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Westminster School: House system

(8 Posts)
Anenne Thu 05-May-16 14:31:38

Hello everyone
My daughter is thinking of applying to Westminster School for her A levels. Early days but what an interesting school! We've noticed that the school's got 11 houses and that got us thinking about the characteristics of each. Any views would be appreciated, no rush.

areyoutheregoditsmemargaret Thu 05-May-16 15:44:20

My understanding is some house are only for day pupils, and some for both boarders and day. College is for boy scholars, with girls in the sixth form. I don't think parents have any say in what a child's assigned unless - for example - your father was in that house, so it's not really relevant to you right now. Good luck to your daughter

jeanne16 Thu 05-May-16 18:43:08

My DD attended Westminster 6th form as a day pupil and she was just assigned to one of the houses. We had no say over which. It is different for boarders as there are separate boarding houses for girls.

It was an amazing school but is rather 'sink or swim'. Some really thrive while others struggle so proceed with caution.

Needmoresleep Thu 05-May-16 18:51:16

They will assign you. Boarders are limited to a smaller number of houses. My impression is that they work quite hard to get a good mix and a good fit. We have been impressed by how much support has been available, so I am not sure I completely agree with jeanne. Having a housemaster as a single point of contact over the two years have been very useful.

Anenne Fri 06-May-16 09:08:53

Thank you for your comments, very helpful.

We've got no historic family links with the school so if my daughter is fortunate enough to secure a place, she'll wait to be assigned a house.

As a matter of interest, do all the houses have a dedicated building? I can see that this would be the case for houses with boarders but what about houses with only day pupils?

Also is there a "sporty" house? Given Needmoresleep's comments, I expect it's fairly balanced.

Again, no rush...

Needmoresleep Fri 06-May-16 17:45:38

Yes. They all have their own buildings. Some, Milnes Ashburnham, and Purcells, to name but three, are outside Yard. They register there each morning and each house has common rooms. The Housemaster is normally the first point of contact with the school.

Oddly different houses do acquire different reputations which remain consistent over the years: sporty, musical etc. Some of this may be influenced by the interests of Housemasters, but it does not make much difference. If your daughter is interested in sport there are lots of opportunities to volunteer for various house teams. However the standard is not always high. At the moment Westminster boy rowers are doing very very well and the girl footballers are achieving decent results, but the school is often better at the minority sports. Things like climbing and fencing. By and large the focus is on participation, and so sixth form can be a great time to try new sports as well as keeping up old ones.

Greengagesummer Sat 07-May-16 15:42:29

Both Needmoresleep & Jeanne can be right; it depends on your own DD and her experience.
The house masters are great. There are usually houses with slightly different reputations, but I do wonder if some of it is self fulfilling. Even the super bright can work to fit into a particular environment.

In the sixth fom, newbies were often assigned to a house where another girl or boy in the Remove lived locally to the newbie. Don't know if they still do that but it's worth a phone call. Equally if your DC doesn't want to be in the same house as a particular person, that can be subtly dropped in.

Greengagesummer Sat 07-May-16 15:46:36

Also agree about the housemaster. Usually shrewd judges of character and really helpful with the Uni application process. They make up for a lot of the deficit caused by moving schools and not having someone who has known you for 5 or so years.

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