Geographical Photography Success
19th November 2015

‘Splitting Image’

Oundle School Lower Sixth former, Harry Curtis (16) has been awarded 2nd place in the Geographical Association’s National Physical Geography photography competition (14-18 category) for his entry ‘Splitting image’ taken at Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire.

The Judges commented that Harry’s entry, ‘reminded us of the intricate relationship between geology and physical geography and the different forms of Earth’s sculpture through time.

Harry said of the photo, I chanced upon a sizeable ammonite whilst walking along the beach. A storm the previous night had eroded the cliff face, causing rocks containing fossils to surface onto the face and fall onto the scree debris below. On looking at the ammonite one immediately notices the jet black rock like substance which makes up the fossil; this was caused by the process of permineralisation. Over millions of years, the shell of the ammonite would have gradually decomposed under layers of silt and sand, the cavities left by the shell would be gradually replaced by minerals from the sea causing a rock like impression to form in its absence. It was with much haste that I split open the rock, revealing 200 million years of geographical processes and fracturing the imprint whilst doing so!’



Oundle School Photographer, Ivan Quetglas commented, “Harry’s photo is alive with details, textures and colours all derived from the same geographical space.  It also tells a personal story of discovery, action and results.  Its title is also very original and to the point to describe his image.”

Harry’s prize was a Páramo jacket and he will also be invited to attend the Geographical Association Awards Ceremony in April 2016 which is part of the bigger Geographical Association Annual Conference to be held at the University of Manchester. 


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 which opened in April 2015 and new astroturfs due to be completed this year.  

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. 

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