Eton College Review: An Education Where Tradition Meets Prestige

Nestled amidst the tranquil landscape of Berkshire, England, Eton College stands as an emblem of tradition and excellence in education. For centuries, this distinguished institution has been synonymous with academic rigour, character development, and the cultivation of future leaders. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the essence of Eton College, where every stone whispers tales of history, and every lesson is a step towards greatness.

Eton College Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Eton College

  • Local authority: Windsor and Maidenhead
  • Pupils: 1,345; sixth formers: 551
  • Ages: 13-18
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Boarding £49,998 pa

Eton College Academic Results

2023 Results:

    • GCSE: 80% achieved grades 9-7.
    • A Level: 80% attained A*/A grades, with 95% achieving A*-B grades.

2019 Results (pre-pandemic):

    • I/GCSE: 93% achieved grades 9-7.
    • A Level: 76% secured A*/A grades.

Boarding Experience in Eton College

Unlike many other boarding schools, Eton’s unique selling point shines bright. That is, every pupil enjoys the luxury of their own private single room, fostering a sense of personal space and tranquillity.

For these boys, boarding life offers a blend of structure and flexibility. While full boarding is the norm, there’s room for spontaneity. Some return home on weekends, their departure governed by personal choice and the discretion of the housemaster.

The boarding landscape at Eton is diverse, with each of the 25 houses boasting its own distinct character and ethos. Families explore multiple options, guided by both preference and the school’s recommendations. While differences exist, the bond between housemates transcends culinary choices or architectural styles.

A pinnacle of Eton’s boarding realm is College House, home to the esteemed King’s Scholars. Here, academic excellence reigns supreme, inspiring a sense of reverence among peers and parents alike. Yet, the ethos of self-governance prevails throughout, empowering boys to navigate challenges and forge their paths.

Parents attest to the school’s ethos of self-reliance, acknowledging the transformative journey their sons undertake. In this boy-centric environment, resilience blossoms, and problem-solving skills sharpen, guided by mentors rather than hovering guardians. Yet, amidst efforts to streamline operations and ensure a cohesive community, echoes of concern linger, reflecting on the delicate balance between autonomy and oversight.

Extracurricular Activities in Eton College

In the realm of music, the college orchestra resonates with the harmonies of 1,316 music lessons each week, spanning a repertoire of 35 instruments, from the classical strains of the violin to the exotic melodies of the sitar. With an impressive array of ensembles and a music school that rivals professional studios, students immerse themselves in a world where creativity knows no bounds.

The drama department, centred around the grandeur of the Farrer Theatre, is a stage for theatrical brilliance. From riveting school productions to intimate house plays, every student is encouraged to explore their dramatic flair. Workshops in stagecraft and behind-the-scenes roles foster a culture of collaboration and artistic expression, while the buzz of creativity reverberates within the ethereal confines of the Drawing Schools building, where budding artists sculpt dreams into reality.

Yet, beyond the realm of the arts, a spirit of service permeates every corner of the campus. Community outreach projects, from mentoring in local primary schools to environmental initiatives, instil a sense of civic duty and compassion. Meanwhile, the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), a storied institution tracing its origins to 1860, offers students a taste of military discipline and camaraderie, with training led by senior students.

With over 70 societies catering to every conceivable interest, from board games to feminism, Eton embraces diversity and individuality, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie among its students.

Sport Activities in Eton College

In the autumn, the school buzzes with the energy of football and rugby. While many gravitate towards football, the school boasts an array of rugby teams, providing ample opportunity for participation. However, the competitive nature means not everyone secures a spot on the coveted A or B teams. Yet, even in internal matches and the house football league, boys find camaraderie and joy, transcending individual achievements.

Spring heralds the arrival of hockey and Eton’s unique field game, offering alternatives for those seeking a break from the rugby pitch. As summer unfolds, the cricket fields come alive with the crack of bats and the thrill of athletics. Beyond these mainstream sports, a kaleidoscope of options awaits, from rackets to water polo, ensuring every student finds their niche.

