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The King's School

The King's School Founded 1545

Achievement for All

Student Life

Pastoral care is central to The King’s School ethos. We firmly believe that all students have areas in which they can excel and do our best to try and support and develop each individual.

The house system is the pastoral bedrock of the school. Each student who joins the school is allocated to one of four houses which date to 1912 as witnessed by the old minute book of the Sports Committee. These provide us with four large vertically grouped cohorts of students. The houses have been named after local families: Coleridge, Kennaway, Patteson and Raleigh.

The four houses are led by –


Mrs A Argent-Wenz


Mr M Coult


Mrs R Jacobs


Mr J Adkins

Upon entry to the school each student is allocated to a house, taking into account family links that may exist. We have Lower School tutor groups comprising Year 7 and 8 students and in Years 9 to 11 students join an Upper School tutor group. The student will meet with their tutor twice a day for registration and for tutor activities or an assembly. The tutor becomes the key person for each student and should be the first point of contact for parents.

There are weekly House Assemblies and a wide range of inter-house activities many of which are led by students in the house. These include:

House Musical Competition students in each house write, produce and direct a short musical on a theme given by the Expressive Arts Department. This is then performed to both the Upper and Lower School on the final day of the Spring Term.

House Dance Competition this has become a highlight of the school year with house leaders performing miracles in choreographing and directing students in each house. Many students take part and the atmosphere in the Main Hall is electric.

Top of the House Teams of students from Upper and Lower School represent their houses and answer questions on a range of issues in front of their peers.

House Sport students have many opportunities to represent their house with Sports Day being one of the highlights of the school year.

October House Cross Country
December Boys House Rugby and Girls House Hockey
February Boys House Hockey and Girls House Football
March/April Boys House Football and Girls House Netball
June Swimming Gala
June/July Boys House Cricket and Girls House Rounders
July Sports Day

These and the other competitions that go on are rewarded with House Points which, together with house points earned throughout the year lead to a Winning House Cup presented at the end of the year. There are also other house cups for the house which has earned the most Commendations and Attendance Points.

We strongly believe the House system provides a means of encouraging all to do their very best to contribute to the greater good. Most importantly it provides an opportunity for students to work with others in a variety of environments. This allows leadership skills, caring approaches and peer help and assistance to flourish. It is so rewarding to see older students organising events and leading others through example and seeing the younger ones learning and wanting to impress.

Our Pastoral Support Workers, Mrs Bunker, Mr Knill, Miss Shepphard and Mrs Usher are key members of our team. They are based in Student Support which is a place where students can go if they encounter a problem or need extra support. This could be anything from losing their bag to a fall-out with friends. Mrs Bunker, Mr Knill, Miss Shepphard and Mrs Usher will work with them and try to help them move forward. Three other members of staff also work in Student Support, Mrs Marks (attendance) and Mrs Curtis (admissions, data and other issues) and Mrs Lewis on Fridays. If parents have a concern we would encourage them to contact tutors in the first instance but, if the tutor is not available, they are able to contact Student Support.

Student Support is also a hub for:

  • First Aid
  • Dispensing of individual medication
  • Students who are feeling unwell
  • Issuing of lunch cards
  • Signing in and out of school
  • Collecting and handing in letters and forms

and much, much more...


The Coleridge family’s links with the school date to 1760 when the Rev. John Coleridge took up the posts of School Master, Chaplain Priest and Vicar. He came from South Molton’s ‘Latin School’. John Coleridge was a man of considerable learning, the author of two Latin grammars and many other literary works. He had eight sons including the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

In 1781 John was succeeded by John Warren but the family, through John’s son, The Rev. George Coleridge, led the school from 1794 until 1808. During these years, the school rose steadily and became esteemed throughout the south-west. The school became the starting point, if not always the finish, of the education of the son’s of Devon’s best families. Archers, Cornishes, Kennaways, Northcotes, Simcoes and Younge’s are all recorded as pupils, as well as eight of the next generation of Coleridge’s. So began the family’s connection with the school which continued well into this century.

When you join Coleridge House you become part of a family, we all look out for one another and we are proud of the strong relationships built between tutors and students. We encourage students to become the best version of themselves that they can, by striving to be….

  • Courageous - Trying new things, stepping out of your comfort zone and overcoming obstacles.
  • Outstanding - Applying maximum effort to everything you do and not settling for second best.
  • Leaders - Being good role models to others, taking responsibility and becoming independent.
  • Enthusiastic - Having a go, engaging in all aspects of school life and keeping a smile on your face.
  • Respectful - Treating others as you would expect to be treated yourself.
  • Industrious - Working hard, being organized and contributing to the School and the House.
  • Determined - Never giving up, showing resilience and spirit when the going gets tough.
  • Generous - Willing to help others, freely giving our time and energy to support those that may need it.
  • Excellent!


The first reference to the Kennaway family in GEJ Holme’s, History of The King’s School, comes during the times when the Rev. George Coleridge was Headmaster at the turn of the nineteenth century. There is a quote from a letter written by the pupil Edward Coleridge during Dr John Warren’s leadership of afight he had with Charles Kennaway ..... “a great bully” ……. “I drubbed him properly….”

