News from Kings London
Progress reports and parental communication
3rd June 2019
As part of the support provided at Kings London, students’ development is continually monitored, and formal student reports are provided twice a term. These provide students and parents with a regular update on the work that has been covered, targets set, progress achieved, areas for further development and, where appropriate, updates on UCAS applications.
Kings' academic community extends beyond the classroom and the relationship between students and the academic and welfare teams. In addition to the regular reports, parents and guardians are invited to engage with the college throughout the year. This may include individual meetings to provide further information, support or guidance.
Parental feedback is always welcomed, as it is important for us to understand their perspective on how the school is supporting students and how students are progressing, and to hear the value that they feel we are adding for our students. We have recently been given the following feedback:
"Kings London has helped my son improve his attitude to learning in such an important way. We chose Kings London for him because they offered small classes and an opportunity for him to study the three subjects of his choice at A-level.
The best thing about the school is the friendly nurturing environment, consistent teaching staff, regular progress tests and the convenient location.
I would recommend Kings London to other parents because it is a realistic alternative to larger private schools which may not bring out the best in certain teenagers. The smaller international element allows the students to meet a variety of people from all over the world."
— Mrs B, parent of current A-level student
"We chose Kings London for our son to retake GCSEs because of the small class sizes. These have not only helped his confidence immensely but ensured that he was given the highest level of tuition possible."
— Mr B, parent of current GCSE student
Outside the classroom: the importance of extracurricular activities
28th May 2019
At Kings, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, or 'enrichment' activities as they are also often known, alongside their main academic studies.
These activities range from participating in student councils and committees and nationally-accredited award schemes (such as the Duke of Edinburgh's Award), to joining clubs and societies. Kings London offers a host of different options including sports clubs such as Badminton, Bowling, Football and Tennis; creative activities such as Guitar, Cookery or learning a new language; and clubs with a more academic focus such as Book Club, Debating Society, Kings Enterprise and Science clubs.
The Enrichment Programme at Kings also enables students to take part in both local and international volunteering and fundraising schemes, and to complete work experience placements if they wish.
There are many benefits that come from involvement in these activities and schemes, some of which are highlighted below.
Developing new skills
Whilst many enrichment options give students the chance to further skills within a specific subject or hobby, such as Maths or Photography, for example, extracurricular activities are also great for developing softer, more transferable skills. These can include skills such as public speaking, working in a team and time management skills.
Developing new interests
One of the great things about the Kings enrichment programme is that it can allow students to explore completely new interests that they wouldn't otherwise have been exposed to. They can also provide a great chance for students to broaden their horizons and their understanding of the world, particularly within the context of school which welcomes international students from a wide range of countries.
Helping students stand out within university and job applications
Extracurricular activities can help ensure students have plenty of evidence to include in both university and job applications that demonstrates they are well-rounded and have plenty of transferrable skills. For example, participation in Student Councils or on the Kings Business Enterprise scheme can show an ability to work as part of a team — or as a successful leader if a leadership position was held — and the determination to achieve goals.
Negin is currently completing a Medical Sciences degree at the University of Leeds. Speaking to us about her experience at Kings, she referenced how useful the enrichment programme had been when it came to applying to university.
"I did Biology club and UKCAT. UKCAT classes really helped me prepare for my UKCAT exam for entering the university. Biology club was more of a fun class that we could do exciting experiments that were not usually part of our study. I was also part of the Student Council.
In my first year, I was the head of Charity Committee and the second year I was the secretary. Writing about my responsibilities during this time in my personal statement helped me to show the universities that I have some experience in leadership, which was an essential skill for my course."
Complementing academic studies with a way to relax
Enrichment activities can often provide a very welcome alternative to the rigours and intensity of academic study. Undertaking activities that complement class-based learning with a more relaxed pace, or which help keep the body fit as well as the mind, can be of huge benefit to our students.
Providing opportunities for socialising
Being a member of a club or committee is a great way to spend more time with peers and make new friends. Given that extracurricular activities may be undertaken with people that students don't usually interact with, it also offers the potential to meet new people with similar interests and to build friendships outside of the usual circles. This ensures that social networks are widened, and that communication and interpersonal skills are honed.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development
The extensive range of opportunities available add to all aspects of students' personal development and well-being.
"The curriculum is greatly enhanced by trips and visits to places of interest. The college fully exploits the resources of the capital city. For example, students aiming for design related careers shared a long list of museums and galleries they had visited as part of their wider studies. Other examples included visits to universities and recreational visits to places of interest, such as Shakespeare's Globe Theatre on the Southbank.
Clubs and societies, including photography, theatre, debating, and sports and fitness, encourage students to be active and make friends with students from different backgrounds and cultures. The college makes good use of the local sports centres so that students have wider opportunities for physical activity."
— Kings London Ofsted Report, 2018.
From Kings to studying Medical Sciences Engineering at UCL
15th May 2019
Qian Lin completed A-levels with us at Kings London before winning a place to study at prestigious UCL (University College London). Now in the second year of her degree, we recently caught up with her to find out about her experience at UK university so far.
Hi Qian Lin. What degree subject are you studying and how was your first year at UCL?
I am doing Medical Sciences Engineering at UCL. I enjoyed my first year at UCL as I got to meet new people and to experience a new environment at university.
Did you find university degree level study a jump from A-levels?
For me I would say it was not a jump because university study is actually built on what you have got as a foundation during your A-levels. They will expand the new knowledge based on that so I really think that is important when you're considering the subjects during your A-levels.
In what ways do you think Kings best prepared you for your degree?
In terms of study, the teachers at Kings are really friendly and very helpful because they are very patient. They tried their best in preparing me for my exams, also resolving what I didn't understand during the lessons.
