Eton has always been about more than a narrow educational experience. From the school’s very origins, both music and sport have been part of a boy’s experience here and today these elements are joined by a wide range of possibilities, including drama, the CCF and outdoor education. Furthermore, our co-curriculum allows boys to engage with the community via social and environmental action projects that sit alongside the more traditional roster of school activities.

To be at a school where I can have a choir practice in the morning, rugby training in the afternoon, followed by Wall Game, a band practice and a Society talk all in one day is something one will simply not be able to do later in life.

Rufus, 1st XV rugby player and music exhibitor

We believe boys learn as much, if not more, outside the classroom as they do inside it. The co-curriculum at Eton is designed to build resilience, improve self-discipline, and develop the skills required to work effectively as part of a team. Our tutorial system also helps to ensure that boys are reflective about themselves and their experiences with the aim of understanding how they might improve, which helps to build self-reliance and a sense of personal responsibility. However, for all its educational benefits, our aim is to ensure that the co-curriculum is a source of fun and enjoyment in an ever more stressful modern age.


hours is the weekly average total boys in a boarding House spend playing sport.

It is clear that boys learn most by ‘doing’ and our co-curriculum allows boys to work in the social action sphere and with the environment, We are also determined that boys should be able to participate in as wide a range of activities as possible and that they are not restricted to a narrow programme. Talent in any activity is respected but participation is hugely valued, too, and boys are encouraged to work hard in areas where they may not feel comfortable rather than sticking solely to well-known territory. In some activities we look to them to develop leadership skills, but in others we hope they will be effective ‘followers’. It is our goal that boys develop positive values, encouraged by the example of their peers and their teachers. Although we make no apology for aiming for excellence in all we do, our teachers and coaches see themselves as educators first and foremost.

The school’s aim to provide an education which enables all pupils to discover their strengths and to make the most of their talents is fully realised through an extraordinary range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities which complement and enrich pupils’ academic studies.

ISI inspection, December 2021

Sadly, for too many teenagers today, school is something they endure rather than enjoy. Our ambition is that boys look back on their years with us as a happy time when they experienced a range of activities that broadened their horizons and helped develop them into rounded and confident adults. Indeed, experience suggests that for many Old Etonians, their fondest memories are associated with the co-curriculum.

Community Engagement

Societies Programme