It is unlikely that any young person will grow up in a more beautiful place than Winchester. The mediaeval foundation of seventy poor scholars has grown through the ages into a modern school of seven hundred boys and eighty-five teaching staff. In an unbroken tradition of learning, real enthusiasm for knowledge and a curiosity about the ways in which the world has developed are always evident. A Winchester education is unique. Our pupils enjoy good teaching and our Dons (as we call teachers here) enjoy the liveliness of bright pupils. Success in examinations is one consequence of this, but we think it more important to encourage boys to love learning, and to take a broad view of an education which should last a lifetime. Music, Sport, Drama and the Arts are important because they broaden mind, body and spirit; and it is a good thing to read books, whether or not they relate to examinations. While we take an optimistic view of the future, we are not blind to its bleak promise of increasing bureaucracy, rampant materialism and the trivialisation of human feelings and emotions. We strive to cultivate in our pupils habits of disciplined organisation and clarity of thought, together with a deep respect for the best that has been thought and said in the world. In so doing we nurture their spirits in the qualities of patience, tolerance, truthfulness, joy and the reverence for beauty.
Our motto, 'Manners Makyth Man', reminds all who teach and learn at Winchester that civility, intelligent application of sound training and service, whatever the circumstances, are good things in themselves and of genuine value in helping to make the world a better place. Wykehamists are noted for both their open-minded approach to learning and their consideration for others.
Winchester has consistently delivered a distinctive education. We maintain
- A flexible approach to public examinations, allowing each boy to exploit fully his personal academic strengths and thereby capitalise on his potential for learning. Boys take GCSE and IGCSE courses during their first three years: normally they will acquire a total of nine of these. In Sixth Book they take three or four subjects for the Cambridge Pre-U. Coupled with their study in Division, they have plenty of time to explore aspects of subjects outside the focus of examination syllabuses. Almost always it is possible to provide the combination of subjects a boy wishes to take. ·
- The development of relationships between boys and their teachers to ensure a high level of individual support and to imbue social confidence. The fabric of Winchester is such that almost all the teaching staff live on the estate. As a consequence there is a strong sense of community in which boys frequently meet their teachers to hand up and to discuss work, or to seek advice and guidance. Close relationships develop between dons and pupils so that boys acquire the social confidence to interact easily with adults.