What support did you have from Kings in regards to your university application process?
The staff from Kings are really helpful. Initially they gave me a really detailed introduction to the UCAS system, where you are applying for university, and also they give you guidance and advice when you are choosing universities. My Biology teacher gave me a lot of support in my personal statement and also preparing for my application, like he gave me mock interviews and also very detailed feedback after the interviews to improve my performance. This really helped me in the university application.
Why did you decide on UCL and are you pleased with this choice?
UCL was always my first choice. I did some research into universities and I really liked UCL. I also went to their open days and I got a really good impression of UCL and yeah, I am very happy with my choice.
Tell us what you enjoy most about your degree and your plans for the future.
I enjoy how challenging my degree is because my degree is a multidisciplinary degree which is engineering and medicine mixed together, and I particularly enjoy the lab sessions because I really feel it prepares me for my future projects and also for my career. I am planning to do a Master's followed by a PhD afterwards and after the PhD I am thinking to take a role in research.
What you recommend the same path to other students at Kings and the same university?
I would recommend they come to Kings because the staff at Kings are really kind and friendly and they really care about you. You can get to know a lot of people — because Kings is such a small community you get to know each other very well and that really makes your life interesting and warm.
University Offers update
16th April 2019
2019 is shaping up to be yet another exciting year of success for students at Kings London.
University Offers continue to be confirmed and it is interesting to see the wide range of subjects, prestigious universities and leaders in their fields for which our student have already received offers. Some of their chosen degree subjects and offer universities are listed below.
All students benefit from a structured and personally tailored University Application Programme. They are supported throughout the whole process by our team of experienced expert academics and counsellors.
Students’ choice of university may be influenced by a range of factors and are encouraged to explore their opportunities in detail. They are assisted to identify the most appropriate degrees and specialist institutions to meet their individual ambitions in their chosen subject and professional areas.
Architecture, Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, Biomedical Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, Business Management, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Education, Environmental Management, Environmental Science and Sustainability, Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing, Fashion Management, Film, Media and Cultural Studies, Games Art & Design, History, Interior Architecture and Design, Interior Design, International Fashion, International Politics, International Relations, Materials Science and Engineering, Law, Law with Politics, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Media and Communication, Medical Sciences, Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Philosophy, Politics and International Relations, Psychology, Sustainability and Environmental Management, Sport and Recreation Management and many more!
Leading and specialist universities
Brunel, City, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Goldsmiths, Istituto Marangoni, Kent, Kings College London (KCL), Kingston, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich University of Arts, Newcastle, Nottingham, Queen's Belfast, Queen Mary, Reading, Royal Holloway, Sheffield, SOAS, Southampton, Surrey, Sussex, University of the Arts London (UAL), University for the Creative Arts (UCA), Warwick and more!
Adding value with the EPQ at Kings
21st January 2019
The Extended Project Qualification or EPQ is it is more commonly referred to, is a standalone qualification which is often taken alongside A-levels. It is highly valued for progression to university and carries UCAS tariff points.
Through the EPQ qualification students will complete a research project to explore an area of their own interest. At Kings this is usually directly related to their ambitions for further study at university and may be in a subject not offered at A-level.
By following an EPQ, students will develop and demonstrate a wide range of transferable skills, which can include:
- project management, planning, research, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis, decision-making, problem-solving, evaluation and presentation skills
- critical, reflective and independent learning
- creativity, initiative and enterprise
- e-learning skills and the use of technology
The EPQ is assessed through a final project, report, dissertation, presentation or physical project with the following four learning outcomes:
- Managing a project
- Using resources
- Developing and realising a project
- Reviewing the project
The qualification is graded A*-E and carries UCAS tariff points equivalent to half a full A-level. It is highly-valued by universities. The Russell Group’s Informed Choices guidance advises that:
“Russell Group universities value the EPQ which can be drawn upon in your personal statement and at interview to provide evidence of enthusiasm for your chosen subject. Some Russell Group universities may also include the EPQ in their offers”
Many universities make dual offers to include an alternative offer with an EPQ. The University of Southampton were the first university to introduce an alternative offer scheme but there are now many examples; Queen Mary may provide a dual offer of ABB at A-level or BBB with an A in the EPQ.
For entrance to Medicine, Queen's University, Belfast will accept a grade A EPQ in lieu of their 4th AS requirement.
Other universities, including Oxford, may not make specific conditions for EPQ but do recognise the value it adds and encourage students to take it. Cambridge “welcome and encourage” the EPQ but “recognise that not all students have equal access to them and so completion of an Extended Project won't normally be a requirement of any offer made.”
Kings students continue enhance their university applications, using the EPQ to research a wide range of subject areas including English Literature, Fashion, Motor Engineering, Politics and Product Design.
Anna (pictured above) achieved an A in her EPQ project on Artificial Intelligence and is now reading Computer Sciences at King's College London.
Open Day at Kings London on 9th February
4th January 2019
Calling on all interested in learning about the GCSE, A-level and Art & Design Foundation programmes we offer at Kings London, whilst taking a tour of our college.
We are holding an Open Day on Saturday 9th February from 10am till 12pm. It will be the perfect opportunity to meet our academic team, visit the school and ask any question you might have about the programmes and how we can help students with their future study plans.
Fill in the registration form by clicking on the tab in the bottom right corner of this page.
What careers can a degree in Art and Design lead to?
14th November 2018
In short, when it comes to the world of work, there are endless opportunities for art and design graduates — both in terms of job roles and industries. Currently, it is estimated the UK creative industries workforce totals over 2 million. The global innovation foundation NESTA states the UK is on track to create a million new creative industry jobs between 2013 and 2030, this could total 1,000 new jobs a week.
