King's College School

King's College School, also known as Wimbledon, KCS, King's and KCS Wimbledon, is a public school in Wimbledon, southwest London, England. The school was founded in 1829 by King George IV, as the junior department of King's College London and had part of the school's premises in Strand, prior to relocating to Wimbledon in 1897.

King's College School, Wimbledon
King's College School.svg
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SW19 4TT

TypePublic school
Independent school
MottoSancte Et Sapienter
(Latin: With holiness and wisdom)
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
FounderKing George IV
Local authorityLondon Borough of Merton
Department for Education URN102684 Tables
Chairman of governorsPaul Deighton, Baron Deighton
Head masterAndrew Halls
VisitorThe Archbishop of Canterbury ex officio
Coeducational (sixth form)
Age7 to 18
Enrolment~850 Senior School
~450 Junior School
Houses  Alverstone
Colour(s)Blue and red   
Former pupilsOld Kings

KCS is a member of the Eton Group of schools. It is predominately a boys' school, but accepts girls into the Sixth Form.[1] In the Sixth Form pupils can choose between the International Baccalaureate and A-Level qualifications.[2]


Opening of the New Buildings, 7 July 1899; four sketches of the Great Hall

A royal charter by King George IV founded the school in 1829 as the junior department of the newly established King's College, London. The school occupied the basement of the college in The Strand.

Most of its original eighty-five pupils lived in the city within walking distance of the school. During the early Victorian Era, the school grew in numbers and reputation. Members of the teaching staff included Gabriele Rossetti, who taught Italian. His son, Dante Gabriel, joined the school in 1837. The best known of the early masters was the water-colourist, John Sell Cotman. Nine of his pupils became practising artists and ten architects. By 1843 there were five hundred pupils and the need for larger premises eventually led to the move to Wimbledon in 1897.

The school was progressive in its curriculum in many areas and appointed its first science master in 1855, at a time where very few schools taught science. The first head master, John Richardson Major, served the school 1831–1866. 99 of the school's pupils from this period appear in the Dictionary of National Biography.

Until the 1880s, the school flourished. In 1882, only Eton College surpassed the total of thirty Oxford and Cambridge Board examination certificates obtained by pupils at KCS. But the school's teaching facilities were becoming increasingly inadequate as many competitor schools moved to new sites with modern facilities and large playing fields. In 1897, falling numbers of pupils prompted the move to the school's present site in Wimbledon, a fast-growing suburb well served by the railway lines from Surrey and south London. A separate junior school was opened on the same campus in 1912.

In World War I, many letters were written to the school, including some from the Battle of the Somme. During World War II, the school's Great Hall was damaged by bomb shrapnel, and some of the damage can still be seen on the outside of the hall.

The only remaining link between KCS and its former parent is that one of the KCS board of governors is nominated by King's College London.


Bannister Fletcher Great Hall 1897

All members of the Sixth Form currently study either the IB Diploma or the A-Level course, and all members of the Fifth Form take GCSE qualifications.

GCSE summary: 2016-2019[3]

2019 82.8 96.3 99.5
2018 81.7 96.4 99.5
2017 83.4 96.8 99.4
2016 77.9 96.1 99.7

A level summary: 2016-2019[4]

2019 46.5 79.9 94.9
2018 45.6 78.6 95.0
2017 46.0 85.8 97.2
2016 32.3 72.9 94.5

International Baccalaureate Results: 2016-2019[5]

YEAR %7 %7/6 %7/6/5
2019 56.0 93.8 98.7
2018 60.7 94.1 99.6
2017 67.3 95.2 99.4
2016 63.3 88.5 98.2


The 2016 Classroom Block

KCS occupies a 20 acre site on the south side of Wimbledon Common and owns a boathouse on Putney Embankment and two additional playing-fields in Raynes Park and Motspur Park.

In 2010 the school began to renovate and expand its facilities, which was completed in 2019.[6] This included a new sports pavilion (2011), quadrangle and netball court (2015), classroom block (2016), music school (2018) and sports centre (2019).[7][8][9][10][11][12]


There are six Houses, each named after a previous Head Master or notable Old Boy. Boys wear a standard red and blue striped school tie until they achieve six house-points, at which point they are awarded the right to wear a house-tie of navy blue with thin stripes of the following colours.

Further ties are awarded to members of the Sixth Form. In order of increasing seniority, these are: the House Prefect's tie (bold stripes of dark blue and a house colour with a single red crest), School Colours (navy blue with a single red school crest), the School Prefect's tie (red with blue school crests), and the Senior Prefect's tie (blue with red school crests). Girls receive badges as an alternative to ties.

The Senior Prefects consist of the Captain and Vice-Captains of School and the Captain and Vice-Captains of each house. In addition, each house typically has about 8 School Prefects in addition to House Prefects.

King's College Junior SchoolEdit

Rushmere House

King's College Junior School (also known as KCJS) is the preparatory school for King's College School located in Wimbledon, London, is on the same campus as King's College Senior school. It was established in its own right in 1912, and educates boys from ages 7–11.[13]

The junior school admits about 85 boys each year in three groups:

  • At 7+ it takes about 54 boys and has approximately 6 applicants for every place. Applicant numbers at this stage are increasing.
  • At 8+ it takes about 14 boys and has approximately 14 applicants for every place. Applicant numbers at this stage are increasing.
  • At 9+ it takes about 12 boys and has approximately 8 applicants for every place. Applicant numbers at this stage are steady.

