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A “once in a lifetime” experience

A “once in a lifetime” experience

21 June 2022

An insight into boarding in the heart of London, for the BSA’s National Boarding Week.

Enjoying memorable moments together, Westminster’s boarders relish their leisure time with friends in the School’s social spaces. Each of our six boarding Houses gives pupils the chance to get to know boys and girls from outside their classes and year groups, with House outings and gatherings in common rooms and on roof terraces. Living on the School’s premises allows pupils to take part in many evening and weekend activities such as pancake making for Shrove Tuesday, preparing and sharing a hotpot for Chinese New Year, movie nights, and sparklers and sausages for fireworks night, just to name a few.

As the only boarding school in Central London, Westminster’s boarders are neighbours to famous landmarks like Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace and St James’s Park, and can take advantage of the many cinemas, theatres, galleries and restaurants nearby. It is a rare and wonderful experience to board at Westminster about which some of our boarders were keen to share their thoughts.

Isabelle (Sixth Form, PP) said: “Two words to describe the experience are “extraordinary” and “once in a lifetime”. Boarding at Purcell’s is so perfect. Waking up every morning and seeing the flag flying at the top of the Parliament through my window is just so special. Also, being able to go out for a morning run and reach to the River Thames within five minutes is just so pleasant. On weekends, going on a short 20-minute stroll will get me to Trafalgar Square and all the great restaurants – this is just so convenient. In terms of pastoral care, we have awesome Housemaster (Ms Joyce – always supportive of us), Matron (Ms Donkin – baking us delicious desserts in the evening), and Residential Tutor (Ms Freeland – very kind).

The accommodation is pristine (maybe because we only have Sixth Form and Remove girls) – each room is private and big (with a sink!!) and the boarding House has a breath-taking terrace. The House is well-maintained by friendly cleaning ladies who are always open to chat when you meet them in the hallway. There are so many things that I have explored – because I am living right in the centre of London.”

Maxwell (Lower Shell, LL) said: “Boarding at Westminster provides a unique experience in the heart of London where you gain a sense of complete independence and are surrounded by your peers and friends, whilst being able to truly grow and develop as a person.”

Felix (Sixth Form, RR) said: “This year’s boarding experience has been a lot of fun! We had a House quiz a few months ago organised by our Head of House, which was a great experience in which we got to know the other years in the House a lot better. We also got a new pizza oven recently in Ashburnham Garden, and had an afternoon of great fun making pizzas together.

We get along great as a boarding community and are always welcoming to any newcomers!”

All year groups are represented in each House. There is a strong sense of community between the Houses as well as within each House. Purcell’s is a girls-only boarding house; College, Grant’s, Rigaud’s, Busby’s and Liddell’s are mixed boarding Houses.

A “once in a lifetime” experience

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