Winchester College Guide: Reviews, Rankings, Fees And More
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Table of Contents
Summary Of School
- Type of school: all-boys boarding school, co-ed Sixth Form from September 2022
- Age range: 13-18
- Pupils: 704
- Boarders: 100%
- Fees: £13,903/term
- 2020 A-Level Results: 81% A*/A
- 2020 GCSE Results: 93% 9/7
Winchester College Overview
Winchester College was founded by William of Wykeham (1324-1404), a man who forged an exceptional legacy for himself. He was born as just a normal son of a freeman but went on to become Bishop of Winchester and Chancellor of England. As well as leaving one of the largest financial legacies in England, he also left behind the philanthropic legacy of New College, Oxford, New College School and Winchester College. Since its founding in 1382, Winchester College has the longest continuous history of education of any English school. They were those who educated the next generation of clergy and administrators for the society after the Black Death.
Winchester College has consistently maintained outstanding annual Cambridge Pre-U results until the programme retired in 2019. Maths is the student body’s most favourite subject, followed by sciences, languages, history and economics. The school keeps their students in touch with technology via the use of laptops and the OneNote app.
Students from Winchester College usually enter the top Russell Group universities such as the University of Edinburgh, University of Durham and University of Bristol, with about a third of the year group choosing Oxford and Cambridge for their university life. Approximately 15-20% of graduates head to top universities in the USA, including Yale. Winchester College does not train a particular type of student. Their graduates major in many professions and the Arts.
Winchester College is planning to take Sixth Form girls as day school students from September 2022 and boarders from September 2024, without affecting the number of boys that may enrol in the school.
Winchester College Courses / Programs
Winchester College offers A Levels, GCSE, National Curriculum for England, and Pre-U.
Students will study for a minimum of 9 GCSEs or IGCSEs from 14-16, and a minimum of 3 A levels and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ). The school used to teach exclusively the Pre-U Cambridge programme before the programme was retired in 2019.
‘Div’, or division is a subject with a unique structure to Winchester, representing the schools’ ethos of broad and well-rounded education. Students can research and discuss broad topics from history, culture and current affairs. “Dons” (Oxford’s way of calling “teachers”) take the place of a guide rather than a teacher, and all opinions are respected and thoroughly discussed. The objective of this course is study and knowledge at its purest sense, so there are no exams. This is in addition to studying a minimum of 9 GCSEs or IGCSEs, and a minimum of 3 A levels and an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
Winchester College Deadline
The application form needs to be completed and submitted by the 5th of October. Then applications will be reviewed and shortlisted by the end of the month. Interested candidates from outside of the EEA (European Economic Area) may need a Visitor’s Visa to attend the examinations and interviews. Those who are offered places in the Sixth Form will require a Study Visa.
All applications must be under 17 years of age on 31 August 2021.
Winchester College Ranking
According to The Times magazine’s Parent Power 2021 ranking, for the top 370 independent secondary schools in the UK, Winchester College is ranked 32nd (24th last year) in terms of their student’s academic performance.
Winchester College Fees
Acceptance of Conditional Offer
For Year 9 boys only. The fee is non-refundable unless the boy fails the Winchester Entrance or Election examination.
This rate is for non-UK citizens, paid in Year 8.
£1,000 will be refunded with the first term’s fees and the remaining deposit will be refunded in your son’s final term.
£41,709 per annum
(£13,903 per term)
Tier 4 Visa
Payable for each applicant
You can pay a single lump sum up to five years in advance of your son’s entry to the school, including a discount on the full fees.
Winchester offers bursarial support for any boy that needs an education here. The school also awards Scholarships and Exhibitions for exceptionally talented boys in academy, music or sports. Scholarships and Exhibitions are not a discount on school fees. However, free tuition is available for sportsmen and musicians.
Winchester College Entry Requirements
A candidate for an award or a place should obtain at least six A-grades or grade 7 at GCSE (or equivalent exam) while Sixth Form students should obtain A* or Grades 9-8. Interested applicants will also need to demonstrate a variety of interests in art, music, sport or drama.
The majority of students will take the Winchester Entrance exam in the April/May of Year 8 at their school or an approved centre. All candidates sit for papers in English and Maths. Candidates from prep schools must also sit for papers in Science, Geography and History. They must also take exams for the language they have studied in prep school such as Latin, French, Spanish, German and Greek. Candidates from maintained schools primarily need to focus on Maths and English.
