Westminster School and The Griffin Academy
By: M. Callahan
Westminster School is a private K-8th grade school located in Annandale, VA. It offers advanced academics, small class sizes, and a well-rounded preschool, Kindergarten, elementary school, and middle-school program. The school’s mission includes character development and preparing children to succeed and become leaders in all areas of life—high academic achievement, arts, sports, community service, personal presentation, confidence and poise, and enthusiasm for life’s possibilities.
Their classical curriculum emphasizes early reading skills, classic works of literature, strong oral and writing skills, thinking skills, and an in-depth exposure to the history of western civilization. It includes French and Latin, which creates a strong foundation for English as well as other languages, such as Spanish. Advanced math and science classes are supported by extracurricular clubs such as Math Counts and Science Olympiad (which provides extra STEM activities and challenges).
Their well-rounded, in-depth program challenges eager learners and provides exciting opportunities for gifted and talented children. This is supported by extensive in-program and extracurricular clubs and activities, including Builders Club (community service), Chess, Chorus, French Club, Math Counts, Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, as well as daily P.E..
The arts are central to their mission of developing well rounded, confident young people who have the chance to explore, develop, and express their potential in all areas. Art & music classes and dance, included in the P.E. program, are part of the weekly schedule for all grades. All students participate in drama, performing in a class play every year. Orchestra is an option for students in grades 3 – 8. Music programs, athletic competitions, art exhibitions, math contests, science fairs, and talent shows provide many opportunities for students to explore and share their talents.
Westminster’s daily school life is supported by an array of programs, including after-school academic help, after-school care, summer and intersession camps, frequent field-trips, after-school enrichment classes, bus service, and an optional hot-lunch program. The Westminster Parents Club and other volunteer opportunities provide a variety of ways for parents to be involved in school life and support their children’s education.
Finally, the Westminster community is strengthened by its diversity, with a student body and faculty representing more than 40 different countries and a variety of religions and ethnic origins. Westminster provides a unique environment where each individual is recognized, respected, and celebrated while all are united by shared values of kindness, respect, responsibility, a strong work ethic, enthusiasm for learning, and an aspiration to excellence.
The Griffin Academy Preschool (located at 6800 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA) accommodates two classes of three-year-olds and two classes of four-year-olds. The classes vary from a maximum of 12-15 daycare students (students that stay for rest/nap time). The student-teacher ratio will never exceed 10:1 per class. Classes are taught by experienced, qualified educators who bring exceptional creativity and energy to the program. The children enjoy a sense of security from the routine and structure of each day, while delighting in plenty of outdoor play (at least 30-45 minutes per day; more with extended hours), developmentally appropriate learning activities, and many fun-filled, special events and field trips throughout the year.
The Griffin Academy, while located in St. Alban's Church, has no religious affiliation. Their school community reflects the diversity of Northern Virginia as well as the international flavor of Westminster School, of which The Griffin Academy is a subsidiary. Their well-rounded educational program prepares the children for kindergarten, while also nurturing their social/emotional development, including friendships, good manners, and independence.
The versatile program offered is a boon to busy parents, with full-time and part-time options, morning and after-care (extended day), and age-based rolling admissions. Bus service is provided to siblings of Westminster School students who are already enrolled in the bus program.
Westminster School (and Summer Camp)
3819 Gallows Road
Annandale, VA 22003
The Griffin Academy
6800 Columbia Pike
Annandale, VA 22003