King’s is a school of today and the future: a dynamic, energising, learning environment that equips our pupils with all the academic and personal skills needed to succeed, both at school and throughout their lives.
Our forward-thinking approach builds on our proud history of educating young people in the heart of the city, which dates back to the 7th Century. Today’s King’s is directly descended from the monastic school, which was an integral part of the Benedictine cathedral monastery until its dissolution in 1540.
Following the dissolution, the new Cathedral Foundation included provision for a choir school for the benefit of ten Choristers and tuition for forty King’s Scholars. The school was one of seven “King’s Schools” established or re-endowed by Henry VIII following the dissolution. The first Headmaster, John Pether, was appointed on 7th December, 1541.
The Cathedral Links
When Henry VIII established a new Foundation for the cathedral his vision was to provide education to “forty boys, poor and destitute of the help of friends, of native genius…and apt to learn.”
The Foundation comprised a Dean and Chapter, and it refounded the old school as an integral part of what was known as ‘the College’. The former monks’ refectory has been used by King’s ever since and is now known as ‘College Hall’.
The links with the cathedral remain strong to this day. As well as working in partnership with the cathedral to educate the Choristers, we work closely with it to oversee the strategic direction of the school. The Bishop appoints one, and the Chapter appoints seven, of our Governors, and the Dean is Governor ex officio. The Senior Management Team, the Chaplain of the school, and the King’s and Queen’s Scholars are members of the Cathedral and attend special services of Evensong three times a year.
We are also fortunate to be able to use the cathedral building itself for a variety of events, a place that many of our Old Vigornians (OVs), look back on with very fond memories. We enjoy a number of cathedral services for the Senior School and Junior Schools each term and there is a School Eucharist every Wednesday. It is also the venue for large-scale events, including an annual Carol Service, and King’s Day; the latter being a celebration of the school year, to which parents and friends of the school are invited.
Adapting to the Modern Market
For many years, King’s operated as both as a boys’ day school and a boarding school for boys. The move towards a coeducational school began with girls entering the Sixth Form, in 1971, which was a significant moment in the school history and one which is often recalled by OVs who attended the school at the time. The school became fully coeducational in 1991. Changing demands in the market led to the decision to focus on a day school offering only, with the last of the boarders leaving King’s in 1999.
Building the King’s family of schools
As the Senior School continued to thrive, the Governors identified the opportunity to extend the offering to younger pupils. The first of the Foundation’s Junior Schools opened in 1952, when King’s acquired St Alban’s House, on a beautiful and tranquil site adjacent to the Senior School. King’s St Alban’s continues to offer an oasis of calm for our younger pupils to this day. The school, which educates the boy Choristers, moved to a coeducational status in the late 1990s.
In 1996 the Foundation expanded once more with the purchase of Hawford Lodge School, a preparatory school situated in the beautiful countryside just north of Worcester. King’s Hawford offers a unique experience for our younger pupils, with a strong focus on outdoor education and learning.
Both King’s St Alban’s and King’s Hawford provide the opportunity for pupils from the age of two to join the King’s family, with a natural progression through to the Senior School until the age of 18.
A 21st Century Education
As soon as they enter the school campus, visitors to King’s are inspired by the obvious historical setting of the two city schools.
This strong sense of history gives us the confidence to move forward. State-of-the-art facilities, innovative teaching methods, and visionary leadership provide opportunities that will equip our pupils for life beyond King’s, helping to instil a strong sense of identity as they prepare for the modern world.
We offer a generous bursary scheme to ensure that our education is accessible to as many pupils as possible, from all backgrounds.