Kingswood College derives its name and ideals from the 18th century college established by John Wesley (the founder of the Methodist Church) in Bristol, England in 1748.
Kingswood College is one of the oldest Methodist educational institutions in South Africa with roots in the Settlers days of the 1820’s.
The Salem Academy, founded by the Methodist minister to the 1820 Settlers, William Shaw, was started in Albany in the 1830’s. The Academy was subsequently moved to Grahamstown where it was renamed the Shaw College.
What was eventually to become Kingswood College started out as the Wesleyan Collegiate School for Boys and moved to its present site in Burton Street in 1896.
While the College is a Methodist foundation, children from other denominations and creeds are welcome at Kingswood. The Kingswood philosophy has always been, and remains, to provide a liberal education rooted in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, which helps to foster every pupil’s development – spiritual, moral, social, intellectual, cultural and physical.
The first 100 years of Kingswood’s history is contained in a book called Still Upon a Frontier – a wonderfully detailed account of the events that shaped Kingswood’s traditions and ethos. Written by a former Kingswood chaplain, Rev Howard Kirkby, and his wife Joyce, the book is a reference used every day by the staff and pupils of the College.