King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys

This article is about the Boys school. For the girls school on the same campus, see King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls.
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys
Motto "Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna"
Established 1883 (1883)[1]
Type Grammar school
Headteacher Martin Garrod
Chair of Governors (Foundation) B Matthews
Location Vicarage Road
Kings Heath, Birmingham
West Midlands
B14 7QJ
Coordinates: 52°25′47″N 1°54′10″W / 52.42964°N 1.90289°W / 52.42964; -1.90289
DfE URN 137045 Tables
Ofsted Reports Pre-academy reports
Students 900
Gender Boys
Ages 11–18
Houses Tudor (Green), Howard (Blue), Seymour (Yellow), and Beaufort (Red)
Website King Edward VI Camp Hill School For Boys

King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys is a highly selective Grammar School, and one of the academically most successful schools in the United Kingdom,[2] currently ranked 4th among state schools. [3] The name is retained from the previous location at Camp Hill in central Birmingham from where the school moved to the Vicarage Road in the suburb of Kings Heath in 1956, sharing a campus with its sister school, also formerly located in Camp Hill. It is a school which specializes in Science, Mathematics, and Applied Learning. In 2006 the school was assessed by The Sunday Times as state school of the year.[4] A Year 9 student was 2011 winner of The Guardian Children’s Fiction Page[5] and the Gold Award in the British Physics Olympiad was won by a King Edward VI student in September 2011.[6]

Ofsted inspections classify Camp Hill as an Outstanding Provider.[7]


As with the other grammar schools in Birmingham, including those of the King Edwards Foundation, admission is selective based on performance in the Eleven plus exam,[8] with around 1000 competing for around 120 places as of 2014 (the number of places available for Year 7 increased from ~90 following the many cuts of the coalition government of 2010-2015 that were made to schools). This number often changes or varies according to the number of candidates who originally sit the 11+ examination.[9]

Shared features

The school shares a campus with King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls and some major music events such as concerts, occasional drama activities, plays and musicals, are jointly held. A two week timetable synchronises the two schools, allowing for shares lessons for A-level subjects of Music and German. The fields, tennis courts, schoolyards and the main school buildings are not shared. There is a shared swimming pool used separately by boys and girls. The sixth form block is a shared facility in which the top floor is occupied by girls, and the ground floor is used by the boys' school. A joint sports hall is used by both boys and girls with a separation barrier. The dining room has a folding dividing partition. A new food technology room is located between the Girl and Boys school.


The school has computer rooms, a library, many science labs, and art and design rooms; it also features a lecture theatre, a large assembly hall, a sports hall, as well as specialised classrooms for subjects such as Mathematics, English, Modern Foreign Languages and the Humanities. The old gym has been redeveloped to create the school library, the wing where the English department is placed, and a Sixth Form study area.

Sports Hall

In October 2006, a new sports hall was officially opened, and is shared by students attending both schools. The hall includes two gyms, a dance/drama studio and, on the second floor, there is a mini-cafeteria, two classrooms and a fitness room, because all of the pupils need fitness. The building includes a lift for the disabled, as does the library.

New Extension

In the new 2016/2017 term a new extension opened on the Camp Hill grounds in which new science classrooms were added along with some normal classrooms. This project is to cope with number a pupils in the school increasing gradually every year due to new year group size.


The school was founded in January 1883 and operated for two terms on the New Street site of King Edward's School. This was the school location which JRR Tolkien thoroughly disliked, after the idyllic country life in Sarehole Mill (now a Birmingham suburb). It opened at its intended site at Camp Hill in Birmingham, near the city centre in September 1883, and moved to its current location, adjacent to Kings Heath Park, in 1956. Camp Hill Boys celebrated its 50-year jubilee in 2007 with a concert at Symphony Hall and the burial of a time capsule to be opened in another 50 years' time. It celebrated its House Centenary in 2007-8, with special events throughout the year that are not normally part of the house competition e.g. 5-a-side football. The events culminated in a House Festival, a day off from the regular academic timetable to allow every member of the school to participate in house events. Events at the House Festival also included non-sporting events such as drama, chess and music. The House Festival has since been repeated every 5 years, with the event occurring again in October 2017.

Specialist status

The school has been granted Specialist College status in three specialisms: Science (including Maths), Humanities and Applied Learning.


Students follow a curriculum of traditional core subjects, rather than the modern curriculum.

KS3 (Years 7-9)

From years 7 to 9, all students study and take internal exams in Maths, English, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, ICT, History, Geography, Design Technology, Music, Art, Religious Studies, PSHE and French in Year 7 followed by both French and German in Years 8 and 9. Students can choose to drop one of these languages for GCSE.

