Eton Exchange

Beauchamp College has maintained a successful partnership with the prestigious Eton College for several years. We have run a joint exchange project where six students from Eton College have spent a week with us to experience college life and have been hosted by Beauchamp students and their families. During the same week six of our students have spent a week at Eton College and have been immersed into life in a boarding school.

Latest Eton Exchange

These are some abstracts from the diaries of students from Beauchamp College who were on the exchange programme in Spring 2016.

Monday – Conor Sherrard

After a largely smooth journey down we arrived almost an hour earlier than expected, this gave us time to have a walk through Eton and all the way to Windsor castle. After this we were introduced to our Etonian counter parts, before making our way to a largely chaotic dining area for lunch. The biggest thing that hits you in an Etonian day is time, there is a lot of it when ‘home’ is five minutes from your class. The day is also more spaced out too with 10 minutes to commute between lessons, all this lead to only attending one class today, further maths, talk about being thrown in at the deep end. Then it was off to a lecture on health and back to the canteen for dinner. The last commitment of the day is prayers, a gathering largely comparable with form time.

Tuesday – Matt Griffiths

Today was a very different day to that at Beauchamp. It started off with a 7:35 get up, a slight lie in to what I’m use to. After getting dressed and breakfast we has assembly, which involved a dog show consisting of Beaks dogs, which was some what entertaining. First Lesson Kamran and I had a reader, so we took the opportunity to take a look round our surroundings. My first proper lesson was double maths. We did mechanics, which at Beauchamp we won’t cover until year 13 however I was able to apply some physics knowledge to grasp some understanding. Classes here are a lot smaller than that at Beauchamp, around 10 to 15 students oppose to 25 to 30, which gives them a more personal feel. After break I had Economics which was a very interesting lesson looking at Fiscal spending and taxation. Another difference I have discovered is that the classes also are more discussion based rather than exercise based, which gives students the ability to think of points that they maybe wouldn’t have thought up themselves. After lunch I went out with my house to watch our team play the Field game in a Ties match (inter house), which we won quite comfortably, apparently. The rules of the Field game seem quite complicated and no one, but the ref seems to know the rules, however the football style chants are quite fun. After that I knuckled down to some hard work that my Beauchamp teachers have set me (using the term ‘knuckled down’ quite loosely). This evening after dinner I went to watch a house play with two other lads from Villiers house, called Plunder, which was an entertaining and well-organised production.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far the other lads have been very welcoming and easy to get along with, not too dissimilar to the Beauchamp lads, only the Eton boy’s parents are nearly all multi millionaires.

Wednesday – Yash Mehta

The day started off as a usual working day here at Eton, everybody woke up, got ready and went off to breakfast. As usual there was a school assembly, but accidentally Eton had changed the location of the main school assembly, without notifying my house. This meant I sat in a Roman Catholic (Ash Wednesday) Service. Fortunately one of the teachers noticed and let us out. This was some what entertaining as not only was it a first for me, but also for the Eton boys. My first lesson of the day was French, the small group were studying a book titled ‘Bel-Ami’, they very kindly explained the story line to me in great detail. Madame Brooking used a different technique for teaching, where one of the boys had read two chapters and had to summarise them in front of the class. This meant that he had to write a small summary and hand out sheets to the group. This was followed by double Maths, where Mr Strutt, went through ‘SUVAT’ equations from mechanics – something which Beauchamp teach in Year 13. However, the teacher explained them very well so I was able to follow. After third lesson (called third school here) we had a small break, where the boys return to their boarding houses to have a light snack and a 25 minute break. Double Chemistry followed, where we were taught some organic chemistry – luckily I had already covered this at Beauchamp so I was able to follow the lesson, and take part. Once I had eaten my lunch, at 2.15pm the teacher in charge of the exchange, took us around the Eton Campus. The tour started off by looking in the historic Library – which has a very rare Bible. The Beauchamp boys were then lead to the first classroom in Eton, where surprisingly 70 students were taught different lessons in the same room. Then we were guided to the chapel, which was an amazing experience – we were invited for service on Friday morning. We then returned to our individual homes, and after dinner I benefitted from a medical society, where we had an interactive talk from the head of clinical communications at St. Georges Medical School.

Thursday – Conor Sherrard

A slower start without an assembly was almost a relief half way through the week but its replacement wasn’t so welcome. On possibly the coldest morning of the week not 30 minutes before we had first lessons the fire alarm went off, a few boys were still in pyjamas and one even neglected to put on any footwear before dashing out on to the white frost bitten ground. After this I had chemistry where extreme competitively almost took me to a victory in the Molymod competition, but alas it was not to be, in the last round an Etonian took the lead by one point. This was followed by another maths lesson. After chambers we had organised double music but this turned out to be double watching the choir practice Bach in school hall. After lunch it really began to get interesting, first meeting by the burning bush (a fancy lamppost) we were driven out to the Olympic rowing lake, a spectacular 2,000m dead straight stretch of water overlooked by both a boathouse/viewing platform and the Olympic finishing tower. We then had a 2,000m competition on machines in the specialist rowing gym before going onto the lake. After rowing we were told to just go straight for about a 15 minutes (running) to get back to college, after attempting to go the wrong way we eventually reached Eton. After a quick change it was out to the rugby gym, not quite as good as playing but a laugh none the less. In the evening we were also invited to a water polo training session, possibly the hardest sport I’ve attempted so far; swimming none stop for an hour is hard work, then add a ball, and then add in “controlled” and more importantly “discrete” violence and underhand tactics. Unfortunately, the session ended 10 minutes early after someone dislocated their shoulder in an awkward collision. The final activity of the night was a talk from the deputy governor of the bank of England, despite not studying economics the talk was highly informative and insightful into the way in which the county runs and is recovering from recent events. All in all it was a very busy day but great fun and a superb end to the working week.

Click here to read experiences from previous years.