Best-ever international academic results for Newberry House

Learning environmental management in the great outdoors, and in high-tech classrooms, at Newberry House School.
During the 2020 academic year, Cambridge International pupils can be seen learning their way to winning results.

Newberry House school in Somerset West recently celebrated its best-ever set of Cambridge International exam results.

The results exceeded global benchmarks from previous years for both IGCSE and AS levels, and is a testament to Newberry’s innovative and adaptable approach as well as the synergy between its Montessori and Cambridge offerings, for which it was listed among 100 innovative schools globally in a publication for Cambridge University.

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) is the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and provides access to leading global universities through its IGCSE and AS-Level qualifications.

Ten pupils wrote a total of 46 IGCSE papers, and 87% of these papers were awarded an A*-C grade1.

This is much higher than the global average of 64% for the previous year of subjects that were written (2020 averages still to be published).

Thirteen Newberry pupils also wrote 33 AS-level papers, and 88% of these papers were awarded an A*-D grade1.

This is also higher than the 2019 global average of 81% for subjects written (2020 averages still to be published).

Common benchmarks used globally are the percentage of subjects for which a grade of between A* and C is obtained (IGCSE) and A* to D (AS-levels). A* refers to the highest grade possible.

Head of Newberry School, Alistair Green, expressed his delight: “In the context of the year that we experienced last year on a global scale, particularly in education, we are extremely proud of our learners and educators for these fantastic results, which is testament to both their resilience and adaptability despite the consistent changes.

“As well as providing access to leading global universities and learning institutions, a Cambridge qualification is highly sought-after as it develops independent thinking skills and application of knowledge in different contexts, which are crucial skills in today’s rapidly-changing world,” Mr Green said.

Pete Miller, who oversees the upper campus at Newberry House, said: “The significance of these results is twofold. Firstly, the academic outcomes validate our educational model.

“Secondly, our Cambridge results are testament to the adaptability of our learners and teachers, as these results were achieved in the context of a variety of new approaches. These include online, blended and flipped learning, which have all been sites of fantastic innovation during the once-in-a-century disruption to our lives, which the world experienced in the year 2020.”

Mr Miller explained how Newberry House had adapted to the “new normal” in 2020.

“We started 2020 a year early with a week of planning and readiness which set up the year well for our pupils, who engaged via online and onsite instruction throughout the year when COVID permitted. The use of Google suite as well as other online tools galvanised the learning experience.

“The teachers also used personalised video calls to help pupil. Due to the nature of our campus, we were also able to return to school as soon as regulation permitted, giving our pupils a blend of personalised instruction and teamwork.”

Examples of innovation-in-action included a new subject offered in the Cambridge curriculum, Environmental Management (EM):

“We had great success in our first year of offering EM and are blessed to be able to study this relevant global subject on our beautiful campus on Lourensford, which houses and is surrounded by diverse natural ecosystems. EM also aligns with our passion as a school for environmental awareness and impact and our entire cohort of EM students achieved results between an A and C,” Mr Miller said. “As a school, we look to equip our learners for life and offer a range of internationally accredited Cambridge subject choices.”

Newberry House, which also offers a globally-recognised Montessori curriculum from pre-primary to middle school, was recently listed among 100 innovative schools worldwide in a publication released for Cambridge University’s 800th anniversary.

Reference was made to the synergy between Cambridge and Montessori education, both of which encourage pupils to think independently, self-direct their study and question their learning on a deeper level.

Newberry House is also an accredited Cambridge examination centre, where external students are able to write Cambridge examinations.

This is how Cambridge is studied at Newberry House:

Students select from a combination of IGCSE and AS-level (more advanced) subjects, depending on the pathways they wish to follow after school. Different institutions have different entry requirements in terms of the combination of subjects needed at IGCSE and AS-level, therefore a student’s overall performance usually takes into account the grades that they achieve for both IGCSE and AS-levels.

Understanding the quality international Cambridge learning system:

* Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) syllabus is designed to develop a deep understanding of subjects and independent thinking skills.

* The Cambridge International Examinations prepares school students for life, helping them develop an informed curiosity and a lasting passion for learning.

* The Newberry House Cambridge Programme allows students who have completed their grade 10 exams in IGCSE to complete their A levels through a two year programme consisting of AS level in the first year and A level in the second year, with examinations written in November of each year.

* Cambridge A levels are internationally recognized and allow a successful student to be able to apply to local and international universities.

* Cambridge’s mission is to provide educational benefit through provision of international programmes and qualifications for school education and to be the world leader in this field. Together with its schools partners like Newberry House, Cambridge helps to develop learners who are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged – equipped for success in the modern world