Is Westminster School the best school on Earth?

(1000 Posts)
statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 17:20:12

Just looking at their website and they have 97 places for their students at Oxford and Cambridge this year?!

We have an 8 year old son and want to focus on getting him into this place, just next to the Palace of Westminster. It looks amazing! Any thought on parents with children at the school very welcome indeed, especially any thoughts on the application process. Thank you for someone new to London.

aghteens Sat 01-Feb-14 17:25:10

It's an excellent school for the right child. So are many others. Do some research, visit some schools, keep your options open. He's only 8!

nibs777 Sat 01-Feb-14 17:35:12

First of all, it is hugely academically selective in the first place, firstly into WUS, as a feeder, then secondly at 11+ pre-test and again at sixth form. Being in Central London, it will have an international intake and can choose from a huge pool, as can somewhere like Eton.

There is no "best" school in my view. There are excellent schools with excellent opportunities and results like Westminster, but whether it is the "best" for your particular child will depend on what your child is like.

AuntieStella Sat 01-Feb-14 17:52:25

It is a very good school, but not the only very good school (there are a couple of other London day schools with outcomes like at, and probably others elsewhere or boarding).

A school is only marvellous if it's the right one for your DC.

What sort of school's your DS currently attending? If it is a good prep which regularly sends to the academic secondaries and he is happy there, en stick with it and ask for HT's advice idc about suitability (by year 5 so you have plenty of time to register for the year 6 pretest).

If in state sector, then you need to look at applying for Westminster Under School, or another academic prep. You've just missed the 8+ entry round, but there are frequent occasional places. You'd need to start looking round the schools you like the look of and see what they say about availability of ad hoc places.

Or you could wait until the 11+ entry round, where there are a number of joiners (usually from schools ending at 11) to prep schools.

Gunznroses Sat 01-Feb-14 18:05:53

There's no such thing as the best school on earth. The best school is the one that best fits each individual child and 97 places at Oxbridge is neither here nor there. Is Oxbridge the best university on earth? Better to look for the University that best specialises in ones course.

Westminster is certainly very good AND super academic and sends a record number to Oxbridge, but its also super selective, and perhaps not as rounded as some other good public schools does this fit your child?

clary Sat 01-Feb-14 18:33:37

Yes I agree with others here. A school like Westminster would certainly not be the best school on earth for DS1 who is not especially academic!

There is no such thing as the best school on earth, but of course there is the best school for your child. That may well be Westminster OP but I would look at the school as a whole rather than just how many ex students go to Oxbridge. I would also look at other schools. Is your DS in the public school system at the moment or does he go to a state school? Is he very very academic? Is he sporty?

shushpenfold Sat 01-Feb-14 18:35:16

Nope - it's incredibly selective and therefore the brightest have the best chance of getting into.....yes, you guessed it....Oxford and Cambridge. Horses for courses, but it's a really good school and really suits some children.

Shootingatpigeons Sat 01-Feb-14 18:45:39

I have heard of a few very good Oxbridge candidates at Westminster being disappointed this year, and indeed at other private schools. I certainly wouldn't judge a school by the number of Oxbridge entries, apart from anything if you are going to judge your own DCs success by getting into Oxbridge then you may be heading them for a fall, go and read the Oxbridge thread in further Education. Lots of exceptional candidates don't get in and there are other very good, for some courses, and in the case of UCL in the world tables, better, unis where they will receive the same standard of education and opportunities.

The important question is will a school enable your child to achieve their full potential, for some DCs that may be Westminster, and for some another school. Pretty much all the schools in the top 100 or so of private schools will enable clever pupils to get strings of A*s and to Oxford. I speak as a mother who let her DD turn down St Pauls grin because she didn't feel it was the school for her.

statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 20:52:21

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Sat 01-Feb-14 21:14:28

statesmom You say you are new to London? You are obviously new to Mumsnet and so may not realise that your second post is deeply objectionable.

You have made yourself sound like the kind of parent that other people make every effort to avoid.

It's not my place to monitor other posters - but you might want to consider re-phrasing your remarks without the first sentence....

It may also surprise you to know that many people send their children to the best school for that child because of the quality of life they will enjoy during their life at school.

Bonsoir Sat 01-Feb-14 21:16:13

The most recent Westminster Oxbridge graduate I met (graduated summer 2013) was unemployed and very gloomy about his prospects because he had read a non-vocational arts subject. Be wary of schools that are over-focused on Oxbridge at the expense of subject.

teaandthorazine Sat 01-Feb-14 21:18:00

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

nkf Sat 01-Feb-14 21:23:07

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

AuntieStella Sat 01-Feb-14 21:28:32

KCS, St Pauls and Westminster all get similar onwards destinations in similar numbers year on year.

There is nothing that special about Westminster. It selects very clever, high schieving boys and keeps them on trajectory (plus girls for 6th form). 'AVERAGE' doesn't come in to it.

BTW, if you want your DC to meet the Queen regularly, you want one of the Choir Schools.

I do not agree that destination college is the most important thing about a school, though I do realise many parents are indeed that utilitarian.

Bonsoir Sat 01-Feb-14 21:34:00

I just checked the 2011 university destinations and the subject destinations on the Westminster website. You can see them here.

Are we sure that 9/193 pupils reading Classics, 3/193 reading Theology, 10/193 reading English and 13/193 doing US Liberal Arts degrees is so fabulous?

statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 21:55:11

The US schools they are going to this year are Brown, Chicago, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT and Yale.

Bonsoir, I do think that is "kind of fabulous."

What's wrong with a liberal arts degree? Going to Harvard for economics or to Yale for history seems fine to me.

A lot of parents get so upset talking about schools, I don't know why. This is all pretty objective information. You go to Westminster and you have a 50% chance of going to oxbridge or the ivy league. No matter what kind of kid you have, that would be a good result.

aghteens Sat 01-Feb-14 21:59:11

Wow. Are you Katie Hopkins?

AuntieStella Sat 01-Feb-14 22:01:38

"No matter what kind of kid you have..."

Do you really think Westminster admits any kind of kid?

Goodness. If you're the type of parent the school attracts (dunces?) I'll head to the inner city state schools thanks

I wouldn't judge a school on their Oxford/Cambridge intake tbh. (Oxbridge graduate married to an Oxbridge graduate).

Mrscupcake23 Sat 01-Feb-14 22:07:25

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 22:10:38

How am I rude? We're just talking about a school here. Why must people be so sensitive when they are even talking in hypotheticals? (ok i am a lawyer)

Can we stick to the topic?

How are you rude? Seriously? Maybe look for a school that concentrates on social skills (they can help with Oxbridge interviews).

statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 22:15:04

No, I'll stick to a school that concentrates on academics, thank you.

I'm not going to spend 30k a year for fluff.

kernowal Sat 01-Feb-14 22:21:45

Thank goodness we decided to send our child to an excellent local state school. I would hate to have to mix with parents who label children as dunces deserving a place in a poor school. I found your comments ignorant and offensive OP.

statesmom Sat 01-Feb-14 22:26:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

This thread is not accepting new messages.