Ambrosden Avenue
London
SW1P 1QH

Tel 020 7798 9081
Email
office@choirschool.com
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Downloads
To download registration forms, 7+/8+ sample papers, inspection reports, reading lists, syllabuses, handbooks and policies, click here
This week at WCCS
To view the schedule for the coming week, click here
This week's menu
To view the menu for the
coming week, click here
Pre-inspection info
ISI Inspectors click here
ACADEMIC

An education at Westminster Cathedral Choir School

Westminster Cathedral Choir School provides a modern ‘liberal arts’ education, 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

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
Year 3: the Ancient Year, click here
Year 4: the Medieval Year, click here
Year 5: the Modern Year, click here
Year 6: the Ancient Year, click here
Year 7: the Medieval Year, click here
Year 8: the Modern Year, click here

Academic Structure
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)
Classics
Mathematics
Music
PSHCE
Religious Studies
Science

Examinations
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
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
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.

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:
Wednesday 4.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Thursday 3.30 pm – 5.00 pm
Need more information?
Please contact the Deputy Head (Academic), Mr Robert O’Brien.
Email robrien@choirschool.com

 

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