If we think globally, the opportunities are endless. Everything we wear, use or watch, and the environments we live and work in all have to be designed by someone — that could be you!
A variety of specialisms
Within the field of art and design, there are numerous specialisms, many of which are offered as specific degree courses within specialist universities and arts institutions. These include Animation, Film Production, Architecture, Interior, Product and Fashion Design to name just a few.
Mariana progressed from Kings' Foundation programme to study BA (Hons) Film Production at UCA. Now working at award-winning company Gullane, one of the biggest film production companies in Brazil, she commented:
"I work in the development department, which is the part of the film process I have always wanted to work in. So, I am in the path I was hoping to take on when I decided to work in Film.
Art school is great and will give you the best environment to create and get to know likeminded people. In the case of film, more specifically, the British film industry is a reference worldwide and, in my opinion, does really well in both commercial and more auteurist films, and that is reflected in the way they will teach you. Plus, the industry is really well established and you have the best resources to create and understand the different fields within it."
A range of industries and sectors
Whilst often a specialist degree can enable students to forge a path to a career within that specialist field, there are other courses within the realm of art and design which can arguably lead to a wider range of options post-degree.
For example, a degree course in Graphic Design can open up a wealth of opportunities across a huge variety of industries. Working in the Central Marketing Unit at Kings, our graphic designer Emma Charleston’s work includes the design of websites, prospectuses, and college signage, yet her skills would be equally as relevant and sought-after by tech or travel companies, banks, or healthcare providers. Alongside her work at Kings, Emma is also an illustrator who creates and sells her own screenprints, lino cuts and letterpress pieces, as well as producing commissioned illustrations for a wide range of clients.
Working in other artistic capacities
Whilst many graduates choose jobs which allow them to use their art and design skills in a practical sense every day, there are others whose career enables them to work in the world of art and design, but without actively working as an artist or designer. Teaching art, working as a gallery curator, or even as an art therapist would all fall into this category.
Valuable transferrable skills
Completing an Art and Design degree is widely credited with nurturing all-round problem solving skills, visual analysis, the ability to find creative solutions and make critical judgements, and the capacity to work outside your comfort zone — all of which equip art and design graduates with transferrable skills which are welcomed in a whole range of sectors.
In debates over the value of studying the arts, Steve Jobs is often cited as explaining that the secret to Apple's success was that he hired artists/creatives with a passion for technology, rather than simply experts in technology:
"It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough — it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices."
It is worth noting that Apple's Chief Design Officer, Jonathan Ive, was born and studied in the UK.
Flexible working and freelancing
Certainly, one huge benefit of working in the field of art and design is that very often jobs within it lend themselves to freelance work as well as contracted employment. This can offer much more freedom and flexibility than other disciplines, and also enables people to take their skills all over the world if they wish.
The illustration above shows some of the many interesting, skilled and sought after jobs which Art and Design students can consider in the world of today — and who knows what opportunities lie ahead in the future!
Starting Art Foundation in my home city of London
29th October 2018
Local student Annabelle recently began Art & Design Foundation at Kings London. We asked her what she thinks about life at Kings so far, and what she wants to achieve during her course.
Hi Annabelle, where are you from?
I'm from England but I'm half Russian. I lived in Dubai for 4 years, but I've mostly lived in England.
Why did you choose the programme you are studying?
I chose Art Foundation because I like art and I would like to study games design in university and this course could be very useful for me.
Is there one area in particular you are enjoying so far?
All day I have art lessons, and it's very intense. I really like doing drawings of still life, and also just creating my own art work and taking inspiration from different artists to create something relating to a theme as a response for continuation of their work.
How would you describe your experience at Kings London so far?
I'm really enjoying myself here, I really like it at Kings. I've changed colleges and schools quite a few times because I've had trouble speaking with people and making friends, and I think Kings is one of the best places I've been to and I feel really welcome and at home here.
What would you say are the best aspects of the school?
Because it's quite small and there are very few students, the teachers can really focus on each individual person. Also because I can call the teachers by their first names everything feels very personal here and it kind of feels like a big family home.
Have you joined any clubs and societies yet?
I've joined Tennis Club, I do that every Wednesday, but the teacher for the club trusts me with the key so I can also go on other days when the Tennis Club isn't on.
Have you made friends at Kings?
Yes, I've made a lot of friends — in my first week I pretty much made friends with everyone in my tutor group and from there I made friends from other classes. Everyone's just really kind to me and I'm really happy about that.
Is this the first time you've studied with classmates from other countries?
No, most schools I've been to have been international schools or had boarding students.
Is the student mix similar at Kings to the other schools you've been to?
Yes, at a previous school I've been to they had a lot of Asian students as boarders and lots of Russian people, and it's really interesting because I get to learn about different cultures and it also adds to my art work and inspiration.
Where are you staying?
I don't live in Kings accommodation, I live with my mum in a house nearby.
What do you think of the area, and what do you like most about Beckenham?
I've lived in London for about 5 years, since I came back from Dubai, so it's normal for me. I've never really visited Beckenham — even though I live really close to Bromley — so I'm still quite new to the area, but I really like this place.
There's a movie theatre and cafes and shops and there's a park nearby, so there are lots of things to do in my free time here.
What are you most looking forward to about the next few months?
Improving my art, and I'm looking forward to future projects and what I can make, and focus on what's more relevant to my pathway — because Art Foundation mainly focuses on the fundamentals of fine art, and I'm interested in games design, I would like to make more illustrations and digital work which would be relevant for my future.
Open Day at Kings London on 3rd November
15th October 2018
Calling on all interested in learning all about the GCSE, A-level and Art & Design Foundation programmes we offer at Kings London, whilst taking a tour of our college.
