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Westminster School London

School rating 4.8 /5 by

17 Dean London London SW1P 3PB United Kingdom
Boarding
6th to 12th
Day
6th to 12th
Gender
Coed

Academic

Westminster School London review by .

I found the teaching at Westminster School to be truly inspirational and this was complemented with a wealth of extracurricular activities and help from tutors outside of the classroom. During the first three years in the run-up to GCSEs, the class size is normally between 15 and 20 students, but in the last two years, the class size drops to between 6 and 12. Furthermore, in the last two years, each class is split between several teachers in each subject, so allowing the students to gain from two or more separate methods of teaching as well as to receive teaching to a much higher level than that of A levels in two or more different areas of their subject, depending on their teachers' different areas of expertise. In the final two years we were frequently asked to produce work of higher standard than that demanded by the current A level system and I found that this has helped me acclimatise to the workload demanded of me by Oxford. I concentrated mainly on maths and sciences for my A levels and the science facilities in the Robert Hooke building were unparalleled by any that I had seen in the other schools I was looking at for secondary school. In addition, the quality of the teaching in both sciences and maths were superb, more than half of my teachers possessing a doctorate of some description. Another advantage of being taught at Westminster was that the teachers were very aware of any changes in the syllabus for exams, due to the fact that many of them were either markers for or were examiners for several of the examination boards in the UK. Thus, they could prepare us very well, not only for A levels, but also for any extra qualifications such as AEAs and also encouraged us to put ourselves forward for national competitions such as the biology, maths, and chemistry Olympiads. Furthermore, throughout the length of my schooling there, several of the subjects were setted according to ability, thus providing a system in which those who have difficulty have extra support whereas those near the top of the school can excel. However, in spite of this help when it comes to exams, the nature of the teaching did not emphasize exams too heavily and much consideration was given to improving one's CV in other areas rather than the pure academic.

I was a weekly boarder at Westminster and so I experienced pretty much all the school had to offer in terms of food, housing and extracurricular activities. The rooms in college weren't hugely spacious but they got the job done considering the house can't be expanded and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, but for a more specific review of college, I advise going to the open day where current students show around prospective students and their parents. I ate three meals a day in the school and breakfast was always good, but occasionally lunch or dinner was not so great, but as a boarder, if dinner did not appeal to me, I could always go and get a takeaway from one of the many restaurants on the busy Victoria street. The area is very safe, probably because Scotland Yard is just around the corner. However, since Westminster is right in the middle of London, there are a limited number of fields used for cricket and football and the school also doesn't have a swimming pool. Instead, students who swim walk to the Queen Mary centre nearby and some football teams train in batersea park. After school, the courtyard (yard) becomes a football pitch which incorporates players from all years of the school in a fair, but occasionally boistrous match. This also spills out onto Green (Dean's yard) during the summer months. The faculty and student body are largely wealthy, from the comfortably well-off to the very wealthy as is the surrounding neighborhood and the ethnic background is largely Caucasian and asian.

College Counseling

We began to look at our choices for the future in year 11 (upper shell)....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

I do not know much about the common entrance admissions process to Westminster because I....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Don't ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transfered from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard's were two of the larger feeder schools...

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