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    If anyone goes to a Harris school, you're signing yourself up to an awful experience emotionally. Stress, anxiety, depression etc. are more prevalent in Harris schools because they simply don't care about any of their students. Harris is a business, nothing else. They just want the smart kids to give them the grades to make them look good.

    Don't help them.
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    Did anyone see the YouTube videos on Harris Westminster? A friend of mine said that from the video, she could see that there were a lot of hot guys there :laugh::laugh: :laugh: :laugh: XDDDD
    One thing I did notice in the videos was that the teachers in the videos can still be seen in the school. It just stood out to me because in most schools in London, teachers don't really stay in one school for a long time.
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    (Original post by Ihatelife2)
    One thing I did notice in the videos was that the teachers in the videos can still be seen in the school. It just stood out to me because in most schools in London, teachers don't really stay in one school for a long time.
    That must mean they really love the school XD
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    That must mean they really love the school XD
    Exactly. Happy teachers will be better teachers.
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    (Original post by Ihatelife2)
    Exactly. Happy teachers will be better teachers.
    Noted; especially given some of the quality of teaching in my current school.
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    Just a few thoughts from a current Harris Westminster student...

    I've seen a few students on here giving the school very harsh reviews and honestly I think they're being very over-the-top. There is a large workload, but for the most part it's manageable (and there's only very minimal punishment for missing work anyway...). (Though I must add that for some subjects - Biology/Geography in particular - classes tend to have 2/3 teachers and lack of coordination with their homework can lead to large piles of work. This is something that could very easily change for the next year and there are quite a few very successful students (ie Oxbridge offer holders) in both of those subjects.) Also I agree that it is too difficult to drop subjects and some of the assemblies, and those who deliver them (*cough* Mr Grant *cough*), can be quite up-themselves, but that's most of the criticisms I have.

    I think some students very vocally hate the school because some go from being the best-in-class at GCSE level to fairly average in comparison to their A Level classes. I've seen and heard many times of people blaming their own laziness on the school (such as people failing their AS Levels/year 12 mocks and having to retake year 12 at a different school because they chose to start revision the night before and then couldn't get their predicted grades revised upwards).

    In contrast, the most talented students do tend to thrive and I think that's evidenced by the 25-ish Oxbridge offers received for both the last two years (the number who actually made those offers last year was 15 (I think?), but in general the conversion was very good - just a few would-be Cambridge mathematicians underestimating the exams they have to sit).

    Perhaps the biggest positive there is, though, is that there is a great environment of wonderfully friendly people who both care about and are serious about their studies and are prepared to have fun.

    Also I don't know much about the humanities side of things, but there's very good support for anyone who aspires to study maths at top-end universities (hence this year there's about 10 Oxbridge offer holders for maths alone (mostly Oxford) - and another for Harvard).
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    (Original post by Blawjiro)
    Just a few thoughts from a current Harris Westminster student...

    I've seen a few students on here giving the school very harsh reviews and honestly I think they're being very over-the-top. There is a large workload, but for the most part it's manageable (and there's only very minimal punishment for missing work anyway...). (Though I must add that for some subjects - Biology/Geography in particular - classes tend to have 2/3 teachers and lack of coordination with their homework can lead to large piles of work. This is something that could very easily change for the next year and there are quite a few very successful students (ie Oxbridge offer holders) in both of those subjects.) Also I agree that it is too difficult to drop subjects and some of the assemblies, and those who deliver them (*cough* Mr Grant *cough*), can be quite up-themselves, but that's most of the criticisms I have.

    I think some students very vocally hate the school because some go from being the best-in-class at GCSE level to fairly average in comparison to their A Level classes. I've seen and heard many times of people blaming their own laziness on the school (such as people failing their AS Levels/year 12 mocks and having to retake year 12 at a different school because they chose to start revision the night before and then couldn't get their predicted grades revised upwards).

    In contrast, the most talented students do tend to thrive and I think that's evidenced by the 25-ish Oxbridge offers received for both the last two years (the number who actually made those offers last year was 15 (I think?), but in general the conversion was very good - just a few would-be Cambridge mathematicians underestimating the exams they have to sit).

    Perhaps the biggest positive there is, though, is that there is a great environment of wonderfully friendly people who both care about and are serious about their studies and are prepared to have fun.

    Also I don't know much about the humanities side of things, but there's very good support for anyone who aspires to study maths at top-end universities (hence this year there's about 10 Oxbridge offer holders for maths alone (mostly Oxford) - and another for Harvard).
    I just had to give you a rep!!!

    I'm so happy that finally this issue of the school overworking their students is finally being addressed. Hopefully if we can suss out the teachers that are the main cause of this problem, we can get it fixed!

    This also seems like a very balanced, honest review and I am very thankful for the information that you, as well as a lot of other current students have given us.
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    I just had to give you a rep!!!

    I'm so happy that finally this issue of the school overworking their students is finally being addressed. Hopefully if we can suss out the teachers that are the main cause of this problem, we can get it fixed!

