Michaelmas term 2021
From excellent exam results to exciting extra-curricular activities, and from alumni success to sports team success, there was much to celebrate and enjoy during our Michaelmas term 2021.
Before the start of the new academic year, our outgoing Years 11 and 13 were awarded a range of fantastic exam results. GCSE Results Day 2021 saw our pass rate rise to 85% across all qualifications and 35% of all our GCSEs graded 9 to 7 (or BTEC equivalent) which corresponds to the old-style top grades of A* and A. In addition, A Level Results Day 2021 saw ten students awarded all grades at A* or A and, across our cohort, 57% were awarded A* to B, and 85% A* to C. In autumn 2021, over 90% of our outgoing Year 13 started university, with almost 40% joining top Russell Group institutions.
September 2021 saw our new students warmly welcomed into Westminster City School, with Year 7 enjoying drama lessons alongside their other subjects and all members of Year 12 gifted a laptop, thanks to our Sixth Form’s new initiative with nearby investment company, Polar Capital. This fantastic suite by support from Polar Capital is set to continue, with all Year 12 students, who are planning to do a three-year UK university course, able to apply for our two Polar Capital Aspire Scheme (PCAS) bursaries, worth over £20,000 per year, for each year of future university study.
Our Westminster City School Tutor Reading Programme, which sees tutors read aloud to their forms twice a week, selecting a book from our reading canon, continued apace, and even featured in popular children's newspaper, First News. (Our picture, above, shows Year 7 students reading the article in our School library). It was also praised by acclaimed author Nizrana Farook who said: "So happy to see The Girl Who Stole an Elephant among Westminster City School's Tutor Reading Programme. What a fabulous initiative."
Our Michaelmas term 2021 contained a busy sports schedule, with success in external competitions for many of our teams, including football, rugby and cricket. Then, alongside an already packed timetable of extra-curricular sports clubs, rowing was added to the schedule, with new rowing machines in our School’s fitness room and weekly training sessions from an external coach.
Our younger students were further encouraged to keep active by the introduction of our new Outdoor Club, which has started meeting on alternative Saturdays to walk the Outer Ring route of London. So far, Outdoor Club members have travelled from Greenford to Northwick Park, from South Kenton to Hendon, and from Hendon to Highgate. We look forward to hearing more about their hikes in 2022.
Musical performances during our Michaelmas term included two students performing at The Guard’s Chapel’s prestigious lunchtime recital on two occasions, a joyful return to carol singing for our Choir at nearby Nova Food as we neared the Christmas break, and our popular Carol Service at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey. This all followed a number of our then Year 7 students taking part in a high profile concert to mark the 150th birthday of the Royal Albert Hall last June.
Going beyond Palace Street, almost 40 Year 10 students spent a day at the incredible London offices of world-leading accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, gaining a valuable insight into life as a business consultant. With support by a team of PWC employees, our students were given a project brief outlining a fictional client that PwC might work with. They then worked in teams to devise creative solutions, before presenting their work to a panel of PwC staff and their peers. PwC staff fed back on how impressed they were with the presentations and how much they enjoyed working with our young people.
Back at Palace Street, our Library received a generous gift of 100 books by authors of colour, thanks to publishing company, Penguin, and their Lit in Colour 100 book giveaway. This superb donation contains novels covering a diverse variety of genres, themes and topics, plus autobiographies and biographies to interest and inspire our students. Since many of the books were more suited for our older students, our Library’s Sixth Form reading area was given a re-design in order to accommodate these new works!
Staying at Palace Street and a number of our successful alumni returned during our Michaelmas term, giving talks on careers in journalism, law, finance and more, providing inspiration for our future alumni. Our Michaelmas term saw continued sporting success for recent alumnus, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, now a professional footballer signed with Premier League club, Crystal Palace. Jesurun received a call-up to the England U20 team in September and made his goalscoring debut during their 6–1 victory over Romania U20s. In addition, alumnus Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, was giving a promotion in November to Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, an important front-bench post at any time but especially so during the pandemic.
As Michaelmas term 2021 drew to a close, our popular Carol Service returned to St Margaret’s Church, Westminster Abbey providing an opportunity for students, staff and parents/carers to celebrate the festive season and end of 2021 together.