Subjects

Wetherby Senior offers a broad and well-rounded curriculum. Our dynamic and experienced teaching staff provides an environment which inspires, encourages, develops and above all cares for our boys as individuals. We celebrate success in all fields of endeavour at the same time as recognising that success is achieved by increments and is the result of persistent effort.

Art & Graphic Design

At Wetherby, boys are taught both Art & Graphic Design through a range of manual and digital media. Taught by two specialist teachers and spread over three studios which house excellent facilities, including two computer suites, a laser cutter, workshop tools, printing presses and a kiln. Art exhibitions are hosted during the course of the academic year and the boys’ work is displayed throughout the school.

Teaching & Learning

Wetherby Senior School aims to provide all boys with the means to express themselves creatively through a wide variety of media. They are given the opportunity to discover Art & Graphic Design by investigating, experimenting and gaining confidence.

In the Lower School, the Art & Graphic Design curriculum gives boys the chance to create a range of artworks which will support them in mastering technical skill and exploring a range of media.

At KS4, we offer two pathways at GCSE: Art, Craft and Design and Graphic Communication.

At KS5, boys enjoy independence and freedom when engaging with their A Level projects, choosing and researching the themes themselves.

Below is a link to the GCSE and A Level gallery:

www.wssartanddesign.com

Facilities

The Art and Graphic Design suites are generously resourced, including printing presses, a kiln, a laser cutter, two computer suites bay that house Adobe Creative Suite software, as well as a range of workshop tools including a band saw and pillar drill.

Co-Curricular

Each week the department hosts a range of art clubs and top-up sessions to support boys refining and developing their sketchbooks. A Level students wishing to apply for art based courses are also supported with portfolio building sessions.

A number of day trips to various art galleries are scheduled throughout the year, taking advantage of the wonderful array of galleries and museums available in London.

Biology

Biology is, at the same time, the most tangible and the fastest developing of the sciences. The department aims to capture the imagination of students and open their eyes to future careers as diverse as medicine, biotechnology or agriculture. Ideas that were science fiction 10 years ago are now part of the curriculum with students learning about genetic modification, cloning and the the impact that humans have on the world around them.

Biology follows the Edexcel curriculum from Year 7 through to Year 13, creating a spiral scheme of work where topics are revisited in more detail as the students’ academic ability increases. As well as developing the practical expertise needed to safely execute a scientific investigation, students will develop a range of transferable skills such as working independently or in a team, presenting ideas to the class and developing balanced arguments to moral and ethical problems presented by the advances in biological technology.

Teaching & Learning

Year 7 and 8 boys follow the Edexcel Exploring Science course.

GCSE students follow the Edexcel International GCSE specification with five topic areas:

  • The nature and variety of living organisms
  • Structures and functions in living organisms
  • Reproduction and inheritance
  • Ecology and the environment
  • Use of biological resources

A Level students follow the Edexcel A specification, which is split into eight modules:

  • Lifestyle, Health and Risk
  • Genes and Health
  • Voice of the Genome
  • Biodiversity and Natural Resources
  • On the Wild Side
  • Immunity, Infection and Forensics
  • Run for your Life
  • Grey Matter
Facilities

Three well-resourced biology labs that provide flexible environments for both theory and practical work, they are equipped to enable students to carry out investigations including dissection, gel electrophoresis and habituation. We have two knowledgeable full time lab technicians who support the practical aspects of teaching and learning in biology.

Co-Curricular

The biology department runs numerous events and workshops throughout the year including:

  • Royal Society of Biology competitions including BioArtAttack and the Biology Olympiad
  • Year 12 and 13 Future Medics Club throughout the academic year
  • Year 13 Psychology Club throughout the academic year
  • Year 11 Biology Club during lunch break throughout the year
  • Year 7, 8 and 9 Science club

 

Chemistry

Chemistry is an exciting subject that is continually adapting and transforming to meet the challenges of our modern world. The chemistry department at Wetherby Senior aims to increase appreciation of how society makes decisions about scientific issues, and the contribution of chemistry to the success of the economy and society.

Chemistry is a practical subject and the development of practical skills is fundamental to understanding the nature of chemistry. Practical skills are embedded in our schemes of work throughout all year groups and we have adapted our teaching methods to ensure boys from Year 7 onwards are developing and practising these skills. The boys complete regular practical work independently as well as in groups and safety is always a major feature during these activities.