High-performing students will be invited to take the Election – the academic scholarship exam. It involves both written examinations and interviews. It usually takes place at the school over 3 days in the April or May of Year 8. Candidates from prep schools sit for compulsory papers in English, Maths I, Science and General Paper I along with at least three papers from the following subjects: Latin, French, Greek, History, Geography, Maths 2 and General Paper 2. Candidates from the maintained sector sit for compulsory papers in English, Maths I and General Paper I only. They are free to take any of the additional papers per their wishes.
Winchester College Reviews
“It is a phenomenal school providing top notch classic education. My son is very happy and engaged and they manage to raise amazing young people. Highly recommended.”
“The class size at Winchester College was definitely small enough (as low as 7) to allow everyone’s voice to be heard, all the teachers were very accessible and more than willing to help out in the evenings after hours even in their own houses, and the workload was enough to fill your time but definitely bearable especially if you were organised. Overall, excellent in these departments. School was very enthusiastic about not ‘spoon feeding’ and teaching a broad range of skills and did this to a certain extent by giving us a taste of lots of areas (art, music, extra english etc) but not in that much detail.”
“Winchester is extremely academically strong. We are put in sets right from the first year, with small class sizes even for GCSES, ensuring the teaching quality is optimal. It is a very competitive atmosphere where everyone wants to learn. A variety of teaching techniques were used, with each teacher (“don”) having his or her own teaching style. Right from the beginning we were treated as adults and rarely spoon-fed information. Thus the teaching is not geared simply to passing public exams but to cultivating intellect. I think this was a great help when it came to applying to Oxford. The workload was fairly high but always manageable in my opinion. As an academically-focused school, there was always help on hand for those struggling with their work: their div (form) don, their housemaster, their personal tutor etc. Another point worth mentioning is the subject “div”, unique to Winchester, which covers History, English, PSHE etc. and is completely non-examined. This helped me to raise intellectual points in a debate, be a good public speaker etc. and in my opinion is the single best thing about a Winchester education.”
“Two of my sons attended Winchester College. Superb education that turns out well spoken young gentlemen. Offers well rounded education and excellent exam preparation.”
Winchester College Accommodation
There are ten Boarding Houses within walking distance of the Medieval College and its infrastructures. Each has an official name, a nickname and a letter to it. The original 14th-century buildings house seventy scholars (scholarship students), both are known as College. The rest live in Houses with the capacity of 60 boys, 12 for each year group. Each House is a self-contained community and it is where the boys return after classes and games. 1st and 2nd years stay in dorms with their own curtained study cubicles, while final year students stay in double rooms and single rooms. The boys are usually arranged into Houses randomly.
The boys will do two hours of homework with a 15-minute snack break each evening. They are not allowed to use mobiles after bedtime, but laptops and mobiles can be used in boarding houses, subject to the housemaster’s discretion. 2nd year and older boys can sign out without the need for permission if they want to go into town.
There are two exeats per term. Local boys can go home on Sundays.
Winchester College Student Services and Extracurricular Activities
Winchester College trusts the boys to self-regulate so under the dons’ close observation. The students have some liberty on small things such as uniform or hair length. There are usually the housemaster and his family, matron and assistant housemaster to watch over each House. There are also tutors to assist with academic work and extra pastoral support. Housemasters will decide the use of electronic devices or the right for takeaway foods on Saturday nights. There are three full-time chefs and a pupil representative from each of the year to take care of the students’ food. Each new boy will get a senior student to assist him in the first few weeks of term. The school is strict regarding parents’ involvement to encourage independence in its students.
Winchester College has a spectacular selection of extracurricular activities. The school keeps Wednesday afternoons free for CCF (Combined Cadet Force) or for Community Service, where the boys give care at local care homes. The sporting and musical facilities are second to none, with long traditions of playing sports of all types, including Winchester’s own version of Eton Fives, a squash-like game played with a glove rather than a racquet. There’s also a football/rugby hybrid game known as Wkies. There are high-quality facilities for football, rugby, and cricket, in addition to a swimming pool, dojo (martial arts centre), squash courts and a golf course. There are music lessons of all descriptions, as well as choirs, orchestras and ensembles. Music and sports scholarships are available.