Oundle School is one of Britain’s leading co-educational boarding and day schools situated in the charming market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire, about 90 miles north of London. It lies just 15 miles south of Peterborough, where there is a 45 minute direct train to London King’s Cross.
The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers endowed a ‘Free Grammar School’ in Oundle, where he had been educated at the original Gild School founded in 1506. In 1876, the Grocers’ Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School and Oundle School. The Grocers' Company gives generously to charity and continues to support the School through the provision of bursaries, scholarships and grants. The School is governed by its Royal Charter dating from 1930, and last amended by granting of a supplemental charter in 1999. The Governing Body consists of seventeen members, including eight Governors nominated by the Court of the Grocers’ Company.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle experienced significant expansion and investment under the leadership of its most famous headmaster, FW Sanderson, whose innovations put Oundle at the forefront of science and engineering education, establishing a reputation still renowned today.
As the third largest independent boarding and day school in England, Oundle has 860 full boarders and 250 day pupils. Committed to a full boarding ethos, which benefits both boarders and day pupils, Oundle attracts pupils from over 120 feeder prep schools from all corners of the UK. It is also proud to welcome around twelve percent of its pupils from over 20 countries overseas.
Following a series of major capital developments including SciTec, the Cripps Library and the Adamson Centre for Modern Languages, the School embarked on a further SciTec development project completed in 2016, which saw a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec, as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. The development united Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology.
Boarding School Accommodation
Oundle has 13 senior boarding Houses – eight for boys and five for girls – with about 60 pupils in each. Day pupils are accommodated in Laxton House, and there is also a mixed junior boarding House of about 40 pupils for entry at 11+ or 12+.
Art, Classics, Computing, Design, Engineering and Technology, Drama, Economics, Educational Support, English, Geography, Government and Politics, History, Mathematics, Modern Languages, Music, Physical Education, Psychology, Religious, Studies, Science. This top boarding school UK provides a curriculum that is organised by learning rather than by assessment. The curriculum is sufficiently flexible to give all pupils the opportunity to excel. The curriculum is structured into two distinct but complementary and mutually reinforcing strands. Throughout the curriculum we wish to promote excellence and achievement. In the examined curriculum, we aim for efficiency in preparing our pupils for public examinations.
The main ethos of the curriculum is maintained from the First ( at age 11) and Second Form(at age 12 ), though the Third Form ( at age 13) offers greater scope for choice. All pupils study a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Trivium. Trivium is a course based on ‘interestingness’, and topics vary from group to group. In addition to Latin, all pupils choose two languages. The choice is broadened to include Spanish and Chinese in addition to French, German and Greek. Furthermore, pupils opt for three subjects from Art, Computing, Design Technology, Drama, Music and Sports Science.
At the Mediæval universities, the Trivium of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric was followed by the Quadrivium of Music, Geometry, Arithmetic and Astronomy. Trivium is a Third Form course studied by all pupils in groups of ten. The Quadrivium course involves optional, deeper study of four main topics or disciplines in the Lower Sixth.
This Best UK Boarding School provides a broad and challenging curriculum for all pupils in the Fourth and Fifth Forms also. The core curriculum is supplemented with the choice of five option subjects. The qualifications for all of the core subjects are IGCSEs, which are an international equivalent of GCSEs and recognised as such by universities and employers. The following subjects are taken by all pupils. All courses conclude with examinations at the end of the Fifth Form. All pupils are prepared for the IGCSE in English Language, Mathematics and Science. Some GCSE courses contain a coursework element. Coursework is independent work completed by pupils during the course which is submitted for formal assessment to the examination boards. Marks from coursework are combined with marks from examinations to form the overall grade.
Sixth Form Boarding School’s pupils follow a curriculum that is designed to stimulate the mind and equip them to think. The curriculum is sufficiently flexible to give all pupils the opportunity to excel. The examined and non-examined strands of the curriculum are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
All pupils at A Level and Pre-Uuniversity Courses are asked to make five choices within the structure of the curriculum. A minimum of three choices must be two-year courses. It is usually expected that pupils will start the Sixth Form with four principal subjects and an extension option. The purpose of the fifth option is to offer pupils the possibility of support, enrichment and challenge tailored to each pupil’s needs or interests. This top boarding School UK offers the Pre-U in eleven subjects: Chemistry, English, German, History, History of Art, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Philosophy and Theology, Physics, Russian and Spanish.
Pupils may choose to continue with four or three principal subjects into the Upper Sixth Form. An indication of which course (if any) they may wish to drop can become a subject for discussion during the second half of the academic year of the Lower Sixth. In the Upper Sixth all pupils attend weekly lectures given by eminent guests on a wide range of topics, followed by discussion periods in mixed groups.
The School believes that it is vitally important to encourage pupils to use their leisure time constructively. All pupils are expected to follow three strands in their co-curricular activities: leadership and adventure; service; and creative and cultural strands. At some stages these activities are compulsory; however it is generally the responsibility of the pupils, under the direction of their tutors, to commit themselves to a personal programme of participation that will enable them not only to meet the School's expectations, but to develop their own interests and talents.
Boarding School Co -curricula Activities:
Adventure Awards, Combined Cadet Force, Charity, Community Action, Dance, Duke of Edingburh, Journalism, Mencap, Oundle Charity Ventures, Oscar Radio, Societies, The Elmington Range, Trips, Volunteers
Athletics, badminton, climbing, cricket, cross country, fives, football, golf, hockey boys, hockey girls, netball, rounders, rowing, rugby, sailing, squash, swimming, tennis
This top UK boarding school offers an extensive arts programme.
Pupils participate in a huge variety of bands, choirs, ensembles and orchestras, and are encouraged to perform at every opportunity. The School has a unique partnership with the Royal College of Music, enabling master-classes and performances to be hosted in venues around Oundle. The quarterly music programme showcases this wide range, in addition to performances by world-renowned musicians.
At the Stahl Theatre, around twenty plays are performed a year, including performances from highly acclaimed touring companies such as Out of Joint, New Perspectives and Eastern Angles. The unique theatre venue provides an inspiring backdrop to some of the best drama performances in the region.
The Yarrow Gallery offers several exhibitions and private viewings each Quarter, showcasing not only pupil work, but also art and photography exhibitions by professional artists.
Registered in England and Wales Registered number 8369137