Teaching & Learning

Year 7 and 8 boys follow the International Exploring Science course

GCSE students follow the Edexcel International GCSE specification with four distinctive modules of Principles of chemistry, Inorganic chemistry, Physical chemistry and Organic chemistry

A Level students follow the OCR A specification. Content of this course is split into six modules:

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

Facilities

We have three brand new very well-resourced chemistry labs which provide flexible environments for both theory and practical work. We have 2 knowledgeable full time lab technicians who support the practical aspects of teaching and learning in chemistry.

Co-Curricular

The chemistry department runs numerous events and workshops throughout the year including:

  • Year 10 Royal Society of Chemistry competition (Autumn Term)
  • Year 12 and 13 Chemistry club throughout the academic year
  • Year 11 IGCSE revision days during February and Easter half-term breaks
  • Year 7, 8 and 9 Science club

 

Classics

Classics refers to the study of the language, literature, culture and society of the Greek and Roman worlds. The influence of the classical world can be seen today in all manner of ways: the relationship between Greek and Latin, and modern foreign languages; building structures such as football stadiums and how they relate to Roman amphitheatres; even with phrases such as “Achilles’ heel” which have entered the English language.

The skills gained from studying Classics are highly sought after by employers. A statement by the University of Cambridge proposes that “A recent study of major employers confirmed their high opinion of Classicists as potential employees: they know how to work hard, are accurate and efficient, take new tasks in their stride and can master situations intelligently. Above all they can talk articulately and argue coherently.”

TEACHING & LEARNING

It is the aim of the Classics department to foster an enthusiasm for the classical world. This is achieved by ensuring that boys are suitably challenged in all lessons with differentiated tasks made available. We also aim to dispel the myth of Classics being old-fashioned and “stuffy” through the use of a variety of approaches and materials in our teaching such as the use of modern technology; apps such as Memrise, Quizlet and Plickers are regularly employed.

Currently all Year 7 pupils study Latin and will continue with the subject in Years 8 and 9. We follow the Cambridge Latin Course which gives the boys a solid grounding linguistically but also enables them to learn more about Roman culture. Examples of topics covered at this level include the theatre, slavery and Roman Britain.

At GCSE, boys can choose to take Latin or Classical Civilisation, with some boys choosing to study both. We follow the Eduqas specification for GCSE Latin with boys studying three separate papers: Language, Literature, and Roman Civilisation. For GCSE Classical Civilisation, we follow the OCR specification. Boys study two papers over the two-year course: Myth and Religion and Roman City Life.

Latin A-Level (OCR) enables boys to further develop their understanding of complex grammatical structures whilst also providing the opportunity to gain further experience in reading and analysing the works of famous Roman authors such as Cicero and Virgil.

Easter revision sessions take place to ensure boys feel as prepared as possible prior to their public examinations.

CO-CURRICULAR

Boys’ enjoyment of Classics is enhanced through extra-curricular opportunities both inside and outside of school.

Classics Club is a popular activity for boys in Years 7 and 8. Boys undertake such tasks as creating their own myths and designing their own gladiators. Ancient History Club is also offered to those in Year 11 and above and enables boys studying a classical subject to further deepen their knowledge of the classical world. Keen linguists have the option of learning Ancient Greek from scratch as part of the school’s lunchtime activities programme.

Outside of the classroom, boys in Years 10 and above are invited to attend the annual UCL Classics play; this has proven to be a popular trip with the boys very much enjoying seeing classical texts come to life. Every two years the department organises a trip abroad with the previous two trips being to Pompeii and Athens respectively.

 

Computer Science

Computing at Wetherby Senior gives boys the skills and the mindset to not only consume data, but actively program computers and understand how today’s computers function.

We overlap with Mathematics on thinking skills and logic, and we support Art through the use of computer drawing and modelling, as well as the IT skills needed for efficient presentations. Computing goes well with any subject: Combine it with Languages, and you can build deep machine learning; combine it with Biology and you can make the robots of tomorrow.

Computing is highly regarded by both universities and employers; recent studies indicate that Computing is only second to Economics and Engineering in average graduate wages.

TEACHING & LEARNING

All students in Years 7 and 8 study Computing for two lessons a week. Lessons cover computing design, video and audio editing, spreadsheet modelling, programming in Python and HTML5, as well as algorithmic thinking. Games programming is very popular with the boys, as is the study of computer components and binary. Pupils produce professional quality clipart and logos, instructional videos with original techno soundtracks, as well as complete programs with functions and variables.

In Year 9, students have one lesson per week, where they use their ICT skills from Years 7 and 8 to manage projects and practise some past GCSE Computing questions. There is rigorous testing and emphasis on logical thinking and resilience for fine-tuning computer systems.

