The King's School, Chester

The King's School, Chester

Infobox UK school
name = The King's School, Chester

size = 300px
latitude =
longitude =
dms =
motto = "Rex dedit, benedicat Deus"
("The King gave it, may God bless it")
motto_pl =
established = 1541
approx =
closed =
c_approx =
type = Independent
religion = Church of England
president =
head_label = Headmaster
head = C Ramsey MA
r_head_label =
r_head =
chair_label = Chairman of the Governors
chair = Keith James
founder = King Henry VIII
founder_pl =
specialist =
street =
city = Chester
county = Cheshire
country = England
postcode =
ofsted =
staff =
enrollment = 900 (approx.)
gender = Co-educational
lower_age = 7
upper_age = 18
houses = 4
colours = Green, blue and white
publication =
free_label_1 = Former pupils
free_1 = Old King's Scholars
free_label_2 = Affiliation
free_2 = Headmaster's Conference
free_label_3 =
free_3 =
website =
website_name =

The King's School, Chester is a coeducational independent school in Chester, England. It is one of seven schools established, or in some cases re-endowed and renamed, by King Henry VIII in 1541 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries for the education of 'poor friendless boys'.

Once conjoined to Chester Cathedral, where the modern day Barclays Bank now stands, the school moved to its present site on Wrexham Road in 1960. Single sex for much of its history, the school admitted girls into the sixth form in September 1998 and became fully co-educational in September 2004.

With the advent of co-education, the school has experienced a significant degree of redevelopment: an all-weather sports pitch, a new music school and the purchase of adjacent farmland are amongst the changes. The school has enjoyed several sporting successes in recent years, notably winning the ISFA cup in March 2006, and has always been regarded as a strong rowing school - to the extent that it has produced several Oxbridge and more than one Olympic rower. King's most notable former pupil to continue rowing is 2008 Olympic gold medallist Tom James, who also won the 2007 Boat Race whist Presidant of the Cambridge University Boat Club.

The school has a strong academic record. Most recently over 50% As at A level, and 83% As and A*s at GCSE. Extra curriculum subjects such as ECDL are popular among students.

Other King's Schools are at Canterbury, Ely, Gloucester, Peterborough, Rochester and Worcester.

The Headmaster

The school's current headmaster is Chris Ramsey, a graduate of Modern and Medieval Languages from Cambridge University. Ramsey has also served as Head of Modern Languages at Shrewsbury School and Headmaster of King's College, Taunton.

Previous Headmasters

* Tim Turvey, biologist, 2000-2007
* Roger Wickson, classicist and historian, 1981-2000 (see Notable Teachers below)
* Arthur Munday, 1964-1981
* Leslie Francis Harvey, 1947-1964


The school is currently going through a period of development, in which many new facilities are being built. Amongst the completed developments are the all-weather outdoor sports pitch and the expansion to the Art and Design Technology departments. Four new general purpose classrooms for the Junior School have been built and there are two specialist classrooms for the Junior School. Other new facilities are the tennis/netball courts, teaching classrooms and laboratories for the Senior School, and a new music school (recently officially opened as the Tim Turvey Music School [ Naming of The Tim Turvey Music School] ] ). More land has also been acquired for football pitches.

Future developments include improved facilities for a larger Sixth Form; improved facilities for girls at the rowing club; improved catering facilities for vegan and Jewish diets.

Old King's Scholars

Notable alumni of the school include:
*Randolph Caldecott, Illustrator
*Major General James Dutton, former Commandant-General, Royal Marines
*Rob Eastaway, mathematician and ex-puzzle writer for New Scientist
*Trevor Kletz, author on industrial safety
*Steve Leonard, television vet and BBC presenter
*Bert Lipsham, England International footballer and FA Cup winner with Sheffield United in 1902.
*Hugh Lloyd, comedy actor
*Patrick Mercer, Member of Parliament []
*Mike Parry, talkSPORT presenter
*Ronald Pickup, actor
*Nickolas Grace, actor
*Rob Leslie-Carter, Engineer
*Tom James, Olympic gold medal oarsman

Notable teachers, past and present

* Roger Wickson, headmaster 1981-2000 after a career dotted around several southern public schools, and author of "The Community of the Realm in Thirteenth Century England" (Longmans, 1970).
* Barry Horne, former Everton F.C. midfielder [ King's teacher in Everton hall of fame] ] , chemistry teacher and Director of Footballs.
* Paul Shannon, head of Modern Languages and writer/compiler of many books, articles and video scripts on railways.



