The King's (The Cathedral) School
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|Motto||A Family Achieving Excellence|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Headmaster||Mr Darren Ayling|
|DfE URN||136398 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
|Publication||The Petriburgian Magazine|
The King's (The Cathedral) School is a Church of England secondary school with academy status in Peterborough, England. It also offers a "Junior Department which consists of Year Three to Year Six education, partially selective and with one-form entry. JD takes part in the building also used for Music, Madeley House.  The school is one of seven established, re-endowed or renamed, by King Henry VIII in 1541 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries for the education of "twenty poor boys". The King's School was recognised in June 1999 with the award of Beacon status.
On 1 January 2011, the School became an academy and changed its name to "The King's (The Cathedral) School". Previously, it had been named "The King's School, Peterborough". It is still sometimes known as "KSP".
The King's School is a state-funded secondary school, with a large sixth form. It was founded as the Cathedral School to educate 'twenty poor boys' and this close link with the Peterborough Cathedral is still valued and maintained today. Until 1976 the school was a Church of England grammar school for around 450 boys, also known as Peterborough Cathedral Grammar School. 1976 saw the school become both comprehensive and coeducational. Until 1997, however, there remained provision for boys to board. It is one of only two Anglican cathedral schools in the UK to be funded through the state system. The other two Anglican state-funded cathedral schools are Bristol Cathedral Choir School and The Minster School ( the choir school of the Cathedral Church of Southwell Diocese: Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire.) There are also two state-funded Roman Catholic choir schools: St Edward's College in Liverpool and the London Oratory.
Since 1976, The King's School has been a co-educational state school with around 650 boys and girls. On entry to King's in Year 7 students are placed in one of 5 tutor groups, which change upon entry into the fourth year. As a state-funded academy the school is allowed a degree of selection. Each year some twelve places are allocated according to an entry examination and three are allocated according to ability in music; so 12.5% of the school's annual intake is by selection alongside the Cathedral choristers, both boys and girls. As with all state schools King's gives first priority to ensuring that all 'looked after children' wanting a place at the school receive one. The remaining places are allocated to students according to a list of entry criteria, including religion, siblings already attending the school, and geographical distance from the school.
Almost 1200 pupils attend The King's School, of whom approximately 400 are in the Sixth Form, for which there is a minimum examination qualification for internal entry of seven A*-C grades at GCSE level, of which three must be at grade B or above. Given the school's high GCSE pass rate, the majority of pupils proceed into the sixth form. External applicants to the sixth form must meet a set of criteria. The school currently offers no vocational qualifications. The subjects available for study, at AS and A2 level, are:
- Business Studies
- Classical Civilisations
- Critical Thinking
- Design and Technology (3d Design & Textiles Design)
- English Language and Literature (single award)
- English Literature
- Languages (French and German)
- Mathematics (and Further Maths)
- Religious Studies
- Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics; plus Astronomy GCSE for Sixth Form students)
- Sports Studies
A compulsory single lesson each week named 'Learning for Life' is designed to prepare the student for the A Level examinations and for the UCAS application system to universities.
The school has a hierarchical prefect system, comprising (in order of seniority): the Head Boy and Girl, House Captains and Vice House Captains, Senior Prefects, and Prefects.
The school has four houses: St. Chad's House (house colour red), St. Oswald's House (house colour yellow), St. Peter's House (house colour blue) and School House (house colour green). Two others, Tudor House and Thomson's House, were abolished in 1976. Pupil allocation to houses is random, but siblings generally follow through the same House; and when there was a boarding house, all boarders were members of School House. Each house has two House Captains and four House Vice Captains, as well as a House Master and/or House Mistress. Permanent teachers are also allocated to houses as "House Staff", although PE teachers, Music Teachers, Deputy Headmaster and the Headmaster are not allotted houses for fear of bias in inter-house sporting and music competitions.
King's was unusual in once being a grammar school that took boarders, all in School House. Each house has two House Captains and four House Vice Captains Many boarders had parents in the Forces and or the Colonial Services; the very low fees being more affordable than at public schools. The accommodation at 201/203 Park Road (which is now the Music School) was affectionately known as "The Pig", as the building was alleged to have once been a pub called the "Pig & Whistle". The building is now known by those at the school as Madeley House.
In the early sixties (under the headship of Dr C.M.Harrison),due to the construction of the new assembly hall/gym the entire school would traipse up Park Road for morning service at All Saint's C-of-E church. School Inspectors declared this practice illegal as it contravened the requirement of the Education Act 1948 to hold a daily assembly on-site. In the 1960s, teaching included Saturday morning classes; and boarders were obliged to attend Sunday Matins and/or Evensong at the Cathedral.
"House Music" is an annual competitive event in which each houses presents four pieces of modern or traditional music, as follows:
- A Lower School Choir piece (Years 7–9 and for which there is a separate trophy)
- An Orchestral piece (for which there is a separate trophy)
- A Band piece (for which there is a separate trophy)
- A Senior Choir piece (Years 10–13 and for which there is a separate trophy)
- Finale (in which the entire house takes part)
The winning house receives a trophy. House Music was originally held in the school hall but growing numbers caused the event to held at The Broadway Theatre. Owing to growing numbers, in 2007 it moved again to KingsGate Community Church's building in Parnwell.
Histories of the School
In 1966, W.D. Larrett, a former deputy-headmaster, published 'A History of The King's School Peterborough'. The account tells of the pre-reformation school, the foundation of King's by Henry VIII, and of the times when the school was close to bankruptcy and when some Headmasters felt obliged to resign. In 2005, the 1966 edition was restored and updated.
From 2006 to the present, The King's School has been the top-performing state school in the Peterborough local authority area for GCSE and A-Level results, with 91%+ of students achieving 5 or more passes at GCSE grades A*-C.