For GCSE, students can choose to take up OCR Computing with extra emphasis on coding and project management. The theory includes relational databases and app creation. Considering the global and UK shortage of Computing professionals, taking Computing puts the boys at the forefront of technology. This subject will also support the boys with engineering and scientific aspirations.

CO-CURRICULAR

A number of coding clubs are run by the department including Robotics, which are open to boys in Years 7, 8 and 9.

 

Drama

 

All students in Years 7 to 9 at Wetherby Senior School study Drama for one hour per week. It is an option for both GCSE and A Level. Drama lessons are mostly practical, with emphasis on creativity and teamwork skills. There are numerous visits from industry prefessionals, such as Frantic Assembly, Les Enfants Terribles and Splendid Theatre who run workshops at the School.

TEACHING & LEARNING

The aims of the Drama Department are to encourage and maintain the boys’ curiosity, interest and enjoyment in Drama, enabling each boy to achieve his potential and produce work of the highest quality.

The Lower School Drama curriculum is entirely practical and skills based. It prepares students fully for the Drama GCSE and also covers plays taught on the English GCSE Curriculum (such as Macbeth).

At Wetherby Senior we teach the AQA GCSE Specification, which involves three key skills:

  • Analysing Theatre: achieved through regular theatre visits and evaluation of set GCSE playscripts
  • Writing Theatre: The GCSE involves students creating their own play and performing it to a live audience
  • Acting in theatre: the GCSE involves acting in famous and reputable plays, such as The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter and 1984 by George Orwell (adapted for the stage by Duncan MacMillain)

The A LeveL, Edexcel A Level Specification, involves furthering the skills of analysis, playwriting and acting to a much more complex level. The A Level requires students to:

  • Think like a director
  • Perform in both group and monologue performances
  • Create detailed academic theatre evaluations
  • Write complex essays concerning play script and their context
  • Consider the social, cultural and historical context of theatrical work.

Weekly revision sessions and pratical sessions, including rehearsals for performance examinations, are held by the department.

FACILITIES

We have two large drama studio spaces and access to a professional lighting rig and sound system. There are opportunities for the boys to work with professional set designers, costume designers and lighting designers. These are hired each year for our shows and the students have the opportunity to learn from these industry experts.

CO-CURRICULAR

The Drama Department offers three large scale productions a year – The Upper School Porduction, the Lower School Production and Trib Drama, the house drama event.

The department also runs trips throughout the year to see notable shows, which in the last 12 months have included:

  • Frankenstein
  • Endgame
  • Touching the Void
  • Dear Evan Hansen
  • Great Expectations
  • Magic goes Wrong
  • The Cane
  • Come from Away
  • The Lehman Trilogy

The Drama Department also runs trips abroad. In 2018, we travelled to Broadway in New York and in 2019 we toured multiple film studios, such as Universal and Paramount in Los Angeles.

 

Economics & Business

Economics and Business are both available for the boys to choose as one of their A Level’s when they start Sixth Form.  The department is committed to enabling boys to cultivate a deep understanding of the subjects and an appreciation of how they interact with other related disciplines and wider social issues. Through our teaching we aim to foster a passion in the boys for their subject and help them develop into mature, independent learners who engage with their subject at the deepest level.

TEACHING & LEARNING

Economics and Business use the Eduqas specification at A Level. Both subjects are assessed by three exams at the end of their two years of study.

In Economics the boys cover the fundamentals of Micro and Macroeconomics and in the second year of the A Level course also investigate global economic issues such as trade, the EU and development economics.

In Business the boys study a range of Business types from the sole trader/entrepreneur to multi-national corporations. They study all of the major facets of what every business will need to do and consider in order to succeed including:

  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Management
  • Change
  • Risk
  • Globalisation

As a department we are able to use CORE Econ resources, which have been developed since the Global Financial Crisis by leading academics so that the teaching of Economics more closely represents the latest developments in the world around us and in Economics as an academic discipline. These are used by top universities around the world for their first year undergraduate teaching (such as UCL and Sciences Po Paris). We are able to use the most accessible parts of this resource to stretch our boys and help them to go beyond the A Level specification and give them a taste of what studying Economics at university would be like.

Boys are encouraged to read around the subject, keep up with current affairs and go deeper into their areas of interest. To help them pursue this, boys have online access to the Financial Times and there is a wide range of Economics and Business titles in the school library to help the boys go deeper into and beyond the A Level specifications.

CO-CURRICULAR

The department is also heavily involved in helping boys to get involved in Economics and Business outside of the classroom. In Year 12 boys have the opportunity to start a company through the Young Enterprise Company Programme, supported by the department and Young Enterprise.

