Peter Symonds College

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Peter Symonds College
PSC logo.gif
Motto Counting in Ones
Established 1897
Type Sixth form college
Principal Stephen Carville
Location Owens Road
SO22 6RX
England England
Coordinates: 51°04′12″N 1°19′12″W / 51.0701°N 1.3201°W / 51.0701; -1.3201
Local authority Hampshire County Council
DfE number 850/8609
DfE URN 130708 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students c.4000
Ages 16–18
Publication The Buzz

Peter Symonds College is a sixth form college in Winchester, Hampshire, in the south of England. It is one of the largest sixth form colleges in Britain[citation needed].

Peter Symonds College entrance


Most students at Peter Symonds take four AS levels in their first year and then three A levels in their second year. General Studies was taken as a compulsory AS and A level on top of this until 2014, when the school dropped the subject. However some students take five or more AS levels in their first year and continue with either four or five A levels in their second year. Both the Extended Project and Critical Thinking are offered at the college and widely participated in.[1]

Amongst the subjects on offer at the college are Fine Art, Photography, Textiles, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Computing, Dance, Drama, Economics, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Studies, Film Studies, French, German, Geography, Politics, Graphics, Health & Social Care, History, ICT, Law, Italian, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, PE, Physics, Product Design, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology and Spanish.[1] The college is also somewhat unusual amongst state sixth form colleges in offering Latin at both AS and A level.[1]

Courses are available at AS Level, A2 Level, Level 2 National Certificate, GCSE, AS (Double Award) and A2 (Double Award) at the college.[1]


It has some 4000 students aged 16–18 mainly from central Hampshire, but also British Forces teenagers from Germany and Cyprus, and residents of the Falkland Islands, who live on campus in one of the two boarding houses (Falkland's Lodge). The College also has a separate site in Winchester where it provides courses for some 2000 adult students[citation needed].

College Life[edit]

Extra-curricular activities[edit]

At one time the college produced an online magazine named "The BUZZ", written and edited by students, which replaced "Converse" in 2008 but has since ceased to circulate.[2] There is also a student produced college radio station, 7Radio.

The UK Rock Challenge, Duke of Edinburgh's Award,[3] First Aid, Practical Wildlife Conservation, Choir, Harry Potter Appreciation Society, Libra Foundation, Fencing, Debating and Fantasy Football are all activities on offer at Peter Symonds College.[4]


Peter Symonds College 7Radio logo.png
Format Online (accessible in the college only)
Language(s) English
Owner Peter Symonds College

There is a student produced college radio station, 7Radio, founded in 2007. The '7' or 'Seven' of 7Radio, as well as relating to broadcasting 7 days a week when first set up, refers to Symonds Events and Entertainment Network radio. The station can currently only be heard around the college via their network.[5]


The college has teams in the following sports: Athletics, American Flag Football, badminton, basketball, cricket, cross country, equestrian, football, hockey, lacrosse, netball, rugby, squash, swimming, tennis, and volleyball.[6] The college also enters individual players and teams into competitions for the following sports: Golf, table tennis and trampolining.

Student Union[edit]

The Student Union works in conjunction with Student Services to promote student interests alongside organising events for the student body, such as diversity festivals, guest speakers, charity events, concerts and until recently end of year balls.[7] The SU consists of the executive committee (President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary) and other officers (Environment, Charity, Communications, Equality and Diversity, LGBT). The SU also has a history of organising and coordinating protests and demonstrations on behalf of the student body.[8]

The President of the SU also serves on the board of governors as a student governor, along with one other student governor who is not a member of the SU but is nonetheless democratically elected by the student body.[7] Amongst the roles of the President is to chair the executive committee, and to organise and chair the Student Parliament.

The SU officers are elected at the start of the academic year with the executive committee elected at the year's end.[7] Participation in the elections has been boosted in recent years through the use of an online system accessible through the student intranet, this system was introduced for the first time in the executive committee election of April 2012.[7] The electoral system works on a single transferable vote system, with a re-open nominations option available.

The Student Union is at present affiliated with the National Union of Students (United Kingdom) (NUS).[7]


Thirty UK students board at School House. A further 47 students exclusively from the Falkland Islands stay at Falkland Lodge. (The colony's government paid for the boarding house to serve the islands.)

There were more boarding houses when the college was a boys' grammar school: Wyke Lodge, which is now the environmental studies block) and Kelso, which is home to the music department.

Academic achievement[edit]

In 2009 Peter Symonds was placed sixth in The Times top 50 state sixth forms. In the same year the college was ranked 85th in the country (only including institutions with at least 30 exam entrants) based on Average Points Score. And in 2011 the college was placed 4th top 50 state sixth forms in the country. [9]

A2 Results 2015[10]
{| !Summary !Entries !A* !A !B !C !D !E !U !X !A*-B !A*-C !A*-E |- |Summary |5169 |622 |1194 |1464 |1059 |541 |243 |46 |0 |3280 |4339 |5123 |- |Percentage | |12.0 |23.1 |28.3 |20.5 |10.5 |4.7 |0.9 |0.0 |63.5 |83.9 |99.1 |}
AS Results 2015[10]
{| !Summary !Entries !A !B !C !D !E !U !X !A-B !A-C !A-E |- |Summary |7132 |1873 |1579 |1512 |1039 |652 |473 |4 |3452 |4964 |6655 |- |Percentage | |26.3 |22.1 |21.2 |14.6 |9.1 |6.6 |0.1 |48.4 |69.6 |93.3 |}

2015 results showed the pass rate remained at 99% and students performed better than last year, with 83% achieveing A*-C at A Level.

