Kingsmead School, Wiveliscombe
|Chairman of Governors||Allan Sutton|
|DfE URN||136639 Tables|
|Students||804 pupils (in 2013)|
|Colours||Sky blue, grey and black|
Kingsmead School (KS) is a coeducational state school in Wiveliscombe, Somerset, England, serving the north-west of Taunton Deane district. It had 804 pupils between the ages of 11 and 16 years in 2013.
The school was awarded Beacon School status in 1998 which was renewed in 2002. In September 2000, Kingsmead gained Language College status. In December 2009 Kingsmead received an Outstanding judgement from Ofsted and Good in 2013. In April 2011, Kingsmead became an Academy.
Kingsmead looks very much like a 1950s cinema for the main block holds that kind of decoration.
The main part of the school (including the hall, gymnasium, canteen, science labs, library, cloakrooms and classrooms) was built during the early 1950s, when a rise in the number of children in post-war Britain (also known as the "baby boom" era) lead to a demand for more schools across the country. The main block was extended at either ends during the 1970s, and during this period a second block (now the Language College) was constructed. A sports hall was built to the rear of the school next to the staff car park during the early 1990s, along with several new offices for senior management near the drama studio. The most recent significant development is the "south block", a million pound construction with 7 new classrooms and an ICT room; opened September 2006. The infrastructure of the school was never designed for nearly 800 pupils, so the school relies on the field to the back of the school during the summer months for pupils at break and lunchtime.
Since 1999 Kingsmead has upheld a partnership with two schools in the Copperbelt region which is situated in Northern Zambia. First the headteacher from one of the schools in Kitwe came to Somerset and then 8 teachers from Kingsmead went to Zambia. They visited Mukuba Boys School and Helen Kaunda Girls Secondary School.
Each year, 12 pupils are selected to take part in the exchange programme. First the Zambian pupils come to Kingsmead and then the British pupils head out to Zambia. Then the following year it is the turn of the teachers. When the British pupils head over they take crates of educational resources. These are filled with books, pencils, pens, paper and other learning essentials. These are appreciated greatly by the Zambian pupils. The school has set up the 'Kingsmead International Trust' to help the people of Kitwe in Zambia who are unble to attend school because of AIDS and other problems commonly faced by African people. The trust is a registered charity.
The pupil exchange programme has been running for over 10 years and is a huge success. The process involves a great deal of hard work in fund-raising - but the both hosting a Zambian pupil, and then having the opportunity to live with their family in Kitwe proves to be the most rewarding experience!! "It was fantastic, full stop!" - quotes a pupil just returned from Zambia. "I urge all those contemplating applying for this programme to just go for it - it really is the most fantastic thing i have ever done, and i've grown so much because of it." - The pupil exchange is now entering its 11th year and the current group held its first fundraiser on Valentine's Day.
Kingsmead celebrated the opening of its new 'south block' in 2006 which has a designated classroom (in addition to an ICT room) capable of running laptops in the desks. Smart boards are also fitted in every classroom too. The focal point of the building is the ICT classroom, which opens up in the middle right up to the roof of the building, which is fitted with a glass window for extra light. It is believed the main purpose of this space is for ventilation, as the room contains almost 30 computers. Two of the upstairs classrooms in the building have windows looking down on this ICT room, as well as the upper landing and several offices/group rooms. This building was sorely needed by the school as beforehand humanities lessons had to be taught in several port-o-cabins, which were very substandard.
A "garden project" has been set up by the Alternative Curriculum department of the school in the last year, to transform a previously undeveloped grassed area to the side of the school. This area previously contained only a pond, which has recently been filled in. A competition was run for year 8/9 pupils during the 2008 summer term for a design for this unused land. The best design was chosen and this formed the basis of the new garden which is currently (as of 2009) underway with help from DT GCSE and Alternative Curriculum students. The aim of the project is to create a sustainable green area where waste food products from the food technology department and school canteen can be composted. The area will also be used to grow various vegetables, and as a place that is friendly to nature species that are home to the area.
- "2013 Inspection Report" (PDF). Ofsted. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Kingsmead School". Wiveliscombe Area Website. Retrieved 9 August 2008.
- Tembo, Potipher (2005). "Mukuba, Helen link with UK school". Times of Zambia. Retrieved 4 July 2009.
- "The Kingsmead trust for international education". Charity Commission. Retrieved 4 July 2009.