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Wetherby Senior School
Wetherby Senior School
Wetherby Senior School
Wetherby Senior School
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Wetherby Senior School London Visit
school
Wetherby Senior School
London
400 pupils, ages 11-18
Boys only
Day

Wetherby Senior School

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Our View

The final step in a sterling all-through education that begins for some lucky boys in one of the pre-preps and continues all the way to 18. Wetherby Senior is still a relatively new school – but with numbers going from strength to strength, its success is already abundantly clear. Boys are academically challenged here for sure, but there’s also a tangible emphasis on imparting the values and emotional intelligence that young men need to flourish in a broader sense.

Where?

The school is spread across a split central-London site. The original building in Marylebone Lane is home to the smart sixth-form centre, the art and design departments, science labs, gym and a clutch of classrooms. From here, it’s a five-minute walk to Hannah House, where everything else takes place (all pupils – from Year 7 and up – walk between the two throughout the day). There’s a teeny bit of outside space at both sites (plus a balcony with table-tennis tables at Hannah House for boys to let off steam between lessons), while nearby Paddington Street Gardens is used for slightly longer daily doses of fresh air. It’s all completely accessible for London families and superbly located for maximising on the enrichment offered by our vibrant capital city.

Head

Joe Silvester took up the headship here in September 2021. Formerly deputy head at Bancroft’s School, housemaster at City of London School and with more than two decades in education under his belt, he certainly knows his stuff. Mr Silvester is an incredibly dynamic man, open, friendly, charismatic, communicative, and evidently very passionate about the school and the Wetherby family. He told us that ‘it feels like the school and me are a really good fit. There is a great energy and fun here, but a sense of seriousness about what is offered.’ He also sits on the school council of Queen’s College – incidentally, the two schools are seeking to expand their existing provision of joint activities.

Admissions

Selection is based on academic merit, with entry points at 11+, 13+ and 16+. Around 50 boys join in Year 9, with 15 to 20 moving seamlessly from Wetherby Prep and the rest leaping across from a broad range of prep and primary schools. All prospective pupils at both 11+ and 13+ must sit the ISEB Common Pre-Test and successful candidates will then be invited for an interview, while aspiring sixth-formers will be examined in subjects they wish to study at A-level.

This is a popular place and although visitor mornings get booked up fast, there is a virtual tour available too – which is particularly handy for the handful of applicants each year from abroad. English must be up to speed before arriving, but EAL support can be provided through the SEND department if necessary.

Academics and destinations

The school is divided into lower school (Years 7 and 8), middle school, (Years 9, 10 and 11) and the sixth form. Lower-school children are assigned a class tutor across both years for enhanced continuity, but are taught by specialist subject teachers throughout. The middle school focuses on developing the skills of managing your own time and workload alongside the academic requirements of GCSEs. All pupils will study English, maths, three sciences, a modern foreign language and a humanities subject and will then select two more of their own choice – the brightest maths sparks in the top set will also tackle further maths.

The school has lofty expectations of its pupils and employs high calibre and passionate teaching staff in order to get the very best out of the children (something which the boys themselves were quick to recognise when we chatted to them). There’s also a huge diversity of pupil interests and talents here. Boys study two languages from the get-go (Mandarin is available as a club), there’s philosophy for all (until the sixth form) and a robust careers programme helps lay solid foundations from Year 7, with classes in crucial skills such as financial thinking, decision-making and entrepreneurship.

Almost everyone stays through to A-levels and all students take three subjects plus an EPQ. In addition, the school provides an A-level Plus option where boys can study a subject that they may delve into at university or simply because it’s interesting – sociology, anthropology, German, ancient history and art are all on offer.

Career support is excellent and Wetherby’s central London location gives the school’s work-shadowing programme an impressively prestigious edge. Exam results are suitably strong for an academically selective school and 86 per cent of last year’s cohort bagged a place at their first choice of university. Recent leavers headed on to a spread of Russell Groups, but an impressive number win places at prestigious universities abroad too – this year, boys secured offers at universities in the USA, Canada, Italy, France and Spain. Having only opened its doors in 2015, this year will see the first crop of fully homegrown Wetherby Senior boys graduating and there’s little doubt that they will be well prepared.

Co-curricular

Sport is an integral part of the school, timetabled for two sessions a week and compulsory for everyone – and no one we spoke to had any objections. Needless to say, Wetherby’s inner-city location leaves no room for acres of Astros, but instead boys take a 30-minute bus journey to Ealing Trailfinders Rugby Club where they have exclusive access to a top-notch cricket pavilion and smart 4G pitches.  

The boys punch well above their weight on the rugby front, and we hear nothing but good things about the director of sport who delivers creative and inclusive sport for all, particularly those who favour Boxercise or spin classes over team games. Regent’s Park also plays host to the occasional sports practice and there are plans afoot to open a boxercise studio and re-purpose another space in the main school as a yoga studio over the summer. 

