Kent College (Canterbury)
What it's like
Founded in 1885 and acquired in 1920 by the Board of Management for Methodist Residential Schools, it stands on a fine site overlooking the city of Canterbury. The junior school at Vernon Holme is a mile away. The main campus comprises about 20 acres, with additional playing fields nearby. There is a school farm of around 90 acres on the beautiful Moat Park estate, incorporating an equine centre. The school is about a mile from the city centre and 4 miles from the sea. In recent years there have been major development programmes and the school is now very well equipped, including a floodlit all-weather pitch, multi-purpose sports hall and a new music centre. It is now a fully co-educational school; girls were first admitted in 1976. Pupils of all faiths and none are welcome but the school's Christian heritage underpins its aims and values. It has a well-developed pastoral system and a reputation as a friendly and welcoming school. A good general education is provided and examination results are consistently good; the IB diploma is now offered as an alternative to A-level. There is a range of sports and games and high standards are attained. A plentiful variety of clubs and societies for extra-curricular activities is available, including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Total age range 3-18; 611 pupils, 432 day (231 boys, 201 girls), 179 boarders (109 boys, 70 girls). Junior department 3-11, 155 pupils (85 boys, 70 girls). Senior department, 11-18; 456 pupils (255 boys, 201 girls). Entrance: Main entry ages 3, 5, 11, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam used. No special skills or religious requirements. Most pupils from own junior move to senior school.
Scholarships & bursaries
Scholarships available (academic, music, sport, art, drama and sixth form). Some bursaries available (up to 100% of fees). Forces allowance; sibling discounts.
Head & staff
Head Master: David Lamper, appointed 2007. Educated at King's College London (music). Previously Headmaster at The Crypt School, Gloucester, and taught at Dulwich College. Teaching staff: 63 full-time, 24 part-time.
GCSE: 48 pupils in Year 11, gaining at least grade C in an average of 9.3 subjects. A-levels: 60 in upper sixth. Those taking AS/A-levels gained an average final point score of 325. Those taking the IB gained an average of 37 IB points.
95% of sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course (15% after a gap year), 7% to Oxbridge. 5% take courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, 30% in science and engineering, 60% in humanities and social sciences, 5% in art, design and architecture. Others typically go on to art college or straight into careers.
GCSE, AS and A-levels and IB. 18 GCSE subjects, 22 AS/A-level. Sixth form: Most of those taking AS/A-levels take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3 at A-level. Others take the IB Diploma. Key skills taught; wider life skills also incorporated. School aims to cater for each pupil's combination of subjects with bespoke timetabling. Vocational: Work experience available. Vocational A-levels offered. Special provision: Dyslexia unit for pupils of sound ability. Languages: French (from age 6), German and Spanish (from 12) offered and at GCSE, AS and A-level. ICT: Taught both as a discrete subject and across the curriculum. All students are provided with a laptop from from Year 7. Wireless network across the whole school.
Music: Over 50% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Some 14+ musical groups including orchestras, jazz band, rock groups, string quartets, wind groups, madrigals, 3 choirs. Many grade 8 performers. Drama and dance: Both offered at GCSE and A-level; LAMDA qualifications may be taken. Many opportunities to perform; regular whole school productions. Art and design: On average, 23 take GCSE, 15 AS-level, 10 A-level. 3D-work, printmaking, craft and design offered as extra-curricular activities. Students enter internal and external competitions and take part in Arts Week.
Sports & activities
Hockey, netball, tennis, athletics are main sports for girls; rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis, athletics for boys. 15+ other sports including squash, judo, rowing, fencing, sailing, orienteering, yoga. Emphasis on participation at all levels. 3 hockey internationals (1 boy, 2 girls) and 2 girls cross-country; many recent county and regional representatives at rugby, hockey, cross-country and cricket (boys), netball, hockey, cross-country and tennis (girls); regular county, regional and national champions in variety of team sports. Also bronze and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award (involving large numbers; up to 20 training for gold, 35 for bronze); community service; school farm and equine centre offers activities and experience with livestock. Up to 50 clubs, eg literature, debating, photography, horse-riding, bridge, judo.
Houses and prefects: Prefects appointed by Head Master; head of house and house prefects by housemaster/mistress. Religion: Methodist. Social: Learning outside the classroom is encouraged (fieldtrips, museum and gallery visits, trips to battlefield, exchanges); wide variety of trips abroad including music (eg to Italy), sports (eg to Barbados, China), skiing (USA, Italy), sixth-form trips (to eg Prague, Paris), Methodist World Aims (Guatemala, Cameroon), Duke of Edinburgh (US, New Zealand).
Upper sixth in single rooms, others in doubles. Single-sex houses. Unlimited exeats. Visits to the local town at weekends age 7-15, plus mid-week from age 16.
Association of former pupils
Old Canterburian Club, run by Carol Baker (cabaker @kentcollege.co.uk)
Chris Albertson (American jazz historian); Thomas Godfrey Evans (England cricketer); Christopher Fairbank (actor − Auf Wiedersehen, Pet); John Redwood and Natascha Engel (politicians); Tacita Dean (visual artist); David Eades (journalist ); Guy Berryman (bass player for Coldplay); Simon Scarrow (author); Anthony Scrivener, QC; Ptolemy Dean, (architect).