Activities and Options
To balance the academic pursuits of our pupils, Westminster offers a wide variety of activities to complement our curriculum. These provide pupils with new and different opportunities to engage with less familiar concepts, with one another and with the world around them.
Pupils in Years 9 and 10 benefit from two or more, extra-curricular activities, after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There are over 30 different classes and workshops available to them, run by a combination of teaching staff and outside specialists. Pupils may choose the same activities throughout the year, or switch to new ones each term. Included are academic, musical and sporting activities, alongside such diverse pursuits as bookbinding, carpentry, robotics, board games, mythology and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
The Options programme enables our boys and girls to study an additional language such as Sanskrit or Arabic, take a practical course in cookery or bookbinding, learn a new skill such as electronics or computer programming, or complement their studies in a particular area of interest such as an Introduction to Political Philosophy, studying British Sign Language or Teaching English as a Foreign Language. A more intensive Community Service option also exists, where students can not only volunteer their time to local projects but also take specific courses to equip them for their chosen community outreach.
The Cultural Perspectives programme is designed to expand our pupils’ cultural and critical awareness within a greater global perspective, challenging the assumption that today’s society is the norm of human experience and that our own way of doing things or viewing the world is the only way. Topics on offer include ‘The Decline of Western Liberalism, ‘The Radical Politics of Race’, ‘Decolonising the Canon’ and ‘Energy Economics and the Environment’. Students complete two Writing Opportunities in the year, in which they are asked to reflect on a range of domestic and global topics, and prizes are awarded for the outstanding pieces of writing.
The John Locke Lecture Series takes place several times each term, within the academic timetable. Eminent speakers from the worlds of business, politics, culture, the military and academia address pupils and engage in lively debate and Q&A on a broad spectrum of topics and viewpoints. Recent John Locke speakers have included Sir Simon Schama, Sir Nick Clegg, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Lucy D’Orsi, Sir Richard Dearlove and Rt Hon. Dominic Grieve QC MP.