First, Second and Third Form
We consider it important for our curriculum to be balanced, rigorous and stimulating. We foster an academic culture and a love of learning that is maintained and developed throughout a pupil’s time at Oundle. We set them up as independent learners and thinkers from the outset, encouraging them to read widely, to enquire, discuss and debate. We realise that the embedding of key academic skills is as important as the collection of factual information.
The Oundle curriculum begins with an intake of around sixty pupils into the First Form at age 11, where emphasis is given to the traditional disciplines: English, Mathematics, Science, Latin and French. Pupils also study the Humanities (History, Geography and RS), the Arts (Music, Art and Drama) as well as the essential skills involved in ICT and PE. The curriculum retains a similar approach in the Second Form, though pupils are able to start either German or Greek at this stage. A cross-curricular Culture Week at the end of the year gives pupils the opportunity to examine the links between subjects, as well as to further their knowledge and enthusiasm in a range of academic disciplines.
There is a larger entry from a variety of prep schools into the Third Form at age 13, when the total number of pupils in the year group rises to around 200. The main ethos of the curriculum is maintained from the First and Second Form, though the Third Form offers greater scope for choice. All pupils study a core curriculum of English, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Latin, History, Geography, Religious Studies and Trivium.
Trivium is a course based on ‘interestingness’, and topics vary from group to group; whilst one class is studying the works of Koestler, another may be immersed in the art of Berlin. The intention of Trivium is to place learning for its own sake at the heart of our Third Form curriculum. Small set sizes allow for the classroom atmosphere to be similar to that of a tutorial.
In addition to Latin, all pupils choose two languages. The choice is broadened to include Spanish and Chinese in addition to French, German and Greek. Furthermore, pupils opt for three subjects from Art, Computing, Design Technology, Drama, Music and Sports Science.