We are holding an Open Day on Saturday 3rd November from 10am till 12pm. It will be the perfect opportunity to meet our academic team, visit the school and ask any question you might have about the programmes and how we can help students with their future study plans.
Please note we have start dates in January and we still have spaces available on some of our courses if you want to start with us early in the new year.
25 Beckenham Road
London BR3 4PR
Celebrating our students' GCSE Results
23rd August 2018
It has been another great year for GCSE students at Kings and we offer our heartfelt congratulations to them all.
Kings GCSE results include:
81% A* – B (6 – 9)
86% A* – C (4 – 9)
100% A* – C (4 – 9) in Science and Maths
GCSE results day is a significant milestone. It's the point at which students make personal choices about the next critical stage of their journey.
Kings student Natalie attained a clean sweep of 9 A*- A grades in today's results. She is on track to achieve her dream of studying at the University of Oxford. We also celebrate with Tim, who gained A*A in all of his GCSE subjects at Kings in 2016, four A* grades at A-level this year, and will be progressing to read Engineering at the University of Oxford this September.
If you are considering your options, contact us to learn more about how Kings could help you to Reach Higher.
It's GCSE Results Day tomorrow!
22nd August 2018
GCSE Results Day can be an anxious time but there are lots of ways to ease the stress and take it all in your stride. Here we give you some tips about what to expect and how to cope.
What happens once you have your results
When you get your GCSE results, English language and Maths are key subjects that are likely to be minimum requirements for many schools and colleges so these are possibly the ones to look out for.
Specific subjects may be needed for progression to certain A-levels or other courses so check those against the requirements for your course.
If you’ve achieved the grades you need for progression to your Sixth Form or further study. Time to celebrate! Students often find that one or two grades have slipped below their aspirations. Should this happened to you, focus on the positive grades you have achieved.
What if I didn’t get the grades I expected?
If your grades in particular subjects are below your expectations the first consideration may be if that affects your opportunities for progression. If it doesn’t then perhaps it is best to look forward rather than dwelling on the past.
If you feel that you performed better than the grades you received your school may be able to apply to have request a review. For coursework they may request a review of moderation. For exams they may be able see your scripts or request a review of the marking. Bear in mind that grades could go down as well as up so think carefully before you request this. It’s important to discuss the options first with your subject teachers.
If you haven’t achieved the grades you need and can’t progress as you intended, all is not lost. There are still plenty of other options.
You could retake your subjects or combine them with new ones or perhaps look at different course options or colleges which are better suited to your skills, interests and ambitions. Whatever happens, remember this is not the end, just another step on your journey.
Top 7 tips for sailing through Results Day
- 1. Get a good night's sleep. Lying awake the night before won’t change your results!
- 2. Keep the day free and don’t make plans until you know your results.
- 3. Make sure you phone and laptop are fully charged. You might need them.
- 4. If you need to contact your school, find a quiet place away from distractions.
- 5. Remember to have your UCAS ID number and login details with you on the day.
- 6. Seek advice if needed and consider all your options carefully.
- 7. Don’t panic! Whatever happens there are always paths open to you.
Reaching higher through A-levels at Kings
21st August 2018
Joe, from Brighton, joined Kings in September 2017 to complete his second year of sixth form, and is now progressing to university in Liverpool. We spoke to him and his mother Colette, on the day he received his A-level results.
Hi Joe, how has your summer been?
Joe: My summer has been good! I have been dreading this day, but I am very happy.
Are you pleased with your progress and results?
Joe: From where I started and the level I came in at when I came to Kings last September, honestly, university didn't feel like it could ever be a real option for me.
It was a far-off dream. It is hard to put into words, it is amazing to think how far I have come, as a journey. The help I have been given, the guidance and support from my family and from the team at Kings as well. Just getting me to this point is unbelievable, I am over the moon.
Colette: And in such a short space of time, because it is not even a full 12 months. When we discovered the Kings opportunity and met with the Principal who was amazing and really flexible, it totally felt right. And he said to us, "We will work with Joe to find the right pathway for him, and we will customise his education for him," and I thought, this is just gold. What Joe has had from the tutors, as he has said, as well as the academic support and emotional support has been great.
Joe: I don't think I could have gone anywhere else. If I had stayed in my other school, I wouldn't be in the position I am today. It is because of Kings that I am going to university.
Colette: When [Academic Administrator] Agnes just said, "Good luck at university," I thought, YES, he is going to university!
Joe: It is unreal.
Was it a turnaround from where you were?
Joe: The level I was at, it wasn't bad, but I wasn't in the right head space, I wasn't in the right environment.
Colette: The environment here has been amazing, and the relationships he has made. I think has been a great bridge for university because he has come out of the school environment into a college and made a great bunch of international friends.
Joe: Friends for life.
Has it changed your idea of school? Did you enjoy school before you came to Kings?
Joe: Oh yes I enjoyed it (probably too much!) but the balance wasn't right in terms of, I was enjoying myself a lot more than I was actually learning!
But in Kings I had the balance. Yes you can enjoy yourself and you make new friends and there are so many activities you can join in etc. But then the focus for me, supported by my tutors, was learning. Honestly, the levels of teaching, the dedicated support you get is just on another level to something you would get anywhere else. I felt that everyone genuinely wanted me to succeed!
How are you feeling now?
Colette: I am thrilled. Thrilled and proud and grateful and thankful, everything. Sure, Joe has to do his part because no one can do it other than him, but the infrastructure, the teaching support that he has had has been inspirational. They should all feel really proud.
Joe: I completely agree, mum.
Are you looking forward to university?
Joe: I am, it can't come soon enough. I am a bit scared, a bit sad leaving home, but Kings has been a little step, a building block towards that. Learning to be independent, which is good.
