THE REVIEW 2022
Cover artwork: Art Scholars’ Collaboration with the Artist in Residence (Susan Atwill, Royal College of Art)
“The object of The Corporation shall be to provide at the School an education of the highest class.” Royal Charter
2022 UPPER SIXTH LEAVERS
We who remain at Oundle will remember you with fondness and respect. Please stay in touch with us and each other.
Sarah Kerr-Dineen Head
Introduction from the Chairman
The aim of The Review is to take the School’s strategic objectives in turn and to give tangible insight into how the School provided an education of the highest class during the preceding academic year.
It affords the Governing Body great pleasure to be able to reflect on a ‘normal’ School year that has been enriched by opportunity in every walk of School life. Pupil numbers remain strong and while we remain mindful of the current economic climate, we continue to set our sights on longterm planning to ensure the future health of the School for generations to come. The launch of Project 24 bears witness to our continued commitment to a modern full boarding ethos, alongside our determination to ensure this environment offers unparalleled provision for our day pupils. At the heart of all strategic planning lies a firm belief in remaining true to what we value the most and who we are as a School.
In The Review 2019, we reflected on an increased focus on boosting bursarial support while simultaneously emphasising the integrity of Oundle’s scholarship programme. All awarded Scholarships are now purely honorary and won in open competition, with defined programmes of support and extension for award holders across each discipline. The Scholarship feature in this issue shines a light on what this means to those pupils. We are proud to provision a sum equivalent to 8 - 9% of fee income on bursaries and legacy scholarships to the families of children who would most benefit from an Oundle education, and continue to aim to grow this to 10%.
The strong results achieved at A level and (I)GCSE further demonstrate the integrity of the School’s approach, not only to the awarding of Centre Assessed Grades and Teacher Assessed Grades over the past two years, but the preservation of the education of the young people within its care throughout the pandemic. The dedication of Oundle teachers to the intellectual, social and personal development of Oundelians is exceptional.
Key to the ongoing financial strength of the School is income generation beyond fees and the growth of the Foundation’s endowment fund. It is pleasing to see that the Sports Centre continues to go from strength to strength, both in terms of commercial revenue and in service to the wider community. Debt overall this year has been reduced and the Governors are determined to maintain an equitable balance between ensuring the current pupils benefit, whilst also ensuring that a sound infrastructure and financial base are preserved for the next generation of pupils.
On behalf of the Governing Body, I would like, as always, to record my sincere gratitude to all staff and supporters of the School.
Robert Ringrose Chairman of the Governing Body
Excerpt from Speech Day 2022
There is a new joyfulness here at Oundle, an enormous sense of gratitude for the opportunities we have, made all the more precious for their having been removed. There is a noticeable increase in our pupils’ wish to be connected with life beyond the School. The pandemic played out on a world stage, yet lockdowns meant that our children were simultaneously restricted in their contact with their own local physical world and free to roam an online world that knows no boundary. This continues to bring with it its own problems, of course, but online membership of the world out there has brought with it a sense of purpose in our pupils: to bring about change. They mind about inclusion, about prejudice and unkindness, about the future of our planet. They want us to help them to make things better, and this we undertake readily, wholeheartedly.”
Sarah Kerr-Dineen Head
4 THE REVIEW 2022
STRENGTHENING OUR COMMITMENT TO BOARDING
● A new, purpose-built girls’ boarding House will be constructed in the centre of Oundle, with planning commencing in 2023
● A long-term ambitious rolling programme of refurbishment will be introduced across the whole boarding estate.
The 2022 academic year was our opportunity to draw on our experiences of the pandemic in order to create positive change. In the summer, we published Project 24, the outcome of detailed thought and planning that has been going on behind the scenes throughout.
Project 24 is a tangible commitment to investing in those things that matter most to us and to securing the long-term security and success of the School for both current and future generations of Oundelians. The realisation of Project 24 over the coming years will steer our strategic development as we enter the next phase of the School’s Strategic Plan 2016 - 2026 and look ahead with great optimism to an Oundle of the future, fully equipped to maintain its vision of education in a changed and ever-changing world.
Project 24 embraces our core identity as a boarding school and our long-held belief that boarding offers the best environment within which to realise our ambitions, giving us the scope and the time to offer unparalleled opportunity to our pupils that simply is not possible otherwise, from the youngest to the oldest, boarders and day pupils.
3 2 1 INTRODUCTION
ENHANCING OUR BOARDING AND DAY PROVISION AT 11+
● From 2023, we will offer a more distinctive and tailored Oundle experience for our youngest pupils, including a new skills-based enrichment programme on Saturday mornings
● At the same time, a more graduated approach to boarding will be part of our 11+ offer, providing the best stepping stone to our modern full boarding model at 13+.
MODERNISING OUR OFFER FOR DAY CHILDREN 4 - 18
● In September 2022, a new and innovative physical environment opened for our Reception-aged children, alongside upgrades to Science and Art facilities to support an ambitious STEAM education for all LJS pupils
● From 2023, the 13 - 18 day Laxton House will be remodelled into two discrete senior co-educational day Houses: Laxton and Sadler. 5
The Heads of School Speech Day 2022
I’m not usually lost for words. Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that it is normally having too much to say that is my greatest problem and Oundle has done so much for me. Yet when I sat down, determined to begin writing this speech, I was at a loss as to where I should start.
Perhaps at the beginning, at four years old in a red-striped pinafore, sitting cross-legged on an alphabet rug, being introduced to those who would become my classmates and my friends for the next fourteen years. Perhaps in the middle, at eleven years old in these pinstripe culottes, two inches too long, face planting by day three and sitting wide-eyed in a Cloisters classroom, experiencing my first ever Latin lesson. Or perhaps right now, at eighteen years old and at the end of my School journey, standing on this historic stage which has guided so many Oundelians from one side of their education to the other, watched closely and supported fervently by their teachers, prefects, families and friends.
It would appear however, that regardless of where I start, the moral of the story remains the same. Oundle brings out the very best in us. It encourages us to strive, to be independent, adaptable, confident, conscientious, caring – to welcome change and to revel in it. To that end, it was Socrates who once theorised that ‘the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.’
Today of all days we are embracing change. We embrace that another School year has gone, and we cannot change it. Our choices, our performances, our achievements are sealed and they have passed. But we embrace what lies ahead, whether that be a new School year, a gap year or, for many of us, the start of university. These are things that we can change. Our choices, our performances, our achievements, these are all to be decided, to be carried out, to be won. Change, surrounded by everything Oundle has to offer, ultimately lies within us.
While Socrates may have been found guilty of corrupting the young and sentenced to a bitter execution of suicide by hemlock, conversely today we find him guilty of being the visionary for the young, leading us to understand ourselves and our place in the world more fully.
It has been my privilege to be Head of School this year and it has taught me many things, not least how to manage my time when there are simply no hours left in the day. I have learnt what is truly necessary, always to put my best foot forward, to apply myself, to advocate for myself, and more importantly, to advocate for others.
Even if I was given an hour to address you this morning, I still doubt I would manage to thank everyone who has helped me along Oundle’s odyssey. My inspirational teachers, my fantastic tutor and my wonderful parents for always pushing me to aspire to the highest level. There is, however, one person who, above all others, deserves my greatest gratitude and who, amongst all the chaos this year, has made this job not just manageable but exceedingly rewarding and enjoyable. Matt, they told me that being Head of School would be a challenge, but you have made it a pleasure.
I wish you all the very best of luck in the future and would beg of you to remember, if nothing else, the age-old wisdom of Socrates. It is time for us all to appreciate this year’s finished novel, the words already written, but to focus our energy on next year’s sequel, the words we are yet to write.
Izzy Horrocks-Taylor (L 22) Head of School
6 THE REVIEW 2022
I stand nervously before you today, at a crossroads.
As I pause at this juncture, no longer a naive Third Former but not quite yet an adult, l look ahead to a whole new challenge ahead of me, seeing a road full of excitement, opportunity and uncertainty.
I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I have been given as one of the Heads of School alongside Izzy, for whom I can’t quite express my full gratitude.
If I am honest with myself, my time at Oundle has not been the plain-sailing experience I had initially thought it would be. I want to share some of my experiences with you all today in case there are those amongst us currently struggling to reconcile a journey of expectations against reality.
Personally, I think I could have approached my own struggles far better in my early years at Oundle. A long way from home and without the support network I was used to, I found myself withdrawing, restricting the time I spent
with others for fear of being left out or judged for not feeling ok. The feeling of being alone is enough to amplify even the smallest discomfort and, while we will all go on different journeys through school and face our own challenges, no one should feel that facing struggles alone is a characteristic of our community.
If there is one thing I have learnt from spending five years surrounded by some of the most conscientious, caring and compassionate people I’ll ever meet, both inside and outside Grafton, it is that sharing these struggles can be immeasurably beneficial. I cannot thank my peers enough for being there for me, and each other, in such a supportive manner. I can now understand that I have always had a brilliant support network at my fingertips – I just couldn’t always see it.
For me, the most rewarding aspect of being an Oundelian is being surrounded by a range of incredible people, many of whom are sitting here today, who have made my experience at the School one which I will remember for life.
