An outstandingly wide variety of clubs and extra-curricular activities are offered to students at The King Alfred School. All departments have drop-in times where students can go for help with their homework, or any aspect of the subject they need help with (usually before or after school).
Clubs range from sports clubs and teams for Football, Netball, Hockey, Touch Rugby, Badminton, Basketball, Rounders and Tennis, to music groups such as Barbershop, Chamber Choir, Jazz Choir, Middle Years Choir, Jazzworks, Flute Group, Soul Band and Orchestra, as well as French debating, Latin, Italian, Maths, The History Society, Free The Children, Reading group, Sewing Club, ICT Club, Geography Quiz Club, Creative Writing, School Newspaper Club, Art Club and The Biscuit Club for homework.
A variety of curriculum extension opportunities are provided through a range of events; termly public debates, eg. following the English Speaking Union’s School’s Mace format; debating competitions in French and Spanish against other schools; lectures and talks on a wide range of subjects; Art/Photography workshops given by visiting art professionals; Design Technology workshops in use of leather, shoe making, jewellery making, etc; masterclasses in Drama and Music related fields (eg Lesley Garret workshop for sopranos); Mathematics Olympiads and Hans Woyden Cup entries.
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 Normandy, 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 benefit from the biannual trip to Cern in Switzerland.
There are many opportunities for students to get involved in drama and musical productions. Some recent productions across the Upper School have been: Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, and the school’s Shakespeare Festival included Romeo & Juliet, A midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado about Nothing.
Each year there is an Upper School musical production. Last term’s was Sweeny Todd, and other recent productions have been Into the Woods, Guys and Dolls, Grease and Les Miserables.
Throughout the year there are a number of theatre trips as well as music concerts: Soloists, Christmas concert, Summer concert, ‘Unplugged’ and ‘Axemonsters’.
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.
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.
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 co-operating 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 principles of mutual respect, social responsibility, individuality and self-reliance, and the enjoyment of education through freedom and play.
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.
Every year there is a school ski-trip for Upper School students.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award has been running at KAS for several successful years now. 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.