King's School, Chester

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Coordinates: 53°10′01″N 2°54′00″W / 53.167°N 2.900°W / 53.167; -2.900

King's School, Chester
King's School Chester Logo.svg
Motto Rex dedit, benedicat Deus
(The King gave it, may God bless it)
Established 1541
Type Independent day school
Religion Church of England
Headmaster C D Ramsey MA (Cantab.)
Chairman of the Governors Mrs E M Johnson
Founder King Henry VIII
Location Wrexham Road
Local authority Cheshire West and Chester
Students 1045 (approx.)
Gender Co-educational
Ages 4–18
Houses 4

Green, blue and white

Former pupils Old King's Scholars
Affiliation HMC

The King's School, Chester is a British co-educational independent school for children, established in 1541. It is situated outside the city of Chester, England. The school is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school comprises an Infant school (years 4-7), a Junior school (years 7–11), a Senior school (years 11–16) and a Sixth form (years 16-18) in which the students choose their A-level subjects.[1]

Motto and the school badge[edit]

The school motto is "The King gave it, may God bless it", which was given by John Saul Howson, D.D., Dean of Chester. John Saul Howson was the chief instrument in the building and endowing of the King's School, and in its reorganization on a broader basis.[2]

Traditions and student activities[edit]


In 2011, more than 28 per cent of A-level results were at A* grade, and 67.2 per cent at A*/A grade. In addition, 94.9 per cent of GCSE grades were at A*/B and a third of all King's pupils gained all A/A* grades. After The King's School's A-Level and GCSE results were released, The Daily Telegraph published its A-level and GCSE independent-school league tables which placed King's as the top-performing school in Cheshire and the second highest in the North West for A-level results[3] and third for GCSE results.[4]

In September 2011, King's adopted a new curriculum alongside its shift from an eight-period to a five-period day. This involved substantial changes, introducing 'enrichment' lessons and replacing the GCSE courses with IGCSE.[5]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

The school's pupils engage in a wide range of extra-curricular clubs and activities, including music and drama, as well as educational trips abroad, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. The school has a Music School, equipped with a recording studio, a recital room, and seven music practice rooms.

The King's School's Combined Cadet Force (CCF) is a voluntary contingent within the CCF. It consists of the mandatory Army Section, with an additional RAF Section.[6]


The Herald is the school's magazine and is published on a termly basis for parents and pupils. Its articles are about current pupils, teachers and former pupils.[7]


King's School Chester Rowing Club
The King's School Rowing Club - - 1005921.jpg
Image showing the rowing club's blade colours
Location The Groves, Chester
Coordinates 53°11′20″N 2°52′52″W / 53.189°N 2.881°W / 53.189; -2.881
Home water River Dee
Founded 1887 (1887)
Affiliations British Rowing
Notable members


In 2011 King's appointed hockey coach, Simon Egerton, who is a member of the England hockey team.[8]


The school's boat house is situated on the River Dee in the centre of Chester.

Facilities and development[edit]

Since 1960, The King’s School has been based at its Wrexham Road site on the outskirts of Chester. It has a Sixth Form Centre, a library (the Wickson Library) and a music school (the Tim Turvey Music School). Sports facilities include a swimming pool, all-weather sports pitches, grass sports pitches, a cricket pavilion, and a boat house on the River Dee. During the summer of 2011, there was a £1.2 million renovation of the school hall, creating the Vanbrugh theatre - (named after Sir John Vanbrugh, theatre architect and dramatist) which has retractable raked seating. The project was part-funded by a legacy from former pupil Roger Snelson.[9]

After the school became co-educational, a major redevelopment and enlargement program was undertaken,[10] including:

