About our new secondary school for Houghton Regis
The new state-of-the-art Houstone School held its first classes when Year 7 pupils returned from the summer holidays on September 8, 2023.
The brand-new school on the Kingsland Campus is a major investment in secondary education in Houghton Regis, which will be a magnificent addition to the local community, providing a building and an outstanding learning environment for children, young people and staff.
About Houstone School
A brand-new secondary school building for Houstone School (pronounced “How-stone”) opened in September 2023 in Houghton Regis on the Kingsland Campus. Houstone is an historic name for the town which dates back to the Domesday Book.
As part of the New School Places programme, the school is the first new secondary we've ever built in Houghton Regis.
The three-storey school includes:
- a main teaching block
- separate sports block
- an all-weather pitch
- standard pitches for outdoor sport and a new car park
- vehicle access from Parkside Drive
- additional pedestrian access from the west, through the Kingsland Campus and from the north, connecting to the new houses which are planned as part of the Linmere housing development site (visit the Linmere website to find out more about the development)
The school will meet the need for secondary school places for the local community, expanding in line with housing growth in the area.
The Kingsland Campus is a mixed-use site, and its primary purpose remains education and leisure. Construction on a new community and leisure centre is underway.
Running the new school
Houstone School is independently run by Advantage Schools Trust. Advantage Schools, currently operate three schools in Bedfordshire – Bedford Free School, an ‘Outstanding’-rated secondary school which opened in Bedford in September 2012, and Elstow School and Queen’s Park Academy, which are both rated ‘Good’ primary schools in Bedford.
Ancient artefacts found during construction
During the construction of the school in June 2022, archaeological investigations on the site, which are a requirement of the planning consent, uncovered ancient Roman, Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement activity and human remains dating back 4,500 years.
What was found?
Kingsland Bronze Age burial skeleton
Kingsland Bronze Age pit alignment
Kingsland Bronze Age round barrow
- a 'ring-ditch' which is part of a late Neolithic/early Bronze Age barrow or funerary monument, around 4,500 years old
- a human burial: the skeleton was placed in a crouched position within a pit near the barrow, suggesting it is likely to be of a similar date; this will be confirmed by radiocarbon dating. Specialist analysis will determine the individual’s sex, age at death, and whether they were suffering from any diseases
- a line of 11 Bronze Age pits, around 4,000 years old, which represent an ancient boundary stretching for at least 30 metres; they contained fragments of Bronze Age pottery and animal bone
- various other late Iron Age/Roman (200 BC–AD 400) ditches and pits are associated with a large settlement previously investigated within the Linmere development to the east of the Houstone site. Pottery, animal bone, and other domestic artefacts were found
The archaeological discoveries add to historic artefacts previously at the nearby Linmere housing development, also known as HRN1, which together give an insight in to 8,000 years of human life in Houghton Regis.
What happens next?
Houstone School will continue to have access to the playing fields of the adjacent former Houghton Regis Academy until September 2024, as well as access to the current Houghton Regis Leisure Centre site. This is to ensure the grass on the new Houstone School playing fields can properly develop before regular use.
All the archaeological finds listed above (and records of what is found) will eventually go to a local museum.