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WUS 7+ Interview

(58 Posts)
MilansMum Thu 24-Jan-13 14:22:59

Does anyone know what sort of questions are asked at the WUS 7+ interview? What level of books do they have to read to the Master? What type of lesson do they participate in? Any answers would be most gratefully received as I don't know anyone who has been through the interview process at any competitive school in the UK. Many thanks.

TennisMom Sun 03-Feb-13 23:23:18

anxiousdad, don't let the WUS interview experience turn you off to the school. They probably already know the boys are good in maths based on the exam.

One of my sons had offers at both CC and WUS at 8+ so we went through everything you did, including the parents interview with HM. He is also very strong in maths (at least 3-4 years ahead of his age) and is currently one of the top math students in his class.

In the end, we chose WUS over CC due to proximity; flexibility for schools at 13+ (CC doesn't prepare you for CE and expects boys to stay whereas WUS will support boys for other schools at 13+); ethos of teaching the boys to "love learning" for its own sake and not for exams; and values quirkiness in individuals.

There are plenty of opportunities to do maths at WUS. It is very academic but you and the boys don't feel it.

I'd choose a school based on distance and commuting time since there will be lots of birthdays, school events and parents' coffee mornings and a long commute would be a pain.

anxiousdaddy Mon 04-Feb-13 08:36:03

Thanks TennisMom for the insight. Proximity will not be an issue as we are current way out of reach of either schools and will definitely move to wherever school we choose for DS. DW is keener on WUS while DS is extremely keen on CC. So we have a little dilemma in our decision ...

middlesqueezed Mon 04-Feb-13 09:45:17

We chose WUS overwhelmingly for proximity, although the greater flexibility at 13+ is also a consideration unless you are totally sure about St Paul's. DS was also very strong in maths and certainly didn't feel that he wasn't challenged - WUS/Westminster is extremely good in that area. My personal feeling is that Westminster is possibly better at embracing different personalities and quirkier boys, although YMMV of course. But your DS will certainly do well at either - after a certain point it's about the child not the school and they're not worlds apart in terms of what he'll find there. I know many boys at both and they're all happy.

TennisMom Mon 04-Feb-13 10:10:04

If it's important to you, another point worth considering b/w the 2 schools is that the WUS student body is more diverse with students originally from all over the world even though they are now based in London. I got the impression CC students are more native British.

With the world now becoming increasingly global, if it's not already so, the early exposure to a diverse student body is probably not a bad idea.

Turniphead1 Mon 04-Feb-13 10:16:38

Tennismom - I take it you will have another boy starting in September? Thanks to you and Middlesqueezed for your information about the school. All very useful.

mrsshackleton Mon 04-Feb-13 10:25:27

CC boys are certainly not mainly "native British", it's a hugely international crowd, as with virtually any school in London

anxiousdaddy Mon 04-Feb-13 11:55:12

On the culture mixture side, on our CC intervew day, the school sent some randomly selected senior students to the waiting room to answer our questions while the DS's taking their assessment. Each boy came down from their classes and stayed for about 15-20 minutes before returning to their classes. Among the 6 CC boys we talked to during our session: 1 from the States, 1 of Korean original, 2 from Chinese original, and 2 from native Britain. So I'm sure it's a quite mixed community there.

DW is still a bit wavering on the final decision between WUS and CC, and so looks like the ordeal of the process will drag on into the last two days... though I do want to say a huge thanks to my lovely DS for doing well in exams and giving us this chance of 'suffering'... And well done to all your boys who got this far!

middlesqueezed Mon 04-Feb-13 12:03:16

Indeed - it's a very nice dilemma to have! But really, sure he will be fine and happy at either.

Mominatrix Mon 04-Feb-13 12:45:57

anxiousdaddy - well done to your son! My son had to initially choose the 2 schools he wanted to apply to as of the 3, 2 schools had their examination on the same day. The choice was between WUS and KCJS, and he said, without hesitation, Kings. I initially thought that WUS would be a better fit for him as he is a quirky child who, if interested, will take a subject and run with it beyond the curriculum and also is very creative. However, the two schools he chose to apply to were CC and KCJS because they also offer space and a physical freedom which WUS just cannot due to its more urban location. He too got into both of the schools he applied to, and I let him make the choice. They are all good schools, and children do have a sense of what appeals to them.

DS is thriving at CC - loving every minute of it. It certainly is not very British - in fact, native British are in the minority of the student body.

Think if your son needs space, enjoys running around (does not have to necessarily be sporty - my DS certainly is not), this would be a key difference. Another key difference between WUS and CC is the access to phenomenal DT facilities (CC and KCJS have this, but not WUS) - this is what DS is REALLY keen on and another reason he wanted to apply to the schools he chose.

Good Luck in your decision. My gut feel is to let DS decide, but I guess you'd have to sway DW.

anxiousdaddy Mon 04-Feb-13 14:10:42

Thanks Mominatrix for sharing the experience. DS had started calling himself Coletine from yesterday while DW is busy making phone calls to friends asking for second opinions on WUS. I think the next two days I'll start seeing some fighting smokes at home ...

Turniphead1 Mon 04-Feb-13 14:59:48

Mominatrix. Your post has also given me food for thought - regarding DT facilities and outdoor pace. Albeit not a WUSvCC choice. Relevant nonetheless.

TennisMom Mon 04-Feb-13 16:56:31

Turniphead1, yes we will be accepting WUS offer so DS can join his brother.

Regarding WUS facilities, do not worry about the lack of play space as Vincent Square is huge and more than sufficient for boys to run around for games and during breaks. I've attended games and functions there and the space is vast, more than a boy will ever need. In addition, the newly acquired and built sports hall allows boys to participate in many indoor sports and activities including wall climbing, fencing, rowing, cricket, table tennis, etc. Basically, more than a boy will ever need unless you think he is going to be an Olympian.

