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Welcome to King Alfred School Ex Corde Vita

Out of the heart springs life “Do we wish, in the shortest possible time, to fill all our children’s’ heads with a passable amount of the second hand knowledge that happens to be fashionable, to fit them all up with the everyday minimum of manual and mental dexterities, and drill them all into the everyday minimum of moral habits, or do we wish, with Montaigne, “to forge rather than furnish their souls,” to help them grow, that is, chiefly through their own efforts, and more or less at their own temperamental pace, into their own image - not the image of their parents, or of their teachers, or any other transient heroes, but into the full and perfect fruition of the seeds of capacity and goodness they bring with them into the world?” John Russell KAS, Head 1902-1920

Thank you for considering the King Alfred School (KAS). Choosing where to send your son or daughter is never easy, and I hope that this prospectus and accompanying information will help you make the best possible decision for you and your child. At the heart of the King Alfred School’s philosophy is our childcentred approach. This has been the practice here since 1898 when the school opened, and remains equally true today. We appreciate that every child is unique and has their own set of strengths, attributes and areas to develop. We are genuinely committed to understanding each individual child, and providing the environment and support so that they can flourish and succeed. This underpins our approach to learning inside and outside the classroom, to pastoral care and personal development, and the way we structure the school and the curriculum. At King Alfred we make sure that every child is engaged and challenged in their learning. We are committed to nurturing a love of learning and a passion to continue education throughout their lives.

For this to happen, we believe that learning needs to be active, creative and enjoyable. Passing examinations is important. However, we want our students to take them in their stride, and value their learning beyond the exam grade. Students will also experience the moral dimension of learning. Tolerance and integrity, respect and honesty are interwoven threads of the curriculum. We believe that our students should have a sound understanding of the world both near and far from home, that they should recognise the value of diversity and alternative views, and learn to be socially responsible 21st Century global citizens. Social and personal development is central. Young people are capable of incredible accomplishments and we want every King Alfred student to have a strong sense of confidence and self-belief. We want them to understand their responsibilities to others as well as their rights as individuals. And we want them to be able to work well with others as part of a team and as leaders both at school and beyond our gates. We support students to become emotionally resilient, compassionate

to others and filled with an appetite for the possibilities of life. The King Alfred School is a unique environment. We are a school that starts from the first principles of what is right for the child. We are less hierarchical and more democratic than other schools, as we believe this enables our students to develop into well-rounded, creative, enthusiastic and thoughtful individuals. Our approach means that young people are inspired to achieve their best, and have the tools to be happy, successful and fulfilled in their future lives. We have many generations of success behind us and a passionate commitment to what we do. We look forward to welcoming you to the King Alfred School community. Robert Lobatto HEAD

Out of the heart springs life


The King Alfred School aims to provide a happy, compassionate and stimulating environment where the personal development of each child is held in equal regard to their academic progress.

In our experience this approach draws out the best from each and every child.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Founded in 1898 by a group of parents, the King Alfred School was created as a ‘rational’ school – they believed that boys and girls should be educated together in a secular environment that encouraged learning for its own sake. They wanted to provide a well-rounded education that focused on what was best for the whole child, on the development of character and individuality.

KAS continues to stand out from the prevailing educational environment as a school where students achieve their academic potential without excessive pressure, and social success through the development of responsibility rather than external discipline. Co-education, mixed ability, all ages and non-denomination are enduring characteristics. Informality is typified by the use of first names for all, and the absence of uniform. Above all, it is a school that is genuinely loved by students, parents and staff alike.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


It is the school’s belief that each child should be allowed to develop at their own pace in an atmosphere that is free from fear, according to the principles of mutual respect and trust. We place a strong emphasis on creative and active learning and the value of play.

The founding parents developed the values that are at the heart of education at King Alfred School today: Mutual respect; Individuality and self-reliance; Social responsibility; Freedom, play and the enjoyment of education; A broad definition of success.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


MUTUAL RESPECT “the mutual respect between students and teachers at KAS means students understand they must take responsibility�

Year 10 student

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


We believe that each individual child must be considered a person entitled to respect and understanding and be given the opportunity to develop to his or her fullest potential.

Respectful relationships in the school make students feel valued and encourage them to function at the height of their abilities – being treated with respect heightens students’ self-esteem and confidence, which in turn contributes to their academic and social success.

Students are relaxed about questioning and asking teachers for help; they are more likely to push themselves further as they are less likely to be afraid of criticism and ‘failing’.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


INDIVIDUALITY & SELF RELIANCE “students are encouraged to express who they are, not what they ‘should’ be”

Year 7 student

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Children develop at varying rates academically, socially, physically and emotionally in a variety of patterns that do not necessarily fit key stages, curriculi and year groups. It is logical to recognise each child as an individual and to focus on each individual’s particular needs – to have a child-centred approach.

KAS begins its work from the child’s natural eagerness to learn. Motivation comes from the children’s own interests and the enthusiasm transmitted by staff. Every effort is made to keep teaching and learning stimulating. Independent learning through investigation is actively encouraged, as are links between subjects. Developing the ability to think and work independently fosters self-motivation, self-discipline, an open mind and inner self-confidence.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Social responsibility “because there is more responsibility, you have a sort of line that you can’t cross in your head”

Year 7 student

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


A prerequisite for engaging responsibly with others is that children learn to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Rather than imposing external control on their behaviour through rules and sanctions, there is greater long-term benefit in their learning to rely on their own judgement.

Part of developing social intelligence is helping students understand their rights as individuals. It is equally important that they learn that with these rights come responsibilities. Each class makes their own class agreement on behaviour, and students are encouraged to think about the consequences of their actions on others. From Year 2 to Year 13 students are eligible to join Pupil’s Council, as well as having representation on the main Council (the governing body).

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Freedom, play & the enjoyment of education “a relaxed creative environment actually proves to be more academically stimulating in my experience’”

Year 10 student

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Giving students a sense of freedom contributes to their enjoyment of their education, it helps to foster students’ desire to learn and research has shown there is more likely to be long-term retention of what’s being taught. In an atmosphere of ‘can’ rather than ‘cannot’, students are more likely to discover their own potential and interests, and thus to flourish according to their own terms.

Play is the natural way in which children go about the business of learning and is seen as a key process in a child’s education, a way of integrating and consolidating skills and understanding. This is why spaces to play are an important aspect of life at KAS – our students are offered the chance to engage in a whole range of active learning situations, which will include many opportunities to develop their social as well as their physical skills.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


A Broad Definition of Success “you don’t have to panic, you just learn and you can enjoy it”

Year 7 student

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Whilst achieving their full potential in exams is of fundamental importance to their adult life, it is equally valuable for students to learn how to learn, and to gain a meaningful understanding of a subject. At King Alfred School educational success is defined according to the potential of the individual.

Supported by a high staff to student ratio, close staff/student relationships enable the students to be monitored and assessed and guided with care suitable to their individual needs. Students are not frightened of questioning or asking for help. All practice is designed to encourage independence, self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth in the students, whatever their abilities.

The King Alfred School

Out of the heart springs life


Out of the heart springs life

The King Alfred School


The King Alfred School North End Road London NW11 7HY T +44 (0)20 8457 5200 F +44 (0)20 8457 5264 E kas@kingalfred.org.uk www.kingalfred.org.uk

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King Alfred - General Prospectus  

King Alfred - General Prospectus