Westminster Academy - Sixth Form Prospectus 2021

Page 1

SIXTH FORM


WELCOME TO THE SIXTH FORM AT WESTMINSTER ACADEMY which develops young people who recognise and celebrate different perspectives. In the ensuing years, it has only become clearer that such international mindedness is vital for the positive development of our planet. At WA, we feel strongly that to achieve our mission - “Education is Success” - we should offer an education that provides not just the academic outcomes that give students choices, but a broad and balanced education that nurtures curiosity, focuses on critical thinking and intercultural understanding so that students embody the IB Learner Profile and are equipped to make an impact upon the world. I was delighted to be appointed Principal of WA in January 2021 for several reasons, but one stands out: it is a very rare opportunity to be able to lead an Academy offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. My 22 years in education - in five different countries - leave me in no doubt about the many benefits of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP). Indeed my own daughter followed the IB Diploma Programme after her GCSEs. The IB is less well known in the UK than other sixth form offerings and each year, some parents and carers ask: why does Westminster Academy choose to offer an IB education? We are a wonderfully diverse community at WA and since the establishment of our school in 2006 it has always been part of our vision, and that of our sponsor family, to provide an internationally-minded education

1

At WA we achieve this through a highly knowledgeable teaching faculty who are themselves enquirers and passionate about lifelong learning. The Sixth Form is a supportive community which carefully coaches young people through these two significant post-16 years to help them feel prepared for university, apprenticeships, careers and the personal challenges that come as a young adult. We give students myriad extra-curricular opportunities to gain real life experience, to develop socially and emotionally and to have fun. We are proud of their excellent academic achievements and we are proud of the principled, caring young people they become.

DR PAUL WOOD Principal


An IB Education The International Baccalaureate is unique to other qualifications because it has a mission: ‘to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.’ The IB works actively towards this by developing programmes that provide the knowledge, concepts, skills, and actions needed to achieve this mission.

HE

I B L E AR N

ER

T

IB programmes aim to develop specific attributes that empower learners to promote intercultural understanding and respect; these attributes form the IB Learner Profile and are embedded in our ethos at Westminster Academy.

PROFILE

WA IBDP STUDENTS CONSISTENTLY ACHIEVE

ABOVE WORLD AVERAGE RESULTS

IB Learner Profile: • Inquirers

• Open-minded

• Knowledgeable

• Caring

• Thinkers

• Risk-takers

• Communicators

• Balanced

• Principled

• Reflective

2


INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE DIPLOMA PROGRAMME Westminster Academy is proud to offer the globally recognised International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP). Studied in over 5400 schools in 159 countries and recognised by universities across the world, the Diploma is widely seen as a symbol of academic integrity and intellectual rigour. The appeal of the IB Diploma is based on the philosophy of the programme; foreign languages, international-mindedness and service learning are combined with a sustained focus on thinking skills, academic writing and subject specific rigour. It is a demanding programme, but each year we see our IB Diploma graduates leave WA as mature, resilient, knowledgeable, principled and capable individuals, prepared for the challenges of studying at university and beyond. Students study six subjects (one from each of the listed disciplines) to achieve a balanced curriculum. Three subjects are taken at higher level (HL) and the other three at standard level (SL). Higher Level subjects include a range of modules to allow students to study the course in more depth and develop more specialised knowledge. In addition, students study the IB Core, an exciting feature of the programme which challenges students to broaden their experience beyond the curriculum, and to apply their knowledge and skills.

GROUP

SUBJECT CHOICES

1 Studies in Language and Literature

English Literature, English Language and Literature

2 Language Acquisition

Arabic, French, German, Spanish – available at advanced and ab initio (beginner) levels

3 Individuals and Societies

Business Management, Geography, History, Anthropology, Economics

4 Science

Biology, Physics, Environmental Systems and Societies, Chemistry

5 Maths

Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches, Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation

6 The Arts and Electives

Film, Visual Arts, or an additional subject from Group 3 or Group 4

The IBDP Core Students study the following three elements of the IBDP Core: Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) – developing as global citizens by completing a project and reflecting on creative, active and service experiences. Examples at WA include volunteering at a care home or producing a school newsletter. Theory of Knowledge – reflecting critically on the nature of knowledge. At WA students present their responses to questions such as “How can we know that current knowledge is an improvement upon past knowledge?”. Extended Essay – completing an extended piece of research-based writing which enables students to develop independent, academic writing skills and provides practical preparation for undergraduate study.

