King James's School

The History of King James's

King James's School is steeped in history and tradition. It was founded as a chantry school in 1547 and received its name, and a royal charter, in 1608 thanks to the efforts of three men, who travelled on horseback from Farnley Tyas, the nearby village, to London to get a royal charter from the king. They were sent by wealthy inhabitants of Almondbury, who wanted a local school for their offspring. Extensions were made to the school by William Swinden Barber between 1880 and 1883.

Formerly a grammar school, in 1976 King James's became a comprehensive. The highest academic traditions remain however and, over the years, young people have left King James’s well-equipped to live very successful and happy lives.

In November 2019, Ofsted noted, 'Pupils understand the history of the school and learn the school's values.'

Whilst King James’s is proud of its distinguished history, it is also a school that is continually looking to develop further, exemplified by the school motto: “Floreat Schola” – May the School Flourish! 

You can discover more about the history of the school from the Old Almondburians website:


We have endeavoured to encapsulate 400 years of educational tradition through the King James's Way. This summary of foundational principles, reflected in the school's badge and motto, have remained at the school's heart over many years.