These people have created many of my fondest memories, from trekking across the seemingly endless Yorkshire dales during Gold DofE, to stumbling down a runway during a charity fashion show. Every member of staff I have interacted with has guided me to develop into the person I am today, but I would like to particularly thank Mr Gough and Mr Charters for their unrelenting support throughout my progression as an individual.
All this has reinforced my understanding that reaching out to those around you will help you overcome any challenges you may be facing. Being scared to do so initially was a missed opportunity on my part.
I hope, therefore, to leave you with two lessons:
Firstly, that any of you struggling know that it’s ok to reach out and talk to someone. This School is not just full of brilliantly successful people but also brilliantly compassionate and caring individuals.
Secondly, to those who are not struggling, please do share a thought or a moment of kindness for those around you who may be.
I would like to end by sharing the words of the American writer David J Schwartz: ‘When you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.’
Oundle isn’t just a school, it is a true community and it is the care and understanding of each and every pupil which makes it so.
Matt Brayshaw (G 22) Head of School
To Deliver a Distinctive and Outstanding Preparation for Life
THE REVIEW 2022 8
Artwork: Rebekah Watson (W 22)
There was a large degree of trepidation nationally ahead of the 2022 summer examination season, with exam boards aiming to re-establish standards and grades following the pandemic. For these Upper Sixth pupils, there had been no ‘normal’ School year since Fourth Form and this was their first experience of public examinations. It is credit to both their determination and maturity as a cohort that the results achieved were excellent, with a high proportion of pupils taking up their university places on the same day.
The Life of Learning programme continues to stimulate intellectual curiosity outside the curriculum, with new offerings this year including a response from the Imperial College Fellow to the specific policy recommendations of the COP26 climate change summit and an incitement to innovate and demonstrate entrepreneurial ability post-Oundle from a colleague with experience in Silicon Valley. For the first time, Lower Sixth Scholars have benefitted from a division of STEM and Liberal Arts, with distinct programmes enabling both greater and earlier specialisation and genuine intellectual depth in the sessions.
Nine pupils were awarded Arts Exhibitions for their contributions to the intellectual and cultural life of the School, demonstrating leadership in acting, backstage work, charity events, co-curating a community art exhibition, debating, graphic design, journalism, music, digital material, photography, public speaking, radio plays and radio presenting.
While Covid still fettered overseas travel, the Languages department were the first to brave a trip. 21 Oundelians spent February Half Term in Spain, with the introduction of work placements bringing a different dimension to the experience. As travel opportunities resume fully across the board for academic, cultural and sporting enrichment, careful thought is being given to making these as environmentally sustainable as possible.
THE UPPER SIXTH SHOULD RIGHTLY BE PROUD OF THEIR RESULTS, RECORDED FROM THEIR FIRST AND ONLY PUBLIC EXAMINATIONS. THESE PUPILS DID NOT SIT GCSES AND HAVE NOT HAD A ‘NORMAL’ SCHOOL YEAR SINCE THE FOURTH FORM. NONE OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS SHOULD BE TAKEN LIGHTLY.”
A LEVEL AND PRE-U A* 35% A*/A 65% A*/A/B 87% GCSE AND IGCSE Grade 9 42% 9/8 68% 9-7 85% 9 OBJECTIVE 1
Nurturing Individual Talent
Jennifer Yang (N L6) was invited to Oxford following submission of her essay to the John Locke Essay Competition: ‘Should we judge those from the past using standards of today? How would future historians judge us?’ She was also named as the Junior Winner of the 2021 Orwell Youth Prize from the Orwell Foundation, with her creative writing essay ‘On Keeping a Time Capsule’ described by the judges as ‘an incredibly memorable and thought-provoking piece’. As part of her prize, Jennifer was invited to attend the Orwell Lecture, delivered by Ian McEwan, and to collaborate with the Orwell Foundation on a new creative writing e-magazine.
Robert Tombs (Sc U6) achieved a Gold Award in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemistry Olympiad. He and Rory Millard (B U6) qualified for Round 2 of the British Physics Olympiad, only the second time this has happened at Oundle in the past decade.
Aditi Kailas (D U6) was awarded runnerup of the Professor Oriana Bandiera Prize in the 2021 LSE SU Economics Essay Competition for her response to ‘Who if anyone do you think within society should be responsible for improving inequalities?’
Paul D’Souza (Sc U6) qualified for the elite age group in the Oxford University Coding Challenge, open only to the top 10% of the Bebras Challenge. Paul was one of only 19 across the UK to score top marks.
Iona Morgan (D 5) as Chair, George Fothergill (B 5) as Speaker, and Robert Foskett (L 5) as Questioner were the first ever Oundle team to win the 2022 Grand Final of the English Speaking Union (ESU), hosted by Churchill College, Cambridge.
Charlotte Finney (D U6) was awarded the Sandi Russell Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship to St Chad’s College, Durham where she has a place to read Combined Honours in Social Sciences.
Rory Millard (B U6) was awarded the prestigious Nicholson Engineering Award for his self-initiated ambitious project of ‘Implementing a Method for SelfStabilising Bodies in a Model Rocket’.
Timetabled for all Third Formers, Trivium expands pupils’ horizons by introducing them to areas of academic interest beyond the curriculum. It is also a chance for teachers to share their own specialisms, with pupils rotating through topics over the year. Supplementary day trips to museums, art galleries, botanical gardens and historical sites mirror the eclectic mix of lessons. This year, an inaugural Connections Projects Evening gave pupils a chance to showcase their most creative work.
● Protest songs
● Chinese architecture
● The Olympic Games.
10 THE REVIEW 2022
Lower Sixth pupils opted for one of 11 rigorous and intellectually challenging Quadrivium courses. Ranging from architecture to zoology and from the role of engineering in modern society to the influence of Classics in later European culture, each bespoke course was designed by a member of staff with interests outside their subject’s main curriculum. Quadrivium day trips were followed by the annual Quadrivium Lecture, given this year by Old Oundelian Dr Seb Falk, now a historian, broadcaster, historical consultant and Fellow of Girton College, Cambridge. His talk showed the true interdisciplinary potential of Quadrivium, blurring the boundaries between science, art and religion across different times and places.
“Mapping the Heavens and Earth in Medieval Science and Art” 2022 Quadrivium lecture by Dr Seb Falk (B 99)
Lower Sixth pupils undertook AQA’s Extended Project Qualification, in which they chose to research a topic beyond their examined subjects and spent the year independently researching and producing that project under the supervision of a member of staff. The EPQ qualification teaches pupils how to conduct proper academic research as well as developing the skills necessary to manage a large-scale project, potentially earning them up to half an A level worth of UCAS points. Pupils showcased their final work at a Project Presentation Evening in Great Hall.
● An analysis of the Ramayana
● Whether Critical Race Theory should be taught in schools
● The impact of colonialism in Kenya
● The effectiveness of neuromarketing
● The prescription of antidepressants.
39 university offers included the EPQ.
11 OBJECTIVE 1
2022 was the final year that university admissions were affected by the pandemic. Following Centre Assessed Grades in 2020 and Teacher Assessed Grades in 2021, pupils across the UK faced the dual challenge of fewer places being available at the most competitive institutions for the most competitive courses, notably Economics and Medicine, as well as higher numbers of highly-qualified applicants.
Against a national average of 55% and with the majority of our pupils targeting the best courses and universities, Oundle’s offer rate was 67%. Results day yielded better than anticipated outcomes, with much of the re-calibration that universities needed to do having been done at the offer-making stage. The vast majority of pupils, having made informed and strategic decisions regarding their applications, secured a place at their preferred university.
144 pupils went on to a Russell Group university
147 (72%) of pupils achieved a place at their Firm Choice university.
The most popular universities were Newcastle, Durham, Edinburgh and Cambridge
Most Popular Degree Subjects
History (including Ancient History and History of Art)
Pupils applied to 75 different universities.
There were 203 applicants, comprising 182 Upper Sixth pupils and 21 Old Oundelians.
10 pupils accepted places at overseas universities, including in Canada, Switzerland, Australia and in the USA (including Berkeley, Columbia and Duke).
One pupil took up a McLaren F1 apprenticeship.
Seven pupils took up Art Foundation courses.
STEM subjects taken all together (Architecture, Biology, Chemistry, CompSci, Dentistry, Engineering, Geology, Maths, Medicine, NatSci, Physics, Psychology and VetSci) were applied for by 63 pupils, making 305 applications, of which 197 offers were successful.
