Thoughts on Westminster school?

(21 Posts)
Alexis705 Tue 18-Mar-14 04:14:59

DD is thinking of applying, anyone have any thoughts/opinions to share?

BeckAndCall Tue 18-Mar-14 06:47:21

Hmm, Alexis, you might want to do a search for recent threads on Westminster.

I think the majority of people said everything they had to say on the topic under the title 'is Westminster school the best school on earth'

Or you might want to be more specific? Your DD is obviously sixth form age - where is she coming from, will she board, what are her subjects etc

Alexis705 Tue 18-Mar-14 08:26:18

I've already had a look at that thread, the comments don't seem to be all that helpful on the whole.

DD is 15, we're living abroad but she could live with a nearby aunt on the weekends if she wanted, she would be boarding though. Do you mean A level subjects? Probably maths, chemistry, English and either Latin or art although she's not 100% certain yet. She'd be going in 2015.

Needmoresleep Tue 18-Mar-14 09:49:15

Did you see this one started 2 days ago.

As B&C suggests you need to be a bit more specific about what the comments and opinions should be on.

Otherwise comments might again be on "is Westminster the best school on earth" grin

Alexis705 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:55:13

I'd like to know about the general atmosphere of the school, if sexism is an issue (as I wouldn't want DD to be in that sort of environment), class sizes, quality of boarding and boarding activities, what the teachers are like...basically what it's like to go there as a pupil.

Alexis705 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:45:32

Oh sorry, I also meant to ask what the students were like. DD is very quirky and some schools might not suit her personality.

Michaelahpurple Tue 18-Mar-14 11:53:51

Hard to think of anywhere more quirky than westminster

Alexis705 Tue 18-Mar-14 19:10:58

Do you know what the students are like?

mannbookeriwish Tue 18-Mar-14 20:19:37

By and large, very bright and sometimes arrogant - certainly brightness is more admired than reviled. Your DD will need to have self confidence and to be able to assert herself in order to make the most of the experience. One of the few places that would really educate far beyond any written curriculum and have the contacts and resources to enable its pupils to explore far more than you might ever expect.
Note that girls are really highly visible and subject to huge amounts of scrutiny.

Alexis705 Wed 19-Mar-14 08:14:17

DD is very assertive. Why are the girls scrutinised so much? Is it because they join in 6th form or for another reason?

Alexis705 Wed 19-Mar-14 09:13:12

Also, (don't know if this is relevant) DD has been to quite a few different high schools...state schools, independent, grammar, co-ed, all girls etc. and seems to fit in most places although she hated the girls school she went to.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Wed 19-Mar-14 13:50:58

If your dd is assertive, she'll do fine. It is not a good school for shy girls imo.

tastingthestars Wed 19-Mar-14 14:04:17

They're scrutinised because the majority of the school are male and they are new into sixth form. It's true of any school that only accepts girls for sixth form.

Your daughter must be happy about the weekend situation to consider Westminster. Really very few people stay in over the weekend, which makes it very quiet. Obviously you hope she'll make lots of friends who invite her back, and you did mention an aunt? But it's not a full boarding school that has lots of activities on the weekend. I do know of a few international girls who were at Westminster, but they all had second homes in London anyway and would decamp there on the weekend.

I know of girls who strike Westminster off the list for a Sixth Form move, despite having the academics to apply, who are in the UK if they don't have a London base. I would make sure you ask the registrar/head of girls / whoever what the experience of overseas boarders is really like. Such as what do they do on the weekend? Do they stay with guardians or friends? What are the rules if they do stay in about going out and about in London? Etc

Alexis705 Wed 19-Mar-14 19:36:49

Her Aunt lives in london so if she wanted she could stay there. Do you know roughly how many people stay over the weekends? (5?, 10?)

tastingthestars Wed 19-Mar-14 20:26:45

I'm not sure how many, it'll be best to ask the school how many they think they have on average in at a weekend. But if her aunt is in London (and willing to have her!) then it's far less of a problem. Westminster are fairly up front about their quiet weekends (unlike some other supposedly full boarding schools who try to keep their weekend mass exoduses on the down low to prospective boarders!), so I am sure they'd be able to answer any questions about numbers etc. but I really would make sure you ask!

Schools are aware that trying to pick a school from abroad is a difficult process, so they will be wanting to help you with all questi

tastingthestars Wed 19-Mar-14 20:27:20

Posted too soon!

... With all questions you have about the school and boarding life.

Alexis705 Wed 19-Mar-14 21:01:22

Aunt is definitely willing to have her, she loves DD.

Needmoresleep Wed 19-Mar-14 22:10:30

Weekends are not that long once you take into account Saturday morning school and matches in the afternoon. Also a number of the day pupils will live close by and it is not unusual for them to meet up with boarding friends on a Sunday. Plus the school is pretty full on and Sundays are a good time to catch up with homework.

So not trad boarding but then it is a school right in the middle of one of the world's great cities.

Alexis705 Thu 20-Mar-14 09:41:44

Needmoresleep, that's what we were thinking, at the moment DD spends many of her Sundays doing assignments at home anyway so it probably wouldn't bother her that much.

Oremus Tue 20-May-14 21:32:55

My DD and DS went to and is currently at Westminster respectively. On the matter of sexism from what I have heard it is essentially something which does not really exist. Apparently it is the case of a few girls every year thinking that they are gods gift to the world feeling they are unappreciated, unrewarded etc. and channelling their assertiveness through that, for example a feminism society has recently sprung up, apparently within which at it's starting stages constantly referred to the 'struggles' of a girls life at Westminster. In my opinion this constant obsessive myth about sexism at Westminster rather aggravates the boys to mock the girls about it than anything else.

jeanne16 Wed 28-May-14 11:00:47

My DD went to Westminster in the V1th form. The 1 st term was extremely stressful for her (and me) but once she settled in, she absolutely loved it and thrived. It has made her move to university far easier, I believe, as she was given a genuine education, as opposed to the 'exam factory' approach that was her all-girls school. For History, she had to write an essay a week and she had to do all the research herself.

However i would say that some girls slightly floundered and probably got lower results than if they had stayed at their previous schools. So approach with caution. Also it is quite a 'party' school so expect parties all over London on Saturday nights, along with the stress of getting your dd home safely. The catchment area is huge, as you can imagine

Finally I would say that almost no-one stays at school on Saturday nights so it should not be considered as a full Boarding school.

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