Harris Westminster Sixth Form 2021-2022

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Shinythemoon
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So, I recently got accepted into HWSF and am (hopefully) going to be starting next year.
Can anyone who currently goes to the school give an insight as to what it’s like (eg teachers, dress code, timetable etc)?

Also, It would be nice to know some familiar faces as nobody I know is going next year so if anyone else currently in year 11 got accepted and is thinking about joining, Hi!
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s.ghaz
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(Original post by Shinythemoon)
So, I recently got accepted into HWSF and am (hopefully) going to be starting next year.
Can anyone who currently goes to the school give an insight as to what it’s like (eg teachers, dress code, timetable etc)?

Also, It would be nice to know some familiar faces as nobody I know is going next year so if anyone else currently in year 11 got accepted and is thinking about joining, Hi!
Hey idk anything about the school sorry, but I’m currently year 10 and thinking about applying to that school next year so I just wanted to know, what are your predicted grades. It’s fine if you don’t want to share them tho!
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Shinythemoon
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(Original post by s.ghaz)
Hey idk anything about the school sorry, but I’m currently year 10 and thinking about applying to that school next year so I just wanted to know, what are your predicted grades. It’s fine if you don’t want to share them tho!
Sure no problem:
Maths: 9
English Lit: 9
English Lang: 9
Chemistry: 8
Physics: 9
Biology: 9
German: 9
Food Tech: 9
Geography: 9
Religious Studies: 8
Computer Science: 8
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Shinythemoon
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(Original post by Shinythemoon)
Sure no problem:
Maths: 9
English Lit: 9
English Lang: 9
Chemistry: 8
Physics: 9
Biology: 9
German: 9
Food Tech: 9
Geography: 9
Religious Studies: 8
Computer Science: 8
Also dw about your own predicted grades: you can still apply and get a conditional offer as long as you do well in the interview and entrance exam. You then get given some time to improve your grades to meet the minimum requirements for entry.
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s.ghaz
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(Original post by Shinythemoon)
Sure no problem:
Maths: 9
English Lit: 9
English Lang: 9
Chemistry: 8
Physics: 9
Biology: 9
German: 9
Food Tech: 9
Geography: 9
Religious Studies: 8
Computer Science: 8
oh god i don’t have predicted grades yet but i’m pretty sure mine won’t be that high especially because of how poorly i done in my last set of exams that i sat in december, it was horrendous. i have exams in june so i’ll just study really hard for those hoping they somehow tie in with how my predicted grades are given to me.
Last edited by s.ghaz; 4 weeks ago
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Shinythemoon
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(Original post by s.ghaz)
oh god i don’t have predicted grades yet but i’m pretty sure mine won’t be that high especially because of how poorly i done in my last set of exams that i sat in december, it was horrendous. i have exams in june so i’ll just study really hard for those hoping they somehow tie in with how my predicted grades are given to me.
It’s fine - you’re still in yr 10: plenty of time to improve. One bad set of exams isn’t going to end your life! I’m sure you’ll do better in June.
Good luck
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Obolinda
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Feel free to ask any specific questions about life at HWSF
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Shinythemoon
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Feel free to ask any specific questions about life at HWSF
Omg thanks for the reply! I have a few if that’s ok:
- I’ve heard there’s a heavy workload. How hard is it exactly? (Like do you get used to it after a while or do people drop out?)
- If you’re doing a MFL, are there any study trips?
- How strict is the dress code?
- Are there groups/cliques of students? (Eg: do groups of students know each other beforehand or can I take this as a chance to make new friends?)
- How much free time do you have on top of school work?
- How does Saturday School work?
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Obolinda
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(Original post by Shinythemoon)
Omg thanks for the reply! I have a few if that’s ok:
- I’ve heard there’s a heavy workload. How hard is it exactly? (Like do you get used to it after a while or do people drop out?)
- If you’re doing a MFL, are there any study trips?
- How strict is the dress code?
- Are there groups/cliques of students? (Eg: do groups of students know each other beforehand or can I take this as a chance to make new friends?)
- How much free time do you have on top of school work?
- How does Saturday School work?
-Personally, I haven't found the workload to be unmanageable tbh. Some teachers just give out a lot of homework. I think, a very stressful period is after our half termly assessments where we "respond" to our assessments and plan & show evidence of making sure we are learning from our mistakes. We also have to do responses for Cultural Perspectives (CP) but we only do 3 CPs a year. And we also have timetabled subject societies, so everyone has to make a presentation at least once a year. Some people do drop out but I do think A levels are just generally a bit more hard work than GCSE's

