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St Paul's or Westminster

(48 Posts)
laidbackmumoftwo Thu 05-Dec-19 19:16:18

My DS got offers from Westminster and St Paul’s 6th form. It is hard to figure out which school might suit him better. What are the culture of each school and which type of boys will thrive more?

DS is independent, enjoying music and sports. We live overseas now and do not plan to move back London soon so DS will be far away from home. Any recommendations, especially the pastoral care and social life of these two schools for boarders? Also, do the schools have specific strengths on certain subjects? Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
laidbackmumoftwo Thu 05-Dec-19 19:26:43

Uh... i am a new user, no clue why there is a VOTE button... I could not remove it. Do not want any vote. Both schools are fantastic, it is just to find the one suitable.

OP’s posts: |
elfonshelf Fri 06-Dec-19 11:27:17

Which did you and your son prefer when you visited both schools?

There is no 'better', it's about finding the right fit for the right child.

bagelsandlox Fri 06-Dec-19 11:51:07

Congrats on two great offers! From what I've heard, Westminster offers a better boarding experience than SPS.

Michaelahpurple Fri 06-Dec-19 13:48:30

All else being equal, I'd have thought that the school with the larger birding community would be the better choice. Westminster has 179. I may be out of date, but isn't StP running their birding down, and now have some here around 20 only? I don't see how that can be a real community.

For both of course, a lot go home for weekends (the littler ones have to go home, older ones can choose) but I am sure you know that

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 14:52:14

The most obvious question... is he happy to be in classes with girls wink

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 14:52:43

...and congratulations (smart lad!)

XelaM Fri 06-Dec-19 15:12:52

Amazing achievement! Isn't Westminster considered to be THEE most academic school in England (albeit minute differences to schoolslike St Paul's)? I would choose Westminster

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 15:14:48

They play tag in the league charts but both are very good and you need very high scores across the board to get into the sixth form.

laidbackmumoftwo Fri 06-Dec-19 18:37:45

DS likes the SPS campus and the feeling of space. Westminster is in the city center and may have more limited sports facilities (I do not know how easy it is to book tennis court etc.) However, Westminster has amazing Oxbridge rate, anyone knows the reason? The teachers he met during interviews are all fantastic. DS is currently in a mixed school and gets along well with girls. He is more into math and science, any clue which school has stronger STEM?

OP’s posts: |
ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 19:37:04

Westminster has good indoor sports facilities - so a nice gym and the location is amazing. The borders seem to really love it. I don’t really know StP - DS was offered a place but Westminster was much closer to us. He loves it.

suchaforeigner Fri 06-Dec-19 19:56:21

SP is an amazing school. Apart from my son and his friends I know a few other children that went there or are still there. If your son is musical and sporty, this is the perfect school for him. Apart from being academic it has so many other things on site: sports fields, rowing on the Thames, music halls, swimming pool, etc. My son loved his time there as he was very sporty and could do everything he wanted there.
He also had an offer from Westminster but we felt that as he was so sporty he would prefer to be in a school that had all these facilities instead of a school that is so much in the city centre. On top, at Westminster they have lessons on a Saturday!
Good luck!

XelaM Fri 06-Dec-19 19:56:27

Do many people turn down Westminster? Isn't it the best school in the UK (bar a few girls schools that sometimes top the leagues)?

XelaM Fri 06-Dec-19 19:58:40

@suchaforeigner sorry my post crossed yours

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 20:37:50

I suppose people turn schools down due to a number of reasons - location (so maybe you get a school closer to home with less travel or need to board), personal preference, or as in the case of my neighbour, lack or scholarship or bursary offered, or being offered a scholarship elsewhere.

Saturday (morning) classes aren’t every single week (so maybe 4 per half term) and isn’t as terrible as it sounds!

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Fri 06-Dec-19 20:38:03

What year would be start?

expat96 Sat 07-Dec-19 09:03:52

I'm under the impression that nearly all the students joining Westminster at 6th Form are girls. Does anyone know how many boys join at that point? Are they mostly from overseas?

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Sat 07-Dec-19 11:19:07

My source says it’s mostly girls who join 6th, it isn’t sure about where to boys come from. There are a fair few boys from abroad anyway.

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Sat 07-Dec-19 11:29:46

My source also says Westminster is very good for sports and music (and that his friend transferred from StP as he really didn’t like it - sorry not details!). My source loves Westminster - almost went to StP but says he doesn’t regret changing his mind.

ForeverbyJudyBlume Sat 07-Dec-19 11:36:00

I know a lot about both these schools, they're both fantastic. As others have said it really comes down to your gut feeling for the schools - SP has a lot of outdoor space, which is great, but not so many boarders.

Westminster has more boarders but not that many boarders who remain in school at weekends and it depends how he and you feel about him being in central London all weekend. Westminster has girls and if it is a tiny percentage point above SP in the league tables it's for that reason - it creams off the top girls from all the London day schools. SP will have sixth form girls soon but probably not in his time. He will do very well at either school and congratulations to him.

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Sat 07-Dec-19 11:38:41

source says the culture is very friendly and good...

Food food to ‘borderline poisonous’! We have eaten there on parents dinners and it’s rather nice actually! There are loads of food places around and the boys like to go for pizza, burgers, sandwiches, Sushi, etc...

They are getting a new head from Sept 2020. I’ll ask what the news is on him (he is a teacher there already).

(Now telling source to get back to class!)

I have to say I get a glow when I see The abbey and Parliament buildings.

Rockylady Sat 07-Dec-19 14:54:02

From friends at both schools I gather that both are obviously excellent options. SP's pastoral care a bit better if at all, hear Westminster's culture is a tad more arrogant among the youngsters for some reason, and somewhat allowed within its walls and it shows when they come back home. SP typically more low profile but all the inner strength still there and showing in a different way. So depends on your child's personality and what influences you want for him.

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Sat 07-Dec-19 15:06:09

Not sure - I won’t have any arrogance or snottiness at home and the boys that I have met have been a nice bunch - very friendly and forward ‘hello Mrs ItsChristmaaaaaaaas, are you looking for ItsChristmaaaaaaaaason? He’s in the house - I’ll tell him you are looking for him - nice to see you, byeeee’. I only met one lad who wasn’t particularly nice but he calmed down and the boys became friends.

Michaelahpurple Sat 07-Dec-19 17:34:33

Sixth former joiners are indeed mostly girls - something like 60 girls and 10 boys.

Surprised by the arrogance comment - a more usual criticism is that they can look a bit of a shambles but I guess it dele Ds which boys you know.

The outdoor space point is a good one is that is important for the buy in question.

ItsChristmaaaaaaaaas Sat 07-Dec-19 18:09:55

They have the sports field and a sports hall next to it (on Vincent sq) which is a five min walk from deans yard.

I love that they get to go to the abbey a couple of times a week - lovely time to meditate (as DS is not the godly type).

I have found the boys mostly a nice bunch of lads - the sixth formers can be funny with their floppy hair but the girls look relaxed and comfortable (so not pestered by the boys or anything horrible like that).

And yes - they can look shambolic until a master comes along and they tuck their shirts in!

Both schools seem to like sparky kids with interest and passions. DS is not overly confident or bullish, but a funny and inquisitive type, who talks way too much and enjoys the quirks and fun of house life (sometimes a little too much).

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