Kingston Grammar School

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Kingston Grammar School
Kingston Grammar School.svg
London Rd


CoordinatesCoordinates: 51°24′37″N 0°17′47″W / 51.4103°N 0.2965°W / 51.4103; -0.2965
TypeIndependent day school
Grammar school
MottoBene Agere ac Lætari
("Work well and be happy")[1]
Establishedc. 12th century
1561 (Royal Charter granted)
Local authorityKingston upon Thames
Head MasterStephen Lehec
Age11 to 18
Enrolment820 (2015)
Houses  Lovekyn
Colour(s)Red and Grey   
Former pupilsOld Kingstonians

Kingston Grammar School is an independent co-educational day school in Kingston upon Thames, England. The school was founded by Royal Charter in 1561 but can trace its roots back to at least the 13th century.[2] It is a registered charity under English law.[3] It was a boys' school from its foundation until 1978, when the first girls were admitted.

In 2018 the GCSE results recorded 85% of grades were A*/A or 9-7, and at A-level 62.7% of all grades were A or A*.[4] The Good Schools Guide described the school as "An academic school with a modern edge".[5]


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.[6]

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.[2]

The school became a direct grant grammar school in 1946[7] as a result of the Education Act 1944 and became independent in 1978 after the scheme was abolished by the 1974–79 Labour Government.[8] In the same year, the first girls were admitted.

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.

On 1 May 1965 the school opened its new playing fields at Thames Ditton, alongside which was built its boathouse. Prior to this it had shared Kingston Rowing Club's boathouse, and had owned much smaller playing fields at Ditton Road, Kingston.[9]


There are five houses, named after Medieval and Elizabethan figures connected with the school and the city of London, with the exception of Stanley Shoveller, an Old Kingstonian who played international hockey in the early 20th century.

House Named after Symbol Colour(s) Founded
Lovekyn John and Edward Lovekyn, benefactors Eagle   1914
Queen's Queen Elizabeth I Crown   1914
Walworth William Walworth, former Lord Mayor of London Tiger   1914
Taverner Richard Taverner, Bible translator Bear   1921
Stanley Stanley Shoveller, Old Kingstonian and Olympic hockey gold medalist Stag    2016


Extracurricular activities[edit]

The school has an increasingly rounded sporting programme, with six the main sports being football, netball, tennis, hockey, rowing and cricket.

Hockey, rowing and cricket are regarded as the school's performance sports with hockey and rowing having achieved sustained successes at national level, including three national hockey titles in 2019.

The rowing boathouse is on the Thames at Thames Ditton, Surrey.[11] Students may take up rowing beginning in Third Form (Year 9) and participate in local and national regattas, including The National Schools Regatta.[12] The KGS Veterans Boat Club is exclusively for alumni, parents and staff of the school.[13]

The school has produced a wide range of professional and international athletes, most commonly in hockey and rowing but also more recently in football and cricket.

Notable former pupils[edit]


  1. ^ Official translation as seen on the school website
  2. ^ a b History Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Kingston Grammar School, registered charity no. 1078461". Charity Commission for England and Wales.
  4. ^ School website
  5. ^ Good Schools Guide Archived October 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Lovekyn Chapel Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Grammar Schools (Direct Grant Status)". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 31 May 1946. col. 234W–234W.
  8. ^ "Direct Grant Schools". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). House of Commons. 22 March 1978. col. 545–545.
  9. ^ Sport historyArchived 2018-07-09 at the Wayback Machine and Ward, David; Evans, Gordon (2000). Chantry Chapel to Royal Grammar School, The History of Kingston Grammar School 1299-1999. Gresham Books. pp. 110, 185.
  10. ^ Houses Archived 2016-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Rowing Archived 2016-03-13 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Kingston Grammar School BC".
  13. ^ "Kingston Grammar School Veterans BC".


  • 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]