Academic

An education at Westminster Cathedral Choir School

Pre-prep

In Reception, boys are taught in line with the EYFS areas of learning and development.

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design

Years 3 to 8

Our modern ‘liberal arts’ education, from Years 3 to 8, is based upon the ‘three C’s’: curriculum, canon, and character.

Curriculum: The curriculum – the collection of subjects and their topics – at WCCS is structured to integrate knowledge so that it may be experienced as a harmony rather than discordant, competing specialisms. Since boys learn through making connections, topics are planned to complement other curriculum areas. A boy in Year 5 may be studying the age of exploration in History, sixteenth-century naval poems in English, navigation in Maths, map skills in Geography and making a medievalist map in Art.

Canon: Every boy at WCCS should achieve a high level of cultural literacy for his age. At a level accessible to each year group the boys encounter ‘the best that has been known and said’. In English, boys also learn to memorise great poems by Shakespeare, Tennyson, Hopkins and Keats, among many others; in Science, they learn about the great scientists and inventors. We take advantage of our location in central London to visit as many sites of interest as possible.

Character: What we learn becomes part of us and changes who we are. Boys at WCCS are encouraged to recognise what is beautiful, true and good, and to see the relations between these three qualities in what they study and the world around them. To do this boys are taught how to think, based on the trivium of grammar, logic and rhetoric. As one medieval writer put it: ‘grammar is the knowledge of how to speak without error; logic is clear-sighted argument which separates the true from the false; rhetoric is the discipline of persuading to every suitable thing’. These are true today and guide the teaching at WCCS.

The Curriculum

Pre-prep

In Reception, boys are taught in line with the EYFS areas of learning and development, with literacy and mathematics at its heart. You can view the weekly timetable for Reception here.

Years 3 to 8

Each year takes a historical period as its centre and this guides subjects in their topics. Over the course of their time at the School boys go twice through the cycle of human civilisation, and so gain an appreciation of the achievements of the past as well as the present.

Curriculum topics

Academic Structure

Pre-prep

Boys are taught phonics, literacy, reading, maths, history, geography, science, PD, RS, computing, art, DT and French by a specialist teacher, supported by a teaching assistant. (Music and games are taught by specialist teachers.)

Years 3, 4 and 5

All boys are taught the following subjects, largely by specialist teachers:

  • Art
  • Classics
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • ICT / verbal & non-verbal reasoning
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • PSHCE
  • Religious Studies
  • Science

Years 6, 7 and 8

Subject-specialist teaching in all subjects is introduced from Year 6.

  • Art
  • Classics
  • English
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • ICT / verbal & non-verbal reasoning (Year 6 only)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • PSHCE
  • Religious Studies
  • Science

Examninations

Boys in Years 3 to 7 sit two sets of exams each year. These take place towards the end of the Michaelmas and Trinity terms.

Year 8 boys sit two Common Entrance mock examinations in November and March, set by the Independent Schools’ Examination Board (ISEB). Final Common Entrance examinations are sat in the first week of June, and marked by boys’ senior schools.

Prep

Boys in Reception are set reading for prep.

Preps should take about 30 minutes for boys in Years 3-5 and 40 minutes for boys in Years 6-8 and are recorded in each boy's prep diary. Parents of a day boy must sign their son's prep diary each night after completion of his prep.

Marking and Assessment

Academic staff are required to mark all work within one week of its collection.

Reporting

In Years 3-8 interim reports are issued each half-term containing effort and attainment grades in all subjects. Full subject reports are issued at the end of each term for all boys.

Parents’ meetings

Parents’ meetings for boys in all Year Groups are held after School on weekday evenings staggered throughout the year.

Advice on senior schools

You can speak to the Head Master about senior schools on the following slots:
Tuesday 4.15 pm – 6.00 pm
Thursday 5.00 pm – 6.15 pm

Need more information?

Please contact the Deputy Head (Academic), Mr Nicholas Morrell.
Email nmorrell@choirschool.com

Downloads

Here you can download everything you need to know about Westminster Cathedral Choir School from registration forms, 7+/8+ sample papers, inspection reports, reading lists, syllabuses, handbooks and policies.


Need more information?

