Ambrosden Avenue
London
SW1P 1QH

Tel 020 7798 9081
Email
office@choirschool.com
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ABOUT US

Westminster Cathedral Choir School is an academically-selective, Roman Catholic preparatory school for about 200 boys aged four to thirteen (Reception to Year 8). 

Thirty boys are boarding choristers; the other one hundred and seventy are day boys. Choristers join us from all over the country, day boys from South, West and central London.
Academic excellence
Westminster Cathedral Choir School is an academically-selective school. Work is challenging and demanding, and lessons pacy. The Tatler Schools Guide 2016 describes our curriculum as ‘brilliantly original’. Boys are meticulously prepared for the top day schools in London and the top boarding schools at 13+.

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 is structured so that boys experience knowledge as an integrated whole, rather than as discordant, competing specialisms. Boys learn through making connections, so topics are planned to complement other curriculum areas. A pupil in Year 5, for example, 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.

Each year takes a historical period as its centre – ancient, medieval or modern – and this guides topic choices. Over the course of their time at the School, boys will go twice through the cycle of human civilisation, and so gain an appreciation of the achievements of the past, as well as the present.

Canon
We want boys to achieve a high level of cultural literacy for their age. At a level accessible to each Year Group, boys encounter ‘the best that has been known and said’. In English, they learn to memorise great poems by Shakespeare, Milton, Eliot and Keats, among many others; in science, they study the great scientists and inventors; in art and music they study the masters.

Character
We want boys 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 we teach them 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’.
High expectations in music, sport and extra-curricular life
In music, sport and extra-curricular life, boys are also challenged, and expected not only to meet, but to surpass, their own expectations. The choristers sing to a world-class standard; day boys also perform and play to an exceptionally high standard. WCCS fields strong and competitive teams in football, rugby and cricket and runs a wide range of stimulating and well-organised extra-curricular clubs and activities for boys.

Outstanding pastoral care
As a small, selective school WCCS is able to offer outstanding pastoral care. Boys get structured support and encouragement from a dedicated and hard-working staff; their time at WCCS is happy, productive and fulfilled. Our recent Good Schools Guide review includes many comments from parents and boys on the standards of care at WCCS.

A Catholic school
Like Gerard Manley Hopkins we believe that the Catholic faith has ‘only to be known, to be loved’, and we aim to teach and share it with joy, gentleness and fidelity.

Come and see us
The best way for parents of potential day boys to see WCCS is to come on an open morning. You can observe classes, and meet the boys, academic staff and me.

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

Tuesday 12th September, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
Tuesday 3rd October, 9.30 am – 11.00 am
Tuesday 21st November, 9.30 am – 11.00 am

Parents looking for a 7+/8+ place 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 Registrar, Miss Lucy Auger, to register.
Tel 020 7798 9081 Email lauger@choirschool.com

Parents interested in a chorister place for their son at 8+ should also contact Lucy direct to arrange an informal voice trial.


Neil McLaughlan
Head Master

 

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