Kingswood School provides an extensive range of excellent co-curricular activities. There are over 100 activities each term. The provision for sport, music and drama is outstanding and many pupils participate in The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and outdoor pursuits. The School also hosts the annual Bath Schools Model United Nations conference.
All students are encouraged to participate in a wide a range of co-curricular activities to discover new talents, improve existing skills, work as part of a team and find activities and hobbies that they enjoy which will take them past school and often become lifelong interests. In addition, academic societies, departmental trips and activities that complement the curriculum help students demonstrate a passion for their subjects outside the classroom, which is invaluable for students completing university applications.
In our most recent ISI Inspection, the Kingswood co-curricular programme was rated as "excellent". We are passionate here at Kingswood that educating young people is not just about inspiring pupils academically but also giving them a really broad range of opportunities.
A range of academic societies enable students from both the Lower and Upper Sixth to explore their subjects in all their diversity, often by means of attending presentations by speakers from the world of higher education. For example, recently the School’s Politics Society hosted Lord Peter Hennessy, one of the country’s foremost authorities on contemporary British Politics, while the Science Society welcomed Dr Gillian Butcher, a leading figure in Space Research at the University of Leicester. Sixth formers are also able to debate a range of issues at society meetings, with recent topics for discussion including the merits of Uber and what it means to live 'the good life'.
Fieldwork, theatre and concert visits and lecture courses also play a role in ensuring that Sixth Form academic life is vibrant, stimulating, varied and challenging
All of the teaching staff at the School are involved in running activities and coaching team sports. Most of the activities available at the School are run on site.
Every pupil in Years 7 and 8 takes part in at least four co-curricular activities every week; Year 9 pupils take part in at least three and those taking GCSE and A-Level are encouraged to participate in at least two activities every week, although in practice many students do considerably more. Many of the senior pupils are also involved in supervising activities of younger pupils. Most of the activities for both boarders and day students are included within the fees.
Here at Kingswood, we offer activities as diverse as jewellery club, Young Enterprise, street dance, badminton, climbing, cookery club, Simpsons auf Deutsch, riding, script-writing club, Kingswood Radio, beginner’s guitar, computer programming, football training and Aikido.
In addition to the above activities, we also offer a wide range of trips and activities for boarders that are run every weekend. Recently, these have included House music competitions, a trip to Bowood Park, an open-top bus tour of Bath, a visit to Bristol Zoo, hiking in the Mendips, cinema trips and boarders’ film nights, visiting Drayton Manor Theme Park, shopping trips to Bristol, an Advent service and dinner, visiting the SS Great Britain, going to Bath’s Christmas Market, trampolining in Swindon, exploring We The Curious in Bristol, a Burns Night celebration, a boarders’ Bake Off weekend, watching Bristol v Jersey rugby, a beach trip, a badminton tournament, barbeques and bowling at Cribbs Causeway.
You can view the Activity Programme for the summer term below.
Debating and Public Speaking
Kingswood has a thriving debating and public speaking scene. The Junior Debating Society meets weekly and develops core public speaking skills and debating competition training in preparation for the Westwood House Debating Competition in the Summer term.
The Senior Debating Society also meets weekly and takes part in a number of external competitions, including the Churchill Public Speaking Competition for years 10 and 11 as well as the MACE and Oxford Schools Debating competitions for Sixth Form. Senior debaters also take part in evening debates in the Posnett Gallery twice per term in a more formal setting.
Model United Nations (MUN)
Kingswood has hosted an annual Model United Nations (MUN) conference for many years, attracting schools from across the United Kingdom and beyond. This event is one of the largest of its kind in the country, with around 600 students gathering at the School in early March for a weekend of debate and discussion on the issues confronting the global community today.
Model United Nations is a role-play exercise. Students form delegations to represent the various member states of the UN. They each research their allocated country in advance of the conference so that they are able to accurately convey the views of those countries in debates on a range of contemporary issues.
At our most recent conference, for example, students wrestled with the complexities of topics as diverse as antimicrobial resistance, the situation in Syria, climate change and the rights of disabled people. Debates are conducted according to official UN procedures, and during the conference weekend, students are also presented with an emergency scenario, and they must respond to an unexpected crisis that demands an international response.
Each year around 100 Kingswood students take part in our conference. All year groups are able to get involved, from the Year 7 and 8 pupils who act as runners to the older students who participate as delegates. Sixth formers take a leadership role, serving as chairs of the various specialist committees and helping to organise the entire event.
In addition to holding its own conference, Kingswood also runs a lively MUN training programme, known as K-MUN. By participating in K-MUN, students have the opportunity to prepare for and attend conferences around the UK and abroad. Students learn about the conference format, participate in mini debates, write resolutions and research a wide range of global issues.
