King Alfred School

King Alfred School

Infobox Secondary school
name = King Alfred School

motto = "Ex Corde Vita"
"Out of the heart springs life"
type = Independent
city = Golders Green, London
country = England
established = 1898
head_label = Head
head = Dawn Moore M.A.
faculty = 94 including part-time
students = Around 500
grades = Reception - Year 13
website = []

The King Alfred School was founded in London, England, in 1898 by a group of parents who believed in the then radical idea that boys and girls should be educated together in a secular environment that encouraged learning for its own sake.

Community attitudes

King Alfred School stresses close ties between teacher and student. [King Alfred School Website, Freedom [] ] Originally, the school wanted to provide an education that focused on what was best for the whole child, on the development of character and individuality. Its objective was to "help train up its scholars in the way of the good life, to help to fit them for effective work in the world, for effective sympathy and for effective joy." (John Russell, Head 1901-20). The "Good Schools Guide" reviewed the school in the following terms:

cquote|It’s not for you if academic rigour and starry results are what you’re shelling out for. If you believe that learning and childhood are not incompatible, that discipline comes from within and from belonging to a cohesive community and that ethics and values come before exams and virtuosity then go and look. []

Students and parents both play a role in determining school policy. Students can air their opinions through two venues: by annually electing members of Year 12 to the “School Six, who discuss issues with the school’s administration, and a weekly “Pupil’s Council”, an open forum attended by pupils and staff for the debate of issues however the actual strength of this "body" has been questioned.

Much emphasis is placed on charity and humanitarian work, with an annual Rag Week, frequent cake sales, and a concert held under Squirrel Hall every lunch time from which the proceeds go towards charity.

The school’s liberal attitude has attracted many creative individuals to send their children. Represented among King Alfred School’s parents are actors (Clive Owen, Thandie Newton), TV personalities (Jonathan Ross, Richard and Judy), musicians (Annie Lennox, Liam Gallagher, Emma Kirkby), architects, producers, Directors (Stephen Frears, Stephen Hopkins), politicians (Lynne Featherstone) and university professors.

Events and traditions


At GCSE level students are required to study English language, English literature, Mathematics, Double science/Triple Science and either French or Spanish (though exceptionally dyslexic students are exempt from this. Optional choices include Modern History, Geography, Music, Drama, Art, CDT, and Photography.

At A level students may take English literature, French,Spanish, modern history, geography, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, further mathematics, music, theatre studies, media studies, business studies, CDT and IT.

Advanced Extension Award (AEAs) are offered in a few subjects.

The school has recently built a large CDT studio on the Manor Wood Site, and has built a new maths department on the main site.

Though academic achievement is generally high in all departments, it is especially strong in photography, in which no student has ever achieved less than an A at GCSE or A level, music, where many students progress to Guildhall and other prestigious music institutes, and English, which last year saw all 5 students who sat the English literature AEA achieve a distinction.

Exam results

Notable alumni

*Bonnie Wright, actress - current student

*Gillian Maguire, actress - current student

*Sophie Dahl, model

*Charlie Creed-Miles, actor

*Tristan and Benedick Bates, actors and models

*Zoë Wanamaker, actress

*Raphael Samuel, historian

*Richard Gregory, experimental psychologist

*Gaby Roslin, TV personality

*Thea Sharrock, theatre director

*Nina Conti, ventriloquist

*TJ Ramini, actor

*Emily Young, sculptor

*Paul Kossoff, lead guitarist for Free

*Rafi Gavron, actor - left recently


External Links

* [ Profile at the Good Schools Guide]

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