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Kingston Grammar School

Kingston Grammar School
|- Headmaster Duncan Baxter MA (Oxon)
Principal Deputy Head Michael Hall BA (Liverpool), MA (Educ)
Second Deputy Head Sarah Pownall BA (Manchester)
School type Independent
Founded 1561
Location Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
Kingston Grammar School is an independent and highly selective co-educational school in Kingston upon Thames, Greater London. It is noteworthy for being able to trace its roots back to at least the 13th century. It has a relatively outstanding academic record, with 2006 being one of the best years for GCSE results; 68.8% of all grades being A or A*. It is also known as a first class sports school, offering hockey and rowing with consistently good competition results. The hockey set-up at the school is of particular note having won several National Championships over the last decade, and the "Old Kingstonians Hockey Club" is highly respected in sporting circles.

The Good Schools Guide described the school as "An academic school with a modern edge".


The school's history is traceable into the Middle Ages, where there are references to schoolmasters like Gilbert de Southwell in 1272, described as "Rector of the Schools in Kingston", and to Hugh de Kyngeston in 1364 "who presides over the Public School there". Notable in the school's history are the founding and endowing of the Lovekyn Chapel by John and then Edward Lovekyn in 1309-1352 and later by William Walworth in 1371. The chapel is still used by the school, and one of the few remaining chantry chapels in England.

After the dissolution of the chantries in 1547, the chapel fell to the Crown and was deconsecrated. It, and by now its substantial related endowments, fell to a court favourite, Richard Taverner. He preserved the chapel so when in 1561 the bailiffs of Kingston petitioned Queen Elizabeth I for a royal grammar school, the building was still usable. So when Elizabeth granted the school a Royal Charter in 1561, this provided several endowments, including the chapel and the various lands and buildings then attached to it. Because the chapel had housed a school prior to its dissolution by Henry VIII, historians have said that it is probable Elizabeth was doing no more than giving life to something which her father had brought to an untimely end.

In 1926 the school accepted direct grant status, but has long since reverted to full independence as a day school for boys and girls between the ages of ten and nineteen and is represented on the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The school has remained true to its Grammar School heritage by offering a high proportion of academic and sporting scholarships as well fee assisted places.

It celebrated the four hundredth anniversary of its charter in 1961 with a visit from Queen Elizabeth II.

The school celebrated the opening of the newly finished Queen Elizabeth the Second building (a.k.a. the QEII Building) with a visit from Queen Elizabeth II in 200x, where she unveiled a plaque and met with a small class of students.

The school honours its rich history through the naming of its four houses after Queen Elizabeth (Queens house), William Walworth (Walworth house), Richard Taverner (Taverner house) and Edward Lovekyn (Lovekyn house). It also celebrates the school's founders once a year with a day of Commemoration in March.


The school is on London Road, and there are three main buildings:

  • The Science, Modern Languages, History and Politics, Economics and Psychology departments are housed in the Fairfield Building.
  • Geography, English, Religious Studies, Latin, Maths, Music and Drama departments are housed in the recently opened Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Building.
  • The main London Road Building, which connects to the Finlay Gallery which contains the D.T. and Art departments.

The school's sports ground, with several acres of playing fields and a boathouse on the Thames, is at Thames Ditton, opposite Hampton Court Palace.

Notable alumni


  • Chantry Chapel to Royal Grammar School: the History of Kingston Grammar School 1299-1999 by The Rev David Ward and Gordon W. Evans

External links

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