Oundle School Mencap Holidays has today announced that it has been officially rated ‘Outstanding’ in all areas by Ofsted.
The government inspector for schools and child services formally assessed the Oundle-based charity for the first time in 2016. The assessment considered a number of areas including governance, leadership, safety and welfare, culminating in a two-day assessment during the holiday week itself at the beginning of August.
Having grown from humble beginnings over the last thirty years, Oundle School Mencap Holidays now welcomes forty children for a residential holiday utilising the Oundle School facilities every summer. In addition, recent years has seen a ‘Mencap Outdoors’ camping holiday for young adults added to the calendar. The charity has also assisted with the formation of a similar residential holiday at St John’s School in Leatherhead, Surrey.
The majority of the volunteers on the holiday comprise current Sixth formers or recent leavers (Old Oundelians) from Oundle School, supported by a senior team of experienced volunteers, many of whom are also former pupils or Oundle residents.
Children and volunteers enjoyed days out to Twin Lakes and nearby Wicksteed Park, as well as den-building and climbing in Rutland and a visit to the Burghley House Gardens of Surprise. The traditional day out at the seaside took place at Hunstanton, where the group swam in the North Sea, visited the Sea Life Centre and took on the waltzers in the amusement park.
Kate Taylor, Holiday Leader, commented,
“We are absolutely delighted to have been rated Outstanding in all areas by Ofsted. Whilst Oundle School Mencap Holidays is entirely volunteer run and organised, we pride ourselves on the levels of professionalism with which we operate. Whilst the highest standards of welfare and safety are of course adhered to, the summer holiday is first and foremost tremendous fun. Our children have a wonderful week every year and cannot wait to come back again.”
Robin Banerjee, OSMH trustee and teacher at Oundle School, commented, “
It is with tremendous pride that I and the other trustees see the volunteers on the Oundle School Mencap Holiday grow and mature as a result of their experiences. The holiday is a tremendous asset to the School in this regard, and I would like to thank the team for all their support in helping to make this fantastic holiday happen."
Volunteer and Upper Sixth Form pupil, Gigi Campbell-Breeden (17) commented,
“It was such a rewarding an eye-opening experience and I felt privileged to be a part of this outstanding holiday. I became very fond of the little girl I looked after at night time and very much hope to be a part of Oundle School Mencap Holiday 2017.”
For more information on Oundle School Mencap Holidays, visit www.oundlemencap.co.uk.
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 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.