Westminster School - Upper 2014 Entry(40 Posts)
Does any one know, how many boys are taking the list test for Westminster School - Upper , 2014 entry ?
Does Westminster Upper School write their own Scholarship Exam Papers?
The bursar recently indicated to me that about 450 boys sit for about 100 places at 13+
There are 120 boys in Year 9 (Fifth Form).
They offer around 175 places as they assume around 50 reject.
Why so many rejections of a place for which you've applied and sat an exam? As an academic day school it only really has St Paul's (pseudo boarding) as its competitor, no? Do they not hold their entrance exams on the same day?
The offers are given after the pre-test which takes place in year 6, the offer is conditional on a high score (70%+ in every exam) at 13+ or success at the challenge (scholarship exams). At this stage boys may apply to several schools - many keep there options open for boarding too as 11 year boys may not be sure about boarding at 13and need time to think about it . Following pretest a boy may well select to be on the CE/Challenge list for either St Paul's or Westminster but will not usually remain on both, but they may keep Eton or Winchester until closer to CE. At some point a hefty deposit is payable. Some boys don't score high enough at CE and are not accepted or indeed don't get the equivalent level in the challenge and pull out not wishing to do the CE exams in their weak subjects.
MrsJAlfred - I think St Pauls and Westminster hold their scholarship exams on the same day(s) but you can also get in via the Common Entrance exam so it would be possible to sit the scholarship for one and the CE for the other IYSWIM.
Why you would want to do that is a different question, not much of a safety net for the boy in that scenario.
Ah I didn't realise Westminster pre-tested. So the offers number Colleger is talking about are presumably the number that are pre-tested as worthy of an offer subject to meeting the required standard in CE and those who drop out are those who know they aren't going to meet the CE standard so opt to sit CE for a different school?
...and after pre-testing a lot of children will be holding several offers. Their parents will fork out £££ in deposits and only decide which school at the last minute when CE entries have to go in. Shame for all the other children with waiting list places, who do not know which school they are going to go to until those with multiple offers eventually choose one school. There must be a better system....
The drop out is for a number of reasons. Many who apply to Westminster also apply to Eton and choose Eton and vice versa. Westminster has exceptionally high day fees in London, so St Paul's is a more affordable option, and then some decide against/can't afford private school or move out of London.
Sensible schools like City of London hold their exams and offer places early. I really like City of London -- both the boys' and girls' school -- it's so no-nonsense and unpretentious.
City Girls is a good school but I do not like City Boys at all.
I do think there should be some sort of rule about holding a place at two schools that have similar CE requirements. It is so unfair to those on the waiting list and the schools should try and stop this from happening. It's different if a child is borderline CE so has a safety option but if a child gets into E or W, the odds of the failing CE is slim.
* Colleger* they do try to stop people holding two places on a list. 18 months out certainly the school we applied to asked for a very large deposit to secure the place prior to CE. This will not obviously put off those who are able to pay but it certainly makes some families decide ( we were in this group). Then secondly I believe (unless it has changed recently) that you have to go firm in the February before you sit CE which school will be marking the papers. Pre-testing at 10/11 also cuts down the applicants. Depending on the school it can be different for scholarship candidates but then they surely need another option if they don't get a scholarship. I am not sure how they could improve this system even though I agree it is far from perfect. How would you change it?
Goinggetstough - they could run it like the UCAS admissions system and have the CE marked centrally with transcript copies available for schools who want to see the actual answered papers. Then applicants could apply to two or three highly competitive schools and a couple of not quite so competitive should as back up. Schools then call boys to interview (and perhaps ask the school for references, examples of work etc) and then offer a place or reject a candidate. The candidate then has a given number of days to accept or reject the place/s once the candidate has heard from all his schools.
At the moment the system is all for the benefit of the schools (it's basically a cartel) and offers no choice whatsoever to the end user.
For St Pauls boys you have to pay deposit (cant remember how much) in the September of the year before you start.
I know many people criticise St Pauls I dont quite know why but I dont think MrsJ anyone can call it a pretentious school.
Mrs JAP very few DCs fail CE especially now with pretesting in year 6. Plus IME those that fail often do so because the parents have failed to listen to the suggestion of their current hard teacher. So by February you would know exactly where your DC is going in September. Your method would surely prolong the system and you wouldn't know until late June until after the CE results come out and the interviews have happened. If you started the system earlier then there would a very long time after the exams had finished for schools to fill with extra curricular activities.
