The King’s School (Canterbury)


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  • Category: Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Church of England
  • Roll: 422 (Boys) 430 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 13 - 18 years
  • Founded: 597, the oldest school in the country

General Information

At the heart of a King’s education is the dual pursuit of academic and co-curricular excellence. The wide-ranging interests, the intellectual ambition and the development of self discipline that such pursuits engender are highly prized in our modern global society. The quality of the teaching and the breadth of the activities outside the classroom mean that the lessons learnt and the skills acquired stay with our pupils for life.



The Cathedral and The King's School enjoy an unparalleled closeness in worship and governance. Weekly Sunday worship and many of the great School occasions take place in the Cathedral. The School has two ordained chaplains who are responsible for the School's services of worship in the Cathedral and elsewhere, and they also exercise a pastoral role in being available to staff and pupils, of all religions or none, as friend and counsellor. The chaplains are fully involved in the life of the school.

The Edred Wright Music School’s facilities include The Peter Stone recital room, practice rooms, music technology classrooms, percussion and recording studios, a library and a choral room. There are five choirs, two orchestras, many chamber groups, a wind band, big band and a selection of rock and jazz groups. Overseas tours are a regular event. In 2006 the Crypt Choir went to New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong; in 2008 and 2011 they visited the United States; and in 2013 they toured China and Hong Kong.

Art and Design facilities include a ceramics studio and kiln room, and a photography studio with digital suite, full film processing and dark room facilities. Drama takes place in three studio spaces, with school productions shown in St Mary’s Hall, in beautiful settings around the Cathedral Precincts and The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.

The well-stocked Library is open seven days and six evenings per week. ICT facilities are available for all and the whole school is extensively networked. A system of Learning Support is available to assist those with dyslexia or other learning difficulties.

Sporting facilities include a 25m swimming pool, fitness suite, large sports hall, cricket lanes, four squash courts and a dance/spinning studio. In addition to the normal Games programme, activities taught include gymnastics, badminton, basketball, squash, volleyball, swimming, water polo, spinning and pilates. As well as its own grounds, the School makes use of several excellent sports facilities in and around Canterbury for rowing and sailing, cricket, lawn tennis, hockey and golf. Many of our pupils go on to represent their county, their region and even their country. Future plans are in place for a Performing Arts centre and new sporting facilities.

In our extensive Activities programme, pupils can be involved in something scientific, cultural, adventurous or creative: from Photography to Young Enterprise, Ceramics to Cryptic Crosswords, and Debating to Mountain Biking. The Combined Cadet Force and the Duke of Edinburgh Award are also available. The flourishing 'After Hours' programme incorporates societies, talks and activities, either linked to a particular academic department or specialist groups such as the Linacre Society (Medicine) and the Thurlow Society (Law).

All pupils are members of a house. There are 13 boarding Houses and three day Houses. The buildings range from Meister Omers (13th century) to Harvey House (opened in 1999), the New Grange (opened in 2007) and Kingsdown House (opened in 2015).

A new pupil Social Centre opened in January 2018 and a new Day House was completed in March 2018 at the former motor works site where two Chitty Chitty Bang Bang cars were built, just outside the main part of the School. A new state-of-the-art science centre is to be opened in 2020 .

The School has opened The King’s School, Canterbury, International College which educates up to 80 international pupils, aged 12-16, for whom English isn’t their first language. The College prepares them for further education at either The King’s School or another appropriate senior school. The College occupies an area at a former Victorian Malthouse, which itself houses a 334-seat theatre with orchestra pit and specialist dance and drama studios and further teaching areas to be shared between the College and the School.

An international school in China is to be opened in 2019

Entrance Requirements

13+: Common Entrance Examination or King's own entrance examinations, in Mathematics, English and Science, plus an online aptitude test.

14+: King's own entrance examinations, in Mathematics, English and Science, plus an online aptitude test.

Sixth Form: Examination and interview. Entrants will also need to be predicted a minimum of 7 B grades at I/GCSE (or equivalent).

Individual character and circumstance, together with the ability to contribute widely to the extensive range of co-curricular activities, are also taken into consideration.

