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KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL B I R M I N G H A M

PROSPECTUS

2009-2010


john claughton, chief master What would we want for our children? We would want them to live happy, fulfilled lives. What do we mean by happiness and fulfilment? Well, I don’t think we just mean material prosperity. We would all value love and family and friendship, a passion for something, an interest in and respect for others and their worlds, the chance of challenge and achievement, an attachment to the life of the mind. If that is what we want for our children, a school should contribute to that end. It shouldn’t be about, or only about, success or results or skills or contribution to the economy. King Edward’s School does do success and results. It is one of the very best performing independent boys’ schools in this country, but we don’t think that’s enough. Our declared aim is ‘to make available to the widest possible range of able boys an educational experience that is the richest, most diverse and most exciting possible in an atmosphere that provides support, encouragement and care for everyone, pupils and staff, here. We want our pupils to love coming here and to go from here prepared for all that human life has to offer.’

It is easy to write these fine superlatives and comfortable words, but we actually mean them. We are lucky: we have a beautiful site, a pupil population as diverse in background as the city itself, relationships of trust, understanding and warmth between pupils and staff. The pupils here have full lives, full not just of work but of sport and music and drama and debating and expeditions and societies and camps and trips and experiences and friendship. We believe that all of this contributes to the happiness and fulfilment of boys now and gives hope that the same things will be found in adult life. And, in the midst of all this, it is important that the boys realise that their good fortune brings with it future responsibilities. King Edward’s is a school of great tradition, but it is always moving forward. In 2008, we made two major decisions and in 2009 we have been moving the decisions towards reality. The first concerns the curriculum: from September 2010, we will be offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma to our Sixth Form instead of A levels. We are confident that this will offer a greater intellectual challenge to our boys and be a better preparation for university and beyond.

The second concerns facilities: the design of the Performing Arts Centre, a collaborative project with King Edward VI High School for Girls, is nearly complete and building will start in 2010. Each of these projects is designed to contribute to the kind of school we want to be. We don’t want this wonderful opportunity to be limited to the few. Our central purpose is to ensure that it should be accessible to as many able boys as possible. To that end, there are substantial, and increasing, funds available through Scholarships and Assisted Places to support boys from families who might not otherwise be able to come. This is not a closed world for someone else: it is meant for every boy of talent and aspiration.

King Edward’s School, Birmingham ‘is direct in its aims and in its aspiration to be a school of the highest academic quality and the richest personal experience for as wide a community around Birmingham as possible. This it achieves to an outstanding degree and it seeks to do even better.’ Independent Schools’ Council Inspection Report May 2007


time present and time past King Edward’s School, Birmingham was founded in 1552 by Edward VI, one of a number of now famous schools created during the young king’s brief reign. Since that time the school has been at the centre of Birmingham life. For centuries this was physically so. The school was sited in the city and the 1836 school, designed by Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin, who collaborated on the Houses of Parliament, stood in New Street and was one of the great buildings of the city. From about this time a new breed of Headmasters propelled the school to academic eminence, reflecting the growing status and prosperity of the city itself. In the 1880s the governors created the High School for Girls and the five Foundation grammar schools, thereby making another massive contribution to education in the city. In 1936 the school moved out of the limitations of the New Street building to its present 50-acre site close to the University. There are few, if any, day schools in the country with such extensive facilities and beautiful surroundings.

The School in New Street.

The school has changed with the city. So, now it has become a multi-ethnic, multicultural, multi-faith institution and, in terms of the background of its pupils, it is one of the most diverse independent schools in the country. It has always taken, and continues to take, great efforts, in changing educational and political times, to remain accessible to all children, from Birmingham and beyond.

