Top Scorer in British Biology Awards Ceremony
28th July 2015

This year, over 35, 000 UK and overseas candidates took the Royal Society of Biology’s Biology Challenge, with Oundle School pupil Ben Hutchinson (15) scoring in the top 40. His impressive result meant that he was invited to attend an Award Ceremony at The Royal Institution on 2nd July.

Attendees were addressed by Professor Dame Jean Thomas, President of the Society, Rachel Lambert-Forsyth, Director of Education and Training, Dr Andrew Treharne, Chairman of the Competitions Group, and one of last year's Olympiad finalists, who went on to represent the UK at the International Biology Olympiad, in Bali.

There was a lecture from Dr David Chivers on Primate Biology and Conservation, which included some amusing impressions of gibbon calls! Dr Chivers then presented the certificates, with participants processing to the front on the historic auditorium.


Ben Hutchinson

The Biology Challenge consists of two thirty minute online papers. 228 Third and Fourth (Year 9 and 10) Oundle pupils took part this year with twenty-seven achieving a Gold grade.

Biology teacher, Sudip Burman-Roy commented, “This is a significant achievement as many of the questions are beyond the syllabus taught for IGCSE and require a broader, more advanced or in depth knowledge into the field of Biology. It is an excellent way of encouraging pupils to look further into the subject outside the classroom. The Biology Challenge is for those who had watched programmes on biological themes such as wildlife documentaries, or read around the subject, keeping up with the latest developments in genetics for example.”

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. 

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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