The West London Free School aims to provide children with a classical liberal education – one that is centred around the best and most important work in the humanities and the sciences. By giving all of our pupils this firm foundation, we expect them to pass at least eight academically rigorous GCSEs and go on to study at leading universities. The West London Free School is also a music specialist school.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
For the first three years at the school, pupils will follow a broad and challenging academic programme that closely follows the National Curriculum in Key Stage 3. Alongside English, maths and the sciences, every Year 7 pupil will study Latin and ancient history during classics lessons. History lessons focus on the traumatic and inspiring past events that have shaped the British Isles – delivered in chronological order from the fall of the Roman empire to the 20th century. In geography lessons, pupils focus on the processes that shape the natural world, while divinity teaches the origins and beliefs of the world’s main faiths. All pupils will have the opportunity to study a modern language (either French or Spanish), develop their creative flair in art and music and enjoy a healthy competitiveness in games and PE.
Throughout Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in ability-based sets for English, maths and modern languages. Science in set from Year 8. Class sizes are an average of 24 pupils.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
Every pupil in Year 10 and 11 will study the core set of subjects that underpin a classical liberal education: English language and literature, mathematics and science (the last of which is worth either two or three GCSEs, depending on the depth of study). Most pupils will also study at least one ancient or modern foreign language plus history or geography. Further GCSE options include art, classical civilisation, computer science, music and PE.
There is a full guide to the GCSE options offered at the West London Free School in the brochure GCSEs – Passport to the Future
Pupils will be taught in ability sets for English, mathematics and science. Other subjects will generally be taught in mixed ability groups. Class sizes can vary significantly from subject to subject but they again average 24 pupils per class.
At the West London Free School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all our pupils, our families and our staff. We are aware of the Department for Education’s requirement “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”. These values are part of our school culture. Pupils study religious and philosophical viewpoints in divinity while learning how key historical events have shaped different perspectives of Britain in history. Through collective reflection in assemblies and teaching within our Great Conversations programme, the fundamental British values of democracy are regularly reinforced.
Great Conversations is a curriculum programme followed by pupils in Years 7-11, and it addresses some of the complex moral, social and political questions that we face in contemporary society. The aim of the programme is to ensure our pupils leave school ready to join in with ongoing debates about a variety of issues, such as gender equality, welfare provision, taxation, housing provision and so on. We believe that children are best placed to engage with these debates if they know something about them. This means that pupils study a question in its historical and philosophical context, looking at how ideas about a contentious issue have changed over time, and how different viewpoint have emerged on the issue. The programme runs on a half-termly basis and includes assemblies, form-time activities and collapsed-timetable afternoons.
An example of the material pupils study can be seen here.
The order of the programme is shown below: