Michael Norman believed the school needed a new name. Not only would it refresh and re-brand the school but it would also reinforce its links and tradition with the Methodist Church.
In 1964 he wrote: ‘… I personally favour a change of name – not to blot out the past but to open up and clarify our future…We are being compelled by the most urgent financial pressure to move decisively and positively towards our new future – or perish.’
Several names were thrown into the mix: Asbury College, Leigh College and Kingsbury College – schools that all held strong links to the Methodist Church.
The name Kingswood College was finally decided upon and adopted for the 1965 school year.
It was a name with relevance and strong links to the school’s foundations.
Kingswood School (Bristol, UK) was the first of the great Methodist schools set up by John Wesley, evangelist, social reformer and co-founder of Methodism. When the school outgrew the original Bristol site, it moved to its present location in Bath (Somerset, UK). Arthur Stephenson – Kingswood College’s founding principal – attended Kingswood School as student before returning in later years as a teacher.
In the Box Hill area and surrounding suburbs, the change of name attracted positive publicity. It gave Norman the opportunity to ‘market’ his view on a broader, holistic model of education through meetings and interviews with parents of prospective students.
Norman’s message and fresh appeal struck a chord with parents who were disillusioned with the often-colourless and rigid curriculum alternatives.
Enrolments began to rise and plans were on the table for new buildings, growth and development.