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Winchester College

(56 Posts)
24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 18:07:26

Help please from others more experienced than me. DS has a firm place at Win Coll but, strangely, is far more interested in Clash of Clans and Candy Crush than learning French irregular verbs. Latin doesn't quite do it for him either - with DS it is more a case of 'give up and run for it' than 'veni vidi vici'! His maths and science are brilliant though. Scared that Headmaster may free up DS's place for another more deserving! Do any other parents witness that titanic strugle between the screen and academia? How does WC manage the screen these days? DH thinks they ban it but not sure and afraid to ask. Guidance gratefully appreciated. Thanks so much. WC parent to be (maybe!)

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 18:32:27

No personal lap tops/computers till at least the third term of the 2 nd year later I believe in some houses. There are communal computers in houses ?2-3 I think in my DS's.
No wifi.
Technically they are not meant to have smart phones but all do.
They are really clamping down on computer games etc. we were told this at a recent parent teacher meeting and my DS was telling me how a few weeks ago but to be honest I can't remember all the details he's currently out but I will ask him later. A friend told us before my DS started that a work colleagues DS was expelled from Win Coll for gaming.
If you have a firm place why would they take it away they don't know he's a gaming nut unless he writes it all over the exam paper!
I think you'll find many boys are mad on gaming when at home.
He's going to have to put some effort into getting on with languages most do at least two MFL and I believe all do Latin.

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 20:16:40

Really helpful - thanks for your very helpful reply, happygardening. The anonymity on MN assures me of what is actually the case rather than the official party line. I wish your DSs all the best as they progress through Win Coll and onwards through life generally.

summerends Thu 17-Apr-14 20:31:20

Interestingly even once they are allowed their laptops at least some of the boys seem to want to keep their serious gaming for the holidays and a bit on their Sundays. TBH they don't get much time during the week for computer time and in any case the younger two years do their prep under supervision so are extremely unlikely to try to game when they are supposed to be working.

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 20:47:27

Thanks summerends. Relieved to hear it. Sounds like Win Coll is just right for DS in terms of moderating his e-passions. He loved Win Coll from first sight and has a firm place...don't want him to ruin all by playing Grand Theft Auto when he should be doing Toyetime...much appreciate your sagely counsel. Thanks so much once again and best wishes to your DSs as they go through WinColl...

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 20:50:34

I believe one house has a reputation for lots of gaming.
My DS backs up what summer says in his house even amongst older boys who are less supervised gaming is not that serious in school time they are very busy but out of school ........
Good luck to your DS too OP.

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 20:52:07

One question please - how would most at Win Coll currently describe Chawkers' if they were limited to five adjectives only?

Liara Thu 17-Apr-14 20:56:36

Some of my friends were at WC a very, very long time ago (well before screens of any kind were widely available) and still spent all their time gaming (all night d&d sessions seemed to be fairly common)

summerends Thu 17-Apr-14 20:58:27

Have to say that of all the boarding schools we have second hand knowledge of I would agree with your third sentence Obviously it does n't select for boys that dislike gaming but the boys are used to doing without computers from the first year and a bit.

summerends Thu 17-Apr-14 21:04:49

Sorry, cross posted. Chawkers has an excellent housemaster by all accounts. calm,kind but firm when needed. The food used not to be so good but I hear that the last 18 months it has improved immeasurably and is of very good quality. They have a good mix of all sorts of talents and very strong on drama. My DS likes the boys from there.
What does your DS like doing -apart from gaming smile.

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 21:22:34

Thanks Liara - the intelligence is much appreciated, as is your time to answer my question. I remember D&D and never got into it...they complained about it then but Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty Black Ops &c seem to be on altogether another level...

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 21:25:58

Thanks happygardening once again. Good to know that Win Coll manages those screens...they are a blight on my family life and I place them on the level of rabies...except that I am the one foaming at the mouth when the de rigeur 30 minute evening limit is broken!!!

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 21:37:57

Well, thanks for the guidance, summerends. DS is a cheerful boy who gets on very well with all his friends and is in the A stream of his prep school without doing as much work as he should. He is especially musical, great at maths and has just been awarded half colours for drama. As soon as he saw Winchester he was smitten, describing the place as 'excellent'. We took him round other schools but none of them interested him - he just clicked with Win Coll...and won't go anywhere else!

summerends Thu 17-Apr-14 22:34:54

If he loves music and drama he will have a wonderful time. The present head of drama is excellent and gives the boys a huge numbers of opportunities to do their own thing such as writing and directing their own plays. We saw a production of Midsummer Night's Dream last term that was outstanding (with the music composed and played by year 10 boys).

24663664 Thu 17-Apr-14 22:44:26

Thanks summerends for your encouragement and direction. I am sure that DS will enjoy Win Coll if fortunate enough to have his firm place substantiated - I only hope that he will not fail his tough Entrance Exams! Must try harder!

happygardening Thu 17-Apr-14 23:07:52

Very few fail the entrance exam providing he's at a good prep I'm sure he'll be fine.

24663664 Fri 18-Apr-14 07:56:48

Thanks happygardening for your valuable guidance. Looks as if DS will be at Win Coll then since he is doing fine at his prep school ...

