We’ve put this booklet together to answer some of the questions you may have about what you can expect when you join Oakham’s Middle School.
Based on the most popular questions people ask, we have included information about where you will live and work, who is there to support you, what daily life is like and what opportunities are on offer. We’ve also asked some of our current pupils for their advice and top tips.
Whether you are completely new to the School or are joining us from Oakham’s Lower School – as a day pupil or a boarder – it’s important to remember that everyone is starting out together on an exciting new journey and there are lots of people around you who are keen to help you make the most of your time in Oakham’s Middle School and be the best you can be.Nick Favill Head of Middle School
To find out more about what life is like in Oakham’s Middle School, follow us online. @oakhamschool
WHAT IS OAKHAM’S MIDDLE SCHOOL?
Oakham’s Middle School is where pupils aged 13 or 14 join us for Forms 3, 4 and 5 (Years 9, 10 and 11).
You will be based in one of our 10 welcoming Boarding and Day Houses at the heart of the School campus, with all of our fantastic facilities just a stone’s throw away.
This means that you can get stuck into Oakham School life straight away, make new friends and take advantage of everything that we offer.
Our aim during these years is to provide you with a broad and balanced education. This means that as well as helping you succeed in your GCSE exams, we will give you many opportunities to participate in a wide variety of activities, projects and visits to enhance your learning beyond the classroom.
Each day is filled with lessons and activities, not to mention a raft of interhouse competitions and with equal numbers of Girls’ Houses and Boys’ Houses there are lots of friendly rivalries!Sports Hall, Swimming Pool and Fitness Centre Art Art Medical and Pastoral Centre Sports Pitches Design Technology Classrooms Boys’ Boarding Houses
“The most enjoyable aspect of Oakham School for me is boarding because of the tight bonds I have created.” RUUDI
WHICH HOUSE WILL I BE IN?
When you join Oakham’s Middle School, you will become a member of one of our 10 Boarding and Day Houses:
Your House is your home while you are at School. Like a home, it is filled with many different places where you can do your work or relax with your friends. There are creature comforts to enjoy such as your own study area, large sitting rooms with relaxing sofas and chairs, TVs, consoles and games, and a kitchen stocked with fresh fruit, snacks and hot drinks.
Whether you are a boarder or a day pupil, when you join a House at Oakham you automatically become part of a larger caring community of pupils and staff. Led by your Housemaster or Housemistress, each House community is filled with people who are here to make your time at School as enjoyable as possible.
You will have a Tutor to help you get organised with your work, there are the Form 6 (Year 12) Prefects who can help answer any questions, plus each House has a Matron who is always on hand if you feel unwell. The Medical and Pastoral Centre offers a dedicated space to promote well-being, as well as offering medical support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Your daily routine will revolve around your House and we organise lots of different events and social activities to help you get to know your new surroundings, settle into your new daily routine, and make new friends.
Each House has its own distinct personality, not to mention its own House Colours, and you will soon find yourself fully immersed in House life and playing for House pride!Gunthorpe Hambleton Barrow Clipsham
WHAT IS DAILY LIFE LIKE FOR A BOARDER?
Each day is slightly different, but you will soon get into the swing of things. Your Pupil Organiser will be your go-to guide for what happens when, but don’t be afraid to ask for help either – no one expects you to know everything straight away!
WHERE DO WE EAT OUR MEALS?
Everyone eats together in the Barraclough Dining Hall for breakfast, lunch and supper, which means you can socialise with your friends in other Houses at different points throughout the day.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
Pupils and staff alike love the food and there is a choice of healthy dishes at each mealtime, including vegetarian options. We cater for all dietary requirements and the regular themed supper nights and our weekly Sunday brunch are particular favourites amongst the boarders.
A BOARDER: A TYPICAL WEEK
MONDAY TO SATURDAY MORNING
SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND SUNDAY These will vary depending on whether you are a full or weekly boarder but typically:
Saturday afternoon Sports matches 6.25pm Supper - Evening activities Sunday Chapel, free time, activities/trips
WHAT IS DAILY LIFE LIKE FOR A DAY PUPIL?
As Oakham is a busy boarding and day school, each day is packed with lessons and activities. Your Pupil Organiser will be your go-to guide for what happens when, but don’t be afraid to ask for help either – no one expects you to know everything straight away!
WHAT TIME DOES MY HOUSE OPEN AND CLOSE EACH DAY?
Day Houses are open from 7.30am to 7.30pm, so you can arrive in time for breakfast and stay for supper at no additional charge if you have an evening activity or need to get some prep done. The library is open until 9.15pm most evenings, so you can continue working there if you would like to.
WHAT HAPPENS AT BREAKTIME AND LUNCHTIME?
When not in lessons or activities you can work and relax in your House. Lunch and all other meals are served in the Barraclough Dining Hall. There is a choice of healthy dishes, including vegetarian options.
At lunchtime there is always a variety of desserts on offeranything from fresh fruit to chocolate sponge and custard. Plus, there is a daily salad bar, sandwich bar, and pasta bar. We cater for all dietary requirements.
