Kingdown School

Coordinates: 51°12′09″N 2°09′50″W / 51.2024°N 2.1640°W / 51.2024; -2.1640
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(Redirected from Warminster Kingdown)

Kingdown School
Woodcock Road

, ,
BA12 9DR

Coordinates51°12′09″N 2°09′50″W / 51.2024°N 2.1640°W / 51.2024; -2.1640
MottoBelieve, Aspire, Achieve
Religious affiliation(s)Secular
Department for Education URN137230 Tables
HeadteacherHelen Carpenter
Age11 to 18
Enrolment1,591 As of January 2022
Houses  Lords
  Silverstone Edit this at Wikidata

Kingdown School is a mixed secondary school and sixth form in Warminster, Wiltshire, England for students aged 11 to 18. Since 1 August 2011, the school has been an academy.


Kingdown School was built in 1960 in the east of Warminster as a replacement for the Avenue and Sambourne secondary modern schools. It became a comprehensive in 1973 and gained academy status in 2011.[1][2]

In 1986 50-year-old mathematics teacher Heather Arnold killed 39-year-old Jeanne Sutcliffe and her 8-month-old daughter Heidi Sutcliffe in their home in Westbury using an axe. She later admitted to psychologists that she "hated" Mrs Sutcliffe because she wanted to be closer to Sutcliffe's husband, Paul Sutcliffe, a fellow mathematics teacher at Kingdown.[3][4]

In 2002 Channel 4 attempted to produce a fly on the wall documentary about life as a sixth former in the school, however staff ordered the shows production to stop after it was discovered that the 17-year-old Howard Simmons the show was following was in fact Sheridan Simove (30 years old at the time), who was also the producer of the documentary, which had not been disclosed to the school staff before filming had started.[5][6][7]

The school is run by Acorn Educational Trust, which manages several primary schools in the area as well as (from September 2018) The Clarendon Academy, a secondary school in the town of Trowbridge.[8]


In September 2006, Kingdown adopted a house system, aimed at giving students a sense of community, family, and belonging, and eliminating hostile subcultures by allowing older students to provide a positive role model. Originally there were five houses, each named after a notable British sporting venue and led by a Head of House. In 2017 a sixth house, Silverstone, was added.[9]

Each House consists of about a sixth of the students from each of Years 7 to 13, so about 280 students altogether. There are also tutor groups, each with approximately twenty-four students: four from each of Years 7 to 12/13, who meet their tutor for 20 minutes on every school day, beginning at 10.30 am. Members of each House come together for a house assembly once a week. Siblings are put into the same House, but usually not into the same tutor group.[9]

Ofsted and academic achievements[edit]

The school was awarded dual specialisms in Sports and Applied Learning, also achieving Artsmark Silver and Sportsmark Gold awards. In its 2003 report, Ofsted rated the school "good" overall, rating the quality of education as "very good".[10] The 2008 inspection rated both the school and sixth form "outstanding".[11] Following the 2013 inspection its rating had returned to "good", on which the school commented "It is very hard to compare previous (2008) and current inspections (2013) not least as the four headings are a new addition since 2008 and the bar to achieve an outstanding rating has truly been raised".[12]

Notable staff[edit]

John Atyeo (1932–1993), prolific goal-scorer for Bristol City who also scored for England, taught mathematics after retiring from football and rose to deputy headmaster.[13]

Notable pupils[edit]


  1. ^ "Kingdown School, Warminster". Wiltshire Community History. Wiltshire Council. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  2. ^ "Kingdown School". GOV.UK. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  3. ^ "Double killer's plea rejected". The Independent. 8 February 1996. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  4. ^ "Final judgement". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. 3 October 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  5. ^ Deans, Jason (20 March 2002). "Channel 4 in fake-TV storm". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  6. ^ Wells, Matt; correspondent, media (21 March 2002). "School angry at TV's student imposter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  7. ^ "TV crew in school deception row". 20 March 2002. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  8. ^ "Head Mark Stenton leaves Trowbridge's Clarendon Academy". Wiltshire Times. 5 September 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  9. ^ a b "House System". Kingdown School. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  10. ^ "2003 Ofsted Report" (PDF).
  11. ^ "2008 Ofsted Report" (PDF).
  12. ^ "2013 Ofsted Report".
  13. ^ "Atyeo was the hero next door". The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 24 September 2021.
  14. ^ Saner, Emine (16 June 2004). "The viscount who cleaned the loos". Evening Standard. Retrieved 12 October 2020.

External links[edit]