King's School in Canterbury, Kent is a co-educational boarding school in England. Great facilities and historic location in Canterbury! The curriculum at King’s School is based upon strong academic
roots. It emphasises and relies upon what is best in traditional
independent school education: scholarly excellence supported by a caring
pastoral and tutorial system, and a wide-ranging co-curricular
programme. However, it is continually adapting and reacting to the
changing demands of modern education: new subjects are added, new
teaching techniques adopted, and there is an increasing awareness of the
need to provide programmes of study that match individual needs and
The curriculum is divided into three units: the Lower School (Shells, Year 9), an introductory year; the Middle School (Removes and Fifths, Years 10 and 11), working to GCSEs and IGCSEs; and the Sixth Form (6b and 6a, Years 12 and 13), taking AS and A levels.
Full details can be found in: Shell Guide and Handbook; Middle School Academic Guide 2011-13; Middle School Guide 2012-14; Middle School Academic Guide 2013-15; Sixth Form Guide 2011-13, Sixth Form Guide 2012-14 and Sixth Form Guide 2013-15.
Formal and structured educational support, for those who need it, is available at all levels. The well-stocked Library is open 7 days and 6 evenings per week. ICT facilities
(including the Internet) are available for all and the whole school
(studies within the Houses as well as classrooms) is extensively
Pupils are offered extensive careers
advice throughout their time at King’s. Almost all go to university,
either immediately or following a GAP year. The most popular university
destinations are Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Edinburgh, King's College
London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Exeter, University College, London and
The specific aims of the Shell curriculum are to give
pupils an academic introduction to a large number of subjects, together
with their associate skills, and to help them acquire the personal
proficiency needed for a successful career at the King’s School and
This is, therefore, a preparatory year prior to the
public examination years in which pupils begin to find their own levels
of achievement at a higher level than hitherto reached. They also begin
to discern their academic preferences and towards the end of the year,
they are asked to make choices for GCSE.
Shell pupils take a large number of individual
subjects. However, we are keen to help them to understand that these
subjects do not exist in isolation. Thus, the Shells will be introduced
to some cross-curricular themes. There will be days or longer periods
when the majority of the subjects (both curricular and co-curricular)
will be working towards a common goal on a common theme. For example, in
the Autumn term, all Shells will travel to Ypres, with introductory and
follow-up activities across the curriculum. The post-examination period
in the Summer term also provides opportunities for cross-curricular
work and here we aim specifically to tie it in with the co-curricular as
well. Expeditions and days out are arranged to develop particular
themes across more than one subject area.
The Shell Guide and Handbook
provides full details of the subjects studied within the timetable,
but it is important to point out that we regard the co-curricular
as an integral and essential part of our educational provision.
In the Middle School our aim is to present a
wide-ranging curriculum that stretches our pupils intellectually,
challenges them creatively, develops individuals personally and provides
them with a good basis in knowledge and skills for the Sixth Form and
Pupils in the Removes and the Fifths work towards GCSE
courses. Most take between 9 and 11 GCSEs. All pupils take the core
subjects of English Language and Literature (2 GCSEs), Mathematics, and
Science (2 or 3 GCSEs), and four optional subjects of which one is
expected to be a Modern Foreign Language. We encourage pupils, wherever
possible, to choose at least one creative subject (from Art, Design
& Technology, Drama and Music) and at least one humanity (from
Geography, History and Religious Studies).
At the same time, we try to provide flexibility within
the programme, and, wherever possible, to respond to individual needs.
We look to stretch the most able by providing the opportunity for them
to take some GCSEs early and to take up some AS subjects in the Fifth
Form. Equally, those for whom the standard nine GCSEs provide too great a
challenge are allowed to drop one subject to free some time in their
curriculum. The majority of our pupils, however, should continue to take
GCSE qualifications at the end of the fifth year.
In addition to their GCSE studies, pupils have an
enrichment programme of lessons designed both to aid their personal
development and to broaden their options for the Sixth Form. Our aim is
the provision of a curriculum which will prove efficacious in itself
whilst also providing our pupils with the best possible preparation for
their future university courses.
Pupils should certainly be stretched and working hard,
but this is also an essential stage for the development of their
individuality and creative talents. The opportunities for music, drama,
sport and other ‘after hours’ activities are essential aspects of the
Middle School co-curricular programme. Through enlisting in the CCF or
taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, there are also many
opportunities for service, skills, recreation and expeditions.
In order to enter the Sixth Form, pupils should have at
least seven GCSEs at grade B or above and should have at least grade B
in the subjects to be studied at A Level. (For Mathematics, the Sciences
and Modern Languages, A grades are almost essential if a pupil wishes
to achieve a C grade, or better, at A Level.)
normally study at least 4 AS level subjects in 6b (Year 12) and at least
3 A2s in 6a (Year 13). AS and A2 marks each contribute 50% to the final
A level grade. Candidates can choose to ‘drop’ one of their AS subjects
and continue with three A2s. We generally advise pupils who intend to
apply for highly competitive undergraduate courses seriously to consider
taking four A2s. We do expect pupils to obtain at least three ‘C’
grades in their AS levels before they can move on to A2 studies.
The only restrictions on subject choice are those
imposed by timetable structure, but, during the planning, we aim to
accommodate all reasonable combinations of subjects. The system offers a
great deal of choice and flexibility.
Advanced Extension Awards, taught in most subjects in
6A, are designed to stretch the most able by providing opportunities to
demonstrate a greater depth and understanding. They are not included in a
university’s offer, but taking an AEA can demonstrate that a candidate
is willing to study beyond the A level syllabus.
programme also includes a choice of enrichment subjects to be taken in
addition to AS levels. The aim here is to give pupils an opportunity to
diversify, to broaden their overall knowledge and understanding, and/or
to complement their main AS levels. Young Enterprise, Critical Thinking,
other modern languages (Italian, Chinese (Mandarin) and Russian), and
Perspectives on Aesthetics, Globalisation and Science are
included. Enrichment and broadening continue beyond the immediate
academic curriculum into the co-curricular. A great deal goes on in
school life and pupils are encouraged to see their academic profile in
the broadest sense.
Careers advice is particularly important at
this level. Pupils are given assistance at every stage of the
university entrance procedure. On leaving King’s, 98-99% go to
university, either immediately or following a GAP year. Around 40% take a
GAP year. The most popular university destinations are Cambridge,
Durham, Bristol, Leeds, Oxford, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Manchester,
Newcastle, Imperial College London, University College, London, and