13 Biological Sciences (including Medicine)
Honours) Accounting, Media and Business (including with a Modern Foreign Language)
12 THE REVIEW 2022
North West 9
University of Manchester 6
Lancaster University 3
West Midlands 10
University of Birmingham 6
University of Warwick 3
Harper Adams University 1
Bangor University 1
Cardiff University 1
Swansea University 1
South West 24
University of Exeter 9
University of Bristol 8
University of Bath 4
University of Plymouth 2
Bristol, University of the West of England 1
South East 19
University of Oxford 7
Oxford Brookes University 4
University of Reading 4
University of Southampton 2
BIMM University 1
University of Sussex 1
The University of Edinburgh 11
University of St Andrews 3
North East 38
Newcastle University 21 Durham University 17
Yorkshire and The Humber 11
University of York 6
University of Leeds 4
University of Sheffield 1
East Midlands 12
University of Nottingham 6 Loughborough University 4
Nottingham Trent University 1
University of Leicester 1
East of England 11
University of Cambridge 10
University of East Anglia 1
Imperial College London 4
King’s College London, University of London 3
Queen Mary University of London 3
SOAS University of London 1
Kingston University 1
Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1
UCL (University College London) 1
Top Russell Group University Destinations
ahead to 2023, 17 pupils have been offered Oxbridge places. Newcastle 21 Durham 17 Edinburgh 11 Cambridge 10 Exeter 9 Bristol 8 Oxford 7 Birmingham 6 Manchester 6 Nottingham 6 York 6 Imperial College London 4 Leeds 4
13 OBJECTIVE 1
An interview with Dr Adam Baragwanath, Deputy Head Academic, who joined Oundle in September 2022.
Tell us about your background and what brought you to Oundle?
My academic passion has always been the Sciences. I spent quite a long time at university, completing a four-year degree and then a PhD at Durham in quite a niche aspect of Physics. It was during that time, especially in the undergraduate labs, that I developed a love of teaching which led to completing my PGCE at Oxford. After a stint as a teacher of Physics at Bradford Grammar School, I moved to Brighton College where I enjoyed several roles over eight years, including Head of Physics, Director of Science, Deputy Director of Studies and, more recently, Assistant Headmaster (Co-curriculum and IT Strategy). I absolutely loved this breadth and gained a much greater appreciation of the interplay between the co-curriculum and the academic curriculum. However, as time went on, I missed the deep connection with the academic side and when I saw the role at Oundle, it seemed the right opportunity to move on.
What was your first impression of Oundle?
I had looked at a number of schools but the feeling I had from the moment I arrived in Oundle was something else entirely. Everyone I met was so welcoming, the pupils were balanced and articulate and, while I couldn’t put my finger on it, I felt that this is where I want to be. In my interview I had to teach a lesson; the pupils clearly wanted to be there, they wanted to learn and they were fully engaged, asking brilliant questions. Oundelians have got something about them that is quite distinct. They are warm and genuine; they want to succeed but equally they take things in their stride and enjoy academic study for what it is rather than feeling pressured to perform. I have been blown away by just how much they get involved in across the life of the School while studying at an exceptionally high level.
What do you want for pupils academically?
Essentially, I want them to be exposed to as many different subjects and ideas as possible from a young age and to experience a cohesive journey all the way up to A level. It is important to ensure that the curriculum is continually balanced between content, concepts and skills. As pupils move up through school they should enjoy greater depth to their learning so that, when they do go on to the next stage of education at university or elsewhere, they will always have that foundation that will support them.
How would you describe Oundle academically?
Oundle is often described as highly academic and for some that can be a little bit off-putting, implying that there is a very high bar of academic ability needed in order to succeed. In my experience so far, it is the culture and the academic integrity of Oundle’s approach which are so impressive. What is amazing about the teaching staff here is the balance of those with years of experience, who simply love teaching and are excited about living out a career in the classroom, with those who are new to teaching, bringing new ideas and approaches to bear. Oundelians perform exceptionally well, progressing to the most competitive universities and often to read the most competitive courses, because they make the most of all the academic help and support on offer here and they create a culture of learning among their peers. If you are in that environment and everyone around you is sitting down to work and talking about learning, naturally you will be brought along with that.
14 THE REVIEW 2022
What is your position on league tables?
Mainly that they should be taken with a big pinch of salt. One of the things that attracted me to Oundle was the integrity of approach to public examinations and the principled decisionmaking behind the curriculum offer. It is not a school which plays the system for the sake of results. For example, Oundle insists on a language being studied to GCSE level because it benefits the pupils’ education, fostering skills, interest in different cultures and broadening horizons. There are many schools which would simply drop this requirement because the subject is considered difficult and therefore doesn’t always suit league table performance. At A level, which is probably the last time in a pupil’s life that there will be an opportunity to sit together with peers and subject-specialist teachers and learn in such depth, we insist on four subjects so that no pupil closes doors too early to university courses and careers.
What is the significance of the co-curriculum for academic success?
The partnership between these two strands at Oundle is integral to the academic development of a child. Every single member of the teaching staff is involved in the co-curriculum to a large degree, which isn’t often the case for schools. One of the big advantages of this is that both teachers and pupils get to see and know each other in a very different light to the classroom, which makes for better and more meaningful relationships.
What lessons have been learned from the pandemic? Education has changed significantly and, quite simply, we recognise that being in the classroom is the best way of educating young people. It cannot be done through a screen. It is essential that we look to cognititive science to understand how pupils learn best and what we can do as educators to facilitate learning. It is why a focus on teaching and learning within the staff body itself is so crucial. For example, recent concentration on retrieval practice at Oundle has meant that teachers think more carefully about structuring lessons in such a way to boost memory and bring information to mind readily, supporting pupils to embed things in their long-term rather than short-term memory. We need to ensure that as they develop, pupils engage intellectually with bigger concepts and ideas and do not simply end up trying to juggle knowledge that they feel they should know with new knowledge they are trying to assimilate.
I would also like Oundelians to explore more of the different options that are now available post A Level, especially the growth in degree apprenticeships which suit bright, ambitious and articulate young people. These have burgeoned and enable the pursuit of an academically rigorous degree alongside a role in a professional organisation, with the outcome of a seamless career transition. The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology is a fantastic example of this.
What message would you like to leave pupils with?
That’s very simple. Make the most of Oundle and don’t be one to look back with regrets.
I WOULD LIKE OUNDELIANS TO EXPLORE MORE OF THE DIFFERENT OPTIONS THAT ARE NOW AVAILABLE POST A LEVEL, ESPECIALLY THE GROWTH IN DEGREE APPRENTICESHIPS WHICH SUIT BRIGHT, AMBITIOUS AND ARTICULATE YOUNG PEOPLE. THE DYSON INSTITUTE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY IS A FANTASTIC EXAMPLE OF THIS.”
15 OBJECTIVE 1
All Scholarships continue to be won in open competition and can be underpinned by bursary assistance should financial circumstances require it. Children develop at different rates, meriting recognition at the appropriate time and therefore we offer Scholarships both upon entry and throughout a pupil’s career at Oundle.
The John Adams Scholarship is funded by an Old Oundelian family trust to enable local children to come to Oundle. The Oundle Ormiston Academy Trust (OAT) Sixth Form Scholarship is a joint Scholarship across the Ormiston Academies and we have one OAT Scholar in our Sixth Form at any one time.
2021/22 Scholarship Details
Art 1 Design Engineering and Technology 1
What It Means To Be A Scholar At Oundle
“I’m new to Oundle this year and I feel that I have had so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve just been asked to play the organ for a service at the beginning of March which is nerve-racking because I’ve never done that before, but also really exciting. One of the things that’s special about being a Scholar is that you get to spend loads of time in the department where there are so many people like you, all loving the same thing. There’s a real sense of community and mentorship and that’s special to be part of.”
Cecilia (N L6), Music Scholar
Academic Exhibition 7
Music Exhibition 9
11+ Scholarships 10
Academic Exhibition 5
Music Exhibition 3
“I sat the DET Scholarship examination once I was at Oundle because of Covid. I remember finding out just before an English lesson that I had been successful and I couldn’t sit still through the whole lesson because I was so pleased! It is an amazing feeling because it means all of your hard work has paid off. One of the biggest things for me is the validation that it’s ok to pursue your passion and spend lots of your free time doing what you really love. And for me, that’s working on a car and other projects in the workshops.”
Sophie (L 5), DET and Academic Scholar
“It’s a real privilege being a Sports Scholar. You get so much extra support and opportunity, from help with organisation of your commitments to extra sessions on the pitch and in the gym. It’s also made me think much more about leadership and the importance of leading by example, especially on the pitch.”
Billy (F L6), Sport Scholar
16 THE REVIEW 2022
“Being a Scholar means we get to sink our teeth into so much, such as talks from experts in the field who are actually out there doing their work. I love Biology so to hear from someone who is doing a PhD in Biomaterials at Cambridge is just amazing and something I never dreamt I could do. It really validates your efforts too, having people recognise your work and then providing you with little channels to go down and specialist opportunities to explore. I feel that in some schools, if I said to someone that I was an Academic Scholar, I might get a bit judged, but here you just get respect.”
Emilia (L L6), Academic Scholar
“I really appreciate having a mentor who helps me balance sport and other School commitments. I also play a lot of hockey on an external performance pathway and my coaches have been brilliant, even taking me to training outside School. They also put on lots of extra sessions which really help us develop. Sometimes it’s just getting a nudge in the right direction which helps you be independent and take up the opportunities when they come.”
Camilla (Sn 5), Sport Scholar
“Being a Scholar really helps motivate you. As an artist, being able to curate an exhibition in the Yarrow Gallery was such a rewarding experience. The teachers also help prepare you for the future and for real-life experiences such as job applications and CVs. I’ve loved being able to work with Artists in Residence and go on trips to places such as the print workshops in Leicester.”