    This also seems like a very balanced, honest review and I am very thankful for the information that you, as well as a lot of other current students have given us.
    All the actual students are actually coming on tsr now.
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    This thread is amazing! Thank you HWS students for your time writing all these reviews. I recall someone mentioning a lack of freedom. And I was wondering what is happening during lunch hour. Is it a long break? How long for lunch and is it possible to eat outside the school or is the canteen compulsary? if so, how is the food?
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    (Original post by Obelix123)
    This thread is amazing! Thank you HWS students for your time writing all these reviews. I recall someone mentioning a lack of freedom. And I was wondering what is happening during lunch hour. Is it a long break? How long for lunch and is it possible to eat outside the school or is the canteen compulsary? if so, how is the food?
    That's actually important for me ngl 😂. I hope the food is nice if I get to go there.
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    (Original post by Ihatelife2)
    That's actually important for me ngl 😂. I hope the food is nice if I get to go there.
    Well, hope you like normal school food, cos that’s what it is...
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    Well, hope you like normal school food, cos that’s what it is...
    So, you haven't got the choice? You have to eat at the canteen or you have the option to to eat out if you wish?
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    Well, hope you like normal school food, cos that’s what it is...
    The food in my secondary school is not as bad as other schools according to people who have moved from other schools. Its not any restaurant but for a school its pretty good. So students have to eat the school food? No option at all to buy stuff offsite?
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    (Original post by Obelix123)
    So, you haven't got the choice? You have to eat at the canteen or you have the option to to eat out if you wish?
    You can eat out if you want. There's McDonalds (which I went to today), Subway, Tesco, quite a few off licenses, and a market. You can have something different to eat every day, according to one of the students I met today!
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    Heyy guys

    I have just returned from my interview and it went absolutely amazingly! Let me tell you about my full experience...

    I got to Tothill Street around 9:45am. I waited in a queue for a while, and when called inside, I was asked to present some ID. Once I had done that, I was told to wait for my interview in the SSA (Student Study Area) after the Headteacher's talk.

    I got into the hall and thought to myself 'Right - who here doesn't look like they would want to kill me if they had the chance?'. That's how slightly nervous I was lol. I decided to sit next to a girl who seemed to be having a lot of conversation with two other students. Turns out this girl was a student herself. She asked me what I was doing today and I said I was doing Politics. She gave me some great advice - in fact, a lot of students did; probably the best advice I received, however was 'Never, EVER say 'I don't know'.'. I swear down if I had not known this, this whole day probably wouldn't have went well.

    The Head's talk wasn't too long - pretty brief actually. The main thing I picked up from it was that 'The most amazing thing about this project - Harris Westminster - is you; our students.'. I also learnt that we were the fifth intake that they had.

    The Year 12s escorted us up to the SSA, where we waited for our interviews. I spoke to a girl who was doing English Literature and a boy who was doing Physics. As we waited, some very nice Year 12 students spoke to us. I asked them lots of questions, including what the school does to support those with mental health issues. From what I was told, they do A LOT. They do have a school counsellor (contrary to somewhat popular belief), they have groups that come in and work with students, and they even have a dog that you can walk around Westminster if you wish!

    Some other things that they told me was that our intake (2018-19) may not have Saturday school, but may have longer hours to deal with; as well as other queries such as GCSE requirements for things like Economics and Philosophy. I was going to ask them if it was easy at all to make friends; but judging from their personalities (and all the people I've met on TSR), I assumed it would be more than easy to fit in! In regards to the bad reviews of the school - they said the exact same thing that was also said on this forum - the people that said those things had only themselves to blame. According to the students, they're the ones that get all the top grades at GCSE, but can't handle the demand of 4 A Levels, so they only gain average grades compared to the whole class. As a result, they blame the school for their own complacency.

    Then came my actual interview. My name was called out very bluntly, and I feel like I made a little bit of a fool of myself in front of everyone when I got up after my name was called out. How embarrassing...

    I had a very nice interviewer, luckily, who was as passionate about Politics as I was. She asked me what I liked about my subject, and OMG, I felt like I could have spoken for hours and hours and HOURS about how welfare policy has changed since the days of the Poor Law. In fact, even the other interviewers were looking at me! I can't say exactly what the questions she asked were, but I can tell you that we spoke about the topic I had prepared and wanted to speak about.

    In fact... even though I was told prior to my interview that I wouldn't know the answers to all the questions; somehow I was able to answer ALL OF THEM! I was in shock myself. I just kept the same mantra in my head - never, ever say you don't know. I guess the interviewers wanted to see how I thought about things, and I feel like that was very evident through the questions they asked.

    To conclude, my interview experience has been absolutely positive. I must admit that a few days ago, I was doubting even coming to the interview. Part of me felt like Harris had this very bleak, work-led atmosphere where the students only focused on work, work and nothing else. But today, I've realised that it's more than possible to work hard and have a bit of fun as well! Which is all I could ask for from a sixth form as good as Harris. Everyone here pretty much agrees that learning is amazing, and now I think about it, I wouldn't have minded coming in on Saturday... the fact that I enjoyed my interview so much proves that the teachers are very passionate about their subject, and as I heard someone say on here yesterday - happy teachers are better teachers. And if the teachers are amazing, then at the end of the day - what have you got to lose?
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    (Original post by Obelix123)
    This thread is amazing! Thank you HWS students for your time writing all these reviews. I recall someone mentioning a lack of freedom. And I was wondering what is happening during lunch hour. Is it a long break? How long for lunch and is it possible to eat outside the school or is the canteen compulsary? if so, how is the food?
    BTW lunch is apparently from 12:40 to 1:50, so 1 hour 10 minutes.
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    Hi! Again I was just wondering in terms of facilities if there is any supply of water such as water fountains, my school have many and I didn't see any today when going to my interview. If anyone could help me on this that would be great.
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    (Original post by Obelix123)
    Hi! Again I was just wondering in terms of facilities if there is any supply of water such as water fountains, my school have many and I didn't see any today when going to my interview. If anyone could help me on this that would be great.
    I believe there is at least one on every floor. There was definitely one on my way to the hall, and one on the floor my interview room was on.
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    (Original post by HisMajesty_Kwabz)
    You can eat out if you want. There's McDonalds (which I went to today), Subway, Tesco, quite a few off licenses, and a market. You can have something different to eat every day, according to one of the students I met today!
    Thank you so much!
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    (Original post by Obelix123)
    Thank you so much!
    So how did your interview go?
 
 
 

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