The full story...
To discover the full details of Kingsmeads 100 year history, take a look at The Story of Kingsmead by Dorothy Watts available in the reception area... And for real enthusiasts there are limited stocks available for purchase!
"An ideal environment for learning well"
In 1904 Arthur Watts, one of six sons of a Baptist minister and a gifted mathematician, founded Kingsmead School in Hoylake. His vision was to establish a Christian school in which the environment would be ideal for learning well, for playing good games and keeping physically fit. All but one of the brothers became involved in some way in the schools early years; three were Cambridge scholars.
Many of the traditions which the brothers began in those early years still thrive in Kingsmead today.
Among them, the Moel Fammau excursion first took place in 1907. It involved an 8am start from Great Meols Station and three different steam train journeys before arrival at Rhydymwyn. The exhausted boys arrived back at school at 10pm.
Now, a century later, the Moel Fammau walk is still a much-anticipated annual treat.
In 1911 the school chose its motto, summing up Arthur Watts belief. It was, and still is, Dominus Vitae Robur The Lord is the Strength of Life.
The Great War claimed the lives of 13 old boys, each one a personal bereavement to Arthur Watts. Two Kingsmeadians won the Military Cross a master, Lieutenant Lavery and an old boy of just 19, F W Atherton.
The years between the wars were ones of economy and survival as the Depression took the world in its grip. It would take until 1944 for numbers to return to their 1921 levels. By 1939 Kingsmead was 35 years old and Arthur Watts, aged 68, had just two short years in which he shared the running of the school with his son before Gordon was called up to the RAF. At 70, Arthur was left to steer Kingsmead alone through another war
When peace returned, Gordon lead the school, introducing educational visits and travel as new features of Kingsmead life. His early years saw trips to the Lake District, soon followed by the first overseas trip - 17 boys and two adults travelled to Switzerland: an enormous undertaking for the time. This zest for travel and discovery remains alive and well in Kingsmead today, both for the pupils and their families and friends via the Centenary Leisure and Travel Club.
Another son, David, returned to Kingsmead in 1949 to run the school in partnership with Gordon. He soon became the sole Head and during his 30-year leadership the school continued to expand, becoming co-educational in the mid-1960s. New facilities followed each other rapidly: an indoor pool, woodland plantation, the Memorial Hall and new science labs. In 1966 an Educational Trust was set up to secure the school for the future.
The 1990's saw more expansion, firstly to include children from the age of two in a new Kindergarten. This was followed shortly afterwards by the extension of the leaving age; the school now educates children up to the age of 16, offering a wide range of GCSEs.
The school still occupies the original site, although Arthur would be astounded and delighted by the changes and developments which have taken place over the years. The long awaited Music Block opened in 1984 and the Centenary Building, which is the flagship of the Senior Department, was opened in 2004, rapidly becoming the centre-piece of the newly-extended 11-16 Kingsmead campus.
Over 100 years after it first opened its doors to offer its own very special brand of education, Kingsmead can still proudly say it fully develops every aspect of our pupils' potential within a wonderful, nurturing Christian environment.
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