For the final time before embarking on their GCSEs, the 2022 Westminster Platform+ students have showcased their love of learning through an inspired range of talks and presentations.
After almost a year of additional Saturday school at Westminster, the group of 40, who study at 15 maintained schools across London, came together for their last session of the 2022 programme. STEM students attended a Physics class ending in a display of liquid nitrogen, and were asked to explore the intrinsic connection between Chemistry and Art History, while those in the Liberal Arts stream discovered the School’s collection of books and learned of the famous Cotton Fire that engulfed what is now the School’s library back in 1731.
To end the day, keen writers in the group composed a poem, Originality, and as part of their summer research project many gave talks on subjects such as the significance of graffiti, regeneration, and nihilism, before being congratulated by the Head Master in a graduation ceremony. It was an inspiring day and one which affirmed the importance of providing a platform for inquisitive young minds and presenting new paths for their futures, while also giving them an opportunity to go beyond the curriculum, share ideas, and make friends with their like-minded peers.
Westminster Platform+ is a programme for boys and girls in Year 10, who study in maintained sector schools and colleges, and who have a passion either for science or liberal arts subjects. With lessons taught by Westminster School teachers, it is intended to provide academic enrichment and an extension to learning, and aims to boost learners’ confidence and nourish their academic ambition.
Platform+ is the senior strand of Westminster Platform, which works with children in Year 5.
A graduating Platform+ student said:
This is a lifetime opportunity which gives a further insight on the subjects you are passionate about. All the teachers were extremely passionate about their subject, and you would realise that there is a lot more than just the basic surface which allows you to see a different perspective. Each session always made me look forward to what’s to come because you would always come out, learning something new. Overall, it was a well-rounded experience occasionally doing fun activities such as looking at stars in Physics. Our last session was something to recall upon – both the liberal arts and the STEM joined together for the last time, and we had discussions based upon how we could change a school if we were to have one. In the end, we got certificates, and the Head Master gave his final speech. It was also really good because you would be meeting students from different schools around London and see their passion which would want to encourage you to do better.
Platform+ has been such an eye-opening experience. I’ve learnt so many new things and met such great people, the teachers have been so inspiring. The discussions and summer projects allowed us to think outside the school curriculum and focus on our interests. Many of us presented our summer research and I found it really interesting to listen to everyone else’s work. overall Platform+ has opened up many new doors for the future, and I’m very grateful to have been able to have attended the Saturday classes.
by the 2022 Westminster Platform+ students
Culture, after all, is fluid.
The fields quivering, the skyline a grimace –
So the nineteenth century became an age of reform.
Today the reasons to live write themselves.
On the whole, they enjoy a funeral.
My heart is racing, I can hear blood rushing in my ears, and I feel as though I can’t breath.
For the hand that rocks the cradle, is the hand that rules the world
If there were no ways of subverting this double bond,
Every time an ephebe would develop into a poetic version of a schizophrenic
‘A fat girl will only ever be seen as a fat girl no matter what she achieves.’
For what mere book can grant us knowledge?
I went to the altar rails and received the mystery on my tongue;
I feel free standing on the riverbank,
Sending love through the turn of a hand.
I spent half my time loving her and half my time hiding how much I loved her –
In the darkness, two shadows,
Reaching through the hopeless heavy dusk.
Their hands meet, and light spills in like a flood,
Like a hundred golden urns pouring out the sun.
God – inside, pulled down, abandoned and thus is beautiful.
I hate to die this way with the quiet.
What portion in the world can the artist have?
All in a hot and copper sky, the bloody sun at noon.