So, you have a lot more confidence in your ability to do well now?
Joe: Exactly. Maths was one of those things that I was OK at but never really interested in, and when I was doing it with Mr Benier I found that I was more capable than I thought, and I was understanding things a lot more.
There are so many different ways of learning and finding another way that you learn best — whether it is verbal, written, seeing or hearing — and I learned this when I took a test to find out how I study best. The results of that test were incorporated into my lessons.
Colette: That kind of custom learning, he wouldn't have got that if he had stayed where he was. Everyone does learn differently and aside from that you have to be able to engage with your teachers and tutors, enjoy their company, and you don't want to let them down, which is a big thing for Joe.
I think that Kings were able to do that and custom design how they were going to get the best out of this Joe; we know that capability is in there, we just need to find it and pull it out!
Joe: 100 per cent. That is exactly what it is, they get the best out of you. When you are loving learning, when you are having fun, when you are doing this because you like it rather than because you have to, they do get that belief out of you.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Joe: A big shout out to [fellow Kings students] Mark and Diego. Just a massive thank you to everyone. It sounds like an Oscar award, but just to everyone behind the scenes helping me, my family, teachers Mr Benier and Miss King.
Colette: They really helped Joe. Aside from the academic side and the learning, I think they really helped Joe to have more belief in himself.
I would like to say good luck to anyone else who comes here and is afforded the same experience and opportunity. It is the best thing that could have ever happened to us.
Joe: I came in with the mindset that I would not know anyone, this was just going to be the place for studying, a second chance and to hopefully get me to where I need to be.
But I have met so many amazing people. I wasn't surprised at how well I liked it because I knew from the moment we went to visit, just by the look of the school and meeting the staff, it was going to be good, and also that the quality was high. I was just surprised at how much I loved it.
Update on A-level results at Kings
20th August 2018
We are delighted to announce the following pass-rate statistics for Kings students’ A-level results 2018:
A*- A 42%
A* - B 65%
A* - C 80%
Congratulations to all of our students for the amazing progress made and excellent final examination results they have achieved, and the very best of luck for the next stage of your educational journey!
26 of the Times and Sunday Times Top 30 universities will be welcoming Kings students this year, including Oxford University, Imperial College London, Durham, Lancaster, UCL, Loughborough, Warwick, Leeds, LSE, Bath, East Anglia, Exeter and Birmingham.
A-level results success at Kings
16th August 2018
Students up and down the country will have received their A-level results today. There will have been lots of celebrations but unfortunately some disappointments. Whatever the results, it is now time to move on to the next stage of your journey
Students at Kings are enjoying fantastic success. Kings has a student-centred ethos, developing individual learning plans to meet the needs of each student and ensure they achieve their full potential. Kings students consistently Reach Higher:
- A* pass rate 75% above national average
- A* - A pass rate 38% above national average
- 39% exceeded predications by two or more grades
Polly is just one example. With benchmark predications of C grades, her actual results were AAAA. She will now be progressing to read Law at the University of Manchester.
Amazing university success
Today, Kings students confirmed their places at 18 of the Times Top 20 ranked universities.
Tim (pictured top left) joined Kings three years ago to complete his GCSEs, achieving a clean sweep of A*s and As. He then progressed to A-levels and is absolutely delighted to have achieved A*A*A*A*.
Tim will be progressing to read Engineering and is making his final decision between the University of Warwick or University College, University of Oxford.
If you haven’t achieved the grades you need and can’t get a university place through Clearing, don’t panic, all is not lost. There are still plenty of other options to explore. It is a good idea to get advice and explore the opportunities to help you make an informed decision. You could consider retaking your subjects or combining them with new ones, perhaps looking at different course options or colleges which are better suited to your skills, interests and ambitions.
Whatever your results, remember this is not the end, just the next step on your journey
Everything you need to know about Results Day
10th August 2018
With A-level Results Day on Thursday, students up and down the country are nervously anticipating their results. It can be an anxious time but there are lots of ways to ease the stress and take it all in your stride. Here we give you some tips about what to expect and how to cope.
What happens once you have your results
When you get your A-level results, there are three possibilities:
- 1. You’ve achieved the grades you need for your firm choice university. This means they will accept you and change your offer to Unconditional. Time to celebrate!
- 2. You’ve achieved the grades you need for your insurance choice university but not your firm choice. You’ll be accepted by your insurance university. Congratulations — you’re off to uni!
- 3. You don’t achieve the grades you need for any of your university choices. Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic. You’ll now go into Clearing.
So what’s Clearing?
Clearing is the process by which any unfilled university places are published so you can find another university and degree course. Remember though that you might need to be flexible in your choice of course or university. Your school will help you weigh up your options so you make the best decision for you. They will do everything they can to make sure you get that university place. So it’s important that you contact them as soon as possible after you get your results.
What if I think I’ve got the wrong grades?
If you think you performed better than the grade you were given, it’s possible to apply to have it remarked. Bear in mind that your grade could go down as well as up so think carefully before you request this. That’s why it’s important to discuss this first with your subject teachers.
If you haven’t achieved the grades you need and can’t get a university place through Clearing all is not lost. There are still plenty of other options.
You could retake your subjects or combine them with new ones, perhaps looking at different course options or colleges which are better suited to your skills, interests and ambitions. Whatever happens, remember this is not the end, just the next step on your journey.
Top 7 tips for sailing through Results Day
- 1. Get a good night’s sleep. Lying awake the night before won’t change your results!
- 2. Keep the day free and don’t make plans until you know your results.
- 3. Make sure you phone and laptop are fully charged. You might need them.
- 4. If you need to contact your school, find a quiet place away from distractions.
- 5. Remember to have your UCAS ID number and login details with you on the day.