The school has sent thousands of its pupils out to success and achievement, but perhaps the individuality that the school fosters is shown by listing some of its former pupils : Edward Burne-Jones, the pre-Raphaelite painter; JRR Tolkien, the author of Lord of the Rings; two Nobel prize-winners, Sir John Vane (Medicine) and Maurice Wilkins (Physiology); Richard Borcherds the winner of the Fields Medal, the mathematical equivalent of the Nobel Prize; Field Marshal Slim, perhaps the greatest British general of the Second World War; the theatre critic, Kenneth Tynan; the Goodie and television twitcher Bill Oddie; the politicians Enoch Powell and David Willetts; the first English chess grandmaster, Tony Miles; the novelists Jonathan Coe and Lee Child. Our hope is that King Edward’s will continue to encourage such excellence and such diversity.


the school community The Form is the group in which a boy will spend most of his time, but a second important part of a boy’s life is his house. The house may not be made out of bricks, but it does have a Head of House and House Tutors and it is a place where he will meet and form friendships with boys of his own and different ages. Most competition within the school is based on the houses: there are house competitions – and they are competitive - in 14 different sports, but also two music competitions, a debating competition and a general knowledge competition. The most important thing for the pupils of any school is to enjoy school life. It is vital for a boy to feel that he is part of a community that cares, not least when the boys come from so many different schools and backgrounds. This sense of community is central to the school, both in its structures and in its relationships. In terms of structure, every boy is a member of a form, ranging in size from 24 in the beginning to about a dozen in the Sixth Form. The Form Tutor is the key figure in a boy’s life: it is the Form Tutor’s job to know all there is to know about him, to be the first person to whom a teacher will come to talk, to be the first point of contact with the parents. That contact is vital for everyone. The Form Tutor is also supported by other senior members of staff, Year Heads, Heads of School, Assistant Heads.

The school also works to benefit the wider community by making available our facilities and resources and through links with other schools and organisations. So, for example, the school helps local junior schools by enabling them to use our swimming pool, by providing teaching in history and in science. At a senior level, the school has formed a partnership with Small Heath School. However, these relationships do not just exist with other schools. We make our facilities available extensively to a number of organisations including the University of Birmingham, Warwickshire County Cricket Club and the England Blind Cricket Team.

People matter, too. Every new form has two senior pupils as mentors; senior pupils coach younger boys at sport on Friday afternoons and help younger pupils with academic problems through the Mentoring Society. The external perception of this school may be that it is, above all, successful, but the boys’ perception is that it is energetic and happy and caring.

Finally, the school and its pupils engage in a wide range of charitable activities. The fund-raising with the longest history is the Cot Fund, originally invented to give cots to the Children's Hospital. Now this is the major fund-raising element in the school and each year there are many events which raise thousands of pounds for different charities, which are selected by the pupils. The school also has links with a number of overseas schools, including Bakau Lower Basic School in the Gambia and Katora Primary School in Namibia.


academic life

King Edward’s School is one of the leading academic schools in the country. For very many years it has been amongst the top five independent boys’ schools for GCSE and A Level results. So, in 2008, 93.8% of A Levels were passed at A or B grade and at GCSE 63% of all subject entries were A* and 88% were A* or A - all records by some margin. These numbers are not only numbers: the consequence for the pupils is that the vast majority of them go on to the best universities. In 2009, 20 boys have offers from Oxford and Cambridge universities and about 20 pupils are accepted each year to read Medicine at university. The school encourages involvement in more demanding academic challenges. In 2008/9 pupils won gold, silver and bronze awards in both the Chemistry and Physics Olympiads and three boys were awarded distinctions in the Senior Maths Olympiad. There are nine boys in the school with Arkwright Scholarships, the highest national prize in Design and Technology.

The school’s basic academic programme in the early years is not unusual. Pupils study a wide curriculum in the first three years; in the third year they have the chance to take up Ancient Greek or Spanish or German. In almost all cases boys choose 10 GCSEs: 7 (or 6) subjects are compulsory - and they have the chance to choose 3 (or 4) more from a range of Art, Ancient Greek, Design and Technology, Drama and Theatre Arts, Geography, German, History, Latin, Music, Religious Studies and Spanish. However, in recent times there has been a substantial change at GCSE in that we now study International GCSE in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English and English Literature, believing that these courses are better and a better preparation for further study than the ever-changing GCSEs. In the Sixth Form, we have made an even more significant move. From September 2010, we will be offering the International Baccalaureate Diploma. (See box on the right)

