Take a look around the Kingston Grammar School using our virtual tour.
The Frayn Library is named after playwright and Old Kingstonian Michael Frayn and is situated in our London Road building. It boasts over 15,000 fiction and non-fiction books including textbooks and revision guides, a huge range of extended reading material and fiction for all age groups and interests.
There are iPads, laptops and Chromebooks available for use in the library and power sockets provided on study tables throughout. WiFi is available and students' are welcome to bring in their own devices. Our students and librarians take part in local quizzes throughout the year and, in 2017, we represented the UK in the World Final of the Kids’ Lit Quiz, placing third!
Named after Hawkes Passage, the footpath which separates the original school building from the QEII Performing Arts Centre, Hawkes Café was built in 2005. It was subsequently refurbished in 2016 and is a dedicated space for Sixth Form students to socialise. The Hawkes Café is adjacent to both, the Theatre and the Baxter Gallery.
Subtly decorated in shades of the school colours with comfortable seating, Hawkes offers a café-style environment serving food and drinks throughout the school day. It is also available for hire, in conjunction with the Theatre, or on its own, for meetings, presentations and group discussions.
Named after former Head Master Duncan Baxter (Head Master 1991–2009), the contemporary three-storey glass-fronted Baxter Gallery was developed in 2005 and showcases the incredible breadth and depth of artistic talent we have at KGS. It is something of a landmark in the Royal Borough of Kingston and not only serves as an exhibition space for budding KGS artists but is also offered to outside artists to exhibit their work.
The Michael Frayn Theatre with accompanying Green Room is the centrepiece of our magnificent Queen Elizabeth II Performing Arts Centre. Named after KGS alumnus and world-renowned playwright Michael Frayn, it features state-of-the-art lighting, sound and special-effects technology and a sprung wooden floor, making it ideal for our students’ drama, dance and musical performances.
The tiered seating has a flexible configuration and seat audiences of up to 200. The theatre was officially named on 5th October 2017, with Michael Frayn (OK 1947) as the guest of honour.
All our modern, light classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards, and iPads, laptops and Chromebooks are available for class use. The average tutor group size is 24 students (First Year to Third Year) with much small class sizes in the Upper School and Sixth Form.
Newly refurbished in 2019, the QEII Sixth Form Quad was redeveloped by interior specialists to provide additional space and break-out areas for our Sixth Form students. Contemporary, brightly coloured seating areas are complemented with troughs and oversized pots of greenery and foliage to provide a relaxed ‘campus’ feel.
The School Hall dates back to around 1900. It is beautifully decorated, with wooden parquet flooring and panelling, a high arched ceiling and large curved windows that flood the room with natural light. The walls are a tribute to the historical and academic legacy of the School and are adorned with scholars’ and notable alumni names. The Hall has excellent acoustics and can seat up to 350 people. It is regularly used for conferences, lectures and presentations, exhibitions and concerts.
A major refurbishment project in 2019 saw the replacement of the oak block flooring. Laid when the Hall was added to the original school building at some point in the 1900s, the floor has seen a lot of KGS history: from assemblies and prizegiving to examinations and concerts and a few parents’ evenings and Christmas fairs along the way. Over a hundred years of wear and tear, and having been renovated several times, it had come to the end of its useful life. Following its removal, craftsman laid over 9,000 new blocks to create a floor which we hope will last for the next century at least!
The Finlay Gallery and Design & Technology workshops were constructed with the generous support of Old Kingstonian Derek Finlay. The modern, spacious workshops are equipped with a wide range of the latest tools and machinery including laser cams and 3D printers. Design & Technology is a popular subject taught through to A Level. In 2017, our Technology Club appeared on Season 9 of BBC’s Robot Wars with their robot, Frostbite, which can been seen exhibited in the Finlay Gallery, where students’ work is displayed.
The Art facilities include four bright and well-equipped studios, intaglio and relief print-making facilities, an ICT suite plus a dedicated set of iPads, a photographic dark room and a ceramics workshop. As well as wall space throughout the school to show students’ artwork, we have two dedicated display spaces, the Finlay and Baxter Galleries.
