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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:15 pm 
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My DS is in the very fortunate position of being offered 11+ places at both Westminster Under School and Colet Court :D . We are finding it difficult to decide between the two as they both have so much to offer.

I was wondering if anyone is or has been in the same position and could provide any information which led them to make their final choice.

Many thanks,
isx99


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Congratulations- You've good great options to choose from! As they're both very good schools it would ultimately depend on what your son like? Is he very sporty/musical? What about the journey times to each?

This thread may be helpful:

viewtopic.php?t=9004


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:49 pm 
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Thingsbehindthesun wrote:
Congratulations- You've good great options to choose from! As they're both very good schools it would ultimately depend on what your son like? Is he very sporty/musical? What about the journey times to each?

This thread may be helpful:

viewtopic.php?t=9004


Many thanks Thingsbehindthsun for that useful information. My DS is very musical (he has Grade 6 Piano and Grade 5 Music Theory) but not at all sporty. The journey times are very similiar, though Westminster is about 10 minutes longer on the Tube. Our main consideration is the provision for maths as my DS is an exceptional mathematician and it looks as though both have similar resources and provision for maths.

isx99


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:19 pm 
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We are also in the same lucky position. DS and I prefer Westminster but DH prefers Colet Court. It is therefore 2 against 1 and so the final decision would be Westminster.

Our DS is also very good at Maths but not so good at English.

Both schools are top of the range but Westminster appears to have sent more of their six formers to Oxbridge than St Paul's.

Please let me know your choice as we might bump into each other in Latin/French classes.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:50 pm 
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vivienphung wrote:
We are also in the same lucky position. DS and I prefer Westminster but DH prefers Colet Court. It is therefore 2 against 1 and so the final decision would be Westminster.

Our DS is also very good at Maths but not so good at English.

Both schools are top of the range but Westminster appears to have sent more of their six formers to Oxbridge than St Paul's.

Please let me know your choice as we might bump into each other in Latin/French classes.

Hi vivienphung it's nice to know there is someone else with the same dilemma!

I hope you don't mind could I ask were there any factors you took into account in relation to Westminster that made it appeal to you more apart from the exam results?

Ah the Saturday French and Latin classes- both schools offer those!

Regards,
isx99


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:23 pm 
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Hi isx99

Results is one reason. Westminster has a central London location which is more convenient for school run.

DS also learns the piano grade 5 and it looks to me Westminster has better support than St Paul's on music.

It was also love at first sight for Westminster.

St Paul's might have the upper hand in sport due to the size of their field which DS might miss as he loves football.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:38 pm 
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Thanks for your reply vivienphung and I meant to say congratulations too on your DS's achievements - you must be very proud of him!

I agree the music provision appears to better at Westminster and it is a consideration for us. I also like the fact that there are a smaller number of pupils at the under school than at Colet. Do you think that Westminster would as such give more individual attention - I get the sense that it is a very nurturing environment and the boys are very well looked after. Is that the impression that you get?

As regards location, for us, Colet is probably slightly nearer with no changes on the tube but it is a longer walk or bus ride from the tube station in Hammersmith. Is your DS going to travel independently or will you be taking him? I have a younger child at a local school to drop off as well in the mornings so I may well have to use a childminder for him, whichever school DS ends up in.

We're expecting 2 more results tomorrow so more fun and games to throw into the decision making pot!

isx99


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:51 pm 
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In terms of academic, musical, dramatic and sporting excellence there's very little to choose between them - Westminster's
A-level results are slightly better, but it has girls in the Sixth Form, so it's hard to compare like on like for university entrance/exam results. But honestly, 52% A* at A-level (St Paul's) versus 53% A* (Westminster) is hardly significant. Choosing a school is about a great deal more than exam results, in the end. It's about what you like and what works for your family.

Westminster is ancient and atmospheric, and near the Houses of Parliament and the Abbey; St Paul's has huge playing fields on the banks of the Thames, great on-site sports facilities and a large concert hall. Both schools cater for intellectually curious and active boys. Both have endless opportunities to join in, create, investigate....

So really it comes down to which vibe you prefer and which is more convenient - thinking not only of your son's commute to school, but your many visits to concerts, sporting events and parents' evenings. Another thing to consider is how far afield friendship groups will come from; both schools draw from all over London, but there is a strong local element at St Paul's.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:31 pm 
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The main difference is that Westminster suits the free thinker and rather quirky child really well. No Westminster comes out the same - all individuals - whilst St Paul's has more of a 'type' which if that is your son then that's great.

Both schools are great for music but the Westminster boys choir probably has the edge. The standard of music in both is stunning.

Westminster is a football school and St Paul's do rugby properly. Some rugby is played in the under school if you opt in but not in the Great school. WUS used to be less sporty than most boys schools but this has changed but it is still a school that if you aren't terribly sporty you are not isolated. There is lot's of choice of sports.

I think I am right in saying that Westminster boys still have to do 13+ Common entrance or scholarship exams but Colet court only do internal exams for St Pauls' so a place is guaranteed. This means that at Westminster there is further pressure of exams.

There is a difference between the organisation of 11+ boys in the two schools. At Colet Court they are divided between classes and it can be a bit sink and swim but they integrate quickly. At Westminster they are taught separately in their own 11+ class and are more nurtured / supported but may take longer to integrate with other WUS boys. WUS is certainly much smaller and there is a more personal touch.

Once the boys reach the 'Great School' there is a distinct difference between in feel. As said before ancient historical vs. a more campus modern spatious feel. The biggest difference is that Westminster has a boarding school ethos with breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and supper served and available to all. Boys are in houses and pastoral care and friendships centre around the house. Tutors are within house years. St Paul's is a day school ethos and therefore no Saturday school (with lessons but sports do take place). No houses but do have clubs but no actual house with common rooms etc...tutors are vertically grouped.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:43 pm 
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Thank you so much pebbles - that is really helpful. Hopefully we will make a decision soon!

Regards,
isx99


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