Two Oundle school pupils, Ed Willey (18) and Egan Pashley (16) travelled
to Beijing over the Christmas break to take part in a camp for international
students from 12 countries. The group of pupils from the UK numbered six in
all, with Oundle's Head of Chinese, Mr Hua Yan, leading the group as head
was offered to pupils across the world who had taken Chinese government
sponsored Chinese Language proficiency tests over the past years, known more
commonly as the 'HSK'. The trip included a course of Chinese lessons, cultural
activities, lectures, sports, and numerous visits to the many fascinating
historical locations around Beijing.
Ed commented, “This was my fourth
trip to China and I wished to use the opportunity to practice and improve my
spoken Chinese. I
have been offered a place to study Chinese at Cambridge after I leave Oundle in
the summer, and believe that the practice I have enjoyed on trips like this has
improved my language skills.
With a language as alien to English as
Chinese, the only way to really get experience on a day-to-day level is by
going to the country, and in this sense the trip was a great success. I very
much enjoyed both the lessons and trips out, with a particular highlight for me
being the chance to ice skate on the frozen lake at the Summer Palace. It was
also very interesting to meet people from several different cultures and
backgrounds on the camp - I think my Spanish has improved almost as much as my
Oundle School is
delighted to have been recognised as a ‘Confucius
Classroom’ by Hanban, the Office of Chinese Language Council International
which is a public institution affiliated with the Chinese Ministry for
Education. The status is awarded by Hanban to schools outside of China that are good enough and ambitious
enough in Chinese teaching and learning.
Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters is
committed to providing Chinese language and cultural teaching resources and
services worldwide, meeting the demands of foreign Chinese learners and
contributing to the development of multiculturalism. IOE (Institute of Education) ‘Confucius
Classrooms’ are mainstream schools across England that both have
Chinese firmly embedded in their own curriculum and can give advice, support
and taster classes to other schools in their region that are looking to start
There are currently 37 IOE ‘Confucius Classrooms’ in a variety of
different English schools (both state-maintained and independent) which teach
pupils of all ages, from infant, age 4 through to sixth form college, age 18).
has offered Mandarin teaching since 1995 and was one of the first of very few
schools to do so. It started as an extra-curricular option and has developed
into a popular timetabled option to GCSE and Pre-U level. This year, 20 pupils
took GCSE Chinese, with 16 gaining an A* grade and 4 an A grade. At Pre U
level, 4 pupils gained an A grade and one pupil gained a B grade.
approval process involved submission of an application to Hanban via the IOE
Confucius Institute in London. This came about after the visit of Mr Shen Yang,
Minister Counsellor for Education of the Chinese Embassy, to Oundle School in
March 2014, when he remarked that the School was a ‘hidden treasure’, and recommended that the School should apply to
be recognised as a ‘Confucius Classroom’.
Oundle will benefit from visits from experienced
Chinese teachers from China each year, and free teaching resources in exchange
for promoting Chinese teaching in the region - giving
advice, support and taster classes to other schools in in East Anglia that are looking to start offering Chinese.
Hanban teacher, Shunyong
is expected to arrive at Oundle in late October.
information on Oundle’s Adamson Centre for Modern Languages
The opening of Oundle School’s Adamson Centre
in 2013 marked a new and exciting phase for the Modern Languages Department and
is the latest completed project in Oundle’s comprehensive and ongoing
development plan. A stunning blend of traditional architecture and contemporary glass
features, the Adamson Centre, formerly the Sir Peter Scott Building, has been
redesigned specifically with the teaching of foreign languages in mind. In
addition to welcoming over 900 pupils a week, the Centre will also provide a
hub of excellence within the wider community of teaching, with staff hosting
conferences and lectures to promote the development of languages.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department is one of the
largest in the School, with seven languages being timetabled: Arabic, Chinese,
French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. More pupils than ever are
learning two or more languages, with many more taking advantage of the breadth
of clubs, societies and lectures on offer outside the curriculum. A Level and
Pre-U results continue to rise; last summer saw pupils gain 45 A* and A grades
at A2, with 20 Oundelians going on to read one or more languages at university.
The building is named after major
benefactor and former pupil David
Frederic Dobell Adamson who left the School in 1937. He requested that “this bequest be used to improve facilities for and
give opportunities to students to learn to speak and communicate in foreign
The Adamson Centre facilities include:
Rooms: Each classroom
focuses on a single language and culture and is equipped with high quality
audio speakers, an interactive whiteboard and projector.
2 Sony Language
Laboratories: Two dedicated PC suites combine all the features of a
traditional laboratory with the latest multimedia technology, including Sony
Virtuoso language software.
Assistant Pods: Fully equipped with
touch screen computers, these modern glass fronted rooms are designated
specifically for conversation classes and oral examinations.
The Raymond Lee
International Suite: The centre-piece
and ‘hub’ of the Department, this Suite provides a perfect venue for language
conferences, films, lectures from visiting speakers and competitions. It is
equipped with the latest Skype technology, blu-ray cinema system, projector and
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
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 due to open 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.