MUN is a unique experience. Students who participate not only learn a great deal about the issues confronting the world today but also develop a range of valuable skills, including collaboration, leadership, working towards consensus, advocating and persuasion. The programme broadens horizons through the exchange of ideas it facilitates as well as through the range of students it brings together from a wide variety of schools.
Read about MUN at Kingswood in our latest school magazine.
The Drama department runs a large number of co-curricular activities to give pupils of all ages plenty of opportunities to take part in productions, workshops and trips.
You can follow the Drama department on Twitter.
Clubs and Activities
Weekly Drama clubs are on offer for pupils in Years 7-9 and focus on improving core acting skills through a variety of drama activities, both scripted and unscripted. Pupils in Year 9 upwards interested in the technical aspects of theatre (for example sound, lighting and stage management) can attend a weekly Technical Theatre club run by our full-time Theatre Manager in our well-equipped 366-seat theatre. From time to time a spontaneous improvisation comedy club is also run and audition preparation activities are always offered to those who wish to pursue acting further.
The Drama department produces a number of hugely successful performances each year including, typically, a senior production in the Autumn term, a Year 10 production in the Spring term and a junior production in the Summer term. Past productions have included: 'Ernie's Incredible Illucinations', ‘Dust’, 'Kingswood@20’ (an amalgamation of theatrical performances from the past 20 years), ‘Rats Tales’, ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, ‘Our Country’s Good’ by Timberlake Wertenbaker, 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', 'Grimm Tales', and 'Blind' (a retelling of the 'Oedipus' trilogy). The 2017/2018 seasons comprises of ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ adapted by Adrian Mitchell, ‘Blood Brothers’ by Will Russell and ‘Bugsy Malone’ by Alan Parker.
In June, Junior pupils performed in the Drama department's production of 'Arabian Nights'.
Every other year the Drama department works in collaboration with the Music department to produce a musical. Past productions have included ‘Spamalot’, 'Oliver!', 'Bugsy Malone', 'Into The Woods' and 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'.
Drama scholars from all year groups devise their own showcases, which take place during the year in the drama studio. These are often lunchtime performances to an invited audience of staff and pupils.
Trips and Visits
Trips to local theatres such as Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal in Bath, the Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham and The Tobacco Factory in Bristol, as well as in-school performances and workshops, are run regularly and Sixth Form students enjoy an annual overnight trip to London each September where they visit theatres such as the National Theatre, the Globe and other performance venues in London’s West End. In March 2017, we ran a trip to New York for pupils in Years 11-13. This will next run in March 2019.
The Splendid Theatre Company, a theatre and education company, visits annually to take workshops and put on a performance for the students, and Kingswood also hosts workshops and performances by practitioners such as Frantic Assembly, Paper Birds and playwright Alecky Blythe. A local group, the Natural Theatre Company, have also run workshops for younger pupils on creating street theatre.
The Drama and Music Awards
Every year Kingswood runs an annual award ceremony to celebrate the achievements of Kingswood’s artistically talented GCSE and A-Level pupils in Drama and Music. Speakers from the professional arts world, are chosen to talk to the pupils and have included playwright Simon Warne, Jonathan Vaughan, Musical Director at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and actor Rupert Holliday Evans. Entertainment is provided by the pupils before a meal and the glitzy Oscar-style award ceremony take place.
Kingswood In Focus
Read about what's been happening in the Drama department recently in the brand new Kingswood In Focus.
Drama scholars from all year groups devise their own showcases, which take place during the year in the drama studio. These are often lunchtime performances to an invited audience of staff and pupils.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE), a national programme with three progressive award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) is designed as an adventure and major challenge for students, helping them push personal boundaries, gain new skills and enhance their life experiences. At Kingswood, Year 10 pupils are encouraged to begin their Bronze Award, Year 11 undertake the Silver Award and, in the Sixth Form, those who wish to continue to Gold are given the opportunity to complete the full programme. Generally, around 80 Kingswood pupils participate in the Bronze Award each year, with many continuing to Silver and or Gold - the latter is an extremely prestigious award which is presented to students at St James’s Palace.
To download more information, visit http://www.dofe.org
You can read about the latest Duke of Edinburgh's Award expeditions in our latest Kingswood In Focus magazine.
Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award take place each year in some stunning locations around the UK including the Mendips, the Forest of Dean, Snowdonia, Exmoor, the Brecon Beacons, the Black Mountains and the Lake District where the students plan their walking routes, camp, cook meals and learn survival and first aid skills. A number of training expeditions are organised prior to the qualifying venture. All expeditions include at least one night’s camping.
For the Gold Award there is an additional five-day residential project planned by the students themselves which, in the past, has included yacht skipper qualifications, running children's camps and participating in the National Citizen Service programme.
