COVID-19

With the UK under lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19, the vast majority of our young people are staying home to protect themselves and others. From Monday 15 June, we will re-open to Years 10 and 12, alongside vulnerable pupils and children of key workers.

During this challenging time, we will continue to keep all within our strong and supportive community updated on future developments via email, our weekly bulletin, our School's website and our social media channels. Our Letters home webpage also contains all letters that have been sent to our parents/carers at this time, to ensure all within our community are kept up-to-date.

Partial re-opening from Monday 15 June - two key points from the UK Government

  1. Remote learning will continue to be the predominant form of education for both Years 10 and 12 but should be supplemented by face-to-face contact.

    At Westminster City School, this means that remote learning will continue for Year 10, supplemented with academic tutoring and weekly tutorials in English, Mathematics and Science at our Palace Street site. 

    For our Sixth Form, remote learning will continue for Year 12, supplemented with academic tutoring and weekly tutorials in as many subjects as possible at our Palace Street site. 
     
  2. Only a quarter of pupils in Year 10, and a quarter of students in Year 12, should be in school at any one time. This is in addition to vulnerable pupils and children of key workers, who are in school each day. 

    To meet this aim at Westminster City School, we will divide our Year 10 into four groups. Each group will attend our Palace Street site once a week, unless they are vulnerable pupils or the children of key workers. 

    For our Sixth Form, given the nature of A Level subjects, dividing our Year 12 cohort is more complex. Our Year 12 students may need to attend our Palace Street site for more than one day a week. Further details about this have been sent to parents/carers and our sixth formers, please see our Letters home webpage. (If you are unsure of your group, please check your email, your parents/carers' email or contact Mr Caprioli).


Show My Homework
All pupils and students should be using Show My Homework to keep up with their studies. Our School’s regular welfare checks continue and, where possible, many extra-curricular activities are offered online. 
 

Remote learning timetable from Monday 22 June

With our remote learning timetable, we aim to have a 5-6 hour school day consisting of:

  • 3 lessons of 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes reading/revision
  • 30 minutes exercise
  • 60-90 minutes homework

From Monday 22 June, our Year 8 pupils should be studying their core subjects and the options they have been given (this information has been made available on Parental Insight). This has resulted in minor changes to the remote learning timetable (below) for Year 8 only. If there are problems, please speak to your form tutor in the first instance.


Our remote learning timetable for Years 7 to 10, and Year 12

  Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 12 on site/Loom Year 12 remote
Monday English
Geography
Art
English
History
Spanish
Business
Science
Comp Sci
PE
Geography
RS
Psychology Business
RS
History
Biology
Tuesday Science
RS
Maths
Maths
Art
Comp Sci
Economics
PE
Geography
History
English
Art
Spanish
Economics
Politics Geography
Wednesday History
Science
Computing
Science
Geography
DT
Business
Spanish
Maths
Economics
Science

History
Comp Sci

Chemistry
Maths
Economics
Physics
Comp Sci

Psychology
Politics
Thursday Music
English
PHSE
RS
Maths
Sport

English
Maths
DT

Music
Business
DT
Sociology
English
Chemistry
Economics
Physics
Comp Sci
Friday Spanish
Maths
Games
Music
English
Science

Art
RS
Maths
Economics

Science
Maths
English

Biology
History
Geography
Business
RS
Maths
English
Sociology


Our remote learning timetable for Year 11 (until 19 June) and Year 13
 

  Year 11 - introduction to post-16 qualifications Year 13 - enrichment and introduction to university course
Monday Chemistry
Psychology
Geography
Computer Science
Art and Design
Physics
Business
Government and Politics
Sociology
Tuesday

Physics
Business Studies
Government and Politics
Philosophy and Ethics
Spanish

RS 
Computer Science
Wednesday Biology
History
Economics
Sport
Sociology
Maths
Further Maths
English
Thursday Maths
Numeracy
Applied Maths
English Literature
Music Technology
Biology
History
Economics
Friday Careers and wellbeing Chemistry
Psychology

Transition work for Years 11 and 13

For Years 11 and 13, who would have sat GCSE and A Level examinations this summer, our staff are providing additional transition work to prepare these young people for their future. 

