This summer (2016) saw our second year of combined A level and IB results since the reintroduction of A levels to King's. An extraordinary 19 of our 72 IB candidates scored the maxium possible result of 45 points, whilst nearly 90% of all higher level grades were at the top level of 7 and 6. Meanwhile, in A level, 95% of all grades were achieved at A*-B, with 23 pupils achieving at least three A* grades. The whole year group achieved a combined performance of 78% of grades at A*/A for A level or 7/6 for IB. Following their exam successes, 56 students have won places at Oxford and Cambridge universities, whilst eight students are going on to study at top North American universities this year.
King's was delighted by the success at GCSE too. Nearly 96% of all GCSE grades were A*/A, with 41 students gaining an A* in every one of their exams. Three pupils achieved an incredible number of 14 top grades.
This September, we welcomed the first group of 11-year-old boys into our senior school since King's was founded. More than half the pupils join us from maintained schools. They have form rooms and assemblies in the new building, which was opened in March by the former Secretary of State for Education, the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP. Mrs Morgan placed particular emphasis on our community partnership programme, working with local schools, and on our efforts both to fundraise and to attract eligible pupils for bursaries.
King's pupils continue to excel at sport. In rugby, the 1st XV had one of their most successful seasons ever, winning 14 matches and an excellent cup run that ended in Round 6 against Whitgift. The 1st VII had a successful 7s season for the second year in a row, winning the Ibstock 7s, quarter finalists at the Reigate tournament, defeating Whitgift along the way and narrowly losing to Millfield 2s in the Rosslyn Park group playoff.
87 King's pupils participated in the annual National Schools Rowing Regatta, winning gold in the J15 1st 8s, silver in the J18 1st 8s and a bronze in the J16 4s, while hockey, football, cricket and tennis also continue to produce good results at all levels in the senior school.
The 1st girls' hockey team had an outstanding season. They won 9 out of the 11 games played in the autumn term and came 3rd in both the trophy tournament and our Invitation tournament. In netball, the school put out six strong teams in the spring term. The girls won the Ibstock Place tournament in September and narrowly missed out on finals day. They came runners-up in our Invitation tournament. In the summer we put out five rounders teams. The 1st team came runners-up in the Harrodian tournament and we fielded two tennis teams who were runners-up in the Surrey Festival.
The school's drama productions started early, with a Tales from Ovid performance over the summer (2015) at the Edinburgh Fringe and main school productions of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, The Exam (a middle school production devised by the boys) and Wildwood Tales. The house drama competition was won by Major house. The chamber choir sang Evensong in Chichester and Southwark Cathedrals and the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court as well as touring to Barcelona. The symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra and boys' and girls' choirs performed in the Royal College of Music in Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, as well as a series of superb concerts at the school. The big band and wind orchestra continue to perform at public occasions and concerts.
Large numbers of pupils served in one of the three sections of the school's CCF or pursued the Duke of Edinburgh's Award to gold level, while over 350 boys and girls participated every week in our partnerships with 27 maintained secondary, primary and special schools. The founder of our remarkable partnership scheme, Miss Heather McKissack, was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.
Our new teaching building, housing six classrooms, meeting rooms and a 150-seater hall is now open, and so our attention has turned to the music school and 200-seater recital hall designed by Hopkins, architects of the Olympic veledrome and Glyndebourne Opera House. Construction began in July and we expect the building to open in early 2018. The next project will then be an additional sports hall and a new swimming pool, set for completion in 2020.
King's continues to receive a fee for its work as a consultant with some prestigious schools in China. The first of these is in Wuxi, nearly Shanghai, and building there is now underway. A second is planned in the city of Hangzhou. Income from our work as consultants supports our bursary fund for places at King's College School, Wimbledon.
King's College Junior School is an academically selective school and our goal is to provide stimulating teaching and the opportunity for the boys to pursue a range of extra-curricular activities.
What happens in the classroom is of central importance and we were delighted with the success of our upper remove (year 8) boys in their final examinations. All boys seeking entry to the senior school through the transfer or scholarship papers secured their places - a just reward for their hard work. Ten boys won academic awards, including one of the two major scholarships available in our own senior school, and boys also won art, msuic and sports awards.
Outside the classroom, we want to help the boys develop lifelong interests. In terms of Games, we focus on the major sports of rugby, football, cricket and tennis, but we also provide opportunities for the boys to ski, swim, play water polo, table tennis, squash, hockey and golf and take part in cross-country and athletics. We want them to be competitive but to both win and lose with grace and courtesy. In football, the U10 and U11 teams won the Thomas's London Day Schools' Football Tournament while the U11 won the Surrey Prep Schools Cup for the first time. The U8 and U11 rugby teams won the National Prep Schools' Rugby Tournament and the U11s won the Thomas's Tournament for the third time in a row. They also enjoyed a successful mini tour to the south west of England whilst the U13 football squad went to Malaysia. Our U10 cricket side won the Thomas's six-a-side competition whilst the U11 won the Geoff Richards competition and the Southern region 8-a-side pairs' competition qualifying for the National Finals. Unfortunately, they were not able to compete because the squad was in Normandy on the third form residential trip. The U9, U10, U11, U12 and U13 tennis teams all reached the Surrey Schools' Tennis Finals, with the U10s and U9s emerging victorious. Both year groups also won the Danes Hill Surrey Schools' Festival.
In athletics, six boys qualified for the National Athletics Championship, winning one gold, one silver and one bronze medal. We also won the Aldro Shield and the U11 and U13 teams won the Thomas's boys' competitions. In cross-country, our U11 and U10 teams won the Danes Hill and the Claremont events. Our chess players won division two of the U18 Briant Poulter league with the U13 team winning the ECF National Championships and the U12 and U10 sides winning the Aldro tournament. One of our boys has been selected to represent England in the World Youth Chess Championship in Greece and represents England in the U11 age group.
In general knowledge, the junior team came fourth nationally in the SATIPS Prep Schools' Competition. In history, a largely lower remove (year 7) team secured, once more, the prestigious Townsend Warner history prize.
More than 300 boys are enthusiastically learning to play musical instruments. The Junior College Singers performed splendidly at the annual concert in support of The Children's Trust, which took place this year at St John's, Smith Square and at The Ritz in December. Alongside a very successful tour to Barcelona, the Chamber Choir, comprising the junior school trebles, together with altos, tenors and basses from the senior school, performed at the Christmas concert, Holy Trinity, Sloane Square, Evensong in Southwark Cathedral, Jesus College Cambridge and the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court. There is much to praise and we all take delight in the boys' obvious pleasure in music-making.
Drama, too, is very important and this year we have seen two outstanding productions. The boys in Priory (years 5-8) provided us with four splendid performances of The Wind in the Willows. All 119 Rushmere boys (years 3 and 4) put on The Pirates of the Curry Bean with great style and verve. Both productions were triumphs for the boys and for all the staff who worked with them.
These are certainly some of this year's highlights, but there is so much more that could be said. Debating and public speaking have reached a very high standard, with all of Priory taking part in a mock Brexit referendum. The boys' work in Art and Design & Engineering is exceptional and they continue to support charities overseas and at home. Many boys study German, Greek, Spanish and Mandarin as extra-curricular languages in addition to learning French and Latin as part of their curriculum. They are busy, their teachers are busy and together they achieve a huge amount.