Essays and Societies
“Pupils have excellent communication skills and are highly articulate speakers in a range of contexts. They value the numerous opportunities they have for speaking in public, in lessons, in the academic and scholars’ societies where they present papers, and in the range of competitions on offer including poetry speaking.”
- ISI Inspection Report 2018
Debating Successes 2021
King's has a strong history of debating success.
Earlier this year we were crowned the South West Champions in the English Speaking Union (ESU) Mace debating competition, as well as getting through to the Finals Day of the Oxford Union Schools’ debating competition, due to take place mid-March.Oxford Union School's Event ESU Debating Competition
Pupils are prepared with care for examinations and university, and are encouraged to develop independent thought and inquiring minds.
In addition there is a programme of academic activities and events to stretch and widen the horizons of ambitious candidates and academic high-flyers. All enthusiasms are catered for by departmental societies, speakers and events.
The Pelican Society
The Pelicans are the academic award holders in the Lower School. Meetings often include a discussion of various topics from beyond the curriculum, such as current-affairs, logical problems or ethical debates. Pelicans undertake an extended project annually, exploring a topic of personal intellectual interest, developing the skills of research, structuring an argument, and presentation of findings, on paper or orally.
The Phoenix Society
Meeting regularly, this interdisciplinary group offers individual pupils the chance to present papers on subjects which interest them, as well as to take part in scholarly discussions on challenging and topical subjects.
The Keynes Society
The Keynes Society is the school's economics and politics society, which provides pupils with the chance to debate current economic and political issues. Chaired and driven by Upper Sixth students, the society sees pupils attend lectures, visit local industries and participate in competitions such as the RES Economics Essay Competition, and the IFS Student Investor Competition.
The Erasmus Society
Named after the famous theologian, Desiderius Erasmus, the Erasmus Society attempts to bring together pupils who study a Modern Foreign Language or Classics. Members can learn about not only the languages they study in class, but also the culture of the countries from which they stem. In the past, meetings have included discussions on the difficulties of accurate translations, as well as a look at the origins of language.
The Jacobians Society
The Jacobians Society is King’s oldest society and is open to all Sixth Form mathematicians. Gatherings are held once or twice every half term, with the final meeting of term traditionally being a pizza party. Meetings may take the form of a short talk, activity or presentation, or even a puzzle evening, pub quiz, or mathematically-themed theatre trip.
The Keegan Society
The Society exists to promote discussion and lively debate about a wide range of historical matters. Meetings have been addressed by a variety of outside speakers in recent years, including leading historians Sir John Keegan and Richard Holmes, and ancient historian, Boris Johnson. Sixth Form historians also present papers at the society. Keegan, after whom the Society is named, was an eminent military historian and former pupil of King's.
The Howard Society
The Howard Society is a biology society run by Sixth Form students. The society aims to enthuse and engage pupils interested in pursuing future careers in medicine, dentistry, veterinary science or biology. Activities range from exploring medical ethics, dissection, and examination of microscope specimens, to practical activities beyond the GCSE and A-level curriculum.
The Wegener Society
The Society exists to promote discussion and lively debate about a wide range of geographical matters.
During his lifetime Alfred Wegener was primarily known for his achievements in meteorology and as a pioneer of polar research. Today he is most remembered as the originator of the theory of continental drift by hypothesizing in 1912 that the continents are slowly drifting around the Earth.
Meetings are held once or twice every half term, and may take the form of a short talk, activity or presentation. It provides pupils with the ideal forum for debate and discussion about the many facts and facets of geography.
In recent years, our pupils have entered a number of prestigious essay competitions run by various colleges at Oxford University and Cambridge University. Please find below a collection of these essays and some background information about the competitions and those awarded with prizes.