Boys are able to attend the weekly Bigger Picture Society on a Friday lunch time. This allows them to investigate concepts and current affairs that are the pressing issues of the day and which are often outside of the A Level specification.

 

English

The English Department at Wetherby is made up of six subject specialists who, between them, have a breadth of experience teaching in and leading similar departments at some of London’s top independent day schools. Each teacher contributes different expertise to the department, whether it be their experience as a Times journalist or in-depth knowledge of both Post-colonial and American Literature. Between them, the English Department have examined for a full range of exam boards, at GCSE and A Level; this provides the department with an excellent understanding of what is required for our boys to thrive academically.

Teaching & Learning

Boys in Years 7-9 have six one hour periods of English per two week cycle. Lessons are based around the study of a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, from Shakespeare to Dystopian Fiction, Contemporary Poetry to persuasive speeches. As well as developing our boys into critical, independent readers and learners through the study of such texts, we also use them as a springboard to develop the boys’ writing skills. All boys study CIE English Language and English Literature iGCSE, after which they have the option to continue their studies in English Literature at A Level.

At A Level the boys receive seven periods of English a fortnight and benefit hugely from our central London location through the enriching opportunities which we are able to offer. In addition to viewing archived performances of their set texts in the V&A and being taken to multiple theatre trips to complement their studies, our Sixth Form boys have been able to attend literary lectures and benefit from visits from literary experts in the field of their study.

In the English Department, we understand that some boys make progress more quickly than others so we provide a weekly lunchtime ‘SPAG Clinic’ to support those in Years 7 to 9 with their technical writing skills. Furthermore, every Wednesday morning before school we host an ‘Intervention Club’ for Year 10 and 11 boys who may be struggling with a component of the iGCSE, or are just eager to receive extra support. Conversely, we have created a ‘KS4 Challenge Club’ which takes a select group of boys on thought-provoking theatre and cinema trips in order to expose them to more challenging material beyond the curriculum.

We have found our Wetherby English YouTube channel an excellent medium to consolidate our classes’ learning and use technology in innovative ways to assist progress.

Co-Curricular

Boys can get involved with English-related clubs, including Creative Writing Club, two KS3 Book Clubs and a Sixth Form Theatre Appreciation Club and American Literature Audiobook Club, as part of the Activities Programme, and will take part in school, local and national competitions during the course of the year. There is a regular programme of visiting authors and writers and whole school celebrations of literary events, such as National Poetry Day, Roald Dahl Day, World Book Day, Diversity Day and International Women’s Day: there is always something being celebrated in English!

Our location in the heart of London means that we can host a wide range of visiting authors and workshops including the Globe Players, a Sixth Form American Literature Lecturer to assist our A Level students with an understanding of their set texts and American context, and dramatized versions of texts. We also regularly take advantage of our excellent location and take the boys to a range of theatre productions across London.

Geography

Geography is an exciting, forward-thinking subject and could not be more relevant in today’s world. Geographers are at the forefront of solving local and global issues such as the spread of disease, food and energy security, causes and consequences of migration and the impacts of global warming. Geography also provides key analytical, numerical and literacy skills. We aim to develop skills of higher level thinking, problem solving and decision-making, in order to encourage the boys to be curious global citizens.

Teaching & Learning

In the Lower School, boys study a diverse curriculum which aims to tackle world issues as well as provide key skills. This includes topics such as ‘Pole to Pole’ which looks at the controversies surrounding Antarctica, and the ongoing threat of climate change. We also study the challenges of population growth, energy and resource development, and on-going pressing concerns including globalisation, development and natural hazards. This year we have introduced the new topic of ‘Africa’ aiming to breakdown the stereotypes of this diverse continent and give the boys greater insight into its varied human and physical geography. They will look at places such as Rwanda’s green city, Lagos as Africa’s Silicon city and Madagascar and its endemic species. This is interspersed with map skills needed at GCSE.

Geography is a popular GCSE option and follows the AQA specification. The course allows the boys to explore both physical and human themes and investigates the link between them through the use of case studies from around the world. Topics include climate change, tropical rainforests, poverty, deprivation, global shifts in economic power and the challenge of sustainable resource use. The issue evaluation allows the boys to apply their knowledge and understanding from the course as well as demonstrate critical thinking and problem-solving to help come to a possible solution for a current particular issue affecting the world.

At A Level we continue to follow the AQA specification which provides a challenging, rigorous and current curriculum that best prepares the boys for higher education. In human geography, boys will study changing places including the gentrification of Brixton, global governance and population and environment which includes the study of diseases, migration and food insecurity. In physical geography, the boys will study the importance of water and carbon cycles, our global ecosystems and gain an appreciation of the beauty and diversity of the world’s coasts.

