Westminster is a leading academic school in the centre of London, A passionate, purposeful and progressive place to study, our pupils discover a deep love for learning and respect for the tradition of scholarship, as well as an openness to fresh ideas and innovative ways of thinking. Westminster pupils go on to achieve exceptional examination results and entrance to a vast array of the world’s most celebrated universities. While this success is a result of their enjoyment of academic enquiry and debate, and the enthusiasm their teachers have for their subject, it is also down to their curiosity and the interests they form outside of the timetabled curriculum. Westminster presents the perfect opportunity for bright pupils to share and develop their thoughts and skills, to ultimately prepare them for a fulfilling and vibrant life after School.
A Westminster education is an accessible one. Our community is friendly and diverse, and is open to both boarders and day pupils. Boys join the School at 13+ and at 16+. Girls and international pupils join us at 16+ and many of our pupils are successful in achieving bursaries and scholarships to the School. The School’s sociable and inclusive nature is characterised by the way in which pupils support one another at daily peer-led events and the collaborative nature of charity fundraisers and whole-school productions. Pupils are taught to appreciate and learn from the knowledge and experiences of those around them, and to engage with current political, cultural and academic developments, within a safe and open environment.
At Westminster, we want every single pupil in our care to enjoy their time, and to flourish and to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them, and we take this responsibility extremely seriously. Underpinning all our work is an excellent system of safeguarding and pastoral care centred around each child: Housemasters, tutors, matrons, school counsellors, a School Nursing Sister and a Chaplain all work to guide them throughout their time in the School. Everyone is welcome, and all are valued and nurtured here.
Beyond the classroom, we foster the diverse range of hobbies and interests our pupils have with an exciting and extensive extra- and co-curricular programme of events. Two entire afternoons each week are dedicated to sport and pupils compete in fixtures against opposing teams in and around London, with cricket, football, netball and rowing being the School’s major competitive sports.
The School is renowned for its culture of music and theatre, and pupils are encouraged to take music lessons and to join orchestras, choirs and theatre projects. Whether it be a night-time opening of the School’s observatory, a lecture with an expert linguist, artist or sports personality, choral evensong in Chapel or a product design workshop, there is much going on throughout the year. Pupils can attend debating or MUN clubs, take part in inter-school general knowledge competitions, compete in an inter-House chess competition or play pool in their House common room. There are options available to each and every pupil, at any time of the day, to help supplement their academic education and to ensure that their development needs are met.
The ethos of the School resides in the tradition reflected in the 1560 Elizabethan Charter, which declares: “The youth which is growing to manhood [today we would properly say adulthood], as tender shoots in the wood of our state, shall be liberally instructed in good books to the greater honour of the state”.
Westminster is a highly academic school where individual and institutional excellence are expected and promoted in an atmosphere of open-minded enquiry without dogma, prejudice or unthinking conformity. This is what we mean by ‘liberal’, enshrined in a broad curriculum which supports the widest possible range of disciplines and activities and encourages the search for deeper understanding which goes well beyond any examination syllabus.
Central to Westminster’s approach is the open dialogue between teachers and their pupils, both inside and outside the classroom. This dialogue inspires passion for the subject, conveys knowledge and develops skills of informed, rational, independent thought which sustain a lifelong love of learning. What makes Westminster so special is that enjoying one’s learning, seeking true mastery of a subject, is warmly encouraged by pupils and teachers alike, supported by the administrative and support staff whose work enables everyone to flourish in an atmosphere of mutual respect, generosity and compassion.
Thus, while academic and other attainments are highly prized, the School is fully committed to the development of each pupil’s moral, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing and development. Westminster pupils are all individuals, but they tend to share a commitment to the pursuit of excellence, critical engagement and ethical action. These qualities equip them for admission to the top universities worldwide, and for success and fulfilment in whatever careers they choose to pursue as well-informed, well-rounded and kind, responsible adults.
The atmosphere at Westminster is happy, busy and purposeful. The pupils are intellectually, socially, morally and politically engaged. They enjoy opportunities to articulate their views, and to listen to other perspectives – in the classroom, society meetings, twice weekly services in Westminster Abbey, and in Latin Prayers. Everyone is welcome, and all may have a voice.
Just as the Founder wished, the School seeks to prepare responsible young people to lead good and useful public and private lives far beyond their formative years at Westminster.
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