King's High School, Dunedin

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King's High School
King's High School, Dunedin
270 Bayview Road

Coordinates 45°54′12″S170°29′39″E / 45.903217°S 170.494294°E / -45.903217; 170.494294 Coordinates: 45°54′12″S170°29′39″E / 45.903217°S 170.494294°E / -45.903217; 170.494294
Type State Secondary
Motto"Building Men For Life"
Sister school Queen's High School
Ministry of Education Institution no. 383
RectorNick McIvor [1]
Gender Boys
School roll836 [2] (July 2022)
Houses  Stuart
Colour(s)Navy, Light Blue
Socio-economic decile7O [3]
Facebook page

King's High School is a state single-sex boys' secondary school in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is located at the southern end of the city close to the boundary between the suburbs of South Dunedin, St. Clair and Forbury, next to the parallel single-sex girls' school, Queen's High School. Both schools share several facilities, including the multimillion-dollar Performing Arts Centre which opened in 2006.



The school first opened in 1936, and held its 75th anniversary in late 2010. [4] [5]

In 2011, the school had the highest National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) pass rates for state boys' schools in New Zealand. [6] Among the results, the level one score averaged at 93.4% (a significant increase from 71% in 2008). In 2017, NCEA pass rates continued to be above the national average, with NCEA Level One averaging 96.6%, and Level Three averaging 90.0%. [7]

King's had 722 pupils in 2007, growing to 1,008 pupils in 2014, the highest roll in King's 78-year history. The size of the roll also meant that King's became the largest school in the Otago region, overtaking Taieri College in the process. [8] Since then, student numbers have remained steady, measuring 1,041 students in 2018. [9]

In mid February 2021, King's High School attracted significant domestic media attention after a 16 year old African-American student named Lewis O'Malley-Scott was told that he could not wear cornrows by Rector Nick McIvor. His parents and older sister objected to the cornrow ban, describing it as racist, discriminatory, and ignoring its cultural significance to African Americans. McIvor initially defended the cornrow ban as part of Kings' uniform policy. [10] [11] [12] In response to media and public interest, McIvor amended Kings' uniform policy to recognise cultural needs when students' hairstyles were considered; allowing O'Malley Scott to wear his cornrows while attending the school. [13] [14]


King's High School was re-built across almost a decade in the mid-1990s. The school has separate sports facilities, a purpose-built catering suite and performing arts centre. The school also has a camp and classroom off-site in Warrington, north of Dunedin, which students in year nine visit for their school camp.[ citation needed ]

In 2006, King's High School (along with Queen's) added a multimillion-dollar performing arts centre, with a capacity of almost 500. The facility is used by both schools, and the surrounding community. In 2010, renovations were made to the schools gymnasium. Later in 2018, renovations took place in the art department with plans for additional upgrading.[ citation needed ]

House system

New students to King's are placed into one of four houses – Tudor, Windsor, Stuart or Hanover, based on the Historic English royal houses. [15] Throughout the year, juniors and seniors compete in many sports, cultural and performance based activities. In term four, the house with the most points wins the 'House shield'. Some events include: rugby sevens, football, basketball, athletics, cross country, softball, singing, haka competition, debating and chess. Athletics, Cross Country, Singing and the haka competition are all full school, compulsory events worth double house points. All other interhouse events are optional and done at lunchtime.

Extracurricular activities

King's has many extramural competitions with Southland Boys' High School, Otago Boys' High School, Waitaki Boys' High School and Shirley Boys' High School. Since the opening of the performing arts center in 2006, King's and Queen's have staged several musicals.

King's High School, taken of the front. KingsHSDunedin.jpg
King's High School, taken of the front.

Notable alumni

The arts
Broadcasting and media
Public service

Rector list


  1. Lewis, John (16 April 2019). "New King's High rector appointed". Otago Daily Times Online News.
  2. "New Zealand Schools Directory". New Zealand Ministry of Education. Retrieved 19 August 2022.
  3. "Decile Change 2014 to 2015 for State & State Integrated Schools". Ministry of Education. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
  4. "Kings and Queens combine celebrations". Channel 39 . Allied Press. 24 August 2010. Archived from the original on 3 November 2022. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  5. "Reunion: Kings High School". Now To Love. Are Media. 20 July 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  6. "King's top NCEA results". Otago Daily Times . Allied Press. 23 March 2012. Archived from the original on 27 May 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  7. "Our Results: NCEA Results 2017". King's High School. Archived from the original on 23 December 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  8. Lewis, John (14 June 2014). "Kings crowned biggest Otago school". Otago Daily Times . Allied Press. Archived from the original on 17 October 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  9. "Ministry of Education". Education Counts. New Zealand Government. Archived from the original on 21 February 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  10. Wu, Crystal (15 February 2021). "Dunedin high school scolds student for wearing cornrows, principal says its 'too extreme'". Newshub . Archived from the original on 22 October 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  11. McNeily, Hamish; Sherwood, Sam (15 February 2021). "African American student told to ditch his cornrows by Dunedin school". Stuff . Archived from the original on 26 June 2022. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  12. "'Extreme haircut': Dunedin student told to undo cornrows". Otago Daily Times . 16 February 2021. Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  13. Houseman, Molly (17 February 2021). "King's change stance on pupil's cornrows". Otago Daily Times . Archived from the original on 17 February 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  14. Houseman, Molly (18 February 2021). "Cornrow row: Dunedin school's U-turn a relief for student Lewis O'Malley-Scott". The New Zealand Herald . Archived from the original on 16 March 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  15. Studio, The Logic; Design, Swiwi. "House System". King's High School. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  16. "Wall of Fame | KHS Old Boys Association".
  17. "Wall of Fame | KHS Old Boys Association".

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