- The dress code is "smart" so no trainers, jeans, thick woolly clothes, etc. Piercings, coloured hair, make-up, etc are allowed. Although some people are pretty lenient with the way they stick to dress code (some people would argue especially girls) and get away with it. But sometimes you'll get sent home.

-Quite a bit of free time tbh. We do have free periods (4 40 min a week ) and lab time (2 hours, we usually have someone giving a lecture but you don't have to go) so you can get some work done then to free up some time outside of school.

-Saturday school doesn't start for yr 12's until 2nd half of Celebration term (we call our terms remembrance, resilience, celebration; lol). And each Saturday, there are certain subjects that are done so whether you come into school depends on whether your subject is being covered that week. In Remembrance, Resilience and the first half of Celebration Term it is compulsory for all Year 13 students to attend.

This is an opportunity to focus on a specific subject intensively for the morning and to practice and enhance exam technique in addition to content knowledge.


-There are friendship groups. Most people don't know each other and do not end up in friendship groups with the people they already knew. So definitely a chance to make new friends!


Hope this helped!
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Obolinda
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Have also moved your thread to a more relevant section
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Shinythemoon
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Have also moved your thread to a more relevant section
Thank you so much! Your reply was extremely helpful! I feel a lot less terrified now haha.
You explained it much better than the school website lol
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malonyy
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hi! i have just recently got accepted to harris and i was wondering how the school feels about students dropping from 4 subjects to 3. i know there’s an option to do that but i’m scared of how the teachers would view me if i did that. also generally how many students in the year drop to 3 subjects?

also, to add to this, how do teachers feel about you changing subjects?
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Obolinda
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(Original post by malonyy)
hi! i have just recently got accepted to harris and i was wondering how the school feels about students dropping from 4 subjects to 3. i know there’s an option to do that but i’m scared of how the teachers would view me if i did that. also generally how many students in the year drop to 3 subjects?
some people come into the school doing 3 a levels but have to do 2 out of core maths, an EPQ and AS Geography. Even fewer people drop to 3 a levels but they're are usually very reluctant unless there is a very compelling reason. Although you can change subjects within a certain time period (which I can't remember).

Most teachers do not know how many a levels you do but if a teacher finds out you're doing 3 somehow, they don't look down on you or anything.
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malonyy
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(Original post by Obolinda)
some people come into the school doing 3 a levels but have to do 2 out of core maths, an EPQ and AS Geography. Even fewer people drop to 3 a levels but they're are usually very reluctant unless there is a very compelling reason. Although you can change subjects within a certain time period (which I can't remember).

Most teachers do not know how many a levels you do but if a teacher finds out you're doing 3 somehow, they don't look down on you or anything.
oh ok thank you! and also i’m doing biology, chemistry, maths and geography but i’m thinking of doing geography AS instead. if i do that would i then have to choose between core maths and an EPQ?

also i’m a bit confused about what core maths is could you please explain?

oh and if i do decide to do this would i have to let the school know by email before attending the school ?
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Obolinda
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(Original post by malonyy)
oh ok thank you! and also i’m doing biology, chemistry, maths and geography but i’m thinking of doing geography AS instead. if i do that would i then have to choose between core maths and an EPQ?

also i’m a bit confused about what core maths is could you please explain?

