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I need help about Westminster School Interview

(69 Posts)
Pani6161 Tue 29-Dec-15 17:12:29

Hi Everyone.
My son sat for Westminster 13+ exam in November and he has been invited for the interview in Feb. I am not familiar with the interview process at all. I would be grateful if anyone would share their experiences with me.Thanks

Hopeless432 Wed 30-Dec-15 11:03:49

Pani, when did you get the letter ? We are still waiting to hear from Westminster. Does everyone hear at the same time ? I'm also looking for some insight into the St Pauls interview.

MidLifeCrisis007 Wed 30-Dec-15 20:22:41

Hi Hopeless, I don't know about Westminster but the St Paul's interview isn't meant to be gruelling (a lot comes down to his headmaster's report) but they may throw in a tricky question to see if your DS can think on his feet! My DS was asked "why don't clouds fall out of the sky?". Glad they never asked me that when I was his age - I still haven't a clue 3 decades later!

Hopeless432 Wed 30-Dec-15 20:37:44

Thanks MidLife. Is your DS there now? How is he finding it?

MidLifeCrisis007 Wed 30-Dec-15 21:28:20

No, he bluffed his way successfully through the interview and was offered a place (note they are super speedy at sending out their offer/rejection letters) but he opted to go to Eton instead.

Meanwhile his contemporaries who went to St Pauls are loving it.

KingscoteStaff Wed 30-Dec-15 23:18:53

DS spent most of his SPS interview talking about cricket...

The interviewer will have a copy of the 'all about me' form that the boys fill in, so don't forget to take a copy and remind your DS what might come up!

Hopeless432 Wed 30-Dec-15 23:22:07

When do you get the "all about me" form. Do you fill it in on the day?

KingscoteStaff Thu 31-Dec-15 12:00:11

I think we were sent it a week before the interview. This was 2 years ago - DS has just finished his first term.

bagelsandlox Thu 31-Dec-15 13:53:44

My DS had an interview there 3 years ago. He was given a laminated A4 paper with a short text to read, then had to answer questions about it. I think after that the interviewer asked a few questions about favorite books, what he was studying at school etc and a few questions about family life (I suspect with a view to finding out what schools his siblings attended). The interviewer cracked a few jokes and definitely made an effort to put DS at his ease.

Hopeless432 Thu 31-Dec-15 14:02:43

No maths questions at the interview? KingscoteStaff, how did he find his first term?

KingscoteStaff Thu 31-Dec-15 18:58:08

Bearing in mind that this was 2 years ago, back in the 'interviews for all' era...

For the interview, he was taken off to a little cubicle to do 3 maths questions and then a master took him away for his interview. As I said, he had filled in a form about a week before. One of the questions was 'favourite and least favourite subjects', and he had put Geography as least favourite. Last thing I heard as he walked off with this chap was 'Hello, MiniKingscote, I am Mr Thing, head of geography...' Apparently they talked about one of the Maths questions, then went on to discuss the leadership abilities of the current English cricket captain.

Hopeless, he is loving it. Comes back buzzing each day. Teaching is inspiring, amazing range of extra-curricular activities. He loves his rugby, but also finds time for music. We had a tough decision to make between a few schools, but SPS has suited our boy down to the ground.

originalmavis Thu 31-Dec-15 19:00:39

They do say that you just can't prep for it. Not much help I know!

originalmavis Thu 31-Dec-15 19:02:45

Any St Paul's mums/dads around? We have to make 'the decision' next year (2016) and the Colet Court abuse scandal where the boy later committed suicide (and how it was all handled) that came out this year has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Hopeless432 Thu 31-Dec-15 21:12:43

Originalmavis, l feel the same. All very recent stuff too. That poor woman.

