Are you looking into King’s College School for the next step in your son’s education? Find out everything you need to know about the 11 plus admissions process, and how to help your son succeed.
King’s College School, or KCS, is an independent day school for boys aged 7-18 and girls aged 16-18 in Wimbledon. Since its foundation in 1829, King’s College has strived for, and achieved, academic excellence.
King’s College is a forward-thinking and innovative community with a love of learning at its heart. In 2020 KCS won the Sunday Times title of “Top boys or co-ed independent school” for the third consecutive year. King’s College is proud to offer both International Baccalaureate and A Level to its co-educational sixth form. Admission to King’s College is highly competitive, considering its outstanding results when it comes to higher education and university admissions. In 2019, 96% of GCSEs achieved at Grade 9, 8 or 7 (A*-A), while 57% achieved at Grade 9. In the same year, 80% of A Levels were achieved at A* or A, while 56% of IBs were achieved at a Grade 7. Of the 2020 leavers, 20% went on to study at Oxbridge.
King’s College is known for high academic status and exceptional exam results. That level of success usually goes hand in hand with a “hothouse” reputation – a combination that KCS isn’t immune to. Despite the academic pressure that the boys face, King’s College is also widely known for its kindness and community spirit. The school is keen to foster a nurturing, friendly environment, particularly in the lower school. Andrew Halls has served as the Headmaster at King’s College since 2008.
The main entry points at King’s College are 7+, 8+ 11+, 13+ and 16+. There are over 1,400 pupils aged 7-18, with around 950 pupils occupying the senior school. King’s College’s passion and commitment to co-curricular activities is tangible from the highly invested in sports, music and drama facilities. Extended lunch breaks on Tuesdays and Thursdays are filled with a vast range of clubs. Additionally, the whole of Friday afternoon is given over to the pursuit of co-curricular activities. This provides a welcome rest from the academic rigours of the week and present pupils with new challenges. During this time, pupils can attend a wide variety of clubs including baking, engineering, bridge, international affairs and Dungeons and Dragons.
Students can enjoy the new sports centre with a six-court sports hall, strength and conditioning suites and 25m swimming pool; the sports ground at Kingsway with cricket nets, two astroturf hockey pitches and six grass pitches; an on-site cricket pitch and pavilion. The more musically inclined are welcome to explore the state of the art music school featuring a 210 seater concert hall. King’s drama has developed a national reputation for its outstanding performances, many of which take place in their fully equipped on-site theatre.
£6,930 per term for Years 7-8 and £7,665 per term for Years 9-13. An acceptance of £2,000 deposit is required upon entry. This is refunded in full when your son leaves the school.
Due to current guidelines surrounding Covid-19, King’s College is unable to invite parents and prospective students to visit. You can sign up for a virtual Open Event on the King’s College website. Each event lasts for approximately one hour and includes a presentation from the Headmaster, Mr Andrew Halls or another senior member of staff, a presentation from Mr Gibson, Assistant Head (Head of Lower School), and a talk from one of the current Year 7 boys.
There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and to learn more about life in the lower school (Year 7 and 8). These events are for both parents and boys to attend. King’s College has announced its intention to hold in-person open events on the school grounds during the Summer Term if it is possible. We have found boys who attend Open Events are better prepared in interviews and more confident upon entering in September.
Book this year’s Virtual Open Day at the KCS website.
Registration for KCS opens at the end of the Summer Term in Year 5 and closes in early November of his Year 6. The registration form requires you to pay a fee of £150. King’s College currently only accept applications from British or Irish citizens. It is not possible to apply for both 11 plus and 13 plus entry, you must indicate what year your son wishes to apply for on the application form. All boys are assessed in Year 6 with offers made in early February. Those who apply for 13 plus entry hold a deferred place for two years before joining King’s College in Year 9. 11 plus applicants need to submit a copy of their end of year school report form Year 5.
There are around 60 places available at 11 plus at King’s College for outside applicants. 80 additional places will go to boys coming up from the Junior School. While every applicant must meet the same academic standard, KCS will show preference to applicants who have a sibling attending or who has recently left.
King’s College is returning to its usual entrance exam for 2022 applicants. For entrance into KCS at 11 plus and 13 plus, boys sit an exam in Maths, English and Verbal Reasoning in January of his Year 6. King’s College will release a sample paper on its website in September.
