“Refreshingly, teaching is decisively not constrained by the criteria required to pass the exams but rather designed to ‘inspire thought, provoke question and foster deep enjoyment of each subject’. The effect of this has not been missed by parents, ‘The children are really enthused and inspired by their teachers who all seem to have an incredible passion for their subjects and are able to creatively connect each child to their topic.’ Parents wholeheartedly agreed that the exemplary provision through the global pandemic, if anything, strengthened the academic offering, ‘my son felt as though he had a personalised experience in every subject.’”
- The Good Schools Guide 2021
“Lessons are designed to allow students to interact with the teacher and with each other, and discovering new ideas is a shared process. ”
“Our two sons did incredibly well with their A-level results and we are very proud of all they have achieved. They worked really hard but I also wanted to acknowledge the work and effort that everyone put in from the very early days in Nursery, right through until Upper Sixth. Ed, with his 2 A*s in Spanish and French and A in English is off to Cambridge to read Modern and Medieval Languages. Andrew had a place at Durham to study Computer Science, but as his results were 2A*s in Maths and Further Maths and an A in Chemistry and Physics he has decided on a change of plan and is going to re-apply for Maths next year. I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all the dedication and effort from all of you – King’s Schools are very special places, staffed with very special people! ”
- Parents of two recent leavers
Inside and outside the classroom, pupils are challenged through teaching by enthusiastic and dedicated specialist teachers. Careful planning has devised a programme of visits, lectures, tutoring and prep to support the learning. House-based tutors each support seven or eight boys or girls throughout their time at the school.
Pupils are also prepared with care for examinations and university, and are encouraged to develop independent thought and inquiring minds.
Third Form Overview
The Third Form curriculum emphasises breadth and depth of understanding; every pupil studies the same wide range of subjects including two modern languages. They will either take three separate sciences, counting as three GCSEs, or a balanced double award science course, which counts as two GCSEs. In this year the aim is to explore each subject, allowing study of a wider range of topics with a greater depth of understanding. We do not aim to cover the topics quickly or superficially.
Our aim is to make the Third Form curriculum as exciting and as challenging as possible. As well as preparing Third Formers for the start of their GCSE courses, we hope to expose them to a wide range of new ideas, teaching them useful techniques and instilling productive work habits.
In addition to an all-round academic education, there are lots of opportunities to try new sports and activities with our extensive sports and co-curricular programmes.
Pupils study ten subjects in the Fourth and Fifth Forms: English, English Literature, mathematics, all three sciences (either through triple or double award) and four or five others. All are expected to choose one modern foreign language and a large number study two. Please see the GCSE courses booklet for greater detail of all that is on offer.
A Level Overview
At A Level pupils usually choose to study four subjects from a range of 22, although some study five. Careful advice is given from the outset to ensure that choices match the requirements of popular courses at prestigious universities. Pupils are also able to opt for the modern AQA baccalaureate, with the additional programme of AS critical thinking, enrichment activities and extended project. Please see the A Level courses booklet for greater detail.
BTEC Sports Performance and Excellence
We now also offer the level 3 BTEC in Sport as an alternative to A level study and this is a course well worth considering for those thinking about a career in sport – teaching, coaching, playing or managing. Our course offers excellent teaching, first-class facilities and strong links to professional sports clubs in the south west. Like A levels, though, it is a tough and demanding option, not to be taken lightly.
“Now that all of our three children have completed their education with you, we wanted thank you and all your staff for the fabulous job that you have done with all of them. You have enabled all three to achieve at the very highest level in their exams, with nothing less than A grade, which is absolutely fantastic. They have now been able to go on to the next stage of their education very well prepared. When parents ask me about how to decide on a senior school, we always suggest that they look at and talk to the senior pupils in the school, and if that is how they would like their children to turn out, it is likely to be a good school for them. Your senior pupils are a credit to the school and all that it stands for.”
- Parents of three former pupils
“Pupils show scholarship outside the confines of the examination curriculum. In 2016/2017 individual pupils won gold medals in the Biology Olympiad and two pupils won an award in a Cambridge University chemistry essay competition. Two further pupils won awards in Oxford University essay competitions, one in law and one in philosophy.”
- ISI Inspection Report 2018
“Our daughter has absolutely adored King's and the only thing she wished for is that her time there could have been longer. She has thrived at King's in all aspects and has been very lucky to make some fabulous lifelong friends as well. We are delighted with her results and are in the process of helping her to decide which university offer to accept.”
- Parents of a pupil who recently completed her A levels at King's
The Tutor System
We are committed to ensuring that every one of our pupils is known and valued as an individual and that the structures of support are close and effective. As a result, each pupil has a tutor who will support them in their whole school life, with their pastoral as well as academic studies.
Tutors are experienced at putting together individual plans to ensure each pupil is happy and thriving as well as achieving.
The tutor takes care of the pupil's academic and co-curricular growth and engagement throughout their time with us. One-to-one meetings take place weekly, providing an opportunity for both tutor and pupil to develop trust and understanding.
When pupils enter the Sixth Form they are able to choose their own tutor, who is a member of our academic staff. This relationship enables pupils' learning to flourish and helps them to engage with adults in a productive and increasingly mature way, taking responsibility for their own academic development.Read more here
Extended Project Qualification
We offer the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a major piece of research culminating in an extended essay. It encourages independent thinking at an advanced level and has proved useful to students preparing for university application. Details can be found towards the end of the booklet. The Project is optional, but we hope that the majority of our students will elect to do it as part of their Sixth Form studies.
For more information on the EPQ, please click here.
Philosothon started in 2007 with seven schools participating at Hale School in Western Australia. Since then it has grown phenomenally, and currently involves over 250 schools. Father Mark Smith and Julie Arliss from the Philosophy & Religion Department at King's have now spearheaded the Philosothon movement in the United Kingdom.
Philosothons encourage students to investigate complex philosophical and ethical questions using 'Communities of Enquiry'. In the process of preparing and participating in Philosothons, pupils have the opportunity to develop higher order thinking and communication skills.
Important as debating skills are, the model of Community of Enquiry is different and seeks to develop rigorous skills of dialogue, where every voice is heard and every idea is taken seriously.