experience new and exciting sports, creative and performing arts as well as academic disciplines and support groups.

This academic year there are over 25 trips taking place across the school giving students fantastic opportunities outside the classroom. This will enrich their subject knowledge and is wonderful for personal development.

Each year over 100 students take part in the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s award. The award teaches students skills such as team building, commitment, confidence and resilience and culminates with overnight expeditions.

These fantastic opportunities allow our students to be more than simply young people with outstanding examination results They ensure that students leave Newlands with a wide skill set and that they are prepared with confidence and enthusiasm for the next steps in their journey.