The sports facilities at Eton are nothing short of impressive, with a sprawling campus boasting an array of pitches, courts, and cutting-edge amenities. The Sports and Aquatics Centre, a crown jewel inaugurated in 2022, offers state-of-the-art facilities, including a versatile swimming pool with a movable floor, catering to athletes of all levels.

Yet, what truly sets Eton apart are its cherished sporting traditions. The iconic Eton wall game, a peculiar rendition of rugby, captivates spectators with its unique rules and fierce rivalry. Meanwhile, the historic Eton v Harrow cricket match, held at Lord’s, stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of competition and tradition.

Admissions Process: Entering Eton College

At Eton College, the admissions process is carefully designed to ensure fairness and excellence in selecting future scholars. Prospective students and their families need not rush to secure a place; rather, they must ensure registration by June 30th of Year 5, when the child turns 10, signalling the beginning of their journey towards Eton.

The process begins with the ISEB pretest, typically held in October or November of Year 6. This test, coupled with a detailed evaluation of the applicant’s head teacher’s reference, forms the initial assessment phase. Approximately 65% of candidates progress to stage 2, conducted in either the spring or summer term of Year 6, contingent upon their age.

Stage 2 involves a comprehensive evaluation, consisting of an interview and an online predictive test of academic ability and potential. While some applicants may narrowly miss the mark, they are not entirely excluded; instead, they are invited back at the end of Year 7 for further assessment. Subsequently, some may be offered coveted places, while others are placed on a waiting list, poised to seize any vacancies that arise during Year 8.

All offers of admission are conditional, contingent upon passing the Common Entrance (CE) examination in Year 8. For boys attending state schools, an alternative entrance exam provided by Eton College is available.

Looking ahead to sixth form entry, the requirements are theoretically set at six Grade 7s at GCSE level, a modest hurdle for students within an environment where the majority excel, often achieving 10 or 11 GCSEs at Grades 8-9. Notably, Mr Henderson, the headmaster, affirms that no student has been asked to leave post-GCSE due to academic reasons during his tenure.

For those seeking entry into the small sixth form cohort, opportunities are available via the Orwell Award, catering to boys from UK state schools, or through Sixth Form Entry for fee-paying students. This meticulous process ensures that those who pass through the gates of Eton College are not only academically proficient but also possess the character and potential to thrive within its esteemed halls.

SEN Support at Eton College

The academic team at Eton College is able to support students with special educational needs such as Aspergers and ADHD. Do contact the admissions team for specific requests and inquiries. 

Testimonials and Reviews


A charming old English boys school. It has a beautiful surrounding, with lots of paths to wander down and benches to sit on. There are so many beautiful flowers in the summertime and the Riverside walk is a favourite with many locals. It’s also the most scenic walk into Windsor.

Alicea Diaz

Love this school very much my grandson goes here and he says it’s very enjoyable though my granddaughter wishes she could go here with her older brother but my step son dose still find this school a lovely school and in his words “well find bread of a school” what ever that may mean

Michael and Julie Bowell

The heart of the English establishment, this institution has seen several prime ministers and prominent public figures educated here. Steeped in proud history and traditions, the location and buildings are second to none and well worthwhile visiting to take in the atmosphere of the environment, albeit many areas are obviously off limits to the general public. Was impressed with everything here on our visit and it certainly left it’s mark on me. An amazing place to visit!

Will Mckenzie

Had a great time at school here. The teachers were fantastic and the education is exemplary. The only downside was the local comp got to come in and use our facilities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Eton College

Prince William was the most senior member of the royal family to go to Eton, but not the first royal—other royals who attended the school include Queen Elizabeth’s first cousins Prince Edward, Duke of Kent; Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester; and Prince Michael of Kent.

Eton charges up to £49,998 per year (£16,666 per term, with three terms per academic year, for 2023/24).

The boys-only boarding school was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI and places are extremely competitive. Each year, around 120 children will be offered a place.

Founded way back in 1441, Eton College still has numerous buildings which have been standing since that period, and as such the college is steeped in rich history. The school once housed numerous priceless religious artefacts until the current chapel and cloisters were finished in the late 15th century.

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