Examinations are normally taken at King's, however, arrangements can be made for applicants living abroad to sit the examinations in their country of residence.


Academic, Music, Art, Sport, Dance, Drama and Design & Technology

Open Days

2020. All visits are welcome, please contact the school.

For details please email Mrs Kate Harrison Admissions Secretary, or telephone 01227 595772. For Junior King's School Open Mornings please contact:


2018/19. Boarding: £12,485 per term. Day: £9,165 per term.


ISI Educational Quality Inspection 2017
ISI Focused Compliance Report 2017

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mr Peter Roberts

Contact for enquiries: Mrs Kate Harrison, Admissions Secretary.

The King’s School (Canterbury)
25, The Precincts

[t]: 01227 595772.
[f]: 01227 595501

Location Description

In the centre of historic Canterbury, just off A28 and close to A2. Air - London Heathrow, Gatwick and City Airports are all within 90 minutes transfer to Canterbury. Train - direct from London St Pancras, Charing Cross and Victoria to Canterbury from only 50 minutes. Eurostar - Paris to Canterbury from 2 hours 40 minutes.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

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School News

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The King’s School performance of Brahms’ German Requiem provided the ideal demonstration of the extraordinarily high quality of musicians at the school. The King’s Symphony

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Orchestra and Chorus more than met the challenge of this beautiful large-scale piece, under the baton of Director of Music, Will Bersey, as a large audience in the Canterbury Cathedral Nave feasted on the rich tones of Brahms’ sumptuous orchestration and choral melodies.

The professional soloists, Marie Arnet and former pupil Tristan Hambleton provided additional musical excellence, their movements played with appropriate warmth and lyricism with a fine balance between soloist and orchestra. The resounding penultimate movement ‘Denn wir haben hie keine bleibende Statt’ was played with great spirit, with the players relishing the composer’s deft writing. The audience showed much appreciation for what was a most moving, exciting and high-quality performance by both soloists, orchestra and choir.

Thanks must be extended to Will Bersey and chorus-master Nick Todd for their enthusiasm and expertise in preparing the musicians for this outstanding concert.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

Pupils from The King’s School and King’s International College joined forces with volunteers from the Canterbury community for one of the biggest litter picks and

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clean ups that the city has ever seen.

The clean-up was organised by the Friends of Kingsmead Field and was the first in a series of community litter picks taking place around the city during the Great British Spring Clean, a nationwide clean-up which is coordinated each year by Keep Britain Tidy.

In total, more than 70 sacks of litter were collected across a large part of Canterbury, including Northgate, St Stephen’s, St Radigund’s and Kingsmead.

The volunteers were commended for their hard work by the organisers and deemed a credit to the school. Well done to everyone involved.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

King’s fencers reached the semi-final of the British Public Schools’ Fencing Championship at Crystal Palace. In the Senior Girls Epée, Tiffany Zhang (6b HH) came

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third, after a close battle and score of 14-15, Jenny Zhang (6b JR) came sixth and Elissa Vinh (6a WL) tenth. In the Senior Boys Event George Yeh (6b LN) finished fifth having lost 9-10 in the quarterfinals to the eventual winner of the tournament. In the Boys Under 14 Epée Vladimir Kozlov (Remove MR) who has only been fencing for one year finished ninth, having lost 7-8 in overtime.

These are the best British Public Schools’ Championships results for King’s for a number of years. Congratulations go to the students and the coaches.

The Recreation Centre Fencing club moves to the biggest fencing installation in the UK next term allowing for additional coaching places. The installation, on the Malting’s International College site on St Stephen’s Road, will also be the new training venue for the fencers at the King’s School and the International College.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

In Nottingham, Tom Wingfield and Ian Wingfield continued their winning ways in the J16 pair by coming first and gaining selection to represent Great Britain

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in Paris for the Great Britain vs. France match on 12th July. This is a remarkable achievement, considering their age and the competitive level of the category.

