Two decades of progress at Isaac Newton

Our latest visit to Isaac Newton School was a good opportunity to reflect on the huge impact the school has made on its community since it was founded in 2005.

In 2023 the school is riding high in the district rankings: 4th of 36 schools at O-level and top school out of 21 at A-level.

Flowering time at Isaac Newton

This year’s performance was inconceivable when the school opened in 2005. At that time:

  • The school had a single building with 2 classrooms and a staffroom. It had earth floors, and bare, unpainted brick walls. The land had been cleared, the bricks hand-made and the building constructed by volunteers.
  • The first hall was under construction. Newly made bricks were drying in stacks.
  • The area’s population was decimated by HIV/AIDS. Many parents of working age had died. Gravestones still stand in fields among the crops evidencing the catastrophe.
  • Empty houses, whose occupants had died, were falling into disrepair. Gardens, footpaths and even roads were becoming overgrown. Crop yields and incomes were at rock bottom. Even the coffee crop had been hit by a wilt disease.
  • The first parent’s meeting was attended by grandparents who had become sole carers of their grandchildren. They appeared tired and demoralised.

Today the situation has been transformed. Isaac Newton is a fine school which educates village children from nursery to A-level. 

Read the full Isaac Newton Report.