The Skills section encourages students to discover what they are really good at, either by getting better at something they already do or by learning something for the first time. There is a wide range of skills that students can access from learning a musical instrument to, taking up a craft activity or constructing a website. For a comprehensive list of the types of skills that can be learned please click on the following link: http://www.dofe.org/skills-section.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award also encourages students to make a difference to other people’s lives and change things for the better – something that is very much part of the Kingswood ethos. Most of the students will undertake their voluntary activity in school, such as joining the Eco-Schools activity or assisting in running clubs for junior pupils. Others find alternative options available outside of school, such as helping in a charity shop, working with older people or raising money for a cause. Many students find this section one of the most rewarding elements of the DofE Award and are inspired to continue with this after leaving school. For more ideas about volunteering please click on the following link: http://www.dofe.org/volunteering-section.
Kingswood offers such an extensive sports programme within the School that all pupils have every opportunity to fulfil the criteria within the School for this section of the Award. We encourage our students to be fit and healthy and have fun improving skills or learning a new sport either as part of a team or individually. Pupils don’t have to be super fit or top team players; the physical element just requires a sustained level of energy in physical activities which could include dance, rock climbing, football or riding. Please click on the following link for more ideas: http://www.dofe.org/physical-section.
There are around 300 individual music lessons timetabled every week. They include opportunities for pupils who wish to sing, play the electric guitar, piano, violin, drums or saxophone as well as enjoy opportunities to perform in the Music School and Chapel as soloists or in small ensembles. We encourage our musicians to take the ABRSM, TLCM and Rock School examinations, and some have reached post Grade 8 Performance Diploma standard while still at school. The department also offers theory and aural coaching sessions for those wishing to take Grade 5 music theory and other musical qualifications.
Musical Groups and Ensembles
A variety of musical groups, clubs and activities are also on offer for those who have a passion for music and we aim to get as many of our students as involved with music as possible. Our current ensembles include The Kingswood Jazz Orchestra, Senior Orchestra and Westwood (Junior) Orchestra, a Brass Ensemble and Kingswood Strings. In addition, we have three choirs at the School: the Senior Choir for students in Years 9-13, the Chamber Choir for students in Years 10-13 and Westwood Voices for pupils in Years 7-8. These choirs perform a range of music from traditional choral to pop and musical theatre. We encourage our pupils to organise their own groups, which has resulted in several student-run rock bands, and to make use of our excellent recording studios.
Read about Music at Kingswood in our annual magazine.
Kingswood students also take part in external music competitions and local events and recently our pupils have performed on television with the Bath Abbey Choir, taken part in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Children’s Choir and Music for Youth at the Royal Albert Hall, and a number of individuals enter the local Mid-Somerset Festival each year.
Musicians at Kingswood also have the opportunity to perform as part of the orchestra, alongside professional musicians, in the bi-annual Kingswood musical, run in conjunction with the Drama department. Past productions have included ‘Spamalot’, 'Oliver!', 'Bugsy Malone', 'Into the Woods' and 'Return to the Forbidden Planet'.
Major music concerts are held at the School each term and, in addition, regular lunchtime performances, which give all our musicians the chance to play in front of an audience. A particular emphasis of the department is to support the local community with music. Musicians make frequent visits to sing in Bath churches and perform concerts in a range of other venues in the local area. Recent performance highlights have included launching the International Bath Music Festival at Green Park Station, a Massed Choirs performance of 'Zimbe!' at the Bath Assembly Rooms, Carol and Commemoration Day services at Bath Abbey and fundraising concerts for Woolley Church and Hope and Homes for Children. Community Outreach includes concerts for Dorothy House and Frome Active and in Touch.
Workshops and Masterclasses
We regularly invite professional musicians to lead workshops. These have recently included Jamie Cullum, Mary Nelson (Operatic Soprano), Joanna MacGregor and String Fever.
Kingswood Choral Society
Parents, friends and staff are also encouraged to get involved by joining the Kingswood Choral Society for performances. Recent events have included 'Zimbe!' at the Assembly Rooms and Faure’s Requiem.
The Music department organises regular trips. These have included visits to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the Proms, Disneyland Paris and the ‘Beatles Experience’ in Liverpool.
Pupils at Kingswood have the opportunity to take part in a range of weekly outdoor pursuits, including orienteering, climbing, kayaking, camp craft, mountain biking and survival skills.
You can keep up to date with what the pupils participating in Outdoor Pursuits are up to by visiting their blog.
Alongside these regular activities, the School also operates a variety of occasional, seasonal activities, such as caving, scuba diving and surfing.