- 6. Seek advice if needed and consider all your options carefully.
- 7. Don’t panic! Whatever happens there are always paths open to you.
Choosing your A-Level Subjects
27th July 2018
One of the most difficult decisions students have to make to achieve their place at a top university is which subjects they should study at A-level.
Every student is an individual. Whilst there is no single recipe for success it’s sensible to choose subjects that demonstrate your ability, develop both your subject knowledge and transferable skills and that keep your options open.
Kings personal tutors and UCAS advisors are highly experienced in developing tailored study plans that ensure a genuinely satisfying academic journey and successful outcomes. Whether you are taking A-levels for the first time, resitting subjects or revising your study plan, come and talk to us to see how we could help you achieve your ambitions.
Here are ten top tips for success:
1. Do your research: Research which course best matches your interests and the subjects the universities require. If, like many students, you are not certain of your plans for degree, think about which subjects you don’t wish to pursue and check which doors that would close.
2. Don't limit your options: The prestigious Russell Group of universities published a guide called Informed Choices which explains in detail what they are looking for. We suggest that students typically choose at least two "facilitating subjects", with the third choice being more flexible.
3. Breadth of subjects is good: Avoid significant overlap, for example Economics and Business Studies.
4. Follow your interests: Students tend to be better at the subjects they enjoy and this should lead to a more fulfilling future career, but remember that two years is a long time and you might change your mind.
5. Play to your strengths: If you enjoy essay writing and research, then essay-based subjects demonstrate your communication and analytical skills and critical thinking. Science subjects demonstrate logical thinking and reasoning as well as building familiarity with scientific principles.
6. Consider studying a new subject: A-levels open up new subject possibilities, you may find a new area of study you find intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.
7. Know what the A-level course entails: Find out what exactly you will be studying over the next two years and how the course is structured. Kings London will provide advice and guidance but we are also flexible, it’s possible to change your mind if you start a subject and find it really isn’t the right fit for you.
8. Maths can be a winning choice: Universities value Maths and it is a pre-requisite subject for many degrees. Mathematical and statistical problem solving, data analysis and interpretation skills are used in a broad range of subject areas. If you have the potential to achieve good grades it is well-worth considering.
9. A-levels are more difficult than GCSEs: This may seem obvious but be prepared for a big jump in the focus, level of difficulty and possibly the effort required for each subject.
10. Get advice from the experts: Every potential A-level student should receive tailored advice from their current school, but we are always happy to discuss your subject choices. Our team are experts at helping students achieve their full potential and win their place at a leading university. Our students’ results and destinations illustrate their success.
Successful university applications: more than just grades
17th July 2018
Securing a university place is a landmark moment in any student’s life and one which therefore requires plenty of thought and preparation.
University provides an opportunity to explore a specific field in greater depth, often providing the platform from which students launch their professional careers and marks a new stage of personal development and independence.
Given the importance of this decision it is essential for students to ensure that they gain the right advice and guidance, not only about the most appropriate degree and university for them, but also about the application, offer and acceptance process.
The extreme competition for places at the top universities means that applicants need to do everything in their power to set themselves apart. Proven academic ability is one obvious criteria. Published minimum entry requirements (expressed in terms of grades for A-level or equivalent level qualifications) are just that: the minimum criteria. Getting these grades does not mean an automatic degree offer from that university.
For example, Imperial College London publish a minimum entry requirement for their BSc in Chemistry as AAA at A-level, however, based on 2017 data, 85% of offers were made to students with A*AA-A*A*A.
To have the best chance of success, the applicant needs to showcase more than just good grades.
Imperial College London also explain that applicants are selected based on academic achievement and performance in admissions tests and interview (where applicable). Departments look for students’ motivation and interest in the chosen subject, with evidence of full background research. They advise that admissions tutors “are also looking at applicants’ potential to benefit from – and contribute to – College life”. This is not unique to Imperial, UCL and other leading selective universities express similar criteria.
The Russell Group university, the University of Leeds, refers to using a ‘basket of measures in decision making’ when it comes to making offers. So, what does this mean? What additional factors could help students win their ideal place?
Additional assessments, tests and exams
For certain subjects, such as Medicine and Law, students may be required to do additional tests, which are designed to assess their aptitude for the skills required to study these subjects. The UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test) is open to students considering studying medical and dental degree programmes, the BMAT (BioMedical Admissions Test) is another test for potential students of medicine, dentistry and also veterinary sciences. The LNAT is for students considering a degree in Law.
For those students considering applying to Oxbridge, there is also the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA), a generic admissions test which is designed to test problem solving and critical thinking skills.
For all of the above, an interview is often required in the latter stages of an application.
An engaging personal statement
A personal statement is a short essay in which students explain why they’re the perfect candidate for the undergraduate degree course they are applying to. Students only write one personal statement, which is seen by all the universities they apply to.
The statement offers them a chance to distinguish themselves from other candidates, showcase their strengths (beyond the academic), as well as their interest in and knowledge of the area of study for which they are applying: students should think about the stories and practical examples they can use to evidence this.
A stand-out interview
If a student is invited to an interview by their prospective university, this is the final chance for them to demonstrate why they would make an excellent candidate for their chosen course — and, what they could bring to the university.
Interviews can range from an oral ‘exam’, a panel interview or multiple mini interview (MMI), to an informal chat, designed to encourage the applicant to choose that course. The format is also likely to vary according to the course – for example, whilst a Maths candidate may be asked to solve an equation, a student applying for an English Literature course may be asked to comment on a recent book they have read.
Interviews can also vary in length - lasting anything from ten minutes to an hour. Some universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge may require more than one interview and for students to be at the university for at least a day.