The coursework allows the boys to explore a particular interest of theirs from the course and design an investigation around it, developing valuable skills needed at university. Our boys are all members of the Royal Geographical Society and frequently attend their Monday evening lectures to expand their knowledge beyond the course.

Co-Curricular

Fieldwork plays an integral role and so there are a variety of trips offered to complement schemes of work. These include a trip in Year 8 to Stratford to study regeneration and in Year 9 to Brighton to study the impact of coastal management. At A Level the pupils will spend a weekend in Somerset, exploring some of the themes studied in the course as well as collecting data for their coursework. We also offer regular non-compulsory trips abroad (Croatia & Slovenia 2016, Italy 2017, Greece 2018 and Azores 2019.)

 

History

History is the ultimate multi-disciplinary subject. Should a historian wish to understand a particular topic, they will need a working knowledge of a whole array of other disciplines that can range from medicine, climatology and physics to geology, history of art and literature, not to mention languages. Serious historians have to master a complex factual brief and then devise a convincing argument using rigorous empirical methods.

The transferable nature of these skills can explain why historians are to be found in leadership roles across the world. History teaches pupils that the story of humanity is chaotic and messy, it trains them to accept the unpredictability of events, equips them with a powerful sense of perspective and trains them to make judgements based on the available evidence. In short, history is an essential part of every child’s preparation for life.

Our aims at Wetherby Senior are to inspire a lifelong love of history in our pupils; to encourage all pupils to strive for excellence within the discipline; to deliver a curriculum that reflects both the evolution of the discipline and what we deem to be most relevant for our pupils.

TEACHING & LEARNING

Year 7 begin with the Medieval era. This includes a few highlights from British medieval history such as the Norman Conquest and the Peasants’ revolt. In the Spring Term they investigate the early Islamic World, focusing on how Islam spread so far and so fast and the cultural flourishing under the early caliphates. By the Summer Term they are investigating the history of migration to Britain, from the Beaker Folk, all the way up to the present day.

In Year 8 the boys focus on the Early Modern Era. This includes the English Civil War, the Mughal Empire, the formation of the UK, the emergence of the British Empire and ‘Plague, Fire & Witches’ which is a study in seventeenth century society.

In Year 9 boys begin by looking at the Atlantic Slave Trade and then the British Empire. In the Spring Term they study the two World Wars, focusing on how the conflicts emerged and how they were fought. In the Summer they study the Holocaust and Decolonisation.

The aim of Key Stage 3 is to equip the boys with both the skills they will need to tackle the GCSE and an essential sense of the importance of understanding the past.

GCSE:
We study the OCR Modern World (9-1) specification. This is an exciting and challenging new course that exposes the boys to a great range of topics whilst also honing their skills as historians.

The modules are:

  • International Relations 1919-2001
  • Germany 1925-55
  • Power, monarchy and democracy in Britain 1000-2014
  • Kennilworth Castle 1000-1750
  • The English Reformation 1520-1550

A Level:
We study the OCR History A Level. There is a very wide range of modules that can be studied, and what we study will change depending on pupil numbers and staffing. Currently the course consists of the following:

  • Britain 1930–1997 (Enquiry topic: Churchill 1930–1951)
  • American Revolution 1740–1796
  • Civil Rights in the USA 1865–1992
  • Coursework Essay (topic chosen by the candidates)
CO-CURRICULAR

Outside the classroom Wetherby Senior boys can look forward to a number of enriching visits to historical sites and museums. A visit to Kenilworth Castle is organised for the Summer Term and one to the Battlefields is run alternating Octobers.

The department also runs a number of clubs including the Senior History Society for boys in Years 11 to 13 and the History Club, which is open to all years.

 

Maths

The maths curriculum at Wetherby Senior is traditional and academically rigorous; however, we aim to use technology effectively to make teaching and learning more dynamic. We also believe that boys can improve their problem solving skills by being challenged by questions and activities that go beyond standard textbook exercises.

We believe that in order to create independent learners and learners who help themselves, we must make the resources available to them accessible, relevant and of a high quality.

To these ends, we ensure that all boys understand and agree to the following pledge.

As a Wetherby mathematician:

  • I am a problem solver and learn from attempting tough challenges.
  • I am prepared to take risks: it is better to get a wrong answer than to not try.
  • I respond positively to teacher feedback and learn from mistakes.
  • I practise techniques in order to aid memory and to increase speed and accuracy.
  • I will use the resources available to me to drive my education forward.
TEACHING & LEARNING

Years 7 and 8 will complete the KS3 (Year 7-9) National Curriculum. This ensures that we cover a broad range of topics at the appropriate level and provide an excellent foundation to IGCSE studies in Year 9 to 11. Covering the KS3 National Curriculum in two years provides pace and challenge, but the Scheme of Work also includes investigations and projects that go beyond the National Curriculum.

