In 1943, Westminster expanded its educational scope by forming the Under School, an independent preparatory school for boys aged 7 to 13. This allowed high-ability pupils to benefit from the principles and practices of a liberal education, long favoured and demonstrated by Westminster, from an even younger age.
These principles are still proudly upheld by the Under School today and are at the very core of our existence. These include a love of knowledge, an ability to question and a desire to serve others. We want all our pupils to enjoy and be stimulated by the process of learning; to feel empowered to think for themselves, to ask questions and be inquisitive about the world around them; and to use the understanding and ideas they gain to help others and to serve society and the wider world around them.
This means that although the standard of our education is of the highest quality, the school’s focus is not only on academic achievement: Westminster boys receive a full and rounded education that includes sport, the arts and many opportunities to engage in community outreach. We are also committed to developing pupils of strong and compassionate character and the school works to make pupils aware of their responsibilities towards those around them as well as to take pride in their own and their fellow pupils’ achievements.
Although the Great School and the Under School share the Westminster ethos, we do not share the same physical site. Since 1981 the Under School has been situated on separate premises in Vincent Square, overlooking the school playing fields, just a few moments’ walk from the Great School and its site on the doorstep of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. Our central London location is a huge asset, adding a significant cultural dimension to the education of our 285 boys. The setting also serves to further emphasise our enquiring yet altruistic ethos, surrounded as we are by institutions that play such a significant role in challenging and shaping the national and global status quo.
Ultimately, Westminster Under School is a busy, passionate and purposeful place where boys greatly enjoy the activities of learning and are given the support and guidance they need to develop as intelligent, compassionate and inquisitive individuals.