Red Sea Diving
1st May 2015

Over Easter, the Oundle School Dive Club made its annual pilgrimage to the Red Sea.

After leaving the new marina in Hurghada and completing a check dive, the rest of the week was spent diving a mixture of northern reefs and wrecks. Particular highlights included the three dives on the wreck of the Thistlegorm, a wreck School divers have dived before but never in such good visibility and with the opportunity to spend so much time on the site. 

With two day and one night dives (when the wreck comes alive with colour as the encrusting corals start to feed) the pupils explored almost every area possible.  Although sharks were absent from this trip, most of the group had a dive with a turtle and some good views of spinner dolphins from the Zodiac. 

Trip organiser, Adam Langsdale, commented, “Despite the unusually windy conditions the group approached all their dives with enthusiasm and a great deal of interest. Our dive guides (Sonia and Zizou) were outstanding and offered unending help and advice during the trip.”

Pupil, Harry Godwin-Austin (17), commented, “As a keen diver, the trip was an amazing experience. I was one of five pupils taking the PADI Advanced open water course with the boat’s leading instructor Sonia Goggel (a rather fitting name for a dive instructor!). The highlight of the week for me was diving the Dunraven wreck where we saw many rays, crocodile fish and an octopus in amazing visibility and comparatively hot water.

William Brettle (16) added, “Highlights for me included seeing an astonishing range of sea-life, including a turtle, lionfish, stingrays and Napoleon fish, as well as superb coral reefs; visiting remarkably well-preserved wrecks, including the SS Thistlegorm, and getting to know the crew on board the boat. The trip was enjoyed enormously by all, both in and out of the water.”



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 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 both physically 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 1100 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. 

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