Over the summer, twenty Oundle School pupils were led by three members of the Biology teaching staff on a Biology Expedition to Madagascar.
Trip leader and Biology teacher, Sudip Burman-Roy commented,
“Fabulous flora and fauna were observed in their natural habitat as well as lemurs, vangas, chameleons, geckos, hognose snakes - many of these endemic species could only be seen in that area of forest and potentially had not ever been seen by any Biologist before. Some invertebrate specimens caught by our pupils were being catalogued for the Natural History Museum to officially classify.”
The first week in the forest for the group also involved long sampling treks – one app recorded over 30km walked in a single day fuelled on lentils and rice every day for lunch. The pupils visited Mariarano Primary School nearby spending time with children.
The second week at the marine site was for reef ecology and conservation and allowed some opportunity for relaxation fitted around diving and snorkelling. A National Park marine reserve on an idyllic tropical island provided opportunities for sunbathing as well as the chance to snorkel and observe turtles, triggerfish, sting rays, huge lobsters and a shark was even spotted!
Lower Sixth former, Ruth Palethorpe (16) commented,
“The trip to Madagascar exceeded my expectations. The knowledge of the scientists that we got to work with was inspirational. I learnt so much about conservation while making new friends and enjoying the wildlife. The diving week was both challenging and rewarding. I would definitely recommend the trip to anyone with an interest in Biology."
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 sixteen state-of-the-art laboratories. The School has now completed a second phase of the development project which sees a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to the original SciTec building as well as a significant upgrade to and refurbishment of the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. 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. An ongoing Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, incorporating the building of a new Sports Centre housing a fifty metre swimming pool and an eight court sports hall.
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.