27 Vincent Square, London SW1P 2NN
Profile: Westminster Under school is a boys only preparatory school that acts as the major feeder for Westminster School, one of London’s leading secondary schools. Boys attend Westminster Under from age 7 to 13, at which point they take the Common Entrance examination for transfer to senior school. Most boys will go on to Westminster School, with a small group opting for Eton and a handful of other leading London Day and boarding schools.
Educating 265 boys, Westminster Under is somewhat smaller than its equally well known rival, Colet Court, and is located in the heart of London, between Pimlico and Victoria Station. Despite the urban setting, sports is important at the school, with Football, Cricket and Swimming very common. There are also after-school sports clubs run by coaches from outside school, with Chess, Bridge, Judo, Fencing and Swimming being particularly popular.
If you want a good glimpse of academic achievement and extracurricular activities of the school, I recommend you read through the most recent newsletters, which at the moment highlight the Choir tour to China, an impressive array of medals won at the junior mathematics olympiad, a Latin play and the long list of scholarships won by boys at there prospective senior schools (see scholarships awarded). This is a school for the seriously bright boys who are comfortably top of their class and are years ahead of their expected levels in English, Maths and other subjects.
Admissions: Westminster Under admits boys at 7+, 8+ and 11+ by competitive entrance examination in English, Maths and Reasoning. The school prefers to receive registrations for entry two years prior. Registered candidates and their families are invited for an Open Day in Autumn the year prior to entry, followed by the entrance test in January.
Although our entrance examinations are designed to test potential, we also expect the candidates to be achieving good standards at their current schools.
Scholarships and bursaries up to 100% of fees are available from the 11+ stage onwards. The 11+ intake is generally for boys from state primaries or prep schools that end at 11. Entry is fiercely competitive, and even younger siblings have no guarantee of a place if they don’t score high enough in the exam. 2015 seems to have been particularly tough, so don’t expect your son to get in just because he is bright without serious preparation.
Exit Results: Over 80% of boys transfer to Westminster School (for which they do have to take the entrance examination like everybody else), with most of the remaining boys going to Eton College and a couple of other leading schools:
2014 (69 leavers): Westminster: 57, Eton: 10, Winchester: 2
Total scholarships and exhibitions in 2014 = 21 awards
2013 (57 leavers): Westminster: 47, Eton: 8, Winchester: 1, Dulwich College: 1
10 boys in total were awarded scholarships or exhibitions.