The school’s introduction of the 16+ tests was a surprise to many, but ultimately a useful one. Revision was not a constraint, but a framework, providing valuable structure to each day. The desk in my room has turned from a mountain of papers into my revision workstation, then my school desk, and finally an exam hall. Instead of filing out of New Hall, I close a tab and push back my chair. Instead of hurriedly talking through the exam with classmates as we walk back across Meads, I open WhatsApp to see what my friends made of it. The re-creation isn’t perfect, but it does bring closure. For many subjects, the last time I will be examined on them is in my own room.
The continued work of the Boat Club to ensure all of us keep healthy and cohesive is especially appreciated, providing interactions between all five years, something that leaving our boarding houses removed from our school day. Pastoral support from the housemasters and tutors is as reliable as always. Despite the unprecedented situation, Winchester College continues to evolve to meet the challenges, whether academic, extra-curricular or pastoral.
As a Quirister I would normally sing in the Chapel Choir and at other special events like Amicabilis Concordia, Morning Hills, Illuminā and Glee Club. This year we have recorded a Christmas album at Merton College, performed in Exeter, Greenwich and Chelsea, visited the Baltic States, and sang Carmina Burana at the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Nowadays we still practice, but using digital music scores, watching Mr Ionascu conduct over Zoom, and listening to Mr Cunningham play over our headphones. Recordings of our individual voices have been assembled into a digital choir to perform Finzi’s God is Gone Up. Quiristers have sung at Winchester College for over 600 years, we are not stopping now!
2nd July 2020
In our last postcard from home this term, Anvesh explains that, whilst he misses friends and school life, he has enjoyed spending time with his family, learning recipes from his older sister and playing games with his parents.
29th June 2020
Struck by the terrible hardships facing vulnerable communities in his home city of Bangkok, Toh started making nutritious, tasty food to be delivered to those most in need. In an inspiring postcard, he explains how he's balanced his charity work with his school work.
22nd June 2020
Denied a public stage on which to act out the drama that is such an important part of his life, Oscar has improvised whilst in lockdown and created his own set, costumes, and cast family members, to bring theatre to life inside his home.
22nd June 2020
English don Tom Quale considers how literature bears "the indelible impression of its time" and what that might mean for the writing taking place during this turbulent period.
18th June 2020
Tristan is finding new enjoyment in classically British pastimes and literature, as well as finding the increased independence required of online learning the perfect preparation for university.
15th June 2020
Delivering lessons online and then wandering an empty campus, English don Mrs Lucia Quinault, feels the presence of previous pupils and teachers, with the grounds and buildings imbued with their happy memories.