Max (C 5), Art Scholar
YOU ARE GIVEN SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES AT OUNDLE AND ESPECIALLY AS A SCHOLAR. IF YOU MAKE THE MOST OF THEM, YOU WILL JUST FLY. IT’S A VERY POSITIVE ATMOSPHERE TO EXPLORE THINGS THAT INTEREST YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED AND ABLE PEOPLE. THERE IS A VERY CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SCHOLARS WHEN IT COMES TO STRETCHING EACH OTHER. TEACHERS ALSO TAKE A VERY ACTIVE INTEREST IN MAKING SURE THAT YOU’RE STRETCHING YOURSELF AND THAT YOU’RE ACADEMICALLY CHALLENGED.”
William (L U6), Academic Scholar
“Being a Scholar has made me much more conscious of being a role model to those around me and when I look back, I realise just how much I have developed in confidence. I have learnt so much from being around other Scholars and from being encouraged to listen and reflect on feedback in order to adapt my own style and ideas. Being given so many opportunities to work with professionals has also made a huge difference. Just recently for example, I was able to direct and create my own piece, which I never would have dreamt of doing back in Third Form.”
Mirabel (N L6), Drama and Academic Scholar
“I was lucky enough to have been awarded an Oundle Scholarship at 13+ which gave me a tangible sense of belonging to the School. In Fifth Form, I was awarded a Sports Scholarship, which came as a massive surprise as I hadn’t actively applied for it. It definitely motivated me and has made me realise just how much effort is put into specialist coaching as well as strength and conditioning programmes for our benefit. One of the aspects I really value is how it has broadened my circle of peers and staff, as well as the opportunity to train and play alongside talented sportsmen as well as women.“
Hannah (L U6), Oundle and Sport Scholar, Head of School
IT’S WHAT I LOOK FORWARD TO THE MOST AND WHY I SPEND AT LEAST 10 HOURS A WEEK IN THE DEPARTMENT, INCLUDING WEEKENDS WHEN ONE OF THE TECHNICIANS COMES IN ESPECIALLY FOR US. IT HAS MADE ME REALISE THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO WITH THE REST OF MY LIFE.”
Caleb (L U6), DET Scholar
17 OBJECTIVE 1
We seek to provide a broad range of enriching opportunities that foster character, growth, responsibility, tough-mindedness and a commitment to excellence.
There has been a palpable sense of energy across the co-curriculum as opportunities reopened fully this year. The environmental agenda is increasingly an important consideration, especially as we return to a full trips programme. A new post GCSE programme was successfully introduced and we look forward to reinvigorating co-curricular opportunities for our youngest pupils, just as we have done with the electives programme across the board.
Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
The aims of the programme are twofold:
● The development of leadership skills among the senior Cadets
● The development of teamwork and self-confidence among the junior Cadets
A full annual training cycle was completed, including an Army Summer Camp attended by 50 Cadets. CCF training on Wednesday afternoons includes sailing and rowing for the Navy Section; infantry exercises, orienteering and shooting for the Army; flying and airmanship for the RAF Section; kayaking and climbing in the AT Section; and firefighting for the Fire and Rescue Section. Alongside further outdoor training, pupils also enjoyed Field Weekends for all year groups, a House March and Shoot Competition, and Northampton’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Parade, as well as a full Inspection Parade in May.
82 pupils performed at Franklin’s Gardens in the CCF Marching Band.
18 THE REVIEW 2022
Duke of Edinburgh (DofE)
159 Bronze participants
78 Silver participants
74 Gold participants
This year recorded an increase in pupil numbers for Silver and Gold level. The small decrease in numbers at Bronze level reflects pupils now being required actively to sign up for the Award rather than being directed to do so. Pleasingly, this change of approach resulted in a significant increase in completion rate from 48% to 84%. Pupils completed Awards at various stages throughout the year thanks to additional expeditions being offered to offset those missed through Covid.
Oundle School continues to be the largest DofE Centre in the Central England Region, with 10 staff members now qualified Expedition Assessors and a further five affiliated Volunteer Assessors.
Appetite for collective fundraising continued wholeheartedly, with over £25,000 raised for various charities. Events included fashion shows, auction dinners, 24-hour aquathons and ergo-athons, bake sales, Santa fun runs, the OO charity challenge and more.
A highlight of the year was the uniting of Learning for Life topics and fundraising. After a lesson on period poverty, a group of Third Form pupils took the initiative to raise awareness and funds through a bake sale in Cloisters, donating £175 to Bloody Good Period.
The summer’s cricket tour to Barbados marked the restart of international trips and we were delighted to welcome a large contingent of parents who followed the tour. Other overseas trips included a History and Art trip to Berlin, a French trip to Nice, a Classics trip to Sicily and Duke of Edinburgh training expeditions.
278 trips took place this year, excluding sport fixtures.
IN MY TIME AS CHARITIES CO-ORDINATOR I HAVE OBSERVED UNWAVERING AND INSPIRED LEADERSHIP FROM OUR PUPILS AS WELL AS AMBITION TO GIVE TO OTHERS.”
Millie Barker, Head of Charities 2019 - 2022
19 OBJECTIVE 1
It has been an excellent return to School sport. A new Head of Rugby, Jamie Lennard, started in Michaelmas Term 2021, joining four new Resident Assistant Sports Coaches. A successful pre-season cricket tour to Barbados in March was a fitting way to kick-start a return to overseas sports trips.
A recent focus on developing performance pathway links through formal partnerships with Northampton Saints Rugby, Loughborough Lightning Netball, England Hockey National Talent Academy and Northants Cricket is creating exciting opportunities for Oundle’s talented and committed sportsmen and women. Development of the Dedicated Athlete Programme alongside the Sports Scholarship Scheme has been key to this success, with representative honours being achieved in athletics, cricket, cross country, equestrianism, hockey, netball, rugby and swimming.
One of the key challenges is balancing equitable sporting opportunities for boys and girls with the drive for success in all the traditional sports. Nick Beasant, Director of Sport, offers a few thoughts.
How do you balance offering increased choice with the traditional sporting programme?
In the First to Third Form, pupils partake in team sports on a termly basis, where we have the infrastructure, resources and opportunities for every pupil to play team sport and represent both House and School. From Fourth Form, it is equally important to ensure that not only can pupils still have the opportunity to compete and represent Oundle, but that we are equipping them for an active physical life long after they leave School. With that comes choice and the opportunity to try new sports outside the traditional sporting offer, something at which we excel. With choice, of course, comes challenges. Talented athletes will often move from one sport to another before finding their niche. At Oundle, we have seen this result in burgeoning success in football and girls’ rugby, for example. For those pupils who are passionate about their sport, committed to playing at a high level and hungry to succeed, giving them a range of opportunities in order to achieve this is important. I strongly believe that each pupil’s sporting commitment should be meaningful and beneficial to both the pupil and the School, not one or the other.
So how do you maintain participation levels in the core sports at Oundle?
This is where being a full boarding school with a commitment to a strong co-curricular programme is so beneficial. A school can only offer so much within a traditional fixture list and therefore creating bespoke coaching and year-round playing opportunities is essential. We now have a year-round approach which is delivered through pre-season training and electives, as well as through our Sport Scholarship Scheme and Dedicated Athlete Programme. As a result, pupils can practise and be coached in their chosen sport over the year, gaining vital contact and development time. We are also focused on pathway opportunities through partnerships, which are brilliant for supporting the most aspirational and committed pupils to take their sport beyond School level.
Where does that leave traditional block fixtures?
We have a fixture list that is driven by ensuring we play other independent schools who can field similar numbers of teams as us. There needs to be strong, healthy competition across the core School sports and we wish to maintain our offering, with pupils able to represent the School at all levels and age groups. We have seen particular success in this in the Summer Term, where we have a healthy boys’ and girls’ cricket offering and continued success in both boys’ and girls’ tennis. However we also need to balance our traditional offering with new sports and new opportunities. Our aim is that week in, week out, we have an overall programme which is meaningful and competitive across all the year groups and across all teams. This does mean that we must also consider the comparative strength, focus and approach of opposing schools.
20 THE REVIEW 2022
It is worth noting too that the landscape is changing significantly. For example, we now have highly competitive teams in girls’ rugby, football and cricket. Rugby is also facing significant change, whether it’s around the question of compulsion to play, injury management or which format of the game should be played. At Oundle, we remain fully committed to having a rugby union programme for boys and girls, but we accept that flexibility and adapting will be key to help sustain the game and allow it to flourish.
How do you measure success?
The measure of success is often focused at first team level, which is of course an important barometer and still seen by many as the ultimate guide of sporting strength and prowess. However, I believe there is much more of a balance to be had in celebrating both participation and the success of the range of teams within a single sport. That is not to say we should not aim to win at the top level, and indeed improve our standing in some key sports, but our focus also should be on bringing through sporting talent during their time at Oundle. The biggest challenge is the arms race that exists around Sports Scholarships. Our approach is to invest in how we develop our own talent and pathways for pupils. This is where the strength of our coaching infrastructure and facilities comes to the fore as it enables us to make the very best of the talent that we have, whilst being able to showcase the opportunities that Oundle can offer prospective sporting pupils.
