Oundle ‘Quadyssey’ Trips
9th December 2016

In November, seven groups of Lower Sixth Form (Year 12) Oundle School Quadrivium pupils undertook ‘Quadyssey’ trips as part of the new Quadrivium course.

Quadrivium is an extension programme in the Lower Sixth at Oundle and the elder sibling of the Third Form's (Year 9) Trivium course which was established three years ago. Quadrivium consists of bespoke year-long courses written by teachers for pupils who choose them out of pure interest.  There is no examination, only rigorous discursive essays through the year, based on pupils' research.

Modern Foreign Languages teacher and Head of Trivium and Quadrivium, William Gunson commented. “’Quad’ pupils helped plan their own trips to some really exciting places, the history and curiosity of which is the content of their Quad courses this term. The trips, like their courses, covered the full range of the quirky and the profound, exploring everything from wartime ingenuity to European high culture in music and art, to historiography and the glories both of Britain's evolving architecture and its film production industry.”

Groups ventured to underground bunkers and abstract art exhibitions in London, as well as hidden royal palaces in Northants and Lincolnshire laden with British history and Capability Brown's masterworks. There were also visits to college chapels and other visual and architectural highlights of Cambridge including the buzzing research centre founded for former pupil (Old Oundelian) Joseph Needham. Pupils also saw a striking Glyndebourne touring production of Mozart's Don Giovanni and the code-breakers' secret huts of Bletchley Park.  

Pupil, Hannah Miller (16), commented, “Upon arrival at Cambridge we were met by our tour guide who took us on a very entertaining walk around Cambridge filled with stories and tales that we would never otherwise have known about.”

Pupil, George Fordy (16) added, “For our Quadyssey trip, our set went to the Needham Research Institute where we were given a tour and a lecture on former pupil Joseph Needham by the librarian, John Moffett. The institute holds Needham’s works and objects that he had collected, and a library, with books written by him, and books that he used himself for his research and also has largest private collection of thread-bound books in the UK.”

Lauritz Beil (17) said, “Our Quadrivium set has been looking into the subject of code breaking from the middle ages up until WW2 and beyond. As the culmination of these weeks we went to Bletchley Park, the central site for Britain's code breakers during WW2. It was a very informative trip with the highlight being a rebuild of the code breaking machine used to decipher the Enigma Code used by the Germans during WW2.”

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