The International Baccalaureate

All of these changes reflect our pursuit of the academic courses that will challenge and excite our pupils. Another, older, invention is that there are no lessons on Friday afternoon. Instead, there is the opportunity for every pupil to develop other skills, through Leadership, a programme for younger pupils run by the senior pupils, the Combined Cadet Force, Personal Service Group, the Engineering Education Scheme, links with local schools, sport for the younger ones and sports coaching for the older ones. A vital component of all we offer is the quality of our facilities for teaching. For example, every classroom is fully networked and has an interactive whiteboard; the Science School has 13 laboratories; there are separate, modern and purpose-built Art and Design and Technology Departments; there are 4 purpose-built ICT rooms and over 200 networked computers with internet access. The library has been recently refurbished so that it now has not only 16,000 books, but periodicals, DVDs and CD-Roms.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma offers a completely different approach to Sixth Form study: it requires a greater breadth of study 6 subjects not 3 or 4 and more independent learning. The course also has a central core that binds it together. That core itself has three elements: all candidates study the Theory of Knowledge, a course that explores how we know what we know; all candidates must undertake activities to fulfil the requirements of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) and all candidates write a 4,000-word extended essay on a topic entirely of their own choosing. The IB Diploma also differs from A Levels in being a linear course, with exams only at the end of the final year, giving teachers and pupils more space and time to explore together. We believe that the International Baccalaureate will offer the best and most exciting educational experience for our pupils and will be the best preparation for life at university and beyond.


music, drama and societies The quality of music is perhaps without equal in this country for a day school and all musical and dramatic activities are done jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls. On the one hand, the Music Department caters for a wide range of musical ability and taste: 230 pupils are taught 22 instruments by 25 visiting teachers, and there are smallscale and informal concerts throughout the year. On the other, there are major and wondrous concerts including the Summer Concert which fills Symphony Hall. The school’s Symphony Orchestra has recently performed Stravinsky’s Petrouchka, and Grieg’s Piano Concerto, reflecting the expertise and excellence of the performers. The Choral Society, a mixture of staff and pupils, has recently performed Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Nelson Mass.

But that isn’t all there is: the school also runs a concert band, a concert orchestra, a wind band, a senior and a junior swing band, a brass band, a senior chamber orchestra, a junior string ensemble and 2 choirs. In total 40% of boys are involved with school music. In the midst of all this, the House Music Competition, with performances involving many boys in each house, is one of the great events of the school year. Drama, like music, has many facets: there are several productions each year and there are drama groups operating throughout the year. There is a large-cast main school production (often a musical); recent productions include Great Expectations and Romeo and Juliet. In addition, there is a junior production and a summer play performed by the leaving Sixth Forms of the two schools - last year was Bugsy Malone. The most recent junior productions have been The Train Leaving Platform Four, a pupil devised piece set during the Second World War, a modern version of Peter Pan, written by two pupils and Les Petits Rats, a musical set in the Paris Opera. The facilities allow the chance to deal with the technology of theatre, including stage management, lighting and scenic art, construction, sound, wardrobe and prop making; enabling pupils to ultimately service the numerous school productions throughout the year.

The Paul and Jill Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Drama exists, too, as a classroom subject in the Drama and Theatre Arts option which can be taken at GCSE and in the International Baccalaureate. Music and drama are two of the giants of daily school life, but there are many other smaller activities that flourish. In the present academic year 21 societies have met. They range from the Classical Society to the Bollywood Society, from the Shakespeare Society to the Warhammer Society. Two of the most successful of the societies are the Debating Society - our debaters are amongst the strongest in the country and the Senior and Junior Schools Challenge Teams which have had a history of success in the national finals.

The importance of music and drama to the school is reflected in the school’s decision to build, in collaboration with KEHS, a major new Performing Arts Centre, which will be called the Paul and Jill Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, as a recognition of this former pupil’s major gift. This will provide, for the first time, a major concert hall which will accommodate an orchestra of 80, a choir of 120 and an audience of over 400. In addition, there will be a flexible drama studio that will seat 120, another dance and drama studio and new practice, rehearsal and teaching space for the school’s music. Work will begin in 2010 and it is intended that the building will be complete by the end of 2011.


sport

The school has had a very long sporting tradition and the provision of sport remains as strong now as it has ever been. We believe that involvement in sport is essential, for the pupils’ physical and mental well-being, for the pleasure it brings now and for the opportunities it creates for the future. PE and games are compulsory for all pupils of every age, but that doesn’t mean that everyone has to do the same thing. For example, on a Wednesday afternoon, senior pupils can choose from a range of 21 options, 12 in the winter and 9 in the summer. One aspect of the school’s life that encourages participation and competition is house sport, which involves many and stirs massive enthusiasm.

