Westminster School has high standards for students that are fostered in an environment catered towards a classical education. They believe students should be independent both academically and socially. On the outside it seems like a wonderful place to send children with kind and caring educators that believe in the schools mission and pushing children to achieve their ultimate best. However the reality is is that if your child is not a "high performing student," then he or she will fall behind and face academic difficulties. These hardships students would not otherwise face in a different academic environment. Children are taught to "fit the schools mold," if they don't then they are considered outcasts. The expectations for students are often unrealistic and developmentally inappropriate however the administration and dedicated staff members stand by it and will twist any information or situation to demonstrate that "their way is the right way." Teachers constantly put on a facade of "happiness," for parents in order to put forth a particular image and fight a decreasing student enrollment. The truth is the enrollment is down and quite frankly, there is a reason for it.
Excellent school, excellent teachers! We are so happy we made the right choice for both of our children.
Sending our son to Westminster School was the best decision my husband and I made. He has thrived in a "classical education" setting. The school does everything it says: nurtures the child's innate abilities while truly caring about each student. Character and manners really matter throughout Westminster's hallways and classrooms. The program offers so much - reading and discussing classical literature, handwriting (which is taught in the early grades), daily PE class, foreign language and hands-on science. Coupled with an active theater department, music and high quality fine arts makes it an enriching experience. In the 5th - 8th grades, our son took great pride representing his school on the athletic field. Middle school JV/Varsity sports programs competing against other schools is not typically offered in local public schools or other private schools. School team sports was so meaningful with his classmates (and very different from local club sports). The academic program is well-rounded and demanding. We highly recommend Westminster School!
This school upholds high standards of conduct and academic excellence. It was never my intention to look for an easy school. I admire that it encourages the students to expect much more of themselves. Some times are challenging, however I know my son will graduate an assertive and well rounded student ready for his high school years. I personally think this is a testament to the school and its commitment to a better education for our children.
I cannot say enough good things about this school. My child came from public school, with poor study skills and non-existent note-taking skills. Since then, my child has flourished at Westminster School. The school teaches the whole child, from science to math, but also manners, interviewing skills, responsibility, pride in self, public speaking, languages. My child can launch into enthusiastic discussions about many classics, with passion and a deep understanding on the subject matter. Her handwriting is beautiful and she will easy carry the organization skills she learned at Westminster to high school, college and beyond. A++ school.
Westminster School Teachers and Admin. truly care about and genuinely pour their hearts into the children. With each passing year, it has been amazing to watch as each child grows, develops, and blooms.
Westminster creates a wonderful environment for our child to learn and grow. The small class sizes provide teachers the opportunity to quickly head off any academic challenges a child might be having. The school's culture is one of respect and order... Our daughter loves it there and has really matured into a lovely young lady.
I am a parent of Westminster graduates, as well as a proud grandparent of two current Westminster students. The wonderful academic pursuits at Westminster include sequential history, French beginning in kindergarten, Latin in 7th and 8th, public speaking in plays, performing in music programs, Physical Education daily, and multiple field trips. More important to the development of young people is the attitude of respect which permeates the entire school. Respect is shown to each student, and this is then echoed in the students' behavior toward each other, toward the teachers, toward the administration, and toward their academic assignments. The high expectations for each student result in self-respect and high performance by all. Respect for ROUTINE which is so important throughout life is one of key components of life at Westminster - beginning with how students line up to change classes or go to PE. Children respond positively when they know how they are expected to act, and they are surrounded by others who are also acting appropriately. They are encouraged to do their best, and they do ! Learning becomes a JOY in these circumstances !!!.
I love the community spirit at Westminster school! My children are happy and thriving! We love the PE daily, art, music, accelerated learning and most of all the teachers.
My son has attended Westminster for K and 1st. We are extraordinarily pleased at the level of engagement the teachers have with my son and with us. The curriculum is excellent - advanced compared to the public school programs we examined, with a broad spectrum of study beyond math, science and language arts. My son loves art, music and French classes several times a week, and we particularly appreciate physical education classes daily. Field trips are a wonderful complement to the program. The lower school teachers achieve a smooth and efficient harmony, integrating the curriculum across ALL classes so the message is reinforced in many different ways. My favorite aspect is the annual play presented by each class where EACH student has a substantive role, including solo lines, chorus and sometimes solo singing, and choreographed dancing. You can see the confidence growing in every student - they clamor for opportunities to speak in front of the school and the head of school offers a variety throughout the year. I look forward to my daughters starting K next year and getting this great educational start - a love of learning in a respectful, tolerant and demanding environment.
