Kingsmead School, Hoylake

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Kingsmead School
Kingsmead School Crest.svg
Motto Dominus Vitae Robur
(The Lord is the Strength of my Life)
Established 1904
Type Independent
Religion Non-denominational[1]
Headmaster Mark Gibbons[2]
Deputy headmaster Julian Eisner[3]
Chairman of Governors Tim Turvey[4]
Founder Arthur Watts
Location Bertram Drive
CH47 0LL
England Coordinates: 53°23′51″N 3°10′06″W / 53.3975°N 3.1682°W / 53.3975; -3.1682
Local authority Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
DfE number 344/6014
DfE URN 105121 Tables
Staff 32 teaching, 39 support[4]
Students 215[5]
Gender Mixed
Ages 2–16
Houses      Hilbre
Colours      Bottle Green
     Navy Blue
Former pupils Old Kingsmeadians
School hymn "Through All the Changing Scenes of Life"

Kingsmead School is a co-educational independent day School for boys and girls aged 2 to 16, located in Hoylake, on the Wirral Peninsula. The school was founded in 1904 by Arthur Watts, a Baptist minister and mathematician. In 1911 the school motto was selected, "Dominus Vitae Robur" – The Lord is the Strength of my Life. Kingsmead is under the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS).


The Watts House Building of Kingsmead School as it now stands.

In 1904, Arthur Watts, a gifted mathematician and one of six sons of a Baptist minister, founded Kingsmead School. His dream was to establish a Christian school in which ‘the environment would be ideal for learning well, for playing good games and keeping physically fit’. All but one of his brothers became involved in the school’s early years; three of them were scholars of the University of Cambridge.

World War I claimed the lives of thirteen Old Kingsmeadians and each one was a personal bereavement to Arthur Watts. Two Kingsmeadians won the Military Cross – a master, Lieutenant Lavery, and old boy F W Atherton who was just 19 years old.

The years between the wars were ones of economy and survival as the Great Depression took the world in its grip. It would take until 1944 for numbers to return to their 1921 levels. By 1939 Kingsmead was 35 years old and Arthur Watts, aged 68, had just two years in which he shared the running of the school with his son before Gordon was called up to the RAF. At 70, Arthur was left to steer Kingsmead alone through another war.

After the Second World War, another son, David, returned to Kingsmead in 1949 to run the school in partnership with his brother Gordon. He soon became the sole head and during his 30-year leadership the school continued to expand, becoming co-educational in the mid-1960s. New facilities followed each other rapidly: a heated indoor pool, woodland plantation, the Memorial Hall and new science labs. In 1966 an Educational Trust was set up to secure the school for the future.

The 1990s saw more expansion, firstly to include children from the age of two in a new kindergarten. This was followed shortly afterwards by the extension of the leaving age; the school now educates children up to the age of 16, offering a wide range of GCSE subjects.

Although it has expanded over the years, the school still occupies the original site. The long awaited Music Block opened in 1984 and the Centenary Building, which is the flagship of the Senior Department, was opened in 2004, rapidly becoming the centre-piece of the newly extended 11-16 senior campus.

In 2012 the boarding department was closed.


Although Kingsmead is a Christian School, it welcomes children of all beliefs and none. The school day is started with an assembly which includes a Bible reading, an address, a hymn and prayers.

The school is made up by small classes of no more than twenty which allow pupils to get optimum attention. There is also caring pastoral support for the personal and social wellbeing of the children.

Notable alumni[edit]

Former pupils of the school are known as Old Kingsmeadians (OKs).[6] Notable Old Kingsmeadians include the following.


  • 1904–1945 Arthur Watts
  • 1939–1941, 1945–1953 Gordon Watts
  • 1949–1962, 1963–1979 David Watts
  • 1962–1963 John Mayor
  • 1962–1963 Stanley Payne
  • 1979–1986 Nicholas Bawtree
  • 1986–1992 John Eadie
  • 1992–2006 Edward Hugh Bradby
  • 2006–2010 Jonathan Perry
  • 2010–Present-Mark Gibbons

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "FAQs for prospective pupils". Kingsmead School. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mr M Gibbons, Headmaster". Kingsmead School. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Mr J C Eisner, Deputy Headmaster". Kingsmead School. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Staff". Kingsmead School. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  5. ^ "Kingsmead School". Independent Schools Council. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "Alumni News". Kingsmead School. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  7. ^ Sale, Jonathan (13 November 1997). "Passed/failed: Nicola Horlick". The Independent. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Coleman, Ray (1985). Lennon. US: McGraw-Hill Companies. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-07-011786-0. 
  9. ^ Chapman, Sarah; Adair, Kirsti; Lister, Sam; Usher, Clare (31 December 2004). "Royal recognition for 30 of our finest; Recipients range from art expert to magistrate.". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 

External links[edit]