Curriculum Overview

Westminster is one of the foremost centres of academic excellence in the country. However, our commitment to the academic life does not manifest itself in an educative style that revolves around the passing of examinations.

Curriculum Overview

On this page you will find an overview of the curriculum in the
Lower School (Years 9 to 11) and Upper School (Year 12 and 13).

Fifth Form (Year 9)

This year group is divided into mixed-ability forms, and all subjects are taught in form groups except French, Classics and Mathematics, which are taught in sets. All pupils follow a common curriculum as detailed below; the number of periods per week (40 minutes each) are given in brackets in the list below - click on the subject to view the department profile.

Lower Shell (Year 10)

This year group is divided into new forms: English, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught in these forms; RSHE classes are taught in smaller House groups; the remaining subjects are taught in sets. The curriculum comprises seven compulsory subjects (the number of periods per week are given in brackets below) and five option subjects (three periods per week for each). Click on the subject to view the department profile.

Compulsory Subjects

Option subjects

L One of German, Chinese (Mandarin), Spanish or Russian may be studied. Each counts as a double choice, i.e. 6 periods per week.
P It is expected that pupils will include one practical subject.
H It is expected that pupils will include one humanities subject.

Upper Shell (Year 11)

This year group studies nine subjects each for four periods per week and one RSHE class each week, taught in small House groups. There are no forms. There are three compulsory subjects and a choice of seven option subjects. Click on the subject to view the department profile.

Compulsory subjects

  • Mathematics
    With Further Maths GCSE for those in higher sets
  • English Lang & Lit
    Two separate GCSEs, but taught in one block
  • RSHE
    Taught in small groups of 8-10 pupils

Option subjects

S Pupils must study at least two of the three sciences.
L Pupils must continue with French if they have not completed the IGCSE course in Year 10.
P As in Year 10, it is expected that pupils will include one practical subject.

Sixth Form and Remove (Years 12 and 13)

All pupils are expected to study four subjects in the Sixth Form (Year 12), occupying 7 periods per week each, and at least three in the Remove (Year 13), occupying 8 periods per week each. The A Level subjects are arranged by blocks: in selecting their specialist subjects, pupils choose four subjects, one in each block. Click on the subject to view the department profile.

Subjects A-Z

RSHE & Wellbeing, Options and Cultural Perspectives

In addition, pupils in the Sixth Form and Remove (Years 12 and 13) take one period per week of RSHE & Wellbeing. In the Sixth Form only, pupils take three periods per week of different Options and Cultural Perspectives (CP): these courses run for about nine weeks at a time, after which new allocations are made; at the end of each Option or CP, there is an opportunity to complete a written response to the courses followed.

  • Electronics AS may be studied across the four Option periods;
  • The Physics and Computer Science departments run the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ);
  • Additional Modern Languages may also be taken in the Options block.

"At Westminster we’re actively encouraged to go beyond the syllabus: to do our own research, to ask questions, to read around the subject. It helps us to achieve high grades, but the real result is that I feel empowered."

Department Profiles
Beyond the classroom

To enhance the formal elements of study we have a wide variety of co-curricular activities on offer for all year groups, allowing our pupils not only to enjoy and to develop their existing interests and passions, but also to discover new ideas, perspectives and skills which will broaden their horizons.

Find out when your child is able to join the School using the personalised age checker and timeline.

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Westminster School gratefully welcomes donations to support fundraising efforts across the School community.

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