With over 90% of our sixth formers having applied to start university this autumn, our teachers are continuing to help students understand the changes and challenges of future undergraduate learning. 

For our Year 11, staff are encouraging pupils to further understand post-16 options, including by providing bridging modules for numerous subjects which allow pupils to see the differences between Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 learning.

See the end of this webpage for the engaging transition work that our Year 11 pupils should be undertaking at this time. 


Making history
As part of our transition work, ome of our Year 11 have been analsying and debating the recent removal of the statue of Edward Colston, in Bristol.

The below essay, by Year 11 pupil Xerxes, is in response to the statement: “Statues should remain in place as a reminder that we can continue to learn from our past mistakes.” How far do you agree with this statement by focussing on the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol harbour?

There are many controversies that surround the statue of Colston mainly due to his heavy involvement in the Slave Trade with the Royal African Company (RAC) in the late 1600s. In his youth, the Colston family were already merchants but suffered a setback at the end of the English Civil war. Following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, his father, William Colston re-joined the City Corporation while Edward was sent to London and never came back to Bristol. In 1680 after being a member of the RAC as a slave trader, he transported over 84,000 slaves of men, women and children with 19,000 dying throughout his time from 1680-92, while holding the title of Deputy Governor from 1689-90.  While he was a prominent member of the RAC, it is uncertain of the wealth he accumulated from the slave trade. In fact, it is argued that a majority of his wealth came from the family business in Bristol. Since he had no heirs, Colston spent a vast majority of his wealth before and after his death. As such, he spent a vast majority of his wealth back in Bristol where he founded the Colston Alms-houses, helped founded Colston’s Hospital – a boarding school and endowed Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital school. Furthermore, in his death he stated he wished to be buried ‘simply without pomp’ but his request was ignored as his body was carried to Bristol and had a monument created. This is extremely important as it gives us an insight to his character and opens up the possibility that Colston is not all bad as it seems. However, it is important to identify the cultural differences from the 17th century as compared to the 21st century in which they were two very different times. Slave trade was a part of the 17th century culture and it was the norm to sell people at the time as it was socially accepted. As such, this opens controversy as to whether it was right or wrong for Colston’s statue to be torn down and whether his image be seen as a reminder of past mistakes instead of glorifying the slave trades.

However, while the statue symbolises the negative past of Britain as a way of remembering past mistakes, it’s important to understand the effects of this statue has had on the people of Bristol. The statue had to be taken down as it glorified his works as a slave trader. Although he did spend a majority of his money back to Bristol, his actions as a slave trader must not go unnoticed. It’s important to remember that the removal of the Colston statue was not a spark of the moment during the protests. There have been many instances where the community has spoken against the morality of the statue but Bristol City Council would turn a blind eye to his works as a slave trader. For example, during his time as a slave trader, an astonishing 19,000 slaves were killed during voyages he controlled which is simply outrageous and horrific. It is also important to address the opinion of the Bristol community against the statue since they have the most important opinion since they live there. For the most part, the statue has become apart of their lives but it comes with negativity. The black community would feel intimidated by the statue because of his chilling past. Even though there are societal differences from the time his statue was erected in 1865, it is important to understand that society’s values and public attitude change over time. While the people from 1865 accepted that what he did was ‘business’ and that it was a societal norm to trade slaves, society is always advancing and their views toward the statue change. For example, when the statue was toppled, some people described it as an empowering moment for those who opposed the statue and that it was condoning a man who killed many African people. Ultimately, while there are many good intentions for keeping his statue up, it is up to the public to decide whether it should stay up, as mentioned, society advances and as a democratic nation we must adjust to new opinions and as such, the statue had every right to be removed. 

