Eton’s boarding houses are unique in their identity and sense of self. Living in house is a fundamental aspect of the Eton experience, and like members of a fifty-person family, you look forward to late nights chatting with your friends, the Saturday evening ice-cream rush, and the thrill of playing in house sport. In these wonderful communities, you feel that you are part of something special.

The boarding house is the soul of the Eton experience. It’s the round of applause for success and the pat on the back for failure. It’s the magic that lets Year 9s and Year 13s enjoy a slice of toast together in the morning break, and compete fiercely over seconds at afternoon break!

Flynn, House Captain

We remember wandering down bustling corridors to the kitchen or the common room, and bantering with other houses after big sports matches. However, Eton Virtual has striven to bring as much of the Eton house spirit into our own homes as possible.

In weekly Zoom Prayers with Housemasters and Dames we compete in quizzes and games, wink murder being a firm favourite! These may not equal the hilarity of in-house Indian wrestling, but they do remind us of the importance of house communities.

Whether you dine in-house or in Bekynton, our school canteen, there is no avoiding a laugh or debate about anything and everything. Some houses have incorporated Zoom lunches into the Eton Virtual timetable, to allow year groups to get together and catch up.

Our love of competition between houses has also been fuelled by Eton Virtual. The Virtual COVID Running Cup includes prizes for a ‘Dutchman’s Dash’ to running the furthest distance possible in 40 minutes. Boys from each house, in every year group, have participated.

Similarly, the House Harmony Competition has gone online. Rather than allowing singers from all years to performing to an audience of friends, family, and teachers, we are instead competing virtually.

In spite of our physical separation, house communities have remained intact. As one house captain reminded us, ‘the Eton boarding house is not simply a building, it is a community. A community that supersedes age groups and friendship groups. School systems divide us into our years, our subjects, our classes, our sporting interests, but our boarding houses unite us.’