While pupils were traditionally prepared for the Common Entrance and scholarship examinations to senior independent schools at 13 plus, parental demand for selective secondary schooling from the age of eleven led to the phasing out of Years 7 and 8 at the end of the 1990s. The vast majority of boys now transfer to Birmingham’s Consortium Grammar Schools and local leading independent schools such as King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Solihull School, via 11 plus examinations.
In 1999 an opportunity arose to amalgamate with a well established local nursery school which was seeking alternative accommodation. The staff and children moved onto the West House campus and West House Co-educational Day Nursery was opened. This has since evolved to become the Early Years Department of the school and provides an outstanding environment for children from the age of one to begin their educational journey. At the end of Pre-School girls transfer to local independent and state schools, with a strong link with Edgbaston High School for Girls firmly established.
While the school continues to occupy the same site as that upon which it was founded, a number of building projects undertaken over the years have ensured that the facilities place it at the forefront of independent preparatory education in Birmingham. In 1982, a well-equipped sports hall was added to the site to provide indoor sporting opportunities to all age groups. In 2013 this saw a further phase of development reflecting its increased multi-functional use with the inclusion of state of the art theatrical features. Renamed Duce Hall after Headmaster Kim Duce (1974 – 2004), it now hosts to a number of productions throughout the year, in addition to the sporting sessions taking place throughout the working day.
In celebration of the school’s 100th anniversary, the Centenary Building was completed in 1996 with the support of the West House Old Boys’ Association. It now houses an art and design studio, an ICT suite and a spacious school library, run by a full-time librarian.
Archive photos of West House can be found in the gallery section of the website. Take a look at how the school has changed over the years.