Representative honours and success
● Five girls were selected for the England Hockey Performance Centre Pathway
● Two girls were selected for the Loughborough Lightning Netball Academy Hub
● Nine boys and six girls were selected for county cricket pathways
● 10 boys were selected for the Northampton Saints Developing Player Programme
● Three boys were selected for the Northampton Saints Elite Academy
● Three boys were selected for the U18 National Lambs Rugby
● Two girls were selected for the Great Britain Equestrian Performance Pathway
● Three pupils represented Northamptonshire in the ESAA National Schools Finals
● One OO currently plays for Northampton Saints while two others continue to be capped for England A further OO represents Leeds Rhinos in the Vitality Netball Super League.
● Over 30 cricket teams played regular fixtures, with a 65%+ win ratio
● 36 tennis squads, ranging from U12s to U18s, recorded a win ratio of 85%
● Across the School, 220 teams played over 1,160 fixtures, with a minimum of 75% participation rate across each year group.
ACROSS THE TRADITIONAL SPORTS, WE FIELDED 44 HOCKEY TEAMS, 33 CRICKET TEAMS, 32 TENNIS TEAMS, 31 RUGBY TEAMS AND 24 NETBALL TEAMS. WE’RE ALSO PROUD TO OFFER SPORTING OPPORTUNITIES IN ATHLETICS, BADMINTON, BASKETBALL, CLIMBING, CROSS COUNTRY, CYCLING, FIVES, GOLF, HEALTH & FITNESS, KAYAKING, ROWING, SAILING, SHOOTING, SQUASH, SWIMMING AND WATERPOLO.”
21 OBJECTIVE 1
The Stahl Theatre
The Stahl Theatre continues to provide a range of highquality theatrical opportunities. The Scholars’ Studio is gaining momentum, strengthened by the promotion of some senior pupils to the role of Scholar. This year, Drama Scholars enjoyed an away day to London where they met leading theatre professionals, had backstage tours and watched Come From Away in the West End.
House plays continue to be a real strength. Pupils relish the occasion and the pupil directors show hugely impressive leadership skills as they coordinate their peers to mount a successful production. Meanwhile, the whole School musical made a welcome return, with a cast of 40, a crew of 13 and a band of 16 pupils all bringing Lerner and Loewe’s musical comedy My Fair Lady to life.
In the Summer Term, the First and Second Form relished the opportunity to work with professional director Tom Fox on David Almond’s Skellig. 40 of our youngest pupils took part either onstage or backstage.
In February, 60 pupils took part in a rotation of workshops led by Theatre Re, Lamphouse Theatre and Paper Birds as part of the Wontner Drama Day. In the evening they enjoyed a performance of Broke performed by Paper Birds at the Stahl, where they had the opportunity to see how the techniques they had learned during the day were put into practice by the professional performers.
15 First - Fifth Form pupils selecting Stahl Backstage as their Electives option
A further six Fifth and Sixth Form pupils working backstage on a Wednesday afternoon
Drama Scholars performing A Walk in the Park, a selection of monologues and duologues all selected, performed, directed and written by themselves.
3 House plays
3 School plays
7 professional productions
1 School musical theatre production
22 THE REVIEW 2022
The academic year commenced on the back of one pupil scooping up the top Organ Scholarship to Oxford, two pupils gaining Oxbridge Choral Scholarships, two pupils gaining places in the National Children’s Orchestra, and one pupil winning a place in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. The number of pupils learning instruments remains steadfastly strong at 859, with an equally impressive number of ensembles. Numbers studying at GCSE and A level are vibrant, bucking the national trend. More than 100 music examinations were taken, with five pupils taking (and gaining) Diplomas.
Alongside the plethora of concerts, jazz evenings, choral performances and orchestral delights, it was wonderful to reprise the breadth of visits and masterclasses from music professionals. These included iconic pianist Melvyn Tan who worked with our orchestra and soloist preparing Beethoven’s Emperor Piano Concerto before giving a Masterclass and a stunning Recital, trumpeter David Hendry who ran an enlightening Masterclass and presentation on ‘Trumpet through the ages’ and Gabriella Teychenné (Sn 11) who gave a Conducting Masterclass. The year concluded with a much missed jazz tour to France for pupils who performed in Caen, Bayeux, Mont St Michel and Île de Ré.
17 young violinists performing the solo part to the A minor Concerto in Vivaldi Extravaganza
Three Music Award Holders Concerts focusing purely on our Scholars
House Singing , involving virtually every single pupil with a wonderful resurgence of expectation and Oundle culture.
SPOTLIGHT Royal College of Music (RCM)
Our partnership with the RCM has been revolutionised, with five strands at its heart:
● The appointment of an RCM Fellow to develop our outreach with local schools, offering valuable experiences for both our pupils and those outside our walls
● Hosting an annual concert at the RCM in its stunning Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall
● Three visits over the year from RCM professors across differing music specialisms
● Professional development opportunities with RCM professors, including shadowing professors and world-class performers
● The development and hosting of music opportunities outside term-time, effectively acting as a northern hub for the RCM in conjunction with local music services.
Key date for your diary
Our inaugural RCM annual concert
7pm Sunday 19 March
23 OBJECTIVE 1
To be Associated With the Very Best of 21st Century Boarding and Day Education
THE REVIEW 2022 24
Artwork: Lara Mallinson (D U6)
The last two years brought many challenges with regard to pastoral care and we remain highly mindful of the effects of lockdowns and remote learning on our community. The Emotional Wellbeing Team and Health Centre continue to work closely together and the coming year will see nurses spending more time in Houses with the pastoral teams and pupils. The Pupil Pastoral Forum (PPF) continues to be a driving force for pupil voice, with two Sixth Form ambassadors representing an area about which they are passionate, ranging from Charity, Digital, Environmental, Health and Gender Equality to LGBTQ+, Mental Health, Neurodiversity and Racial Diversity.
In the annual pupil survey, two new sections were added to explore pupil views on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and on Healthy Relationships and Respect between pupils. Most positive across the welfare piece was pupils’ enjoyment of School, knowing where to go if they need emotional support, feeling safe in their Houses and how well their Tutor knows them. In terms of academic, most positive was the pupils’ view that they are encouraged to do things for themselves and work independently, with active support from their Tutors. Pupils were also questioned about online safety, with the PPF Digital Ambassadors helping review the responses, giving mature and helpful insights to those teachers involved in safeguarding, pastoral and Learning for Life provision. Survey feedback is acted upon throughout the School, with the Head speaking to all pupils through year group assemblies, Hsms working in teams at House level and all staff involved with understanding and implementing resulting actions.
2022 also saw a pupil-initiated review into School uniform address a lack of parity in the Sixth Form, where suits were compulsory for boys while girls remained in School uniform. This led to the introduction of a new, non-crested navy tweed jacket to accompany the much-loved culottes, with a broader range of shirts and v-neck jumpers also available for all Sixth formers, promoting both inclusion and equality.
Opportunity takes its place among the five things we value most as a School: pupils, staff, opportunity, community and quality – minding about doing things well. The rejuvenation of the Electives programme as part of the whole co-curricular offering, with its 75+ options spanning the broad categories of creativity, cultural, intellect, physical and spirituality/ service, captured the imagination of both pupils and staff. A new publication, Oundle Opportunities, was shared with pupils to pique their interest, encouraging them to set aims and seek new experiences as well as to reflect upon on their own personal development.
Read Oundle Opportunities to find out more about Oundle’s extraordinary co-curricular offering
25 OBJECTIVE 2
SPOTLIGHT Learning for Life
Learning for Life is a graduated and tailored programme across all year groups which aims to help pupils develop good character and make wise choices, equipping them not just with knowledge but a greater self-awareness, confidence and resilience. It supports pupils to approach life from a practical and personal perspective, as well as preparing them as thoroughly and pragmatically as possible for life at university and beyond.
Since its inception, the programme has expanded significantly, integrating with the Emotional Wellbeing Team, the Pupil Pastoral Forum and many other areas of School life such as Community Action, the Stahl Theatre, Houses and the myriad of pupil-led societies and groups. It is further enhanced by external partnerships with organisations including Bold Voices, the Breck Foundation, the Money Charity, IT Happens and The Daniel SpargoMabbs Foundation who offer specialist workshops, talks and discussion groups. This opportunity for pupils to hear personal stories and anecdotes from people with different perspectives and experiences is invaluable in helping relate what they learn to real life.
Pupil voice is key, with the range of topical issues discussed this year including unconscious bias, addiction, writing a CV and fake news. Many of these are delivered through year group Assemblies alongside the core programme. A former bank manager and financial advisor gave workshops on credit and saving, while a number of workshops were included in the post-GCSE programme, including media literacy, financial planning and budgeting. The recent introduction of parental webinars, led both by specialists and staff, has become integral to Learning for Life, ensuring School and home are working in partnership.