I do agree though it makes problems if one of your choices uses CE and another does a school exam in January/ February as the latter school surely will not want to wait until June to see whether you will accept the place.
After all these schools are independent and therefore like to be able to follow their own exam admissions systems whether that be with CE or the school's own exams. It is a difficult situation.
I would have thought that if you have been offered a place at Westminster/St Pauls etc. then any comparable school will also require CE. In my experience any school with an intake at 13+ that has an entrance test/school exam in Jan/Feb is usually not very selective and certainly nowhere near as selective as either Westminster or St P's.
True HP but I think we were talking slightly more generally in answer to Colleger's comment. However, some scholarship exams for selected schools are early especially for girls (Wycombe Abbey/ Downe House) although I appreciate this is a Westminster thread.
What do you dislike about City boys, Colleger?
I only know one boy who failed to get the rquired grades for Westminster at CE after pre test and his parents had been told that it would not be a suitable school but went ahead. However, it is not uncommon to have to write a CE paper in a subject that a boy has performed weakly in the challenge (maths challenge is ridiculously high standard).
Quite a few boys at DS1s prep school pulled out after conditional offer at pre-test. Just decided that environment wasn't for them.
Dear timmytoes.. Thank-you for the information!http://www.mumsnet.com/te/1.gif
Has anybody received Westminster upper school results, for 2014 entry?
Goinggetstough my understanding is that about one third of applicants sit the Westminster Challenge, not all of whom expect to get it, and indeed several who do get it turn it down because of the boarding requirements and become Honorary Scholars. My understanding is that Westminster like boys to be prepared for their own exam, in part because the maths paper takes a more analytical approach.
The Challenge is marked in May a month before CE. If you dont do sufficiently well in the Challenge you can be asked to sit CE. I suspect that this would be a trigger for prep schools and parents to start looking for back up options.
I dont think many fail CE, though DD has a friend who did. We do know boys who were told by their Preps that they needed to raise their game and focus more if they were to hit the mark.
Boys change a lot between 11 and 13 and we know of several who change their minds, especially about boarding. Most will decide by the time big deposits are due, but some sit on offers for much longer losing both a deposit and a first terms fees.
Westminster and St Pauls often seem to hold exams and tests on the same day. I assume the idea is that a boy who is good enough for one will be good enough for the other, and it helps the school by forcing parents to decide in favour of one or the other. They are very different schools.
My understanding is that the pretest happens in batches, so is not a one off pass/fail event with a certain number getting through. Schools have to actively manage their waitlists and relative popularity waxes and wanes. Coming top of the FT table several years in a row has sent world wide demand for Westminster's sixth form pretty much off the scale. Because the boarding is weekly not full the school is less accessible for international students at 13+, but I assume interest is rising.
Needmoresleep, yes boys do change a lot, and with that in mind, I am registering/planning to register for up to 5/6 indie schools ...and doing the tours ....but am curious how many indies others are registering for, and if they both day and boarding (I feel it is too eraly to decide), and hedging bets by registering for first tier (Eton, Winchester, Westminster etc.) and second tier indies as insurance and also going for 11+ /grammar ....and then how many are subsequently holding out on offers by paying the deposits just to keep options open.
With many schools now wanting pretests at 11, while it's all a bit much, perhaps it helps narrow it down by the time they are 13.
Needmorsleep:How would you describe the difference between Westminster and St Paul's - apart from the obvious in terms of boarding/Sat school etc?
Have the 2014 entry results been issued???
A few years ago but my son and his friends were mainly looking at Westminster/St Pauls/Kings Wimbledon or boarding at 13+ or City/Dulwich/Latymer U and Alleyns at 11+.
My own observation was that those boys who got more than one pretest offer for an 13+ school tended to have their own views. From a parental point of view they are all good schools, and the best school is likely to be the one the boy wants to go to.
The school journey is important. These are all great schools but no boy is going to get the best from any if they are spending long hours on the tube or train.
In DS' year Kings Wimbledon seemed to be the popular choice, with both parents and boys responding to feel of the school. Westminster was a bit marmite. Boys were either enthused by the historic buildings and legacy of 1,000 years of scholarship (that may sound pretentious for those who have not visited, but the school yard is dappled by the shadows of both the Abbey and Parliament) or turned off by the prospect of Saturday school, long commutes and running around central London on the way to classes. Some parents, especially those in the financial sector, were attracted by the scope to switch to boarding should their work take them away from London. I doubt many boys thought much about girls in the sixth form, but it seemed to be a, negative, factor for some parents.
