Kings Priory School

Kings Priory School, Tynemouth [1]
Established 2013
1860 (King's School, Tynemouth)
Type Academy
Religion Church of England
Principal [2] Philip Sanderson
Location Huntington Place
Tyne and Wear
NE30 4RF
Coordinates: 55°01′01″N 1°25′37″W / 55.017°N 1.427°W / 55.017; -1.427
DfE number 392/4000
DfE URN 139658 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 119 [3]
Students 1200 (approx.)[3]
Gender Mixed
Ages 4–18

Red, Gold and Navy

Former pupils King's Tynemouth Alumni
Affiliation Woodard Schools

Kings Priory School is a mixed all-through school and sixth form located in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear, England. The current Principal is Mr Philip Sanderson. The school has a Christian foundation as the largest member of the Woodard Corporation, but accepts pupils of any religious background. It is located immediately to the east of Tynemouth Metro Station[4]

It was founded as The King's School in 1860 and was originally situated solely in the old headmaster's house, now Tynemouth House, which continues to be used for conferences and teaching. Previously an fee-charging independent school, The King's School converted to academy status in September 2013, merging with the Priory Primary school in Tynemouth and was renamed Kings Priory School. It remains a member of the Woodard Corporation but is now state-funded.


The school was founded in Jarrow in 1860, but by 1865 had moved to its present site in Tynemouth. The school originally provided private education for local boys as Tynemouth School: the school did not become known as The King's School until the 1960s. The school's name is in reference to the three ancient kings buried at Tynemouth Priory: Oswin, Osred II and Malcolm III. Consequently, there are many student myths as to the position of the apostrophe in the name (King's, rather than Kings'). The school grew considerably in size during the second half of the 20th century and began to admit girls to both the Kindergarten and the Sixth Form during that time. The school became fully coeducational and part comprehensive in 1996, following the initial decision in 1992.

King's originally occupied a large house on Huntington Place and the adjoining terraces. This was later extended with the addition of the Nicholson Building (Nicholson's) in the 1920s, and the Ellison Block (Ellison's) in the 1960s. Further expansion occurred in 1991 with the addition of the design, technology and art block (the Provost building.) This continued in 1999 with the addition of the Chapter Building, comprising many new classrooms, along with the lecture theatre and 700-seat King's Hall. In 2008, the school continued its development with the addition of the Oswin's building. The building houses a new sports hall, dance studio, drama workshop, indoor climbing centre, a music school with recording studio, a cafeteria and all-day coffee bar, new Sixth Form study centre and social space, a new library and classrooms for English learning support, French, Spanish and PE. The building replaces the former music school, gym, changing rooms and cafeteria.

In 2013, the Woodard Corporation announced that King's would merge with the neighbourghing state run Priory Primary School to become a state funded Academy. This caused some controversy in the local community.[5] The local authority, North Tyneside Council, strongly opposed the scheme and on 17 July 2013, issued a letter to the Secretary of State for Education asking that the decision be reconsidered.[6] However the school converted to academy status in September 2013 and was renamed Kings Priory School.


Postcard showing the headmaster's house, c. 1910

The Senior School is organised into year groups, each under the day-to-day management of a Year Head and Assistant and a team of Tutors. There are four Houses, which form the framework for internal competitions in the school. Entry to the school occurs at ages 4, 11 and 16.


King Priory has a long-standing House System, which has continued into the new school in the "Chapter" format. All pupils are assigned to a house upon entry to the school; Provost, Hotspur, Barfleur, and Dunelm.

House Abbr. House colours
Barfleur B Yellow
Dunelm D Red
Hotspur H Green
Provost P Blue

Traditionally, pupils were assigned to a house depending on their area of home residence, however this practice has become more flexible in recent years. Pupils who are relations of current or former pupils are normally assigned to the same house as their predecessors.

House colours appear on school ties for all members of the senior school. In place of the school colours (red, gold and navy), the gold stripe is replaced with the pupil's house colour (e.g. red, navy and light blue for members of Provost). This practice is not continued in the Sixth Form, where students wear either a navy blue tie emblazoned with the school crest (Sixth Form) or a red tie with gold and blue stripes, similarly emblazoned with the crest (Prefects).

The house names are all linked to the area that they represent: Barfleur was the name of Admiral Collingwood's ship in The Glorious First of June, and his statue stands in Tynemouth; Dunelm is Latin for Durham and so represents those from south of the river tyne; Hotspur refers to Harry Hotspur, a Newcastle medieval military hero. Provost is the exception, being named for the Provost of the Woodard Corporation who had saved Tynemouth School from closure.