Above all, tutors want to see that students genuinely enthusiastic about their subject. They may also ask them to expand on any claims they made in their personal statement which demonstrate their particular interest in the subject so it’s wise for students to re-familiarise themselves with their statement before attending the interview.
Mock interviews are a great way to prepare, and are a regular part of the programme at Kings. Remember: asking good questions will impress interviewers just as much as good answers!
Relevant work or professional experience
Particularly for vocational degree programmes such as Medicine, gaining some relevant work experience during their pre-university studies can help students win a place at their preferred university. Work experience will demonstrate to admissions tutors not only a genuine interest in the subject, but also that the applicant is informed about, and committed to, the rigors of their intended course.
As former student Jeremy, who is now studying Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast commented:
“After doing my AS level at Kings, I spent 2 months in a hospital doing some volunteering. During those 2 months I was able to shadow doctors, nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists and I knew from that experience that Medicine was the right choice for me.”
Other extra-curricular activities
It is important for students to demonstrate that they understand and possess the skills and attributes relevant to their chosen field of study and how they will contribute to their chosen universities’ academic community.
There are many extracurricular activities which further specialist knowledge and interest in an intended field of study, but equally there are others, such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which are designed to enhance students’ wider abilities — both academically and on a personal and social level.
Those students who actively pursue extracurricular activities and projects are often viewed as very motivated and keen to take on new challenges and experiences — both of which are attributes which tend to be looked upon favourably.
References are as important as any other documents in a university application, particularly as universities are generally not able to interview every applicant, although they may be compulsory for some courses. References help them to gain an impression of who a student really is, which can be crucial when making a decision about whether to issue an offer. References are normally written by someone who knows the student at school or college, such as an A level tutor, who will – providing they have worked hard and maintained good attendance – be able to vouch for their suitability for their chosen course.
The ideal degree is within reach!
Students shouldn’t be daunted by the university application process to leading universities, but it is important to make sure that, not only do they have outstanding academic tuition, but also that they have advice, support and guidance from experts who understand the requirements are about more than just grades.
University Success 2018
3rd July 2018
2018 is set to be another fantastic year of success for students at Kings London.
- 100% of our A-Level students have offers to Russell Group and Top 30 ranked universities
- 100% of our one-year A-Level students have Russell Group offers
- 100% of our Art Foundation students have degree offers for their chosen specialist fields
Our students have confirmed offers to a wide range of prestigious universities and a real A-Z of academic and professional fields – from Art to Zoology!
Durham, Lancaster, Loughborough, UCL, Warwick, Leeds, Bath, UEA, Exeter, Birmingham, York, Bristol, Nottingham, Surrey, Sheffield, Essex, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sussex, Kings College London, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Kent, Reading, Leicester, SOAS, Swansea, Liverpool, Queen Mary, Coventry, City, Aston, University of Law, St George's, University of the Arts London, Leeds College of Art, Ravensbourne, Goldsmiths, Falmouth, Arts University Bournemouth, Kingston, UFCB.
Arts: Animation; Architecture; Creative Advertising; Fine Art; Fashion; Games Design; Interior Design.
Business/Economics/Management: Actuarial Science; Accounting & Economics; Business Economics; Business & Management; Economics; Economic Studies and Global Sustainable Development Marketing Management; Finance & Management; Global Business Management; International Tourism & Hospitality Management; Sports Management.
Law/PPE/Social Sciences: Education; English Law and French Law (Matrise); Law; International Relations; Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE); Political Economy; Politics and Society; Religion; Social Sciences with Quantitative Methods; Social Policy and Economics.
Medical Professions: Biomedical Sciences; Medicine; Neuroscience; Pharmacy; Zoology.
STEM: Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Science; Mathematics; Mathematics, Statistics and Financial Economics; Mathematics, Operational Research, Statistics, Economics (MORSE); Physics.
Developing the skillsets that will lead to future success
22nd June 2018
In five years' time, it is said that more than one-third of the skills (35%) that are considered important in today's workforce will have changed.
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2020 the so-called 'Fourth Industrial Revolution' will have introduced, amongst other things, AI, autonomous transport, biotechnology and genomics.
These developments will have a huge impact on the way we live, and the way we work. Entirely new jobs will be created, whilst others which are commonplace now will disappear. As a result, workers' skillsets will also need to evolve.
A study conducted by the WEF found that these ten skills are likely to be most desired by employers in 2020:
1. Complex problem-solving
2. Critical thinking
4. People management
5. Coordinating with others
6. Emotional intelligence
7. Judgment and decision-making
8. Service orientation
9. Negotiation skills
10. Cognitive flexibility
Interestingly, although negotiation and flexibility are high on the list of skills for 2015, in 2020 they will begin to drop from the top 10 as machines begin to make our decisions for us. A survey done by the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society shows people expect artificial intelligence machines to be part of a company's board of directors by 2026!
Universities in the UK work hard to prepare students for successful future careers, and at application stage generally look for students who show the most potential, and who possess skills like those referenced above — in other words, those who will be best prepared for university and life beyond.
At Kings, we aim to prepare our students as fully as possible, ensuring that they have the skills which will both make them attractive to their preferred universities, and in the future to potential employers. We do this not only through class-based learning, but also through an array of enrichment opportunities that help students broaden their knowledge and skillsets even further. A selection of these, and some of the skills that they nurture, are highlighted below.
There is a Student Council in place at each of our schools, which gives students the opportunity to relay student views to staff on a variety of topics. It also gives members the chance to organise in-college events, such as fundraising activities and end-of-year balls. This enrichment option gives students the opportunity to hone a number of the top ten skills listed above, for example coordinating with others, judgement and decision-making, service orientation and people management. As student Judy commented,
"I am part of the Student Council, actually I am the President of the Student Council. I really enjoy it because I want to improve my leadership skills."