While there are arguments in supporting the removal of the Colston statue, we must also look at the morality of removing statues in general. To explore the morality of it, the reason of a statue must be outlined. The point of a statue is to depict a person which is usually in honour of that person and to remember them by after they have passed away. For example, statues of Jesus are created and is used as remembrance for the religious community and many other religious figures such as the Hail Mary. As such, in this context we are able to criticise the morality of tearing down statues. The point of the Colston statue was to remember him as a person for the deeds he has done. He is supposed to be a symbol for the past, for those to remember him. However, as with many things, there will be disagreements in the reasoning for his statue and because of this, controversies are created and people can opposition the statue to remain erect. Although public opinion should be the deciding factor through democratic votes, the actions taken on the 7th of June when the statue was torn down, in a legal context, should be condemned. This is as statues are private property rendering the forceful remove of the statue, illegal. This is an issue because the whole reason why it was removed was due to changes in the public’s opinion and due to the change in societal values. By this logic, there is a juxtaposition in the illegal actions from the public, and reasoning behind the removal of the statue. How can we claim to be making change as a modern society when we can’t follow our own values?  

In 2017 Da’esh militants were responsible for many monuments and arts held in Palmyra in Syria, many of which were held in the city’s museum. The actions done the Da’esh militants were condemned by many worldwide but why were the actions in Bristol celebrated by many worldwide? Because of this, this can also spark controversy due to this being hypocritical. To address this, we must take in a wider perspective of both groups and establish their objectives. The Da’esh militants are known for their violence and terrorism through many decades, bringing about their political aims through extreme violence and the death of hundreds of thousands in their cause. The Bristol public who were commended are, as we know, known for feeling intimidated by a statue through many decades. They voice were ignored by the Bristol Council. One group is a known terrorist cell, while another is a group of ordinary oppressed citizens. It’s a no brainer to see the differences. While both groups can theoretically be labelled as terrorist/criminals due to the act of bringing about political change through means of violence, by that logic, that means a murderer and a house robber are equal in their right. Wrong. In a legal context there is a theory of punishment known as retributive justice (or proportional justice) where an offender breaks the law, justice requires that he/she suffers in return. It describes the idea that the punishment of a certain crime be in proportion to the severity of the crime itself. For example, a robber who robs 5 houses would get 25 years on paper as one house robbery is 5 years in prison. However, a murderer also gets 25 years. Morally speaking, the actions of a robber and a murder have polar differences and the theory or proportional justice upholds these morals. This is a direct parallel to the Da’esh militants and the Bristol public, as while they both had similar actions, the Bristol public should not be scrutinised for their actions as compared to Da’esh, it seems futile. Ultimately, following the concept of proportional justice, it is not hypocritical to view the actions by the Da’esh militants, a violent terrorist cell, and the ordinary people of Bristol. 

The events that took place on the 7th June 2020 was very controversial and it caused loads of debate on the legality and morality of tearing the statue. As previously mentioned, it is important to remember the concept of the statue, to remember someone who has passed away, a way to symbolise their actions. There are loads of societal differences between the 21st century and the 18th century and as always, we must appreciate the differences. History is all about understanding culture, past or present and as such, the statue had every right to remain in place. It is a reminder of our past mistakes and we can continue to be reminded that humanity is never perfect, and our society today is only created through centuries of reform and, in this case, human suffering by certain ethnic groups. Although it is important to celebrate the differences in society, as a modern society, we rule through democracy and as such, we must respect the choices of the people and adhere to their wants and needs. While the act of forcefully tearing the statue was wrong, we must respect the reasoning behind it. 

Happy and healthy

During this challenging time, it is important to think about our mental health and physical wellbeing. At Westminster City School, alongside our continued focus on ensuring minimal disruption to learning, we would like to offer some tips to our young people, and their parents/carers, on staying happy and healthy.

Mental health matters
Make your mental health a priority. Staying at home because of COVID-19 can get you down but it is important to remember that it is OK to feel this way and that everyone reacts differently. 

Human beings are social creatures, so maintaining relationships with loved ones is important. Keep in touch with others via phone, messaging, video calls and social media. If you are feeling anxious, then talk to family and friends about your worries. If you decide you need further support, then don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted helpline or organisation, like Childline or the NSPCC. Both have great online resources, for young people and for parents/carers, and are available 24 hours a day.

Life is changing for a while, so create a new and positive routine to your day. Make sure you keep your mind active (for example, by reading, writing, playing games, doing crosswords or art) and try to carry on with things you enjoy. Feel free to focus on your favourite hobby (if you can still do it from home) or why not learn something new? There are many free courses and tutorials online to help you pick up a new skill or interest.

