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.


Arkwright Scholarships have been awarded to Oundelians in the last five years

The School has a valuable partnership with Swansea University, with students from the university’s Engineering department regularly visiting Oundle to share ideas and advise on pupils’ DET projects in the Patrick Engineering Centre


We are one of the only schools in the country to be able to print 3D in any material


The PEC comprises of four design studios all equipped with a class set of docking stations and large format monitors for pupils’ MS Surfaces to connect to, five open plan workshop bays, a large projects area, an advanced manufacturing suite and a materials preparation room with store. 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.

The PEC has been set up to deliver a modern-day experience of design engineering to Oundelians with careful selection of both traditional and contemporary design and manufacturing techniques that are appropriate in a variety of industrial settings. The DET department is staffed by four full time teachers, four full time specialist technical instructors, a workshop keeper and a part-time administrator. The department also has two Imperial College London outreach fellows working with pupils in lessons and the PEC is part of the School’s recently establish Bloodhound Education Ltd hub for the Midlands.

Our Curriculum

The department focuses on promoting design creativity, advanced manufacturing, and generating enthusiasm for the many disciplines associated with the world of Design, Engineering and Technology. In the First, Second and Third Forms (Years 7 to 9), pupils are set tasks that will help to develop confidence and independence. The overall aim is to set high expectations for the standard of their work and to increase their skill base in designing and making. The department presents the pupils with a range of projects delivered via simple closed briefs or more open-ended design tasks, to enthuse and stimulate whilst also covering the properties of the materials, production processes and experimentation with the latest in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing techniques. Onshape, SolidWorks / SolidCAM, Techsoft Design Tools, Adobe Photoshop and Siemens ShopMill / ShopTurn are the department’s software packages of choice.

DET is compulsory in the First and Second Forms, and then becomes optional from the Third Form upwards. Around 80% of the year group choose to study the subject in the Third Form, with around 75 pupils each year examined at GCSE level. The department follows the OCR Design and Technology specification (J310) at GCSE and the OCR Design Engineering (H404) and Product Design (H406) specifications at A level. Oundelians routinely leave the department at the end of Sixth Form to read for degrees in fields such as: Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Design, Product Design, Automotive Design, Materials Science and Architecture.


We foster inquisitive minds and in the Patrick Engineering Centre, we encourage our pupils to investigate and experience the three languages of design; aesthetics, articulation and analysis.

Through our Scholarship programme we are looking to identify and nurture curious young people with passion, commitment and creativity, offering exciting opportunities, bespoke experiences and world-class facilities in return.

our det scholarship brochure



Design laboratory for prototyping and design work

Technology laboratory

Dedicated classrooms for design and theory

3D printers

Four open-plan workshop bays

Large multi-use projects space

What our pupils think

The Patrick Engineering Centre has been an amazing place to improve my DET skills and to try out new ideas. As a Scholar, the time I have spent in the Design, Engineering and Technology department has been invaluable and it has helped me to find and develop skills that I hope to use in a future motorsports engineering career.

13+ Design, Engineering and Technology Scholar


Former headmaster Mr FW Sanderson established a workshops tradition at the end of the 19th century and brought engineering into the Sixth Form as an academic subject.

The Patrick Centre opened in 1997 on the site of the old workshops, funded and named after Alex Patrick, an Old Oundelian. In 2016 it was extended, exhaustively refurbished, and re-launched as the Patrick Engineering Centre.

Want to find out more and arrange a visit in person?