From the martyrdom of France's patron saint in the
mid-third century to the violence and destruction of the commune of 1871, the
annual Oundle School History study visit to Paris took in the full breadth of
French history during five busy days in December. Sixteen Upper Sixth
Form Historians braved the winter weather to witness some of the places where
history was made.
The group took in the splendour of the religious
architecture of the Middle Ages, visiting the first ever gothic edifice at St.
Denis and viewing the stunning pinnacle of the movement at the
Sainte-Chapelle. The horrors of the Revolution and the Terror were brought
home in the prison cells of the Conciergerie, while the violent upheavals of
1871 were marked by a trip to the commemorative basilica of Sacré-Coeur.
A series of walking tours took the group to many of
the key sites in the city's history, including the Île de la Cité and the Place
de la Bastille, and diversions into the History of Art were made through visits
to the Louvre and the Musée D'Orsay.
The trip ended with a journey to the magnificent
monument to Bourbon absolutism: Louis XIV's palace of Versailles - after which
the pupils could look back with satisfaction on covering almost 1600 years of
French history in just a few days.
Pupil, Flora Scott-Barrett (18) commented, “From the three course suppers every night to the insight we
gained into Paris' array of historical monuments and art galleries through the
teachers’ brilliantly narrated tours, our trip was hugely rewarding. Mr
Mather's explanation of modern art starting from Duchamp's 'fountain' outside
the Musee D'Orsay and Mr Allard's talk about Saint Chapelle particularly stood
out. However, the highlight of the trip was undoubtedly our trip to
Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in
the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of
London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are
dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its 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. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided
the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants
of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In
2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited 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 was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by
its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation
as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still
renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science
complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now
embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which 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
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 Masterplan will
upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years,
including a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.
There are currently 1110 pupils
on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the
Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children
aged 4 to 11.