Skip to main content

What says..

All the parents we spoke to used the same phrase, ‘She skips to school,' and it’s easy to see why. Girls told us, ‘Lessons are fun, we don’t just write things down we do stuff’. Big focus on learning beyond the classroom. In ‘Creative Sparks’ girls carousel through activities such as forest school, textiles and dance while on Thursdays in ‘Bright sparks’ they look at academic challenge in science, maths and problem solving…


Read review »

What the school says...

At our Junior School education is shaped around how girls learn best. Your daughter will soon find herself in an exciting world where she will become an explorer, an inventor, and a deep thinker, and all the while developing a deep joy for learning.

What’s uniquely special about our Junior School is how our superb learning environment enables us to shape our curriculum way beyond the requirements of the national curriculum and to offer a rounded and rich educational experience which will expand your daughter’s learning.

Add to this our outdoor learning programme, array of workshops, co-curricular clubs and trips at NHSG, and your daughter will find every day offers a new learning adventure.

And because we are an all-girl school, we can deliver it all in a way we know will inspire her and spark her curiosity.

With the support of exceptional teachers, your daughter will grow in academic skills and confidence. She will be happy, engaged and always excited to challenge herself in and out of the classroom.

Girls in our Junior School thrive and whether your daughter joins us in Nursery or at a later stage, you can be assured that she will be in the very best learning environment for girls.
...Read more

Do you know this school?

The schools we choose, and what we say about them, are founded on parents’ views. If you know this school, please share your views with us.

Please login to post a comment.

Other features

All-through school (for example 3-18 years). - An all-through school covers junior and senior education. It may start at 3 or 4, or later, and continue through to 16 or 18. Some all-through schools set exams at 11 or 13 that pupils must pass to move on.

What The Good Schools Guide says

Head of junior school

Since 2020, Amanda Hardie. Read theology at Oxford, followed by a PGCE from Durham. Has spent all her teaching career here, first at Church High before it merged with Central Newcastle Girls High in 2014 and then as director of studies followed by deputy head academic at the newly formed Newcastle Girls High senior school. She combines her role at the senior school with headship of the junior school and has worked with the senior school head for many years. This creates a strong partnership and an impressively seamless transition for girls between the two schools. ‘We don’t have a year 7 dip,’ she says, ‘we look at what our brilliant A* at A level girls will look like at each stage of their learning from nursery onwards and use this to plan the curriculum for both schools.’ This provides a well focused learning journey in which each girl is encouraged to be the best version of herself, to be challenged and to feel safe. Head is a child centred educator through and through, the mantelpiece is full of thank you cards and despite her split role she is clearly well known by pupils and runs a chill out and board games club at lunchtimes. Parents speak highly of her. They say the recent change in leadership has led to very strong communication with home and they recognise how closely she works with the senior school. ‘There’s a much stronger focus on results now than in the past, but still the same nurturing environment.’ Significant (40 per cent) turnover of staff in the last few years which we felt gave teaching and learning a youthful and dynamic feel as we walked round the school.

Strong focus on leadership skills from an early age. The school has its own sophisticated pupil leadership development programme and a 'charter for action’ to make changes in the world with strands on diversity, eco team, sustainability and charity, all lead by the head girl team with girls from year 1 upwards on each group. ‘The leadership challenge is my baby’, head says proudly. NHSG is part of the nationwide Girls' Day School Trust which head says brings a wide range of opportunities in sports, music, art and drama that girls would not get elsewhere, as well as significant financial investment in facilities. ‘It’s all about confidence, resilience and self assuredness’, head says, gamely recounting the tale of a pupil who confidently offered herself as a last minute replacement as pianist in assembly, not in the least bothered that she hadn’t played before.

Head has two daughters both successfully through the school and when not running between the two sites she enjoys spending time with family and friends and travelling to new places to explore different cultures.


For nursery and reception there is a 30 minute assessment in verbal and practical activities. Years 1 to 6 spend a day in school as part of which they will be assessed in reading, writing, spelling and mathematics. Years 5 and 6 also have an interview with the head of Junior School or deputy head. Report from the previous school is also requested. Head says, ‘If we do our job right the girls will progress even if they are not academic high flyers. Our parents and children work with us and we rarely have to intervene to say things aren’t working.' Some additional recruitment into year 5, a product of the Newcastle three tier system.


Almost all move on to Newcastle High School for Girls senior school. Despite the senior school’s rigorous entrance procedure parents we spoke to were all confident about smooth progression. Several said that if there were any doubts of a girl’s ability to move up then there would be very early discussions and support put in place.

Our view

All the parents we spoke to used the same phrase, ‘She skips to school,' and it’s easy to see why. Housed in the buildings of the former Central High School for Girls, a John Dobson designed grand Victorian residence with a modern teaching block attached, the school has had a very significant refurbishment but retains specialist facilities that would be the envy of many junior schools. There’s an emphasis on inspiring young women. Classrooms are named after female writers (Bawden, Alcott Rowling) and are modern, light, inviting places to learn all very tastefully purple themed including the floral carpet up the Hollywood style grand staircase. One parent said, ‘My girls think they can be anything they want from an archaeologist to an astronaut because school is always presenting them with strong female role models.'