For those feeling more ambitious, Kingswood offers a range of related trips throughout each term. In recent years, these have included cycling in the Scottish Highlands, scrambling in Snowdonia, hill walking in the Lake District and hiking in year groups.
Kingswood traditionally enters a number of teams for the Ten Tors Challenge on Dartmoor and has a very good record of success in this nationally recognised event.
Read about Outdoor Pursuits at Kingswood in our latest school magazine.
Keep up to date with what's going on in the Sports department by following them on Twitter.
All pupils at Kingswood from Year 7 through to Year 13 are fortunate to have Games as part of their weekly timetable.
The Games Programme in Years 7, 8 and 9 has an emphasis on team sports. We hope to fulfil the talents of all our students, whether that is representing the School in a B, C or D team, or going on to gain international recognition.
The main Games played in Years 7, 8 and 9 are as follows:
Boys: rugby, hockey, cross country, tennis, athletics, cricket.
Girls: hockey, netball, cross country, tennis, athletics, cricket, rounders.
Over the course of the KS3 years (Years 7-9), students will develop many of the skills which underpin the successful performance of our main sports. In addition, students will learn the importance of teamwork, good communication, winning and losing with equal respect for the opposition and, for some, the leadership skills required to bring the best out of each team member.
The choice of our main games is carefully considered and reviewed frequently. While tradition plays a part, the fact that the majority of similar schools in this area also play these sports allows us to generate the greatest amount of participation with the highest number of teams. The Games programme is heavily augmented by the Activity Programme which allows for participation in less mainstream sports. Fixtures are also played in some of these sports though with less frequency. These include sports such as basketball, badminton, soccer, table tennis, squash, orienteering, climbing, kayaking, golf, equestrian events and dance.
From Year 10 onwards in the Autumn term, students are given an increasingly wider range of options. For boys in Year 10, some soccer is played by the group which are not involved in team rugby as well as some of the non-contact rugby sports such as tag-rugby. Girls will continue to play hockey in Year 10, but there is a wide range of options available in Years 11, 12 and 13. Girls can choose cross-country, swimming, yoga or aerobics, with cycling also an option. Boys have cross-country, cycling, swimming, soccer and multi-gym to choose from.
In the Spring term, the boys play hockey and the girls play netball. All our students up to and including Year 10 will participate in these sports and much of our success is based on having a considerable pool of players to choose from. In Year 11 and the Sixth form the same options are available as in the Autumn term though there are several soccer fixtures for our two Senior sides as well as an extensive 7s programme for our rugby teams as part of the Activity Programme.
In the Summer term, from Year 10, boys and girls are given a choice of playing cricket, tennis, or taking part in athletics or swimming. In running a diverse mixture of sports, we give considerable opportunities for students to represent Kingswood in inter-school fixtures.
On any given weekend throughout the year it is not unusual for Kingswood to field upwards of 30 teams, which allows a high percentage of all pupils to participate. The emphasis is always to try and develop the individual’s potential as far as possible.
Read more about Sport at Kingswood in our annual magazine.
Kingswood has developed a tremendous reputation across all its main sports and is a competitive fixture for any school in any area.
Touring plays a major part in the Games programme, giving our pupils the chance to play internationally and with students from other year groups. Over the last 12 years, Kingswood has organised sports tours to North America, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Singapore, Australia and Fiji, South America, Italy and South Africa. Our aim is to give students the opportunity to tour at least once in their school careers.
The latest tours saw pupils travel to Canada and the United States. You can read about their tours in our latest Kingswood In Focus magazine above.
To view the latest results and upcoming fixtures, as well as maps to Kingswood's sporting facilities and schools we travel to compete against, click here.
At Kingswood we offer a huge variety of trips and visits throughout the year. These range from subject-related day trips to UK-based residential trips and significant overseas ventures.
Recent day trips have included visits to the House of Lords for Politics, Welsh Castles and Brunel sites in Bristol for History, ‘The Big Pit’ and Swanage for Geography, Chedworth Roman Villa and the Roman Baths in Bath for Classical Civilisation and Latin, Theatre Studies and English department trips to productions in London, Bristol and Bath, Art trips to the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery, Economics department trips to the Royal Economic Society Annual Public Lecture and Land Rover, amongst many others.
Overseas trips that have run in the last two years have included Language department trips to Seville, Paris and the Rhineland; Language Exchanges to Toulouse, Madrid and Munster; History department trips to the First World War Battlefields and Berlin; a Geography trip to Iceland; a Religious Studies trip to the Indian Himalayas; a Classical Civilisation and Latin trip to Rome; the annual Ski Trip to France; the annual charity trip to Malawi; a Theatre Studies trip to New York; a Model United Nations trip to Greece; a sports tour to North America.
Read more about a selection of trips in our latest Kingswood In Focus magazine.