A Message from the Headmaster

Winchester College is a boarding school for boys in Years 9 – 13. The Sixth Form welcomes girls and boys as day pupils and is preparing for the entry of girls as boarders when construction of two new boarding houses is complete. It was founded by William of Wykeham in 1382, and is one of the world’s most famous and distinguished schools. The College is defined by its motto, Manners Makyth Man. This motto is hundreds of years old but has a surprisingly modern spirit. Its sentiment is that we should be measured not by birth but by our personal qualities, a surprisingly meritocratic sentiment for a school that was founded in 1382. Its language may sound old-fashioned to a modern ear, but it was radically progressive in its time because it was written not in Latin but in a dynamic, up-and-coming language: English.

Today, Manners Makyth Man inspires the key qualities of Character, Conversation, Curiosity, Foresight and Leadership.

I hope that you will accept this invitation to visit Winchester to see these wonderful qualities in action. It is a truly remarkable place and school, and it will be a privilege to welcome you here.

Ms Elizabeth Stone

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Strength of character means having confidence in one’s own individuality. At Winchester College, diversity is welcomed, manners are celebrated and kindness is in abundance. There is a sense of community which transfers to caring within the community at large. But the pupils are free to determine their own path, guided rather than governed.

Our style of teaching encourages the exploration of ideas, the discovery of interests, the freedom to be creative and a love of learning, in academic subjects, music, sport, art or the extra-curricular.


The lifeblood of Winchester is conversation, not just between pupils and their teachers but among themselves. During house lunch, on the way to the sports pitch, before lights-out, conversation permeates every aspect of Winchester life.

Pupils emerge from Winchester able to talk to just about anyone, in just about any situation, about just about anything. We believe that in a great education which prepares you for life beyond the school gates, this isn’t just a luxury - it’s an essential.


Winchester’s academic results are renowned, but an education here provides a lot more. Nowhere is this illustrated more powerfully than in our Div lessons which range from the Ancient to the Modern World, investigating historical, cultural, artistic, scientific and philosophical themes. Div encourages pupils to explore topics in the round and to see connections without the constraints of working to an examined schedule. A Winchester College education facilitates the ultimate adventure for the curious mind.


We are inspired by tradition, not constrained by it. It’s all around us in buildings which are a permanent reminder of the beauty and value of learning. But they wouldn’t have lasted so long if the school had been backward-looking. Our founder, William of Wykeham, was a philanthropist and visionary who revolutionised education, and it’s his tradition of looking ahead that we seek to continue.


Winchester was founded to develop leaders who serve society; and it has done so ever since. Many Wykehamists go on to be leaders in their fields, but not leaders at any cost. We admire leadership through ability, not bravado – a modest and socially responsible model based on an intelligent and rounded understanding of a situation. Modern leadership requires an understanding of complexity and different perspectives, and those are qualities that have always been highly prized at Winchester.

Headmaster's biography