Regarding DT, it is one of my son's favourite subjects at WUS. He raves about the equipment and the teaching is "amazing". Hence, don't automatically discount the DT curriculum. At this tender age, I'm sure just a little exposure to computers is sufficient for their needs. Let's put it into perspective. We are not yet talking about MIT or Cal Tech here.

TennisMom Mon 04-Feb-13 21:25:20

At the end of the day, all the competitive entry schools' teachings are good; there are only so many ways to teach subjects like Math and English. It is just down to personal preference.

posadas Tue 05-Feb-13 11:41:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Turniphead1 Tue 05-Feb-13 12:36:13

Has anyone had call to try and speak to either CC or WUS since the offers came out? I am currently rather unimpressed by complete inability of WUS to have anyone available to speak to me...

anxiousdaddy Tue 05-Feb-13 12:39:02

Posadas, thanks for the well versed summary.

Turniphead1, DW had tried calling WUS multiple times from yesterday but each time was switched to an answer phone.

Turniphead1 Tue 05-Feb-13 13:08:55

Yes - they had 11+ on yesterday. I still don't understand why they didn't send their offers out at a time when they would have capacity to speak to parents.

TennisMom Tue 05-Feb-13 13:42:00

anxiousdad and turniphead, I know what you mean. I tried calling a few times yesterday as well and had the same experience as you.

Don't be discouraged even though this is not the best reflection of the school. As you probably already know, they have a relatively new HM and, as in all new regime changes, the entire front office staff has been replaced. Hence, things are not running as smoothly during this transition period. This is no excuse but just be sensitive to this fact.

Also, just so you know, we value outdoor space for our DC as much as any parents and it is definitely something we look for in our DC's schools. In fact, we've turned down a few schools due to cramped spaces. My DS currently at WUS talks about the "independence" and "spaces to explore" during the many breaks as well so posadas' description above could be applied to his experience at WUS.

At the end of the day, we all love the school/house/neighborhood we choose at the end.

TennisMom Tue 05-Feb-13 13:52:11

There is no dispute that CC has much larger outdoor space than WUS given their suburban location. However, should you choose WUS for your DS, trust me there will be plenty of outdoor and indoor activities and space to engage him. There is more than enough for his needs and he will not be wishing for more.

Another way to look at it is a city versus a suburban school albeit a city school that owns an entire block of green space plus an adjacent dedicated sports hall.

Turniphead1 Tue 05-Feb-13 14:24:37

Someone very wise once told me " you don't purchase education by the acre" wink

In saying that I am struggling greatly with the fact that I really need to speak to the school and can not do so. In contrast to our other top ranking choice where an email query was met with a phone call one hour later from the JS head (who is dealing with about four times as many admissions as the Master at WUS).

I feel I am running out of time.

TennisMom Tue 05-Feb-13 14:38:53

Turniphead, don't despair. I realise the frustration due to the difficulty in contacting the school this week during decision time and I'm an insider! Just leave messages and email them. I think they are bombarded with 7+, 8+ and 11+ all around the same time. Again, no excuse.

Just know that it is not like this once DS is a student here. The school is super-communicative--too much, in fact. I get more emails with info from WUS' administrators and teachers than at any of my other DC's schools, sometimes 2-3x/day. All the teachers respond to emails usually within the hour as they all get an iPhone and a MacBook Air.

posadas Tue 05-Feb-13 14:57:26

I agree entirely -- the quality of education doesn't necessarily depend on the facilities. (Vincent Square is beautiful, TennisMom, and it's charming, too. I have no doubt the WUS boys have great fun playing there!)

My point about the campus at CC wasn't to compare the size of outdoor space at various schools. What I meant to emphasise is that the large, self-contained campus allows/encourages/requires boys to be very independent. (It can, also, be daunting for newcomers but the school seems to be effective in helping new boys settle.) When I see children at other schools being shepherded to other buildings for sports or music or assemblies or lunch-time tennis matches etc (ie Hill House, Sussex House, etc -- all wonderful schools), I am glad my son has the independence (challenge?) to take himself to all of his school activities, in the safety of one large campus. When I think about what is truly different about my son's experience from that of his friends at many other "good" schools, I think it's this independence that stands out.

Turniphead -- have you tried emailing the Master at WUS? or someone else on staff? Or perhaps the head of your son's current school could put in a call for you? I hope you can get the answers you need.

TennisMom Tue 05-Feb-13 15:18:50

I agree with a bigger school comes more independence. As my DS currently at WUS said to his younger brother who will be joining him there next September, "You'll love the independence here compared to your old school. Whenever you are done with lunch, you can pick up and leave the building on your own without having to wait for the entire class to finish. You can walk over to Vincent Square on your own and you are given a code to go into the park to play. If you want to stay indoors, you can go to the Library, Bookstore or DT lab to play." Independence is a highlight for him as well.

Granted, they do have to walk down the street chaperoned to swim at Queen Mother Sports Centre.

Turniphead1 Tue 05-Feb-13 15:30:41

Posadas - I have emailed three times. No response. Called various times. No response. Have stopped short at emailing the Master. Am
presuming I can extrapolate her email address from the standard.

Tennismom - out of interest - is there another phone number that parents have? Not that I want it - but this experience begs the question, if I had an emergency and needed to contact the school during admissions time, how would I go about it? angry

Turniphead1 Tue 05-Feb-13 15:30:56

Posadas - I have emailed three times. No response. Called various times. No response. Have stopped short at emailing the Master. Am
presuming I can extrapolate her email address from the standard.

Tennismom - out of interest - is there another phone number that parents have? Not that I want it - but this experience begs the question, if I had an emergency and needed to contact the school during admissions time, how would I go about it? angry

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