Welcome to Westminster Cathedral Choir School (WCCS).
WCCS is an academically-selective, Catholic preparatory school for about 275 boys aged four to thirteen (Reception to Year 8), twenty-two of whom are boarding choristers, who join from Year 4.
Academic work at WCCS is challenging and demanding, and lessons pacy. Boys are meticulously prepared for the top day schools in London and the top boarding schools at 13+.
Reception, Years 1 & 2
Reception, Years 1 and 2 boys are taught Art/D&T, Civics, English, Geography, History, ICT, Maths, Music, Religious Studies and Science.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 visit
The best way for parents of prospective day boys to see WCCS is to come on a private visit, which you can book online here.
Or contact Lucy Auger, Director of Admissions, direct.
Tel 020 7798 9081
Parents interested in a chorister place for their son at 8+ should contact Lucy Auger direct to arrange an informal voice trial and visit.
I hope you’ll come and see us.