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What type of boy for St Paul's, Westminster, City?

(13 Posts)
mumfortwo Mon 13-May-13 11:21:41

If your son go to these schools, please explain to me what personality/ type of boy would really thrive there. I am aware of academic requirements so its really a personality fit. I've been told all 3 are very different but would welcome anecdotal comments.

Kitchencupboards Mon 13-May-13 13:46:06

Can only comment on City but the boys are delightful, intelligent, well behaved and down to earth. City boys have always brrn lovely, even when i was at school 20 years ago. It is not a posh school and 42% are on some kind of financial assistance and 50% come from state primaries.

Farewelltoarms Mon 13-May-13 14:35:58

I too get the impression that City is more like a private day school and West/St P's more like a public school and this is reflected in the boys. City takes the vast bulk of its pupils at 11 (some at 10, some at 13) and has no prep school. I really like this and makes me consider it as an option since it seems deliberately inclusive. A school that has its main intake at 13 isn't really.

happygardening Mon 13-May-13 15:24:14

St Pauls does what it says on the can it provides a 21st century education to very bright boys.
Interestingly my DH works with/for some of the richest and most successful business men in the world, who are usually based in London of course, many have DS's at St Pauls to date (last 5 years) none so far at Westminster. This is not a criticism of Westminster at all which has an awesome reputation but just how it seems to be. Westminster has always attracted more trendy right on parents and is more socially acceptable in the drawing rooms of Belgravia.
My DS got a place at St Pauls but we felt you had to really shine from day 1 to do well there. During a tour they explained about rackets they fire a ball at you if you hit it you can play rackets if you cant you wont be allowed to play because your never going to be that good. I don't think its necessarily a school for the very self effacing. My DH's personal experience of it backs this up.
Having said this its still a fab school.

Tigersarebetterlooking Mon 13-May-13 15:43:08

Hi, my ds goes to st Paul's and is not at all the typical type you might think of goes there I.e. sporty, rich, public school type. The school has helped him follow his own interests and he has found others like him. There is quite a relaxed approach in some ways which is nice and I think it could suit all sorts as long as your ds is very academic because I would imagine it is a miserable place to be if you have to work really hard to keep up.

happygardening Mon 13-May-13 15:50:06

I agree about the school being relaxed or perhaps liberal is a better description. No meaningless ritual or ridiculous uniform it has a very university feel about it.
I only nit picking really we had a choice between St Pauls and my DS's current school we loved both and it was a difficult decision. But in the end the point I mentioned above (my Ds had had a crap time at his prep so wanted somewhere less shall we say trampling) and the fact that there are basically no full boarders was why we turned it down.

mumfortwo Mon 13-May-13 18:49:59

Thank you for all the feedback. Just looking at sports for example, I had heard that StP was very sporty, Westminster not really sports focused although they try to be, and City considers sports definately an "after school" thing. Setting aside the academic side of course. I guess I'm trying to find out which school would best suit an academic boy who is not overly interested in team sports but have other interests and a bit of an eccentric.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 13-May-13 19:10:55

DS2 was offered a place at City, and liked it because they got to play football on the roof on the interview daygrin. We declined as it would be a tube ride, and St P was nearer. Not sure there is a typical St P... DS1 is very happy there, and he is the least sporty boy you could find, DS2 is very happy there and he is obsessed by sport... The only common factor is that the boys seems to be lively and sparky, otherwise wildly different in character and interest, but I expect they also are at W and C. Suggest if you have the choice you just go for the nearest...

bluescissors Mon 13-May-13 19:12:20

Mum - I have 2 friends with DCs at Westminster and your description of your DS is how I would describe their DSs. They are very bright boys. Westminster is a fabulous school according to them (mine aren't there) and they would highly recommend it! Have you been round it?

mumfortwo Tue 14-May-13 09:39:56

Blue- yes, I have looked around but its always difficult to tell the vibe and suitability for each boy. W is fantastic academics but how are the boys otherwise socially? As you've seen in our other thread.. I think there is more to life than just academics and I would like to know which school would be the best fit for him. Nowadays, they spend so much time at school it has to work socially too.

Needmoresleep Tue 14-May-13 11:22:21

These schools are all fantastic, but very different. DS had a clear set of preferences: Westminster, City and then SPS. Others preferred SPS, and indeed Kings. I would take the cue from your son. He cant really make a wrong decision.

He has loved every minute at Westminster, and I suspect would have been less happy at the alternatives where he might have felt overshadowed by more assertive boys. He probably fits the Westminster stereotype described above.

I would support HappyGardenings comment "Interestingly my DH works with/for some of the richest and most successful business men in the world, who are usually based in London of course, many have DS's at St Pauls to date (last 5 years) none so far at Westminster. " Westminster appears to have a more diverse and less City dominated parent body.

Westminster offers scope for boarding, useful for those with mobile careers, but also great for those boys who want faux boarding, eg breakfast, sometimes dinner and school and sport on Saturdays. City in particular appears to close its doors quite early with little scope to stay on at school to revise for exams together or go to the gym.

Girls in sixth form inject a real energy and contribute to the sense of the sixth form being half way to University.

Team sport is inevitably limited at Westminster, in part because of facilities, but also because few choose the school for its sport. This means that there is less competition for places in the team, and they do less traditional sports: fencing, climbing etc, well. Boys who had not considered themselves sporty can find a passion, and there is an enthusiastic round of inter-house sports competition, where participation rather than skill is the key. (Inter house netball...) Music, and access to the Abbey, are wonderful.

Worth noting. City is significantly cheaper.

mumfortwo Tue 14-May-13 12:16:22

Needmoresleep- It's funny but my DS's rank is the same as your son. Thank you for the interesting and useful comments, especially re sports. I feel more reassured his preference orders seem sensible. I agree diversity is a key consideration too.

LetsEscape Tue 14-May-13 13:45:22

Another difference between these schools, which changes the feel a bit is that Westminster is organised on boarding school lines and has houses which day and boarders belong to. This gives continuity of pastoral care over the years from the house master and they also have a tutor who follows their year through and is more of a supportive adult. The house has a common room for each year and perhaps a games room but is very nurturing and gives a sense of belonging. St Paul's has a fantastic tutor system which is vertically grouped so boys know other boys from other years well and the tutor provides a key link with the home. It also provides continuity of pastoral care. There are clubs rather than houses , but these seem to be more to do with sports and music rather than a pastoral system. There is no equivalent space of a house at St Pauls. City as far as I know runs on more typical school lines without this. The pastoral approach is more to do with form tutors/ head of years and so on. The comment that city is more like an independent day school and the too more like public schools sums it up well. It just depends what suits your son. Neither is better or worse.

It will be interesting to see what the impact of the new vast sports hall will have on Westminster's sports. It really changes the balance of facilities hugely and within walking distance from school site. There are no plans to introduce rugby so it isn't the school for rugby players. St Paul's clearly is the winner for any rugby mad boy.

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