Visit to Eton College

On Thursday, 16th May, 30 Etone pupils accompanied by two staff, experienced a day as a pupil at one of England’s most regarded schools, Eton College. 

Starting the day exploring the architecture in Europe’s oldest classroom (just under 600 years old), they learnt about the history of Eton and its foundation to serve less affluent boys. They then stepped through the doors of the College Library, which houses a vast collection of rare books, maps, artefacts and paintings. They examined one of the first books, complete with the hole through which a chain was fed to secure it to a desk before hearing an interesting presentation about some of the library’s collection. Pupils learnt that the oldest book was a 9th century leaf of the Qur’an; the collections themselves are arranged by donar, and the library holds copies of the first folio editions of Shakespeare and special editions of all of George Orwell’s books. Iren, year 12 reported that “being in the main college library felt like being in a capsule of historical knowledge and innovation.”

Pupils moved then through the windy streets of Eton to the Bekynton Marquee to socialise with current pupils and ask them about daily life at Eton. 

Learning a new sport was next on the cards under the instruction of the Eton Fives Lead Coach, Mr Perry. Based on a traditional game created by boys using the chapel walls to play ball, Mr Berry challenged pupils using a variety of drills embedding the importance of hand-eye coordination.  

The highly decorative, specially created CIRL Obs School Room was their next stop, engaging in a highly aspirational lecture by Mr Noakes, Director of Teaching and Learning, on Self-Leadership. With a focus on seven key principles, pupils were guided to self-reflect, set goals, and revisit their views of themselves and how to achieve Ikigai, a Japanese model for how to live life to the fullest. Amaan, year 10 particularly enjoyed, “the focus on entrepreneurship which was different from a traditional approach.”

Lunchtime enabled the opportunity for more socialising, and chatting, alongside sampling a range of delicious foods including Eton Mess! Alise, year 10 “enjoyed hearing the Eton Pupils’ ideas and opinions about life, careers, and education.”

Their last lecture of the day focussed on Careers Education with Mr Fussey, Director of Education. Pupils shared their own ideas about employability, drawing strongly on Etone’s careers model, and explored how to choose and enable their ideal career paths. 

They finished the day with views from the balcony and a tour of the main Chapel, an awe inspiring building which is the venue for Eton assemblies and worship. They admired the stained glass windows, wall paintings and pipe organ, before rejoining the coach for their homeward journey. Year 10 pupil, Makae, reflected that his day was, “inciteful and inspiring”, Madiha added, “I left the room feeling empowered; my day was aspirational.”

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