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King Edward's School Birmingham

School rating 4 / 5 by

Edgbaston Park Road Birmingham West Midlands B15 2UA United Kingdom
4th to 12th
Boys only


King Edward's School Birmingham review by .

KES - King Edwards School, Birmingham whilst an excellent school academically, has always had an emphasis on producing well rounded young men, rather than just being an "exam factory". There is no particular emphasis or speciality in any particular subject or set of subjects - rather the school has strong departments in all subjects. The science labs are well-equipped, the music department is modern and the art and design technology department has its own building with all the expected facilities for a school of this stature. When I was there a couple of years ago, I took mainly science-based A Levels, which had excellent teaching and preparation for University. However, I understand that the school is now in a period of great upheaval as the International Baccalaureate is being adopted in order to provide not only a more rounded education to the boys, but also to simultaneously provide a depth of education on par with or beyond that of the A Levels. In addition to A Levels, I received special classes in Physics (the degree I am now studying at Oxford) and in Mathematics that were beyond the scope of the National Curriculum, and beyond my GCSE and A Level studies. Lower down the schools, these lessons were given as fun extension classes to foster a natural fascination with the Mathematical Sciences for gifted students in these fields. In the Sixth Form, these classes were to help us with interview preparation, encouraging us to think in new ways that would be required of us at University, rather than just churning through standard exam questions. I also received a weekly class to help prepare me for the Physics Admissions Test at Oxford and a couple of practice interviews for Physics. All of these classes and interviews were provided by teachers going above and beyond their paid hours! The school's teaching philosophy was friendly and nurturing, and although very much lecture-based, we still go the opportunity to work together, discussing how best to tackle problems and specific areas of the syllabus. Class sizes lower down the school are about 20-25 as everyone does the same subjects. GCSE classes are slightly smaller at around 20, but towards A Levels, class sizes can come down to 10 or even 5 for less subscribed subjects like Ancient Greek or Further Mathematics. The teachers are always happy to help, even above and beyond the call of duty. The work load can be a bit hectic at times, especially in the Sixth Form, but is usually manageable, and the school always encourages good time management skills. The school runs many subject help sessions are lunchtimes and after school for those in difficulty in particular subjects. In addition to this, there is a student-run "Mentoring Society" which runs on Thursday lunchtimes, when older and/or more gifted students provide classes and tutoring to those in difficulty.

College Counseling

One of the main unsung strengths of KES is its Careers Department. There is a....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

KES operates entrance at three stages. The 11+ exam is designed for applicants to year....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Going to KES was quite possibly the best seven years of my life thus far, and this is no understatement. It is astonishing how quickly friendships can form. Almost everyone I met there was so friendly. The Dining Hall provides well-priced, healthy and tasty food at breaktimes and lunchtimes, and there is also a Tuck shop to fill up when time is in short supply. The Upper School Common Room, as well as being a social hub for the Sixth Form, with its pool tables, comfy seating, TV etc, also has its own Tuck shop, where food is available almost all....

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