• Transition to Oundle • Making friends
• Banter v bullying • Self-control • How to look after your body
• Healthy eating • Self esteem and body image
• Puberty • External Talk - Relationships (It Happens)
• FGM • Period poverty
• Anxiety • Charity • Relationships • Family
• Grief • Career stereotypes • LGBTQIA+ • Neurodiversity
• Racism • Vaccination • Alcohol and caffeine
• Online safety • Online Safety Project
• First aid: allergies • Team building
KEY SIXTH FORM TALKS
• Money and foundation (Financial planning)
• Making safer choices (Fiona Spargo-Mabbs)
• Money and foundation (Financial planning)
• Preparing our teens for the unspoken at university (Bold Voices)
LEARNING FOR LIFE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN A TRADITIONAL PSHE PROGRAMME. IT IS ABOUT PROMOTING HEALTHY DEBATE AND ATTITUDES SO THAT OUR YOUNG PEOPLE ARE FULLY PREPARED FOR WHATEVER COMES THEIR WAY IN LIFE, RATHER THAN TEACHING IDEOLOGIES OR RIGHT FROM WRONG. THE PROGRAMME NECESSARILY EVOLVES AND FLEXES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, REFLECTING BOTH TOPICAL ISSUES AND PUPIL VOICE.”
26 THE REVIEW 2022
Catriona Harrington, Head of Learning for Life
• Transition to Second Form • Government
• Racism • How to give back to society
• Fashion’s dirty secrets • Healthy relationships
• Safer online relationships
• External Talk - Bodies (It Happens)
• Q&A sex and relationships • Pregnancy and birth
• External Talk - Workshops on gender equality (Bold Voices)
• Neurodiversity • Contraception • Identity – Mental health
• Sleep • Addiction • Social media • Design a healthy social media app • Study skills
• Money matters • First aid
• Staying safe • Friendship, banter, bullying
• External Talk - Substances (It Happens)
• Online world• Relationships and consent
• Relationships: sex • Gender stereotypes
• Self-esteem and body image • Alcohol, smoking, vaping
• Drug abuse • County lines • Study skills
• External Talk - Online Grooming (Breck Foundation)
• Study skills • Citizenship
• Unconscious bias
• Fake news • HIV
• Democracy and referendums • Fake news
• External Talk - Isla Van Tricht: PornographyAn Open Conversation • Drugs • Consent, STIs, Contraception
• External Talk - Lessons with The Money Charity
• Contraception and STIs • Q&A sex and relationships
• External Talk - Hyphen: We’re OK
• Careers and employability
• Work experience
• CV writing
• Personal finance
• Contraception and STIs
• Pregnancy choices • Relationships, gender, sexuality
• External Talk - Festivals (It Happens)
• Revenge porn
• Pleasure v porn
• Drugs: just say know
• Unhealthy relationships • Money
• Extremism • Pornography
Gender, sex, sexuality • Family and parenting
• Alcohol • First aid
27 OBJECTIVE 2
To Maximise Financial Performance
28 THE REVIEW 2022
Artwork: Bea Struthers (Sn 5)
The Corporation of Oundle School comprises two Schools, Oundle School and Laxton Junior School, as well as the separately governed Oundle School Foundation. The Governing Body remains committed to offering value for money by ensuring optimum efficiency and sound financial management, whilst securing its core objective of providing an education of the highest class.
Key to the financial strength of the Schools is income generation beyond fees and the growth of the Foundation’s endowment fund. Both remain priorities for the Governors and the Strategic Plan has highlighted areas where additional income might be gained.
The Governors’ policy, true to the guiding principles of the School’s Foundation and Royal Charter, is that access to the education offered should not be restricted only to those who can afford the fees. Pupils benefit from learning within a diverse community and the Bursary policy, ethos and activities contribute to widening access to education and facilities. Oundle Scholarships are now, in the majority of cases, honorary in nature with the funding having moved to the support of Bursaries. The School now provisions a sum equivalent to 8-9% of fee income for financial assistance to the families of children who would most benefit from an Oundle education. The aim remains to grow this to 10% in the coming years.
The consolidated accounts for the year ending 31 July 2022 showed that the total funds, comprising all assets, held by the School are £132,555,000. The Governors note that the £20m HSBC facility has been reduced to £8.5m currently, which provides sufficient liquidity for the Schools’ needs at present. The Governors consider that access to liquidity is a priority and that the Schools can, with reasonable accuracy, predict their income levels with a long notice period of change. The Governors have set a minimum level for liquid assets of £4,200,000 (defined as cash at bank and in hand and bonds with a maturity of less than one year), equivalent to six weeks’ expenditure, which has been achieved at the yearend. Liquid assets at 31 July 2022 were £10,541,000, meaning this target was exceeded. It is, however, recognised that in the event of an unexpected event, fee income might reduce very suddenly. The need for day-to-day working capital is met by careful management of short-term liquid resources. The Governors believe that the School will continue to generate reserves which, combined with donations and prudent use of banking facilities, should generate resources to fund its continued development.
THE GOVERNORS ARE AWARE THAT WHILST FAMILIES ARE COMMITTED TO PROVIDING THE BEST POSSIBLE EDUCATION AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEIR CHILDREN, THE FINANCIAL COST OF ACHIEVING THOSE AIMS IS HIGH. EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO REVIEW OPERATING COSTS AND TO ENSURE VALUE FOR MONEY IS OBTAINED FOR EXPENDITURE. THE AIM IS TO LIMIT AS FAR AS POSSIBLE THE GROWTH IN FEES, WHILST ENSURING THAT QUALITATIVE STANDARDS ARE MAINTAINED AND A SMALL SURPLUS IS GENERATED TO INVEST IN THE ONGOING CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME.”
29 OBJECTIVE 3
Income and Expenditure
Balance sheet at 31 July 2022
The Schools* £’000 Lettings & Enterprises** £’000 Fundraising £’000 31-Jul-22 £’000 31-Jul-21 £’000 INCOME Income from generated funds - - 1,374 1,374 1,677 Income from charitable activities 39,919 1,181 - 41,100 35,323 Income from Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 5 - - 5 725 Total Income 39,924 1,181 1,374 42,479 37,725 EXPENDITURE Charitable, trading & fundraising costs (40,501) (1,514) (401) (42,416) (39,507) Total expenditure (40,501) (1,514) (401) (42,416) (39,507) NET INCOME (577) (333) 973 63 (1,782) Investment & actuarial gain/(loss) 1,346 - (53) 1,293 4,313 Net movement in funds 769 (333) 920 1,356 2,531 * The Schools refers to both Oundle School and Laxton Junior School. ** This includes all income from School subsidiary companies. 2022 £’000 2021 £’000 Tangible assets Investments 126,744 17,861 128,358 17,471 Total fixed assets Net current assets 144,605 (1,203) 145,829 5,050 Total assets less current liabilities Other liabilities and provisions 143,402 (10,847) 150,879 (19,680) Net assets 132,555 131,199 Represented by: Endowment funds Restricted income funds Unrestricted income funds 17,626 2,180 112,749 17,516 1,839 111,844 Total charity funds 132,555 131,119 Net movement in funds 1,356 2,531
30 THE REVIEW 2022
International education groups, including Exsportise, brought students from seven European countries, many travelling for the first time in two years. New UKbased clients included the British Triathlon group and hockey-focused Future Sports.
A corporate offer has been developed for meetings and delegations on site, alongside a portfolio for photography and filming. A successful photoshoot was booked by Peugeot and Fairline Yachts regularly held board meetings at the School. Our own Engineering Course, run by our new partner Swansea University, was a highlight of the year, with 40 budding teenage engineers enjoying five days working with Swansea University technicians and members of the Bloodhound Land Speed Record design team. A further residential model is being developed for 2023.
In order to increase the limited sums ascribed from fee income to the School’s strategic development and to provide extra resources to set against ongoing operational costs, the School engages in further income-generating activities. These activities complement the School’s wider objectives and are run by Oundle School Enterprises Ltd (OSEL), the trading arm of the School. All profit is directly gifted back to assist with Bursaries and future developments.
Activities primarily include:
● Letting out accommodation and facilities, mostly during the holidays
● Opening up Oundle School Sports Centre and sports facilities on a commercial basis.
OSEL continues to be affected by Covid-19 and while some residential groups have returned, the post pandemic world of overseas residential customers has changed significantly. OSEL has pivoted well to attract new and existing customers, with a strong performance from Oundle School Sports Centre which is still in growth stage. These factors have resulted in an improved position, but a financial loss was nonetheless recorded during the year, with parent company financial support required to ensure reserves remained appropriate.
We were delighted to accommodate the Gabrieli Roar, an ambitious training scheme for exceptional teenage singers. 157 singers aged 9 - 18 from 14 youth and school choirs, along with 70 professional musicians, rehearsed at Oundle before their concert in Ely Cathedral.
OSEL residents stayed at Oundle for more than 9,500 bed nights, with more than 1,600 bed changes completed by the domestic team.
Our catering team prepared and served over 29,000 meals.
OUR SUMMER COURSE WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS. OUNDLE SCHOOL’S CHAPEL WAS AN INCREDIBLE PLACE FOR OUR STUDENTS TO REHEARSE IN AND THEY PARTICULARLY ENJOYED PLAYING WITHIN THE GROUNDS AND OPEN SPACE OF THE SCHOOL.”
