The Arts are a creative thread that runs through Castle Newnham School. There are endless opportunities at every stage of a pupil's journey through the school where their passion is nurtured and talent is celebrated. A love and appreciation of the arts opens the door to endless possibilities and supports the development of the whole child. 

At Castle Newnham we pride ourselves on giving our pupils extensive creative and performance opportunities throughout their whole school journey from early years to key stage 4. In addition to specialist teaching across primary and secondary phases, we are committed to nurturing passionate individuals who think creatively and perform confidently.

We are extremely proud of our 4SIXTEEN Theatre Company. 4SIXTEEN Theatre Company is the award-winning in-house theatre company at Castle Newnham School. The company is led by the full time Theatre Director. Having a theatre company in school boasts many benefits. The company produces full scale theatrical productions which include musicals, plays and other performance events. These give pupils from across the federation opportunities to perform and be involved in theatrical processes. The production also gives pupils the opportunity to work backstage or front of house through the making of props, costume or scenery and making the refreshments. The theatre company is supported by a group of dedicated volunteers, Partners Board, which is made up of local and professionals from the theatre sector, with experience that spans across community theatre, arts-based performance & production work and West End professional insight & experience. Pupils from both primary and secondary have the opportunity to perform in high-quality, industry standard productions annually. Past productions have included: Singin' in the Rain, The Lion King, SIX: Teen Edition, Legally Blonde, Matilda and The Addams Family. 

We pride ourselves on allowing our pupils the opportunity to visit the theatre and appreciate the value of experiencing live performances. Annually, we take our each year group to the theatre, as well as other arts based trips and visits. As the proud home of the Bedford Music Hub, Castle Newnham supports and is at the forefront to the response of the local need for music education and fulfills the objectives of the Hub as set out in the government’s published national plan for music.

We have strong links with other local arts organisations, The Place Theatre and University of Bedfordshire, where we engage in projects and performances and work together to put performing arts at the centre of what we do at Castle Newnham School. We also benefit from the knowledge and skills of visiting artists who run workshops with our pupils. Local artist Amanda Silk and Ukrainian artists Sergey and Maria from Art Studio Tsymbal, who have recently moved to Bedford, have both recently work with our pupils. Local chefs come into the school to deliver workshops with pupils in cooking masterclasses. We have a very strong relationship with The Rotary Club of Bedford who have fundraised for the recent refurbishment of the food room. Our pupils also compete in the Young Chef competition anually - endorsed by The Rotary Club.

We visit a range of hospitality establishments in the Bedford area, such as The Swan HotelLuton Hoo. Our GCSE Hospitality and Catering pupils all participate in Future Chef - a national cooking competition. Pupils also offer their skills by catering at a range of school events (Y11 Prom, Sports Day, Open Evening, Parents evening and theatre performances). In Art, we have regularly submitted the winning entries to a competition run by The Harpur Trust.  

We are always keen to inspire musicians of the future and are proud of the strong uptake of pupils across the school that learn an instrument through one-to-one or small group instrumental study. Pupils have many opportunities to showcase their musical and creative talents and progress at showcases and exhibitions across the academic year. To celebrate their hard work, pupils work with their peripatetic music teacher to gain grades in their musical instrument. In addition to music lessons, pupils can also enrol in Speech and Drama sessions. We offer a range of co-curricular activities across the arts to further enrich their experience, clubs can include: 

  • Commercial dance

  • Dance technique

  • Dance company

  • Art

  • Choir

  • Photography

  • School band

  • Guitar group

  • Media

  • Music technology

  • Cooking skills 

  • Production and backstage

  • Acting

  • Playwriting

  • Composition workshops

  • Independent practice and rehearsal


Contact the Performing Arts Office:

If you have any enquiries please contact the Performing Arts Office for further information

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 01234 300801