Curriculum and Dates

Pupils attend Saturday morning classes approximately every three weeks starting in January.

These classes take place in relevant specialist departments at Westminster School. Our STEM course runs on-site at the Robert Hooke Science Centre. Each lesson is taught by a specialist Westminster teacher of that subject.

Saturday sessions run from 9.30am to 1pm, roughly every 3 weeks during term time. There is also a summer school component, which runs on 2 full weekdays in early July.

  • In the STEM pathway, participants will be able to study stretching and challenging material in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. The course is delivered by Westminster School teachers primarily in their newly refurbished science block.
  • In the Liberal Arts pathway, Students will study a given theme through the lens of a range of humanities subjects. We will encourage students to consider and explore the links between these subjects and engage critically in the modes of study that these subjects offer. Academic sessions will be led by specialist Westminster teachers. No prior study of Classics or History of Art will be required, but we anticipate that all students will be studying the full complement of five EBacc subjects.

2020 Programme dates

Session 1 11 January 2020
Session 2 1 February 2020
Session 3 8 February 2020
Session 4 14 March 2020
Session 5 2 May 2020
Session 6 16 May 2020
Session 7 6 June 2020
Session 8 20 June 2020
Session 9 12 September 2020
Session 10 3 October 2020

STEM Curriculum 2020

The Biology lessons will attempt to cover a broad range of topics from the microscopic to the very large. There will be some ideas that build upon knowledge they have garnered from their studies already, but many of the principles covered will be completely new. Some time will be devoted to considering the Biology Challenge – an international competition run by the Royal Society of Biology.

Week 1 Cell Structure Week 6 Circulatory system
Week 2 Biological Molecules Week 7 Plant Responses
Week 3 Evolution Week 8 Immunity
Week 4 Genetics Week 9 The Nervous System
Week 5 Biochemistry Week 10 Gene Technology
There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the learners can attempt some longer practical work on dissection and animal behaviour.
The Chemistry lessons will attempt to cover a range of topics that delve into the quantum world of the atom as well as the macroscopic effects that result from chemical reactions. There will be some ideas that build upon knowledge from their studies already, but in novel contexts, with a view to linking it to the other sciences. Some time will be devoted to considering problems from the Top of the Bench competition, run by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Week 1 A History of Chemistry Week 6 Vibrating Particles
Week 2 Organic Molecules Week 7 Organic Problem Solving
Week 3 Size and the mole Week 8 Reaction Rates
Week 4 Polymers & the Plastic Revolution Week 9 Of Metals and Men
Week 5 Hydrogen and its role Week 10 DNA, Life and Macromolecules
There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the leaners can attempt some longer practical work on the synthesis of aspirin and making a chemical clock.
The Physics lessons will concentrate on extending existing ideas met at GCSE across the broad sweep of the subject. The course will include some extended practical work. In addition, the leaners will be able to use the School’s observatory situated on the roof of the science block. Some time will be devoted to considering the Physics Challenge – a competition run by Oxford University.

Week 1 Kinematics Week 6 Hooke’s Law and the Young Modulus
Week 2 Electric Circuits Week 7 Waves
Week 3 Newton’s Laws Week 8 Radioactive Decay
Week 4 Units Week 9 Electromagnetism (especially Faraday’s Law)
Week 5 Ideal Gases Week 10 Optics (mostly Snell’s Law)
There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the learners can attempt some longer practical work on the efficiency of a catapult and resistance networks.

Liberal Arts Curriculum 2020

Week 1 ENGLISH What do we mean by nationalism? Where have we seen it before?
Key/contrasting texts or passages: how are nationalist identities articulated?
Week 2 HISTORY Where have we seen nationalism in the past?
What has driven it? What have been its implications for the course of history?
Week 3 CLASSICS What did nationalism look like further back in history?
To what extent is there continuity between the classical age and the present day? Is Western culture inherently nationalist?
Week 4 MFL What can we learn about nationalism in other cultures if we study texts in their original form?
How does this help us understand or critique our own sense of national(ist) identities?
Week 5 HISTORY OF ART How have artists represented nationalist identities?
How have visual arts been used to challenge or undermine nationalist identities?
Week 6 RELIGION & PHILOSOPHY The ethics of nationalism
Is nationalism dangerous?
Week 7 ARCHIVES & RESEARCH Visit to Westminster Archives
Begin group research project
Week 8 LIBRARY Work on group projects
Week 9 PRESENTATIONS 1 Presentations of your thematic research
Week 10 PRESENTATIONS 2 Presentations and graduation

A learning programme between sessions

There are online tutorials and structured tasks, to help pupils maintain momentum and progress. Pupils are able to share ideas and to work together on challenges by logging onto the Platform online forum. They are expected to be willing to work hard between sessions!

A Westminster School Initiative