Over Easter, twenty-three Oundle pupils and staff travelled France to explore Paris while speaking French as much as possible.
Pupil, Lily Tyler (17) commented, “From the moment we arrived, anyone caught speaking English was asked to repeat themselves and pretty soon we all got the message.
Our first adventure was seeing the Eiffel Tower - luckily Paris is just as beautiful in the rain so we walked to the area and took advantage of the photo opportunities. We had supper in a typically Parisian restaurant with the braver among us trying dishes such as bone marrow.”
The group were joined by Monsieur Chevassu who is involved in the cinema industry and had the opportunity to question him about his profession.
The next day they were given a tour of Montmartre, an artistic district with some extremely old comedy houses and beautiful buildings such as the famous Sacré Coeur. Then followed a visit to the Musée Rodin which featured some of the sculptor’s most famous works placed amongst a huge garden.
Lily added, “The weather had considerably improved which made wandering around the gardens much more pleasant. The highlight of the day for me was watching a French comedy in a very old theatre, luckily we were able to understand most of the play and it entertained us all.”
The third day began with a tour of Marais district where the pupils went to the Musée Picasso to see the famous painter’s works. Some members of the trip were so engrossed in the art that they were unable to finish looking around the exhibition.
On Friday, the pupils enjoyed a stroll through a flower market and were able to visit the Notre Dame, one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. The afternoon offered them the opportunity to watch a fashion show in one of Paris’ largest shopping centres.
On the final day, on the return journey, a trip to a huge flea market at the outskirts of the city saw some last minute purchases.
Lily concluded, “It was a thoroughly enjoyable trip which improved our French language considerably and we must thank the teachers, especially Mr Béjoint, for putting together such an interesting itinerary. “
Background 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 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 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 1100 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.