Excellent teachers and staff. The school is challenging but my kids are safe, respected, and happy. With anything, there are things that you have to get used to but overall you will find an amazing group of teachers with a true desire to see our children be the best they can be.
Just finished up Greek Day in the fourth grade today. What a great and fun way to help the kids remember details of Greek history, not just memorize! One of the great supplements to the "book" education at Westminster is the creative experiences the teachers put together for their students that inspire and excite the imagination. Today they participated in chariot racing, discus and javelin throwing, ate Greek food, dressed as a character from Greek history, and painted Greek pottery. This follows Egyptian Day last year and Native American Day in second grade. History days join interactive field trips, physical challenges like Inner Quest, and a class play each year to become comfortable speaking in public. Westminster turns out well-rounded, thoughtful citizens and is truly a gem. My kids love going to school every day!
Westminster School holds high standards of conduct and academic excellence. It believes in allowing each child to rise to the challenge of meeting and exceeding expectations. It has a team of strong leadership to include the headmaster and wonderful, wonderful dedicated teachers and administration. We have a 1st grader and a pre-k (4) student attending the Griffin Academy of Westminster, and our experience has been beyond what we hoped for with both of them. They are each challenged academically and they each have art, music, French, and theatre performances that involve every child. What I love the most is their excitement and joy in going to school and in learning! I know it will get harder as we progress through the grades, but nothing easy is worth doing. Wtih added focus on manners, civility, comraderie, and trying their best, this school outshines so many other private schools in my opinion. It has so many graduates working for the school as teachers and such longstanding traditions of value, we couldn't be happier with our decision. We look forward to our years ahead and our future Westminster graduates!
Westminster is as good a school as I could ever have hoped and dreamed to find for my children. Its academics are advanced and its teachers are enthusiastic, caring, and well-versed in their subject matter. The policies may be stricter than at other schools I have encountered, but they are extremely fair and my children are thriving in such a developmentally and academically stimulating environment. The challenging classroom structure is balanced by the many body and soul activities. At Westminster, the children have athletics every day and it places a great value on the performing and visual arts as well. I am confident each day I drop my children off for school that Westminster is helping them grow not only intellectually, but ultimately preparing them take their place as citizens of the world. If you are the type of parent who appreciates firm, but compassionate guidance and who wants your child to learn that the point of doing anything is not necessarily the outcome, but rather the work that has gone into it the process of striving to attain a goal, the journey itself as it were - then Westminster is the place for your family.
I am the parent of two very different young men. Westminster School meets the different needs of the boys beautifully. The school sets high expectations of the students in all areas. It is always exciting to see my boys rise to meet these expectations. My older son needs constant challenge and the school provides it. He is confident and thinks he is ready to conquer the world. He is learning important foundations of the value of strong writing, organization, and responsibility. My younger son has confidence issues and is shy - never wanting to be in the limelight or singled-out for anything. The school has worked wonders to bring him out of his shell. In addition, he is learning valuable skills in getting organized. He has struggled with this and his teachers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to help him hone this important skill. The school is not for everyone, but if you are looking for rigorous academics, and an environment where personal responsibility, kindness, respect, and being able to THINK are valued, I STRONGLY encourage you to take a look at the school. It is great value for the tuition.
A loving environment which feels like a second home to our family. My children enjoy going to school each day and look forward to the many special events and field trips that compliment their studies. They are receiving the best education and are being taught my caring, loving, and talented teachers. We have never once regretted the decision to send our children to Westminster School; a true treasure in Annandale.
An excellent school with a truly classical curriculum. The teachers are wonderful, and my children have thrived in this environment that teaches them how to be the very best they can be in all areas.
I do not recommend this school. If you are considering this school please do your home work prior to committing.
As a parent of a former student of Westminster I do not recommend Westminster for a multitude of reasons. Mainly the school is about one thing and one thing only Shakespeare theatre. However if you do decide to attend I recommend strongly the first year you guard your child's emotional levels as they will surely be tested.
Westminster School really is a special place. The teachers and administration are so dedicated to the children that it shows in every aspect of school life. High expectations are coupled with tireless support. This formula yields remarkable results in the children. Not just in outstanding academic achievements but also in developing their sense of poise, kindness and social responsibility.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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