Oundle School: Reviews, Rankings, Fees, And More

Welcome to our comprehensive review of Oundle School, a distinguished institution renowned for its commitment to academic brilliance and holistic growth. Situated in a picturesque setting, Oundle School has been a beacon of education for generations. In this review, we delve into the school’s illustrious history, cutting-edge facilities, and unwavering dedication to shaping well-rounded individuals.

Oundle School

Table of Contents

Key Features of Oundle School

  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: North Northamptonshire
  • Pupils: 1,130 ; sixth formers: 410
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £22,350 – £29,370; Boarding £34,515 – £45,435 pa
  • Ranking: 43

Oundle School Results

2023: 74% 9-7 at GCSE; 62.9% A*/A at A level.

2022: 85% 9-7 at GCSE; 65% A*/A at A level (87% A*-B).

Evidently, teaching and learning has been and will be a top priority in Oundle School. Here’s a sneak peak into their operations that have led to their stellar performance over the years: 

  • Inclusive Approach: Oundle School welcomes a diverse intake, accommodating students with varying academic abilities, even while maintaining a high standard of achievement. The school’s commitment to nurturing all students is reflected in its retention of GCSE underperformers.

  • Diverse A-level Subjects: A wide range of A-level subjects are offered, with a focus on core disciplines such as maths, chemistry, history, biology, physics, English literature, and geography. Modern foreign languages, including French, Spanish, and Latin, enjoy strong participation and impressive results.

  • Engineering and STEM Excellence: Oundle School boasts a remarkable engineering heritage and a state-of-the-art Patrick Engineering Centre within its STEM campus. The centre’s advanced facilities, including 3D printing capabilities with diverse materials, inspire creative problem-solving and hands-on learning. Pupils engage in practical applications, from welding to innovative engineering projects like model racing vehicles.

  • Holistic Science Education: The school’s commitment to science education is reflected in well-equipped facilities and practical learning experiences. Students are encouraged to put theoretical knowledge into practice, as evident in extension work such as creating analgesics. The EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) allows students to conduct their experiments.

  • Language Excellence: Oundle School takes a unique approach to language teaching, offering seven languages, including Russian, Arabic, and Chinese, as two or three-year courses up to GCSE level. The modern languages department stands out for its inspirational teaching, challenging the language decline trend at A level. Students engage in wide reading, lateral thinking, and public debate through courses like the Quadrivium.

  • Engaging Learning Environment: The school’s focus on practical skills is exemplified in the Engineering Centre, where students start with artisan techniques before delving into advanced technologies. This approach extends to language studies, where classroom engagement and teaching quality play a pivotal role in students’ language choices.

Boarding Experience at Oundle School

  • Commitment to Genuine Boarding: Oundle School maintains a steadfast dedication to full-time boarding, eschewing the prevailing trend of diluted options such as flexi or part-time boarding. The clear choice between boarding and day fosters a stable and tightly-knit community.

  • House Diversity and Composition: The school comprises eight boys’ houses, five girls’ houses, Laxton for local day pupils, and Berrystead, a junior mixed boarding house for years 7 and 8. The junior day house adjacent to Berrystead encourages strong bonds between day and boarding students.

  • Spacious and Well-Resourced Houses: Oundle’s boarding houses, spread across the town, offer ample space, efficient management, and abundant resources. The house system effectively creates mini-school environments, ensuring personalised attention and care for each student.

  • Culinary Experience: Boarders enjoy all meals in their respective houses, allowing frequent interactions with staff. Each house has its dedicated chef, contributing to a healthy dose of inter-house culinary competition and creative menu planning.

  • Weekend Dynamics: Saturdays encompass academic lessons and afternoon sports until 5.30pm. Sundays are more relaxed, with optional breakfast and chapel attendance. Boarders often engage in activities like catching up on work or even visiting local cafes in their chapel clothes.

  • Accommodation Variety: Accommodation varies between houses but generally includes small dorms for lower years and single rooms or bedsits for sixth formers. Each house has its unique character, often shaped by its occupants.

  • Tradition and Flexibility: Oundle School upholds traditions, with some students joining the same house as their parent. However, students are encouraged to make choices based on their preferences and interests rather than relying solely on reputations.

Extracurricular Activities in Oundle School

Of course, academics is only 1 part of the academic journey. Extracurricular activities are also an important component of each pupil’s experience here at Oundle School. Here are some of the activities you can find in the school:

  • Yarrow Gallery: The Yarrow Gallery stands as a tribute to former pupil Eric Yarrow and serves as a space to showcase both student and visiting artist exhibitions. A diverse range of artworks, from intricate paper cuts to lifelike sculptures, reflect the astonishing maturity and skill of students’ creations.