3

Teaching and Learning Teaching and learning in the IB Diploma takes place in small classes, taught by specialist teachers. As such, our teachers build strong relationships with their students and are able to effectively challenge and motivate them to achieve their full potential. IB curricula integrate concept-based teaching and learning to promote meaning and understanding: students develop understanding of concepts which allows them to make their own connections between their learning in one subject, with what they learn in other subjects, as well as what they think and observe in their lives. Approaches to Learning (AtL) prompt students to think about how they learn, so IB students will experience a focus on Thinking skills, Communication skills, Self-management skills, Research skills and Social skills in their classes. As a result, IB students are held in high regard by university admissions officers, who value the IB for encouraging independent inquiry, developing self-management skills, developing workplace skills, nurturing an open mind and developing global awareness and connectivity.


INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE CAREER-RELATED PROGRAMME The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (IBCP) was developed to combine the values of the IB with a career-related education.

100

%

Students study a minimum of two IBDP courses, one BTEC Extended Diploma and the IBCP Core. Students develop the academic strength, international perspective and research skills required for university and life-long learning, along with professional, transferable skills to ensure they are successful in their careers.

COURSE

OF SIXTH FORM GRADUATES GAIN

UNIVERSITY OFFERS

SUBJECT CHOICES

BTEC Extended Diploma Business, Creative Media, Applied Science (students select one) IB Courses (students select two)

English Language and Literature, Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches, Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation

The IBCP Core Students study the following four elements of the IBCP Core: Service Learning – developing new skills and becoming more open-minded through volunteering in the local community. Personal and Professional Skills (PPS) – developing employability skills through a series of projects. Reflective Project – reflecting critically on an ethical issue relating to a student’s chosen field of study and producing a university-style piece of work. Language Development – studying a foreign language through project-based work.

Teaching and learning The IBCP places an emphasis on practical skills, so students undertake project-based work such as creating a funding pitch for a business, conducting market research or gathering and analysing forensic evidence. IB Approaches to Learning give students opportunities to think critically and creatively in their learning, communicate clearly and effectively in a variety of situations, and work independently and in collaboration with others.

4


PERSONALISED

LEARNING WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT EACH STUDENT’S PROGRAMME OF STUDY IS PERSONALISED TO ENABLE THEM TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THEIR EDUCATION.

Personal Tutors

Parental Contact

IT Access

Each student is assigned a personal tutor at the Academy who they meet with in tutor groups at the start of each school day to register, discuss current affairs and ensure they are prepared for the school day. In addition, each student meets their tutor on a 1:1 basis regularly, to review progress, discuss aspirations and set goals.

Our tutors are the first point of call for parents and carers, and will keep parents and carers updated on their child’s progress throughout the year. We also hold a Parents’ Evening, Tutor Evenings and provide regular reports throughout the year.

All students receive a Chromebook at the beginning of their course, enabling access to IT facilities at school and at home. This 1:1 device programme has proved a great success in providing opportunities for students to collaborate positively online, as well as conduct independent research, and allows for a seamless transition to remote learning.

“ THE TEACHING AT THE SCHOOL IS INCREDIBLE. TEACHERS CONSTANTLY PUSH YOU TO CHALLENGE AND QUESTION CONVENTIONAL WISDOM, AND TO UNDERSTAND THAT KNOWLEDGE MEANS SO MUCH MORE THAN PASSING EXAMS.” ZAKRI ZULKURNAIN, IBDP ALUMNUS

5

Sixth Form students use ManageBac (the IB’s Virtual Learning Environment) where students, parents and carers can access lesson resources, submit assessments and view feedback.


