FOREWORD Through the six centuries Eton has been educating boys much has changed, but the essence of school life has remained as described in the mid- nineteenth century by William Cory, an Eton Master. He wrote that at a great school it is not just knowledge that is acquired, nor even the 'shadow of lost knowledge' that later protects you from many illusions, but most importantly the 'arts and habits' that last for a lifetime. Our primary aim is to encourage each Etonian to be a self-confident, inquiring, tolerant, positive young man, a well-rounded character with an independent mind, an individual who respects the differences of others. By the time he leaves the school, we want each boy to have that true sense of self-worth which will enable him to stand up for himself and for a purpose greater than himself, and, in doing so, to be of value to society. Tony Little
School terms There are three academic terms (known as halves) in the year, The Michaelmas Half, from early September to mid December. New boys are now admitted only at the start of the Michaelmas Half, unless in exceptional circumstances. The Lent Half, from mid-January to late March. The Summer Half, from late April to late June or early July. They are called halves because the school year was once split into two halves, between which the boys went home.
Tutors and teaching The original curriculum concentrated on prayers, Latin and devotion, and "as late as 1530 no Greek was taught". Later the emphasis was on classical studies, dominated by Latin and Ancient History, and, for boys with sufficient ability, Classical Greek. But in recent times this has radically changed: for example, there are now over 100 students of Chinese. In the 1970s, there was just one school computer, in a small room attached to the science buildings, which used rolls of paper with punch-holes to store programs. Today, all boys must have laptop computers, and a fiber-optic network connects all classrooms and all boys' bedrooms to the internet.
Prefects Eton Society, also known as Pop. Over the years its power and privileges have grown. Pop is the oldest self-electing society at Eton, although the rules were altered in 1987 and again in 2005 so that the new intake are not now elected solely by the existing year and a committee of masters. Notable ex- members of Pop include Prince William of Wales, and Boris Johnson. Sixth Form Select: an academically selected prefectorial group consisting, by custom, of the 10 senior King's Scholars and the 10 senior Oppidan Scholars. House Captains: The captains of each of the 25 boys' houses (see above) also have disciplinary powers at school level. House Captains are entitled to wear a mottled grey waistcoat.
Games Eton provides games for boys of all abilities and all ages. During your first year in the school, you will have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting activities, with some of which you may be familiar and with some of which you will probably not be familiar (the 'wall game' for example). You will be expected to choose one game each half to be your major sport. In addition, you will be given a brief taste during your first two halves of some of the minor sports that Eton offers (chosen by yourself from a long list), and of course every boy does PE throughout the year. PE forms part of the regular timetable: Other games take place on weekday afternoons. The slots are as follows: Monday, Wednesday, Friday Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Winter 2.20 – 3.40 and 6.20 – – 4.30 and 5.20 – 7.30 Summer 5.20 – – 4.30 and 5.20 – 7.30 Some boys will find themselves occupied in the majority of these slots. Others will find themselves required in only two or three slots, and will therefore have the free time to investigate some of Etons many games facilities for themselves.
The Religious Life of the School Worship during a boys time in the school is designed to meet his spiritual needs at each stage in his development. As well as the regular chapel services, there are numerous optional opportunities for worship. Boys in their first two years worship in Lower Chapel. Boys in their third year have their own assembly, but attend services in College Chapel on some weekdays. Boys in their fourth and fifth years usually have a choice on weekdays between a service in College Chapel and an assembly in School Hall, and on some Sundays, along with boys in their third year, are given a choice between Choral Communion in College Chapel and an address in the Farrer Theatre. Services in both chapels follow the practice of the Church of England. Confirmation services are held twice a year, and boys wishing to be confirmed are prepared by the school Chaplains. Roman Catholics have their own Chaplain who offers Mass on Sundays and every weekday evening. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is regularly available and Confirmation is administered once a year. Roman Catholics take part in all daily school services of a non-sacramental nature. Boys of the Jewish, Islamic and Hindu faiths are excused Sunday Chapel if their parents wish, but are expected to take part in school services on weekdays. Instruction in the Jewish,Islamic and Hindu faiths is given during the time of Sunday Chapel by the Jewish, Muslim and Hindu Tutors. Not every Etonian would call himself a committed religious believer; many have doubts which they can and do express freely. However, up to two thirds of the boys are confirmed during their time at Eton, and the climate in the school is sympathetic to Christian life and practice.
Glossary The abracadabra is Etons basic academic timetable, determining who does what when; it is shown at the back of the Calendar. If a division master is 15 minutes late, the boys can run to School Office and claim a free period. Lessons or a particular lesson: in school, out of school. If a boy does an extra good piece of work, his division master may give him a show-up ; the boy has the work signed by his house master and tutor. Upper Club A cricket field. Upper School The second classroom to be built, in the seventeenth century. Up to Taught by: I m up to Mr Newton for maths. Vice-Provost The deputy chairman of the governing body, by whom he is elected; he is frequently a former master. The Wall The wall against which the wall game is played. The Wall Game The wall game is played throughout the winter by boys of all ages. Goals are (slightly!) commoner than is popularly supposed.
Old Etonians Past students of Eton College are Old Etonians. In recent years, the school has become popular with the British Royal Family; Princes William and Harry are Old Etonians. Eton has also produced eighteen British Prime Ministers, including William Ewart Gladstone, Robert Walpole and the first Duke of Wellington. A rising number of students come to Eton from overseas, including members of royal families from Africa and Asia, some of whom have been sending their sons to Eton for generations. One of them, King Prajadhipok or Rama VII ( ) of Siam, donated a garden to Eton. Other Old Etonians include Guy Burgess, George Orwell and Henry More. Many fictional characters have been described as Old Etonians. These include Bertie Wooster and Ronald Eustace Psmith from the books by P.G. Wodehouse, the pirate who used the pseudonym Captain Hook, the detective Lord Peter Wimsey, the game shot George Hysteron-Proteron, and Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. The mediaevalist and ghost story writer M. R. James was provost of Eton from 1918 until his death in The jazz trumpeter and radio broadcaster Humphrey Lyttelton attended Eton. Actors educated at Eton include Max Pirkis, Eddie Redmayne, Simon Woods, Damian Lewis, Dominic West, Hugh Laurie, and Patrick Macnee. Musician Frank Turner.
Developments The largest recent development has been the Eton College Rowing Centre at Dorney, consisting of a 2,000 metre rowing lake, a boathouse, an arboretum and a nature reserve; the lake was used for the World Rowing Championships in 2006 and will be the 2012 Olympics venue for rowing, flat water canoeing and Paralympics. Since the completion of the rowing lake in 2006 there has been a pause in major projects and a concentration on upkeep and a number of improvements. A first phase of renovating College Chapel has been completed (2006) and a second begun (2008/9), involving cleaning and repairing the external stonework and repairs to the stained-glass windows. Major improvements of Jourdelays and Hawtrey House were undertaken between 2004 and A far-reaching medium term development plan has been drawn up for the future. The main elements are: a new modern languages block which will form part of an international centre encompassing ancient and modern languages and culture, economics, politics and religious studies; a new indoor/outdoor swimming pool; and an indoor sports centre.