The Junior Quad lies behind the oldest part of the school. In 2013, it was redesigned by celebrated garden designer and Old Kingstonian Andy Sturgeon, winner of numerous awards including gold and ‘Best in Show’ medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Its new design created ample space for students to sit, study and meet outside in a relaxed environment and it’s a bustling place during break time and lunch. In the Summer Term, you may spot some classes being taught in the junior quad
STEAM is all about learning to create using technology, so around the room, you will see some of the tools students use to produce fantastic projects during lessons. Around the sides, you can see monitors, ready to connect to our high-spec Surface laptops or sets of Raspberry Pi computers which allow you to code! You can also see pictured some PiTop laptops that we use with the First Year to introduce them to physical computing, wiring up circuits that they can then control with their code. On the floor and propped up against the wall you can see our LEGO Mindstorms Challenge mats; this a Second Year project where students build and code a robot to solve various space-themed challenges, encouraging both computational thinking and problem-solving skills.
The STEAM Room is also the base for both our Junior Makers’ and Digital Makers’ clubs, where students get the opportunity to build their own physical computing and robotics projects. On the table, you can see some of the robot buggies we have constructed and if you look really hard up in the glass display cases, you can see the second-place trophy (and medal-wearing robot) which our students won at the national PiWars competition at Cambridge University in 2019
The Lovekyn Chapel is one of the few remaining free-standing chantry chapel in England and, dating back to 1309, is the oldest complete building in Kingston. Although it is no longer used for religious services, it's the most popular venue in the Royal Borough for civil ceremonies and civil partnerships. As an elegant and bright space with excellent acoustics, it is also frequently used for musical performances and readings.
Edward Lovekyn (1239-1310), who founded the chapel, was from a well-established Surrey family and was born in Kingston. He was a caterer by trade and like other members of his family belonged to the Company of Butchers of Kingston upon Thames (which included bakers, confectioners and provision merchants as well as butchers). He was Bailiff of Kingston in 1277 and again in 1284. A citizen of London from 1292, he had houses in Billingsgate and at Bridgefoot in Kingston.
Lovekyn entertained King Edward I twice and provided a lavish feast for his wedding to Princess Margaret of France. The bill was still unpaid at the time of the King’s death and, in return for cancelling the debt, King Edward II granted a licence to Lovekyn to found and endow a chantry chapel. This would have greatly enhanced the status of the Lovekyns in the area.
Edward Lovekyn died in July 1310, just four months after the first chaplain had been installed in the Chapel of the Blessed Mary Magdalene on London Road. He left two sons, the younger of whom, John, would go on to restore and further endow the Chapel his father had founded.
The chapel has excellent acoustics and as such is used by the School for music recitals. Reflecting its 14th century medieval heritage, the room features large stained glass windows, a magnificent vaulted ceiling and an arched doorway.
Ditton Field is the home of KGS sport – 22 acres of playing fields situated on the banks of the Thames, opposite Hampton Court Palace. A £1.2 million redevelopment was completed in 2014, and our state-of-the-art sport facilities now include:
- Six netball courts
- Six cricket nets
- Long jump pit
- Four football pitches
- Four cricket squares
- Eight tennis courts
- Two astro turf hockey pitches
- One astro turf practice area
- Boat house
There is also a Conditioning Suite that supports the athletic performances and training of the KGS sports teams, and benefits other groups and clubs throughout the year.
The field is easily accessible by bus services to and from Hampton Court and Molesey, and the South West Trains service from Hampton Court to London Waterloo.
Our Boat House is situated in the far corner of Ditton Field on the Kingston stretch of river. It is equipped with a range of boats and equipment, for those learning to row right through to pupils of national, international and even Olympic standard. The recent renovation of the Boat House extended the changing rooms and social facilities, as well as providing a viewing balcony overlooking the river for spectators.