• by MIT Ivy League and Oxbridge Educated Insiders
  • Trusted by over tens of thousands online subscribers

Winchester College

School rating 4 / 5 by

College Street Winchester Hampshire SO23 9NA United Kingdom
6th to 12th
Boys only


Winchester College review by .

I arrived as a scholar at Winchester College in September 2001. The reputation of the school as an institution of academic excellence preceded it, as it still does. However, the atmosphere was never one of high pressure and strenuous expectation. Although we were encouraged to do many and various different subjects, the public exams seemed to be more of an after-thought than a necessity. The class sizes varied from twenty students down to about eight in the more specific and challenging subjects, which meant that teachers always had enough contact time to explore outside and beyond the syllabus. When I was fifteen, for instance, preparing to take maths GCSE, we were already comfortable with all the basic calculus, though it was not required by the syllabus for another three years. Classes were always based around discussion, no matter what the subject, and student participation was ubiquitous in the form of projects and presentations. Almost all the teachers are hugely intelligent and very enthusiastic to share their knowledge with the boys. I ended up taking forty different A-level modules in nine subjects, but because of the way I was accelerated in different areas and held back in others, I never felt over-worked, sometimes the opposite. Those less capable at any particular discipline had access to one to one tutoring and other types of professional learning support. I understand that some things have now been changed and that fewer people are accelerated, giving all students even more time to receive a full and broad education. At the centre of this is Div, which is an unexamined subject that everyone studies compulsorily and in which the teacher has absolute autonomy over the subject matter. In my time I studied everything from medieval sporting history to the art deco movement. Sciences and maths are also incredibly well catered for, with Winchester regularly represented on at least one of the British Olympiad teams. The science faculty is in a separate building, about three minutes away from the main teaching area, equipped with all imaginable facilities. The boarding houses are at different distances from the teaching areas (maximum eight minutes) but ample time is given for getting to and from lessons. Being a few centuries old the school has had to work hard to provide good disabled access throughout but this is now at a more than acceptable level.

College Counseling

Because the school is split into boarding houses, each with a live-in house master and....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Winchester has two separate admissions processes; the scholarship exam option or the normal entrance option.....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

The support available within the houses is extensive, as has already been described. As well as the tutors each house has a matron who is available to speak to whenever the need for a sympathetic, motherly voice arises. The school also has two or three chaplains at any one time, should students feel more comfortable talking to a man of the cloth. The culture of Winchester College is hard to pin down. As it is a single sex school there is little social pressure, so everyone is much more relaxed. Tradition is ever-present but not oppressive. The school dates back to....

Popular Comparisons