Kingston Grammar School
1561 (Royal Charter granted)
|Type||Independent day school|
|Religion||Church of England|
Kingston upon Thames
|Local authority||Kingston upon Thames|
|Former pupils||Old Kingstonians|
Kingston Grammar School is an independent co-educational day school in Kingston upon Thames, South West London. The school was founded by Royal Charter in 1561 but can trace its roots back to at least the 13th century. It is a registered charity under English law.
In 2013 the GCSE results recorded 76.9% of all grades as A or A*, and at A-level 61.1% of all grades were A or A*. The Good Schools Guide described the school as "An academic school with a modern edge".
The school's history is traceable into the Middle Ages, where there are references to schoolmasters like Gilbert de Southwell in 1272, described as "Rector of the Schools in Kingston", and to Hugh de Kyngeston in 1364 "who presides over the Public School there". Notable in the school's history are the founding and endowing of the Lovekyn Chapel by John and then Edward Lovekyn in 1309-1352 and later by William Walworth in 1371. The chapel is still used by the school.
After the dissolution of the chantries in 1547, the chapel fell to the Crown and was deconsecrated. It, and by now its substantial related endowments, fell to a court favourite, Richard Taverner. He preserved the chapel so when in 1561 the bailiffs of Kingston petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for a royal grammar school, the building was still usable. The Queen granted the school a Royal Charter in 1561.
The school became a direct grant grammar school in 1946 as a result of the Education Act 1944 and became independent in 1978 after the scheme was abolished by the 1974–9 Labour Government. In the same year, the first girls were introduced.
KGS celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of its founding charter in 1961 with a visit from Queen Elizabeth II. In 2005 Her Majesty opened the new Queen Elizabeth II Building, where she unveiled a plaque, met with students of Music and Geography and watched an excerpt of the play "Smike" after which the new Recording Studio was named.
|Queen's||Queen Elizabeth I|
|Walworth||William Walworth, former Lord Mayor of London|
|Taverner||Richard Taverner, Bible translator|
|Lovekyn||John and Edward Lovekyn, benefactors|
The school's boathouse is on the Thames at Thames Ditton, Surrey. Students may take up rowing beginning in Third Form (Year 9) and participate in local and national regattas, including The National Schools Regatta. The KGS Veterans Boat Club is exclusively for alumni, parents and staff of the school.
Combined Cadet Force
The school CCF was founded in 1915 and consists of RAF and Army sections. Both sections have produced numerous members of the Armed forces with recent examples being General Jonathon Riley and Flt Lt Ian Fortune.
The Christian Union is one of the most popular and long lasting clubs at the school. It has been taking students on camps and houseparties for over sixty years.
The Gibbon Debating Society was originally founded in 1886 as the Literary, Scientific and Debating Society before being renamed in 1897 after "that illustrious old boy, the historian Edward Gibbon". The Society is open to all students and regularly competes in both regional and national debating competitions.
The school is on London Road in Kingston upon Thames, and occupies three main buildings:
- The main London Road Building, which connects to the Finlay Gallery which contains the D.T. and Art departments and the Library.
- The Fairfield Building housing Chemistry, Physics, Biology, German, French, Spanish, History and Politics, Economics and Psychology departments.
- The Queen Elizabeth II (QE2) Building, housing Geography, English, Religious Studies, Classics, Mathematics, Music and Drama departments. This building also boasts a purpose built Theatre, a recording studio and music technology suite, the Sixth Form cafe and study area and the Careers Department.
Notable former pupils
- Paul Butler (bishop) — Bishop of Durham
- William Gilbert Chaloner — paleobiologist, Royal Holloway
- Richard Ian Cheetham — Bishop of Kingston upon Thames
- James Cracknell — Olympic rowing gold medallist, adventurer
- Philip Crosland — journalist
- Richard Dodds — captain of Great Britain Olympic 1988 gold medal hockey team
- Michael Edwards — poet & academic, first Briton elected to the Académie Française
- Neil Fox — Dr Fox, radio DJ
- Michael Frayn — playwright and novelist
- Edward Gibbon — author, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
- Air Marshall Sir Gerald Gibbs (RAF officer) — RAF officer
- Tanya Gold — The Guardian journalist
- Jonathan Kenworthy, sculptor
- Sophie Hosking; Olympic rowing gold medallist
- Leif Mills — author and former trade unionist
- Neil Mullarkey — actor, writer and comedian
- Jonathon Riley — Director General and Master of the Armouries
- R. C. Sherriff — playwright, who donated five rowing "eight"s (named after his plays: "Journey's End", "White Carnation", "Home at Seven", "Long Sunset" and "Badger's Green") to the school boat club in the 1960s and 1970s
- Sir Denis Spotswood — Chief of the Air Staff, 1971-1974
- Howard Stoate — formerly MP for Dartford
- Kingston Grammar School, Registered Charity no. 1078461 at the Charity Commission
- School website
- Good Schools Guide
- Lovekyn Chapel
- "31 May 1946". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Commons). col. 234W–234W.
- "22 March 1978". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) (House of Commons). col. 545–545.
- "Kingston Grammar School BC". britishrowing.org.
- "Kingston Grammar School Veterans BC". britishrowing.org.
- Ward, The Rev David; Evans, Gordon W. (2000). Chantry Chapel to Royal Grammar School: the History of Kingston Grammar School 1299–1999. Gresham Books. ISBN 978-0946095360
- Official website
- Link to the school's recent ISIS inspection report
- BBC school report
- Profile on the Good Schools Guide
- 2011 ISI Interim Inspection Report