Oundle School’s ‘Have a Go Day’ (HAGD) has been running for over thirty years and has established itself as a favourite date in the calendars of special needs clubs and schools. On the afternoon of Sunday 27 September, over 200 visitors to the School, hosted by over 150 pupils, took part in various activities including swimming, badminton, basketball, archery, football, indoor rowing, crazy golf, face painting, boccia, yoga, music and art activities as well as enjoying traction engine rides around the School’s grounds.
Liz Dillarstone, Head of Community Action at Oundle School, commented “HAGD is a really encouraging environment in which visitors with special needs can try their hand at new sports and activities in a safe and familiar environment. We hope that they came away with smiles on their faces, having had the chance to do things that most of us take for granted on a daily basis. Our pupils are privileged to host them.”
Some visitors make a bee-line for their favourite activity as soon as they arrive; the archery is always extremely popular and well supported. Others like to try their hand at rounders or cricket and football is always popular.
Pupil Annie Clayton (16) commented, “I was helping out at the art table for HAGD. We were decorating baseball caps with fabric, paint, gems and sequins, and everyone, including the helpers, loved it. I met a lady who was really lovely and was decorating a hat not for herself but for her friend, and we spent our time chatting, laughing, and hunting for the letters to spell out his name'. It was great fun, and the effort we put into helping certainly paid off as everyone left grinning proudly from under their awesome new caps.”
Pupil Ollie Frisby (16) added, “At HAGD I was helping with refreshments and having walked around and seen everyone’s faces, I can say for certain that everyone loves HAGD, including the pupils.”
Pupil Hattie Pymont (17) concluded, “Acting as a guide allowed me to really get involved and interact with India. I was lucky enough to know India prior to this HAGD and she has been a regular attendee of HAGD for many years now, so she came knowing exactly what she wanted to do: swimming and then face painting. I really enjoyed watching her and cheering her on as she jumped in as well as helping to paint her face, which she loved!”
Any clubs wishing to be notified of future events should contact Oundle School Community Action department on 01832 277267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Background Information on Community Action at Oundle School
Over 300 pupils are engaged during the year in providing service in the community in Oundle and surrounding villages and as far afield as Corby, Kettering and Peterborough. Pupils work in schools and nurseries, with the elderly and infirm; provide drama for special needs schools, environmental support work at the country park; offer ICT lessons for beginners; help at a local special needs club and produce a Community Newspaper (Oundle Chronicle) to name but a few of the 50+ activities.
Pupils also help with Inner city holiday schemes and have regularly slept rough to raise money for St Basils’ homeless shelter in Birmingham.
Background 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 1110 pupils are 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.