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King`s School Rochester
Satis House, Boley Hill, ME1 1TE, UK Rochester
+44 (0)1634-888555

King's School Rochester

King's is the oldest choir school and the second oldest school in the world.

  • King's is located in the centre of the historic city of Rochester, nestling amidst the tranquil setting of the Cathedral precincts, and in the shadow of a castle which boasts one of the finest Norman keeps in the country.
  • The name of 'King's School' dates from the Reformation, when, in 1541, King Henry VIII reconstituted the Cathedral Foundation after the dissolution of the Monastery; although there has been a school on the Cathedral Foundation since 604 AD.
  • King Henry appointed a Dean and Chapter, a full choral establishment and 'twenty scholars to be taught Grammar', together with a Headmaster and Undermaster of the Cathedral Grammar School.
  • A turning point in the later history of the School occurred in 1842, with the appointment of the Reverend Robert Whiston as Headmaster. At the beginning of his term of office, a new school room was built which still survives as part of Main School. Whiston was a man of strong convictions and his campaign for the rights of King's Scholars led him into conflict with the Dean and Chapter of his day. The whole story formed the plot for Trollope's novel 'The Warden'.
  • A scheme for the administration of the School was made and sealed at the Court of Windsor in 1877 and this, with its amendments, forms the current Instrument of Government of the School; thus the School took its place in the setting of nineteenth century Public Schools.
  • In 1909, the Headmaster of the day was elected to the Headmasters' Conference, at which the School has been represented ever since.
  • The last fifty years have seen the school grow in both size and stature: there are currently over 700 pupils from 3 - 18 years of age on the school roll.
  • The School is part of the Cathedral Foundation. The Bishop is the Patron and the Dean and Chapter form part of the Governing Body.


The Nursery Class

  • Places in the Nursery Class are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
  • Children attend on a sessional basis.
  • Children can enter the Nursery Class in the September after their third birthday.

The Pre-Preparatory School

  • Entry into the Pre-Preparatory School, follows an interview with the parents and a short and simple discussion/assessment with the child.
  • Pre-Preparatory School pupils enter the School in the September after their fourth birthday.

The Preparatory School

  • Pupils from the Pre-Preparatory School move into the Preparatory School at the age of eight.
  • Children from other schools can enter the Preparatory School at any age, following an interview with both the parents and child, and the submission of the child's current school report.
  • Tests in English, Mathematics and Non-Verbal Reasoning are undertaken.
  • Examinations for places the following September are held twice a year, usually in November and March.
  • Cathedral Choristers
    • Voice tests for potential Cathedral Choristers are held - by appointment - for boys who will be eight in the September of entry to the School.
    • Boys recommended by Rochester Cathedral's Director of Music are tested academically for admission to the Preparatory School.
    • A choristership continues throughout the period of the boy's membership of the Choir.
    • A Cathedral Chorister is well placed to secure a Music Scholarship to the Senior School at 13+.

The Senior School

  • Pupils from the Preparatory School move into the Senior School at 13+, on the basis of their Year 8 examination results.
  • Children from the independent sector are admitted following Common Entrance examinations.
  • Children from the maintained sector, are admitted following the King's School's Entrance Examinations.
  • The Sixth Form
    • Pupils join the Sixth Form on the basis of their GCSE results, interview and school report.
    • In the Lower Sixth Form, pupils study for four, and occasionally more, AS subjects.
    • In the Upper Sixth Form, pupils may continue with three, and occasionally more, subjects to A2 Level. (It should be noted that for the foreseeable future, universities will make offers based on three full A Levels).
    • In addition to their academic studies, pupils in the Lower Sixth Form follow General Studies courses designed to complete their education.


The School is situated within the conservation area of historic Rochester, close to both the Norman Castle and Cathedral.

Many of the School buildings are Victorian or Georgian and Grade 1 or II listed.

The listed buildings are complemented by a modern infrastructure, as befits a school at the cutting edge of 21st century education.

Although close to the centre of the town, an atmosphere of seclusion and privacy pervades the campus.

The School enjoys extensive sports facilities, with large playing fields both on the Alps and the Paddock. The two sports halls/gymnasia provide a weight training room, cricket nets, netball and badminton courts. The millennium project saw the completion of a twenty five metre indoor swimming pool. The modern boathouse on the Medway and the shooting range are both within easy reach.

The Nursery Class

  • The nursery building includes a 'work' room, a playroom, a large playground and a study.

The Pre-Preparatory School

  • The pupils of the Pre-Preparatory School are housed in a state-of-the- art teaching block - Chadlington House.
  • Chadlington House provides nine classrooms, a library, computer suite, large sports hall, and a safe, enclosed playground.

The Preparatory School

  • The Preparatory School facilities comprise twelve light, airy classrooms, two laboratories, a two story library, an Information Communication Technology suite and a playground.

The Senior School

  • The Senior school campus forms the nucleus of the School, centred around the castle and cathedral.
  • In addition to a large number of classrooms, pupils are taught in the three laboratories, the large Information Communication Technology suite, the Craft, Design and Technology centre, the language laboratory, and the art and music departments; there are two sports halls/ gymnasia available; there is also a large hall for public assemblies and performance. An extensive library is available for study and private reading. A Sixth Form Centre provides high quality facilities for older pupils.


Boarding is available for boys and girls from the age of 11 (Year 7).

About 10% of King's pupils are boarders. Everything is done to provide the best possible "home from home" environment.

  • Full-time, weekly and flexi-boarding are possible.
  • To cater for the pupils' needs, each house is under the care of a Housemaster/Housemistress who is supported by two tutors and a houseparent.
  • The Nursing Sister is available during the school day, and a National Health Service doctor is on 24-hour call.
  • Close liaison with parents and guardians is encouraged or visits made by arrangement at any appropriate time.
  • Both Houses have a core of British pupils and a good balance of pupils from a number of other nationalities.
  • Potential overseas pupils complete test papers and a recent school report and reference is required before admission. King's is an academic school, and particular care is taken in assessing each pupil's standard of English to ensure that it is appropriate for his or her year group. All pupils follow a full curriculum and entry is possible at all ages, including after GCSE/IGCSE examinations.
  • A strong specialist department provides support in order that overseas pupils may improve their English language skills.
  • It is a condition of entry that all overseas pupils have a nominated guardian who is resident in this country; it is possible for this arrangement to be made through the School. No pupil will be admitted until the guardianship form has been received.
  • An activities programme is provided for boarders in the evenings and at weekends.


The academic, sporting, dramatic and musical aspects of school life are complemented by a raft of activities designed to provide as wide an education as possible.

Attendance at a selection of activities/clubs is considered an important extension of any child's school experience, at any age.

The Pre-Preparatory School

  • Pupils from Year 2 (6+) upwards may join two after school clubs each term.
  • Clubs vary each year but recent clubs have included : art/craft, chess, dance/drama, football, recorders, and swimming.

The Preparatory School

  • In the Preparatory School, over 20 extra curricular activities are on offer each week between 4.00p.m. and 5.00 p.m.

The Senior School

  • In the Senior School, the Combined Cadet Force (Army, Navy and Air Force Sections), the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and Hands (social work in the community), all take place on a Friday afternoon.
  • Clubs and societies from chess to Information Communication Technology, classics to debating, science to photography etc. provide a rich compendium of activities.

primary schools in Rochester, secondary schools in Rochester, schools in Rochester

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