Drama is big news here, with two dedicated drama studio spaces, timetabled lessons every week for Years 7 to 9 and drama on offer at both GCSE and A-level. There are upper and lower school plays every year (some of which see collaborations with the girls from Queen’s College and Francis Holland), as well as the hugely popular competition that takes place between pastoral groups (known as ‘Tribs’). Pupils audition for both on- and off-stage roles and the auditorium and darkrooms are kitted out to West End standards. Music  is also woven into the fabric of the school with Year 7 boys all learning brass instruments before using their weekly music lesson to study music genres in Year 8 and 9. The recital hall, music tech suite and drum rooms are fantastic spaces, and there are plenty of rooms for members of the orchestra, rock bands, funk band, wind ensemble, string ensemble and brass bands to practise.

The art and D&T rooms are very large and bright (in fact, the whole school has something of a Tardis-like quality) and a host of options from ceramics and sculpture to 3D printing and animation are all on offer - budding artists’ work is sometimes even displayed in the nearby Saatchi Gallery.

All the hard work is balanced out with a brilliant co-curricular programme (sixth-formers also have a lecture programme that is shared with a local girls’ school) with more than 70 clubs to choose from including Young Enterprise, Model UN, Barometer (the student magazine) DJ club and Greek.

School community

As you’d expect from a central-London school, the community here is a real melting pot of nationalities and cultures. The catchment area is steadily growing – and once Crossrail finally opens, we’re expecting it to get even wider. 

Full marks for the on-point pastoral care, which, for Year 9 upwards, includes age-appropriate workshops on issues around masculinity and gender stereotypes as part of the Beyond Equality Initiative – a fabulously forward-thinking and challenging programme utterly befitting of a diverse urban environment. The head told us that ‘our pastoral care is front and centre. It supports the children through the complexities of modern life.’  

The school is small enough for every boy to be known and the Trib house system is, one pupil told us, ‘the catalyst for integration between year groups’. Older boys are trained as peer mentors and anti-bullying ambassadors, and anyone showing an extra effort at upholding the values of the school is awarded a Gold Note. We chatted to lots of the boys on our visit here, and community feel, teacher support and mixed-year group friendships were the most commonly cited positives for these delightful and self-aware young men – and something of which the school should be rightly proud. 

And finally....

The head puts some of the school’s success down to their ‘Goldilocks size – just right as a middle-sized school’ and, coupled with a high calibre of teaching, plenty of co-curricular flourishes and top-drawer pastoral care, Wetherby Senior is quite the all-rounder.

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  • Subjects offered

    GCSE

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Chemistry
    Classical Civilisation
    Computer Science
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    English Language
    English Literature
    French
    Geography
    German
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Music
    Physical Education
    Physics
    Spanish

    A Level

    Art & Design
    Biology
    Business Studies
    Chemistry
    Drama and Theatre Studies
    Economics
    English Literature
    French
    Further Mathematics
    Geography
    German
    Government and Politics
    History
    Latin
    Mathematics
    Philosophy
    Physics
    Spanish
  • Fees and bursaries

    Day fees per term

    Year 7£8,670
    Year 8-
    Year 9£8,670
    Year 10£8,670
    Year 11£8,670
    Year 12£8,670
    Year 13£8,670




    Bursary contact:
    Registrar Kathryn Easthope
    registrar@wetherbysenior.co.uk
  • Transport links


    Public Transport
    Nearest London tube station: Bond Street, Baker Street, Oxford Circus
    Nearest mainline train station: Marylebone
    Nearest international airport: Heathrow (19 miles)


School Updates

  • The North American study dream

    Wetherby Senior’s sixth formers have successfully applied to world-leading universities in the UK and beyond, with a range of offers received for top institutions in North America.
    The North American study dream
  • Ode to Music Ensembles

    Cello, trombone, brass, guitar, strings, and our School Choir – our Spring Concert showcased the excellence of music ensembles across Wetherby Senior.
    Ode to Music Ensembles
  • Spinning Success

    Young people at Wetherby Senior raised over £5,000 for charity, cycling the River Thames in a 12-hour long competition, all from the comfort of our School’s spin studio.
    Spinning Success
  • Wetherby Senior School: On Your Bike!

    Young people at Wetherby Senior are set to race the length of the River Thames, in 12 hours, all from the comfort of our School’s spin studio.
    Wetherby Senior School: On Your Bike!
  • Spring into Action

    Wetherby Senior School are launching a new functional movement initiative with one of the UK’s leaders in sport movement.
    Spring into Action
  • All-through schools: everything you need to know

    All-through schools: everything you need to know

Essentials

Address
100 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, London, W1U 2QU

Contact
registrar@wetherbysenior.co.uk
020 7535 3530

Website
wetherbysenior.co.uk

ISI Report

Fees

Term Dates


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