Westminster Under School is a busy, passionate and purposeful preparatory day school for boys aged seven to 13, where pupils greatly enjoy the pursuit of learning, and are given the support and guidance they need to develop as intelligent, compassionate and inquisitive individuals.
While results are consistently outstanding, the school’s focus is not solely aimed at learning for exams; instead the school aims to encourage the sense of wonder and curiosity that children at this age possess and to develop independent thought. The teaching programme is loosely based on the National Curriculum, but with much more flexibility for exploration.
Just as much emphasis is put on the non-examinable subjects as on the core curriculum. Consequently, the musical and cultural tradition is equally strong, with a junior and senior choir, an orchestra, and string, brass and jazz groups. Art is housed in a wonderful facility for all kinds of creative activity. The level of dramatic productions has risen in recent years and there are plays for each year group at different times of the year. Games are played on the ten-acre field at Vincent Square, or nearby in the sports hall. There are other school competitions in areas such as public speaking, creative writing, chess and Scrabble.
Naturally we want to protect and support our boys, helping them to develop into healthy, fulfilled and resilient young people and making sure they feel safe and enjoy their time at the Under School. We also encourage the boys to look out for others and to act thoughtfully and compassionately at all times. Central to this are the school’s six Core Values that underpin all that we do. These Core Values will enable the boys, not only to thrive academically, but to flourish both now and in their future lives. The school fully believes that nurturing the values of Compassion, Integrity, Resourcefulness, Service, Diligence and Commitment will ensure that all of our boys leave as good young men. All pupils have a dedicated form teacher and a form support teacher. The school has a BACP-accredited Child and Adolescent Counsellor, and we make time each week for personal, spiritual and philosophical reflection.
The main entry points for Westminster Under School are at 7+, 8+ and 11+. Each year approximately 44 new boys are admitted to the Under School at 7+ and 8+, with 30 joining at 11+. At all ages the school looks for potential, and for boys who have natural ability and will, therefore, thrive here. Our challenge is to find that potential, rather than simply select intensely-tutored boys, and whose natural ability will grow with the challenges a Westminster education provides.Established by Westminster School in 1943, Westminster Under School is closely linked to the ‘Great School’, sharing the same governing body and the same ethos of a liberal education. The Under School’s buildings overlook the beautiful school playing fields in Vincent Square, just a few moments’ walk from the Great School and its site on the doorstep of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.