However, the Kennaway family through Sir John Kennaway was responsible for ridding the school of the Headteacher, The Rev. George Smith, who from 1863 to 1881 allowed the school to decline quite disastrously. By 1881 only three boys were in attendance and the school was finally closed. Sir John Kennaway, along with three other men, saw that the only way forward was to hasten the demise in the hope that some revival of its past glory might be made possible in the future, as indeed it was! In December 1892, Sir John Kennaway wrote to the County Council asking whether it was possible to do something about starting the school again. However, money was a problem, even then! Eventually in 1895, the School re-opened in The Priory, opposite the Church in Ottery St. Mary. Sir John Kennaway was governor of the new school.

When the school eventually moved to its present site, Sir John Kennaway was Chairman of the Governors and laid the foundation stone on 21st April 1911, when a Service of Dedication was held. He continued to serve as Chairman until his death in 1919. The younger Sir John (the former's son) was Vice-Chair from 1919 to 1948.

Kennaway is like the world’s best cake- practically perfect in every way. To be part of this truly amazing team, simply follow the recipe for success:

First, you need to don your fun to ensure you’re suitably dressed for the challenge. Next you need to set your expectations high because we always strive to be the best we can be.

Once you are set for the challenge, you need to think creatively. Team Kennaway is creative in our own way, ensuring the end product is of the highest standard.

Sometimes things don’t go to plan and recipes can be hard to follow, so we make sure we always support each other by working together as a team. This is what makes us an amazing family, who enjoy the cake together.

Before you finish the task in hand, reflect upon your work. Take a moment to celebrate success, because in Kennaway we are always positive.

Finally, the icing on the cake: Kennaway is decorated with all the amazing individuals who are proud to be in the house.


One of the most distinguished Headteachers of the school was Dr. Cornish Headteacher 1824 1863. His most famous pupil was probably John Coleridge Patteson who entered the school in 1835 at the age of eight. “Coley” as he was called by his friends was the son of Sir John Patteson of Feniton Court. He passed on to Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. In a biography it is said that he never achieved the success expected of him because he was interested in too many things. Before he was twenty-five he mastered Hebrew and Arabic as well as Greek, Latin, French, German and Italian. In 1854 Coley was made a deacon, returned to Devon and took up his role as curate at Alfington. In 1855 he became a missionary and left England forever to work among the Maoris. He was consecrated as the first Bishop of Melanesia in 1861, but was killed ten years later by an inhabitant of Nukapu.

Our House embodies the values associated with John Coleridge Patteson who was an explorer and clergyman dedicated to improving lives of people he met around the world. In Patteson students are expected to step up and have a go, making the most of a huge range of opportunities offered to them and being adverturous and charitable of their time and effort. We are rightly proud of our track record in house competitions, winning the House of the Year Cup four times in the last nine years. Patteson students work hard academically and are proud of their achievements in dance, music, drama and sport. We have a strong link with the Solomon Islands where Patteson went to work and sadly died. We have raised money to preserve his heritage in the community. Patteson students embody the following values:

  • Get involved and try new things.
  • Help each other.
  • Try your hardest.
  • Winning is the icing on the cake but taking part is key.
  • Being proud to be green.

I certainly could not be prouder of the students and staff who are in Patteson and you make the House what is is today.

The vast majority of our students feel the house has a strong identity and are really proud to belong. I am proud to lead this great bunch of people.

If you visit King's you will know of the existence and success of Patteson House!

Mrs Jacobs (known as the Green Goddess!)


Although there is nothing inherently improbable in the suggestion that Sir Walter Raleigh attended the school, there is no proof that he did so. However, the fame of this son of East Devon, born in East Budleigh, and his possession of a house in Ottery near the mill, were presumably thought worthy enough grounds to name one of the school houses after him.

Our House embodies the values associated with Sir Walter Raleigh. We expect all Raleigh students, staff and parents to see these values as self evidently worthwhile. A Raleigh person has

R Resilience The ability to treat those two impostors triumph and disaster just the same and bounce back. This is about grit. Its about getting on with things.

A Attitude This is about choosing your own POSITIVE attitude and not allowing others to negatively influence you. Bad things happen in life but we can choose how to react to these. Bottle half full or empty your choice

L Loyalty This is about supporting each other at all times. Believing that a united supportive House is better than a disunited or selfish House. It occasionally means being truly loyal to your friends by not agreeing with them if they are doing something wrong or dangerous. If they are running to a cliff do you run with them or do you try to stop them or catch them? A loyal friend helps them.

E Excellence A recognition that doing the best you can will make you happy and successful. It does not mean being the best. It is excellence that makes companies& organisations successful over time. If you strive for excellence throughout your life, you will achieve more. No one is perfect, not everyone can be the best academic, sportsperson, dancer, artist, but everyone can achieve excellence.

I Integrity If you have integrity, you stick to a strong ethical and moral code. You are honest,polite and decent

G Growth Is about recognising that we are constantly changing. We are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them. We also have to challenge ourselves, step out of our comfort zone to grow rapidly

H Honour This is attained by always showing respect to others. The example is Raleigh placing his cloak on the ground before the Queen. If you show service and kindness to others, you will gain honour yourself. The opposite is true too.