King's College School

King's College School

Infobox UK school
name = King's College School, Wimbledon

size = 100px
latitude =
longitude =
dms =
motto = Sancte Et Sapienter
(Latin: "With Holiness and Wisdom")
motto_pl =
established = 1829
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Public School
religion =
president =
head_label = Head Master
head = Andrew Halls
r_head_label = Chairman of Governors
r_head = J.M. Jarvis QC
chair_label = Visitor
chair = The Archbishop of Canterbury "ex officio"
founder = King George IV
founder_pl =
specialist =
street =
city = Wimbledon Common
county = London
country = England flagicon|England
postcode =
ofsted =
staff =
enrollment = 1200 (approx.)
gender = Boys
lower_age = 7
upper_age = 18
houses =
colours = Blue and Red color box|Bluecolor box|Red
publication =
free_label_1 = Former pupils
free_1 = Old King's
free_label_2 =
free_2 =
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name =

King's College School Wimbledon, or KCS, is one of Britain's leading independent boys' schools in Wimbledon, south-west London and is a highly selective and competitive day school for pupils of exceptionally high academic abilities. KCS is a prominent member of the Eton Group, a group of 12 well-known independent schools in the United Kingdom. From September 2010, KCS will be also admitting girls into the sixth form for the first time. []

KCS is one of the highest academically performing schools in the UK historically and to this date, coming 2nd in the country's league table of independent schools and having one of the highest Oxbridge acceptance rate in the country. [ [ Best Schools, The Top 100 Senior Schools by UCAS Tariffs ] ] . KCS is one of the world's leading schools for the IB Diploma, with 13 pupils obtaining the maximum IB score of 45 points – a score achieved by only 65 pupils worldwide in 2007. [] In GCSEs, 34 boys gained 10 or more straight A*s, with 17 of these gaining 11 or more. Overall, 88% of all grades were at A and A* in 2008. []

The "Good Schools Guide" described the school as "an inspiring place to be," adding, "Boys work and play very hard in this wonderful school community". []

The school was originally founded by King George IV as the junior department of King's College London and occupied part of its premises in Strand, before relocating to Wimbledon in 1897; there is no longer any connection between the institutions, except that one of the Board of Governors is nominated by King's College London. KCS was one of the first schools in the United Kingdom to abolish A-Levels in favour of the International Baccalaureate, as well as adopt the new IGCSE curriculum, both which are the most widely recognized international education curricula.


A Royal Charter founded the School in 1829 as the junior department of the newly established King’s College, London. The School occupied the basement of the College in The Strand. Most of its original eighty-five pupils lived in the City within walking distance of the School. During the early Victorian Period, the School grew in numbers and reputation. Members of the teaching staff included Gabriele Rossetti, who taught Italian. His son, Dante Gabriel, joined the School in 1837. The best known of the early masters was the water-colourist, John Sell Cotman. Nine of his pupils became practising artists and ten architects. The School was progressive in its curriculum in many areas and appointed its first Science Master in 1855, at a time where very few schools taught science. The first Head Master, John Major, served the School between 1831-1866. Ninety-nine of the School’s pupils from this period appear in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Until the 1880s, the School flourished. In 1882, only Eton College surpassed the total of thirty Oxford and Cambridge Board examination certificates obtained by pupils at King's. But the School's teaching facilities were becoming increasingly inadequate as many competitor schools moved to new sites with modern facilities and large playing fields. Falling numbers of pupils prompted the move to the School's present site in Wimbledon in 1897. Wimbledon was a fast growing suburb and well served by the railway lines from Surrey and south London.

In World War I, many letters were written to the school, including some from the Battle of the Somme. During World War II, the school's Great Hall was damaged by bomb shrapnel, and some of the damage can still be seen on the outside of the hall.


The school is currently under the headship of Mr. A.D Halls, who succeeded Tony Evans in January 2008. Pupils come to the school from south west London, north Surrey and neighbouring areas. Sixty four per cent of the Year 9 entry consists of boys who continue from the King's College Junior School, thirty four per cent enter from other preparatory schools and about two per cent come from overseas.

The school consistently achieves exceptional exam results at GCSE, A-Level and the International Baccalaureate. In 2007, KCS began to offer solely the IB in the Sixth Form, following its gradual adoption since 2001.

It is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference, an association of nearly 250 independent British schools, and of the Eton Group of 12 leading independent schools.

The last headmaster (Mr. A.C Evans) won the best headmaster of a public school category at the annual Tatler School Awards 2005. Mark Palmer, editor of the Tatler School's Guide, said that he "thought it was about time it was recognised for being an all-round, academically excellent school", he added, "That has a lot to do with the professionalism and integrity of Tony Evans". []

The Great Hall is a very large building in the Victorian Gothic style. It is used for assembly to hold around 400-500 people. It also enclosed many classrooms and other facilities. It is also sometimes hired out for private functions. The Great Hall was designed by famous architect Sir Banister Fletcher, who co-wrote the book, 'A History of Architecture', and also designed the Gillette factory in Brentford, UK.

