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 25th September, over 200 adults and children with physical disabilities and/or learning difficulties visited the School, hosted by over 150 pupils. Visitors 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 aim for everyone to leave with smiles on their faces – staff, pupils and visitors alike.”
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 new activities like boccia and the music, cricket and football are always popular.
Pupil, Susie Hutchinson (17) commented,
“’Have a Go Day’ was amazing and fun as always. Many left with framed photos they had decorated at the Photo Booth, intending to display them as soon as they got home. I found this particularly rewarding as I was helping out with the Stahl Wardrobe putting costumes together for this activity. The fact that we as a community make a positive difference to others is really important and that is what Oundle Community Action is all about.”
Pupil, Ed Pryor (18) added,
“It was an absolutely fantastic day! It was hugely rewarding spending time with friends in the sun whilst providing entertainment for our visitors. There are few things more enchanting than the sheer glee and enjoyment plastered on the face of each visitor as they threw themselves into the rich array of activities.”
Pupil Freddie Turner (16),
“Have a Go Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to host and entertain and enjoy the company of those with disabilities whilst learning their names and introducing them to the many different activities on offer. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling and yet again it was a hugely successful day for everyone.”
“We just wanted to take a moment to offer huge thanks to you and everyone involved in the 'Have a Go' day yesterday. It was the first time we have been to one and we couldn't actually believe how brilliantly put together the whole thing was. Your pupils were absolutely charming, patient and just totally brilliant with our children. I hope that they, along with all the other people who put in so much time and hard work yesterday, understand just what a difference they have made to all the people who came along and enjoyed such a magical afternoon.”
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.
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 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.