Russian

Find out more about studying Russian at Westminster

Russian

  • About
  • Curriculum
  • Enrichment
  • Staff
  • After Westminster
  • About

    Russian is the largest native language in Europe, with around 144 million speakers in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and many other eastern European countries. It is the fifth most spoken language in the world, and is used all over ethnically diverse Russia and the former Soviet Union as a lingua franca and language of business.

    Russian is not just a highly rewarding language to study; it is also a gateway to some of the most influential thinkers, writers and artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Competence in the Russian language enables you to read Chekhov’s short stories, Akhmatova’s poetry and – eventually – the ‘thick novels’ of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Contemporary Russian culture is equally fascinating, and much can be learnt about post-Soviet politics and everyday life from the films of Balabanov, Serebrennikov and Zvyagintsev.

    Department Contact Mr Nick Massey
    nick.massey@westminster.org.uk
  • Curriculum
    Lower School

    Russian is taught as an optional subject from the Lower Shell (Year 10). The Edexcel GCSE Russian course aims to provide pupils with a solid grounding in vocabulary, grammar and Russian culture. The examination tests all four skills (listening comprehension, reading comprehension, speaking and writing), and they are weighted evenly, all being worth 25% of the total mark.  The qualification is graded from 9 to 1.  

    Syllabus & Code
    Edexcel GCSE 1RU0 Russian
    Upper School

    The Edexcel A Level is designed to familiarise pupils with social, political and cultural themes relating to the Russian language, its culture and communities. It covers such topics as youth culture, education, the world of work, the media, mass culture and festivals. Pupils also analyse a contemporary Russian film, and later explore historical topics such as urban change in Russia and the collapse of the USSR. We also undertake close analysis of a literary text, enabling pupils to put their advanced reading ability to use and to develop their comprehension skills. 

    Syllabus & Code
    Edexcel A Level 9RU0 Russian
    Sixth Form Entry
    Subject requirements for the course
    Candidates require a grade 8 or 9 in Russian (I)GCSE. We will consider applicants predicted on grade 7 or above and will review a candidate’s individual merits and potential during the application process. Absolute beginners can also apply, and will follow a slightly different course in the Sixth Form (Year 12). Candidates admitted on this pathway sit an Aptitude Test.

    Entrance Examination

    The examination consists of a 45-minute paper comprising: Section 1, a mix of reading, grammar, translation and gap-fill exercises; Section 2, an essay of 160-200 words; and Section 3, an optional commentary on a short passage.

    Questions are based primarily on GCSE content, vocabulary and grammar, enabling candidates to perform to the best of their ability.

    Overseas Candidates
    There is no (I)GCSE requirement for those who attend schools overseas that do not prepare pupils for (I)GCSE examinations. Candidates will be considered for a place based on their performance in the School’s entrance examinations and a transcript of results from their current school.
  • Enrichment

    Trips are arranged to films, exhibitions and the theatre. A visit to Russia during the Easter holidays in the Sixth Form (Year 12) is valuable and exciting linguistically and culturally: a language course combined with accommodation in a Russian family provides both academic stimulus and an opportunity for closer acquaintance with the Russian way of life. Pupils are encouraged to take part in the events of Slavic Society, which include regular pupil-led talks, guest lectures and cultural visits.  

  • Staff

    * denotes Head of Department
    † denotes Housemaster

    Mr Geran Jones (GKJ)
    Mr Nick Massey (NPM) — Upper School RSHE and Wellbeing Lead; Head of Russian  *
  • After Westminster

    More than a dozen top British universities offer courses in Russian and are very keen to recruit pupils with a good prior knowledge of the language. We have an excellent record in placing pupils at Oxford colleges in particular. Russian (usually language and literature) can be studied in higher education with another language, on its own or in a variety of more broadly based combinations such as Russian and English, Russian and History, Russian and Philosophy, and Russian Studies; it can serve as an introduction to the other Slavonic languages, too.

"Russian is like no other language or culture you can study. I was hooked from the moment I began learning the Cyrillic alphabet!"

— Year 10 pupil

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

read more →

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

read more →