The Life of Learning ethos extends across all departments and year groups, introducing all Oundle pupils to cultural experiences and ideas that have the potential to shape their lives, and encouraging them to consider varying views on critical world issues of political, ethical or spiritual importance.

This process begins with a programme of reading in the First and Second Forms where pupils are given a dedicated period in the timetable to read and record their thoughts, and continues within the curriculum in the Third Form Trivium and the Lower Sixth Form Quadrivium courses, which are cross-curricular explorations of widely expansive topics designed to stimulate pupils’ curiosity about all things “interesting”. Many Sixth Form pupils complete the Extended Project Qualification which provides an invaluable opportunity to follow a rigorous programme of independent research.

The Debating and Public Speaking Society engages pupils across all year groups, training them to hone their critical thinking and learn to respond flexibly, articulately and persuasively, and view questions from a variety of standpoints. They discover teamwork skills and the art of listening as they develop confidence both in presenting a case and in responding to counter arguments.

Each academic department has its own Society which organises evening talks led by an impressive range of visiting speakers who address ideas and issues within and beyond the curriculum, while a rolling programme of 15 minute afternoon assemblies for each year group is led by members of the Common Room who share their own ideas and thoughts for pupils to take away. This Term’s programme includes:

Monday 14 January First and Second Forms
Ms Giurlando: ‘The magic of libraries’

Monday 28 January Fourth Form
Mr Morrison: ‘Rhetoric and the great orators’

Monday 4 February Upper Sixth Form
Mr Watson: ‘The grand projet – what will yours be?’

Monday 25 February Third Form
Mrs Kerr-Dineen: ‘The power of words’

Monday 11 March Fifth Form
Mr Jessop: ‘What the FTSE 100 Index can tell us about life’

Monday 18 March Lower Sixth Form
Mr Aubury: ‘Something from nothing – a brief look at creativity’

Mr S Jessop
Head of Life of Learning