It’s a sight that warms hearts. “One of the things I love about living near is the children tipping their hats to us as they pass in the morning,” shares a local resident in the ancient cathedral city of Rochester. These young learners wear their uniforms with pride, making their way to a school steeped in history.
As the second oldest school in the world, King’s has spent the last 1,400 years providing its pupils with an enriching, inclusive and holistic learning experience that prepares them for far more than just university. At King’s, pupils between the ages of three and 18 are nurtured to succeed in life.
Founded in 604 AD, this school embraces its long, illustrious history. It stays true to ancient traditions to lay a solid foundation for its pupils –– who graduate with essential values, timeless knowledge, and 21st century skills. Its campus is easily accessible from Kent and the South East and just 30 minutes by train from central London. Behind its walls –– that can be found described in some of the classics by Charles Dickens –– interactive classrooms, innovative study spaces, cosy living and socialising spaces abound.
Those who live here enjoy its historic surroundings 24/7. Its boutique boarding offerings are distinctive and open to pupils between the ages of 11 and 18.
They arrive in the UK to join a happy family of just 60 pupils. As new boarders, they are assigned a “buddy” from their House who will spend the first few days by their side, sharing lessons and helping them find their way around.
While still a part of the expansive school, two boarding homes –– one for boys, and the other for girls –– are communities of their own. They come together for activities outside the classroom, sharing meals, celebrations and weekend activities.
King’s day and boarding provisions offer each pupil a chance to gain a real sense of independence. They learn together, they progress together. They work hard together, they play hard together. Local pupils make it a point to help those from abroad to brush up on their English and adapt to life in Rochester. This interaction helps them forge lasting relationships and friendships amongst a diverse, multinational community.
“We are extremely proud of the rich diversity of our pupil population at King’s, further enhanced by our international boarders,” says School Principal,
Every incoming pupil is placed in one of five King’s Houses. This system provides a vertical mix throughout the School that strategically enables pupils to socialise and connect with various age groups. The houses are: Storrs, Whiston, Parker, House and Crick. They compete against each other in numerous events – racking up points toward scoring the House Shield.
“All our boarders enjoy a strong loyalty to their ‘House’ and throughout the term will don their beloved House Purple to compete against the Day Houses in sports fixtures, music competitions and at events such as debating and general knowledge,” explains boys Boarding Housemaster, Mike Metcalfe.
In the classroom, these pupils are comfortable enough to achieve –– consistently reaching milestones and going above and beyond for their futures. Despite uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the King’s pupil body achieved outstanding GCSE results: 31% of all grades being in the top 9-8 (A*) bracket and 50% at 9-7 (A*-A). A Level results are just as excellent: 13% at A*, 34% at A*-A and 59% of grades at A*-B. Many graduates move on to exciting and prestigious universities, including UCL, Warwick, Exeter and Newcastle. This is the success individualised learning and a connected community inspire.
Outside the classroom, the theme of success continues. You’ll find them giving it their all on the cricket field or rowing on the River Medway. Some will be practising under the spotlight in the drama studio, before captivating audiences in the School Hall. Those in the orchestra or choir, showcase their talents in Rochester Cathedral.
Every pupil is encouraged to realise their passion by joining at least one club or activity during their time at King’s. Pupils can take part in sport fixtures, music lessons, drama rehearsals or outdoor activities including the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They can also opt to build social groups of their own, alongside their classmates and fellow housemates.
Once you find your place in the family, you’ll keep it for life. Every graduate looks back at their King’s experience with a smile on their face –– reminiscing an experience that drives them to stay involved. Many alumni –– part of the Old Roffensian Society –– return to King’s to perform and play in concerts and performances, to cheer on teams during games competitions and for many annual events throughout the year.
The Old Roffensian Society sponsors the King’s Extend Programme. It begins in September when Lower Sixth pupils will be enrolled in the Ivy House leadership programme. This is a transformational leadership programme that supports them in bridging the gap between education and work, giving them the knowledge, skills and confidence to take ownership of their own futures at a key time in their lives and to maximise their future potential.
“It is no coincidence that our alumni are so loyal, fond and dedicated to this place. A ‘school for life’ in every sense,” says Principal Charles.
At King’s School, Rochester, every pupil has a bright future to look forward to, but with an educational experience like this – there will definitely be heaps to miss. Everyone here – from vibrant pupils and triumphant graduates to supportive staff — has a riveting story to tell.
Learn more here about this “School for Life.”