King's has had much success in football over the years. The school has recently built an AstroTurf pitch and employed a new Director of Football (Barry Horne, former Welsh captain and F.A Cup winner).

In the ISFA Cup the school beat hot favourites Millfield School (2-1) in the 2005-2006 ISFA Cup national soccer tournament final. However, the school's football team were unable to retain their crown and were knocked out of the 2006-2007 competition by Highgate School. The team, however, added the Chester and District Cup to their trophy cabinet in the 2007-2008 season with a 2-0 victory over Chester Catholic High School [ 1st XI footballers win the Chester and District Cup] ] .


The King's School's rowing club is amongst the most successful school boat clubs in the country with recent successes being a bronze in Championship Eights at the National Schools' Regatta 2006 and losing finalists in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta 2006. The school also has a good record of producing outstanding individual oarsmen including Rowland Hall, Tom James, James Ball, Chris Bartley, Peter Rudge, Jim Walker and Olivia Whitlam.

The King's boat house is situated on the River Dee in the centre of Chester. It stores over 100 boats ranging from beginner to Olympic standard.


The 2006/2007 season saw the appointment of former England captain Russell Hornby, and since the King's hockey teams have come on even further. In 2006 the first team was ranked amongst the first few in the country. The J14 team have made it through to the latter stages of a national competition after winning the North West vs North East match Now it faces regional winners from around the country.

The School has also recently employed Pakistani Captain Ali Ghanzafar as coach for the 1st XI, thanks largely to Russell Hornby, an ex team mate of Ghanzafar's from Bowdon Hockey Club.

The Arts and Extra-Curricular Activities


The school has a new state of the art Music School, equipped with a recording studio, a large recital room, and a music technology room. It has a successful Schola Cantorum which recently toured Paris and sang at Notre Dame.


Annual productions of musical theatre at King's have occurred for much of the past half-century in the latter half of the Lent (Spring) term. Notable shows in the past 5 years include "The Boy Friend", "South Pacific", "Oklahoma!", "My Fair Lady", "West Side Story", and most recently in 2007, the Stephen Sondheim musical "Assassins". Recent Sixth Form drama productions have included Jonson's 'The Alchemist' and Bertolt Brecht's "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui"

Educational Trips Abroad

Various school staff organise various trips abroad for students to take part in. Parent subjects vary with regular trips arranged by the Art, History, Physics and Sports Departments. A regular international expedition is also organised, recent destinations including China, India and Morocco. [ List of School's Current/Future Trips Abroad] ] The importance of such trips has been recognized with the appointment of an Educational Visits Co-ordinator, currently R Hornby. [ List of Staff] ]

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

The school encourages the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme with a healthy number of students regularly achieving Bronze, Silver and Gold awards, either during their time at the school or shortly afterwards. [ School's Duke of Edinburgh Awards Page] ]

= Controversy =
*The school has not been without its share of controversy. Notably in 2004 former teacher Barry Lewis was arrested and convicted on child pornography charges. [ Ex-Teacher charged with sex offences] ]
*In July 2006 two boys were forced to leave the school after a drugs probe was conducted. [ children forced to leave school after drugs probe] ]

Combined Cadet Force

The King's School's CCF is a voluntary contingent within the Combined Cadet Force of the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom, originally formed during the First World War. It consists of the mandatory Army Section, with an additional RAF Section. Its nominal roll currently includes approximately 133 cadets.

Contingent achievements

*2005 - Award of International Air Cadet Exchange [ Cadet awarded IACE (Israel)] ]
*2005 - Cadet awarded RN Special Flying Award (Powered) [ Aaron Ferguson awarded RN Special Flying Award] ]
*2005 - Cadet awarded RAF Flying Scholarship [ Adam James awarded RAF Flying Scholarship] ]
*2005 - Welbeck Pentathlon Competition | Jnr Team 1st Place, Snr Team 2nd Place [ Contingent Wins Welbeck Pentathlon] ]
*2003 - Welbeck Pentathlon Competition | Snr Team 1st Place, Jnr Team 2nd Place
*2002 - Welbeck Pentathlon Competition | Jnr Team 1st Place
*Numerous Gliding scholarships, Leadership and Personal achievements have been gained including two Geoffery deHavilland Flying Foundation Medals in recent years.
*Several wins of The King's and Cheshire Cups [ Contingent Wins Cheshire Cup Again] ]


External links

* [ The Good School Guide - Kings school chester]
* [ Bowdon HC 1st XI Player Profiles]
* [ BBC Interview with Tom James, former pupil and rower]

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