Kingsdale School celebrated its 50th year in 2009. In recent years it has had massive funding to upgrade its existing buildings and provide a new auditorium and music and sports centres. Whereas, in 1959 its projected role was 2500 pupils it now accommodates a maximum of1200, with an eight form entry at year 7. Instead of being taken to Ewell by coach for games, it now has the use of the adjacent former Mary Datchelor Girls’ School ground (which it shares with DCPS) in Huntslip Road. It is the most over-subscribed first preference state secondary in Southwark or Lambeth and this year it received 1,100 applications for the 200 places available.

Mr S. H. Morrison, the headteacher, is keen to express his preference for Foundation over ‘old style’ Academy status. This, he argues, has been beneficial because it does not require another tier of authority above the governing body itself.. The school, through its governing body, is therefore in charge of its own budget and admissions policy and its own staff recruitment. The admission policy has changed significantly with Foundation status; 15% of admissions places go each year to pupils who are awarded either music or sports scholarships (mathematics is to be added to the scholarship percentage shortly). Scholars can expect to receive individual or small group tuition in their chosen subject. Of the remaining places; the majority are offered by random allocation to any child who wishes to apply, irrespective of distance from the school and to achieve a 50-50 boy/girl ratio. This has led to a wider social mix attending Kingsdale in the incoming Year 7, which earlier had its admissions policy based on a geographic entry with those nearest the school being accepted.

This September the school will offer sixth form places for 100 pupils in year 12 and 100 in year 13. Admission will be based on performance at GCSE level. Entry for the subjects of choice will require an A* or A grade in GCSE for Level 3 courses. While 80% of places in the new sixth form will be reserved for existing Kingsdale pupils, 20% will be offered to external students who meet the criteria for entry. The School has applied to offer the International Baccalaureate alongside traditional Level 3 courses including A and AS levels.

The school also offers a ‘Saturday School’ in a range of subjects, a breakfast club and Christian and Muslim prayers and fellowship on several days a week. A large range of clubs operate during the lunch break and after school and the school is prepared to form a new club if 15 or more pupils ask for it. Horse riding, archery, chess, films, choir and instrumental music clubs are some on the lengthy list. After-school clubs also exist for drama, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, art/textiles and the jazz band. There is an impressive list of homework or extra-tuition clubs after school.

Open Days are Wednesday 15th September 9.30-11am, and 5.30-8pm, Saturday 18th September 11am-1pm, Wednesday 22nd September 9.30-11am. Wednesday 29th September 9.30-11am. Saturday 2nd October 11am-1pm, Wednesday 6th October 9.30-11am, Saturday 9th 11-1pm.