The English exam is 1 hour and 15 minutes and is comprised of a comprehension question, grammar test, and essay. The paper will assess boys’ ability to read, understand and respond to a given text. They are also judged on their aptitude at spelling, vocabulary, punctuation and ability to understand character.
The Maths exam is 50 minutes long and will test numeracy and problem solving skills.
If you want an experienced third party to help you stay on track with your preparation, our 11 plus tutors have significant King’s College entrance experience. They can help your child consolidate syllabus knowledge, refine exam technique and improve speed, so they can reach the all important scholarship questions.
Boys who are successful in the entrance exam will be invited for an interview. This will take place around a week after the exam in January and is around 20 minutes long. The interview is a very important part of the admission process and success here is key to get into King’s. It aims to explore your son’s interests, academic character, personal qualities, and what they will contribute to the school. The interview tone is friendly and relaxed, and the interviewer will aim to put your son at ease. Your son will be asked to demonstrate his academic ability in the interview. Previously, boys have been given a passage to read and discuss, a maths problem to solve, a science or philosophy question, and been asked to choose and discuss an image related to the news or science.
King’s is looking for well-rounded boys, so it is important your son has something to say when he is asked about his interests beyond academics. He can discuss anything that he is able to contribute the school community, such as a passion in music, drama, sport, art, debating or charity work. KCS stress the importance of the wealth of co-curricular activities it offers, as they help develop a well-balanced, confident individual – in the interview they want to see evidence that the candidate will contribute to this aspect of the school if offered a place.
Teachers are looking for enthusiastic, confident boys who they will enjoy having at the school, and who will make the most of what the school has to offer. It is important your son can engage and respond during a discussion. To do well at the interview he must be able to clearly articulate himself and answer the question given – rather than meander around a point. At KCS, they prefer not to have boys appear over practised in the interview. If your child’s answers come across as rehearsed or planned, they will be less likely to get offered a place.
The thought of an interview can be quite daunting for some boys who find it harder to express their views. So, every year Mentor runs individual and group sessions to build confidence. Focusing on interview prep and what to expect, we encourage children to develop answers and present their best self.
Many of our tutors have great success securing scholarships and are experienced with pushing the boundaries of learning for exceptional students. All applicants at King’s College are automatically eligible for an academic scholarship. Those who perform exceptionally well on the entrance exam and in interview will be awarded an academic scholarship. Academic scholarships are worth £400 or £200 per year.
King’s College also offers scholarships in Music and Sports for 11 plus applicants. Boys must complete and submit a scholarship application form, found on the King’s College website, by early November. If their written application is successful, and they pass the entrance exam, Music applicants will then be invited for an in-person audition at King’s College. King’s College award one (or more on occasion) Music scholarship worth £400 per year and free tuition in two instruments. All boys who apply for a Sports scholarship will be invited to an assessment morning. Following this, King’s College will invite the boys who performed the best to a more in depth sports assessment day. King’s College will then award the most exceptional boys a scholarship of £400 or an exhibition of £200.
To guarantee your son the best chance of admission to KCS, offer him some additional support from one of our tutors. Many of our over 200 tutors are experts in the King’s College 11 plus and with bespoke one-to-one tuition, they can help children to achieve success at exams and interviews.
With almost 40 years of experience in tutoring children to gain admission to some of London’s most competitive independent schools, we at Mentor have a wealth of knowledge on how best to prepare your son for entry to King’s.
Over 80% of our tutors are qualified teachers, so they have an in-depth knowledge of their subject, the syllabus and the most effective teaching methods. Many have been heads of department, headteachers or examiners and all come with a wealth of experience and a great track record of success. All have up-to-date DBS certificates and references. Wherever possible we will match your son with a tutor who has a track record at King’s.
For information on our tutors’ unique approach to testing children in preparation for exams, contact our team.
Address: King’s College School, Southside, Wimbledon Common, London, SW19 4TT
Telephone: 020 8255 5300
Local Authority: Merton
School’s Unique Reference Number (URN): 102684
Age Range: 11-18
We have many experts on entrance to KCS here at Mentor and are ready to guide you through the new entrance format during Covid-19 measures. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help your son gain admission to King’s at 11 plus, or for further information on admissions into the top London schools.