Winchester College

schools outside of london

The school has roughly 690 boys, split into ten boarding houses. With over one hundred teachers, this mean that Winchester has one of the best teacher-to-student ratios in the country. The school can be quite challenging and academic excellence is a must.

School information

Winchester is an independent boarding school for boys located in Winchester, Hampshire. It was established in 1382. The school’s recent grades make them one of the top performers academically in the country, with 91.1% of GCSE grades at A*/A and a very impressive 74.5% of Pre-U grades at A*/A. A good percentage of school leavers end up at Oxbridge and Ivy leagues universities.

Current students and ex-students also remark on how much they love Div lessons at Winchester, which are held every school day. The head of each division, the Div Don, is charged with educating the boys on a wide range of subjects without the pressure of exams and syllabi. In this way, the boys develop a skill such as debating. It’s a liberating and refreshing style of teaching and it’s an aspect of the Winchester education, which they are rightly very proud of.

Outside of the classroom and school hours, there are plenty of clubs and societies for students to join. Many are run by the boys themselves. Boys are actively encouraged to join them and they are seen as vital to life at Winchester. The school also sees sports as a necessary pursuit to balance all the academia. Your child can choose an individual sport and not the team ones, should he wish to do so. The facilities are undergoing renovations to cater for the increasing number of students and will offer future students a modern state of the art complex for their training. Competitions will also be held in the new facility.


Admissions into Year 9 at Winchester begin with registration when your child is in Year 4/5. Your child then sits the ISEB common Pre-Test in Year 6. This is a computerised test comprising of English, maths, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. This takes place at your child’s current school or an approved centre. Successful candidates are then invited to Winchester for an interview between January and March. Successful candidates sit the Winchester exams or the Sport/Music/Academic Scholarship exam in Year 8. These exams are also taken at your child’s school or at an approved centre.

The Winchester Entrance exams and scholarships can prove quite challenging, even for boys who are ahead of the national curriculum. The school doesn’t provide any sample papers but there are other papers available, which can give you an insight into what level to expect for your child on exam day. It’s important to start the preparation for these tests early and continue consistently. The standard required to pass them will not be something that can be attained overnight!