The Year 9 Scheme of Work is largely based on the Foundation IGCSE specification (with extension into some Higher topics) as this is designed to capture all of the key areas in mathematics, across Number and Algebra, Shape, Space and Measures and Handling Data within the year.

GCSE:
Year 10 cover all of the Higher IGCSE topics in the Edexcel International GCSE (9-1) Mathematics A specification. This will allow us to extend able mathematicians with an extra GCSE in maths in Year 11, i.e. AQA Level 2 Certificate in Further Maths; whilst other boys have time to consolidate their skills in Year 11.

A Level:
At A Level, we use the Edexcel specification for Mathematics and Further Maths. Each class will be split between two teachers, one focusing on Pure Maths and the other Applied Maths (Statistics and Mechanics).

In all years, we also aim to enrich and enhance the prescribed curriculum in order to instil a sense of awe and wonder of maths in all boys through investigations, project work and cross-curricular activities. Extension material is inherent in our planning and we produce weekly ‘Challenge Questions’.

Boys will be entered in UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) and Intermediate and Senior Challenges at the appropriate age. We also select boys to represent the school in Team Challenges. Challenge Questions from UMKT and other sources form part of weekly prep and are used in class to supplement the study of a particular topic and to ensure that topics in maths are not studied in isolation.

CO-CURRICULAR

We run a UKMT Maths Challenge club on Friday lunchtimes that is open to all, plus other lunchtime meetings of boys selected for Team Challenges.

Each year, our Year 8 boys visit Bletchley Park to learn more about the work of mathematicians to break the Enigma Code.

A number of boys are selected each year to attend the Year 9 Mathematics Masterclasses at the Royal Institution on Saturday mornings.

 

Modern Languages

At Wetherby Senior, we offer boys the opportunity to choose from three main languages: French, German and Spanish.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department is committed to broadening our boys’ understanding of the world and to develop strong, life-long linguistic skills.

We strive to instil in all boys a love for languages and an understanding of the importance of an increasingly globalised society. We aim to encourage boys to be effective and confident communicators and to develop a broad understanding of a range of cultural trends.

We hope that through supporting them to become life-long learners, we prepare boys at Wetherby Senior School to be competent global citizens.

The location of the school is unique in that the surrounding area of Marylebone is a culturally rich community where many languages are spoken.

Teaching & Learning

In the Lower School the boys study:

  • French: Year 7 Dynamo 1, Year 8 Dynamo 2 and Year 9 Dynamo 3
  • German: Year 7 Stimmt 1, Year 8 Stimmt 2 and Year 9 Stimmt 3
  • Spanish: Year 7 Viva 1, Year 8 Viva 2 and Year 3 Viva 3

At GCSE the Edexcel IGCSE is taken in French, German and Spanish

We also offer an ‘Early Entry GCSE’ option for boys who consider themselves bilingual and this is currently offered to boys hoping to sit IGCSE French, German and Spanish.

At A Level, the AQA A Level is followed for French, German and Spanish

The Modern Foreign Languages department is dedicated and committed to the needs of all students. Revision sessions and language clinics are offered to boys who wish to receive further support.

Facilities

In addition to our general teaching space, we also have a language laboratory, equipped with 21 computers, headsets and the most up to date SANAKO software.

The department also has individual speaking rooms where boys are encouraged to develop their speaking skills with our British Council Foreign Language Assistants. This is of particular importance for boys studying languages at IGCSE and A Level.

Co-Curricular

The Modern Foreign Languages Department offers an exciting and engaging co-curricular programme to boys of all ages and interests. From charity themed breakfasts to whole school events such as European Day of languages, there is something for everyone to enjoy and take part in.

In addition to having run various successful trips abroad, we take advantage of our central London location and take the boys on school trips to local restaurants, the cinema and the theatre to see plays such as ‘Bodas de Sangre’ and ‘Woyzeck’.

Our in-school list of clubs and activities is equally as impressive. In Years 7, 8 and 9 boys prepare for and compete in the National Spelling Bee and Translation Bee competition, with the National Grand Final taking place in the Summer Term. We also offer a MFL Culture Club and an East Asian Languages Society where boys can learn Mandarin Chinese and Japanese language and culture.

The MFL Department run two highly successful field trips annually to King’s College London, and to the French Institute where boys participate in various language workshops. Not only do boys love learning something new, but this also gives them a taste of studying languages at university and in a setting outside school.