The first two years (3-4) are collectively referred to as 'Rushmere' (as they are taught in Rushmere House), while the final two years (5-6) are called 'Priory'. 2021/2022 Fees are £6,425 per term for years 3–4, and £6,930 per term for years 5–6.[14]

As of September 2021 the headmaster is Ted Lougher.[15]

The uniform is a red blazer with the emblem in blue on the right chest pocket. Every boy wears a white shirt and grey shorts or trousers. The ties are similar to the Senior School ties, and prefects in the top year ("Upper Remove") wear Senior School ties.

All boys are allocated to one of the school's four houses when they join (siblings are placed into the same house):

King's College School overseasEdit

China – King's supports Shanghai-based education provider Dipont in establishing schools in China. The first two schools, RDFZ King's College School Hangzhou and Nanwai King's College School Wuxi opened in September 2018. The educational concept brings together schools RDFZ Beijing (Hangzhou) and Nanjing Foreign Language School (Wuxi) from China and King's College School Wimbledon; both schools cater for local Chinese and international students aged 3–18.

Thailand - King's College International School Bangkok opened in opened its doors in September 2020 to over 300 boys and girls aged two to ten. At capacity, the school will cater for 1,500 students from pre-school to Year 13 who will be prepared for IGCSE, A level and admission to leading universities. XET will own, manage and operate the school and King’s Wimbledon will provide guidance on the curriculum, pastoral care and co-curricular programme to ensure that the King’s ethos is closely replicated.[16]

Monaco - Founded in 1994, the International School of Monaco (ISM) is a co-educational school with approximately 670 students aged 3 to 18. There is a bilingual programme for English and French in its early years and primary school. In the senior school the medium of instruction is English, offering IGCSEs in years 10 and 11 and the IB Diploma programme in the sixth form. The ISM is seeking to become a leading international school in Europe, and King’s College School, Wimbledon, will work closely with their team in all areas of school life to achieve its goals. King’s will share its ethos and how it delivers academic excellence, outstanding pastoral care and a comprehensive co-curricular provision. King's will also provide staff training and on-going quality assurance. This new partnership will include exciting opportunities for students and staff at King’s and the ISM.[17]

Head Masters of King's College SchoolEdit

The following have been Head Masters of King's College School:[18]

Name Years as Head Master
John Richardson Major 1831–1866
George Maclear 1866–1880
T. H. Stokoe 1880–1889
Charles Bourne 1889–1906
Douglas Smith 1906–1910
Herbert Lionel Rogers 1910–1934
Hubert John Dixon 1934–1960
Frank Shaw 1960–1975
Christopher Wightwick 1975–1980
Robin Reeve 1980–1997
Tony Evans 1997–2008
Andrew Halls 2008–2021
Jude Lowson (Acting) 2021–2022
Anne Cotton 2022–

Other Notable MastersEdit

Notable Old KingsEdit

19th-century birthsEdit

20th century birthsEdit

21st century birthsEdit

Victoria Cross holdersEdit

Five Old King's have been awarded the Victoria Cross.[23]

Alumni AssociationsEdit

The principal society for former pupils of the school is the Old King's Club, founded in 1884.[24] The school promotes membership amongst recently departed pupils, for whom membership of the club is free.[25]

A number of alumni also join the East India Club, formerly the Public Schools Club, on discounted membership.

King's College School Lodge number 4257 is the masonic lodge associated with King's College School. It is governed by the United Grand Lodge of England and administered by the Metropolitan Grand Lodge. Meetings are held four times per year at the school.[26] The Warrant of the Lodge was issued on 23 February 1921 and it was consecrated at Freemasons' Hall, London, on 3 May 1921.[27]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ High-flying UK boys' school to take girls Archived 22 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine Financial Times
  2. ^ "King's College School". Archived from the original on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  3. ^ "King's GCSE results 2016-2019". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  4. ^ "King's A level results 2016-2019". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  5. ^ "King's IB results 2016-2019". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  6. ^ "King's school campus". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  7. ^ "King's sports pavilion at Kingsway". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  8. ^ "King's quadrangle". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  9. ^ "King's College School". Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  10. ^ "King's music school". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  11. ^ "King's music school RIBA award". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  12. ^ "King's sports centre". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  13. ^ "King's College School junior school". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  14. ^ "King's College School junior school 2021/2022 fees". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  15. ^ "King's College School junior school headmaster". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  16. ^ "King's College International College Bangkok". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  17. ^ "International School of Monaco". Retrieved 5 August 2021.
  18. ^ Frank Miles and Graeme Cranch King's College School: The First 150 Years. London: King's College School, 1979.
  19. ^ The Victorian Web: The University of London and Its Boys' Schools Archived 29 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Obituary". British Medical Journal. 1 (4489): 119–120. 18 January 1947. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.4489.119. PMC 2052432.
  21. ^ a b "Star Studded Swan Song". Archived from the original on 23 May 2013.
  22. ^ Plunkett, John (1 September 2014). "BBC World Service chief to step down". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  23. ^ T. Hinde A Great Day School in London: a history of King's College School pg 132 James and James Publishers 1995 ISBN 0-907383-61-0
  24. ^ "Old King's Club". Old King's Club. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  25. ^ "Old King's Club". King's College School, Wimbledon. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  26. ^ "King's College School Lodge 4257" Archived 4 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine,, Retrieved on 9 March 2017.
  27. ^ W. Bro. J.G. Amos."United Grand Lodge of England; Warrant Date and Consecration Date Chart",, 6 October 2016. Retrieved on 6 March 2017.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 51°25′18″N 0°13′32″W / 51.42155°N 0.22551°W / 51.42155; -0.22551