The inaugural Oundle Mathematics Enrichment Conference (OMEC) event was hosted in Oundle School’s recently extended SciTec building this summer and attracted over eighty pupils from eleven local schools.
The event was aimed at the most capable mathematicians in Years 9 and 10 and sought to extend the mathematical experience of all participants. Alongside the pupil seminars, the twenty visiting teachers met together for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training sessions presented by Douglas Butler (creator of the Autograph software) and Mo Ladak (Head of Teaching and Learning at Thomas Deacon Academy) on topics including ‘Getting the Best from Dynamic Software’ and ‘Common Misconceptions at GCSE’.
Pupils participated in three seminars covering topics in Modular Arithmetic, Prime Numbers and Similarity. All topics built on knowledge that pupils would have from their school experience but extended their use into more challenging contexts. The afternoon session was a Mathematical Treasure Hunt which took place in the grounds of SciTec and was hotly contested between the teams and was enjoyed by many teachers too!
Oundle’s Head of Community Partnerships, Gordon Montgomery commented, “It was tremendous to see so many schools represented and the very strong mathematicians that they bring. We hope that Oundle will be able to host more such events and are grateful to our partners at Thomas Deacon Academy for supporting the delivery of CPD training sessions. It helps to be able to offer something for teachers to benefit from as well as the pupils.”
Head, Sarah Kerr-Dineen added, “I am delighted by the success of this inaugural conference and excited by the learning and partnership opportunities it opens up now and into the future.”
Quotes from participants:
“Pupils loved the session on arty maths and have delivered a session in school on it. To be honest we thought the event was brilliant!” – Ben Johnson, Brooke Weston Academy
“Our students were buzzing – all the way home!” - Mo Ladak, Thomas Deacon Academy
SciTec is an award winning and ground-breaking science complex which unites the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and aims to provide ‘practical hands-on experience’, with Oundle’s pupils able to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of workable technology. A working link with Imperial College, London will use the Oundle facilities as a regional hub for future STEM activities with local schools. The engagement of research scientists to work alongside teachers underscores the facility’s status as a beacon for the teaching of Science and Engineering.
Oundle School Mathematics Department will run a similar mathematics event for Years 7 and 8 pupils on Thursday 16th November and for Years 5 and 6 pupils on Tuesday 23rd January in addition to OMEC 2018 which will take place in early July.
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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 2016, the School completed its ambitious SciTec project, uniting 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. The development includes the ground-breaking Patrick Engineering Centre, a new Mathematics department and an extension to its sixteen state-of-the-art Science laboratories. Oundle has now embarked on a detailed Sports MasterPlan which will significantly upgrade sporting facilities across the School by 2020, 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.