History & Ethos

St. Bartholomew’s School was founded in 1466 on the will of Henry Wormestall who endowed a chantry chapel and a priest to pray for his immortal soul.  It is likely that the chapel priest also acted as a schoolmaster who would have taught his pupils at St Nicolas Church in Newbury.

St Bart’s is proud of its excellent heritage and traditions and is now a thriving 11-18 comprehensive school of 1,906 students, with a Sixth Form of over 550, serving Newbury and a wide area of West Berkshire and the Hampshire/Wiltshire borders.


The school is highly successful academically. Each year many students are Oxbridge candidates, a good number obtaining places. The 2011 Sutton Trust Report listed St. Bartholomew’s as one of the most successful comprehensives in the UK, in terms of students going on to top universities. At GCSE, the breadth and quality of the curriculum offer is reflected in the English Baccalaureate measure, which recognises our students’ achievements as being in the top 10% in the country.

In September 2011, St. Bartholomew’s gained Academy status; this was a natural extension of the school having been Grant Maintained and having enjoyed Foundation status previously. Becoming an academy has helped the school to continue to offer the best possible provision to meet students’ needs.

The school prides itself on forging links within the local community and further afield. Foreign exchange visits take place with schools in China, Germany, Spain and France we also have a link with a school in Ghana.

St. Bartholomew’s was chosen by West Berkshire Council to benefit from a multi-million pound investment of central Government funding for redevelopment in 2008. The school moved into its new, environmentally friendly accommodation at the beginning of November 2010. The superb new building reflects the importance of the House system, with House blocks, sited around a covered outdoor Hub space which is large enough to accommodate whole school assemblies.

library mentoring

The school buildings include outstanding teaching facilities: drama and dance studios, extensive music practice rooms, IT and media suites, specialist design technology rooms and well equipped laboratories. Sports provision is exceptional including a multi- purpose sports hall, with indoor cricket nets, a well-equipped gym, an outdoor synthetic turf pitch, a multi-use games area and extensive playing fields.

The wide range of extra- curricular enrichment offers all students new opportunities for learning and enjoyment. This includes clubs and activities such as debating, equestrian, moth club, craft and horticulture, as well as Chinese and Latin classes and a huge range of activities in music, drama and dance. House competitions and activities involve all students. Sporting traditions are very strong with an exceptional range of sports teams competing successfully at the highest standard.


On 6 July 2016, Founder’s Day, St Bart’s celebrated its 550th anniversary. The school marked this significant anniversary with a variety of events and activities, including a fanfare composed and arranged by students, a celebration cake designed and made by Food Technology students, a special anniversary issue of BartholoNews and a sapling yew tree planted in the Heritage Garden. Alongside staff, all students in Years 7 – 10, came together to form a giant 550 for a special aerial photograph.