King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon

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King Edward VI Grammar School
Established 13th century
1553 (Refounded by King Edward VI)
Type Grammar school, Academy
Headmaster Mr Bennet Carr
Founder King Edward VI
Location Church Street/Chapel lane
Stratford-upon-Avon
Warwickshire
CV37 6HB
England Coordinates: 52°11′24″N 1°42′27″W / 52.19°N 1.7075°W / 52.19; -1.7075
DfE number 937/4601
DfE URN 137302 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 32 full-time teachers, 12 part-time
Students 542
Gender Boys
(coeducational sixth form)
Ages 11–18
Colours Blue and gold         
Website www.kes.net

King Edward VI School (commonly shortened to K.E.S.) is a boys grammar school and academy in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. However from September 2013 the school allows up to 25% of the intake for Year 12 to be girls.[citation needed] It is also generally believed that William Shakespeare attended this school, leading to the label of "Shakespeare's School".[citation needed]

History[edit]

There has been an educational facility at the current site of the school since at least the early thirteenth century. A schoolroom, schoolhouse and payment of £20 per annum for a master was one of the provisions of King Edward VI's charter which established Stratford-upon-Avon as a borough in June, 1553.[1] The school was re-founded as one of King Edward's schools nine days before the young king died of tuberculosis and is believed to be the last of the King Edward VI Schools. A history of the early years of the school has been published by the former chairman of the governors Levi Fox[2]

It is likely that the playwright and poet William Shakespeare attended the school between the ages of seven to fourteen.[3] His father, John Shakespeare, a glover and wool dealer in the town, held the office of bailiff of the borough in 1568. As a child, William would have been entitled to a free place at the school,[4] and it was the only school for miles around, however there is no conclusive evidence that he was schooled there. Classmates may have included William Smith, Richard Field, John Sadler, Arthur Cawdrey, John Lane,[5] Robert Dibdale[6] and Thomas Green.

Following a tradition established in 1893, each year pupils and masters lead a procession through the town from the school in Church Street to Holy Trinity Church, where they lay flowers at Shakespeare's grave. In 1982 the five-hundredth anniversary of the endowment of the school by the priest Thomas Jolyffe was celebrated and in 2003 celebrations were held for the 450th anniversary of the school's re-foundation.

Administration[edit]

The school is currently led by the Headmaster, Mr. Bennet Carr MA FRGS, and the Head of Governors, Prof. Ronnie Mulryne MA PhD.[7] The Head Boy is elected by the boys of the Lower Sixth and teachers. It is a voluntary aided school and funds certain aspects of the school from its own resources (Registered charity 528769, Limited Company registration 7696173).

Admissions[edit]

KES is a completely selective school: to enter the school, all students must pass a selective exam, primarily the eleven plus, which is taken in Year 6 (ages 10 and 11) across Warwickshire. KES is a brother school to Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls and in some subjects in the Sixth Form students can attend classes at either school.

Houses[edit]

In 1921, the headmaster, the Revd. A. Cecil Knight, established six houses to promote healthy competition amongst the boys. This number was reduced to four houses in 1924: Shakespeare, Flower (after Charles Flower, a benefactor of the school in the 1890s), Warneford, and De La Warr (Earl Delawarr was High Steward of Stratford in the 1850s). The house system was altered in 1973 and just two houses established – King’s (blue) and Guild (gold) – in recognition of the historic benefactors of the school.

In 2000 the number of boys at the school meant that more houses were needed to make true competition possible, and so four houses were re-introduced. These were named after men associated with the twentieth-century school who had made significant contributions in their respective fields. The houses are: Dyson (Red colours),Fitzmaurice (Blue), Spender (Purple) and Warneford (Green). Denis Dyson was physics and astronomy master who came to the school in 1926, initially for six-months, and stayed until his retirement at the age of 71 in 1975.[8] He continued to assist the school well into his nineties.[9] Andrew Charles Quinn FRCA was a pupil of the school who left in 1990 and has become a successful and respected clinician in the North of England. Richard Spender was an old boy and poet who was killed assaulting German machine-gun positions in 1943.[10] Reginald Warneford was an old boy who was the first naval airman to receive the Victoria Cross. He was killed in a flying accident in 1915. The houses are headed by four teachers and take part in a competition each year to win the house trophy. This trophy is hotly contested and had been won by Fitzmaurice for six consecutive years but in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 the last four years, it has gone to Dyson.

School Council[edit]

There is a School Council, consisting of elected members from each year group, and a Sixth Form Committee. These provide a voice for the students in many different aspects of the school. There is also an ICT Steering Group to develop ICT use at the school.

