Exploring Winchester College: A Comprehensive School Review

Welcome to our in-depth exploration of Winchester College, one of the UK’s most prestigious and storied educational institutions. Founded in the 14th century, Winchester College has established itself as a bastion of academic excellence, tradition, and character development. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the essence of Winchester College, from its historic origins to its modern-day reputation for nurturing intellects and shaping futures.

Winchester College Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Winchester College

  • Local authority: Hampshire
  • Pupils: 726; sixth formers: 317 (283 boys; 34 girls)
  • Ages: 13-18
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £36,369; Boarding £49,152 pa

Winchester College Results

  • GCSE Results (2023): 88% achieved grades 9-7.
  • A Level Results (2023): 78% attained grades A*/A (94% A*-B).
  • Pre-Pandemic Results (2019):
    • GCSE: 88% achieved grades 9-7.
    • A Level: 67% attained grades A*/A.

Boarding Experience in Winchester College

House Characteristics:

    • Boarding houses are located near the main school, often in old buildings with creaky charm.
    • Houses are officially named after founding masters but commonly referred to by nicknames.
    • Each house accommodates around 60 pupils, fostering a close-knit community.


    • Scholars reside in the school’s original 14th-century buildings, known as College.
    • Dormitory arrangements progress from shared rooms for younger pupils to single rooms for seniors.

Academic Environment:

    • Two hours of homework every evening, with a brief snack break, is the norm.
    • Supervised prep sessions allow younger pupils to demonstrate their personalities within limits.

Technology and Discipline:

    • Mobile phone use is restricted after bedtime, and laptop and mobile usage in boarding houses is at the discretion of the housemaster.
    • Pupils are trusted to exercise self-discipline, with mobile use monitored by staff.
    • After the second year, pupils can sign out without permission to visit town.

House Staff and Support:

    • Each house has resident staff, including the housemaster and family, matron, assistant housemaster, and resident tutor.
    • Tutors provide academic and pastoral support to pupils, ensuring their well-being.
    • All meals are eaten in-house, fostering regular interaction between staff and pupils. 

House Selection Process:

    • Parents now have the opportunity to visit up to six houses, facilitating a more informed choice.
    • While the selection process used to involve some luck, parental consensus suggests that once settled, pupils develop a strong affinity for their chosen house.

Extracurricular Activities Winchester College

Music and Performing Arts:

    • Winchester offers extensive opportunities for musical development, with two-thirds of pupils playing at least one instrument.
    • The school boasts 50 practice and teaching rooms, choirs, ensembles, orchestras, and chapel choir performances dating back 600 years.
    • Music and choral scholarships fund free tuition for candidates proficient in multiple instruments at grade 6 level or above.

Drama and Art:

    • While drama is not on the curriculum, pupils can prepare for LAMDA exams and participate in drama clubs.
    • The school features a head of drama who coordinates various dramatic projects, productions, and workshops.
    • Art and art history are offered at A Level, supported by well-equipped facilities including a refurbished art school and design technology (DT) workshops.


    • While no sport is compulsory, the school offers a diverse range of activities, including football, cricket, and golf.
    • The school’s sports fields, cricket pitches, and unique variations of sports such as fives and “Winkies” provide stunning settings for athletic pursuits.
    • A new sports centre is under construction, featuring facilities like a swimming pool, squash courts, and a dojo for martial arts tournaments.
    • Sports scholarships demonstrate the school’s commitment to sporting excellence and development.

Admissions Process: Entering Winchester College

Initial Screening:

    • Applicants are assessed based on pre-test results and reports from their current school.
    • Winchester College considers boys from prep schools teaching the PSB (Prep School Baccalaureate) in addition to those following the Common Entrance curriculum.

Invitation to Interview:

    • Invitation to interview is determined by pre-test results and school reports.
    • The school emphasises a holistic approach, assessing the “whole child” rather than solely focusing on academic achievements.

Interview Process:

    • Interviews focus on potential as well as prior attainment.
    • Candidates undergo a 45-minute discussion and a short maths test to assess their character and abilities.
    • The school believes this duration is sufficient to understand the candidates’ true nature.

Application Timeline:

    • Parents are encouraged to start the application process when their son is in Year 4 (age 8-9).
    • After receiving an offer, the school invites the student and parents to visit at least three times to participate in various activities such as sports, music, or Div.

Admission of Girls:

    • Winchester College began accepting girls as day pupils in the sixth form in September 2022.
    • Starting from September 2025, girls will also have the option to board in the sixth form.
    • The admission of girls aims to increase the size of the sixth form, with plans to admit a minimum of 30 day pupils (approximately half of whom will be girls) and up to 50 girl boarders.
    • Prospective sixth form pupils are expected to achieve high grades (8, 9, or A*) at GCSE in subjects relevant to their chosen A-level courses.

SEN Support at Winchester College

Winchester College is able to support the following special educational needs:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspergers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders
  • Dyscalculia
  • Dysgraphia
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Mental health

Winchester College Testimonials and Reviews

Maddie D

Lovely place! Many good memories!

Ronke Kuye

It was a nice days at this great collage I still remember each second I spent there lovely people were in my life.

Omar Lingemann

Great facilities

Juraj Prascak

A first class school where they develop confident and intelligent young men for life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Winchester College

Winchester College, founded by William of Wykeham in 1382 is one of the most prestigious schools in the world and remains one of the strongest academically.

Owing to its academic reputation and success Winchester attracts a lot of applications and a such the entrance process at 13+ and 16+ are very competitive.

There are boarding and day places for boys, and day places for girls, with girls’ boarding places available from 2025.

For 2023/24, the fee is £49,152 per annum (£16,384 per term) for boarding pupils and £36,369 per annum (£12,123 per term) for day pupils.

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