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Oundle School

School rating 4 / 5 by

Great Hall Peterborough Northamptonshire PE8 4GH United Kingdom
4th to 12th
4th to 12th


Oundle School review by .

From my experience, Oundle has a particularly traditional approach to academia. Pupils are dissuaded from narrowing down their subject options early on, with it being mandatory to take at least once modern foreign language at GCSE level, along with English, Maths and all the Sciences, which provides a solid, and broad base of knowledge. No particularly niche options such as pottery or photography are available to take as a formal examination, though Oundle is broadening its curriculum with relatively recent additions such as Psychology, Chinese, Sport Science and Classic Civilization as subject choices. Whilst maintaining a high academic standard, Oundle is far from an "exam factory." All forth form pupils follow an Ethical Issues course, (discussing wide ranging topics such as the the beginning and end of life, war, race relations, human rights) which doesn't involve any formal assessment. Similarly, it is compulsory for Upper Sixth pupils to attend 'General Studies,' which does not result in any formal qualification, but showcases speakers from Professor Stephen Hawking to David Trimble and Will Carling which inspires subsequent supervised discussion in smaller groups. In the first three years, setting is fairly specific, with 9 different 'sets' of varying ability in class sizes of roughly 20 pupils. By A level, classes are far smaller and intimate. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, teachers of each subjects are also available for 'vols' which are entirely voluntary sessions for one on one help if you're struggling with any specific aspect of a subject. At Oundle, the history department has always been renowned for its enthusiasm and eccentricity. A disproportionately large number of pupils study history-perhaps because of the famous 'history trips' to Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Hungary, St Petersburg and Moscow, or perhaps because of the caliber of teaching. The Design and Technology department is also impressive, with pupils seemingly producing jewelry, cars, and even a small plane with relative ease.

College Counseling

Regardless as to whether they think they are in need of any pastoral care, every....

Sample insights on college counseling

  • They have contacts at most of the major universities and feel perfectly comfortable picking up the phone and advocating for a student to get accepted somewhere they feel is a good fit for that student. However, these counselors are certainly not magic bullets. They cannot guarantee that a student will get into an Ivy League university...
  • For those wishing to move on to Oxford or Cambridge, the provision is second-to-none. In the months running up to application and interview, every subject faculty offers classes (often run by former Oxbridge tutors) exploring further areas of their subject as well as offering advice on personal statements, interview technique and more...

Admissions - Getting Accepted

Pupils normally join Oundle aged 13, though there is 'The Berrystead' for 11+ and usually....

Sample insights on admissions

  • For the interview, dress conservatively. Try to be very clean and put together. Also, I was a tour guide for two years and at the end of every tour, we were asked to evaluate the candidate so if you think the tour is not apart of the process, you are very wrong. Ask questions and be interested. Also, tip for the parents: the kids speak on the tour. Do not ask their questions for them...
  • Most younger siblings have an easy time in the admissions process. I can only think of one case of a younger sibling not being admitted. About half of the students who entered with me had come from public schools. The remainder came from private K-6 schools, or had transferred from other New York private schools The Elizabeth Morrow School and St. Bernard were two of the larger feeder schools...

School Life

Quality of life at Oundle is great. I was incredibly lucky to find myself in an environment surrounded by so many happy, enthusiastic, social people. I remember a new teacher telling me how special it was that should a prospective parent/old pupil/governor come round, they could pick quite literally any pupil from random to have lunch with them, and be confident that it would be a success! In terms of housing, you can generally expect to share a room with around 3 other people in your first year, and then a varying number until the final year when you....

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