A NEW independent school is being launched in Luton following the recent takeover of Moorlands Free School by the Barnfield Federation.
Last week nearly 200 parents attended the inaugural open evening for the King’s House Preparatory School and Nursery, which will open in Leagrave High Street in September.
The former Moorlands Nursery, now named King’s House Nursery and currently still sharing buildings with the re-named Barnfield Moorlands, will move to the new site over the summer, and children due to leave the nursery will form the first intake of Year 3 pupils for the new prep school.
Former Moorlands principal Andrew Cook is principal of the new school, which will grow year by year as pupils progress upwards, and current nursery head Donna Comfort will continue in her role.
Dr Cook said: “We were expecting quite a few people at the open evening but we ended up with double the number we were expecting.
“We always said that Moorlands’ success was down to a large degree to the fantastic job that the nursery did.
“The nursery is second to none and at Moorlands we built our success from it.
“We will grow the new school from the nursery and by 2016 we will be back up to the age of 11.”
Dr Cook said the school had already received accreditation from the Independent Schools Inspectorate, and that the interest from parents during the open evening had been a “real boost” to staff.
The school will initially be funded by money from The Filmer Trust, the charitable trust formerly linked to Moorlands, said Dr Cook.
It will start in the former St Lukes Church hall, which has been renovated and divided into classrooms to prepare it for children starting in September.
The second phase of development will see expansion and new buildings to accommodate growing pupil numbers.
Dr Cook said one of the school’s main goals was to ensure “all pupils leave King’s House School at the age of 11 not only having achieved their full academic potential but displaying the manners, good character and self confidence that will stand them in good stead for the success they deserve in the future”.
He left Moorlands earlier this year after 24 years, following the takeover by the Barnfield Federation after the school became a free school.