Our Ethos

The broad ethos of Westminster School resides in the enduring values of the liberal tradition reflected in the 1560 Charter of Westminster’s Elizabethan foundation, where it is stated that ‘the youth which is growing to manhood, as tender shoots in the wood of our state, shall be liberally instructed in good books to the greater honour of the state’.

Westminster is a highly academic school where individual and institutional excellence are expected and promoted in an atmosphere of open-minded enquiry without dogma, prejudice or unthinking conformity. Everyone is welcome, and all may have a voice.

Central to Westminster’s approach is the dialogue between teachers and their pupils, both inside and outside the classroom. This dialogue inspires passion for the subject, conveys knowledge and develops the skills of rational, independent thought which sustain a lifelong love of learning – something shared by teachers and pupils alike.

Westminster’s academic success is a result of pupils’ enjoyment of intellectual enquiry, informed debate and the search for deeper understanding well beyond any published syllabus. Westminster pupils continue, above all, to be individuals. But what they all share is a strongly-developed critical intellectual capacity and broad international cultural understanding, underpinned by a commitment to ethical engagement. These qualities will equip them for admission to the best universities worldwide, and for success and fulfilment in whatever careers they undertake as the next generation of responsible adults and leaders in their field.

While academic and cultural attainments are highly prized, the School is fully committed also to the nurture of each pupil’s spiritual, moral, emotional and physical development and well-being, with a particular emphasis on developing individual talent wherever it lies.

The atmosphere at Westminster is happy, busy and purposeful. The pupils are intellectually, socially, ethically and politically engaged. They enjoy plenty of opportunities to articulate and defend their views, to take the initiative, and to deploy their gifts and opportunities for the benefit of others, and for society.

Just as the Foundress wished, the School seeks to prepare responsible young people to lead informed and fulfilled private and public lives beyond their years at Westminster.