Former pupils are known as Old Petriburgians.
- Andy Bell, member of the pop group Erasure
- Jamie Day, Crawley Town FC football player
- Harry Wells, Leicester Tigers and England U20 rugby player
- David Lammy, MP for Tottenham since 2000
- General Sir John Archer OBE, Commander-in-Chief, Land Forces from 1978–80
- Sir Thomas Armstrong, Principal of the Royal Academy of Music from 1955–68, and organist of Christ Church, Oxford from 1933-1955
- Paul Barber, Olympic hockey gold medallist (1988)
- Sir John Benstead, CBE, well-known trades unionist
- J. D. Beresford, science fiction writer and father of Elisabeth Beresford, who invented The Wombles
- Roy Berridge CBE, Chairman from 1977-82 of the South of Scotland Electricity Board
- Peter Boizot MBE, entrepreneur and founder of Pizza Express in 1965
- Prof Frank Close OBE, Professor of Theoretical Physics since 2001 at the University of Oxford and Fellow of Exeter College. Winner of the 2013 Michael Faraday Prize.
- Sir Robert Cotton, English politician and founder of the famous Cotton library
- Guy Crowden OBE, Professor of Applied Physiology from 1946-62 at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
- James Crowden, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire from 1992–2002
- Trevor Dines, Senior Lecturer in Physics, University of Dundee
- John Fletcher, son of a former Dean of Peterborough, the famous Jacobean dramatist and one-time collaborator
- Brian J. Ford, scientist and writer
- Neil Hubbard, guitarist with Roxy Music
- Gray Jolliffe, Wicked Willie cartoonist
- Robert Johnson, Archdeacon of Leicester, Founder of Oakham and Uppingham Schools
- Prof Barry Kay, Professor of Clinical Immunology from 1980-2004 at Imperial College London
- Roger Manvell, film historian
- Claude Morley, entomologist
- Edward Rainbow, Dean of Peterborough and later Bishop of Carlisle
- Richard Reynold, Dean of Peterborough and later Bishop of Lincoln
- Archie Robertson (athlete)
- Mike Sendall, scientist at CERN, and boss of Tim Berners-Lee, when he invented the World Wide Web
- Prof George Shepperson CBE, William Robertson Professor of Commonwealth and American History from 1963-86 at the University of Edinburgh
- Heaton Spires MBE, represented the county in hockey and was presented with the England Football Association’s referee badge in 1962, awarded an MBE for services to British Gas in 1993.
- Sir St Clair Thomson, throat specialist to King Edward VII, (after whom Thomson's House was named)
- Lieutenant-General Sir Herbert Watts, eminent soldier
- Aidan White (journalist), General Secretary since 1987 of the International Federation of Journalists
- Kevin Morgan, member of the Band of the Scots Guards, and founder and conductor of The Melbourne Sinfonia (Australia)
- Tulip Mazumdar, British journalist and BBC global health reporter.
Peter Walker who became the Bishop of Ely in later life started his career as a teacher of classics at King′s in 1947.
The school retains an archive of documents charting the school's history and the lives of former King's School pupils who served in the World Wars. Also, there is a rare first-edition copy of Alice in Wonderland held in the school archives.
In 2003, Timothy Coldwell, a one-time Head of Physics, was convicted of making indecent images of children.
In 2005, Gavin Lister, a P.E. teacher, was convicted of engaging in sexual activity with a girl between the ages of 13 and 15.
In 2013, headmaster, Gary Longman, announced at the annual Speech Day service held in Peterborough Cathedral, that he would be retiring at the end of the academic year 2013/2014, after 20 years in the position. In February 2014, his successor was announced as Darren Ayling: the current Senior Deputy Head (Academic) at the Ipswich School in Suffolk.
At the end of the 2013/2014 academic year Director of Music Nick Kerrison left the King's School, to become an organist at the Anglican Shrine in Walsingham. After 26 years in the role, Nick's successor is qualified tennis coach Dr Martin Ratcliffe.
- "The King's (The Cathedral) School Headteacher - Information for candidates." (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2014.
- "Calendar (22/10/2015) - KSP Nettetal Exchange Group in Germany". The King's (The Cathedral) School. Archived from the original on 2016-03-02. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
- "@KSP_News - The King's (The Cathedral) School, Peterborough, official twitter feed - Joined May 2012.". Retrieved 24 March 2016.
- State Funded Choir Schools. http://www.choirschools.org.uk/school/?schoolname=&st=state&a=all&b=all&g=na&fth=coe&r=UK&filter+schools=Show+schools. Missing or empty
|title=(help); External link in
- The Minster School Homepage http://www.minster.notts.sch.uk/
- UK Choir Schools. http://www.choirschools.org.uk/school/?schoolname=&st=state&a=all&b=all&g=na&fth=rc&r=UK&filter+schools=Show+schools. Missing or empty
|title=(help); External link in
- "Who are looked after children?".
- "The King's School Admissions Criteria".
- Sixth Form Prospectus, The King's School.
- "League Tables: Secondary schools in Peterborough". BBC NEWS. 2007-01-11.
- "Sixth Form Entry Requirements".
- "PERFORMANCE: Pupils are Kings of the stage". The Evening Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 2004-10-15.
- Peterborough Today
- "History of the King's School, Peterborough". Amazon.co.uk.
- Mike Sendall and the World Wide Web
- Collett, Amy (2011-02-25). "Tributes to MBE dad and loyal chorister Heaton Spires". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
- David Sapsted (2003-01-07). "'Vendetta' saves porn teacher from jail". The Telegraph.
- "COURT: 'I never thought it was a schoolgirl'". The Evening Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 2005-02-26.