Oundle School is a diverse and interesting community with as large a range of activities and opportunities as can be found in any school in the country. As one of England’s largest boarding schools, Oundle demonstrates its popularity and success and provides the complete educational experience. Life in the boarding house or in Laxton (for day pupils) ensures that a calm, pastoral community thrives and every individual is nurtured, supported and valued.
Oundle School is situated in the quintessentially English market town from which it takes its name, about 90 km north of London. Its buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, so that the town itself, with a population of about 6,000 people, is to a large extent the School’s campus. The School’s history dates back to 1556 when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers’ and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar School, of which he was a former pupil. Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools with the arrival of its most famous Headmaster, F.W. Sanderson, in 1892. In the space of thirty years he more than quadrupled the size of the School and created Oundle’s reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools. This was further enhanced by the opening of our new science complex in 2007. In 1990, convinced of the benefits of co-education the School admitted girls for the first time: they now constitute 40 percent of pupils. Oundle is now the third largest independent boarding and day school in England, with 870 boarders and 250 day pupils. The boarders come from all over the United Kingdom with 130 different feeder schools currently represented. About 10% come from overseas with 22 nationalities represented among the Oundle pupil population. Each pupil is a member of a boarding or day house. The House system is at the heart of life at Oundle. All meals are taken in the houses. It is within the House community that pupils find the confidence and sense of purpose that lead to fulfilment in the larger School community. Oundle has thirteen senior boarding houses – eight for boys and five for girls. Each houses about sixty pupils. There is also a small mixed Junior Boarding House (The Berrystead) which houses the 40 boarders who enter at 11. All boarders are full boarders - there is no weekly boarding and exeats are very limited. Each pupil has his or her own tutor who helps the Housemistress or Housemaster monitor a pupil’s academic progress and general well-being. Oundle has a well-earned reputation for academic, musical and sporting excellence. In 2010, 90 % of grades at A Level were A*/A/ B and 84 % of grades at GCSE were A and A*. On average 25 pupils gain places at Oxbridge each year. Twenty three subjects are available for study in the Sixth Form including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese. There is a huge range of extra-curricular activities available. Sport has always been an integral feature of life at Oundle. The main sports for boys are rugby, cricket, soccer, hockey and rowing. For girls the main sports are hockey, netball, rounders, rowing and tennis.