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King's College School

Article with four drawings of a large hall type building with a large timber framed hall and elaborate door, all in medieval styleOpening of new King's College School at Wimbledon, July 1899When King's opened its doors in 1831, it was to schoolchildren as well as adults, as provision had been made for a day school for boys between the ages of 9 and 16 located in the basement of the Strand building.

Initially, it was a popular success with numbers of students rising to 500 in 1834.

One purpose of the School was as a feeder to the adult college and it shared its design to teach the sons of the aspiring middle classes - army officers, merchants and manufacturers.

The curriculum was broadly liberal in outlook, including the classics, mathematics, natural philosophy and modern languages, reflecting in part the expertise of teachers in the Senior Department who, for a fee, also regularly delivered lectures and scientific demonstrations to large audiences of excited boys.

The School also offered more technical subjects such as drawing classes, the first instructor being the famous painter, the water-colourist, John Sell Cotman. Other notable early teachers included Italian master Gabriele Rossetti, father of the poet and painter.

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