St Pauls has stunning facilities and lots of green. Because of its location, the catchment is more solidly West and South West London, whereas Wimbledon's catchment goes quite far out into Surrey and Westminsters come from all over. There was a perception that the competition between pupils was more overt at SPS, and that it was more of a hot house, which meant none of my son's friends eventually chose to go there. (In fairness the facilities at SPS are so amazing that DS' friends who were interested went to Colet Court at 7+.)
There was a distinct increase in interest in boarding between the ages of 10 and 13 which meant some turned down their day school offers in favour of boarding, whilst Westminster, with scope to spend longer with school friends and less time at home, became more attractive.
It was perfectly possible to get a place at one of the three 13+ schools and be turned down by one of the 11+ plus schools, particularly the co-eds.
As for whether the 2014 results have been issued yet, my understanding was that interviews and offers came in batches. Primary/prep school heads will have been approached for references so may know more.
I would like to know how many sat for 2014 Westminster 13+ entry. I know there were 70-80 places.
Also do you know grades needed to get a place?
I know results go to the school for maths, English, VR. Do you need all A and A* ?
They are issued in batches. I think we were one of the last and we got ours last Thursday.
I'm interested to hear from anyone whose son has sat Westminster Challenge. What sort of questions come up at interview?
Is it also worth bearing in mind that the numbers going into year 9 at Westminster will also include around 50 boys coming from the Under School who also sit Common Entrance and the Challenge, and from what I have seen on the Under School website, a large number of Westminster scholarships are given to Under School boys.
The high proportion of scholarships from Westminster Under is not that surprising and does not necessarily tell you anything about the school or teaching.
Pupils are taken into WU on the basis that they clearly have the potential to go onto the senior school, so they are going to be an impressive lot anyway. I am not sure but my understanding is that bursaries are given at the Underschool and continue through to the senior school. New bursaries are not normally available for the 13+ entry.
Ergo the exceptionally bright child who is capable of winning a scholarship but cannot afford the fees without a bursary, will start at the Under School. Some Westminster scholars are astonishingly bright.
Note that the scholarship becomes less generous when you add in the requirement that scholars board. Hence some need bursaries to continue.
"I am not sure but my understanding is that bursaries are given at the Underschool and continue through to the senior school. "
I could be wrong but I strongly don't think this is true, at least not for Y3-Y6. There may be bursaries for the incoming Y7 state students.
Looked it up. WUS FAQ
6: Are any scholarships or bursaries available?
A number of means-tested bursaries up to 100% of the fees are available for 11+ applicants. Boys who are awarded bursaries at 11+ spend two years at our Under School and then move automatically into Westminster School at the start of Year 9.
My understanding is that there are then new bursaries available for sixth form applicants but not at 13+. It can be an issue for bright boys with Prep School bursaries. We know someone who had to cross Westminster off their list because they did not realise in time that they needed to apply for 11+ rather than 13+. Boy was a potential scholar, and indeed got a scholarship elsewhere.
This is from the Westminster School website:
"13+ and 16+ Bursaries
A number of means-tested bursaries up to 100% of the day fees are available at 13+ or 16+ entry. They are awarded on the basis of academic ability and financial need."
As WUS has entrance at 7+, 8+ and 11+ they probably only have information relating to 11+ bursaries so from the above it would appear that it is possible to apply for a bursary at 13+ for Westminster. It's a shame that someone had to cross off Westminster "off their list" on the basis of inaccurate information. Are you sure they weren't just unsuccessful i getting in?
Pretty sure. And actually the boy was stunningly clever. Not one to be turned down for any school.
However it is perfectly possible that things are changed from time to time.
It could well be that he just didn't meet their criteria for the 13+ bursary or the parents didn't apply for a bursary in time. As far as I know Westminster have offered bursaries at 13+ for many years.
I know they missed some sort of deadline. I had assumed it was for the 11+ entry but maybe not. In any case they ended up putting all their eggs in another basket, though worked out fine.
Our experience of Westminster is that though some are obviously very rich there is a good proportion who are not. Certainly amongst my son's friends. I don't know whether they are on bursaries, whether the parents are prioritising school fees, or whether granny is paying. Whichever, it makes for a good diversity.
When are the pre-test results for the 11 year olds known at these public schools? DS is on a grammar school waiting list that has not moved since March 1st. My last hope is that there are 4 boys awaiting pre-test results in Essex who will take up places at a public school at 13, therefore stay at a prep school to do CE and reject a GS place!!!
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