Michaelahpurple Sun 03-Jan-16 15:40:52

My now year 8 son was in the first batch of the new iseb procedure , two year ago
He had what he thought was a very difficult comprehension (20min) then 20 mins of maths which I think were on a computer but not multi guess. Then the interview took about 30 + minutes. He was required to bring an item "of importance to him" - do they still do this? This got the conversation going. Otherwise it was quite formulaic - he could read the question sheet upside down - all the normals stuff eg sport, do you enjoy drama, fave subjects, hated subjects etc
Rather meanly they asked what other schools he had sat and what success or otherwise he had had - I thought this v unfair as made the "why do you want to come here/ is this your first choice" questions harder (and unreasonable to a 10 year old anyway, given they don't necessarily make the decision ) and downright cruel if the boy has to say he was turned down by Eton (the only one to come out before westminster)

flyingrainbow Sun 03-Jan-16 19:02:50

Son did it in 2014, and the interview took about an hour, including short test on both Eng and Maths, then 5 mins on talking about the item he brought in, and 10 mins to chat about the usuals such as favourate books, hobbies, subjects, and of course the important questions of how many schools he sat and which one was his preference. The school Registra is retiring after this year, the format might be changing. School is very organised and gives out clear guidelines.

Hopeless432 Sun 03-Jan-16 20:50:45

Thanks to everybody for the guidance. We now have our Westminster letter. Is the process similar to SPS? Is the English a comprehension passage or is there some composition? The letter says 25 minutes for each (maths & English) which is so little time. Was could they assess from that? Are they ever asked about current affairs ? If you were unsuccessful do you have any reflections on how you could have done differently?

Hopeless432 Sun 03-Jan-16 20:54:02

Michael, l think you are in fact referring to Westminster (l thought we were still discussing SPS) - so thanks. Current affairs?

flyingrainbow Sun 03-Jan-16 21:47:28

Don't know about St Paul. With Westminster, Enghish paper has both reading comprehension and short composition; Maths paper has 14 problems solvings, blank papers to work on, then input answers on computer. Do prepare 3 good questions to ask about the school and think thoughtfully why would like to go Westminster. If your son enjoys Murderous Maths books and do well on Primary Maths Challenge question types would help. Instead of sitting there being chatted to, my son at the time also took initiative to ask the interviewer some meaningful school related questions, and was well-received.

originalmavis Sun 03-Jan-16 22:06:39

St Paul's is (2015) a maths paper on computer and a written English paper (write your opinion about a given topic).

Then theres an interview which covered the paper and the usual questions - hobbies, subjects, books read, how would you change things at your current school, etc. Parents are also met by the head for a chat. They seem to be looking for sparky kids.

Pani6161 Mon 04-Jan-16 02:58:09

Thank you all for your help and sorry for my late reply. Hopeless, I have received the letter from Westminster before Xmas, happy that you got yours as well. Good luck to your son. It's very stressful time for us and I do appreciate everyone who has shared their experiences with me.

Hopeless432 Mon 04-Jan-16 10:52:33

Hi Pani, are you going to the parents evening on the 12th ? I'm wondering if the evening will feel like I'm being led to water but not allowed to drink. We'll see how great the school is, everyone will be very nice and kind to us only to tell us a few weeks later "thanks but no thanks". I'd rather just get the whole thing over with as painlessly as possible but I suppose a no show won't look good. Have you applied to SPS?

Pani6161 Mon 04-Jan-16 16:51:55

Hahaha, I totally agree with you." Thank you but no thank you" is something that I would expect toosmileI am going to the parents evening for sure as I would like to imagine my son at Westminster even for couple of hours
No my son didn't sit for SPS as I missed the deadline just by one day.

Hopeless432 Mon 04-Jan-16 17:11:23

One day?? Is that for the ISEB or to register? I would have thought they'd let you slip in given the whole process goes on for years before they have the numbers of who accepts the place. I'm wondering if it's a big deal to get to the interview stage anyway? I suspect that they offer to the highest scorers in ISEB & the written exam. Doesn't matter what you say in the interview. If you are not in the top% you're not going to get in. Am l being too negative?

originalmavis Mon 04-Jan-16 17:13:46

I suppose they tag the likely ones early on and we invite squillions along to chummy up to the schools. Entrance fees make a nice annual income for schools.

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