  • Changing rooms and toilets (2002)
  • Classrooms for the Junior School (2002)
  • All-weather pitch with floodlighting (2003)
  • Tim Turvey Music School (named after the former headmaster) (2007)
  • Refurbishment of science labs (2007-2008)
  • Language lab (2008)
  • Extension of kitchen facilities (2008)
  • Redevelopment of the old library into offices and a classroom (2008)
  • Redevelopment of the old Headmaster's house into offices and change of use of the "Tower" (where the offices used to be) to house the Economics and Business Studies Department (2009)
  • Vanbrugh Theatre (2011)
  • Sixth Form Centre development (2012)
  • Modernization of science lab (2012)
  • Additional classrooms (2012)
  • Swimming Pool Improvements (2013)
  • Junior School Learning Centre (2014)
  • 1541 Dining Hall (2015)
  • Parking Facilities Improvements (2015)
  • Willow Lodge Infant School (2015)


During 2004, teacher Barry Lewis was arrested and left the school, after child pornography was found on his school user account, leading to his imprisonment the next year.[11]


The school's headmaster (since 2007) is Chris Ramsey, a graduate of Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge University. Chris Ramsey previously served as Head of Modern Languages at Wellington College, Berkshire and Headmaster of King's College, Taunton.

Previous headmasters[edit]

  • 2000–2007 - Tim Turvey, biologist
  • 1981–2000 - Roger Wickson, historian
  • 1964–1981 - Arthur Reginald Munday, classicist
  • 1947–1964 - Reverend Canon Leslie Francis Harvey

Notable alumni[edit]



The Chester Association of Old King's Scholars (CAOKS), founded in 1866, exists to maintain links between former students. It is one of the longest established alumni associations in the country. The school has recently established OAKS (Organization of Alumni of The King's School) to maintain relations with former pupils. OAKS is free to join and open to all alumni.[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The King's School Chester - Junior School". 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  2. ^ Wikisource:Howson, John Saul (DNB00)
  3. ^ Payne, Sebastian (20 September 2011). "A-level results 2011: independent schools". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Payne, Sebastian (20 September 2011). "GCSE results 2011: independent schools". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "The King's School Chester Herald, Spring 2012". Archived from the original on 11 June 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  8. ^ "King's hockey coach wins European Indoor Gold Medal with national team". The King's School Chester. 1 February 2010. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "Actor Ronald Pickup opens the Vanbrugh Theatre at The King's School in Chester". Chester Chronicle. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  10. ^ "The King's School Chester - developments". Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  11. ^ Shaughnessy, Jessica (1 April 2005). "Private school teacher had child porn on computer". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 29 May 2009. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av "Inspirational Alumni Members". The King's School Chester. Archived from the original on 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  13. ^ The Steel Construction Institute (2012). Owens, Graham W.; Davison, Buick, eds. Steel Designers' Manual (7th ed.). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. xix. ISBN 978-1-4051-8940-8. 
  14. ^ Gummer, John (4 December 2002). "Obituary: George Guest". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Members of Parliament | Matthew Hancock MP". The Conservative Party. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Profile: Tom James". BBC Sport. 1 December 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  17. ^ Paul Taylor (21 February 2007). "Mr Supersaver's on a mission". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Obituary: Hugh Lloyd". The Daily Telegraph. London. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Profile: Patrick Mercer". BBC News. 8 March 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2008. 
  20. ^ Wheelock, Paul (30 April 2009). "Chester City FC: Mike Parry's on a mission". Chester Chronicle. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  21. ^ Dickinson, P. L.; Ireland, G. K. (12 January 1994). "Obituary: George Squibb". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "The King's School Chester - news archive". Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  23. ^ Watson, Raymond C. (2009). Radar Origins Worldwide:History of Its Evolution in 13 Nations Through World War II. Victoria BC, Canada: Trafford Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 978-1-4269-2110-0. 
  24. ^ Helps, Arthur (2005) [1888]. Life and Labours of Thomas Brassey, 1805–1870. Elibron Classics. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-4021-0563-0. 
  25. ^ "The King's School website". Retrieved 29 May 2012. 

External links[edit]