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: 432 (Boys) 386 (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 twelve 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 is opening The King’s School, Canterbury, International College, in September 2018,which will educate up to 80 international pupils, aged 11-16, for whom English isn’t their first language. The College will prepare them for further education at either The King’s School or another appropriate senior school. The College will occupy an area at a recently acquired Victorian Malthouse, which itself will house a 350-seat theatre 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, Drama and Design & Technology

Open Days

2018. 13+ entry: Sat. 16th June and Sat. 6th October. Sixth Form entry: Sat. 23rd June and Sat. 22nd September.

2019. 13+ entry: Sat. 9th March. Sixth Form entry: Sat. 22nd June.

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
ISI Boarding Inspection 2014

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.

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School News

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’!”

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

King’s company ‘Quick Lock’ competed in the Young Enterprise Area Final last week and were awarded two prizes – one for the ‘most innovative product’

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and one for the ‘best presentation.’

The company, consisting of Sixth Form pupils Gus Cox (MR), Sophie Morrish (BY), Lauren Robins-Burnard (R), Anastasia Dmitryuk (BY), Freida Lee (JR), Douce de Boisgelin (HH), Daria Gurko (HH), Izzy Chessell (KD), Kirstie Chan (KD), Lily Zhou (JR) and Jeremy Wan (GR), worked hard all year and their prizes were well deserved.

Photograph – Gus Cox accepting ‘best presentation’ prize

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

An experienced team of Inspectors, led by the former High Master of Manchester Grammar School, arrived in early March. Both formal and informal feedback conveyed

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how impressed they were with all aspects of the vibrant and busy life of The King’s School.

The very positive feedback from both parental and pupil questionnaires set the tone for a rigorous but ultimately rewarding week.

The Inspection Report consists of two strands: a Regulatory Compliance inspection and an Educational Quality inspection.

The Educational Quality report achieved two grades of ‘Excellent’ for the two key findings (the quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements and the quality of the pupils’ personal development). The report acknowledges the progress made since the previous Inspection in 2011 and highlights the dedication of the entire teaching staff and the considerable pride that the pupils themselves hold for their school.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

2016 Leaver, Will Heywood (MR), made his England U21 Hockey debut v Austria in Vienna this Easter.

It was his first cap for an England side,

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winning all three matches of the series against Austria.

Will has also been playing Hockey for Canterbury in the Premier League, alongside another former pupil, James Oates (CY).

In his last year at King’s, Will suffered a serious ankle and ACL injury which could have caused irreparable damage. But thanks to the School Physiotherapist, Jolindi Jefferson and Recreation Centre staff member Sam Fruin, Will was able to make a full recovery, returning even stronger than before!

He will be travelling to Australia to play a Hockey season in Melbourne this September.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

Superb swimmer, Stephanie Andrews (5th, BR) performed fantastically at the Senior British Swimming Championships in Sheffield during the Easter holidays. She won her heat in

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the 50m Breaststroke with a time of 33:74 LC (=32:80 SC), setting new under 16 and open school records. This has brought her GB age group ranking to 5th, her highest ever position!

Stephanie also had the opportunity to watch Olympians, Adam Peaty, Chris Walker-Hebborn, James Guy and Hannah Miley who all swam in the same session.

King's Canterbury independent day and boarding school Kent

The King’s School, Canterbury were joined by over 60 children and parents/carers from the local area on Sunday 19th March, to explore a range of

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hands-on science activities in celebration of British Science Week. They were split into three groups, following a carousel of activities led by the School’s wonderful Science teachers and technicians. This included investigating woodlice, trying out some explosive flame tests and making pinhole cameras. The day finished with a delicious lunch and every child and parent/carer received a certificate presented to them by the Lord Mayor of Canterbury and Damian Collins MP.

For this pilot project, the Partnerships Team had worked closely with the local community centres, schools and Canterbury City Council to target those families that would benefit most from the day. Provision of transport, a crèche, and lunch were essential in making the session accessible for all. 23 King’s students played wonderful hosts to our guests in a variety of volunteering roles throughout the event.

King's Canterbury independent boarding school Kent

This September, current pupil, Tom Hunt (SH, 6a) will be attempting to set a new world record for the youngest person to run from Land’s

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End to John O’Groats, covering 38 marathons in 30 days (approx. 1000 miles). To put this in perspective, it is the equivalent distance of running from Canterbury to Warsaw, Poland!

Tom is running to increase awareness for the neurological disease ME whilst also raising money for the ME association, a really worthwhile cause and a charity with which Head of CCF & DofE at King’s, Major Adam Vintner has a strong connection.

Tom is currently training around Canterbury, running between 150 and 210km a week. Tom is finding the regime tough but very satisfying. He was inspired by the quote ‘if you only do what you can, you will never be more than what you are now.’

You can support Tom by visiting his Just Giving webpage.

King's Canterbury independent boarding school Kent

Last weekend, current pupil, Will Heywood (MR), scored a chance less 106 not out.

He achieved this in 121 balls scoring 10 fours and two sixes in

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the process. He then went onto take 5 wickets for only 21 runs in 6 overs to help secure a great win against Sutton Valence!

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