Regent High School Grand Opening
An audience of over 200 people celebrated the formal opening of Regent High School in April, as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Professor John O’Keefe opened the new building.
The Grand Opening ceremony celebrateed the completion of the school’s full refurbishment and rebuilding project, which has seen £26million of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) funding invested over the course of almost four years in state-of-the-art learning spaces and resources for the school’s current and future students.
Joining students, staff and governors at the formal opening event were 100 local dignitaries. Among the guests attending were the Leader of Camden Council, Cllr Sarah Hayward, who gave a speech as part of the afternoon’s proceedings; Camden’s Cabinet Member for Children, Cllr Angela Mason; outgoing MP for Holborn and St Pancras, Frank Dobson; and several of the parliamentary candidates for the Holborn and St Pancras constituency. Representatives from many of the school’s partner organisations were also be present, including the British Library, The Francis Crick Institute, UCL Institute of Education, the Roundhouse, The Wellcome Trust and many more, as well as several local residents.
Professor John O’Keefe is a distinguished neuroscientist at UCL. Professor O’Keefe is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2014 for jointly discovering cells that act as a positioning system in the brain, a type of neurological GPS system. Professor O’Keefe’s connection with Regent High School goes back a number of years, as his sons attended one of the predecessor schools, Sir William Collins Secondary School, and his wife, Professor Eileen O’Keefe, is a former Chair of Governors of the school.
Regent High School also opened its doors in April to members of the local community and the children and families of local primary schools for our inaugural Community and Family Open Day. There were over 25 stalls and activities running to showcase the work of the school and our links with many of our partner organisations, as well as opportunities to tour the school building and find out more about life inside a dynamic secondary school. The school is also looking to hear people’s memories of the five schools that have occupied the same site.
We are proud to announce, as part of our Grand Opening celebrations, that we recently became the first school member of the growing King’s Cross Knowledge Quarter. A consortium of over 45 knowledge-led organisations located within a mile’s radius of the British Library, the King’s Cross Knowledge Quarter’s mission is to encourage openness, innovation and opportunity by making the facilities, collections and expertise of members understood, available and used as widely as possible for the benefit of researchers, creative people, students and the whole community.
Rosemary Leeke, Headteacher of Regent High School, said ‘I am immensely proud to be celebrating the completion of the project to refurbish and rebuild Regent High School. It has been a significant undertaking, and I would like to thank all those involved from a multitude of organisations for creating a stimulating new school for our aspirational young people, their families and the wider community. I have been constantly impressed during the rebuilding project by the continued resilience of our students and staff, and am glad that their patience has been rewarded with a beautiful and inspirational new learning space.
‘I am delighted that Professor John O’Keefe agreed to officially open our new building. While we now have wonderful new facilities, we remember our heritage as a school, and are proud that John is a part of that.’