 

Music

Music is a powerful focus for creataive energy and one which both stimulates and guides the imagination. Music at Wetherby Senior aims to develop aesthetic sensitivity and creative ability in all pupils.

We provide a diverse, high quality co-curricular programme that helps every pupil discover and develop their talents. The programme challenges the boys, encouraging a breadth of interests and developing character, creativity and teamwork.

The department has a team of 12 instrumental teachers who are all musicians in UK orchestras and some members of staff teach the National Children’s Orchestra.

TEACHING & LEARNING

Music at Wetherby Senior School is taught to all boys from Years 7 to 9 for one period per week.

All boys in Year 7 are given brass instruments to play; trumpet, trombone, tuba, horn, euphonium and baritone. They perform in a Christmas concert as part of the choir and also in the Brass Bash spring concert as two full brass bands.

In Years 8 and 9, the boys study numerous music genres, including classical, blues, popular, reggae and also film music.

At GCSE, we follow the Edexcel syllabus. The exam is divided into three sections; performing (30%), composing (30%) and written exam (40%). The boys compose across a wide range of styles, from dance music to instrumental Sonata’s. Over two years, students study set works in different styles – Bach, Queen, Purcell, Wicked, Beethoven and Afro Celt and are examined on these in Year 11.

All GCSE students are taught Gade V theory and these sessions are run in Year 11. Set work sessions are also held once a week for GCSE students.

The music department has many links with professional musicians. Recent masterclasses held include a wind ensemble masterclass, brass band masterclass and a string masterclass.

FACILITIES

At Wetherby Senior, we have a large recital hall, four practice rooms and a music tech suite. In addition, we also have a dedicated drum room with acoustic treatment to ensure the highest quality sound. Pianos are available in each of the practice rooms enabling the boys to practise in their own time.

CO-CURRICULAR

The music department has an orchestra, string ensemble, funk band, wind ensemble, three brass bands, guitar ensemble, two rock bands, choirs and a DJ club.

Throughout the year, numerous concerts are held including classical concerts, recital evenings, composition concerts, Brass Bash and Livelounge. In previous years, the Brass Band has performed in external venues, including Paris.

 

Philosophy

Historically, Philosophy encompassed all fields of enquiry and knowledge. Obviously, modern education is now split into a number of different disciplines and Philosophy has, to some extent, fallen away from view. This is not the case at Wetherby Senior School.

At Wetherby, we believe that Philosophy is an integral part of the curriculum and one that can enrich and enhance a student’s overall educational experience.

The aim of the department is simple but ambitious: To ensure that students think and discuss in a rigorous fashion and ideas are justified as much as possible.

Teaching & Learning

All students take the internal Philosophy course which is an hour a week for Year 7 to 11. There is currently no GCSE in ‘pure’ Philosophy but all students are aware of the possibility of taking Philosophy A Level.

Each year group has an over-arching theme:

  • Year 7 – Philosophy and the Self
  • Year 8 – Philosophy and the World
  • Year 9 – Philosophy and Society
  • Year 10 – Philosophy and the Impossible
  • Year 11 – Philosophy and the Future

What the above means in practice is that Year 7 cover issues such as our own Personal Identity and identity within the topic of Artificial Intelligence. Year 8 look at Greek Philosophy and what that tells us about the world. Year 9 cover Political Philosophy with particular attention to Theories of Justice. Year 10 attempt to solve impossible issues within Ethics and Free Will & Determinism and Year 11 look towards future study within Philosophy by covering some of the themes within the AQA Philosophy A Level.

Each year group also spends some time looking at how Philosophy is represented through popular films. For example Year 10 apply what they learn about Free Will to the central question of ‘pre-crime’ within the film Minority Report.

The A Level curriculum (AQA) has four parts:

  • Metaphysics of God
  • Metaphysics of Mind
  • Moral Philosophy
  • Epistemology

The A Level will be running at Wetherby Senior School for the first time from September 2019.

 

Physical Education

Wetherby Senior offers an inspiring Physical Education syllabus with a wide range of activities being taught by our dedicated and specialist sports teachers.

Teaching & Learning

Physical Education is a core subject for all pupils in the Years 7, 8 and 9.

The GCSE syllabus provides an opportunity to study both the practical (40%) and theoretical (60%) aspects of Physical Education, however all timetabled lessons are delivered as theoretical, classroom based lesson with the practical element being assessed through the games programme. The academic side of the course covers a wide variety of topics taught in two distinct modules: ‘The Human Body and Movement in Physical Activity’ and ‘Sociocultural Wellbeing and Influences in Physical Activity’.

