Co-Education at King’s House School
Following the announcement in March 2023 that King’s House School will become co-educational, we are delighted to announce that girls will be able to join both Reception and Year 1 from September 2024. The Nursery remains co-ed, and all children in King’s House Nursery are offered a place in Reception.
This decision reflects the strong demand from current and prospective parents for a co-ed prep school in Richmond. We also appreciate that many parents value the practicalities of one school for all their children. King’s House Nursery has been co-ed since it opened in 2009, and we are delighted that girls will now be able to transition into Reception.
A nurturing environment, happiness and excellent pastoral care remain at the heart of our ethos, which is highly valued by the King’s House community. We will continue to foster a lifelong love of learning in a caring and supportive environment, where children feel secure and able to flourish. We have now started a preparation and refurbishment programme to realign our school infrastructure that will ensure all pupils benefit from excellent facilities at King’s House.
The first girls will join both Reception and Year 1 in September 2024, and co-education will then be phased in year-by-year. We are delighted to be extending our school community to girls and their parents, and look forward to meeting many families over the coming weeks. Helen Lowe, an educational consultant who was previously Head of the Junior Department at KHS before becoming Head of Bute House, continues to consult on the transition and support in a range of areas. Helen says:
“During my time at King’s House, parents would ask almost daily whether the school would consider going co-ed so that they could send their daughters there too. The opportunity for girls to continue on from the school’s Nursery has been long-awaited and is now being greeted with huge positivity.
As a passionate supporter of girls’ education, being asked to be involved with this significant change proved to me that the Head, Governors and staff were taking the move to co-education seriously. They are not interested in creating a school which is actually a boys’ school with a few girls along for the ride; they are determined to create a real co-educational experience for all their pupils.”
In the Autumn and Spring Terms our Opening Mornings will be held on the following dates. Book a place to hear more about our plans and meet staff and pupils.
- Friday 29 September 2023 – this event is now fully booked
- Friday 10 November 2023 – this event is now fully booked
- Friday 24 November 2023 – this event is now fully booked
- Friday 12 January 2024
- Friday 19 January 2024
- Friday 23 February 2024
- Friday 15 March 2024
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Why has this decision been made?
The Governing Board and Senior Management Team reached the decision for the school to become co-ed following extensive research and much consideration. This change has been led by parent demand, and we have experienced a strong desire for co-education from both current and prospective families over many years.
King’s House Nursery has been co-educational since it opened in 2009, and this move will now allow girls in the Nursery to stay on at the school. Both boys and girls will have the opportunity to benefit from all that a King’s House education has to offer. We will be able to better serve the needs of the local community, becoming the only co-ed prep school in Richmond. We also appreciate that many parents value the practicalities of all their children being in one school.
Following the announcement in March 2023 that girls would be able to join Reception for the first time in September 2024, we received a high level of demand for girls to join the school earlier, and in other year groups. Therefore, we are delighted that in August 2023 the Governing Board approved the decision to expand the first co-ed intake to also admit girls into Year 1 in September 2024.
The changes needed for Reception and Year 1 to become co-ed are very similar. This includes updates to sport, facilities, uniform, the curriculum, resources and policies; you can read more about our progress in the relevant FAQs below. Furthermore, Reception and Year 1 have timetable similarities, including break times and assemblies, allowing for more girls in these year groups to interact with each other.
Will other year groups also become co-ed?
Whilst there are no current plans to admit girls into older years, some are natural entry points (e.g., 7+, 8+ and 11+) and could be considered for girls to join further up the school. We will keep parents informed of any plans to do this and ask that any prospective parents interested in this contact admissions.
What changes are being made?
The first girls will join King’s House School in Reception and Year 1 in September 2024, and co-education will then be phased in year-by-year. As a mixed ability inclusive school, girls and boys in King’s House Nursery are guaranteed a place in Reception. No changes are being made in the Nursery.
How will co-education impact my child’s life at school?
Children in Year 1 and above in the 2023-24 academic year will continue to be taught in a boys’ only setting and will notice very few changes. The current Reception cohort in 2023-24 will remain boys’ only until September 2024, when girls will be able to join. Children currently in the Nursery will now continue to be in co-ed classes throughout their time at King’s House.
A nurturing environment, happiness and excellent pastoral care remain at the heart of our ethos and the King’s House community, and our pupils will continue to receive this. We believe any cultural change in the Junior and Senior Departments as a result of co-education will be for the better, with boys and girls learning from each other in an inclusive environment in preparation for a modern world. Our boys will continue to receive the same level of excellent sporting provision and participation in team sports that they currently experience.
How will the move to co-education impact on academics and the curriculum?
King’s House will remain a mixed-ability inclusive school, with all children in the Nursery being offered a place in Reception. There is no formal assessment to join at these entry points. We are proud of our broad and balanced curriculum which allows each child to develop holistically, and this will continue as a co-ed school. As part of our planning and preparation we are conducting an audit of our curriculum to ensure we continue to support the needs of all pupils, enabling them to reach their potential.
How will the move to co-education impact on extra-curricular provision?