KCS came second in the country for 2006 in The Times' rankings for A-Levels, mainly due to the inclusion of its International Baccalaureate results. [,,2-2328883.html] In 2007, it came third in the country in the Times' rankings for A levels, yet again due to its International Baccalaureate. []

In 2007/8, fees for the Senior School were £4,775 per term. [{cite web |title=Further Information|publisher=King's College School Wimbledon|url=|accessdate=2008-09-22}]



There are 6 houses in the Senior School named after previous headmasters and notable old boys of the school. Boys wear a red and blue school tie until they achieve 6 house points, in which they are awarded a house tie of navy blue with thin stripes of the following colours:
* Alverstone (Green)
* Glenesk (Blue)
*Kingsley (Purple)
*Layton (Red)
*Maclear (White)
*Major (Yellow)

Other ties include the Prefect's tie (Red with navy blue school crests), the Senior Prefect's tie (Navy blue with red school crests) and School Colours (dark blue with one red school crest).

King's College Junior School

"King's College Junior School" is the preparatory school for King's College School located in Wimbledon, London. It educates pupils (boys only) from ages 7-13. [] The school operates on the same grounds as the Senior School.

As of the November 2005 Independent Schools Inspectorate inspection report, enrollment in the junior school totaled 444 boys, divided into six year groups and four classes of about 20 (except in Rushmere (Year 3 and 4) where there are three). The headmaster is Dr G A Silverlock. []

The ties are similar to the Senior School ties, but in the top year (Upper Remove) and the end of the previous year (Lower Remove) the headmaster and the teachers choose prefects who get given a Senior School tie. Three headboys are chosen for each Upper Remove year, one for each term, and they are usually prefects.

The uniform is a red blazer with the emblem in blue on the top pocket. Every boy wears a white shirt and grey shorts or trousers.

The junior school was established in its own right in 1912. While it occupies the same campus as the senior school, they enjoy mostly separate facilities, though conveniently close to share some in common, for example, the dining facility, playing fields, the sports hall, swimming pool, music school and a new art and design technology department. King's College Junior School is also known as KCJS.

All boys are allocated to one of the school's four houses when they join. Siblings are placed into the same house. Every boy is able to take part in house events that take place through out the school year. At the start of the term, boys will be placed into a house and will consequently remain in there until a move to another school, or KCS (Kings College School).

The houses are as follows:

* Norman (Black)
* Stuart (Green)
* Tudor (Blue)
* Windsor (Yellow)

Noted Old King's

*Khalid Abdalla, actor and star of "United 93" and "The Kite Runner"
*Robert Ayling, former CEO of British Airways
*James Badgett, co-founder of Angel Investment Network Ltd"
*Ben Barnes, actor and star of ""
*Tom Basden, comedian
*Sir Algernon Borthwick, 1st Baron Glenesk, journalist and politician
*Tom Browne, broadcaster and actor
*Sir James Bottomley, diplomat
*Raymond Buckland, author
*William Burges, Victorian art-architect
*Ingram Bywater, classical scholar
*Arthur Cayley, mathematician
*Edward Dutton Cook, dramatic critic and author
*Richard Walther Darré, German Third Reich minister of food and agriculture under Adolf Hitler (On exchange)
*Brigadier General James Edward Edmonds, official British historian of World War I
*Jimmy Edwards, a 1950s British radio and television comedy actor
*Robert Graves, poet and novelist, who mentions his brief spell at the school in his biography Goodbye to All That
*The Right Reverend David Halsey, former Bishop of Carlisle
*Frederic Harrison, jurist and historian
*Robin Holloway, composer
*Peter Horrocks, head of BBC News newsroom
*David Hughes, novelist
*Ross Hutchins, professional tennis player
*William Ince, Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford
*Keith Ingram, former headmaster of the Dragon School in Oxford
*William Joyce, fascist politician and Nazi propagandist
*Alvar Lidell, BBC radio announcer
*Jacob Wrey Mould, architect best known for work in Central Park
*Roy Plomley, broadcaster and creator of the BBC radio programme Desert Island Discs
*Andrew Powell, musician
*Gaby Rado, television journalist
*Sir Stephen Richards, High Court Judge
*Prince Alexander Romanov, grandson of Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna and Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia and a great nephew of the last Russian Emperor, Nicholas II
*Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Pre-Raphaelite painter
*George Saintsbury, writer and critic
*Squadron Leader Arthur Stewart King Scarf VC, fighter pilot, awarded the Victoria Cross
*Sir Sidney Godolphin Alexander Shippard, British colonial administrator
*Walter Sickert, English Impressionist painter, suspected of being Jack the Ripper
*Simon Treves, actor and writer
*Mark Urban, Journalist, author & Diplomatic Editor of BBC's Newsnight programme
*Tom Vek, musician
*Jeremy Warmsley, musician
*Richard Webster, 1st Viscount Alverstone, former Attorney-General, barrister and politician
*Patrick Wolf, musician

See also

* The Rowans (affiliated Preparatory School)
* King's College School Boat Club
*List of Victoria Crosses by School


External links

* [ Official KCS Website]
* [ King's College School Boat Club Website]
* [ KCS Theatre Company Website]
* [ Old King's Club Website]
* [ King's Old Boys Rugby Football Club Website]
* [ King's Old Boys Football Club Website]
* []
* [ Profile at the Good Schools Guide]

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