King's School, Grantham

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The King's School, Grantham
The Kings School Grantham.jpg
Motto Honi soit qui mal y pense
Established 1528
Type Grammar school;
Headteacher Frank Hedley
Location Brook Street
NG31 6RP
Coordinates: 52°54′56″N 0°38′27″W / 52.9156°N 0.6409°W / 52.9156; -0.6409
DfE number 925/5402
DfE URN 137166 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 90
Students 1000
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Burghley, Curteis, Foxe, More, Newton, School.

The King's School is a British grammar school with academy status for boys, in the market town of Grantham, in Lincolnshire, England.


The original Kings School building.

The King's School has an unbroken history on the same site since its re-endowment in 1528 by Richard Foxe, although its history can be traced back to 1329. Nicholas Pevsner in his Buildings of England, dates the original School building to 1497. Foxe was born and raised locally. He entered into the service of Henry Tudor, while Henry was in exile in Brittany. When Henry took the throne of England as Henry VII, Foxe became his secretary, and later founded Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1517) and Taunton Grammar School (1522). In the 16th century the School became known as the Free Grammar School of King Edward VI. Scholars numbered perhaps a few dozen at foundation, and there were still fewer than one hundred until the 20th century.

Isaac Newton was a King's School scholar between 1655 and 1660. As was customary in his time, he carved his signature on the wall of what is today's school side hall, although the signature has never been confirmed as authentic; visitors from around the world come to view this indication of Newton's education. A replica of the signature is on display in Grantham Museum.

In 1988, a comprehensive illustrated history of the School was published by former King's School mathematics teacher, S J Branson: The King's School Grantham – 660 years of a Grammar School.[1]


The King's School has just over 1000 boys as pupils, and has been a selective state grammar school since the implementation of the 1944 Education Act.

The school is one of the few in Lincolnshire to use the 11+ as the way to accept pupils into the school. This means that every year, 10- and 11-year-olds in their final year at primary school are given a chance to take a verbal reading test and a non-verbal reading test. This helps the school separate the best pupils so that the school can keep up its reputation of a 100% GCSE pass rate. These are held at the school, usually in the autumn term.

The School adheres to long-held traditions: a prefect system to assist teachers in maintaining school discipline, the wearing of uniforms by sixth formers, the denotation of lower and senior School status by uniform, and the award of "Colours" for academic and sporting achievement. Students are allocated to one of six School houses: Burghley, Curteis, Foxe, More, Newton, and School. Five are dedicated to notable former benefactors or scholars. School House was originally for students residing in a boarding house which closed in 2002. Team competitions between houses include Rugby and Music, and those at Sports Day.

A new building project, developed on a neighbouring plot of land, was opened in 2007. Called The Isaac Newton Block or, simply, the Newton Block, it was designed for teaching business studies, languages, geography, and art. Part of the project was the refurbishment of the former Vicarage Block, previously used for teaching Geography; this building became a Sixth Form Centre providing for A-Level study. Buildings dating from before the time of Newton remain part of the site despite modern development.


The King's School has a history of participation in rugby union football, cricket and association football. Since the early 1980s, it has been successful in water polo, contributing a number of players at local, regional, national and international schools level.

Recently[when?], a King's School team reached the national finals in the BSGA Gymnastics competition, the Under 13's table tennis team finished fourth in the country at a major tournament, and one of the School's Year 11 students was chosen to join the UK Under 16 Rugby Squad.

In early 2008, the School cricket team toured Australia and Singapore, playing at grounds including Singapore Cricket Club, Trinity Grammar School, Mentone Grammar School, and Oxley College.

School links[edit]

King's and another Grantham grammar school, Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School, have shared teaching resources for sixth form study in certain subjects. Since 2006–2007, timetables for this study have been co-ordinated between both schools to aid learning.

The School has been awarded Business and Enterprise College status in partnership with The Grantham Church (VA) High School, and has achieved Language College status.

Combined Cadet Force[edit]

The King's School is one of a small number of state schools to run a Combined Cadet Force (CCF). Its military connection goes back about 200 years before that of the CCF (and the Officers' Training Corps as it became in 1904). Records in the County Archives detailing the awarding of the rank of "Drum Major" to a King's School scholar in the early 19th century, suggest that the School had a military tradition before that of the CCF.

The CCF unit of 180+ cadets and currently consists of Army and RAF sections. Pupils can join the Contingent from the September they enter Year 9; they are issued with uniforms, but are usually not permitted to attend out-of-school activities until they pass training examinations.

The Army section of the CCF, the larger of the two, regularly sends teams to the Combat Cadet Competition and National Cadet First Aid Competition. The RAF section has sent teams to the CCF/RAF National Ground Training Competition held at nearby RAF Cranwell, and in 2011 at RAF Halton. In 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2011 the section was placed first, in 2008 and 2012, second, and in 2003 and 2010, third.


The King's School uniform includes a badge: the emblem of Bishop Foxe surrounded by a garter containing the motto 'Honi soit qui mal y pense' ("shame upon him who thinks evil upon it", or "evil to him who evil thinks" – Order of the Garter), surmounted by a Bishop's Mitre. This use of the "garter motto" is rare for an institution as it is normally only used by holders The Most Noble Order of the Garter.

Students wear white shirts with black trousers, and black blazers along with the school crest on the breast pocket, with blue and maroon striped ties, up to and including year 11. Sixth formers wear a maroon blazer with the blue tie, embroidered with the school motto. A maroon tie with a solitary gold school crest (Bishop Foxe's emblem) stitched in the centre, is awarded to Prefects, Assistant Head Boys and The Head Boy. Other Special ties may be awarded for certain achievements.

Notable former pupils[edit]

Famous early scholars[edit]

Isaac Newton's Signature in the school

Notable scholars[edit]


  1. ^ Branson, S.J. (1988). A History Of The King's School Grantham. ISBN 0-9513861-0-7. 
  2. ^ a b "Global retail giant's top bosses share Grantham connection" Grantham Journal 26 June 2008; retrieved 2 July 2009
  3. ^ "The Business On... Andy Clarke, Chief executive, Asda" The Independent 24 June 2010; retrieved 12 May 2011

External links[edit]