In January, the Oundle School Careers Department hosted its ninth annual ‘Ask the Experts’ event with pupils from the Fifth Form, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth (Years 11-13) invited to attend this informal, drop-in event to talk to a large number of highly successful professionals representing a range of industry sectors and careers.
Head of Careers, Emma Aubury, commented “We are so fortunate to have such a talented and diverse parent body from which our experts generously volunteer each year. This year, our pupils had the opportunity to talk to the British Ambassador to Sweden, an Army Brigadier, the Head of Trading for Boots plc (UK and Eire) and an advertising creative director, as well as a number of representatives from a range of different aspects of the legal, medical, engineering, real estate and financial professions and academia. In addition, from more niche professions, we hosted a commercial helicopter pilot, a digital media publisher, an architect and an F1 chief engineer. This event coincides with the Fifth Form Parents’ Reception and is always very well attended. It provides a fantastic opportunity for pupils to ask questions about what a particular career involves and how best to get into it, as well as being a social occasion for pupils, parents and experts alike. We are very grateful to our experts for volunteering and to the pupils for showing such interest and enthusiasm.”
This networking event is always of great benefit to pupils in terms of informing their future decisions, making contacts and finding out what qualities companies are looking for in graduate recruits – particularly as the companies represented at the event are the very organisations that many of Oundle’s pupils will shortly be applying to for work experience, internships and graduate positions.
Many parents commented on the range and expertise of the various companies listed as well as praising the School’s ability to gather such high profile professionals in one place. The experts also added their praise for the pupils, who asked specific questions, demonstrating their engagement and willingness to learn more.
The Head, Mrs Sarah Kerr-Dineen, commented “I am tremendously grateful to the parents and others who contributed to such a lively and instructive afternoon. For pupils to have the opportunity to hear up-to-date, relevant information and advice on the wealth of careers they might consider is invaluable.”
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 opened in 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.