King Henry VIII
What it's like
Founded in 1545 to educate able Coventry boys, girls were first admitted in 1975 and the school is now fully co-educational. It moved to an 11 acre urban site just minutes from the railway station in 1885, so pupils come from the surrounding towns of Warwick, Balsall Common, Leamington, Kenilworth and Nuneaton. The buildings are an imposing example of Victorian collegiate Tudor, to which there have been many additions including a new art complex, drama studio, sports hall, library and most recently a swimming pool and fitness suite. The prep school has its own building on the same site. Although a Christian school, pupils of other faiths are welcomed. A strong commitment to academic learning is reflected in very good examination results. Pupils are also encouraged to take part extra-curricular activities including a variety of sports played at county, regional and national levels, music, drama, Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme, public speaking and debating.
Pupils & entrance
Pupils: Age range 3 -18, 1132 day pupils (621 boys, 511 girls). Junior department 3-11, 270 pupils (201 boys, 69 girls). Senior department 11-18, 862 pupils (420 boys, 442 girls). Entrance: Main entry ages 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 and 16. Own entrance exam at 11. For sixth form entry, demonstrable academic potential is sought (usually GCSE grade A in sixth form subjects). 40% of senior intake from state schools (plus 15% of new sixth formers); 52% from own prep school.
Scholarships & bursaries
Scholarships awarded at age 8, 11, 13 and 16. Those at age 8 last for 3 years (10% of fees); 15 pa at 11 for English, maths, music, art, general excellence and 1 pa general at age 13 (value 10%-17% of fees); at 16 for academic, sport and music (value 25%-50%). Bursaries available, on the basis of entrance examination and parental income. 30% of all students receive some form of financial assistance. Parents not expected to buy textbooks.
Head & staff
Headmaster: Jason Slack appointed 2010. Educated at Durham University (physics) and Open University (educational management). Previously Deputy Head at Queen Elizabeth (Wakefield). Teaching staff: 68 full time, 18 part time. Average age 38.
GCSE: 120 pupils in Year 11, all gained at least grade C in 5+ subjects (including English, maths and science). A Level: 110 in upper sixth, passing an average of 4+ subjects with a final point score of 391.
Over 90% of sixth form leavers go on to degree courses (13% after a gap year), 15% to Oxbridge. 15% take courses in medicine, dentistry or veterinary science, 36% in science and engineering, 14% in law, 30% in humanities and social sciences, 4% in languages. Others typically go straight into employment.
GCSE, AS and A-levels. 24 GCSE subjects, 25 at AS/A-level. Sixth form: most sixth formers take 4 subjects at AS-level, 3+ at A-level. 35% take science A-levels; 21% arts/humanities; 44% both. Most also take key skills and critical thinking. Vocational: Work experience available in sixth form. Languages: French, German, Spanish, Latin and Greek offered at GCSE and A-level. Regular visits abroad (France, Spain and Germany). ICT: All take OCR National Course. 350 computers for pupil use, all networked and with email and internet access.
Music: Up to 25% of pupils learn a musical instrument; instrumental exams can be taken. Many musical groups including orchestras, choirs, ensembles. Drama: Drama offered; A-level drama and theatre studies may be taken. Many pupils involved in school and house/other productions. Recent productions include Les Miserables, The Winter's Tale and Return to the Forbidden Planet. Art and design: On average, 35 take GCSE, 20 A-level. Painting and drawing, graphic design, printing, 3D design and sculpture, mixed media and surface decoration offered. Each year pupils go on to take art foundation courses.
Sports & activities
Sport: Rugby, cricket and hockey compulsory for boys; netball, tennis, rounders for girls; also athletics, cross-country, orienteering, PE, dance, health-related fitness. Other options available in the sixth form. County, regional and national successes most years, particularly in rugby, cricket, athletics, hockey and netball. Activities: Pupils take bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Community service optional as part of DoE. Over 30 clubs including Amnesty, chess, IT, Christian Union, maths, drama, sports clubs.
Uniform: school uniform worn; dress code in sixth form. Houses and prefects: competitive houses. Head boy, head girl, prefects, head of house and house prefects, appointed by sixth form and staff. Religion: Christian foundation, non-denominational assemblies. Social: foreign language exchanges. All pupils spend at least one week at the school's house in Normandy. Pupils allowed to bring own bike to school, sixth formers can bring cars. Meals self-service. School shop on neighbouring site.
Aims to promote self-discipline and self-esteem. Emphasis is placed upon individuals taking responsibility for themselves and others.
Association of former pupils
Run by Mr J B Vent, c/o the school
Philip Larkin (poet); Paul Daniels (ENO conductor); Ian Hobson (winner Leeds piano competition); Roger Harrabin (BBC journalist); Prof Colin Blakemore (Oxford physiologist); Robin Birch (Age Concern).