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School History


Barnwell School was established in 1959 and serves the communities of South Stevenage and the surrounding villages. Many students also travel from further afield to Barnwell for their education.

In September 2006 the school expanded taking in the students from another nearby school that was in Special Measures and was closed by the Local Authority. The school operated on 2 campuses, Barnwell West (the original Barnwell site) and, less than one mile away, Barnwell East (formerly the site of Collenswood School).

The school was unique in the area as it was situated on two campuses allowing the school to be structured as a Middle and Upper School. Year 10 to 13 were based on the East site, while years 7 to 9 were based on the West site.

In August 2012, Heathcote School which was situated 200 metres from Barnwell West site, closed; the last intake of students was in September 2008.

After the official closure of Heathcote School, Barnwell School was allocated £4.6 million to carry out major changes to Heathcote School and Barnwell West site. On the Heathcote site refurbishments involved remodeling some of the existing buildings to provide facilities for Expressive and Performing Arts along with a new build of an 8 classroom teaching block.

In September 2013, students in Years 7-9 moved to this site and the school was known as Barnwell Middle Campus, the East site became Barnwell Upper Campus.

After a year of refurbishment including a new Post 16 Centre on the original Barnwell West site, the Upper School moved back to the West site in September 2014, Barnwell East was then vacated.

The complete ICT infrastructure of both sites has been replaced with a new virtualised system installation with wireless access across both campuses. This provides students and staff with the ability to access visual and writes course materials at home which helps students develop their independent learning skills and support their homework.

The Middle and Upper School are linked by a footpath. Some lessons for KS4 and Post 16 students take place on the Middle School, only older students move from one site to the other via the link footpath.

On our Middle School, Greenside Special School also share some of our accommodation and Teaching facilities.

The Middle and Upper school are very distinctive and enable all students to enjoy the benefits of outdoor resources, large sports fields, access to a Leisure Centre, tennis courts and an outdoor swimming pool.

The expansion of the school has brought considerable benefits to the students on both campuses, for example:

Summer Show 2019 - Chicago
Jay Peak 2019
Sorrento 2019