Buildings[edit]

Given the age of the school it is not surprising to find a wide variety of architectural styles on the site ranging from the fifteenth-century Guildhall to the Denis Dyson science building opened in 2008.[11] The majority of the historic parts of the school are still used. The ground-floor of the Guildhall, where the town council of Shakespeare's time met and where travelling players performed - the holes for the rods to hold the temporary stage are still visible - was used as a library until February 2013.It is currently undergoing restoration work. On the first floor the old Council Chamber, known since Victorian times as "Big School", is the room in which William Shakespeare is believed to have been taught and is still used for teaching. The building known as Pedagogue's House across the courtyard currently houses the school office, the offices of the Headmaster, the two deputy headmasters and the School Archive. Pedagogue's House, first built in 1427 and believed to be the oldest half-timbered schoolroom in England,[12] is attached to the Old Vicarage where the Headmaster lives. Adjacent to the school site is the Guild Chapel, founded by the medieval Guild of the Holy Cross and now owned by the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust. Today it is used by the school for morning service and various other school events, such as the annual carol service.

The other school buildings predominately date from the 1930s, for example, the SH block (Shakespeare Block). Many have been extended during the 1950s, 60s and 70s and the most recent part of the school, built in 2008, is the Denis Dyson Building, a science block which has two chemistry, two biology and three information technology (ICT) rooms. The Levi Fox Hall, also built recently and named after a Chairman of the Governors, is primarily used for sport, assemblies, school plays, concerts and examinations.[13] The Royal Shakespeare Company has used the space for a production of Julius Caesar.

Student life[edit]

Students take part in a variety of sporting and other competitions and events. The school has flourishing sporting, music and drama departments in addition to diverse interests such as the Warwickshire Mock Magistrates and Mock Bar court trials, Young Enterprise, Bank of England Target Two Point Zero Challenge, as well as other debating and public speaking competitions.

Sport[edit]

The school's rugby team is successful and has had success in the Daily Mail Cup (Winners 1991, Semi Finalists in 1996, Quarter Finalists on two occasions and in 2008/09 Vase Semi Finalists) and also goes on annual international tours, most recently to South Africa in 2010.[14] Students also take part in fencing,[15] athletics, rowing, hockey, basketball, badminton, table tennis and volleyball. Fencing has recently re-emerged as a popular sport at the school, with wins from pupils at several major fencing tournaments, and at least six current members of the school having experienced international fencing competitions for Great Britain.

Music[edit]

The non-contemporary music department holds termly concerts and the King Eddie's Revival Big Band are frequently featured. The band has played at the prestigious 100 Club, Oxford Street, London. The school also puts on an annual play for example in 2005 the production was Unman, Wittering and Zigo, in 2006 Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, in 2007 an adaption of Simon Armitage's The Odyssey, and in 2008 The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Since 2008, Edward's Boys have very successfully presented productions of early 16th century plays, written specifically for boy actors, and not performed for four hundred years. These have been performed in London, Oxford, Warwick and in Strafford.

Notable former pupils[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ King Edward VI School website
  2. ^ Fox, Levi (1984). The early history of King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford upon Avon: The Dugdale Society. 
  3. ^ Stratford-upon-Avon website
  4. ^ "Elizabethan Education". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  5. ^ Eccles, Mark (1961). Shakespeare in Warwickshire, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, pp.58-62
  6. ^ Ackroyd, Peter (2005). Shakespeare: The Biography, London: Chatto & Windus, p. 64
  7. ^ "Professor Ronnie Mulryne". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  8. ^ The Guild School Association (2003) "Denis Dyson recalls the years he taught at the school, 1926-1975". Shakespeare's School - Stratford-upon-Avon. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  9. ^ The Guild School Association (2003) "Denis Dyson remembered, by Tim Raistrick". Shakespeare's School - Stratford-upon-Avon. Retrieved 2010-11-21.
  10. ^ Pearson, Richard (2010). The boys of Shakespeare's school in the First World War. Stroud: The History Press Ltd. ISBN 0-7524-5510-9. 
  11. ^ "The Science Block". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  12. ^ "King Edward VI School history". Retrieved 27 March 2013. ]
  13. ^ "The Levi Fox Hall". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "KESST". Retrieved 14 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Shakespeare's Swords Fencing Club". Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  16. ^ KES

http://www.kes.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Sixth-Form-Open-Evening-2012-Pack-FINAL.pdf

External links[edit]