Remember, this situation is temporary and, for most of us, any difficult feelings will pass. Staying at home may be difficult, but you are helping to protect yourself and others by doing it.

Working out physical wellbeing 
A healthy mind needs a healthy body! So, try to find an fitness routine that works for you and ensure that you undertake at least 30 minutes of exercise each day.

During the current restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, the UK Government has agreed that leaving your house to undertake exercise is permitted. Make the most of that extra sunlight and get outside. Just remember to keep a distance of 2 metres from others around you.

When exercising outside, try to keep challenging yourself! Why not download a step counter on your phone to see how far you go, then try to beat that number the next day? If going for a jog, then see if you can go a little further each day and aim to be able to run for 30 minutes without a break.

Millions around the world have been enjoying daily work outs by Joe Wicks on his YouTube channel and many of his exercises help if you are trying to build muscle. There are also plenty of other keep fit and exercise programmes and videos for you to follow, for free, online. 

Find some exercises that you can do from the comfort of your own home, like running on the spot and remember that press ups, sit ups, tricep dips, squats, calf raises and the plank can all help if you are trying to build muscle. If you don’t have any weights, then improvise with a can of tinned food. Make some space, put on some fun music and start working out!

Good behaviour online

Our high expectation for the conduct of all Westminster City School pupils does not change because you are working and studying online.

With all at our School staying at home, we are all making more use of online facilities to keep in touch and to continue learning. It is important that we conduct ourselves online with all the politeness and consideration that we do in the real world.

Show My Homework is used to replace lessons, but email and the Teams app are also used to share other important information.

Email
You should check your email at least once each day for updates from your form tutor, Head of Year and other Westminster City School staff.

Remember that our School systems are provided for educational purposes. You should not use it for socialising – use your own personal email for that!

When using your Westminster City School email, please remember:

  • Keep your messages short and polite
  • Write as if you were writing a letter, with a formal salutation and sign-off
  • Use correct English spelling, punctuation and grammar throughout
  • Use emojis sparingly and animations not at all
  • Only use the Reply All option if you are certain that everyone needs to read your response - don’t spam people!
  • Use a brief subject line and change it if your reply is about a different topic

Instant messaging
Like email, you should remember that Teams Chat is provided by our School for educational purposes. Use other apps to have fun with your friends.

As with email, please remember:

  • Keep conversations in Teams Chat school-focused and on-topic
  • Don’t spam people - consider if your conversation should be in a team discussion channel or a one-to-one chat

Video conferencing
When using video conferencing, please remember:

  • Make sure that others at home know you are on a video call and not to disturb you
  • Keep your microphone muted, unless you are speaking
  • Position the video image of the speaker directly underneath the camera, so you are looking into the camera as you watch

Respect
Finally, a word about respect.

On all online services, everyone is due respect. If you ever feel uncomfortable, or that another person is bullying you, do not respond to them. Instead forward the message to a teacher immediately. Write ‘Forwarded concern attached’ in the subject box, so that the member of staff realises that it is a concern.

Downloads

Page Downloads Date  
Death, Grief and Hope 05th Jun 2020 Download
COVID-19 risk assessment (15 June 2020) 15th Jun 2020 Download
Year 11 transition Date  
Introduction to A Level Biology - zombie cockroaches 10th Jun 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Sociology - what is institutional racism? 10th Jun 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Mathematics 10th Jun 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Psychology - adult and intimate relationships 10th Jun 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Business - what is the effect of COVID-19 on businesses globally? 10th Jun 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Biology - COVID-19 20th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level History - should we have celebrated VE Day on 8 May this year? 20th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Chemistry - chemistry of cookies 20th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Physics - the physics of surfing 14th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Chemistry - testing pharmaceuticals 11th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Computer Science - programming language classification 11th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Chemistry - do you like spicy food? 06th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Biology - oddballs with high intelligence 06th May 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Psychology - Part one, studying people 30th Apr 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Psychology - Part two, a brain of two halves 30th Apr 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Economics - The global economic impact of Coronavirus is just short term and will not lead to a deep global recession 29th Apr 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level History - ‘Trump is the best president the US has ever seen.’ 28th Apr 2020 Download
Introduction to A Level Psychology - Why is ‘K’ violent? 28th Apr 2020 Download
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