King Edward VI School Stratford-upon-Avon: Wikis


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King Edward VI Grammar School
Established 13th century, refounded in 1553
Type Voluntary aided grammar
Headmaster Mr T. P. Moore-Bridger
Founder King Edward VI
Specialism Humanities
Location Church Street/Chapel lane
CV37 6HB
England England
LEA Warwickshire County Council
Ofsted number 125752
Staff 32 full-time teachers, 12 part-time
Students 518
Gender Boys
Ages 11 to 18
Colours Blue and yellow          
Coordinates: 52°11′24″N 1°42′27″W / 52.19°N 1.7075°W / 52.19; -1.7075

King Edward VI School (commonly shortened to KES) is a single sex grammar school for Boys in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. The poet and playwright William Shakespeare may have attended KES (no direct evidence of this survives), leading to the label of "Shakespeare's School."





There has been an educational facility on the site since at least the early thirteenth century. The school was given money and a regular income from the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Trust, which gained a charter, refounding the school, from King Edward VI nine days before he died in 1553.[1]

While there is no evidence to support the claim, the playwright and poet William Shakespeare is believed to have attended the school between the ages of seven to fourteen.[2] This is believed likely, as his father, John Shakespeare, a glover and wool dealer of good standing, held the office of Bailiff of the Borough in 1568 and William would have, therefore, been entitled to a free place at the school.

Each year, the school's students lead a procession through the town to Holy Trinity Church, where they lay flowers at Shakespeare's grave. In 2003, there were many celebrations for the 450th anniversary of the school's charter.

Specialist status

In March 2006 the school was granted a specialist Humanities College status, emphasizing on English, Drama and Classics.


There is a wide variety of architectural styles on the site ranging from the fifteenth century Big School to the multi-purpose Levi Fox Hall, built in 1997.

The old part of the school is still in use. The Guild Hall on the ground floor, where the Town Council of Shakespeare's time met, is currently used as a library, as is the other Council Chamber on the first floor. The second first floor room, known as Big School, is the room in which William Shakespeare is believed to have been taught and is still used for school assemblies and some classes, although it is not ideal as a teaching room due to the poor heating and ancient desks. The building known as Pedagogue's House across the courtyard currently houses the school office and the Headmaster's office as well as the recently founded archive and Deputy Headmaster's Office. Pedagogue's House is attached to The Old Vicarage, where the Headmaster lives. There is also the Guild Chapel, founded by the Guild of the Holy Cross, it is currently used by the school for assemblies and various other school events, such as the annual carol service.

Many of the buildings of the main part of the school, the SH block, date from the 1930s. The newest part of the school is the Science Block which has two chemistry, two biology and three ICT Rooms, the second newest is the Levi Fox Hall, which is mostly used for sport, assemblies, school plays, concerts and exams. The Levi Fox Hall was named after the chair of Governors at the time of its construction. Within this facility, there are also three music practice rooms.

Building of new science and ICT blocks was due to start in September 2006 but was delayed. It started in March 2007. The Science Block was completed in the first half of Lent Term 2008 and the keys handed over to the school. It was formally opened in June 2008. The old science labs have been restored and are now in use as three English rooms, one French room, one German room and one Spanish room.


KES is a completely selective school: to enter the school, all students must pass a selective exam, primarily the eleven plus, which is taken in Year 6 (ages 10 and 11) across Warwickshire. KES is a brother school to Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls and in the Sixth Form students can attend classes at either school in some subjects. Unlike the Girls' Grammar, however, it is a voluntary aided school, drawing extra funds from other sources.

Student life


The school has flourishing sporting, music and drama departments. The school's rugby team is very successful and have an impressive Daily Mail Cup Record (Winners 1992/3, Quarter Finalists on two occasions and in 2008/09 Vase Semi Finalists). It also goes on annual international tours the most recent being the 2008 tour to Argentina. The annual rugby match against Warwick School is well attended. Students also fence, do athletics, rowing, play hockey, basketball, badminton, table tennis and volleyball. Fencing has recently re-emerged as a more popular sport at the school, with wins from pupils at several major fencing tournaments.


The music department holds termly concerts with the King Eddie's Revival Big Band being featured. The band has played at the prestigious 100 Club, Oxford Street, London. The band Pull Tiger Tail (formerly Antihero) attended KES and became alumni in 2001, as can be seen the school produces a high pedigree of musical talent. The school also puts on an annual play. 2005's production was Unman, Wittering and Zigo. 2006's production was Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale. 2007's production was an adaption for the stage of Simon Armitage's The Odyssey. 2008 saw a performance of The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui.

Students take part in a variety of other competitions and events, including the Warwickshire Mock Magistrates and Mock Bar court trials, Young Enterprise (year 12) , Bank of England Target Two Point Zero Challenge (early year 13), as well as other debating and public speaking competitions.


The school is currently led by the Headmaster, Mr. Timothy Moore-Bridger MA Cantab, and the Head of Governors, Prof. Ronnie Mulryne. The Head Boy, elected by the boys of the Lower Sixth and teachers is currently Maxwell Petitjean with deputies David Arnold, Jamie Huyton and Alex Mills. There is also a team of similarly elected prefects, currently: James Allanson, Alex Anthony, Alex Beaumont, Joe Emslie, Jack Fielding, Owen Hibberd, Alex Holmes, Elliot Jennings, Jordan Muhs, Tom Shearsby.


In 1921, the headmaster, the Rev. Cecil Knight, implemented the setting up of six houses to promote healthy competition amongst the boys. This number was reduced to four houses in 1924: Shakespeare, Flower (after Charles Flower, a benefactor of the school in the 1890s), Warneford, and De La Warr (Earl Delawarr was High Steward of Stratford in the 1850s). The house system was altered in 1973 and just two houses established – King’s (blue) and Guild (gold) – in recognition of the historic benefactors of the school. In 2000 the number of boys at the school meant that more houses were needed to make true competition possible, and so four houses were re-introduced. These were named after people who had made a large contribution in the life of the school during the twentieth century. The houses are Dyson (Red), Fitzmaurice (Blue), Spender (Purple) and Warneford (Green). Dennis Dyson was physics and astronomy teacher at the school from 1926 through to his retirement at the age of 71 in 1975 - he continued to assist the school well into his nineties; Robert Fitzmaurice was a pupil of the school who left in 1912 and served with the Royal Engineers in the First World War, being invalided home in 1918 - he later became an engineer; Richard Spender was an old boy and poet who was killed assaulting German machine-gun positions in 1944; and Reginald Warneford was an old boy who was the first naval airman to receive the Victoria Cross. He was killed in a flying accident in 1915. The houses are headed by four teachers and take part in a competition each year to win the house trophy. This trophy is often hotly contested and has been won by Fitzmaurice for the last six years.

School Council

There is a School Council, consisting of elected members from each year group, and a Sixth Form Committee, consisting of members of the sixth form, which provide a voice for the students in many different aspects of the running of the school. There is also an ICT Committee to develop ICT use at the school. This is very similar in format to the School Council.

Notable alumni

See also


External links


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