Former pupils of Newnham School attend opening of new Atlas Centre

Newnham Middle School opening of Atlas building.
Newnham Middle School opening of Atlas building.

A new building has been opened at Newnham Middle School in Bedford at a ceremony attended by pupils who attended in the Sixties.

As part of the borough’s £48million School Capital Investment plan, Newnham Middle School’s new building, called the Atlas Centre, was opened by the Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, on Thursday, February 12.

The Atlas Centre is a two-classroom block which has been constructed by Kier, which was contracted by the council to work with the school to design and build high quality facilities which meet the needs of pupils now and in the future.

Newnham Middle School invited its first-ever cohort of pupils from the early 1960s to attend the official opening, and many were present to help mark the occasion.

The school’s guests brought, or sent in, numerous photographs and artefacts from their Newnham days and these have been displayed as a ‘living history’ timeline in the foyer of the new centre. The 1962 head girl was able to meet the 2015 head girl. The school has also buried a time capsule under the building to let future generations know about Newnham in 2015.

Mr Hodgson said: “We’re delighted to be working with schools like Newnham Middle to develop permanent classrooms which will help them to deliver the high standards of teaching and learning that all children deserve. To see so many former students make the effort to come and help to mark the opening of the Atlas Centre speaks volumes for the positive impact Newnham Middle School made on them and how they carry that with them through life. We hope these excellent new classrooms will help the school to do the same for current and future students here.”

Head teacher of Newnham Middle School, Ruth Wilkes, said: “We are delighted with the quality of our new Atlas Centre which provides a magnificent new addition to our school site. We have dedicated the building to the teaching of history and geography and pupils and teachers alike are loving the modern look of the building, the exciting new technology and the underfloor heating! We really value these two traditional subjects within our curriculum and the building gives us an opportunity to provide a superb learning environment in these areas.

“The new centre and the opening event really encapsulates our school vision of ‘traditional values, forward thinking and bright futures.”

Bedford Borough Council designed a multi-million pound programme that shows signs of investment over the 3 phases.

For more info on Newnham Middle School visit