The House Challenge Trophy takes place each year, with pupils competing in sporting, musical and general knowledge events.


The school has an Anglican tradition as a member of the Woodard Corporation. Every year group attends a morning service in the school chapel each week. Communion is open to pupils, former pupils, staff and parents, and is held twice each term. The school no longer has a chaplain.


The school has a very active music department. Music provision is available for all pupils at King's, with peripatetic teaching in many instruments. A wide range of bands and ensembles participate in a number of events throughout the year. The main vocal ensemble is the Capella Choir, open to all Senior School and Sixth Form students. The annual Capella music tour is a well-attended tradition at King's. The annual rock and pop charity concert began in 2000, and the event sees several students auditioning to perform, from each year of the senior school. The concerts are known as "K2000", with the name changing each year (i.e. K2006 in 2006). It has become a tradition for members of the Upper Sixth to act as compères on the night of the event, and for a group of upper sixth formers to perform a comedy music and dance routine. The school also runs a highly successful Kings Got Talent Event which began in 2007. It is run by a group of Sixth Formers and is expected to raise over £2000 when it returns this year. A further annual music concert took place in 2009 called K-Unplugged, founded by sixth form members Saskia Ryan-Munden and Amber Marie Hobson. This concert is much quieter in the sense that only acoustic instruments are used.


There is a designated drama studio and this activity, as well as the recently constructed Kings Hall. Each year there is senior play and musical and the Junior School and Kindergarten hold two productions each year. Students from all year groups are able to take individual speech and drama lessons and take the LAMDA examinations.

Sport and societies

Each year group in the Senior School has one afternoon of games per week. Major sports taught at the school include rugby, cricket, tennis, hockey, athletics and swimming. In recent years several pupils have represented their country. Other sports include basketball, volleyball, canoeing, gymnastics, trampolining and cross country running. The school's coastal location, together with its on-site facilities and access to nearby Prior's Park provide a wide range of opportunity for sport and recreation. In the cricket season, most school cricket games are played at Tynemouth Cricket Club.

Alongside provision for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, several other clubs and societies exist, including debating and chess . A number of activities take place at the school's Field Centre outpost at Alnham in the Northumberland National Park. Students in the Sixth Form have the option of doing community service work instead of sport.

Giuseppe Garibaldi

The 19th century Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi sailed into Tynemouth on 21 March 1854 and is reported to have stayed at Tynemouth House whilst in exile. During his stay, he held a meeting at the house with British political and industrial leaders and addressed them on his plans for a unified Italy. His portrait was painted on this visit and this is now held in a Garibaldi museum in Sardinia. An English Heritage plaque on the outside wall of the school commemorates his visit, and the room where he is purported to have slept—now a teaching conference room—is named the Garibaldi Room.[7]


The Senior School uniform comprises:

Sixth Formers are expected to wear a business suit and the appropriate tie. Prefects wear a silver badge showing the school crest and motto; senior prefects and the head and deputy heads of school wear a gold badge.

Notable former pupils and staff


  1. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. 1 2 "Kings Priory School". School and college performance tables. Department for Education. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  4. Independent Schools Information Service - The King's School, Tynemouth Archived 9 November 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. News Guardian. "Concerns voiced over independent and state schools' plan to merge". Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  6. Evening Chronicle. "North Tyneside Council to challenge King's Priory plans". Retrieved 23 July 2013.
  7. "Priory Village at the Mouth of the River Tyne - NORTH COUNTRY WEB". Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  8. "Guide to Independent Schools". Guide to Independent Schools. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  9. Reinhard Groll. "The Lindisfarne file - back in 73". Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  10. Newcastle Falcons - Toby Flood Archived 22 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Westcott, Matt (15 June 2011). "Plato looking forward to a good old dust-up". Northern Echo. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  12. "Rally Driver Fomer Pupil Visits King's". The King's School, Tynemouth. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  13. "Gladiator is Guest of Honour at Sports Day". The King's School, Tynemouth. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  14. "Tynemouth: Definition from". Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  15. "David Ernest William Laidler (1956)" (PDF). King's Tynemouth Newsletter. January 2010. Retrieved 21 August 2011.
  16. "Player profile: Imran Shah". Retrieved 17 May 2011.

Further reading

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