House opens (early arrivals go to the Barraclough for breakfast)
DAY PUPIL: A TYPICAL WEEK
MONDAY TO SATURDAY MORNING
From 1.25pm Lunch and Roll Call
8.15am Roll call and House meeting
9.15am–1.25pm Morning lessons
TUESDAY AND THURSDAY MONDAY, WEDNESDAY AND FRIDAY
2.20pm Afternoon sport
4.30pm Supported studies/ Ensemble practice/ Drama rehearsals
House open for pupils to do prep; pupils staying for supper go to the Barraclough
4.30pm JOINING THE MIDDLE SCHOOL
2.20pm onwards Afternoon lessons
Monday and Friday
End of school on Wednesday
of school on Monday and Friday
House open for pupils to do prep; pupils staying for supper go to the Barraclough
House closes; pupils can go to the library to continue their work until the library closes at 9.15pm
“The thing I enjoy most academically at Oakham is that every lesson you go to is different. Whether you’re in a classroom making notes, interacting with the pupils and teachers or on a school trip, there’s always something that makes it exciting and interesting.”
WHAT SUBJECTS WILL I STUDY?
Our aim in the Middle School is to give you a broad and balanced education to inspire you to try new things, to develop skills and knowledge in a variety of subjects and to achieve great results in your GCSEs.
In Form 3 (Year 9) you will be taught all the subjects you would expect to see – English, Maths, Science, etc – but in addition we offer different languages, including Latin, plus you get to try different aspects of Art, Design Technology, Drama and Dance, and PE. You will also have Pastoral Curriculum lessons as part of the weekly timetable that teach you how to look after your physical and emotional wellbeing and help you learn to be a responsible citizen.
The Form 3 Project gives you a chance to apply your knowledge and skills outside the classroom through a wide variety of experiences, including a visit to the First World War battlefields in France, the annual Gala Music Concert, a library-led independent research project, and a summer activity camp.
HOW MUCH PREP (HOMEWORK) WILL I HAVE?
The amount of Prep you get set will vary depending on your year group. You will receive a Prep timetable at the start of the year to help you keep on top of your work.
You can also do your Prep during the school day, as well as during Supported Study sessions and Prep times for boarders. The main thing is to be organised with your work and don’t be afraid to ask for help – there are lots of people who can help you manage your workload.
WHAT GCSE OPTIONS ARE THERE?
Halfway through Form 3 you will make your GCSE subject choices. Your teachers, Tutor and Housemaster or Housemistress will help and advise you through this process to play to your strengths and academic ambitions.
As well as continuing with some familiar subjects, there are some new options on offer: Textiles, 3D Design, Citizenship, Classical Civilisation, Computer Science, Greek, and Latin.
Most pupils study nine subjects at GCSE. This gives you a good mix of subjects and keeps your options open for your post-16 studies.
For more details on GCSE courses, see the Middle School Handbook.
“The school’s breadth and diversity is staggering”
TATLER SCHOOLS GUIDE
WHAT SPORTS, ACTIVITIES AND TRIPS
There are lots of different sports and activities on offer at Oakham School, taking place as part of the daily timetable. We have Games sessions and fixtures on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday afternoons and Activities sessions on Friday afternoons.
In addition to the core sports of rugby, hockey, netball, athletics, tennis and cricket, there are all sorts of different sports you can try, such as sailing, shooting and fives.
As well as pursuing your favourite activities in greater depth, there is a huge variety of new activities to try, such as jewellery design, life-saving, and Warhammer.
Outside of Music and Drama and Dance lessons, there are weekly 1:1 music lessons, music ensemble rehearsals, and regular informal and formal concerts, plus there are regular rehearsals for the many different drama productions and weekly dance classes.
Weekly Dance ClassesThe Form 3 Battlefields trip to northern France Middle and Upper School Ski Trip
House outings include trips to Rutland Aqua Park, the cinema, bowling, trampolining, paintballing ... and many more!
Singing on stage at the annual Gala Concert
Sports Day is one of many hotly contested interhouse competitions
House Social in the House garden
The annual Tom Grant Interhouse Football Competition
There are many opportunities to perform on stage, including the Middle School Drama Scholars Production
“CCF is one of the best environments you could immerse yourself in if you want to become a better leader and more organised person” CHLOE
WHEN DO I START D of E, CCF AND VA?
From Form 4 you choose one of our three Service Options: the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme (D of E), the Combined Cadet Force (CCF), or Voluntary Action (VA) to develop your innovation, teamwork and leadership skills and help your local community.
D of E
Expeditions, volunteering and skills development
• Form 4 – Bronze Canoeing, Cycling and Walking
• Form 5 – Silver Canoeing, Cycling and Walking
• Form 6 – Gold Sailing, Cycling and Walking
Army and RAF Sections
• Adventurous training
• Field craft and parades
Helping all members of our local community
Recent activities include:
• Hosting the Annual Harvest Party for members of our elderly community
• Renovating local gardens and communal areas
• Running an activity day for children with additional needs
Hosting the annual Harvest Party for members of our elderly communityD of E Walking D of
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE MIDDLE SCHOOL?
After completing your GCSEs at the end of Form 5 (Year 11), you will move from the Middle School to the Upper School.
This is the start of an exciting new chapter in your Oakham story. In Form 6 (Year 12) you don’t physically move House, however, life will feel very different with even greater opportunities to experience new things, be independent and develop yourself.
You will also be joined by pupils new to the School and together you will have the opportunity to lead your House and act as a role model to the younger years, just as Form 6 helped you settle in.
In Form 7 (Year 13) you will move to your Final Year House, where your whole year group will enjoy the chance to spend their final year at School together in the oldest part of the campus, close to Oakham’s town centre.
“Each house has its own spirit and sense of community, new boarders are welcomed and new friendships made”