Westminster School Reviews, Rankings, Fees And More

Westminster School is a prestigious independent co-educational boarding and day school situated in central London. With a history spanning centuries, the school provides a rigorous academic programme and a diverse range of extracurricular activities. Known for its commitment to both education and character development, Westminster School offers students a unique and enriching educational experience in the heart of the UK’s capital city.

westminster school

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Key Features of Westminster School

  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Buckinghamshire
  • Pupils: 648; sixth formers: 189
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £36,000; Boarding £47,700 pa
  • Ranking: 5

Westminster School Results

2023: 82.3% A*/A at A level.

2022: 98% 9-7 at GCSE; 92% A*/A at A level (97% A*-B).

Westminster School students thrive intellectually, redirecting their competitive energies into academic pursuits over sports, except in activities like rowing, cricket, and fencing. Societies and Model United Nations are the arenas of choice for their competitive drive. The school’s environment radiates intellectual confidence, with seamless interactions between teachers and students even in philosophical discussions.

Key points to note are the minimum of four A levels, widespread adoption of EPQs (often on unique subjects), and inclusion of an additional AS subject. The classics department is robust, marked by compulsory Latin and Greek in the first year. An impressive number of classicists gain admission to Oxford or Cambridge. While French is compulsory, students are encouraged to study more than one modern language at GCSE. The school promotes interdisciplinary exploration, with humanities students often embracing science subjects. Math is a focal point at A level, though the computer science department is relatively smaller and less strong compared to classics.

Boarding Facilities in Westminster School

Westminster School provides boarding facilities that contribute to a traditional and supportive boarding experience

  • Houses: Westminster School has a total of 11 houses, with six of them accommodating both boarders and day students. One of these houses is exclusively for girls and also accommodates day boys.
  • Pastoral Care: The boarding environment is designed to provide holistic care, balancing independence with support. Boarders have access to staff who offer guidance and assistance
  • Housemasters and Support Staff: Each house is overseen by a housemaster or housemistress, supported by a team of tutors, matrons, counselors, and chaplains. This team collectively ensures the well-being and development of the students under their care.

Extra Curricular Activities

Arts

Westminster School provides an inspiring environment for music, drama, and diverse intellectual pursuits, shaping well-rounded students. The school boasts an exceptional music program known for its wide-ranging opportunities and high standards. Orchestral and vocal performances occur in prestigious venues like the Barbican and Westminster Abbey. The demanding commitment to music is balanced with academics, guided by an accommodating director of music. Music scholars are automatically part of main orchestras and choirs, while others audition. Performances and rehearsals accommodate impending exams. Drama is both an academic subject and popular extracurricular, with house plays, school productions, and opportunities for backstage roles. Over 40 student-led societies include a diverse range from science to cultural groups, reflecting the school’s central London location.

Sports

At Westminster School, sports—referred to as ‘Station’—offer diverse options encompassing 25 activities, from fives and fencing to pilates and judo. While various activities exist, the culture is dominated by the prestigious and highly dedicated world of rowing (‘water’), with around 100 pupils commuting regularly to the Putney boathouse. The school has excelled in Henley Royal Regatta and developed a strong, familial bond among the rowing squad.

While other sports like cricket, fencing, and judo have seen some success, Westminster’s focus is more on participation than winning. Facilities are impeccably maintained, notably in Vincent Square, where cricket squares, football pitches, and a restored Victorian pavilion showcase meticulous care. While not all students heavily engage in ‘Station,’ the school offers a range of activities that draw enthusiasm, including the intriguing ‘target shooting in the attic.’

Admissions Process: Entering Westminster School

For entry to Westminster School at different levels, specific processes are in place:

13+ Entry (Year 9):

  • Boys register by the end of Year 5 for 13+ entry, while those from state primaries or schools finishing at 11 can apply to Westminster Under School.
  • Roughly 500 boys sit the first round of ISEB tests (English, maths, and reasoning) in Year 6.
  • About half of the candidates proceed to further tests in maths and English, followed by interviews.
  • The school takes a holistic approach, considering candidates’ performance and background data, with the strongest being offered unconditional places.
  • Candidates must maintain good conduct and academic progress at their prep schools, including a supportive reference in Year 8.

King’s Scholarship (Year 8):

  • Boys in Year 8 can take ‘The Challenge’ to be considered for a King’s Scholarship.
  • The Challenge doesn’t require prior registration or an unconditional offer, but if a King’s scholarship isn’t awarded, a regular place won’t be offered.

16+ Entry (Sixth Form):

  • The sixth form intake sees an additional 70 pupils, forming half of the whole school.
  • Entry involves a rigorous process, including subject-specific papers, interviews, a thinking skills assessment, and a general interview.
  • Registration takes place from June to September the year before entry.
  • Approximately 80% of new sixth form entrants are girls, many coming from academic London day schools and other regions.
  • Overseas pupils are able to board at this stage.

Gender Distribution:

  • Girls comprise just over a third of the total upper school student population.

SEN Support

  • ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)
  • Aspergers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders

Testimonials and Reviews

Hussein K.
5/5

High level of knowledge

Nazran Pravan
5/5

Great teachers. Kids are mostly good. Decent food and good teaching. Highly recommend.

George Bruntley
5/5

When our son attended Westminster School it was an extremely positive experience, both for him and for us. It seemed that the overt academic excellence was matched by the more subtle, but also more important, authentic intellectual dimension. I wish I’d been a Westminster student myself!

Meredith A.
5/5

Got highest mark in course, very very good teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Boarding schools in the UK are educational institutions where students reside on campus, away from their homes. These schools offer full-time boarding options, where students live and study during term time, typically returning home during holidays.

Boarding schools offer a nurturing and immersive educational experience. Benefits include a structured environment for academics, access to a wide range of extracurricular activities, the development of independence and life skills, and a close-knit community that fosters lifelong friendships.

No, boarding schools in the UK welcome students from all over the world. Many schools have a diverse student body with students from various countries.

Boarding schools prioritise the safety and well-being of their students. They have trained staff, supervision protocols, health services, and designated staff members to address students’ emotional and social needs.

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