The major team sports thrive, rugby and hockey in the winter, cricket and athletics in the summer. On a winter’s Saturday there will usually be 12 games of rugby, and at Under 12 level alone there are four, and occasionally even more teams representing the school. The cricket fixture list, even in a short term, is very full – the 1st XI still play 20 matches - and the athletics team remains one of the strongest in the country. On the other hand, there has been a massive growth in the range of opportunities, so that a boy can take part in archery, badminton, basketball, cross-country, Eton Fives, fencing, golf, sailing, squash, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball and water polo. Some of these sports are played to a very high standard: currently the U16 water polo team are national champions.

Many of our pupils represent the county or the region in a range of sports, particularly in rugby, cricket and athletics; we even currently have one boy who played for Ireland Under 15s at football. In recent years, three boys have played for England Under 18s at rugby of whom one, Miles Benjamin, played for England in the Under 20 World Cup Final. However, the games provision is not just about the stars: the programme of PE and sport in lessons, in games afternoons, in house competition and clubs, is designed to encourage the widest possible participation.

The school is particularly fortunate in its facilities for games. On the main school site, there are 4 cricket and 5 rugby pitches, a sports hall with 3 squash courts, a 25 metre indoor pool, two gymnasia, six Fives courts, a rifle range, the shared use (with King Edward VI High School for Girls) of two Astroturf pitches and an astroturf training area. In addition, the nearby Eastern Road ground has a beautiful cricket ground, a 1st XV rugby pitch, a running track, four new artificial cricket wickets and five hard tennis courts. There are firm plans further to develop these facilities in the next few years with the building of an integrated sports centre that will provide all the facilities we need for PE and indoor sports. In these days sport is not only played against local and traditional rivals: tours have become integral to school life. So, in recent years the rugby team have been to South Africa (2005), Singapore and Australia (summer 2007) and Japan (Easter 2009). The 1st XI cricket team is also planning to tour Sri Lanka in 2010 and the hockey team will go to Gibraltar in October 2009. There is even an exchange scheme with Scotch College, Melbourne, whereby our best four Under 15 cricketers spend a month in Australia during the Easter term.


outdoor activities and expeditions In the second year all boys go on an activities week in their forms, to five different destinations in North Wales and the Lake District. In the following years, the Combined Cadet Force, with a total of 180 boys in the Army, RAF and Navy contingents, provides a rich variety of experience in camp craft, navigation, First Aid, shooting, gliding, flying, even parachuting, with the highlights being the weekend and summer camps: in the summer of 2008, the Army went to Weymouth, the Navy to Dartmouth and the RAF to Cranwell.

The range of activities for pupils of all ages and experience is remarkable and there is a strong progression through a boy’s career here. For a boy who starts new in the school, there are opportunities in the first year to go camping for three days at a dedicated outdoor pursuits centre in Staffordshire. These boys have the chance to orienteer, shoot, abseil, camp out and cook for themselves. Also during that year, and thereafter, there are frequent trips to go walking and caving and cycling and climbing on short, weekend trips.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme offers the chance to go on expeditions and face some very real physical and mental challenges. It has grown massively in recent years: this year over 160 boys are involved and 14 have achieved the Gold Award. Of course, much of the responsibility for organising the award rests with the pupils, but the school organises over 20 practice and actual expeditions for pupils at different stages, most in this country but also overseas.

In the course of the present academic year, 80 trips set out to destinations in this country. All of this activity is an excellent preparation for some of the expeditions and trips of greater ambition which go away. Some of these are subject-related or have specific educational significance, field trips for Biology, Geography and History, classical tours to Greece and Italy, exchanges and language trips to Berlin, Provence, Salamanca, expeditions to Egypt, Iceland, Namibia, Honduras, Madagascar, but there are others the purpose of which is enjoyment and opportunity shared between pupils and staff, ski trips to the Alps and to Utah, snow-shoeing in the Pyrenees, water sports in the Ardèche and trekking in Morocco.

