Explaining "What a KHA member is?" is impossible.
Old Boys & Girls (every leaver is instantly 'old'!), ex staff, parents & friends are all members of the whole Hill family, or at least potential members, except that KHA doesn't maintain a database of members! We (KH OB's & G's plus) keep in touch in many ways. KHA is simply the known umbrella body which the school recognises & which can & does try to maintain communications with all concerned.
KHA's program for speech day started with a brief pause at The Founder's graveside, laying a wreath, then coffee, AGM, chapel, lunch, speeches & tea.
This year we had a lovely marquee (shared with KHS & Kingham Rotary), provided by KHOB Paul Drinkwater, which we used all day. Since we return to 'our' school it is great to have somewhere to base ourselves, with chairs, tables & coffee provided, to enjoy meeting, chatting & picnicking. The school's enormous marquee next door seated some 750 people & was pretty full.
After lunch the main event of the day included a report on KHS by headmaster Nick Seward, the prizegiving, during which some of our US pupils graduated from their US high school (KHS!) in caps & gowns. Our speaker KH OB Lord Andrew Adonis spoke well, clearly loved coming back & was thanked by both the head girl & head boy.
KHA's charitable support for individual pupils is recognised & much appreciated by KHS's governors & staff. This is what we can all help with, giving & giving back. Every donation will be used to help the school, it's that simple. The KHA Centenary Trust (Charity number 273416) has supported the school, mainly through fee support by half a million pounds since the Centenary in 1986. Please think about tax effective giving, or even making a bequest to our charity in your will.
KHS's speech day teas are easily remembered. Various 'stations' inside the main marquee serve teas which are collected together with some lavish cakes for their friends & families sitting around tables outside. It was good to see 93 year old KH OB John Roser & his brother enjoying the day. John came to The Hill in 1928 & remembers our founder Mr Young.
It would be very difficult to know how many OB's & G's were at speech day. KHA's AGM is necessary & fairly brief but hardly a crowd puller. (KHA's income & expenditure are tiny & our Charity reports to KHA's committee.) There were good numbers of old boys & girls around The Hill, & it is really worth experiencing the speeches & prizegiving (90 minutes in total) to learn quite what KHS is today.
If OB's & G's register on www.kinghamhillschooldays.co.uk , they'd have known about the day & the programme. That many more keep in touch through Facebook & Friends Reunited is fine, & they too can be contacted works well. It is far far better if friends arrange to meet on The Hill on Speech Day. I noticed for example both head boys from the last two years were there with friends. Speech Day is a great family day where everyone is welcome, whether with a current pupil, as a returning pupil or as an ex member of staff etc.
Next year I hope KHA will have a central meeting place marquee again. It's a bit like a club lounge – wander in, make yourself a coffee, sit & chat; all welcome.
Note next year's date Saturday 30th June 2012 – the end of the school's year, contact friends & plan to return then.
Kingham Hill's alumni / archive / magazine website 'Schooldays'
This is the only site for KH OB's & G's & friends of KHS. It's a great site, part magazine, part archive & part secure membership. If as a registered member someone contacts you via 'schooldays' you have to approve that request / connection before you can reply to them. It is a logical site, not quite my logic, but, once you've done it, it works & works well. Newcomers will soon find some really fascinating stuff on 'schooldays' as well as a huge & growing photo archive.
If you're on Facebook, Friends Reunited or any such site, you'll be able to find OB's & G's but please encourage everyone to follow you & register on– it's easy – you choose your username & password.
The more 'new stuff' there is on 'schooldays' the better, so please knock something up, even if it's a silly picture of someone some may recognise or of weddings, travels, occasions. If you have your own KHS pictures they too could be scanned in or sent in to our editor for later inclusion.
What is KHA?
KHA is the association which KHS recognises as a means of communicating with past pupils & friends. It was once KHOBA (old boys) but once girls arrived it became KHA & its membership now includes ex staff, parents & friends.
What does KHA (including all OB's & G's, ex staff, parents & friends of KHS) do?
• KHA has a charity which exists to support the school. The KHA Centenary Trust has given the school half a million pounds since the Centenary in 1986, mostly in fee support for individual pupils as requested in confidence by the headmaster. KHA doesn't levy any subs, so 'members' are encouraged to support the school through our charity.
• KHA liaises with KHS re a termly event / reunion. What was once the annual KHS v KHOBA Rugby match has become a dinner & quiz in about October. On the Saturday nearest The Founder's birthday – March 19th – KHA's committee meets & we hope to restore the annual KHS v KHA soccer match. On the last day of the summer term / the end of the school year, KHA is invited to speech day, during which we hold our AGM
• KHA (with 3 KHOB's) is supporting the school's careers side, helping with CV's before pupils submit forms to employers or universities. A publication has also been produced for potential leavers advising them how to be offered employment / succeed at interview.
• A KH OB manages a polytunnel, bought by OB's, & runs an afternoon activity with current pupils.
• A KH OB has been appointed architect for the new 20 20 Vision Academic Centre / building.
• A KH OB oversaw the building of new offices on The Hill for the archive, development & marketing, as well as identifying a nearby office for the archivist & others to use. Those new offices were all completed thanks to donations from a few members of KHA's committee.
• A KH OB set up, runs and manages, with a large team of KHOB's the School Days website.
Who belong in KHA?
The concept of being a member of KHA is an odd one. Every leaver, ex staff member, parent & friend of KHS can keep in touch with the school through KHA (which makes life much easier for the school) even though we don't measure our membership or charge membership fees. Hopefully many will register through www.kinghamhillschooldays.co.uk (confidential & free) to keep in touch, receive regular postings & learn about what's happening on The Hill. KHA is simply that part of Kingham Hill worldwide which in many ways is its strength in depth. Many OB's & G's are registered on facebook & friends reunited & probably others which work well, but registering with 'schooldays' as well surely makes sense.
Various KH plus initials explained.
KHT - The Kingham Hill Trust. Mr Young set up the Kingham Hill Trust before the first world war & it is responsible for his legacy, still owning Kingham Hill School & Oak Hill college north of London (one of The Founder's family homes which later ( date) became a theological college).
KHS - Kingham Hill School. The Kingham Hill Homes for Boys very soon became Kingham Hill School. The workshops were built very soon after Durham, the first house, & built into Clyde (now Norwich) House was a schoolroom so boys no longer had to attend Kingham village school. Legislative changes largely made this come about. Although an MP Mr Young was deeply opposed to government (interference) taking legislative control of education; how times have changed. KHS has continued to evolve, introducing some fees from the early1950's. Including girls from the 1990's & much more recently including day pupils & attaining approval from the US authorities to provide the full US educational program (based on the English curriculum).
KHS today is a non-selective, mixed, boarding & day school where our pupils receive levels of support only bettered by much older Christ's Hospital school.
KHA – The Kingham Hill Association. After Mr Young's death the KHOBA (Kingham Hill Old Boys' Association) was founded, with a branch in Canada. With the arrival of girls we became KHA, & today include / welcome all past pupils & staff, parents & friends of the school. KHA's focus is on supporting the school in any way we can but especially through our charity the KHA Centenary Trust - over half a million pounds since the school's centenary in 1986, mainly fee support for certain pupils.