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The King's (The Cathedral) School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The King's (The Cathedral) School
The King's (The Cathedral) School Peterborough Shield.png
Park Road

, ,

Coordinates52°34′54″N 0°14′19″W / 52.58167°N 0.23872°W / 52.58167; -0.23872
MottoA Family Achieving Excellence[1][2]
Religious affiliation(s)Church of England
Established1541; 479 years ago (1541)
FounderHenry VIII
Department for Education URN136398 Tables
HeadmasterMr Darren Ayling
Age7 to 18
Number of students1200
PublicationThe Petriburgian Magazine

Founded by King Henry VIII, The King's (The Cathedral) School is a state-funded Church of England school located in Peterborough, England.

Although for centuries a boys-only grammar school, "Kings" is now mixed and has a Junior Department in Madeley House.[3][4] Madeley House was previously the home for boarders, and many cathedral choristers were boarders there; but now the school has day pupils only. On 1 January 2011, the school became an academy,[5] controversially abandoning its historic name, "King's School, Peterborough", and adopting a new title.[6]


King's School was founded by King Henry VIII in 1541 as the Cathedral School to educate 'twenty poor boys' and is one of seven established, re-endowed or renamed, during the dissolution of the monasteries for the education of "twenty poor boys". To this day the school maintains close links with Peterborough Cathedral. Until 1976 the school was a Church of England grammar school for around 450 boys. 1976 saw the school become both comprehensive and coeducational. Until 1997, however, there remained provision for boys to board. It is one of only three Anglican cathedral schools in the UK to be funded through the state system,[7] the other two being Bristol Cathedral Choir School and The Minster School[8][9] There are also two state-funded Roman Catholic choir schools: St Edward's College in Liverpool and the London Oratory.[10]

In the early sixties, under the headship of Dr C.M.Harrison,[11] the entire school would traipse up Park Road for morning service at All Saint's C-of-E church. School Inspectors declared this practice to be in contravention of the Education Act's requirement to hold the daily assembly on-site. Also in the 1960s, teaching included Saturday morning classes; and boarders were obliged to attend Sunday matins and/or evensong at the Cathedral.

Selective state school

Since 1976, King's School has been a co-educational state school with around 650 boys and girls. The school acquired Academy status on 1 January 2011 and thus became an independent school while still providing state funded education for all its pupils.[5] On entry to King's in Year 7 pupils are placed in one of 6 tutor groups, which change upon entry into the fourth year. The school's Junior Department opened in September 2011 for "key stage two" pupils (Ages 7 – 11), including cathedral choristers.[12]

King's was unusual in once being a grammar school that took boarders, all in School House.[13] Many boarders had parents in the Forces and or the Colonial Services; the very low fees[14] being more affordable than at public schools. The accommodation at 201/203 Park Road (which is now the Music School[15]) was affectionately known as "The Pig",[16] as it was said to have once been the "Pig & Whistle" pub. The building was originally called, and is once more known by those at the school as Madeley House,[15] after Madeley Manor in Shropshire,[17] the family home of Reverend Charles Richard Ball,[18] the original owner of the building.[17]

Being a state-funded academy, the school is allowed a degree of selection. Each year some 12 places are allocated according to an entry examination and three are allocated according to ability in music; so 12.5% of the school's annual intake is by selection. In addition, there are up to nine places for Cathedral choristers,[19] of both genders. As with all state schools, King's gives first priority to ensuring that all children in foster families[20] wanting a place at the school receive one.[citation needed] The remaining places are allocated to pupils according to a list of entry criteria, including religion,[19] siblings already attending the school, and geographical distance from the school.[21]

The King's School was recognised in June 1999 with the award of Beacon status;[5] and as of 21 March 2013, the school holds the Ofsted rating of Outstanding.[22] From 2006 to the present, The King's School has been the top-performing state school in the Peterborough local authority area for GCSE and A-Level results, with 91%+ of pupils achieving 5 or more passes at GCSE grades 9-4 (Old GCSE A*-C),[23][24] and an average of 1066.3 As/A-level points per pupil.[25]

Sixth Form

Almost 1200 pupils attend The King's School, of whom approximately 400 are in the Sixth Form,[5] for which there is a minimum examination qualification for internal entry of seven A*-C grades at GCSE level, of which three must be at grade B or above.[26] Given the school's high GCSE pass rate,[27] the majority of pupils proceed into the sixth form. External applicants to the sixth form must meet a set of criteria.[28] The school currently offers no vocational qualifications. The subjects available for study, at AS and A2 level, are:

  • Art
  • Business Studies
  • Classical Civilisations
  • Critical Thinking
  • Design and Technology (3d Design & Textiles Design)
  • Economics
  • English Language and Literature (single award)
  • English Literature
  • Geography
  • History
  • Languages (French and German)
  • Mathematics (and Further Maths)
  • Music
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics; plus Astronomy GCSE for Sixth Form pupils)
  • Sports Studies

A compulsory double lesson each fortnight named 'Learning for Life' is designed to prepare the pupil for the A Level examinations and for the UCAS application system to universities. All pupils are required to take General Studies A-level, unless timetable scheduling prevents this.[29] The school has a prefect system, comprising: Head Boy & Head Girl, House Captains & Vice House Captains, Senior Prefects,[30] and Prefects.


The school has four houses:[31] St. Chad's House (house colour red),[32] St. Oswald's House (house colour yellow),[32] St. Peter's House (house colour blue)[33] and School House (house colour green).[13] Two others, Tudor House (house colour was blue) and Thomson's House (house colour was purple), were abolished in 1976. Pupil allocation to houses is random, but siblings generally follow through the same House. When there was a boarding house, all boarders were members of School House.[13] Each house has two House Captains and four House Vice Captains,[31] as well as a House Master and/or House Mistress. Permanent teachers are also allocated to houses as "House Staff", although PE teachers, Music Teachers, Deputy Headmaster and the Headmaster are not allotted houses to maintain disinterest and avoid any bias.

House Music

"House Music" is an annual competitive event in which each house competes for a trophy by presenting four pieces of modern or traditional music, as follows:[34]

  • A Lower School Choir piece (Years 7-9 and for which there is a separate trophy)
  • An Orchestral piece (for which there is a separate trophy)
  • A Band piece (for which there is a separate trophy)
  • A Senior Choir piece (Years 10-13 and for which there is a separate trophy)
  • Finale (in which the entire house takes part and for which, as of 2016, there is a separate trophy)

The House Music event was originally held in the school hall. Growing numbers[clarification needed] led to the event being held next at The Broadway Theatre,[35] and in 2007 it moved again to KingsGate Community Church's building in Parnwell.

Histories of the School

An early history of The King's School was published in 1905 by A.F. Leach,[citation needed] a noted historian. This history ends in 1904 when E.S.T Badger was Headmaster.

In 1966, W.D. Larrett, a former deputy-headmaster, published 'A History of The King's School Peterborough'.[36] The account tells of the pre-reformation school, the foundation of King's by Henry VIII, and of the times when the school was close to bankruptcy and when some Headmasters felt obliged to resign. In 2005, the 1966 edition was restored and updated.

Notable alumni

Former pupils are known as Old Petriburgians.[37]


There has been an historic rivalry between King's pupils and the nearby Thomas Deacon Academy (formerly Deacon's School), the other old-established Peterborough school.

Peter Walker who became the Bishop of Ely in later life started his career as a teacher of classics at King′s in 1947.

A plaque commemorating the King's School pupils who died in action during World War I was placed in Flanders during an annual GCSE class trip to the Flanders battlefields in 2005.

The school retains an archive of documents charting the school's history and the lives of former King's School pupils who served in the World Wars. Also, there is a rare first-edition copy of Alice in Wonderland held in the school archives.

In 2003, Timothy Coldwell, a one-time Head of Physics, was convicted for downloading indecent images of children.[43]

In 2005, Gavin Lister, a P.E. teacher, was convicted of engaging in sexual activity with a girl between the ages of 13 and 15.[44]

In 2014, headmaster Gary Longman retired after 20 years in the position.[45] His successor was Darren Ayling, formerly Senior Deputy Head (Academic) at the Ipswich School in Suffolk.[46]

In 2014 Director of Music for 26 years, Nick Kerrison, left the King's School, to be organist at the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Kerrison's successor is Dr Martin Ratcliffe.

The school has had links with the Werner-Jaeger-Gymnasium Nettetal since 1976.[47]

In 2016 deputy headteacher, Trevor Elliot retired[48] after 40 years at Kings.[49] His replacements are: deputy headteacher (pastoral) Helen Birch, formerly assistant headteacher; and deputy headteacher (academic) Duncan Rhodes, from Portsmouth and Plymouth.