This represents an extraordinary range of opportunities and it is an opportunity that every pupil should take. One of these trips is likely to be one of the most memorable parts of a boy’s school career.


scholarships and assisted places

King Edward’s is an independent school, and that means that it is a fee-paying school. Full fees for the academic year 2009-2010 will be £3130 per term. However, one of the school’s most important aims is to do all it can to provide education for able pupils, whatever the financial circumstances of the pupils’ family. The school, therefore, provides two different kinds of financial support, Assisted Places and Scholarships. About 30% of pupils are given financial support and the school spends over £1m each year on supporting these schemes.

Assisted Places are awarded to successful 11+ candidates whose parents could not otherwise afford to send their son to the school. The amount of support is calculated on the basis of the family income. In some circumstances the school will pay full fees for a pupil and about 10% of pupils are here for free. At the other end of the scale, the school’s financial support will run out at an annual income of about £70,000. Parents must apply for this scheme before the examination and it is necessary for parents to complete forms about their financial situation. The Assisted Places Scheme supports about 20 pupils in each year group. Although the school does invest very substantial funds in Assisted Places, these funds are finite so that not all those who pass the 11+ and apply for an Assisted Place can be funded. Thus, performance in the examination is also a factor in deciding which pupils will benefit.

The school is also keen to support and develop its excellence in music, so that there are funds available for up to two music scholarships each year. These scholarships are awarded on the basis not only of the academic exams, but also an audition. Some financial support is also available for pupils who apply to join the school at 16+, both in the form of Scholarships and Assisted Places. Any parent who would like to know more about Scholarships or Assisted Places should contact Mrs Nicole Phillips, the school’s Admissions and Marketing Co-ordinator.

Scholarships are awarded on academic merit, and scholars are chosen on the basis of performance in the 11+ examination and in an interview. Such scholarships can be awarded to the value of 50% of school fees and, in a normal year, about a dozen scholarships are awarded, ranging in value from 50% to 20% of the fees.


a-level and gcse results GCSE RESULTS 2008

2008 A-LEVEL RESULTS 2008

Candidates

%A*

%A*+A

English Language

117

47

89

Biology

English Literature

117

24

69

Mathematics

117

69

95

French

116

60

Biology

97

Chemistry

Candidates

%A

%A/B

42

69

93

Business Studies and Economics

3

67

100

Business Studies

18

67

94

84

Chemistry

52

81

98

76

95

Classical Civilisation

5

60

80

97

72

93

Design and Technology

6

83

100

Physics

97

84

95

Economics

21

86

100

Science (Dual Award)

40

50

75

English Literature

12

83

92

Art

27

26

67

Fine Art

4

50

75

Design and Technology

39

67

97

French

8

88

100

Drama

7

14

43

Geography

19

79

100

Dutch

1

100

100

German

2

100

100

Geography

90

86

98

Greek

2

100

100

German

25

72

92

History

22

50

82

Greek

6

83

100

Japanese

1

100

100

History

44

70

93

Latin

5

60

80

Latin

25

52

84

Maths

56

70

89

Music

20

60

100

Further Maths

8

75

100

RE

43

93

98

Music

2

100

100

Spanish

43

63

95

Physics

21

76

95

RS

17

82

100

Spanish

13

62

92

General Studies

108

37

74

Overall % Subject Entries at A* Overall % Subject Entries at A*/A Overall Pass Rate Top Candidate Awards Awarded to those candidates who score the top five marks in the whole country 1 Top Candidate Award for Biology 1 Top Candidate Award for Chemistry 1 Top Candidate Award for Mathematics 1 Top Candidate Award for Art

63.1% 89% 99.9%

Excluding General Studies Overall % Grade A 73.4% Overall % Grade A/B 93.8% Overall % Pass Rate 100% Including General Studies Overall % Grade A 64.7% Overall % Grade A/B 89% Overall % Pass Rate 100%


KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL B I R M I N G H A M

Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B15 2UA. Tel: 0121 472 1672. Fax: 0121 415 4327. Email: admissions@kes.org.uk

www.kes.org.uk

King Edwards School Prospectus 2009 - 2010  

King Edward’s School, Birmingham ‘is direct in its aims and in its aspiration to be a school of the highest academic quality and the richest...

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