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City of London School facts for kids

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City of London School
Coat of Arms of The City of London.svg
Motto Latin: Domine Dirige Nos
Established 1442; 581 years ago (1442)
Type Boys' independent day school
Head Sarah K. Fletcher
Senior Deputy Head Richard M. Brookes
Chair of Governors Ian Seaton
Founder John Carpenter
Location Queen Victoria Street
London, EC4
United Kingdom
Staff 122
Students 900~
Gender Boys
Ages 10 to 18
Houses Abbott, Beaufoy, Carpenter, Hale, Mortimer, Seeley
School colours Black and Red          
Publication The Citizen (weekly)
City Lights (termly)
The Chronicle (annual)
Former pupils Old Citizens
Affiliations City of London Corporation
The Rifles

The City of London School (CLS) is a private school for boys, aged 10 to 18, next to the River Thames in the City of London. It was established in 1442. It is the brother school of the City of London School for Girls (a girls' school within the City) and of the City of London Freemen's School (a day and boarding school in Surrey).

The School was founded by a private Act of Parliament in 1834, following a bequest of land in 1442 for poor children in the City of London. The original school was established at Milk Street, moving to the Victoria Embankment in 1879 and its present site on Queen Victoria Street in 1986.

The school provides day education to about 900 boys aged 10 to 18 and employs approximately 100 teaching staff and around another 100 non-teaching staff. The school has had thirteen headmasters. The majority of pupils enter at 11, some at 13 and some at 16 into the Sixth form. There is a small intake at 10 into Old Grammar, a year group consisting of two classes equivalent to primary school Year 6. Admissions are based on an entrance examination and an interview.

Some notable recent pupils include the actors Daniel Radcliffe from Harry Potter movies, Skandar Keynes, of The Chronicles of Narnia film series, and Harry Michell of Tom Brown's Schooldays and Feather Boy.

School life

The school seeks to provide a community "to foster good relationships between members of the staff, the pupils themselves and between members of the staff and pupils", so that pupils can develop their social confidence as well as thrive on academic excellence. The school's aims and range of extracurricular activities reflect this ethos.


City of London School has six Houses. Boys are assigned to a House in the Third Form, which they stay in throughout their school career. There are inter-house events (e.g. sports, literature among others) which contribute points to an overall Inter-house Competition that is decided at the end of the year.

School uniform

The school requires school uniform for all pupils up to the fifth form. Sixth former's do not have to wear the uniform but they are required to wear suits and the sixth form school tie. The uniform is a blazer with the school crest, white shirt, black trousers, shoes, black socks and school tie which has black and maroon stripes.


Pupils are required to take a minimum of ten GCSE subjects in the fourth and fifth form of which six, Mathematics, English Language, English Literature, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are chosen for all students. The confines on the remaining four options are that one must be a humanity and another a modern foreign language. Additional subjects and qualifications are taken by some students.

There is also a program of PSHE, and games at all levels, and a ICT program for the first and second forms.

Extracurricular activities

The school offers many extracurricular activities. These include over 50 clubs and societies including a Model United Nations, public speaking and debating society which frequently participates in international competitions.

Boys themselves can create and manage clubs, with school funding available for activities. There are also trips, opportunities to carry out community service and a Combined Cadet Force.

The school also gives boys the opportunity to receive instrumental tuition as well as join music groups including orchestras and choirs. The school also offers sports including Football, Cricket, Basketball, Water polo, Swimming, Sailing, Fencing, Squash, Badminton, Fives, Athletics, Cross-country, Judo, Karate and Indoo rowing. Most of these sports take place on school facilities.

Sports such as sailing and climbing take place on non-school facilities. Boys also represent the school in competitions at varying levels.

The school has a tradition of supporting a charity, chosen by the boys through a ballot, each academic year. The fundraising activities are coordinated by the boys and events take place throughout the year to raise money for the selected charity. An average of £50,000 is raised each year. The school also participates annually in the UKMT Team Maths Challenge and the Hans Woyda Maths Challenge, consistently finishing in the top ranks each year.


Great Hall stage
The Great Hall stage and Walker organ, originally designed for the Victoria Embankment school building.

The school's sports facilities include a multi-purpose indoor sports hall, a fencing salle, three squash courts, a 25-meter swimming pool, a conditioning room, a rooftop AstroTurf football pitch and grass playing fields and athletics tracks at Grove Park, Lewisham. Music facilities include three ensemble rooms, ten rehearsal rooms and a music technology lab. Other facilities include the Great Hall, a sixth form common room, a bookshop, a library, an archive room, three ICT labs, facilities for the Combined Cadet Force (including a rifle range), a drama studio, two playgrounds and a drama theater.

School fees

Although the City of London School has always charged fees to most of its pupils, it describes the fees as moderate compared with other independent schools, and it has always offered scholarships, both on the basis of academic and musical ability. After the withdrawal of the Government Assisted Places scheme in 1998, the school has offered full-fee bursaries (or Sponsored Awards) to pupils from families on lower incomes.

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