Mrs Berry Baker started Moon Hall School in 1985. Mrs Baker recognised that local schools were not able to provide an appropriate and positive environment for her eight-year-old dyslexic son. They did not have the knowledge required to help him and meet his specific learning needs.
Although a bright child, mainstream schools did not understand his learning style, and he had not responded well to their teaching methods or provision.
Mrs Baker was already a qualified teacher and encouraged by a friend, also with a dyslexic child, she established a school in her own home, Moon Hall.
Within four years she had twelve pupils, the maximum permitted for home teaching. With more applicants than places, a move was necessary. Mrs Baker and the other parents of the original Moon Hall students realised that the interests of the children would best be served if they could have all the skills of a specialist dyslexia school within mainstream education.
These ideals were met when nearby Belmont School allowed Moon Hall to buy a 125-year lease of part of its extensive grounds in Holmbury St. Mary. In 1990 Mrs Baker and her husband donated the assets and goodwill of the school to a registered charity established under the same name, now Moon Hall Schools Educational Trust (MHSET).
By September 1990, funds had been raised and a new building had been erected, equipped and was ready for use.
Encouraged by parents, MHSET purchased Burys Court Preparatory School in Leigh, near Reigate in 2005 in order to develop its vision for the education of dyslexic children on a site under its full control and in order to extend the age range up to GCSE.
The senior school is now well established and provides a full GCSE curriculum together with a wide range of sporting and other activities.
History of Burys Court
Burys Court was completed in 1876 as a home for Edward and Georgiana Charrington. It was built on part of the Bures Manor estate from which it is believed the name Burys Court is derived. Bures Manor was, and remains, the family seat of the Charrington family who have occupied it since the 16th Century. The family also owned the Charrington brewery in the East End of London which had made Edward a wealthy man.
Between the two World Wars, Burys Court was leased to a Miss Sheard who founded Burys Court Girls’ School with the motto ‘Learn to Live’. In 1939 the building was taken over by a Lloyds Insurance brokerage and the site still makes use of two bomb shelters built at that time.
In 1946 Burys Court opened as a hotel. In 1952 it was sold out of the family to Kenneth Farnsworth, who opened Bury’s Court Preparatory School for Boys in September of that year. In 1963, the school was sold to Mr and Mrs F W White, who ran it with their son Donald until 1982. In 1983, Donald’s brother Peter came out of the Services to help continue to run Bury’s Court as joint headmasters. Formerly a boarding school, many forces and diplomatic service children attended while their parents were serving abroad.
In April 2005, the brothers sold the school to Moon Hall Schools Educational Trust.
Since the first lessons at the kitchen table, our ethos and values remain and over 1000 children have benefitted from a Moon Hall education. Our remit is to provide the environment, understanding and strategies to equip bright children with the confidence and ability to overcome the barriers they will face. We educate the whole child; helping them to become motivated, independent learners and workers at school and beyond.