Westminster at 11 or St Pauls at 13(12 Posts)
Looking for some words of wisdom! our son was lucky enough to get offers from City and St Paul's at 13 and Westminster Under at 11 for a private school. We applied to Westminster at 11 and 13 as that was allowed but they then changed the rules half way and told applicants that if you are get an offer at 11 your are excepted to go immediately and can't continue application process for 13).
Now we are really trying to understand differences between St P and W and wether it makes sense to move our son at 11. appreciate your thoughts and sharing experience on Westminster Under entry at 11.
Congratulations NL2016. Both schools are top notch, the differences lie in your DS' learning style and personality. My non-sporty, quirky, sensitive and thoughtful, quiet thinker, non-musical and non-artsy boy is very happy and thriving in WUS environment. Pastoral care is strong. But that's only one boy's snapshots to say.
Of course Westminster would expect you to go at 11+. If your intention is to go onto the Great School, why would you not take the 11+ offer? The choice for you comes down to which senior school your son suits and where you live. You must have looked around them and know what they all offer and how they offer it. He'll only be at WUS for two years. With a 13+ offer from St Pauls and City you can still hedge your bets by going to WUS and move for senior school but in reality you should have investigated the schools and be ready to commit to Westminster or to discount it and continue with your prep school and move at 13+.
By the way, it is a myth about the sport at WUS. They play a lot of sport. They are also all encouraged to play sport regardless of ability. Just like at Colet Court, there are boys who would much rather be inside coding a computer but they are all cheered on at Sports Day. My son is sporty and loud. WUS suited him perfectly because he is an independent thinker.
A few years back we applied to the same 3 schools but all for 13+. My DS basically ruled out Westminster from the start though, because of Saturday school. He loves his weekends at home! He went for SPS over City even though it is a longer commute, and could not be happier.
That said, he really hated his final 2 years of prep school leading up to CE. Very pressurized, lots of very tedious teaching to the test. Looking back I wish we had applied for 11+, so in your situation I'd be pretty tempted to go for WUS.
As Eatmoremango says, it depends on which school you/he want at 13. If Westminster then go for WUS, otherwise choose St Paul's. This is of course assuming that his current school prepares boys for CE; if not then WUS at 11 would definitely be better than waiting.
Is he at a school that doesn't go to 13? Presumably not, otherwise an easy call.
Surely it doesn't much change the decision you were already making - if you decide you prefer great school, why not move at year 7 and have him already settling in with what will be one third of his senior cohort.
And it is true that if you really regretted it you could move to Pauls - a boy did from Wus in 2012 and one new year 7 boy is off to Eton, although it would be a bit unusual.
Bumpted into this thread and glad to report that DS went to Westminster Under at 11 ( rather than waiting for City or St. Paul's for two years) and is absolutely thriving there, best decision ever to move him to this top school and won't have to worry about common entrance now! Thank you all for your replies.
Er...I think you will find that at WUS the boys still need to take common entrance or scholarship exams to move onto the Great School. Were you not informed of this?
Are the WUS results out for 11+ yet does anyone know?
Yes, thanks , am aware of the CE to get to the senior school. However, before we made the move I talked to the headmaster and he shared that in the last 10 years there have been zero failiures from boys taken at 11 to pass the CE,p which is reassuring. They know what's required and really prepare them well for either CE or challenge.
Hi NL2016. My DS has had offers from both St Paul's and Westminster for 11+. We are torn between these two schools. My ds loves st Paul's but the journey is twice compared to Westminster. We have to make the decision by 6 march. I myself like Westminster, purely because it's convenient and it's a top school.
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