The school has three boats, built by staff and students (with help from boat designer Nigel Irens) and named after Viking King Alfred’s three daughters: Æthelflæd, Æthelgifu, and Ælfthryth. There are many opportunities for students to sail the KAS boats: the Thames Great River Race, the Picknett challenge, Year 9 Thames trips, weekly Choice at the Welsh Harp Reservoir, Sailing Camp and an annual sailing trip to the Norfolk Broads or Croatia for KAS families in the summer holidays.
Curriculum based Trips
There are a wide range of trips designed to enhance the curriculum and students have many opportunities to visit London’s varied cultural facilities. Last year, these included various plays and musicals, art and photography shows, and visits to galleries, workshops, museums, university degree shows, businesses, book readings and festivals, Biology and Geography students organise residential fieldwork in various parts of the country and abroad, and the MFL department takes students to France and Spain for intensive language practice. Art and Photography students travel every year to a foreign city, which in the past has included Berlin, Barcelona, Venice, Istanbul and Paris. The History/Government and Politics department has led trips to Washington, Cuba and Moscow. The Computing department has taken students to New York to enhance their understanding of technology in the States and our Physics Sixth Formers will benefit from the biannual trip to Cern in Switzerland.
One day each term all students of the School will have what is called ‘Enrichment Day’ or ‘Museum Day’. On this day they will go out of the school to visit Museums or Galleries that are showing something that is relevant to their studies in one or more of their subjects. Alternatively students may stay in the school to undertake an activity, examples include working in teams to produce large cardboard reliefs of Picasso art works, a Historical Tudor Day or ‘The Real Game’ as part of the Careers programme.
Camps and The Village
Following on from similar activities in Lower school, Camps are an integral part of our programmes in Years 7 to 9. Providing students with the experience of spending a week living in a community away from home, the Camps are not all under canvas, though they mostly require students to do all their own catering and cleaning, and be responsible for their own entertainment. They also allow students to experience mixing and cooperating with students from other classes and year groups, and engaging in activities that are very different from those they encounter in their daily school life.
In Year 8 this process is taken a step further when students spend a week living in self-built huts in a leafy corner of the school grounds – The Village. They are encouraged to be self-governing and self-sustaining and to live by the schools core values of mutual respect, social responsibility, individuality and self-reliance, and the enjoyment of education through freedom and play.
The Village in Events
The school has a long term involvement with a school in the Hunan Province in China. There is a bi-annual student exchange to China.
Each year a group of KAS Year 11 students go on a trip to Namibia to help the charity EHRA to protect elephants and to help local schools. Students fundraise to pay for the trip.
Following the Tsunami in Sri Lanka in 2004 King Alfred School started a project that founded the Kinniya King Alfred pre-school in the north east of Sri Lanka. A group of students from The King Alfred School went out to Kinniya in 2005 to help start a massive clear up and to work with the children who had started at the school. Since then there have been numerous visits from staff and students. KAS has funded this small school since 2005 and the school is almost financially independent now.
In addition, students are often instrumental in helping us to refine our programmes of trips in response to their interests. Recent examples of this have included skiing in the Alps.
Duke of Edinburgh Award
The Duke of Edinburgh Award has been running at KAS for several successful years now. The Bronze award encourages students to independently complete four sections that consist of volunteering, skills, sport/physical activity, and an expedition. Students pick one option from a list that is available on www.dofe.org and carry them out for an hour a week, for either three or six months. To complete the award students must commit to the award for about twelve months.
The award can be started in Year 9, 10, 11 or in the Sixth Form. The award is vocational in its nature, and can reward students with a great sense of achievement and purpose, especially when helping others in the volunteering section and when working in a team for the expedition. The expedition involves camping in the countryside, an adventurous 6-8 hour walk, and cooking your own food.