There’s a lovely two classroom nursery with great outside space including mud kitchen and Astro. On our tour we saw some superb lessons taking place with girls actively engaged in learning and showing high levels of understanding. This is an Apple school and all pupils have an iPad which they can take home. We saw these being used to good effect in a year 1 lesson where pupils were doing some impressive non fiction writing about whales. The iPads are also a great tool for homework -- very much a feature here. The library is a calm and warm space (there’s that floral carpet again) where one girl said, ‘it’s great to curl up and read here.’ School uses the Accelerated Reader scheme to help girls develop their skills and read ever more challenging books.

Curriculum focus is on numeracy and literacy as you would expect, but there’s a great deal more. With Spanish from nursery and Mandarin from year 2 there is a strong emphasis on languages all taught by subject specialists and the school is a UK hub for the teaching of Mandarin. Science is taught throughout the junior school in the only purple themed lab we have ever seen with some subject specialism from senior school staff. Music is also specialist taught in a spacious classroom and performance space well equipped with instruments. Approximately 35 per cent of the girls take peripatetic music lessons Assembly hall with raked seating regularly hosts pupil-led assemblies with parents invited. Annual musicals such as Wizard of Oz and Annie are performed in the senior school’s fantastic auditorium.

PE has a gym, drama and dance space, all weather pitch and tennis/netball courts. All the sports teaching is delivered by subject specialists and in the netball lesson we saw every single girl was giving it her all, no wonder the school has such a strong reputation for netball. Parents and pupils all commented on the fact that every girl gets the chance to play in teams, it’s all very inclusive.

As part of the seamless transition girls spend half a day each week at the senior school doing science, PE and Spanish. Pupils were keen to show us their lovely art work proudly displayed throughout, not just in the art room. Girls told us, ‘Lessons are fun, we don’t just write things down we do stuff.' We saw this in action in a science lesson spanning several corridors where girls were busy measuring, calculating and determinedly debating different solutions to the problem they had been set.

Big focus on learning beyond the classroom. With clubs ranging from Samba band, orchestra and two choirs to introduction to German and French, musical theatre, netball, hockey and gaming, there’s a lot going on. On Wednesdays after school in ‘Creative Sparks’ girls carousel through activities such as forest school, textiles and dance while on Thursdays in ‘Bright Sparks’ they look at academic challenge in science, maths and problem solving, including visits from the likes of Kielder observatory. There’s a great forest school on site for nursery and reception which is also used by older girls for the very popular sleepovers. All of this is included in the fees. Most girls take part in at least one club.

The SENDCO, who is also the Junior School deputy head, is full time and works with three higher level teaching assistants providing classroom support for dyslexia, dyscalculia and ASC. School offers up to 90 minutes a week individual support for dyslexic pupils. One parent praised the schools assessment processes which identified that her daughter needed some help in spelling, handwriting and reading, ‘There was so much input from staff, she’s come on in leaps and bounds and all at no extra charge.'

Pastoral care is via the form tutor and phase leaders and school has a nurse and counsellor shared with the senior school. A very smart uniform (teal kilts) which the girls wear with great pride. There’s a strong emphasis on rewards, ‘When there’s bad behaviour we manage it sensitively, but it’s so rare’ says the head. The girls said that if there was any bullying the teachers sorted it out but seemed a bit bemused when asked if anyone regularly misbehaved. Wrap around care means a before school club from 8am, free after school co-curricular clubs mostly until 5pm, or after school care from 4pm until 6pm (charged by the half hour, a real boon for busy parents). There’s also Seahorse, a club run by the school’s teaching assistants in all school holidays.

Parents very positive and say the school is responsive to criticism, communicates well and is not afraid to change. ‘Choosing NHSG was a no brainer for us, they coped fantastically with Covid from day one, the two heads get on well so it’s very cohesive with the senior school.’ Some parents don’t like the fact that classes are mixed up each year but others said it builds resilience, ‘You think it will unsettle them, but it opens doors and I trust they make the right decisions.'

Money matters

Additional fees for after school care and the Seahorse holiday club.

The last word

Great facilities in a lovely leafy environment, impressive co-curricular options that keep everyone busy and challenged, all wrapped up in a rock solid ethos about enabling girls to become confident young women in a modern world. Strong curriculum and highly qualified specialist staff ensure exceptional preparation for senior school.

Special Education Needs

Subscribe for instant access to in-depth reviews:

☑ 30,000 Independent, state and special schools in our parent-friendly interactive directory
☑ Instant access to in-depth UK school reviews
☑ Honest, opinionated and fearless independent reviews of over 1,000 schools
☑ Independent tutor company reviews

Try before you buy - The Charter School Southwark

Buy Now

GSG Blog >

The Good Schools Guide newsletter

Educational insight in your inbox. Sign up for our popular newsletters.