Gold Awards in Cambridge Chemistry Challenge
19th September 2016

Pupils from Oundle School recently took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, an annual competition launched by the University in 2011 to coincide with the 2011 International Year of Chemistry. Four pupils; Kevin Law (18), Maurice Gedney (17), James Chapman (17) and Andrea Veronese (16) were all awarded a Gold Award which placed them in the top 7% of the highly able cohort who sat this paper. In addition, five pupils achieved Silver Awards and twenty-one pupils achieved Copper Awards. Of these, Rebecca Siddall (16) did very well as she was also taking her GCSEs at the same time.

As in previous years, in June 2016, there was a written exam for pupils in Year 12 or below attending schools in the UK. It took the form of a ninety minute written paper which pupils took at school.  Entrants who did well in the competition were sent certificates of achievement, and those who performed best won an invitation to a residential camp at the University of Cambridge at the end of August. 

Head of Chemistry at Oundle School, Jonathan Peverley commented,

“I am delighted that our annual cohort of highly able chemists have performed so well in this competition. Not only is it a fun exercise which takes the level of thinking beyond the normal discussions had in the classroom, it also provides a good breadth of the subject that pupils may not be exposed to. For the first time this year, we invited selected Year 11 pupils to partake. Many commented on the enjoyable experience of being challenged far beyond what the IGCSE syllabus would cover. I am very pleased, that several of these have chosen to continue their studies of Chemistry into the Sixth Form. The resilience of these pupils to preserve with very challenging questions under tight timescales is something that is often talked about as being desirable by universities and I hope that this is an experience that they will be able to utilise during their application process.”


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 sixteen state-of-the-art laboratories. The School has now completed a second phase of the development project which sees a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to the original SciTec building as well as a significant upgrade to and refurbishment of the Design and Technology department within the Patrick Engineering Centre. 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. An ongoing Sports MasterPlan will upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, incorporating the building of a new Sports Centre housing a fifty metre swimming pool and an eight court sports hall.

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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