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!
16th October 2020
'A Winter's Night' is a wonderful collection of Christmas classics and choral music from Winchester's Chapel Choir. Released on Signum records on 16 October 2020.
19th September 2020
Science School has a diverse collection of fascinating objects, from an 18th-century microscope, fossils and taxidermy birds, to apparatus used to teach physics in the early 20th century. Twenty-four of the most interesting and unusual objects from the collection are now online.
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.
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.
8th June 2020
English don, Richard Stillman reflects on the protests sweeping the United States and United Kingdom, what we might do to educate ourselves, and how this might help make a difference.
31st May 2020
Quiristers have been singing at Winchester College since 1394. The current situation could not be allowed to disrupt that tradition. Therefore online rehearsals and recording individual voices remotely have become the new ways of keeping the sound of Chapel Choir with us.