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Schooling Heritage

Bartley Reservoir has a rich and diverse educational heritage with the 1950's and 1960's seeing the establishment of St Michael's Primary, King Edwards Five Ways Grammar, and Newman University (then a College), around its edges. All are diverse in their conception, religion, and heritage, with St Michael's being older than most Primary Schools in the city beginning its life as a Sunday School in 1840 before moving to its current location. King Edward's was established in Five Ways in the city centre in 1883 before moving here also and eventually becoming the only co-educational non-fee paying grammar in the West Midlands. Whereas Newman was created in 1968 and is one of only three Catholic Universities in the country, and the first to gain university status since the reformation. Bartley Reservoir provides a fantastic extended campus to these educational establishments that enrich our local area.  

St Michael's (Church of England) Primary School.

St Michael's Primary School website and William Dargue Website state: The history of St Michael's School, Bartley Green goes back further than that of most Birmingham schools. In 1832 the trustees of Northfield Charity School (Bartley was in the ancient parish of St Laurence, Northfield) paid for a schoolmistress to teach children at Bartley Green which began as a Sunday school in 1840. The school would have taken place at a house in the hamlet. This became Bartley Green Church of England day school in 1844. Here some fifty pupils were taught by one untrained mistress. Children were prepared here to go on to Northfield Charity School . The school was rebuilt and enlarged in 1871 with accommodation for 165 children. In 1884 the infants moved to a new school with room for a hundred children in Field Lane north of St Michael's Church. The school was reorganised for juniors and infants only in 1931, for infants only in 1951, and the building was closed 1954 when the new St Michael's Church of England Primary School opened in Nantmel Grove at it's current location... Learn more here and here.

King Edwards VI Five Ways Grammar School. 

King Edward VI Five Ways School website states it is: ...a selective grammar school/converter academy and is one of the eleven “Schools of King Edward VI in Birmingham”. The Foundation dates from 1552, although its origins can be traced back two centuries earlier. The school was established as part of the Foundation in 1883 at Five Ways, just west of the City Centre. It moved in 1958 to it's current 32-acre site alongside Bartley Reservoir looking out to Frankley Beeches. In September 2003, the School completed the move towards full co-education, making it the only mixed, non fee paying Grammar School in the West Midlands. Currently there is an intake at the age of 11 of 180 pupils per year (irrespective of gender) on the basis of performance in the entrance examination set by the King Edward Foundation. The School has approximately 1300 pupils on roll.

The campus has seen much investment over recent years with a major building programme during the expansion of the school as it became fully co-educational.The MacCarthy Building has specialist rooms for English, Religious Studies, Art, Photography, Expressive Arts and Food Technology. Our Sports Hall, climbing wall and changing rooms form a sports complex together with the Dance Studio, Swimming Pool plus a purpose built Fitness Suite, completed in 2008. In 2015 we were delighted to open Fox Field, our multi-use astro turf pitch, and in 2017 our Pavilion and new changing room facilities. Most recent additions include The Chowen Sixth Form Centre, a Drama Studio, a  £1 million Osmend Language Centre and Pavilion complex including hospitality and changing facilities. All of the existing classrooms and toilet facilities have been renovated. Learn more here and here.

Newman University (Catholic).

The Newman University Website reports: The baby boomer generation resulted in the need for more teachers in primary Catholic schools to meet the growing demand in the West Midlands, and so the Catholic Church invested in more Catholic Training Colleges. Athol House Farmland was gifted by the Archbishop of Birmingham for the site of, what was to be, Newman Teacher Training College. Newman College opened its doors in 1968 but the building itself was not fully complete until 1971. It was one of 11 constituent colleges of Birmingham University, but this reduced to just Newman College and Westhill College over the next 10 years.


Under the threat of closure in 1983, Newman College and Westhill College formed a unique partnership as an Academic Association, approved by the Secretary of State to share resources and enrich students’ experience. This was successful as by 1990 Newman College became the fourth largest teacher training college for primary school teachers in the country, driven by overseas students visiting and studying on the campus. Mother Theresa visited the campus on the 9th of September 1992. 

Newman gained university status in 2013 and has widened its programme to beyond teacher training. The globe outside the entrance was commissioned in celebration of this new university status. This meant Newman was only one of three Catholic University’s in the UK, and the first since the reformation. Newman University celebrated its 50th university in 2018 and had seen 20,000 students pass through its doors at that time. Learn more here.

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