oh and if i do decide to do this would i have to let the school know by email before attending the school ?
Yes, you would

core maths is essentially a maths qualification worth the same as an AS level. although I don't think you can do a level maths with core maths

yeah, I believe you would. I'm not sure how things are working this year but your acceptance letter pack should have had an option to declare subject changes? you could probably also let them know on enrolment day
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action123
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Yes, you would

core maths is essentially a maths qualification worth the same as an AS level. although I don't think you can do a level maths with core maths

yeah, I believe you would. I'm not sure how things are working this year but your acceptance letter pack should have had an option to declare subject changes? you could probably also let them know on enrolment day
Hello,
I was just wondering how the partnership with Westminster School benefits HWSF? Do they share some societies etc?
Last edited by action123; 3 weeks ago
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malonyy
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(Original post by Obolinda)
Yes, you would

core maths is essentially a maths qualification worth the same as an AS level. although I don't think you can do a level maths with core maths

yeah, I believe you would. I'm not sure how things are working this year but your acceptance letter pack should have had an option to declare subject changes? you could probably also let them know on enrolment day
oh ok thanks for clearing that up 😁 i also have some more questions (sorry for asking so much, i may also pop up with some more questions later on hehe) so i was just on this other thread on tsr and a student that attended harris was basically saying that the teachers only care about students with the highest grade, the environment at harris is extremely competitive/ it feels like ur just competing with everyone, the teachers really don’t care about your mental health at all and they also put names of students in order of how likely they are to get into oxbridge. so after reading that i was slightly put off bcs although i am willing to put a lot of effort in, i don’t really want to go to a school where i’m not cared about depending on how good my grades are.
so i just want to ask u how much do you agree with the person who said that and how did u find the working environment? did u feel that the teachers would only favouritise those with the highest grades ?

in addition to this, im aware that most ppl in harris would probably have grades 8/9 in all their subjects, so do u know how many people would have 7s ?

i would say i’m generally a grade 8 student, occasionally some 7s and some 9s (but not very many 9s) - how do think i would cope at harris? (obviously u don’t know me so u can’t really say, but what i’m asking is how do u think a grade 8/7 student would cope at harris)

i think what i fear about going to harris is possibly feeling like i’m not ‘good enough’ due to the immense competitiveness and feeling that the teachers aren’t really bothered to put the effort to help me achieve my best. (this was also why i was a bit skeptical of dropping one subject due to the fact that the teachers may see me as ‘less academically able’ compared to other students at harris.) i would also like to go to a school where i feel there is a real sense of community - do you think harris has this ?

again sorry for so many questions. reading more and more about harris is making me feel slightly nervous 😬
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Obolinda
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(Original post by action123)
Hello,
I was just wondering how the partnership with Westminster School benefits HWSF? Do they share some societies etc?
im ngl, im not entirely sure. sometimes we get access to some of their guest lectures, we follow their timetable, etc.

(Original post by malonyy)
oh ok thanks for clearing that up 😁 i also have some more questions (sorry for asking so much, i may also pop up with some more questions later on hehe) so i was just on this other thread on tsr and a student that attended harris was basically saying that the teachers only care about students with the highest grade, the environment at harris is extremely competitive/ it feels like ur just competing with everyone, the teachers really don’t care about your mental health at all and they also put names of students in order of how likely they are to get into oxbridge. so after reading that i was slightly put off bcs although i am willing to put a lot of effort in, i don’t really want to go to a school where i’m not cared about depending on how good my grades are.
so i just want to ask u how much do you agree with the person who said that and how did u find the working environment? did u feel that the teachers would only favouritise those with the highest grades ?

in addition to this, im aware that most ppl in harris would probably have grades 8/9 in all their subjects, so do u know how many people would have 7s ?

i would say i’m generally a grade 8 student, occasionally some 7s and some 9s (but not very many 9s) - how do think i would cope at harris? (obviously u don’t know me so u can’t really say, but what i’m asking is how do u think a grade 8/7 student would cope at harris)

i think what i fear about going to harris is possibly feeling like i’m not ‘good enough’ due to the immense competitiveness and feeling that the teachers aren’t really bothered to put the effort to help me achieve my best. (this was also why i was a bit skeptical of dropping one subject due to the fact that the teachers may see me as ‘less academically able’ compared to other students at harris.) i would also like to go to a school where i feel there is a real sense of community - do you think harris has this ?

