Life beyond the School Gate

Search News


Follow Us


To view the presentation from the Senior Information evening click here:
Senior Information Evening presentation Nov 2017


This article is adapted from a recent speech I made to KHS parents – designed to give a valuable insight about our move here through to Seniors and to further understand how an education at Kingswood House will prepare boys for life beyond the school gate, in the volatile world of the 21st Century, and give them the very best platform to become happy, confident young men who will make a positive contribution to society.

So – why choose Kingswood House?

We have a deeply-rooted philosophy of treating each boy as an individual, of helping them realise their potential and achieving more than they think is possible. This is not some vacuous mission statement collecting dust in a drawer. It is alive, real and acted upon each and every day.

Our average class size is twelve. This is nearly 50% smaller than many other independent schools, let alone those schools in the maintained sector. You just will not find that ratio anywhere else.

Our team of teaching and support staff are hugely ambitious for our pupils and hungry for them to succeed. The energy and passion for them to do well is contagious. We are one of the very best schools at imbuing academic value to each boy, based on our tracking from the time they join us, adding, in many instances, more than a whole grade to their predicted GCSE results across a range of subjects.

Essentially, we hold a belief that whilst grades are important, they will not solely define a Kingswood House boy. Our boys will also be recognisable for their soft skills, natural leadership and generosity of spirit. We are proud to offer a genuinely rounded education. One which will inspire the boys to grow in confidence in the classroom and to grow in character outside of it.

Every decision we make at this school is rooted firmly in the best interests of the pupils. To that end, we are more committed to times tables than league tables!

Our Senior years will offer all the benefits of prep school support but with a forward-thinking programme of study, incorporating the very latest thinking, including a hands-on business and enterprise module in Year 9 and a Cambridge ICLT diploma.

Our currency is character and self-esteem – confidence is the bedrock for the very best learning and a happy child will achieve, almost by osmosis, because they will engage and show a natural avid curiosity. You can have the best facilities, the best teachers and the best resources – but if a boy is distracted, anxious or sad – they will not learn. This is, fundamentally, a really happy and inclusive school.

We prepare our boys to meet the demands of a rapidly changing world, both the real one – and an even more dangerous virtual one. We will equip our boys with the emotional tools and mental faculties to negotiate difficult decisions and dilemmas, to handle different people and pressures – and to carry themselves with dignity and pride through adversity. They will understand that their skills can be developed with time and work; that new challenges are an opportunity, not a threat; that failure is not a finality – rather a necessary pathway for progress.

Artificial Intelligence poses a frightening, but very real, threat to the livelihoods of our pupils. The chances are, last time you were on a plane, it was flown by a computer. Many hospital operations are now conducted electronically to minimise human error. Robots have already defeated their human counterparts, even world champions, at any game you would care to mention – including strategic games like Chess or Monopoly and even ones requiring an emotionally intelligent response like Jeopardy.

It is already predicted, conservatively, that by the time many of our children enter the workplace, robots will have the capability of doing every job just as well as, or better than, human beings. Consequently, it is estimated that over 80% of professions that are around now…may not even exist as a potential career anymore in ten or twenty years’ time. So, many children will probably end up doing jobs, with new technologies and disciplines, that have not been created yet.

This really got me thinking about what kind of education is actually needed for our future generations – it should get you thinking too – how can schools give their pupils a decent head-start?

Shouldn’t the independent sector be leading on this – now? Well, here at Kingswood House, we are being proactive in this respect.

The answer, I believe, is for schools to actively instil in the children of today the skills they will need to be successful tomorrow. It’s about a school being prepared to say: “We place as great an emphasis on character, values and preparation for life beyond the school gate as we do academic attainment.”

I receive so many glowing comments about our boys when they are on trips, at matches and especially when taking visitors on a tour. One set of recent prospective parents said, “They shine with obvious pride in their school” – is it not exactly this sort of transferable life skill that pupils should be acquiring now?

Surely, the effort spent securing academic grades is completely pointless, even redundant, if they lack the charisma, empathy or humour to make a lasting impression?

If you are an employer, how many times have you seen a great CV only to be disappointed when a candidate fails to live up to it?

It is my ambition for every boy here to have a strong CV moving forward, a real platform for them to shine, but ideally for them to supersede it in person, to have a real presence and gravitas, which will live long in the memory.

So, please consider that our Senior years are concerned with preparing Kingswood House boys for an education for life.

We will not make rash promises that we cannot keep  – but we will listen, and work in partnership with parents, as we develop Kingswood House for the future.

We will not settle for short-term, short-cuts at the expense of long-term gains for our boys.

We will invest every penny of profit, what we call surplus, back into the fabric, buildings and staffing of the school to make it an exemplar of best practice.

We will ensure that each boy realises his full potential in and out of the classroom. They will leave us as grounded, rounded and exceptional young men who are equipped with the tools they will need to make a ‘positive difference’ to society.

That is how, and where, and why, our educational philosophy at Kingswood House will make a life-long difference to your sons.

Mr Duncan Murphy

Back to the blog