A brand new cohort of primary school children from across London have been welcomed to Westminster, as they get set for their year-long Platform experience.
The 44 children, aged nine and ten and from more than 20 primary schools, were given their introduction to Platform in December 2021, ahead of a programme which will see them attend ten day sessions, a summer school, and 11+ entry preparation sessions throughout 2022.
Westminster Platform is a programme for Year 5 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds with intellectual ambition and academic potential. Across a number of sessions children enjoy a rigorous, challenging and eye-opening educational experience – a preparation for future opportunities and success.
The introductory session, attended by the children and their parents, as well as teachers from some of the partner schools, gave the new participants the opportunity to meet the Platform Team, as well as Westminster School Head Master, Gary Savage, and Westminster Under School Master, Kate Jefferson.
Rob Morgan, Director of Platform and Widening Access at Westminster, said: “This meet and greet was a fantastic way to launch what is now Platform’s sixth year. The children were each given their Platform bags and t-shirts, a new book to read, and a notebook and pen which they will use a lot across the next year. We managed to answer a lot of questions — many of the children were amazed at the time their teachers had taken to write their applications to get them nominated to be selected for the programme! We are really excited to begin the new Platform session in mid-January and to see all the children again then.”
The aim of Platform is to give children a boost as they finish their primary education. At the end of each year boys and girls may choose to sit the entrance examinations of selective state schools, academies or independent schools where full bursary provision is available. The most recent Platform graduates included nine who were encouraged to apply to Westminster, as well as 27 who were supported to apply to other independent and selective grammar schools.