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The King's School, Pontefract

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The King's School
Kings School, Pontefract - - 225994.jpg
Established 1139
Type Academy
Headteacher Julie Craig
Founder Edward VI of England
Location Mill Hill Lane
West Yorkshire
England EnglandCoordinates53.68540°N 1.31858°W
DfE number 384/4020
DfE URN 139500 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Staff 55
Students 1027 (year 7 105)
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–16

The King's School is a coeducational secondary school with academy status, located in Pontefract,West YorkshireEngland. It is one of the four oldest schools in Yorkshire, dating from 1139[1] and was refounded by King Edward VI in 1548.[2]


King's School Pontefract was founded in 1139. Little documentation survives from its early years, and it was refounded in the reign of King Edward VI. It has been associated with the Duchy of Lancastersince 1588 when it was given an endowment to allow it to continue functioning. In 1792 it was refounded yet again by George III who is the eponymous king. Annual payments of £50 were made by the Duchy of Lancaster until 1869. It closed in the 1880s but reopened on 4 May 1890[3] and since then it has enjoyed a continuous existence up to the present day, although it was relocated in 1932.

Grammar school[edit]

The present buildings were opened on 14 July 1932 by Sir F. Stanley Jackson.[4] It was a boys' grammar school with around 650 boys, operated by the West Riding County Council. Four houses were formed, each associated with a name and a colour. They were Atkinson (yellow), Lyon (blue), de Lacy (green) and King Edward (red). Classes corresponding to years were numbered from 1 to 5 with three streamed classes in each year from and including Form 2. Upon entry to the school boys were placed in classes 1A, 1B and 1C ordered by surname alphabetically. In the second form streaming started with the top 30 rated pupils being placed in 2R (R for Rapid as year 3 was skipped by these pupils, passing directly to 4R). The other classes in the second form were 2A1 and 2A2, arranged by Surname alphabetically. Thereafter the classes were for example in the 5th form: 5R, 5A1 and 5A2. All pupils had a form master and went to classes with specialist Teachers. There were not enough rooms for all classes to have a form room - some of the upper sixth form used to have the corridor outside the dining room as their form room. Only a few pupils stayed on for the sixth form, many pupils left the school at 16. It was expected that the R-class pupils would go on to the sixth form. The Grammar school had a long tradition of playing Rugby Union and there were large fields outside for this purpose, converting to cricket in the summer. Notable Teachers from the 1960's, 1970's included Mr. ('Esta') Dunn (Latin), Mr. T ('Tom') Sealy (Geography) Mr. ('Moggy') Myers (Art) and Mr. John ('Spin') Dwyer (History). All teachers in those days were given a usually affectionate nickname.


It became a comprehensive with a sixth form in 1978.[5] Pontefract Girls' High School, the girls' grammar school became New College, Pontefract, and 11-18 school. In 1987, Pontefract schools lost their sixth form, with a sixth form college being established at NEW College, Pontefract.


The school converted to academy status on 1 April 2013.


The following have been headmasters:[citation needed]

  • J. G. Peck (1970–77)
  • Alan Aldous (1959–70)
  • Edward Forrest (1939–59)


The school is currently situated on a raised area near Ackworth Road in Pontefract, along Mill Hill Lane, southwest of the town centre and the A645/A639 crossroads. There are over 1,000 pupils, 55 full-time and 8 part-time teaching staff with a similar number of additional staff. Its current headteachers are Julie Craig and Barbara Tibbetts. The King's School, Carleton Community High School and many of the Primary Schools in the two pyramids are now members of The Pontefract Education Trust whose main purpose, along with providing the best education possible for all Pontefract children, is to co-operate with each other for the benefit of all.


The school is heaped in tradition, especially when it comes to sporting traditions, with its major sporting events being rugby union (the year 11 team reached the final of the Yorkshire Cup in 2006) and athletics, with a lot of athletes going on to achieve many local and national honours. [6]

Academic performance[edit]

The school above-average GCSE results, the seventh best in Wakefield LEA.[citation needed][when?]

Notable former pupils[edit]