During the first week of the October Exeat, thirteen Sixth Form Oundle School Spanish pupils and staff travelled to Salamanca for a week of Spanish lessons, as well as cultural visits and free time to explore the magnificent city.
The group stayed in the university halls of residence, meeting students over breakfast and lunch which provided an opportunity for the visitors to practice their Spanish. In the evenings, they ate out in Salamanca, where they enjoyed lots of tapas and regional food.
Each morning, the pupils had four hours of lessons at Salminter Language School. In the afternoons, the group enjoyed exploring the town. During the first afternoon, they visited the town of Zamora where they had a guided tour of the historic buildings followed by a trip to the cinema in the afternoon to watch the Spanish comedy film ‘Los Miércoles no existen’.
The group also visited the Garden of Calixto and Melibea which inspired Fernando de Rojas’s ‘La Celestina’, followed by cooking lessons in a local bar in which they learnt how to make Paella, Tapas and Sangria. An afternoon was spent visiting Salamanca old and new Cathedrals where the pupils ventured up to the roofs to view the amazing sights of the town.
Pupil, Frankie Hooper (17) commented, “Everyone enjoyed the visit to the Cathedral which was so beautiful and full of history which we were able to learn about using audio guides in Spanish.”
Another literary tour was based on the origin of the novel ‘El Lazarillo de Tormes’, and pupils also visited the Salamanca Museum of Art Deco and a museum dedicated to the Spanish Civil War, which were followed by salsa lessons.
Frankie added, “The salsa lessons were hilariously funny and everyone enjoyed it so much that I am now trying to set up a Salsa Club at School!”
On the last afternoon, the group visited the famous University buildings and residences which date back to the XIII century, following the steps of Fray Luis de León and Miguel de Unamuno at the same time. The university buildings were extremely grand and some pupils still had energy to join a public debate in the famous ‘La Casa de las Conchas’.
Frankie concluded, “By the time of our 6am wake up call to head to the airport on the Friday morning, it is fair to say we were all exhausted from an amazing trip to Salamanca. I would like to thank Señora Viruete for organizing such a fun packed and interesting week; we all had a great time.”
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.