31 OBJECTIVE 3
Anna Winstone, Gabrieli Roar
Since opening on a limited basis to the public in July 2021 and operating under Covid restrictions until March 2022, trading has vastly exceeded forecasts. Footfall has been on an upward trend and membership targets have been exceeded.
The Centre has also hosted national events such as the School Games Triathlon in spring and the England Netball National Games in the summer. We are proud to support partnerships with Northants County Cricket and Northampton Saints. Performance swim clubs use the Centre regularly, with the 50m pool attracting more enquiries both locally and nationally, including Swim Partnerships with Swim England, Deaf Society Swim Clubs for children and partnerships with local clubs. The Otters Swim School has significantly grown since opening, doubling in both size and revenue.
For pupils, the new Sports Centre has seen an uplift in PE options and co-curricular activities for fitness, swimming strategy and games in general. Sports coaches have benefited from RFU coaching courses and supporting the NCC cricket initiatives at the School.
2022 WAS THE FIRST YEAR OUNDLE SCHOOL HOSTED THE EVENT, CREATING AN UNFORGETTABLE DAY FOR HUNDREDS OF YOUNG TRIATHLETES AND THEIR FAMILIES AND FRIENDS. IT WAS A TRULY COMMUNITY-CENTRED DAY, WITH LOCAL BUSINESSES AND OVER 3,000 ATTENDEES COMING TOGETHER.”
Maya Bullen, National Schools Triathlon Competition
~700 memberships sold in the first year
930 Leisure cards sold since opening
8000+ monthly turnstile card swipes
61% growth for the Otters’ Swim School
40+ weekly exercise classes
6 national swim clubs regularly train in the pool
32 THE REVIEW 2022
Our aim is to provide an education of the highest quality and we believe we have a moral, social and educational responsibility to ensure that this is made available to as wide a range of children as possible. Our means-tested approach is underpinned by three pillars:
1. To make an Oundle education accessible to families whose income would otherwise make this impossible
2. To work with youth charities and Multi-Academy Trusts to place children at Oundle, offering up to 100%+, where additional support and the funding of extras may be appropriate
3. To support current families if their financial circumstances change unexpectedly to the extent that they are no longer able to afford the fees to which they are committed.
We are proud to offer bursaries and encourage families to pursue this route should such support enable their child to come to Oundle. While a pupil must comfortably satisfy the academic entry requirements, bursaries are not dependent on scholastic merit. Priority is given to those who are likely to gain most from an Oundle education and who will contribute fully to the life of the School.
In the year ended 31 July 2022, the value of means-tested bursaries totalled £3.1m and represented 7.3% of gross fees.
Total Value: £3.1m
145 pupils received bursary funding
The new Funding Futures programme in support of Bursaries and Partnerships was launched in May 2021 and raised over £800,000 by the year-end.
School Foundation during
Total raised since the launch of Funding Futures
(27 May 2021 – 31 July 2022)
Social Impact Fund
OUNDLE IS FOUNDED ON PHILANTHROPY AND WE PROFOUNDLY VALUE THE ETHOS OF GIVING, WHETHER IT BE EDUCATING PUPILS IN THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTRIBUTING TO THE WIDER SOCIETY OF WHICH THEY ARE PART OR, MORE FUNDAMENTALLY, ENABLING ACCESS TO SUCH AN EDUCATION.”
Sarah Kerr-Dineen, Head
Find out more on how we celebrate bursaries and read individual pupil stories here
Bursarial Remission Academic year 2021/2022 Average 64% 0-50% 51-80% 81-99% 100% 59 pupils 40 pupils 31 pupils 15 pupils
Over 6,700 people have made a donation to
its 25-year history, and for this we are immeasurably grateful.
33 OBJECTIVE 3
To be in Control of Our Market
34 THE REVIEW 2022
Artwork: Emily McParland (D 22)
We continue to maintain the integrity and consistency of our admissions standards, thereby safeguarding the School’s academic position and competitiveness in the markets, whilst ensuring each pupil can flourish. We work in open and honest partnership with our prospective families, ensuring that Oundle is the right choice of school. Our aim is to maintain a broad and consistent intake of pupils who are keen to make the most of the extensive academic and co-curricular opportunities available to them.
Project 24: Being True To What We Value
Without doubt, the best way to understand Oundle is to visit the School and meet pupils and staff as they go about their daily routine. The return of on-site visits has therefore brought a welcome normality to Admissions activity. Live-streamed events have reached all parts of the globe, while more Open Days with smaller numbers of families have enabled prospective parents to meet more pupils and senior staff.
We understand the irreplaceable contribution of school life beyond the taught curriculum to a child’s growth and selfbelief: our boarding ethos gives all our pupils the breathing space truly to value opportunity.
We understand that children develop at different rates and stages, with different needs along the way: outstanding teaching, pastoral care and resources are therefore vital.
We understand that children and teenagers intensely value their friendships and being with their friends: boarding gives a unique context in which to grow up happily and securely.
We understand the deep satisfaction of academic study and the life of the mind: of reading and discovering, debating and challenging, thinking and reflecting.
We understand that the 18-year-old leaver cannot be the end-point of any school’s vision: we must support each child to develop the authentic confidence with which to continue to learn and to contribute to society throughout adult life.
35 OBJECTIVE 4
All numbers and ratios have remained broadly the same as last year. The Oundle School community remains at approximately 75% full boarding pupils and 25% day pupils. At the beginning of the 2021/22 academic year, Oundle School had 835 boarding pupils and 274 day pupils, a total of 1,109. A further 258 pupils were on roll for Laxton Junior School. The ratio of girls to boys remains constant at 40:60, as does the percentage (21%) of Oundelians joining us as foreign nationals. We continue to attract boarders from all corners of the UK and across the globe, including a significant ex-patriate community.
21% of Oundelians are foreign nationals
7.5% of Oundelians are ex-patriates
40+ countries represented
36 UK counties represented
11 UK counties with over 25+ boarders
Boarders joined us from 130+
UK feeder schools
Home locations of UK boarders 75+ Pupils 25+ Pupils 50+ Pupils
Boarding Day Total: 835 Total: 274 503 149 332 125 Suffolk Herts. Norfolk London North Yorkshire Yorkshire & South Yorkshire Beds. Leics. & Rutland Lincolnshire Northants. Northumberland, Durham & Tyne and Wear Scotland Oxon. Derbys. Cambs. Bucks. Essex Staffs. Warwicks. Surrey West Sussex East Sussex West Yorkshire Somerset Wiltshire Shrops. Berkshire Gloucs. Hampshire Cheshire Cumbria Notts. Powys Kent Dorset West Midlands
0 Pupils 36 THE REVIEW 2022
A Network of Global Connections
Every pupil who joins Oundle School becomes part of a lifelong community which has a presence in all corners of the globe. Through the Old Oundelian (OO) Club, former pupils can gain support at various stages of their careers from others experienced in their field, as well as coming together for fun and friendship at a wide variety of hosted events. The Oundle Society brings the whole community together, including current and former parents, in the support of the School and its charitable educational objectives.
ON A RECENT OVERSEAS TRIP, I SAW FIRST-HAND THE GENUINE CONNECTION BETWEEN OUNDLE’S GLOBAL NETWORK OF ALUMNI, CURRENT FAMILIES AND PROSPECTIVE FAMILIESIT PROVIDES A WONDERFULLY DIVERSE PERSPECTIVE AND INVALUABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR NETWORKING, MENTORING AND FRIENDSHIP. AS A HOUSEMISTRESS, IT IS ALWAYS HEART-WARMING TO HEAR FROM OOS, LONG AFTER THEY HAVE LEFT SCHOOL, ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FRIENDSHIPS FORGED IN OUNDLE’S BOARDING HOUSES AND HOW THESE HAVE ENDURED REGARDLESS OF WHERE IN THE WORLD THEY HAVE MADE HOME.”
Sarah Johnson, Housemistress and Assistant Registrar
In major centres of business such as Hong Kong and New York, events are frequently attended by OOs who happen to be passing through, enabling them to enjoy a convivial time amongst friends with a common background and to establish new contacts in new places. As overseas trips are reprised following the pandemic, further opportunities to facilitate connections between prospective parents are being developed.
The Oundle Society comprises some 15,000 former pupils, parents, friends and supporters of the School who live in 77 countries around the world, including over 9,000 OOs residing in the UK. There are concentrations of more than 30 active OOs in eleven of these countries, and more than 100 in four of them.
Canada 65+ Hong Kong 275+ Malaysia 165+ Thailand 55+ China 35+ Germany 55+ France 55+ United States of America 230+ Bermuda 30+ Australia 155+ Singapore 40+ OOs across the world Read The Oundelian for features written by current pupils OOs across the UK West Midlands 500-1000 Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland < 100 London 2000-2500 South East 200-500 South West 200-500 Channel Islands < 100 Wales < 100 East 200-500 East Midlands 500-1000 Yorkshire 1000-1500 North West 1000-1500 North East 2000-2500 Scotland 200-500
37 OBJECTIVE 4
Read The Old Oundelian for news and features on the OO community
To Nurture Global Contributors
Artwork: Art Scholars’ Collaboration THE REVIEW 2021 38
It is our responsibility to develop in our pupils the strength of character, the authentic self-confidence and the qualities of humility, grit and resilience both to flourish in the decades ahead and to give of themselves to all the communities to which they belong as global contributors.
