The Westminster Platform
To work closely with a large number of inner-London primary schools and in consultation with Heads, to identify the very best one or two boys in their Year 5 who have demonstrated high levels of academic achievement but also academic potential. They are then invited to join Platform, for which there is no cost and for which they are committed to a year of intervention-style Saturday mornings and occasional longer time periods of two days. The programme is delivered by the staff of Westminster Under School.
To diversify the intake of primary school pupils who would not otherwise be aware of the Year 7 intake at Westminster Under School, or have the training to pass the exam. Pupils have been identified for their potential but will invariably hail from primary schools with high pupil premium. We now have close to 35 primary schools involved in the project. Website: www.westminsterplatform.org.uk
The Head Master of Westminster School, Mr Patrick Derham, and Deputy Head (Boarding and Educational Partnerships), Mr Jeremy Kemball, wanted to establish a large group of partner primary schools, with whom to work on this project. Meetings were held with, initially, representatives from the LDBS and after many follow-up meetings with individual Heads, 25 partner primary schools wanted to be part of the programme. A year-long academic enrichment programme was then developed by key members of the Westminster Under School staff and the programme launched in December 2016. The first programme day was February 4 2017 and the programme is ongoing. www.westminsterplatform.org.uk
Funding for the programme and follow-up bursaries has been received from the Worshipful Company of Drapers. Other funding and resources from literary company Mrs Wordsmith and Westminster School, in the form of staff time. Some parents of current Westminster Under School pupils have also contributed significantly. The School now part funds the programme on an annual basis.
This will be judged on:
Boys passing the 11 plus Under School test in January 2018
Boys being offered places at other selective schools
Feedback from Heads on any improvement in academic performance at current school
36 boys and girls from 35 primary schools are currently involved
Ten Saturday mornings throughout the year January 2019 - December 2019 with two additional full-day courses - this year 8 and 9 July 2019.