GCSE (Years 10 and 11)

In year 9, students must pick four option blocks of either History, Geography, RS, Art, Music, DT(Systems Control or Resistant Materials), French and German, one of which must be a language. These four subjects are studied in addition to the school's core Maths, English, English Literature, Chemistry, Physics and Biology for GCSE, as well as non-exam PSHE, Careers and Philosophy and Ethics.

A-Level (Sixth Form Years 12 and 13)

If students achieve the school minimum requirements(A grades in subjects you desire to do at A-Level, B in Maths and C in English), they may continue into Sixth Form. Students select three or four subjects to take from the ones they have done at GCSE, as well as Further Maths, Computing, Economics, and Business Studies. You may only take Further Maths if you also take Maths at A-Level, and means that the normal 6 Maths modules that would be done in 2 years are done in 1 year, and an extra 6 modules are done in the second year. General Studies is a compulsory A level for all sixth form students, and is taught for one hour a week, although these 1 hour sessions are sometimes used for other events such as careers afternoons. Critical Thinking is also offered as an AS level.


The sports played at Camp Hill are seasonal: rugby and hockey in the Winter term and Spring term; in the Summer term: Cricket and athletics are the main sports. Other sports include basketball, fitness, gymnastics, and tennis. Sixth form students may play football during games periods, and seniors (Years 11–13) especially the sixth form have the opportunity to play a wide variety of sports, including football, hockey, rugby, cricket, athletics, basketball, badminton, volleyball, table tennis, swimming, squash and tennis. All students are required to take part in certain house events (known as Standards) - cross-country, swimming and athletics. Other off-curriculum sports include fencing, swimming, and rugby and cricket training after school.

School Song

At the end of each school term the school song (similar to the song at King Edward's School) is sung. It is also not unusual for the rugby teams to sing this song after a rugby match victory, especially if the win is over a rival school.


Four houses are named after families who fought in the Wars of the Roses, Beaufort (Red), Howard (Blue), Seymour (Gold), and Tudor (Green). Students wear different ties corresponding to the house in which they are in. All students are required to be members of a house and a member of staff is head of a house. Events such as House Rugby, House Football, and others, enable students to earn points for their house.

There is also a house festival every 5 years.

House events are played in four age groups; juniors (years 7 and 8) play in individual years, and intermediates (years 9 and 10) and seniors (years 11-13) play as two groups. The house events begin in the Autumn with house rugby for all ages, rugby 7's for seniors, 11-a-side football for seniors, and house indoor 5-a-side football for all age groups. During the Autumn term, the house quiz also takes place, but with edited year groups, with juniors together and intermediates years 10 and 11. In early November, the house table tennis championship is held for all years, whilst cross country standards are run by boys from years 7 to 10. The house cross country finals are then held in December, along with house badminton for the seniors. Traditionally, house swimming standards are held in January, with the swimming finals after the winter A-Level exams. House chess is generally held in early spring, and house tennis at the end of spring. Both house cricket and house athletics are held in the summer, with Sports Day generally being held the week before the end of term.

In 2008, the school celebrated 100 years of the house system by hosting a day of house competitions in all subjects and extracurricular activities as well as additional competitions including scrabble, darts and film-making. The House Festival will be celebrated every 4 years, to enable all students to take part in at least one during their attendance at the school. The second House Festival occurred on 3 October 2012.

Student Volunteering

Students have many opportunities to help the school through many positions, and these require students to give up some of their in-school free time.


Temporary prefects are assigned through a random selection process (everyone who signs up has the same chance to become a prefect) in Year 11 while the Year 12s and 13s are on exam leave. Every year, 40-55 new Year 12 prefects are voted in by teachers and the Year 12 students, although you must nominate yourself (a large proportion of the year nominates themselves). If you are voted in as a prefect, you may then nominate yourself to be a head boy (one available position) or deputy head boy (2-4 available positions), to go through a selection process that includes interviews for the final candidates.

The duties of a prefect include controlling the lunch queue, patrolling the library and enforcing basic rules such as uniform regulations in the corridor.


The school's librarian makes positions available for those in Years 8-13, to help manage functions of the library including shelving books and manning the main desk to scan books to be borrowed by students.

Notable alumni


  1. "The Schools of the King Edward the Sixth Foundation in Birmingham". King Edward VI Foundation. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  4. O'Reilly, Judith (19 November 2006). "The Sunday Times State Secondary School of the Year 2006". The Times. London.
  5. The Guardian, Saturday 12 November, Reviews: Stanton, Andy Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout,
  6. "News". King Edward VI Camp Hill School For Boys. 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. "Outstanding Providers". Ofsted. 2014.
  8. "The Schools of the King Edward the Sixth Foundation in Birmingham". King Edward VI Foundation. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  9. "Admissions". King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys. 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  10. "Professor Andrew Crawford". University of Cambridge. 2011. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  11. "Prof. F.D.R. Hobbs, General Practitioner". SHAPE. 2003. Retrieved 27 November 2011.

External links

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