Kingston Grammar School

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Kingston Grammar School
Kingston Grammar School (emblem).png
Established c. 12th century
1561 (Royal Charter granted)
Type Independent day school
Head Stephen Lehec
Location London Rd
Kingston upon Thames
Local authority Kingston upon Thames
DfE number 314/6067
Students 820 (2015)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses 4
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.[1] It is a registered charity under English law.[2] In 2015 the GCSE results recorded 81.2% of all grades as A or A*, and at A-level 62.7% of all grades were A or A*.[3] The Good Schools Guide described the school as "An academic school with a modern edge".[4]


the Lovekyn Chapel
Lovekyn Chapel

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.[5]

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.[1]

The school became a direct grant grammar school in 1946[6] as a result of the Education Act 1944 and became independent in 1978 after the scheme was abolished by the 1974–9 Labour Government.[7] 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 she 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.


There are four houses, named after Medieval and Elizabethan figures connected with the school and the city of London.

House Named after
Queen's Queen Elizabeth I
Walworth William Walworth, former Lord Mayor of London
Taverner Richard Taverner, Bible translator
Lovekyn John and Edward Lovekyn, benefactors


Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school's boathouse is on the Thames at Thames Ditton, Surrey.[9] Students may take up rowing beginning in Third Form (Year 9) and participate in local and national regattas, including The National Schools Regatta.[10] The KGS Veterans Boat Club is exclusively for alumni, parents and staff of the school.[11]

Notable former pupils[edit]



  • 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

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°24′37″N 0°17′47″W / 51.4103°N 0.2965°W / 51.4103; -0.2965