They are representing the school in the King’s Eight at Henley Royal Regatta, along with James Crawley, Wills Edgar, Ed Connor, Alex Smith, Bear Hastilow, Alex Lapsley and Sacha Tanna (cox), with their first round race being on Wednesday 4th July at 6:45pm, which can be seen live on:

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

OKS, James Oates (Carlyon House) has been selected to play Hockey for Great Britain U23’s in a 6 Nations Tournament in Belgium. He will be

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playing teams from Belgium, Netherlands, India, Ireland and Malaysia, which is impressive considering he is only twenty. He has had quite a few appearances for the England U21’s this year too, against Ireland at Easter and the Netherlands a few weeks ago.

James now has 20 caps at U21 England level to add to the 14 caps he received at U16 and 21 caps at U18. You can read more about the tournament by clicking on the link below.

Congratulations to James on all his hard work over the years. The King’s School community are very proud of his achievements.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

To the good ‘A’ Level and Pre-U results from last summer’s Leavers, the Fifths (Year 11s) of The King’s School, Canterbury have come up trumps

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with a really good set of I/GCSE grades. The large year group of 150 has secured 47.4% of their collective grades at A* and no fewer than 73.3% of the total are at A*-A.

Individual successes are recorded right across the ability range, but of particular satisfaction is the high number of the new top 9 grades awarded to King’s pupils (46 for Mathematics and 20 for art, for example).

Four pupils recorded the equivalent of 11 A*s, seven the equivalent of 10A*s and 11 with 9A*s; 70 of the big cohort were at least at the level of 9As.

This is then one of the stronger performances at The King’s School, but the celebrating girls and boys know that what it really means is that a great deal is expected of them in the Sixth Form from September!

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The talented and gregarious 6a Leavers from The King’s School, Canterbury have underlined their excellent all-round contribution to the arts, the sport and the community

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life of the School by landing a strong set of ‘A’ Level and Pre-U results on the academic side of things.

To the sense of a well-rounded education over the course of their King’s career can now be added the academic passport to an appealing range of high quality universities and a renaissance spread of worthwhile courses. For some, this will be after a Gap Year spent perhaps volunteering abroad or gaining valuable experience of the ‘real world’; for others, it will be following an Art Foundation course or a Music diploma.

For the majority though, university life will begin this autumn, 150 in the UK and 15 in the USA. The encouraging number of Oxbridge candidates (over 20) and the strong group going on to ICL, LSE and UCL nearly all secured their offers.

Many congratulations, then, to this bright and well-grounded group who left us on Commemoration Day in July. The results today go alongside promising results for the Fifths after the publication of the main part of their I-GCSE results earlier in the week.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

It was another good weekend for the Boat Club.

At Chiswick Regatta a younger contingent went to race with the Shell boys and girls finding the going

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tough but gaining valuable experience. The Removes won their heat against Dulwich College and then went on to win the final against Fulham Reach.

The girls’ squad have been showing great improvement and potential. After a race in the senior women’s event, they won their J16 heat and then went on to beat the American School in London in the final, showing real speed and talent. Molly Satoor and Josie Patterson then went on to win their semi in a double and the final too.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The School’s Young Enterprise company, Planting Memories, competed in the North East Kent area final where they were crowned best overall company. They will go

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on to compete in the Kent final on the 9th May.

They managed to pick up awards for the best trade stand, the best company report and the best presentation. Over the past year, they have designed a range of greetings cards, which has a seeded paper insert that when planted will grow into wild flowers.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The Fifth Form have achieved strong GCSE and IGCSE results this year.

43.6% of grades awarded were

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69.5% of grades awarded were A* or A
88.7% of grades awarded were A*, A or B

87% of pupils achieved at least one A* grade

6 pupils gained 11 A* grades
10 pupils gained 10 A* grades
10 pupils gained 9 A* grades

(All the grades were A*-G since we chose to study IGCSE courses in English Literature, English Language and Mathematics).

Results in English Literature, French, Physics, Spanish, Religious Studies, Mandarin, German, Russian and Photography were all over 50% A*s.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The King’s School are delighted to announce their membership of an exciting new partnership of schools which launches this September 2017 – East Kent Schools

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Together (EKST).

East Kent presents a diversity of economic, social and educational backgrounds for children. When students and staff collaborate across schools, by sharing resources and exchanging experiences, there can be huge mutual benefits, including raising aspirations and widening horizons.

