King's College School
Merton, United Kingdom
About King's College School
King’s College School is an independent day school for boys aged 7-18 and girls aged 16-18. Founded in 1829 by Royal Charter, King’s is a school of almost 1,500 pupils, including approximately 450 boys in the junior school, located in one of the most attractive parts of London. There are over 200 staff in the senior and junior common rooms and 130 non-teaching staff.
King’s College School is one of the most oversubscribed in the UK. There are nearly ten applicants for every place, and the strong academic profile of the school is one of its major attributes. However, for pupils, parents and colleagues, King’s is much more than an academic success story. Equally important to all of us is the range of activities, encompassing the highest standards in drama, music and sport, the opportunities afforded pupils through what is perhaps the country’s most successful and varied school programme of outreach and community service, and, fundamental to all that we do, the pastoral system of the school. Beyond this, the school is innovative and flexible, with an exceptionally committed and open-minded common room. Boys and girls are positive, generous spirited and compassionate young men and women with an outstanding attitude to all aspects of school life. King’s has a reputation for providing exceptional pastoral care, and the school’s systems mean that pupils benefit from tailored, individual support and care from their personal tutor and are supported by a large team of specialists including two school counsellors.
King’s has been rated the top boys’ and co-educational independent school in London since 2017 by The Sunday Times Parent Power. Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, stated: “KCS is the embodiment of everything you could want in a school”. The Good Schools Guide Review reports: “Intellectually exhilarating yet principled, this is selective education at its very best…”.
In a typical year, over 50% of all sixth form grades are awarded A* at A level or 7 at IB Higher Level, over 80% of all GCSEs are graded 9/8 (or A*) and over 90% of pupils achieving their first choice university offer. Our approach at all levels encourages pupils to look beyond academic excellence, as the vibrant success of our drama, music and games departments indicates. We are fully committed to the CCF, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and partnership work with over 30 local maintained schools, encompassing community projects involving large numbers of Kings’ pupils on Friday afternoons.
King’s prides itself on its combination of innovation and tradition. The whole school is committed to the values of good discipline, hard work and good manners, but we are also keen to embrace new challenges. In 2010 the sixth form became co-educational and this has been an outstanding success; we admit around 50 girls each year.
We prepare sixth formers for both the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) and A Levels. Since September 2016, King’s has admitted boys aged eleven directly into the senior school. This has increased access for a wider range of parental backgrounds and we have raised significant bursary funds to support the 11+ senior school entry. From 2021, boys will also transfer from the junior school at the age of eleven. Following a suggestion from pupils, the school appointed two on-site counsellors three years ago, and King’s has taken a national lead in discussions on mental health and well-being. This year, the school has established a committee to explore the school’s diversity and issues that have arisen from the Black Lives Matter movement.
Alumni of the school include poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, musicians Marcus Mumford (Mumford & Sons) and Dan Smith (Bastille), theatre director Christopher Luscombe and actor Ben Barnes.
In 2019, King’s completed a £50m master plan that has renewed and replaced major facilities across the campus. We have three sister schools in China, one in Thailand and a partnership agreement with the International School of Monaco. Income from these projects is invested in our bursary fund.