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Westminster School London

Student rating 4.6/ 5 by University of Cambridge student
17 Dean London London SW1P 3PB United Kingdom

Academic

Westminster School Londonreview by University of Cambridge student. There is no academic weakness in Westminster school, the teachers are the best that can be found and are almost all passionate about their subject and about teaching. There is a healthy deviance from the syllabus and despite keeping a constant eye on exams and university entry people are encouraged to read around the syllabus. Class size will vary between twenty and ten depending on the popularity of the subject but the quality of teaching is not compromised with every teacher happy to take time out of their free time to answer questions and help. On the other side of the coin, the emphasis on exam results is very stressful. Everyone is strongly encouraged to take four a levels and at least ten GCSEs and anything other than As at A level and As or A*s at GSCE is considered to be failure. It is not uncommon for some one to have a minor mental breakdown (for which there are few measures in place to help), or for someone to drop a subject. All in all, those who make it through Westminster are very capable at their subjects and perhaps more importantly have a strong general knowledge base; knowing about politics, current affairs, and interesting non-curricular facts from their subjects.

College Counseling

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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

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Sample insights on admissions
  • "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…"
  • "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 because their evaluation will be affected by the fact that the guides didn't hear a thing from the kid…"

School Life

The house system gives a familial feel to the school and there is a good deal of friendly rivalry to this, especially at the house singing competition and house football. There is very little crime although a few laptops and phones were stolen while i was there. During my five years at Westminster there was only one case of violent bullying which is not tolerated. Westminster is right in the centre of london but has a university campus feel to it, having a yard and a grassy area in the middle. Students at Westminster tend to be middle class because of the large fees that are required but there is also considerable diversity because of the numbers of overseas students and scholarship programs.

Despite being an inner-city school there is still a range of sports available including football, rowing (crew), eton fives, tennis, swimming, cricket, and fencing. Rugby is unfortunately not offered at Westminster. There are also other sports and almost every conceivable taste is catered for. The football team is very strong, getting to the regional finals in my year and the rowing team that I was in is also very strong, rowing in Henley Royal Regatta and getting a bronze at the National School's Regatta. Rowing is very demanding on your time but it is very character forming and those who do it gain excellent organizational and team working skills that are (apparently) highly valued by employers and (definitely) by universities. The fencing team always performs very strongly, coming first nationally in my year. The drama program is also excellent with as many as four plays put on per term and with acting of an almost unbelievable quality. I would go as far as saying that the quality of the drama at school is better than the quality at university. Students are even allowed and do write, direct, and produce their own plays. There is an almost never-ending list of clubs from film to warhammer. Everyone can find something that they enjoy at Westminster.