Kings London student Irina also pointed out the advantages of involvement with the Student Council:
"I've been in the Student Council since the beginning of the year — I'm Social Representative. We have a few members of it, a board, but we don't just do separate things — when we're organising events, like the Romeo and Juliet play or the May Ball, we do it with the EFL Student Council. It's very good for university applications, but it's not simply for merit or reward. You receive so much experience from it, when you're organising events, this teamwork really helps — it prepares you for university life."
Trinity Arts Award
The Trinity Arts Award is another feature of our enrichment programme, and is designed to help students to explore their creativity. As our Trinity Arts coordinator Nicola Cranshaw states:
"Students are not only enabled to be creative and, in some cases, discover a side to themselves that they didn't realise was there, but they are also helped to gain some of the other important skills to prepare them for university and beyond. Leadership and teamwork skills are vital at degree level, in the work place and in life generally. Whilst managing creative projects, students apply critical thinking and analysis to a joint goal and achieve some great work together. All very impressive when applying to university and importantly, their confidence and personal growth as young adults."
Clubs and Societies
There are also a range of clubs and societies that form part of the enrichment programme. Again, many offer students the chance to develop and practise skills that now feature in the top ten. For example, Art Club is ideal when it comes to developing creativity. Student John commented,
"Art club helps me academically and my personal interests as well. It is about life drawing so I like to draw and why not do some drawings beyond class… This is the first time I have done life drawing."
Debating Society is another popular enrichment option, which offers students the chance to learn and develop skills such as cognitive flexibility (being able to adapt how you communicate based on who you're talking to), and negotiating.
Some of our clubs involve team sports, such as basketball club and football club. These offer students a great way not only to keep fit, but also to thrive as part of a team, something which in itself requires a good level of emotional intelligence, and the ability to coordinate with others.
Other clubs involve learning new hobbies, such as photography and even chess — a great example of an activity that uses both problem-solving and decision-making skills.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme
A further enrichment scheme which develops all of the skills that feature in the top ten is the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. Comprising, at Bronze level, four sections (volunteering, physical, skills and expedition) it is completed over several months, and offers participants the chance to meet new people, learn new skills and enjoy physical activity. In 2007, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (the DofE), funded by The Pears Foundation, initiated in-depth research into the impact of the DofE on young people. One of several statistics established was that 93% felt they'd improved their teamwork skills (coordinating with others), 84% improved their decision-making skills and 76% stated that they were now better at sticking to tasks and seeing them through (complex problem solving).
Whilst the majority of students of A-level age choose to undertake the Bronze level award, two further awards — the Silver and Gold — are also offered to students between 14-24.
Volunteering and work experience
There are many opportunities to get involved with volunteering whilst studying at Kings, an out-of-classroom activity which can teach students a huge range of skills, as well as being hugely rewarding. Equally, unpaid work experience can be a fantastic way not only to get an idea of what a certain type of career would be like, but also to learn new skills in areas such as complex problem-solving, people management, coordinating with others, judgment and decision-making and service orientation. Students who are interested in applying for a medical degree, for example, have the option to undertake work experience placements in local hospitals, or with the British Red Cross whilst completing their studies at Kings.
Extended Project Qualification
A final enrichment opportunity available to A-level students, including those at Kings, is an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). The qualification is taken by some students in England and Wales, and is equivalent to half an A-level. It can be particularly good for nurturing skills like critical thinking. All students may take an extended project as a free-standing qualification, and although the choice of topic is free, they must show that it is academically useful, either related to their current course of study, or their future career.
Good Ofsted rating for Kings London
14th May 2018
In early 2018 Kings London was inspected by Ofsted and, we are delighted to report, achieved a ‘good’ rating overall.
Ofsted is the most rigorous and detailed inspection regime in the country. Schools are generally inspected every three years, and feedback from the inspectors is what helps us maintain consistently high standards and exceptional results.
The inspection reports highlighted many strengths, with the schools achieving an ‘outstanding’ rating in the area of ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’ and a ‘good’ rating in the areas of ‘effectiveness of leadership and management’, ‘quality of teaching, learning and assessment’ and ‘outcomes for pupils’. Some of the highlights are as follows:
Personal development, behaviour and welfare
- “The school’s work to promote pupils’ personal development and welfare is outstanding. Excellent relationships at all levels and a high degree of trust make the college a stimulating and pleasant place for everyone to work.”
- “Students were very positive about the quality of support they receive for their university applications. The advice and guidance undoubtedly helps them to choose the best courses and universities for their future. The preparation for the next stage of their education or employment is excellent.”
Effectiveness of leadership and management
- “Leaders have high expectations and strongly promote a culture of success. They have a caring approach and have put systems in place which help students settle well and quickly get to grips with the demands of their courses. “
- “The college respects students’ different cultures while at the same time introducing them to British culture and fundamental British values. Discussions and debates, as well as involvement in the decision making in the college, help students to understand principles of democracy, tolerance and the rule of law. These values are very clearly seen in the day-to-day life of the college.“
Quality of teaching, learning and assessment
- “Teachers have excellent subject knowledge and clearly understand the requirements of the courses they are teaching. This gives students confidence and helps them to gain new knowledge and skills well. Skilful use of interactive whiteboards and video clips provide effective visual materials to support students’ language development. Students support each other well in lessons and in many classes they were working effectively in pairs to develop their understanding.”
Outcomes for students
- “Students achieve well and results have improved since the previous inspection. In 2017, all students on A-level courses progressed to a suitable course at university. A-level results built on the improvement in 2016. In 2017, over half the grades achieved were at A* and A. This was well above the national average.”