The partners currently include six schools, both state and independent, and one university. An inspiring programme of collaborative events has already been designed for 2017-18.

The innovative partnership aims to enhance the teaching and learning in the schools by forging strong relationships and enabling children to develop into confident and resilient young adults, learning together through a wider range of enriching experiences.

EKST will be an important addition to the existing and growing King’s Partnership Programme, through which King’s currently work with over 30 schools locally.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The excellent year group of 2017 leavers achieved strong sets of A Level and Pre-U

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70 pupils achieved 3 A grades or better (including the equivalent Pre-U grades)
20 pupils achieved 3 A*s or better (including the equivalent Pre-U grades)
11 pupils achieved 4 A*s or better ((including the equivalent Pre-U grades)

72% of Pre-U grades were at Distinction level (D1, D2 or D3)
18% of Pre-Us were graded D1 (equivalent to a high A* grade)
28% of Pre-Us were graded D2 ((equivalent to an A* grade)
27% of Pre-Us were graded D3 (equivalent to a good A grade)

25% of A Levels were graded A*
30% of A Levels were graded A

86% of the 6a leavers achieved or surpassed their first choice or insurance university offer.

King's School Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

Over Summer Term King’s produced the first edition of Mind’s Eye Prep, a junior partner to the magazine established in 2011. The new version allows

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pupils at Prep Schools from London and the South East to have articles on any subject edited, designed and printed to a professional standard.

Contributions in 2017 covered a wide variety of subjects, such as bullying, global warming, the Vietnam War, coping with aliens, the importance of practice, ivory poaching, designer babies, gaming, Indian fashion, how to bring up children properly and world peace.

Feedback from Prep Schools has been enthusiastic: ‘The boys have started to receive their magazines in today’s post and I just wanted to let you know how wonderful we all think it is. Congratulations on such a professional and exciting publication – the boys are just thrilled to see their ideas in print.’

‘We are all overwhelmed by the beautiful editions of Mind’s Eye, which has arrived! The children were delighted to see their work in print and what a gorgeous looking magazine it is! Thank you. It has been a huge honour to participate in this exciting venture and we are thrilled with the outcome. To see their work published in such a high quality, professional and attractive journal has been the most exciting experience for our contributors and one which I am sure will spur them on to greater things. Thank you so much for this inspiring initiative and for inviting us to participate. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement.’

Editor and Head of Creative Writing Anthony Lyons hopes that, now many of them have seen a copy of the first edition, even more Prep Schools will contribute to the second publication in 2018. A Guide to Mind’s Eye Prep will be sent out in September, and the deadline for articles is Thursday 1st March 2018.


King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The girls of Walpole House proudly handed over a cheque for £3,362.97 to Alzheimer’s Research UK following the hugely successful fund raising efforts of their annual Carnations

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This year Walpole House celebrated the 25th anniversary of a tradition involving the writing and delivering of carnations to hopeful recipients throughout the school. Each year the Walpole girls tie nearly five thousand messages to red carnations before they are delivered to the school the following morning.

Collecting the cheque on behalf of the charity, Christie Hyland (Regional Fundraising Officer) took time to speak to the whole school about the importance of the work that ARUK does in the battle to defeat dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is just one of many different types that affect some 850,000 people in the UK today.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

Former pupils Helena Barton (MT 2010-15) and Harry Nichols (GL 2011-16) recently won medals at the British Universities Championship Regatta.

Helena scooped up a bronze in

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the Women’s Championship pairs and a silver in the Women’s Championship Fours. Currently Vice Captain of the Durham University Boat Club, she has been selected for two boats at the European University Championships and she has also completed the final set of U23 GB trials. Helena comments “I love competing and trying to get better every day. Rowing is a sport of marginal gains so every millisecond counts. I love that it is a sport for everyone – any age or ability. You can do it competitively or you can do it for fun!”

Harry won silver in the lightweight coxless Fours, fourth place in the lightweight pair and was selected for the European University Championships. He reports “Rowing gives you the tools to better yourself every day and all you have to do is turn up! Hard work and diligence never go unrewarded. As my school coach, Jon Williamson, constantly affirms: ‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’!”

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