Xpatmama88 Fri 18-Apr-14 09:15:58

I heard from my DS that if boys caught gaming (they call it Vegging) rather than doing their toys by the housemaster or whoever supervising toytime, their computers would be confiscated for a week or so, that is their house rule. It happened to a few boys in Middle Part.
My DS likes to play a few computer games too, like all teenagers, I don't think he really has much time to do so during school, but he certainly catch that up during his holiday.
Dr H has twitter page for the house, so you may be interested to follow it - it shows what the Chawkerites are up to during school.

24663664 Fri 18-Apr-14 10:56:56

Thanks Xpatmama88. Very helpful of you. I am developing an ever greater respect for WC which has greatly impressed me already. Wishing your DS all the best as he goes through Win Coll.

24663664 Fri 18-Apr-14 11:13:16

Is there anything bad about Win Coll then? I can't find anything to dislike about the place and DS loved it at first sight and has dismissed all other schools out of hand. Basically, I am monumentally impressed not only with Win Coll but with the OPs for being so helpful. Are all the parents as kind as welcoming as you all are?? Here's hoping that DH can continue in his City job to come up with the fees! Poor DH! The sheer stress of paying the fees (plus DD's) must be taking years off his life...Thanks again all!

yotty Fri 18-Apr-14 12:05:44

24663664, my son is also sitting WinColl entrance exam in a few weeks. Superficially, he seems very chilled about it! Therefore, minimal revision is being done and he won't let me see what he is doing. He is quite diligent though so I hope it is enough.
I have no idea what sort of pass mark they are looking at but I am hoping that if things were looking dodgy then his prep school would be ringing alarm bells.
My DS was on the waiting list so we don't have a house yet. I really liked Chawkers when we looked round, so would be very happy if he was allocated that house.
We don't have any 'shoot'em up' games in our house so we don't have quite the same problem as you, but that doesn't stop DS spending hours on his xbox playing FIFA or racing cars!

happygardening Fri 18-Apr-14 12:12:50

Win Coll has recently put the fees up they're going to be just short of 35k next year and when you add in the extras they will easily exceed this. In the letter we all recently received detailing this increase it also stated that they'd increased the bursary fund and encouraged those struggling with the fees to apply for assistance.
We don't have any complaints but I suspect the schools very rigid policy on not taking boys out on Saturdays etc for special occasions (a great excuse not to go from our point of view), not being allowed to leave a day or two early at the end of term to catch a flight could irritate some.
Participation in sporting events on Sundays and missing chapel to do this is also not encouraged/permitted, neither is staying away at sporting competitions during the week day and I know this causes frustration for some of the boys.
Win Coll, unlike all others I encounter when I occasionally watch my DS at a competition, is not corporate, no matching tack suits with names on, the boys usually rock up in home clothes, some seem to be keen on the retro 70's look, the dons usually turn up at sporting events in suits clutching an academic tome, many know little about the sport they are assisting with. I love this about it, it's individuality, I'm tired and bored of the corporate look favoured by most other schools, with their pushy slightly aggressive coaches. It's living in a bygone era and why not our DS's will soon be thrust into the real 21 st century.
I can't speak highly enough of our exceedingly hard working HM, any problems however trivial or serious, he's been there, holidays or not, for my DS, he would move heaven and earth if he feels this would help.
The most surprising thing for us is how fast his time there is going, he's about to enter the the 6th form, I can't believe it it seems like only yesterday we were waiting for the results of the entrance exams and attending the new boys tea. Tell your DS not to decide now what he wants to do until the last minute, I was surprised by his 2nd choice of an MFL and one of his choices at Pre U was a subject he loathed at prep and even up until last year couldn't wait to drop!
Most parents are friendly you probably don't know them like you do at prep but all we've met have been very friendly none seem particularly pretentious, few flash their money around , although I know from talking to some teachers at a training thing recently all from other big name independent boarding schools is that the general consensus is that the Win Coll parents are considered to be some of the wealthiest. I get the feeling that most believe in what the school is, what it stands for and that's enough they don't feel a need to flash their wealth around.

happygardening Fri 18-Apr-14 12:15:11

yotty?I suspect your get offered a house after election in a few weeks.

yotty Fri 18-Apr-14 12:26:26

Yes, HG I suspect you are right. We are being pretty cool about it. Only reason I need to know ASAP is because I need to put DS2's name down. DS1 is just happy to be going and doesn't mind what house he ends up in. I'm sure where ever he ends up he will think it is the best house.
Can you remember what sort of % your DS got in his papers?

24663664 Fri 18-Apr-14 13:06:57

Thanks yotty. Helpful comments indeed and much valued - DS loved Chawkers, clicked with Dr H, and I sincerely hope that your DS gets in with flying colours. Happygardening with plenty of experience and brilliantly helpful posts (see above) says that those getting past the first stage will generally get in to Win Coll by passing the exams, so well done to your DS. Really hope that DS ends up in Hawkins! I promise to try and ween DS off the shoot 'em up games (as you eloquently put it) (he loves to kill zombies with machine guns etc) - I thoroughly disapprove of such time-wasting rubbish - why can't DS's be more fascinated by Latin cases and the finer aspects of German grammar??!! Biological I suppose...

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