Traditions, traditions, traditions

English schools. Traditions.

Let us introduce our e-Journal


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Many English school has dozens of traditions which are handed down from class to class. Traditions play a great role in school life. They teach respect for the past and link the past to the present. Traditions provide school communities continuity.

Here is our list of the most interesting traditions of public schools in England.

page 1

Eton College

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The Eton Wall Game

Eton College is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. The school is rich in traditions. One of them is the Eton Wall game. It is not known exactly when the Eton Wall Game was first played. The first of the big St Andrew’s Day matches was probably in 1844. And the Eton wall game is still played at Eton College. The rules have been revised from time to time since 1849, but the game has remained essentially the same. It is played on a strip of ground 5 metres wide and 110 metres long next to a not quite straight brick wall, erected in 1717. The traditional and most important match of the year is played on St Andrew's Day, when Eton's Collegers (scholarship holders) and Oppidans (full-fee-paying pupils) go head to head. The Wall Game is also played on Ascension Day, immediately after the early morning service on the roof of College Chapel. Various scratch matches are also played throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms, where boys from different year groups, as well as masters, take part.

The Wall Game 2010.wmv

page 2

Winchester College

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College Traditions: Illumina

Winchester College is an independent school for boys. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years. It is the oldest of the original nine English public schools defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.
The college has its own traditions. The most interesting one is Illumina (Иллюмина). At the end of the autumn term and in particular at the end of lessons at 16.45, everyone at school is greeted by the magnificent sight of candles covering the expanse of the enclosing wall of Meads. A bonfire is lit, carols are sung, mince pies and punch are served and parents and boys and staff all gather together for the last time before Christmas and the New Year.
The ceremony marks the removal of the wall separating Commoners (нестипендиатов) from Scholars (стипендиатов) in 1862.

page 3

Harrow School

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Harrow Songs

Harrow School is an English independent school for boys. The Harrow School of today was formally founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth. Harrow's way of life is steeped in tradition. And their traditions have developed over centuries. And the most remarkable one is Harrow Songs. Songs have been a unifying force in Harrow life since John Farmer wrote the first one as Head of Music in 1864. They are sung in Houses every term and regularly as a whole School. Twice a year, the Harrow Association (Harrow's Old Boys society) holds Songs in Speech Room for Old Harrovians from a particular age group. Churchill Songs is held in the Autumn term, in honour of the most famous Prime Minister and for an audience of special guests including members of royalty, governments and Winston Churchill's family. Songs are also sung around the world at Old Harrovian reunions.

Forty Years On has become known as The Harrow Song.

The EMG Presents: The Harrow School Song - Forty Years on

page 4

Westminster School

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Westminster School: Pancake Greaze

The Royal College of St. Peter in Westminster, known as Westminster School, is one of Britain's leading independent schools with the highest Oxbridge acceptance rate of any secondary school or college. Both boys and girls are admitted to school. A unique custom takes place every Shrove Tuesday at Westminster School. The school cook makes a substantial pancake which he takes in a frying-pan to the school hall, and tosses over an iron bar which runs across the room, about twenty feet above ground. In a mad scramble, representatives from each form in the school try to grab hold of a piece of the pancake, and whoever succeeds in getting the largest piece wins a guinea from the Dean of the school. The custom has been in existence since at least the mid-18th century.
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Pancake Grease.wmv

page 5

Rugby School

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Rugby School: Rugby

Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school. Rugby School is one of the oldest and most famous schools in England. Here in 1823, one of the students, William Webb Ellis, picked up a soccer ball and ran with it. In the process, he created rugby – a game that has since been taken up around the world.
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