We are continually reviewing our programme of extra-curricular activities to ensure that all children are catered for, and that the widest possible range of activities is available to all pupils. For example, in September 2023 dance and gymnastics are being offered for the first time, and there are plans for a cookery club to begin in January 2024. Provision of clubs is currently driven by pupil interest, and this will be the same as girls move through the school. Current extra-curricular activities can be viewed here. We are particularly interested to hear from parents on additional ideas for clubs which they think their children may enjoy and benefit from.
How will sport be impacted, and which sports will be available for girls?
We believe in ‘sport for all’, and this philosophy will continue as we expand the range of sporting opportunities available. Pupils will continue to take part in a wide range of activities in their PE lessons, ensuring that they have the skills needed to access and play all the key team sports.
We are committed to providing a high level of competitive sport for boys and girls, and over the coming months preparations will be made to ensure that we offer the best possible range of team sports. King’s House School Sports Ground already has excellent provision and facilities for girls’ sports.
From September 2023 dance will be part of the Junior Department PE curriculum, where pupils rotate on a carousel of sports, developing fundamental skills such as throwing and catching in fast-paced, fun PE lessons. From Year 3 pupils will rotate around mixed gender sports, including football, rugby, cricket, hockey, netball, tennis, and athletics.
Will school numbers and class sizes increase?
Class sizes will stay as they are at present. Total numbers at the school are dependent on a number of factors and are not predicated on moving to co-education.
Will the move to co-education reduce the number of places available for boys?
Currently, around half of the Reception class is made up of boys from King’s House Nursery, and half from external joiners. As girls will now be able to move up from the Nursery and be guaranteed a place in Reception, we anticipate that the number of places available to boys, and external starters to Reception, will decrease slightly over time.
What will the girl to boy ratio be?
In September 2024, we expect the ratio in Reception to be 1:3 girls to boys. We anticipate that this will naturally increase to a 50:50 ratio over the coming years in the Nursery and School.
Will King’s House move from a 13+ to 11+ prep school?
There are no current plans to move from 13+ to 11+, although the Board remains committed to listening to parents and reviewing societal and market trends and conditions. Whilst many girls’ London day schools start at 11+, and we will support girls in this process, we hope to also provide an option for those families considering 13+ entry for their children to either day or boarding schools.
How will girls be supported when choosing a senior school?
King’s House will provide the same excellent advice and care for girls as our boys currently receive when choosing a senior school. Historically, most girls transition to senior school aged 11, and we anticipate that this will also be the case at King’s House. We will support them in this transition as we do with our current boys, starting at the future schools evening in Year 4. Helen Lowe will be assisting in this area of the move, helping to build relationships with girls’ senior schools.
We already enjoy good relationships with the wide range of co-ed schools our boys move on to at 11 and 13, including KCS, Ibstock Place, Harrodian, Emanuel and Kingston Grammar School. Over the next few years, we will be improving our relationships with girls’ schools. We anticipate that these London day schools may include, amongst others, Putney High School, Surbiton High School, LEH, St Paul’s Girls’ School, Wimbledon High School and Godolphin and Latymer.
More information on our leavers’ destinations can be found here.
Will the pupils still do Common Entrance, and how will you teach 11+ and 13+ in the same classes?
Whether pupils are looking to move on at 11+ or 13+, they need the same preparation and work throughout Years 5 and 6. The pre-tests for 13+ departure are run at the same time as those for 11+ and cover the same subjects and topics.
Pupils in Year 8 will continue, for the time being, to be prepared for and to sit Common Entrance as their end of prep school exams. Common Entrance is now rarely a requirement for senior school entry.
Will any changes to staffing be needed?
Our current staff team is extremely experienced in teaching both boys and girls. All of our Nursery Practitioners currently teach both boys and girls, and our specialist Computing, Drama, French, PE and Music teachers also already teach children in the Nursery. Over 90% of our teachers have previously taught girls in a co-ed or single-sex environment, with many years’ experience. Over the next few years, we envision appointing a Head of Girls’ Sport to assist in this development.
What will the girls’ uniform be?
We are currently working with Stevensons to finalise the girls’ uniform, and the image here shows this. The uniform will be available to order from Stevensons from December 2023. Serious Stuff will provide the girls’ PE and Games kit, and most of these items will be unisex. Proposed designs can be viewed here.
Will any changes to facilities be needed?
We have now started a preparation and refurbishment programme to realign our school infrastructure, so that we can welcome girls into the Junior Department in 2024 and bring to fruition our plans to develop the school estate for the benefit of all staff and pupils.
During the 2023 summer holidays, the Nursery playgrounds and Senior Department lobby were refurbished, alongside minor updates to the Junior Department. During the 2024 Easter and summer holidays toilets will be developed where needed. King’s House School Sports Ground already provides first class sports facilities for both boys and girls.
How will you manage break and lunch times?
As is currently in place, there will be designated areas for sports and other activities, with rotas for each year group. Various clubs and activities will continue to be on offer at break times, with a mix of quiet areas and space for sports activities.