Partnerships and Outreach
Oundle continues to seek to be a leader in demonstrating the potential for effective cross-sector collaboration. Our programmes continue to provide opportunity for our own pupils as well as impacting upon those outside our doors. Our strength in STEM continues to develop an increasing number of partnerships. Both Imperial College London and Swansea University have been leading supporters of ExpertEdLive online and we have welcomed visitors from both to Oundle for seminars and lectures. As part of a successful DfE funding bid for £20,000, Head of STEM Outreach, Steve Adams, led Physics teacher training for teachers from the Oundle, Peterborough and East Northants (OPEN) Learning Partnership. The funding covers the costs to schools of having teachers attend the training and each partner school has committed to developing an additional two teachers to teach GCSE, as well as one to teach A level in the important shortage subject of Physics. The project will continue next year when we hope to make it open to more schools.
Over 10,000 attended in-person events, with 345 of these attending regular/ intensive courses or academic support
Our online offering through ExpertEdLive saw a total attendance of over 20,000
Over 1,000 pupils benefitted from opportunities in Debating, Creative Writing, Art, History, preparation for university (including Medicine/Veterinary Science) and cross-curricular events.
HAVING BEEN IN THE ROLE OF IMPERIAL COLLEGE OUTREACH FELLOW AT OUNDLE SCHOOL FOR SOME TIME NOW, I CAN SAFELY SAY IT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE. I HAVE NOT ONLY BEEN ABLE TO WORK WITH PUPILS IN A CLASSROOM SETTING BUT ALSO AT AFTER SCHOOL SCIENCE CLUBS OR IN ROCKET CAR WORKSHOPS. WORKING WITH SUCH ENTHUSIASTIC PUPILS AND SHARING MY PASSION FOR STEM IS SUCH AN EXHILARATING AND CONTAGIOUS FEELING – ONE THAT I MUST ADMIT, I HAVE BECOME RATHER ADDICTED TO!”
Anudi Bandara, Aeronautical Engineer and Imperial College London Outreach Fellow at Oundle School, 2022-2024
SCITT (School-Centred Initial Teacher Training)
The troubled national picture of teacher recruitment has been well documented and the SCITT programme has not been immune to such challenges. Last year nine trainees on the Oundle scheme qualified into the teaching profession across the shortage areas of Modern Foreign Languages, Maths and Physics, and are now teaching in state schools. Bursaries have since increased and we are hopeful of attracting more trainees next year, while also focussing on mentorship at our partnership schools. Oundle’s new state-of-the-art teaching laboratory, representative of those found in US universities, has just opened in the 2022/2023 academic year and we look forward to reporting on its impact in future editions.
39 OBJECTIVE 5
Community Action (CA)
Over 350 pupils and 50 staff members continue to be involved in 75+ CA activities over seven days of the week, totalling 15,000+ hours.
One of the biggest achievements was reaching the National Finals of the Goldsmiths’ Company Community Engagement Awards, with an impressive presentation and Q&A session undertaken by five pupils: Jeremy Wong (G U6), Jennifer Yang (N U6), Eliza Denham (K L6), Constance Turner (Sn L6) and Arya Samrai (K L6).
Other highlights included:
100 pupils raising over £10,000 for St Basils through the Sleepout, supporting young homeless people aged 16 - 25
Inspiring talks in October from a sustainable fashion brand and a wildlife charity in Africa
300 visitors at the first Have a Go Day since September 2019.
The OPEN Learning Partnership initiated a new online venture connecting quality speakers with schools across the country using newfound conferencing opportunities. Under the banner of ExpertEdLive with Professor Lord Robert Winston as Patron, we connected with universities, other local area partnerships and Multi-Academy Trusts to reach 20,000 children from six UK regions. Financial support from Imperial College London, Harrow, ACS and Shrewsbury has provided two part-time staff members and we welcomed two new partnerships in Guildford and Newcastle. Our aim is to have national reach within two years.
Family events, including midweek Maths and Summer Science, had a total attendance of over 8000, connecting with 200-400 homes per week in Maths, Science and, from September 2022, Modern Foreign Languages.
Highlight speakers including Professor Lord Robert Winston and astronaut Helen Sharman attracted over 2000 each.
The Engineering Module supported by Swansea University saw a total attendance of 560.
THE REVIEW 2022 40
SPOTLIGHT STEM Activity
● STEM Roadshows, delivered in partnership with Imperial College London, received an enthusiastic welcome across the UK, reaching 1,530 children in maintained sector schools and 875 in independent sector schools
● Our Imperial College London Outreach Fellows supported timetabled lessons and led STEM clubs in partner schools up to three afternoons per week
● A successful OPEN STEM Summer Festival was held in July, reaching 2,500 children through touring shows and speakers, 413 through day workshops in SciTec and 45 through residential programmes
● A Swansea University Engineering Summer School for 14 - 16 year olds was attended by 40 budding engineers who spent an intensive week in the Patrick Engineering Centre designing, building, 3D printing and Wind Tunnel testing their own race cars. This was a new commercial venture, which also offered sponsored places for local maintained sector pupils
● Various OPEN Mathematical Enrichment Conferences for the brightest pupils in Years 5 - 10 were delivered collaboratively by teachers from OPEN LP partner schools
● We supported 84 pupils on STEM Potential, a programme delivered in partnership with Imperial College London which supports disadvantaged students with capability in STEM subjects from Year 10 through to university applications. Pupils attend one Saturday per half term in addition to a week-long summer school in Year 10 and 12.
THE SUMMER FESTIVAL HAS BEEN A FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY FOR THE CHILDREN TO HEAR FROM TRUE EXPERTS IN THEIR FIELD. THE ENGAGEMENT HAS BEEN PHENOMENAL FROM THE CHILDREN, FROM THOSE WHO CAME IN KNOWING LOTS ABOUT SCIENCE TO THOSE WHO HAVE POTENTIALLY NEVER SEEN AREAS WE HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING.”
Mr Nickerson, Teacher at Oundle CE Primary School
41 OBJECTIVE 5
Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
We are committed to minimising our impact on, and improving the quality of, the environment. Since 2021 Oundle has worked in partnership with iiE, Investors in the Environment, achieving Bronze accreditation in the summer of 2022.
The next target is Silver accreditation by September 2023. Across the pupil body, the Green Team, House Green Reps, PPF Environment Ambassadors and Community Action Green Activists have been working on a variety of projects and initiatives, while a School-wide Environmental Management System commits us to specific carbon and environmental targets.
The Green Team now has 70 active members. Follow them on Instagram @oundlegreenteam
Notable achievements include:
● All investment funds have been switched to those of a sustainable and ethical nature
● Energy monitoring systems now inform and drive behaviour change
● 100% of our electricity is supplied by suppliers using renewable energy, with data on carbon footprint and energy usage being captured across the whole estate
● A phased programme to replace lighting with LED systems, including timed switches, across the School estate has begun, as has a rolling programme of ‘smart’ meter installation
● Three trees are being planted for each one removed as part of our tree management strategy
● Targeted planting of wildflowers around the estate has encouraged biodiversity and wildlife
● The Grocers Company has planted around 3,000 English trees in Oundle, alongside improvements to the wetland area
● An EV scheme for staff has been introduced, alongside the cycle to work scheme.
Notable ongoing initiatives include:
● Introducing green impact measures into trip planning
● Developing a Sustainability standard that can be applied to all new building developments
● Reviewing the School fleet to ensure sustainable transport solutions
● Moving to fully recyclable exercise books made from bagasse paper
● Minimising food waste and reducing meat consumption in catering, while also introducing reusable containers and banning single-use plastics
● Regular reminders about use of recycling bins, light switches and paper consumption, with clear targets for reduction of print across the School
● Changing heating and laundry schedules
● A pupil venture with the environmental charity PECT to pilot a scheme aimed at increasing the use of reusable cups in Oundle town
● Greater pre-loved uniform sales provision.
42 THE REVIEW 2022
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY TO TAKE BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE ACTION TOWARDS A CARBON ZERO GOAL IN A DETERMINED, CONSISTENT AND SINGLE-MINDED WAY.”
Sarah Kerr-Dineen, Head
The Worshipful Company of Grocers
Oundle has its origin in a grammar school founded in 1556 by Sir William Laxton, who was Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers eight times between 1536 and 1552 and Lord Mayor of London in 1544.
The Grocers’ Company is one of the oldest Livery Companies of the City of London and ranks second in the order of precedence. Under the terms of the will of Sir William Laxton, the Grocers’ Company gives generously to charity when its means allow and continues to demonstrate its support for the School through the provision of bursaries and grants. The School’s Governing Body consists of seventeen members, including eight Governors nominated by the Court of the Grocers’ Company.