Students will experience some practical lessons throughout the course. These are centred around the components of fitness and enable the boys to develop their own personal fitness programme.

Boys are offered revision sessions during half terms in Easter and May, depending on when the exam timetable is released.

Facilities

The department makes full use of the excellent facilities at Ealing Trailfinders for football, rugby, cricket and tennis and boys can use the WSS gym / trainer alongside the heart monitors to improve their knowledge and understanding of the methods of training.

Co-Curricular

The Academic PE department runs trips throughout the year including one  to St Marys University enabling the boys to learn about sports nutrition, making sports snacks and drinks. The boys are able to test blood lactate thresholds and power outputs using specialist equipment.

 

Physics

Science is about curiosity and the physics department aims to develop this natural curiosity. Physics as a subject aims at nothing less than a complete description of the world from the smallest constituents of matter to the large-scale structure of the Universe. Studying physics develops the boys’ scientific literacy and gives them highly transferable skills that will be useful throughout their lives. These include the ability to model novel situations, to think in an analytical, logical manner, and to plan an experiment to investigate a question.

From Year 7 to year 13, studying physics will enable students to understand and use the scientific method in both theoretical and experimental work, and to develop independent and team working skills. They will also develop an awareness of the wider implications of the subject in society, and to develop informed opinions supported by reasoned arguments.

Teaching & Learning

Year 7 and 8 boys follow the Edexcel Exploring Science course where they will learn the basic concepts of Physics including Forces, Energy and Waves.

GCSE students follow the Edexcel International GCSE specification with eight topic areas:

  • Forces and motion
  • Circuits and electricity
  • Waves
  • Energy resources and energy transfers
  • Solids, liquids and gases
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Radioactivity and particles
  • Astrophysics

A Level students follow the AQA specification, which is split into eight modules:

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity
  • Further mechanics and thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics

In the second year, there is an option module, which offers a choice of Astrophysics, Medical physics, Engineering, Turning points in physics, or Electronics.

Facilities

There are two experienced, full time technicians in the Science department, supporting three well-resourced physics laboratories.

Co-Curricular

The physics department runs numerous events and workshops throughout the year including:

  • Physics Olympiad, run by Oxford University
  • Astronomy club
  • Year 11 and 13 lunchtime support
  • Year 7, 8 and 9 Science club

 

Politics

Wetherby Senior School pupils

There perhaps could not be a more thrilling time to be studying Politics. Politics has an enormous impact on our lives, and the course at Wetherby Senior aims to provide boys with a strong understanding of how power is exercised in this country and internationally. Furthermore, the course will equip boys with the knowledge and skills to play a full part in the political process.

Politics is a stirring and intellectually challenging subject.  There is an emphasis on debate, discussion and argument. The ability to look at different perspectives and critically analyse them is of fundamental importance. We also aim to develop other important qualities such as critical thinking and effective writing skills.

Politics is a multidisciplinary subject. Whether it be through analysing statistical data, or demonstrating a sustained line of reasoning in an extended essay. Politics combines a number of skills from both the Arts and the Sciences, making it a subject that complements a range of A-Level options.

Course Outline – Students will follow the AQA Politics (7152) specification.

Paper 1: Government and Politics of the UK (33.3%)

  • Structure of British government
  • Elections and participation
  • Political parties and pressure groups

Paper 2: Government and Politics in the USA (33.3%)

  • Structure of US government
  • Electoral process
  • Political parties and pressure groups
  • Comparative politics

Paper 3: Political ideas (33.3%)

  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Socialism
  • Anarchism
Teaching & Learning

As a subject solely taught at A Level, Politics lessons are academically rigorous in preparation for the final exams but also provide students with the skills required for university and further study. Seminar-style discussions play a key role in lessons, and students are expected to do extensive independent reading.

The nature of Politics means that the subject is constantly changing, so students are expected to continually update their knowledge, in order to provide relevant and contemporary examples.

Co-Curricular

Societies such as Model UN and debating will allow students to engage with political issues and develop their ability to construct an argument. Trips will be organised to enrich the boys’ experience, which could be local such as a visit to the Houses of Parliament, or further afield. The department also aims to invite speakers to give talks to the pupils.


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Wetherby Senior offers a broad and well-rounded curriculum. Our dynamic...

Headmaster's Blog 18.06.2...

Wetherby Senior offers a broad and well-rounded curriculum. Our dynamic...

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100 Marylebone Lane,
London W1U 2QU
2. Campus
Hannah House, 13-16 Manchester Street,
London W1U 4DJ
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