Following on from the success of the inaugural Oundle Mathematical Enrichment Conference for Year 9 and 10 pupils over the summer, ten schools from East Northants and Peterborough attended a mathematics event for pupils in Years 7 and 8 presented by the Thomas Deacon Education Trust (TDET) and Oundle School.
The eighty pupils who attended were guided through a variety of stimulating practical problems to uncover the mathematics behind them, including the famous Towers of Hanoi problem presented by Oundle School Maths teacher, Richard Atkins. Richard has trained UK National Mathematics teams in the past and is the recipient of a lifetime service award from the UK Mathematics Trust.
Mo Ladak from the Thomas Deacon Academy, a well-known name in local mathematical circles, led a session where pupils completed the first stages of a proof of Fermat’s 2 Squares Theorem. For many, this was their first step into this important mathematical concept and helped to push the boundaries of their experience.
Accompanying teachers took part in a training session led by Rachel Rayner (Essential Mathematics) on the Bar Modelling Method. Her session was thought provoking, practical and very well received by the teachers who also had an opportunity to meet and discuss recent undertakings within the departments of their schools and to share best practice, as well as observing some of the pupil sessions.
The event finished with a circus of activities where schools competed against each other on some practical but taxing mathematical logic problems. The standard of pupils’ mathematics was very high from all participating schools but ultimately Uppingham Community College were the winners, closely followed by Prince William School, Oundle and University Academy, Holbeach.
Event organiser Gordon Montgomery commented, “We were pleased to be able to run this event and to have ten schools take time out to join us. Oundle’s link with TDET has helped a great deal in making this happen and it demonstrates clearly the benefits of an independent school working in partnership with their neighbouring schools. Visiting teachers commented that ‘the best aspect was just watching the pupils enjoying Mathematics’. We are delighted with how well this event was received and plan to repeat it next year.”
A similar event for Primary School pupils (OMEC 5&6) will take place on Tuesday 23 January, presented by Oundle School in partnership with Oundle Church of England Primary School. More information about this event is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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.