A French Exchange in Orléans
22nd May 2015

During the Easter holidays, twelve Oundle pupils headed off to the picturesque French town of Orléans for a French exchange with the pupils at Saint-Charles School.

Pupil, George Brettle (14) commented, “We spent the first weekend with our French families who treated us to a variety of trips including visits to Disneyland, cycling or in some cases visiting the famous Orléans Zoo.”

Meeting up on Monday morning, the Oundle pupils caught up on their experiences from the weekend and spent the day shadowing their French exchange partners in their lessons. The following days were spent at the school and some of the pupils went on a trip to Chinatown in Paris. On the last day, the group visited a chocolate factory and Chateau Cheverney. 

George concluded, “We left Orléans looking forward to receiving our partners in the summer.”

Trip organiser and French teacher, Sophie Fonteneau commented, I had excellent feedback from the host families who were impressed by the pupils’ spoken French and enthusiasm. This was an excellent opportunity for them not only to immerse themselves into the French language but to gain hand-on experience of French culture and way of life. They should be congratulated on their excellent behaviour both at School and with their families and I am convinced that they hugely benefited from their experience.”


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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