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Welcome to Oundle School

Oundle School has long been associated with the very best of modern independent education, especially boarding education. The individual child is central to our vision.

We are fortunate in our location at the heart of a beautiful market town, not least because for over 450 years the School and town have been part of the same community. Our pupils take their place within this community, not isolated from it.

The challenges our pupils will face in the world beyond School will require of them adaptability and emotional intelligence, as well as the best academic qualifications of which they are capable. We take seriously our responsibility to our pupils so that they can emerge as decent, open-minded adults: ambitious about what they can go on to achieve and contribute, but never arrogant. 

About us

Oundle School is one of Britain’s leading co-educational boarding and day schools situated in the charming market town of Oundle, Northamptonshire, about 90 miles north of London. It lies just 15 miles south of Peterborough, where there is a 45 minute direct train to London King’s Cross.

The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town. This level of co-existence with the town gives the School a unique and distinctive character; pupils pass through the streets as they go to lessons, games or other activities and this instills in them an appreciation of being part of both a School and a local community.

The School’s history dates back to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers endowed a ‘Free Grammar School’ in Oundle, where he had been educated at the original Gild School founded in 1506.

Under the terms Sir William Laxton's will, the Grocers’ Company has been supporting the School since its foundation. There are 108 livery companies in the City of London, with the senior livery companies being known as The Great Twelve. The Worshipful Company of Grocers today ranks second in the order of precedence that was established in 1515. Originally known as the Guild of Pepperers, whose earliest records date from 1100, the Grocers’ Company was formed as a religious and social fraternity of merchants and moneyers who traded in spices, gold, and other luxury goods from Byzantium and the Mediterranean. Their use on occasion of pepper as a currency gave rise to the expression “peppercorn rent”.

The Grocers' Company gives generously to charity and continues to support the School through the provision of bursaries, scholarships and grants.

The School is governed by its Royal Charter dating from 1930, and last amended by granting of a supplemental charter in 1999. The Governing Body consists of seventeen members, including eight Governors nominated by the Court of the Grocers’ Company.

In 1876, the Grocers’ Company divided the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School and Oundle School. In 2000, following a long period of integration, the Grocers’ Company formally united the two schools under the common name of Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle experienced significant expansion and investment under the leadership of its most famous headmaster, FW Sanderson, whose innovations put Oundle at the forefront of science and engineering education, establishing a reputation still renowned today.

Following a series of major capital developments including SciTec, the Cripps Library and the Adamson Centre for Modern Languages, the School is now embarking on a major SciTec Campus development project. This will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec, as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology.

A concurrent Sports Master Plan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion which opened for the spring 2015 season.

The third largest independent boarding and day school in England, Oundle has 860 full boarders and 250 day pupils. Committed to a full boarding ethos, which benefits both boarders and day pupils, Oundle attracts pupils from over 120 feeder prep schools from all corners of the UK. It is also proud to welcome around twelve percent of its pupils from over 20 countries overseas. Oundle has 13 senior boarding Houses – eight for boys and five for girls – with about 60 pupils in each. Day pupils are accommodated in Laxton House, and there is also a mixed junior boarding House of about 40 pupils for entry at 11+ or 12+.

Also within the Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day school located in East Road, Oundle for children aged 4 to 11.

Additional support


No two pupils are the same, and the range of support and care which the boys and girls have available at Oundle means that they can be treated as individuals, and find someone to discuss their questions, seek a particular piece of advice or lay their concerns to rest.

All pupils have a Tutor with whom they will meet regularly; in one-to one sessions to discuss reports, targets, choices, problems and achievements; in group meetings with the Tutor group, and informally around the House and School. The Tutor is also a major point of contact between staff and parents.

Leading the team of Tutors and carrying overall responsibility for the pastoral care of the boys and girls is the Housemaster or Housemistress. Their role is diverse, from ensuring the environment of the House is safe and comfortable, to setting the tone and ethos necessary for good behaviour and successful community living, and encouraging every member of the House to develop their own talents whilst supporting and contributing to the endeavours of the House and School. Every House has a Matron, who in addition to managing the domestic affairs of the House, also helps to look after the health and welfare of the boys and girls, and provides another adult within the House to talk to.

Qualified nurses and the School Doctors in the School Health Centre not only provide round-the-clock medical services, but are also available for advice when needed. The School also has the services of a professional counsellor, and a network of independent listeners, whom the pupils may contact for a chat or advice. Our Child Protection and Welfare Group provides guidance and monitors the progress of any individuals who need more structured support. Members of the Chaplaincy also visit the Houses on a regular basis.

From the structure of the House Tutorial system, to the much more informal access to Matrons, Chaplains, School Doctor or senior pupils, the framework of pastoral care at Oundle ensures that at every stage, each pupil's development is monitored and fully supported.


How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact Oundle School directly.

Last updated date: 11 November 2016
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