again sorry for so many questions. reading more and more about harris is making me feel slightly nervous 😬
no problem at all I haven't felt that was the case at all. I've felt very comfortable, I'm not even considering Oxbridge and nobody has explicitly looked down on me for that. i think I read that exact post when considering hwsf and it seems like it was from a while ago so perhaps things have changed. there is quite an extensive pastoral care system, with school counsellors, mental health lead, yr 13 mentors, student support officers, etc.

honestly, gcse grades are barely even a discussion. i couldn't name you one person's gcse grades

yh, I definitely think you could be able to. i was never a "straight 9" student and was really worried about that, I thought everybody would be geniuses or something! but you earnt your place and you'll surprise yourself with how you keep up. and honestly, ppl still struggle here! do badly in tests, etc

yh, I was especially worried abt this too esp with all the tsr comments, the teachers really do care and you can always email them for help during break, frees, afterschool, etc. and we have a dedicated "lab time" for you to seek extra support. . i dunno about the community bit. it's quite a large year group(around 300) and the school is sort of separated into STEM subjects at the bottom floors and humanities at the top floors(although sports and cps are mixed). but everybody's really approachable and friendly. and we have houses
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malonyy
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(Original post by Obolinda)
im ngl, im not entirely sure. sometimes we get access to some of their guest lectures, we follow their timetable, etc.


no problem at all I haven't felt that was the case at all. I've felt very comfortable, I'm not even considering Oxbridge and nobody has explicitly looked down on me for that. i think I read that exact post when considering hwsf and it seems like it was from a while ago so perhaps things have changed. there is quite an extensive pastoral care system, with school counsellors, mental health lead, yr 13 mentors, student support officers, etc.

honestly, gcse grades are barely even a discussion. i couldn't name you one person's gcse grades

yh, I definitely think you could be able to. i was never a "straight 9" student and was really worried about that, I thought everybody would be geniuses or something! but you earnt your place and you'll surprise yourself with how you keep up. and honestly, ppl still struggle here! do badly in tests, etc

yh, I was especially worried abt this too esp with all the tsr comments, the teachers really do care and you can always email them for help during break, frees, afterschool, etc. and we have a dedicated "lab time" for you to seek extra support. . i dunno about the community bit. it's quite a large year group(around 300) and the school is sort of separated into STEM subjects at the bottom floors and humanities at the top floors(although sports and cps are mixed). but everybody's really approachable and friendly. and we have houses
omg thank you! you don’t realise how much you’ve helped but i feel so much better now! the more i started thinking about harris the more i began panicking 😅 at least i can feel more at ease now


also, if you don’t mind sharing, what did u end up getting for gcses?

i’m having my mocks now (we finish this friday yay) but honestly i feel like they’re not going the best bcs we just had to rush through content and stuff which left me feeling quite unprepared. but oh well i guess i can only hope for the best.
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Obolinda
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(Original post by malonyy)
omg thank you! you don’t realise how much you’ve helped but i feel so much better now! the more i started thinking about harris the more i began panicking 😅 at least i can feel more at ease now


also, if you don’t mind sharing, what did u end up getting for gcses?

i’m having my mocks now (we finish this friday yay) but honestly i feel like they’re not going the best bcs we just had to rush through content and stuff which left me feeling quite unprepared. but oh well i guess i can only hope for the best.
glad to have helped

good luck! well done for persevering thought gcse' s though this situation. I do think hwsf can be flexible on results day so I do think it's worth coming in on enrolment regardless!

I got 5 9s on 3 8s and a 5. but I was lucky due to CAG. don't think I would have passed French (i got a 5) don't think I would have got as high as 8 in geo. and because I was in priority group 2, they gave us unconditional offers due to CAG
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