Please contact the Head Master’s PA & Registrar, Miss Lucy Auger

Tel 020 7931 6099 Email lauger@choirschool.com

WCCS this Week

Saturday 9th September  
2.30 pm – 8.00 pm Probationer and chorister activity
  N.B. No prob / chorister visiting today
Sunday 10th September  
10.30 am Solemn Mass, Cathedral
11.45 am Parents’ coffee, Refectory
3.30 pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction, Cathedral
4.30 pm – 8.00 pm Visiting
Monday 11th September Chamber music & orchestras begin
7.30 am – 8.20 am Basketball club, external coach, Westminster Sports Hall
7.30 am – 8.20 am Table tennis club, external coach, Westminster Sports Hall
8.30 am Staff briefing
8.50 am Head Master’s assembly, Clergy House Library
1.20 pm Orchestra (full), conference room
1.20 pm Training orchestra (strings), room 10
1.20 pm Training orchestra (brass & woodwind), boarders’ common room
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Football & sports club, Coach Zach, Pre-Prep
4.00 Prep staff meeting: CAT tests
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Debating club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Karate Club, Renshi Alex
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Junior football club, Coach Zach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Junior drama club, external coach
6.00 pm Reception & Yr 3 parents’ info evening, Pre-Prep dining rm
Tuesday 12th September  
8.15 am Gallery Choir, Clergy House Library
8.50 am Form assemblies
9.30 am – 11.00 am Open morning for pre-prep prospective parents
10.25 am Junior strings, boarders’ common room
11.00 am Senior strings, Yrs 6/7 dorm
11.00 am Chorister trio, boarders’ common room
11.30 am Weekly Cathedral Music Dept / School meeting
1.20 pm Flute group, Yr 8 dorm
1.20 pm Clarinet group, room 10
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Drama club, Miss Ali, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm Pre-Prep staff meeting
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Day boy detention
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Magic club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Senior football club, coach Zach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Fencing club, Jonathan Weekes
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Cross country club, Mr Williams
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Yoga club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Newspaper club, Mr Kellaway
4.15 pm – 6.00 pm Head Master’s appointments with parents
5.30 pm Boarding staff meeting
Wednesday 13th September  
7.45 am SMT meeting, Head’s office
8.15 am Gallery Choir, room 10
8.50 am – 9.50 am Chorister song school
11.00 am Baroque trio, Yr 8 dorm
11.00 am Brass group, boarders’ common room
12.00 pm Funeral Mass for Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor
2.00 pm – 5.00 pm U13 football tournament, Trinity Fields
2.00 pm – 3.45 pm Year 5 v Garden House, Battersea Park
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Creative club, Miss Zoe, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Fencing club, Jonathan Weekes
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Judo club, Coach Marius
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm British military fitness club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Video game design, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Beginners German club, Miss Higgie
7.00 pm PA new parents’ drinks reception, refectory
Thursday 14th September The Exaltation of the Holy Cross
Chorister non-singing day
8.15 am Gallery Choir, room 10
8.45 am PA meeting, refectory
8.50 am School assembly, Clergy House Library
11.00 am Day boy trio, boarders’ common room
3.50 pm – 4.50 pm Lego club, Miss Juliet, Pre-Prep
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Art club, Miss Auger
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Mad science club, Miss Marshall
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Airfix club, Mr MacGreevy
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Senior drama club, external coach
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm Intermediate football club, Coach Zach
4.15 pm – 6.00 pm Head Master’s appointments with parents
Friday 15th September  
8.15 am School Choir, Clergy House Library
8.50 am Form assemblies
2.00 pm – 4.15 pm Year 4 v Northcote Lodge, Wandsworth Common
Saturday 16th September  
11.00 am – 8.00 pm Probationer visiting
2.30 pm – 8.00 pm Chorister visiting / outing
Sunday 17th September 24th Sunday of the Year
10.30 am Solemn Mass, Cathedral
11.45 am Parents’ coffee, Refectory
3.30 pm Solemn Vespers and Benediction, Cathedral
4.30 pm – 8.00 pm Visiting

This week's menu

  Breakfast
(Choristers)
Lunch
(All boys)
Supper
(Choristers)
Saturday Pancakes, greek yogurt and Maple Syrup Southern fried chicken served with coleslaw and sweet corn salad

Lemon meringue roulade
Quiche lorraine served with crunchy green salad

Homemade biscuits
Sunday Ham and cheese toast Roasted lamb served with gravy, roasted potatoes, spinach gratin and carrots

Chocolate tart
Garlic and rosemary beef skewers on chilli ginger rice, stir-fry bak choy, chestnut mushrooms and carrots

Fruit bowl
Monday Eggs and Toast Amatriciana sauce served with penne, parmigiano-reggiano, crunchy gem lettuce, cucumber and black olives salad

Banana cake
Pork belly served with roast potatoes and fine beans

Baked custard tarts
Tuesday Sausages and Toast Lemon and fresh thyme chicken served with potato wedges, gravy and peas

Apple crumble
Rump steaks served with chunky chips and watercress salad

Cheeseboard
Wednesday Porridge and golden syrup Jamie’s chilli con carne served with tortilla chips, rice, cucumber, cos lettuce and cucumber salad

Mississippi mud pie
Panko goujon served with sautéed potatoes and peas

Chocolate muffins
Thursday Bacon Butties Chicken and broccoli stir-fry with egg noodles and mange tout

Eton mess
Slow roasted brisket served in bun with coleslaw and sweet corn

Fruit platter
Friday Bagel, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs Crispy jacket potato served with baked beans, cheese or tuna mayonnaise, crunchy shredded cos lettuce and cucumber salad

Banoffee pie
Homemade pizza, tomato, cucumber, olives and basil salad

Carmel slice
Saturday Pancakes, greek yogurt and Maple Syrup Macaroni cheese served with homemade bread rolls, green lettuce and cucumber salad

Chocolate cake
Croque monsieur served with tomato soup and homemade bread roll

Fruit yoghurts
Sunday Ham and cheese toast Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, roast potatoes, tender steam broccoli and carrots

Purple yam cake
Shepherd’s pie served with peas

Vanilla shortbread

Open Morning & Visits

By far the best way to see WCCS in action is to come on an open morning. You can observe classes, and meet the boys, academic staff and Head Master.

Open morning for prospective day boys in Reception

Parents looking for a Reception place in our new pre-prep, from 2018 onwards, may like to join us on the following dates.

  • Tuesday 3rd October, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 21st November, 9.30 am – 11.00 am

Please contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger, to register.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

Open morning for prospective day boys at 7+ / 8+

Parents looking for places from 2018 onwards may like to join us on the following dates.

  • Tuesday 19th September, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 10th October, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
  • Tuesday 14th November, 9.30 am – 11.00 am

Please contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger, to register.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

Your son is most welcome.

You can download a day boy registration form here.

Visits for chorister places at 8+

Parents considering a chorister place for their son, and who would like a tour of the School and boarding facilities, should contact the Director of Admissions, Miss Lucy Auger.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

You can download a chorister registration form here.