- The first step in the 11+ entry process is for a parent to register their son online from the September two years before his intended year of entry; registration for that year will close in the following October. Assessment and interview dates for 11+ entry the following September are published by the end of March each year. All SEND reports and Bursary applications must also be submitted by the relevant registration deadline – please read below for further details.
- Before applying to the School, please read all the information below carefully and check our personalised age checker to find out when you are able to apply for your son to join the School at 11+ entry and to view the registration timeline.
- As part of the application process and as outlined in School Fees, parents are asked to pay a registration fee, followed by an acceptance deposit if their child is offered a place. Any parent who is applying for a bursary for their child, and feels unable to pay one or both of these fees, may also qualify for a waiver when being considered for a bursary. For assistance, please email the Bursar’s Department.
To get a sense of what being a pupil at Westminster Under School is like, parents are encouraged to book onto a tour with their son. Every year there are two 11+ Open Days for entry the following year. See our Open Days page for more information and how to book.
At the Under School we look for potential in the boys and for boys who have natural ability and who will, therefore, thrive here. Our challenge is to find that potential, and whose natural ability will grow with the challenges a Westminster education provides. We, therefore, strongly recommend that you do not “cram” your son, or have him specifically tutored. This can detract from the freshness, spontaneity and eagerness to learn, which are some of the qualities we are looking for.
In November of Year 6, all boys who have applied for 11+ entry by the October deadline are invited to sit an entrance assessment at the School. Due to the increasing number of boys applying for 11+ entry, in line with other schools, we now make use of an electronic assessment set by the ISEB (Independent Schools Examination Board) called the Common Pre-tests, which are used for many senior schools. For more information about these tests, please refer to the ISEB website. Boys can also sit these assessments at their present school provided it is before the deadline; please refer to the Key Dates for the deadlines for the current recruitment year.
If a boy’s current school already administers these assessments, he will be permitted by them to sit the assessments there. Parents will need to confirm this with them directly and where possible should email our Registrar to inform them of this arrangement. The ISEB will let us know the results of boys who are registered with us but have already taken the assessments elsewhere.
Once the School has the results of the ISEB Common Pre-Tests, approximately 100 boys are then selected for the next stage in the admissions process. They will be invited back to the School in January to take additional written papers in Mathematics and English; these papers can only be taken at Westminster Under School. We aim to make the assessment day an informal and friendly occasion. The papers are not designed to trip the boys up but to better understand their abilities and potential.
Find out what is expected from each paper below. Please be assured that a teacher will be on hand to support and prompt your son if he requires it during the tasks on the assessment day. Most boys finish the assessment day having enjoyed the challenge.
THE MATHEMATICS PAPER
It is expected that all boys sitting the 11+ Mathematics test will have completed the standard programme of study contained within the National Curriculum at Key Stage Two, or its equivalent. It is also expected that these boys are able to achieve Level 5 in their Key Stage Two SATs or their equivalent. We are particularly interested in the boys’ ability to apply the mathematics they have learnt in the context of problem solving.
THE ENGLISH PAPER
Boys will be tested on their reading and writing skills, though the precise nature of these assessments will vary from year to year. Examples might include comprehension, questions about a specific text, descriptive writing activities, short reviews and invitations to continue a passage in the voice of the author. We are particularly interested in boys with a history of wide-ranging and ambitious reading, in particular those with a developing awareness of how great writers use language for effect. Boys will be expected to display a wide vocabulary and show that they are able to write both fluently and accurately.
InterviewsBased on the results of the written papers, in January or early February the School invites back approximately 60 boys for an interview with a senior member of staff. That member of staff will encourage them to talk about themselves, and to find out about their genuine interests and enthusiasms.
Offer of a place
Shortly after the interview day, the School will contact candidates to let them know whether they have been offered a place. The deadline for offer acceptance is usually in early March.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We offer a range of scholarships and academic bursaries at 11+, upon entry to the School. For further information about scholarships and bursaries and how to apply, please refer to the Scholarships and Bursaries page.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
Parents should inform the Admissions Department about a candidate’s particular needs, providing any reports from suitably qualified professionals. The School is happy to make reasonable adjustments to the admissions process to enable SEND pupils to participate fully and to the best of their abilities. Extra time will be available, if required.
The Head of Learning Development (SENCO) works closely with the Admissions Team to make decisions about any access arrangements requested for entrance exams. The regulations set out by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) are used to determine whether or not a prospective pupil should be allowed any concessions in the entrance exams.
All pupils with SEND requirements will automatically be interviewed as part of the selection process. The School’s Admissions Policy sets out the ‘pre-conditions’ required for selection. All decisions relating to SEND matters are made with regard to the provision of reasonable adjustments as set out in the Equalities Act 2010.
English as an additional language (EAL)Westminster Under School is a day school which does not offer boarding. The School will not accept applications from overseas unless at least one parent is resident at all times in London and the boy is able to commute daily from his home to School.
Overseas ApplicantsWestminster Under School is a day school which does not offer boarding. The School will not accept applications from overseas unless at least one parent is resident at all times in London and the boy is able to commute daily from his home to School.
After Westminster Under School
Pupils who join the Under School as part of the 11+ process in Year 7 go through the same transfer process as current Under School pupils in Year 6, at the same time, and so their entry to Westminster School is automatic upon entering the Under School at the 11+ entry point.
While many pupils choose to continue their education at Westminster School, all are given full support as they consider their senior school options, regardless of which school it is that they transfer to in Year 9.