  • Vibrant Arts Scene: Oundle School boasts a thriving arts scene, with A-level art and Pre-U art history offerings. Fine art disciplines, including drawing, painting, and sculpture, take centre stage. Students have the opportunity to engage in various artistic mediums, including textiles and photography within the art A-level curriculum.

  • Choral Excellence: Choral singing is a longstanding tradition at Oundle, involving all students in four choirs and weekly congregational practices. The school’s rendition of iconic pieces like “Jerusalem” adds a spirited element to events, fostering a sense of unity and friendly competition.

  • Musical Diversity: Oundle’s musical landscape is rich and diverse, featuring multiple orchestras, ensembles, and chamber groups. Students benefit from numerous performance opportunities, including lunchtime concerts and even participation in the annual Oundle International Festival, celebrating music, film, and theatre.

  • Theatrical Productions: The Stahl Theatre, a converted chapel, hosts school plays alongside performances by national touring companies. Pupils gain professional experience in all aspects of theatre production, guided by a dedicated director, technical team, and support staff.

  • Community Engagement: Oundle School values community involvement, offering a community action programme as an alternative to compulsory drill sessions. Pupils contribute to special needs schools, sports coaching, environmental projects, museums, and more, fostering a sense of responsibility and making a positive impact on the local community.

  • Diverse Afternoons: Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated to Voluntary Afternoon Sessions (Vols), where pupils explore their interests through activities and societies. With nearly 50 options available, including debating, climbing, engineering, and running the school’s radio station, students have ample opportunities for self-expression and skill development.

  • Sports and Wellbeing: Oundle School’s dedication to sports and physical wellbeing is evident in its Sports MasterPlan. While excelling in rugby, cricket, hockey, swimming, and netball, the school is committed to expanding into activities such as rowing, dance, and cycling. The focus extends beyond competition, encouraging lifelong physical activity and challenging gender stereotypes in sports.

Admissions Process: Entering Oundle School

Here’s all you need to know about the admissions process:

  • Prep School Connections: Oundle School primarily welcomes students from prestigious prep schools like Witham Hall, Beeston Hall, Orwell Park, Old Buckenham Hall, and Belhaven. The school has established strong partnerships with these institutions, serving as significant feeders to Oundle.

  • Growing Outreach: While the majority of students come from traditional feeders, Oundle School is also witnessing a modest yet increasing number of admissions from preps in the south-east, such as The Dragon, Summer Fields, and Ludgrove. This expansion showcases the school’s outreach and appeal beyond its core network.

  • Competitive Entrance: The admissions process at Oundle School is highly competitive, particularly for entry at 11+ and 13+. Parents are advised to plan well in advance, recognising the intense competition for these year groups. The school’s trusty registrar meticulously evaluates candidates, ensuring that only those with a strong potential for success are considered.

  • Selective Sixth Form Entry: While sixth form places are limited, they reflect Oundle’s dedication to academic excellence. The bar for entry into the sixth form is set high, with prospective students typically required to present a minimum of three As and three Bs at GCSE or equivalent numerical grades.

  • Excellence as Standard: Successful external applicants demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, often featuring a portfolio of A* and A grades at GCSE. The school’s admissions process prioritises students who exhibit exceptional scholastic potential and a track record of excellence.

Oundle School SEN Support

With regards to special educational needs, the school is well equipped to support the following needs: 

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Aspergers
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders

Testimonials and Reviews

Kabis Abas

Loved my time here. A great education. Wonderful experience. Wish I had made the most out of it

Heidi Yardley

Caring staff, fantastic Pastoral care, facilities are amazing and the town of Oundle is gorgeous.

John Hurst

lovely setting, fantastic science block

Kiite Lanre-Phillips

great school and education

Frequently Asked Questions about Oundle School

Oundle School has long been associated with the very best of modern independent education, especially boarding.

Oundle School has long been associated with the very best of independent education. Their full, modern boarding ethos ensures pupils, day and boarding alike, enjoy unparalleled opportunities that extend far beyond a normal School day and across a seven-day week. Academic results are steadfastly excellent, with an average.

Oundle offers co-educational day or boarding education, with Laxton Junior as a 4-11 day school, and Oundle School as a boarding and day school, with entry at 11, 13 or into the Sixth Form.

Oundle is a selective school with a strong academic reputation. Our pupils achieve excellent results at (I)GCSE and A Level, and go on to study at top universities around the world.

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