Imagine that you are a new boy at Eton. Perhaps you are! You have been through a long admissions process; you have taken the Eton Test, been interviewed and offered a conditional place; you have worked hard to pass the King's Scholarship or Common Entrance; now, aged about 13, you are finally here, or looking forward to being here soon.
This "New Boy Guide" is intended as a personal introduction to the school. Unlike most of this website it is written directly to you as it might be spoken by someone showing you around the school. It aims to inform those who are coming to the school and, perhaps, to encourage others. Eton is a wonderful school, but it would be nothing without the boys who are in it. Helping you settle in is as important to us as it is to you. This guide is designed to help you feel comfortable as quickly as possible.
Click on Boarding — The Eton Day — Work — Games — Activities — Maps to visit the various sections in the guide. And tell your parents about Information for Parents of New Boys: they too may have things to learn! But for now, let's talk about you, perhaps on your first day.
Let's start with the obvious.
All of the 1300+ boys at Eton are full-time boarders. A new boy joins a house, which usually has just over 50 boys unless he is a King's Scholar in College with about 70. An Eton house is very much smaller than a typical prep. school, so you will soon get to know the ten or so other new boys in your house and to find your way around the house.
It takes a bit longer to find your way around the whole school, although most new boys are surprised by how quickly they do in fact manage to get themselves to the right schoolroom at the right time on the right day for the right lesson.
A school as large as Eton needs a lot of schoolrooms. Almost all masters (we call all teachers masters whether they are male or female) have a schoolroom of their own. That means that the boys move and the masters stay put. Schoolrooms are mostly grouped together into departments that occupy their own buildings (Alington 1, Alington 2, etc in Alington Schools, for example, are all part of the English department). Your house master will walk you round the school on your first afternoon or soon afterwards to make sure that you know where to go, of course, but if you want a bit of a preview click here.
You may prefer to start with the Eton Tour, however, which attempts to illustrate a day in the life of a new boy, showing you some of the buildings in the central area of the school and plenty of our games and other facilities, both indoors and out.
You can consult the Glossary if you are puzzled about the meaning of a word or phrase.
Sixth Form New Boys
This guide assumes that you are a new boy aged 13. If you are a Sixth Form entrant, you will need to make a few obvious adjustments, but in essence you will have to learn much the same things and the same Eton-speak as a boy entering F.