Platform+ works with Year 10 pupils from state schools, who have an all-round intellectual curiosity and passion either for STEM or liberal arts subjects at key stage 5 level. Participating pupils will be highly academically able – for example, they might be expected to achieve a high grade 7 or above at GCSE. Every year, Westminster recruits a group of 42 boys and girls, aged between 14 and 15, to take part in Platform+. The group is invited to attend ten Saturday sessions at Westminster School, to supplement the work they are doing in School. These academic sessions are led by specialist teachers from Westminster School, who volunteer to teach on site using the School’s classrooms and facilities.

Our aim for Platform+

Our aim is for pupils to enjoy a rigorous, challenging and eye-opening educational experience in preparation for their GCSEs and A Levels, and future opportunities and success beyond that. Lessons are interactive and learners are encouraged to be proactive, open-minded and engaged. The programme is designed to stretch pupils, to help them be even more confident and ambitious learners.

The Platform+ curriculum
The curriculum focuses on the academic development of students in either STEM or Liberal Arts subjects.

  • In the STEM option, participants will be able to study stretching and challenging material in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Science and Electronics. This option offers some practical work and opportunities to use equipment that is not usually available to GCSE students in the School’s state-of-the-art science block. You can view the sample curriculum here, with examples of the subjects studied in each of the ten sessions.
  • In the Liberal Arts pathway, pupils will study topics through the lens of a range of humanities subjects (English Literature, History, MFL, Religious Studies, History of Art, Classics). We encourage pupils to consider and explore the links between these subjects and engage critically in the modes of study that these subjects offer. No prior study of Classics or History of Art will be required, but we anticipate that all students will be studying the full complement of five EBacc subjects. You can view the sample curriculum here, with examples of the subjects studied in each of the ten sessions.

Also, each year in July, the programme hosts a Summer School, to encourage pupils to really think about their A Level choices and future degree options, as well as providing them with useful insights into the graduate market and what skills will be expected by future employers. Often the School invites prominent speakers to talk to the groups about their career journeys.

The resources we provide
We give all Platform Plus pupils a Platform T-shirt and stationery set when they join the programme. We also give them a Maths workbook and a handful of books, which are returned at the end of the course. All Platform pupils have access to the full online Atom Learning package, at no cost to the pupil or family. They also have a dedicated, personal Platform email address, which gives them access to classroom resources and the full range of Microsoft products that they may wish to use, such as Word and PowerPoint, and allows them to access any sessions via Zoom.

Platform+ pupils can also attend the School’s Horizon’s Lectures, at which they are exposed to university-level research and learning, to help them access a global network of academics across all disciplines.

After Platform
In addition to providing a space in which pupils can further develop their learning, during the course of the year we also offer advice to pupils and their families about the next steps in their education, and the educational opportunities available to them at A Level.

At the end of the programme, in Year 11, boys and girls often choose to sit entrance examinations for selective state schools, academies or independent schools, where full bursary provision is available. Platform+ pupils have the opportunity to apply to Westminster School for entry into the Sixth Form at 16+, and are supported through this process. We would expect that all pupils participating in the Platform programme would come from households which qualify for a full bursary. Find out more about scholarships and bursaries at Westminster School.

Graduating Platform+ pupils receive the Westminster Commendation, as formal recognition of their commitment, engagement and learning skills

Dates and times
The programme runs at Westminster School on ten Saturdays, from 9.00am to 1.00pm, from January to November, at regular intervals during term time. Also, each year in July, the programme hosts a two-day Summer School. For this year’s dates, please refer to the Dates and Times page.

How to enrol
The School recruits a year ahead of the programme. Please see further information about how to enrol and when our new recruitment window opens.

For information about privacy, please refer to our Privacy Notice.


The welfare and safeguarding of Platform pupils is of paramount importance. All staff involved in Platform have received the appropriate level of training from Westminster School and Westminster Under School. Platform Safeguarding will follow the safeguarding procedures outlined in the Westminster School Safeguarding Policy, which may be downloaded from the Policies and Reports page of the Westminster School website.

Please email Solly Hardwick (Director of Platform and Widening Access) if you have any questions or you require further information.

"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".

— Platform+ Pupil

Find out More

Visit our dedicated news page for updates about the programme.

STEM Curriculum

The Biology lessons will attempt to cover a broad range of topics from the microscopic to the very large. There will be some ideas that build upon knowledge they have garnered from their studies already, but many of the principles covered will be completely new. Some time will be devoted to considering the Biology Challenge – an international competition run by the Royal Society of Biology.

Week 1 Cell Structure Week 6 Circulatory system
Week 2 Biological Molecules Week 7 Plant Responses
Week 3 Evolution Week 8 Immunity
Week 4 Genetics Week 9 The Nervous System
Week 5 Biochemistry Week 10 Gene Technology

There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the learners can attempt some longer practical work on dissection and animal behaviour.


The Chemistry lessons will attempt to cover a range of topics that delve into the quantum world of the atom as well as the macroscopic effects that result from chemical reactions. There will be some ideas that build upon knowledge from their studies already, but in novel contexts, with a view to linking it to the other sciences. Some time will be devoted to considering problems from the Top of the Bench competition, run by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Week 1 A History of Chemistry Week 6 Vibrating Particles
Week 2 Organic Molecules Week 7 Organic Problem Solving
Week 3 Size and the mole Week 8 Reaction Rates
Week 4 Polymers & the Plastic Revolution Week 9 Of Metals and Men
Week 5 Hydrogen and its role Week 10 DNA, Life and Macromolecules

There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the leaners can attempt some longer practical work on the synthesis of aspirin and making a chemical clock.


The Physics lessons will concentrate on extending existing ideas met at GCSE across the broad sweep of the subject. The course will include some extended practical work. In addition, the leaners will be able to use the School’s observatory situated on the roof of the science block. Some time will be devoted to considering the Physics Challenge – a competition run by Oxford University.

Week 1 Kinematics Week 6 Hooke’s Law and the Young Modulus
Week 2 Electric Circuits Week 7 Waves
Week 3 Newton’s Laws Week 8 Radioactive Decay
Week 4 Units Week 9 Electromagnetism (especially Faraday’s Law)
Week 5 Ideal Gases Week 10 Optics (mostly Snell’s Law)

There will also be an opportunity for two ‘double lessons’ where the learners can attempt some longer practical work on the efficiency of a catapult and resistance networks.

Liberal Arts Curriculum
Week 1 English What do we mean by nationalism? Where have we seen it before? Key/contrasting texts or passages: how are nationalist identities articulated?
Week 2 History Where have we seen nationalism in the past? What has driven it? What have been its implications for the course of history?
Week 3 Classics What did nationalism look like further back in history? To what extent is there continuity between the classical age and the present day? Is Western culture inherently nationalist?
Week 4 Modern Languages What can we learn about nationalism in other cultures if we study texts in their original form? How does this help us understand or critique our own sense of national(ist) identities?
Week 5 Art History How have artists represented nationalist identities? How have visual arts been used to challenge or undermine nationalist identities?
Week 6 Religion and Philosophy The ethics of nationalism Is nationalism dangerous?
Week 7 Archives and Research Visit to Westminster Archives Begin group research project
Week 8 Library Work on group projects
Week 9 Presentations 1 Presentations of your thematic research
Week 10 Presentations 2 Presentations of your thematic research and graduation