John Stuart Mill said, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that,” and that we should seek out conflicting views “from persons who actually believe them.”
Widening Perspectives is a new initiative at Winchester College that applies John Stuart Mill’s advice in a diverse, modern Britain, and a globalised world. Its aims are to promote understanding, empathy and tolerance of perspectives that exist within and beyond Britain amongst the students. The means to achieve this will be creating spaces where students can listen to and engage with those they disagree with; where students (and outside speakers) can explain their worldview, helping their peers to understand how a perspective feels and operates from the standpoint of an insider. Beyond acquiring a better understanding, these spaces will cultivate an empathy and tolerance of those who come from different backgrounds or hold different beliefs.
In its augural year, Winchester College students collaborated with Barton Peveril students to design policies to tackle inequality, and with St Swithuns' pupils to design policies to tackle gender violence. Working in groups, they were able to appreciate each other's viewpoints through well-meaning, civil political discourse and to reach a better, mutual understanding of the issues being researched.
Rather than debates, which are often theatrical, high-stakes performances, we have held discussions. In this way, nuanced conversations were held on whether ‘Cancel culture should be cancelled?’, or ‘What should the West’s response should be to the rise of autocracies?’.
In Cloister Time, we look forward to welcoming speakers like Rosalind Miles, a feminist author; Lisa Hill, an activist in Extinction Rebellion; Shaan Khan, from GIRES, a charity which campaigns for trans and gender nonconforming communities; and Giovanni Rose, a young black poet from Tottenham who won the Foyle Young Poet of the Year.
7th June 2023
June is Pride month. Pupils and staff reflect on what Pride means to them in a short film.
22nd May 2023
A mock General Election was held at the College as part of the Widening Perspectives society's aim to expose pupils to a wide range of views and opinions.
16th May 2023
After leaving the College, scholarship winner and music exhibitioner Thomas Sharrock, now at the University of Pennsylvania, reflects on his time in Winchester.
7th May 2023
The results in for the College's two most prestigious writing competitions.
2nd May 2023
In April, a team of seven College students travelled to the Brecon Beacons to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Practice Expedition.
1st May 2023
The Drew Travel Art scholarships returned in 2023 with independent study trips to Madrid, Dubai, Athens and Berlin. The resulting work is on display in the Angelus Gallery this May.