I have visited the websites of three british colleges in order to compare them. These colleges are Eton (not Ethan!) College, Harrow School and Westmisnster School. First of all, some photos:
Eton: really high fees - £9,360 per term (3 terms a year) for an oppidan (oppidan is an Eton College student living in a flat)
Harrow School: £9,335 per term + other fees
Westminster School: £ 9,172 per term
b. how to gain admission (I was researching Six Form Entries (for A-level programme))
Eton: most of the boys enter Eton at the age 13, however, it is possible to enter at 16 for some students. For a schoolarship you should submit an entrance before the second week of December, then Eton will frequently ask for a student's current perfomance on GSCE. On the basis of these reports, short-listed candidates will be asked to come to Eton in February (bringing examples of recent work with them) for interviews in their likely AS-level subjects, an aptitude test, and a general paper. A confidential medical report will also be required before a candidate can be accepted, which may on occasion include specified medical tests. For just an entry there is no admission form, but a student must show high achievements in his studies and convince the college that he will take an active part of the college life. He migh also be interviewed and tested and he must check at Eton's doctor office. A parent or a guardian of a student is asked to sign a document, confirming that all fees and charges will be payed.
Harrow: complete a registration form or a schoolarship form, then present a reference from a student's current school and then, if an application is strong enough, sit a test and complete a couple of interviews with the teachers of the subjects a student intends to study.
Westminster: for getting entry information the school suggest to contact their office.
c. school facilities
- a boy lives within the college, he is sorted to one of the houses (50 boys in each approx) or in the College (70 boys) and is supervised by a housemaster and his assistents.
- school libary, departamental libaries and a college libary, all have all needed equipment and materials
- 24 science laboratories, 3 language laboratories
- audio-visual resource centre (serves the audio-visual needs of the school), computer-based resource centre (exists to help masters incorporate computers into their teaching, and in particular to make the best use of the school network)
- a big list of societies that students can join
- music school
- one of the best school theatres in the UK
- the latest IT infrastructure
- the best school golf courses
- top-quality all-weather pitches
- a farm (dunno why they need this)
- a libary
- a science centre (laboratories on eight floors, together with offices, and project and research rooms. all these laboratories are undergoing refurbishment as part of the Science Centre’s programme of development)
- an IT department (also offers a range of optional advanced computing courses)
d. sports, arts and expeditions available
- different expeditions during the terms and the holidays
- There is a vast range of sports available, from the familiar, like soccer, rugby, hockey, cricket, rowing, athletics, squash, to the less familiar like rackets and fives. There are some games which can only be played at Eton, namely the Wall and Field Games. In all there are nearly 30 different games on offer, all coached by Eton masters and professional coaches.
- The Drawing Schools have facilities for painting, drawing, printmaking, computer graphics and digital photography.
- Students can take part in any play production process they want to. Drama can be also a part of the curriculum
- The new building consists of a purpose-built orchestral rehearsal room, recording studio, computer room with twelve PC workstations, a pre/post-production suite, rock band studio, electric guitar teaching room, and twelve other teaching and practice rooms. <...> Over 1,000 music lessons are taught each week by a music staff of seven full-time masters and over fifty visiting teachers; instruments range from sitar and tabla to the full range of orchestral and solo instruments.
- Harrow aims to provide a very high standard of coaching and competition for the best sportsmen while enabling the less gifted to find something they can enjoy. Pupils can play sport every day if they wish, and for the enthusiast there are outstanding opportunities to play and excel.
- Over half our pupils learn an instrument and most of these boys are involved in ensemble work through participation in choirs, bands, orchestras and drama productions.
- In most academic years there are about eleven plays, in addition to the Shell drama festival and the AS and A-level productions.
For sixth-form pupils, the Options programme encompasses a diverse number of activities including a Film Society, Debating and Model United Nations (MUN), and a Community Service option that arranges visits to Primary Schools and Drop in Centres.
e. range of subjects
Eton: The subjects on offer vary in small measure from year to year, but the following are those currently on offer: English Literature; English with theatre studies; mathematics; mathematics with further mathematics; biology; chemistry; physics; French, German; Italian; Japanese; Spanish; Russian; Portuguese; Chinese (Mandarin); history (one chosen from modern or early modern or mediaeval); history of art; geography; divinity; economics; government and politics; art; design
Harrow: In the Sixth Forms all pupils are expected to take AS-level in four main subjects, going on to A-level in at least three. There are many to choose from including English Literature, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Greek, History, Geography, Economics, Business Studies, Ancient History, Classical Civilisation, Political Studies, Religious Studies, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Design Technology, Physical Education, Music, Music Technology, Art, History of Art, Theatre Studies, Statistics and Photography.
Westminster: no particular list of subjects is posted.
f. examination results
Eton: GCE A-LEVEL STATISTICS — SUMMER 2008: 100% grades A in A-levels in languages (Russian, Japanese, German), 90%> grades A in English Literature, Greek, History of Art, Italian, Latin and Religious Studies, 80%> grades A in Art, French, Government and Politics, Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Spanish. 72% got a grade A in Economics, Sociology and BS are not presented.
Harrow: results are not presented at the website
Westminster: since 1995 % of pass is 100, with more than 80% getting grades A and B and more than 70% getting a grade A. For exact data look here.
Conclusions: all three research objects are approximately the same price, Eton and Harrow are boys schools complteley and Westminster offers places for girls only for Six Form Education. All three provide accomodation and a wide range of subjects, emphasising on extra curriculum and discipline. All three have a high rate of achievements and provid high-quality education.