WA SIXTH FORMERS PROGRESS TO TOP UNIVERSITIES, INCLUDING:

OXFORD, CAMBRIDGE, IMPERIAL, UCL, LSE, DURHAM, NOTTINGHAM, KING’S COLLEGE LONDON, BRISTOL

6


INFORMATION,

ADVICE AND GUIDANCE SIXTH FORM STUDENTS ARE PROVIDED WITH OUTSTANDING SUPPORT AS THEY TAKE IMPORTANT DECISIONS TO DETERMINE THEIR POST-18 PATHWAYS. Students work regularly with their tutors to refine their personal goals and develop action plans. They are taught to be independent, and given access to a wealth of careers resources so that they have the skills and understanding to make informed decisions. These skills are supplemented with workplace visits, open days, presentations, public speaking and networking to help students understand the different routes which are available to them. IBCP students are given the opportunity to join our Career Ready programme. Participants are connected to a dedicated business mentor who they meet at least once a month, attend a series of employer-led masterclasses, and undertake a six-week paid internship over the summer break.

7

Extensive support is offered throughout the UCAS programme. Starting in Year 12, the Academy organises visits to a wide range of universities so that students can research courses; we also support students in applying to preparatory extra-curricular programmes at local universities like UCL and King’s College London. A series of UCAS workshops allows students to develop impressive and competitive personal statements; our staff team guides students through the process of carefully reviewing and improving their statements before they are submitted. Oxbridge applicants are provided with extra support, including preparatory classes and mock interviews. We also provide bespoke and comprehensive support for students interested in apprenticeships.


EXTRA-CURRICULAR

OPPORTUNITIES

THE ETHOS OF THE IB EMPHASISES THE HOLISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENTS. WESTMINSTER ACADEMY IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING ENGAGING OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM THAT SUPPORT THIS. Students are introduced to the Sixth Form with a residential visit, which students consider to be a fun way to foster positive relationships among the new year group, and to develop resilience ahead of their IB programme. IBDP students take part in Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), which encourages students to develop creative skills, maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle, to be active, global citizens and to reflect on the personal challenges and outcomes these activities present. Popular CAS opportunities include the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Model United Nations, the student newsletter, mentoring younger students, cookery and a variety of sporting activities; activities which are also available for IBCP students. Our Sixth Formers are expected to role model the IB Learner Profile and Westminster Academy values for the rest of the school. Student leadership is a key part of this. Our Sixth Form Prefects work with staff and younger students on initiatives to enhance the student experience at the Academy.

Educational Visits and Partnerships Westminster Academy takes full advantage of its diverse partnerships and its location in central London to organise a wide array of educational visits. These range from visiting the headquarters of FTSE 100 companies to working with start-up businesses in local hubs, and from visiting some of the best museums in the world to one-to-one mentoring.

THE ACADEMY IS PROUD TO BE PARTNERED WITH AN IMPRESSIVE RANGE OF ORGANISATIONS, WHICH INCLUDE INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES, COMMUNITY GROUPS AND EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS. THESE INCLUDE:

THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE BRITISH LAND IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON MARKS AND SPENCER MOSAIC THE SERPENTINE GALLERY PADDINGTON DEVELOPMENT TRUST

8


“I LIKE THE FACT THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT ACADEMIA - DOING CAS AND GETTING INVOLVED IN OPPORTUNITIES LIKE THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S AWARD HAS BEEN GREAT.” ISMAIL CHISHTI, WA ALUMNUS, NATURAL SCIENCES UNDERGRADUATE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

9


APPLYING TO THE SIXTH FORM AT WESTMINSTER ACADEMY

For information on applying to Westminster Academy, please visit our website: www.westminsteracademy.org.uk For further details, please contact our Sixth Form Team: sixthformadmissions@westminsteracademy.org.uk

10


“AS AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT LIVING IN LONDON, I FOUND WA TO BE A VERY WELCOMING COMMUNITY. I’M DELIGHTED I CHOSE IT!” ZACHARY MAGAN, IBDP ALUMNUS Sir Naim Dangoor Centre 255 Harrow Road London W2 5EZ T: 020 7121 0600 Email: admin@westminsteracademy.org.uk www.westminsteracademy.org.uk @WestminsterAca