Oundle’s SciTec site unites Mathematics, Science, Design, Engineering & Technology both physically and philosophically, enabling pupils to move seamlessly from theory to practice, and from pure science to the achievement of a workable technology. Each of the departments is staffed by subject specialist teachers and supported by professional and skilled technicians, all of whom aim to ensure that academic success is motivated by a passion for the subject and an appreciation of the value of STEM. On average, over 60 pupils each year apply to read STEM subjects at university, with Biological Sciences and Engineering consistently ranking in the top ten most popular degree subjects.
Practical work is central to the way that the sciences are taught. Facilities include 16 dual classroom labs, a wind tunnel, an atomic force microscope, a highspeed camera, a rooftop observatory, and dedicated Project Rooms for each individual science, housing advanced glassware as well as molecular biology and data-logging equipment.
“Pupils should ultimately have a deep and genuine understanding of STEM, for example, appreciating that the study of percentages in a Mathematics classroom is not just about assimilating theoretical knowledge of numbers, but about understanding how the calculation of percentages can be applied to levels of tolerance within the manufacture of a car engine.” Jonathan Peverley, Head of STEM
The Patrick Engineering Centre spans a design laboratory, a technology laboratory, two classrooms and four open-plan workshop bays. It is famous for its workspaces, which over the years have seen dozens of large projects such as cars and hovercrafts engineered and restored. The Centre is equipped with the very latest technology and is one of the only schools in the country to be able to print 3D in any material, from elastomers and rigid plastics to titanium and carbon fibre. As visitors often remark, the Patrick Engineering Centre feels nothing like a school; it is an environment in which pupils are challenged to develop their own creative problem-solving skills.
Over the past five years, Oundle pupils have been awarded twenty Arkwright Engineering Scholarships, regarded by universities and industry as one of the most prestigious accolades that a talented Sixth Form pupil can achieve. The scholarships consist of an annual financial award and a range of enrichment activities, such as mentoring and industry visits that enhance a Scholar’s experience of engineering and technical design in a real-world context.
A successful STEM education should enable pupils to put science into context and ensure that theoretical learnings translate into actual industry. At Oundle we aim to promote links across the STEM disciplines and build mastery of the subjects within it.Jonathan Peverley, Head of STEM
SciTec departments organise society lectures, fieldwork, workshops, masterclasses, conferences, visits and professional work placements throughout the year. For nearly 20 years Oundle pupils have travelled to the United States to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science conference in the world, where pupils attend talks and symposia with leading specialists in scientific research.
Oundle’s STEM offering has been developed in partnership with both Imperial College, London and the Swansea University Engineering department, enabling Oundle to draw upon significant expertise from these institutions to develop collaborative STEM projects across the state and independent sector. Oundle employs an Imperial College London Outreach Fellow who teaches Biology and Chemistry and leads science clubs in local schools as part of our partnership programme. A STEM outreach programme takes science out to primary schools, whilst a STEM potential programme offers pupils from local secondary schools termly workshops and masterclasses hosted at SciTec. As a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) hub, Oundle runs a successful training scheme for graduates and career changers in the shortage subjects of Maths and Physics.