Prestigious National Engineering Scholarships Awarded to Oundle Pupils
30th September 2015

Oundle School pupils, Oliver Starling (16), Jack Townend (16), Thomas Kirkup (16), Lucas Podmore (16) and Henry Orlebar (16) have each been awarded a much sought-after Arkwright Engineering Scholarship that identifies them as some of the country’s future leaders in engineering and related areas of design.  

Scholars are selected for their potential as future engineering leaders by assessing their academic, practical and leadership skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). These are assessed through a rigorous selection process comprising: an assessed application form including a teacher’s supporting reference; a two-hour aptitude exam; and a university-based interview. The scholarships support STEM pupils through their Sixth Form studies and encourage them into top universities or higher apprenticeships.

The Scholarships consist of an annual financial award to each Scholar and their school, and a range of enrichment activities, such as mentoring and industry visits, that enhance a Scholar's experience of engineering and technical design in a real-world context. Arkwright Engineering Scholarships are highly regarded by universities and industry and are one of the most prestigious accolades that a talented Sixth Form pupil can achieve.

Ollie, whose scholarship is sponsored by Sir William Lyon’s Charitable Trust, is currently studying Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Latin and Greek and is working on ideas for a project using renewable energy.

Jack, whose scholarship is sponsored by The Emmott Foundation, is currently studying Biology, Physics, Maths and English Literature and hopes to study either Mechanical Engineering or Aerospace Engineering. His recent DT project was a longboard with a specialised braking system. During a work experience opportunity over the summer Jack researched and designed a component for a particle accelerator.

Tom, whose scholarship is sponsored by The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, is studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Latin. He would like to study engineering at Cambridge or Imperial College. He has plans for a 1970s Speedboat restoration project and would like to restore the engine for his EPQ project.

Lucas, whose scholarship is sponsored by The National Grid, is studying Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Latin. He hopes to pursue a career in Energy Engineering and is currently working on a parabolic trough.

Last, but by no means least, Henry, whose scholarship is sponsored by The Nuclear Institute, is studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, and Physics and hopes to study a discipline of engineering at university. In his spare time, he is currently restoring a Citroen 2CV6 1989.

The Scholarships will be formally presented to the pupils at a prestigious ceremony supported by The Institution of Engineering and Technology later in the year.

Jon Baker, the new Head of the Oundle’s Patrick Engineering Centre commented, “We are very proud of our Arkwright Scholars. An Arkwright Award helps open the gateway to an engineering career by putting the recipient in touch with sponsors and with everything that this collaboration can offer, giving them invaluable opportunities outside the classroom.”

Jon Baker was previously Head of Design and Technology at Taunton School from 2005 – 2015. He read Industrial Design at Loughborough University, where he also gained his PGCE. Jon has a passion for restoration of classic vehicles, with past projects including a 1987 Land Rover 90 and a 1968 Lambretta J50. At Taunton School, he was the project manager for the Greenpower Engineering initiative where pupils design, build and race electric racing cars around some of the UK’s top racing circuits including Silverstone, Goodwood and Rockingham.

Dr Martin Thomas, National Director of the Arkwright Scholarships Trust said, “I am delighted to see pupils from Oundle School secure this prestigious accolade. Clearly, there is considerable technical talent in the Midlands. With the competition for rewarding jobs becoming ever-more fierce, the receipt of an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship can help dynamic young people at the start of their journey to be the country’s future leaders in engineering and related areas of design.”

Arkwright Scholarships are supported by universities, professional institutions, trade associations, the armed services, charitable trusts, Worshipful Companies, personal donors and companies such as: Atkins, ARM, Arup, BAE Systems, Balfour Beatty, Bosch, Caterpillar, Centrica, Costain, Cummins, Foster Wheeler, Jaguar Land Rover, Laing O’Rourke, Lockheed Martin, Lundin Mining, Microsoft Research, National Grid, Network Rail, Nissan, Pilkington, QinetiQ, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce, Royal Mail, Smurfit Kappa, Stannah, TATA, Thales, Sellafield, Selex ES, Ultra Electronics and Weir Group.


About Oundle School’s new SciTec Campus linking STEM subjects

Since the days of the celebrated Headmaster F. W. Sanderson, arguably the greatest educationalist of his age, Oundle has been recognised as one of the foremost schools for Science and Engineering in the country. In 2007, SciTec, a major and ground-breaking new science complex, opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. Oundle is now undertaking a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department built adjacent to SciTec as well as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. 

Significantly underway and due for completion by September 2016, this development will position Oundle at the heart of applying science and embrace developments in new fields such as nanotechnology and mechatronics. It will enable pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology.  All STEM disciplines will be united both philosophically and physically, enabling pupils to understand fully how all the different stages interact.

The current Patrick Centre will be extended and exhaustively refurbished, re-launching as the Patrick Engineering Centre. The current ‘large projects’ space for which Oundle is famous will be retained but relocated, and a design laboratory for prototyping and design work will be created, acoustically segregated from the practical facilities.  A ‘clean laboratory’ will be provided adjacent to the design laboratory, enabling high-tech processes such as 3D printing and robotics to be deployed.  In addition to the large projects space, there will be four open-plan workshop bays that will enable pupils to be taught in small groups whilst sharing fixed machinery, as well as two new dedicated classrooms for design and theory that will be easily accessible from the workshops. 

The new Mathematics department will form the major part of an extension to the current SciTec building, which was envisaged as a future development of the original design. It will thereby complete the original architectural aspiration of a grand entrance to the whole SciTec Campus. An internal quadrangle will be created, giving equal status to all disciplines as well as a proper regard to the newly-refurbished Adamson Centre opposite, encouraging an interplay between Modern Languages and SciTec.  

The extension will also provide two new science project rooms adjacent to the current Biology and Chemistry laboratories, enabling experiments and projects to be carried out over a longer time-frame than is currently possible. This will bring particular benefits for pupils working on Extended Project Qualifications (EPQs). 

The School offers two Scholarships for Design and Technology, one at 13+ and one at 16+. Entry forms and further details are available on the admissions section of the School website:  


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 which opened in April 2015 and new astroturfs due to be completed this year.  

There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 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. 

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