A Long and Proud History
The origins of our current school go back to 1925 when the Kingsbury County School, with 71 pupils, was established in a building which had been the main office in Colindale of the former Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
In 1932, by now with 420 pupils and 25 teachers, the school moved to its brand new premises in Princes Avenue, prior to being designated a grammar school under the Butler Education Act of 1944. With the grammar school came the secondary modern, or two in Kingsbury’s case, and the Tyler’s Croft Secondary Modern Schools, one for girls and one for boys, opened in 1952
Kingsbury High School, the amalgamation of the grammar school and the two secondary moderns, was formed in 1967 and that is the date that most accurately represents the founding of our school.
In 1993 a majority of parents voted for the school to gain Grant Maintained status, which brought direct government funding and a degree of independence, for example, over admissions. The school rapidly gained a national reputation for computing, emphasized when The Queen personally chose the school for her launch of the royal website in 1997.
Kingsbury High was then designated a “beacon school”, charged with sharing its good practice with other schools. Specialist status in Mathematics and Computing followed in 2004 and the years 2010, 2014 and 2018 have seen highly successful Ofsted inspections confirming Kingsbury High as a "good" school. The school has consistently maintained a very good level of examination performance.
The school converted to Academy status in December 2011, reluctantly, in the knowledge that this would bring greater funding for the benefit of its pupils. It remains committed to the comprehensive ethos and to national terms and conditions for teaching staff and has retained its straightforward name "Kingsbury High School."
In 2011, the school began teaching largely to its mixed ability form groups in the first two years and reduced the sixteen subjects which pupils used to encounter every week. Pupils do not miss out but by grouping subjects together or placing them on rotations they study just eight in a given half term, enabling the formation of much stronger relationships between teacher and pupil, very much the key to progress. Alongside that the school introduced extended projects, oracy units to promote more confident speaking, Excel Days, the Kingsbury Guarantee and Year 8 graduation. It was all quite a change and year 8 pupils are now tremendously keen to graduate at the best possible level and to see if they can get their names on the new honours board in the Tylers Hall.
The sixth form developed, too, introducing “Pathway 3”, now “Access to A levels” which gives a chance for students to try out A levels who would not otherwise have met the entry criteria, and a programme for the most able sixth formers which prepares them for application and entry to the elite Russell Group universities.
The school changed in other ways, seeking to repel somewhat the enthusiasm the educational system had developed for valuing only what can be measured. Schools had slavishly adopted the Ofsted approach to grading teachers through lesson observations and Kingsbury High became one of the first to move away from that and to free its teachers up from the uniform expectations of teaching style which had been much a feature of the period nationally.
Kingsbury High is proud to be a comprehensive school. We still regularly send pupils to Oxbridge and we are equally proud of our reputation as a centre of excellence for our work with special needs pupils. At whatever end of the academic spectrum and all points in between, our pupils continue to succeed in gaining the skills they need for education and for life.