Winchester College - supposing you're not at all quirky?(7 Posts)
I know there is a lot of conversation (all relative but there is more here than anywhere else I can find) about the quirkiness of the boys at WinColl. My son has just been offered a place and isn't quirky AT ALL. Not one little bit. He's pretty bright (decent IQ but would rather play sport than do too much extra work), loves sport, enjoys music and likes taking part in drama. In other words, he's a classic all-rounder, or just a fairly normal 11 year old boy.
Everything I hear about Winchester suggests you need to be exceptionally bright, with a quirky personality. Supposing they accept you but you haven't got those things? Are you going to fail to fit in and should you head off to a more classically all-round boys school (Radley, Marlborough, Sherborne etc)? Or is the fact they've offered you a place enough to suggest they think you'll thrive there?
No direct experience but I know a couple of boys there at the moment and a few (very) old boys. All very 'normal' and not remotely quirky! Bright but not genius level and into all the usual stuff 13 year old boys are into. Both from down to earth, hard working families etc.
Don’t forget MN is a tiny speck of opinion and views on a school. The vast majority of Winchester parents do not post on here at all, ever. Therefore my view would tend to concur with your view. If he’s been offered a place, he will fit in just fine. Also do have an in depth look around. Talk to some other boys. Who else from your current school has gone there? What were these boys like? Can you speak to their parents?
Lastly, don’t believe everything you read on here from a self selecting group of parents! (I include myself - of course!)
OP most boys there are neither quirky nor exceptionally bright. However there seems to be much more acceptance by the boys of individuality and less judgement on 'coolness' than in other schools. There is also freedom to choose individual pursuits and not to do team sports if that is preferred.
Whether your DS would enjoy another school more is a harder question. There is plenty on offer for extracurricular activities so an all rounder will have a good time. However the boys do 2 hours of homework everyday including Saturday evening. A fair amount of what they are taught will not be for the purpose of getting good grades at public exams. That can be inspiring and liberating but for some boys a more utilitarian approach to following a curriculum may be preferred as it frees up more time.
Thank you all so much for replying. I have tended to read and lurk over the past year, so it's very useful to remember that most parents aren't on here at all! I think my son could handle a couple of hours of prep as long as there's a bit of light left to play football or cricket. So as long as there are enough other boys who want to do the same, I think he'd be fine. We will chat to plenty of parents and boys but I'm so glad to hear that there ARE lots of lovely normal boys. The school and the word 'quirky' have become inextricably linked on here!
Not sure if I would say that IME the 'normal' boys are any more or less 'lovely' than the 'quirky' boys . Individuals with something to say (but also able to listen) rather than conformity or a type is my overall impression whether 'normal' or 'quirky'. That does n't stop most of them liking the usual boy teenage activities including kicking or throwing a ball around. Sport activities will be in the afternoons (before or after lessons depending on the time of year) but from what I hear particularly the younger boys often congregate in their house yard or nearby grounds to kick a ball around after prep.
I would disagree with some here. Winchester College is all about being tops academically, IMHO. If your child thrives on being top 1% in studies and results I would say a good fit. If a more "normal" boy then I would look at other schools. We were put off when we were told Win Coll becomes their family and you are visitors from year 9 on. Opinion is worth what you pay though. Interview, see if you get a place and then decide based on what you know of your DS.
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