Cornish preparatory school Polwhele House is expanding to offer secondary school education up to GCSE level.

The co-educational school set in 32 acres of countryside and woodlands just outside Truro has grown steadily since it was founded in 1981 by Richard and Rosemary White, and today offers a nursery, pre-preparatory and preparatory school for 105 pupils aged between three and 13.

Following numerous requests from parents to extend the age range to 16 and offer secondary school education, Polwhele House will open a new senior school in September to accommodate children up to the age of 16.

The expansion will be rolled out slowly with a year 9 class in 2020 – made up of many of the school’s present year 8 intake who are keen to stay on – and an additional year group added each subsequent year.

Richard White, chairman of the managing council of Polwhele House, said: “After much deliberation and planning over the past year, the managing council has decided the time is right for this development to happen.

“We feel there is a call for a more specialised and intimate type of educational provision in our part of Cornwall, and the recent introduction of our performing arts and equestrian provision adds strength to our offering.”