Headmasters and principals[edit]

  • Revd Telford Varley III, 1897 to 1926
  • Dr Percy Tom Freeman, 1926 to 1956
  • Charles Simpson (acting), 1956 to 1957
  • John Shields, 1957 to 1963
  • John Ashurst, 1963 to 1972
  • John Cooksey, 1972 to 1973
  • Stuart Nicholls, 1973 to 1993
  • Neil Hopkins, 1993 to 2013
  • Stephen Carville 2013 to present

Life after College[edit]


Peter Symonds College sends a significant number of students to both the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge each year.[11][12][13] In 2013, 53 Peter Symonds students were placed at Oxford or Cambridge.[14]

Russell Group admissions record[edit]

The Sutton Trust published a report looking at entry statistics across the thirty most competitive universities in the United Kingdom. Peter Symonds College students have significantly higher entry rate into this group than students coming from any other Hampshire sixth form college. 41% of students gained places at Russell group universities in 2011. By comparison, nationally only 18.5% of sixth form college students achieved that in this year.[13]


Grammar school[edit]

The college was founded as a boys' grammar school in 1897 and became a coeducational 16-19 college in 1974, although its roots go back to charities established in the 16th century at the bequest of Peter Symonds, a wealthy merchant. From 1944 it was a voluntary controlled grammar school.

Sixth form college[edit]

The school, along with the Winchester County Girls' High School, also a grammar school, became a comprehensive in 1974, taking until 1978.


In the late 1990s or early 2000s, for reasons unknown (but possibly because of the difficulty students and correspondents had in spelling the College's name correctly), the College dropped the possessive apostrophe from its founder's name in its official title, and is now known as Peter Symonds College.

New buildings[edit]

In 2004, the John Shields Building was unveiled, providing classrooms for the computing, psychology and environmental science departments. Also in that year the Varley Sports Café was rebuilt.

The £4.2M Ashurst Learning Resources Centre was completed in the spring of 2007. Ashurst contains five computer suites, housing over 170 computers (three suites double as classrooms, but remain open access when not in use), a vast library and large silent study areas.

The Conlan building was completed in the summer of 2014, this building is used for a variety of subjects including Photography and Business

The Ashurst Quad which sits alongside its big brother Ashurst (LRC) is due to complete construction in the spring of 2015, the building is to create more study space for students

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Course Directory". Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Converse Student Magazine[dead link]
  3. ^ "Peter Symonds College - Duke of Edinburgh's Award". Duke of Edinburgh, Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Activities at the College". Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "7Radio". 7Radio, Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  6. ^ "Peter Symonds College - Sports Teams". 
  7. ^ a b c d e "Student Union". Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  8. ^ "Hundreds join tuition fees protest in Winchester". Daily Echo. 
  9. ^ "Top A-level results in school league tables". BBC News. 13 January 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b "Peter Symonds College | College Results 2015". Retrieved 2015-10-22. 
  11. ^ Napier, Andrew (15 February 2010). "Peter Symonds College pupils get opportunity to study Oxford or Cambridge". Hampshire Chronicle. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  12. ^ Murray, Janet (30 March 2010). "When Oxbridge is an option". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "University Destinations". Peter Symonds College. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "More than 50 Symonds students gain Oxbridge offers". Hampshire Chronicle. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Ben Ainslie". Sailor Biography. ISAF UK. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  16. ^ Kevin Ashman (10 October 2013). The Ultimate Eggheads Quiz Book. Simon & Schuster Ltd. ISBN 1471131556. 
  17. ^ "Ex-Peter Symonds ace in England squad". Southern Daily Echo. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Janet Murray. "College days". the Guardian. 
  19. ^ Murray, Janet (2007-06-26). "College days". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  20. ^ Murray, Janet (2007-05-01). "College days". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  21. ^ Murray, Janet (2007-05-22). "College days". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  22. ^ "The Making of a Comedian". Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  23. ^ Morton, James (9 October 2014). "Sir Edward Eveleigh obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Philippa Forrester#Education
  25. ^ How Holby City Changed Me Southern Daily Echo 4 June 2013
  26. ^ "Air Chief Marshal Sir Patrick "Paddy" Bardon Hine GCB, GBE". 
  27. ^ "Player profile: Phil Hughes". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  28. ^ Murray, Janet (2007-09-25). "College days". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  29. ^ "Gidley goes as Tories win Romsey". Southern Daily Echo. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 
  30. ^ Shimmon, Katie (2006-07-18). "College days". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  31. ^ "Lucy Pinder backed by Winchester civic chiefs". Hampshire Chronicle (Newsquest Media Group). 9 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 

External links[edit]