Building Educational Partnerships

31st March 2022
BY Hannah Fletcher, Head of Educational Partnerships

The Empower program, which we launched last year, provides a sustained program of enrichment aiming to raise aspirations and provide unique opportunities to pupils from our partner state secondary schools. Empower is aligned with the founding principles of the school, as well as the Vision of Winchester College in the 21st Century.  Increasing access is a key part of the Vision, which also includes significant growth in the school's bursary provision and increased collaboration with the maintained sector.  Our pupils benefit greatly from the diversity and new perspectives that this approach brings. 

Expanding our Reach

Winchester College has a longstanding relationship with Midhurst Rother and strong links to local schools including Perins (Alresford), Kings, Henry Beaufort, Barton Peveril and Peter Symonds College. The Empower programme builds on our experience working with others to expand the benefits of such partnerships to schools from more economically disadvantaged areas. Park Community School (Havant), UTC Portsmouth, Winton Community Academy (Andover), Everest Community College (Basingstoke), Woodlands Community College (Harefield) and the Bourne Academy (Bournemouth) have all participated in a series of enrichment activities.

Inspiration and Support

The diverse range of activites on offer has been driven by what our partner schools need or are most interested in exploring. These have included evening lectures from leading academics; an 'Introduction to Classics'; hands-on sessions in the Treasury; joining Studium for talks from business leaders and politicians; rowing and a tour of the College boathouse; ecology sessions in our nature reserve; History and English workshops using resources from the archives and Fellows' Library; and a variety of sports coaching and fixtures.

These tailor-made experiences complement the well-established outreach programme Winchester offers, including the bi-weekly maths workshops for secondary school pupils and maths summer school for state school pupils hoping to study maths at university. We also work with sixth form students from the Bishop of Winchester Academy in Bournemouth, Midhurst Rother College and UTC Portsmouth. This includes providing support with MMIs, in preparation for medical school applications; personal statement support; mock interviews; French workshops; History sessions, and STEM activities.

Our relationship with Barton Peveril College, Eastleigh continues to go from strength to strength, and this year dons helped 90 students with mock interviews, an online medical journal club, mentoring opportunities, and poetry workshops.

Shared Benefits

Winchester pupils also benefit from these collaborative projects. At our recent Economics Symposium, the group-based policymaking competition, was greatly enhanced by the variety of different backgrounds of the students taking part, sharing different perspectives and ideas. The Creative Writing Society is collaborating with students from Winton Community Academy to put together a joint anthology of short stories.

In the summer term, there will be a shared filmmaking workshop with pupils from Kings School Winchester, who have great expertise in this area, and the sustainable fashion show, Resilience 2022a student-led collaboration between Winchester College, St Swithun’s School and Peter Symonds College. There are also plans for a Geography quiz bringing together sixth form students from across the region.

For some schools, the most pressing need is teacher CPD. The launch of the Hampshire Physics CPD Partnership has been a great success, as we work together to deliver a series of free Physics CPD sessions across Hampshire. We have also introduced a new online provision to share resources with our partner schools including careers talks, lectures, academic talks, science enrichment, resources from our learning support department and teacher CPD.

Thank you to all dons and partner schools for making this programme such a success. For more information, or to find out about becoming a partner school, please contact me,


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