In 2017, Andrew Brown, former governor was convicted of possessing indecent images and films of children as young as 3. These included child abuse photos and video. Claimed a man who burgled his house placed the images on devices he had stolen in order to blackmail him. He was jailed for two years, however, did not serve his full sentence.[50]

The school is sometimes known as "KSP",[51][52] or simply "King's".


  1. ^ "The King's (The Cathedral) School Headteacher - Information for candidates" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2014.
  2. ^ "About Us".
  3. ^ Madeley House is also the home of the school's music department.
  4. ^ "200 invalid-request".
  5. ^ a b c d "The School's History".
  6. ^ "The King's School Peterborough". 5 February 2007. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ "=State Funded Choir Schools". Retrieved 14 June 2014.
  8. ^ The Minster School Homepage
  9. ^ The choir school of the Cathedral Church of Southwell Diocese: Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire.
  10. ^ "Schools, Cathedrals and Churches Archive".
  11. ^ Dr Harrison taught Latin and gave CofE confirmation classes. On his retirement, he was ordained into the church.
  12. ^ "Junior Department". The King's School Peterborough.
  13. ^ a b c "200 invalid-request".
  14. ^ In 1962, fees were £38 per term!
  15. ^ a b "200 invalid-request".
  16. ^ "Mr Elliott at the 'Pig'". Image.
  17. ^ a b "Madeley House History". Pinterest.
  18. ^ "Madeley: Manor and other estates". British History Online.
  19. ^ a b "Admissions Criteria for 2017 Entry" (PDF). The King's School Peterborough.
  20. ^ "Children in care".
  21. ^ "200 invalid-request".
  22. ^ "The King's (The Cathedral) School - Compare School Performance".
  23. ^ "Secondary school league tables in Peterborough 2013". BBC News.
  24. ^ "Secondary school league tables in Peterborough 2006". BBC News.
  25. ^ "Secondary school league tables in Peterborough". BBC News.
  26. ^ Sixth Form Prospectus, The King's School.
  27. ^ "The King's (The Cathedral) School Secondary (key stage 4) performance in 2016".
  28. ^ "Item Unavailable". The King's School.
  29. ^ Further Maths pupils cannot take GS for this reason
  30. ^ "Senior Prefects". King's School Peterborough.
  31. ^ a b "200 invalid-request".
  32. ^ a b "200 invalid-request".
  33. ^ "200 invalid-request".
  34. ^ "PERFORMANCE: Pupils are Kings of the stage". The Evening Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 15 October 2004.
  35. ^ "Peterborough Telegraph".
  36. ^ History of the King's School, Peterborough. ASIN 0954359569.
  37. ^ "200 invalid-request".
  38. ^ a b Lamy, Joel (24 July 2016). "School 'owes debt' to inspirational teacher". Peterborough Telegraph. Peterborough Today. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  39. ^ "CLAIM: Anger over 'scary city' jibe by star". Peterborough Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  40. ^ "Peterborough icon Peter Boizot to auction off artwork". Peterborough Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 12 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  41. ^ TulipMazumdar [@TulipMazumdar] (12 September 2014). "V special day! Invited back to present awards at my wonderful old school @KSP_News Well done all & thx for having me!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  42. ^ Collett, Amy (25 February 2011). "Tributes to MBE dad and loyal chorister Heaton Spires". Peterborough Telegraph. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  43. ^ David Sapsted (7 January 2003). "'Vendetta' saves porn teacher from jail". The Telegraph.
  44. ^ "COURT: 'I never thought it was a schoolgirl'". The Evening Telegraph. Peterborough Today. 26 February 2005.
  45. ^ "Inspirational King's School headteacher retires". Peterborough Today.
  46. ^ "King's School appoints new head teacher". Peterborough Today.
  47. ^ "40th Jubilee". School Website.
  48. ^ "Mr Elliott's Retirement". The King's School Peterborough.
  49. ^ "School 'owes debt' to inspirational teacher". Peterborough Telegraph.
  50. ^ "BREAKING: Former 'warped' governor of The King's School in Peterborough jailed for 'repugnant behaviour'". Peterborough Telegraph.
  51. ^ "Calendar (22/10/2015) - KSP Nettetal Exchange Group in Germany". The King's (The Cathedral) School. Archived from the original on 2 March 2016. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  52. ^ "@KSP_News - The King's (The Cathedral) School, Peterborough, official twitter feed - Joined May 2012". Retrieved 24 March 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 2 December 2020, at 04:47
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