“Oundle is often described as highly academic but we are no hot house. Our pupils are intellectually curious, energetic and resourceful: they are able young people who love school and who love learning. They want to succeed but equally they take things in their stride and enjoy academic study for what it is rather than feeling pressured to perform.”

Dr Adam Baragwanath

Deputy Head Academic

Oundle crest

Our academic aims

The breadth of subjects and opportunities available at Oundle is what excites both our pupils and teachers. Oundelians are encouraged to look beyond their current strengths and interests, to harness their natural intellectual curiosity and explore new avenues for learning. Our aim is to expose our pupils to as many different subjects and ideas as possible from a young age and to experience a cohesive journey all the way up to A level. It is important to ensure that the curriculum is continually balanced between content, concepts and skills. 

As pupils move up through Oundle they enjoy a greater depth to their learning so that when they do go on to the next stage of education at university or elsewhere, they will always have that foundation that will support them. 

“Oundelians perform exceptionally well, progressing to the most competitive universities and often to read the most competitive courses, because they make the most of all the academic help and support on offer here. The culture of learning they create among their peers is highly distinctive.”
Dr Adam Baragwanath, Deputy Head Academic

Our approach

We value success in public examinations as an important educational aim and it forms the basis of our examined curriculum, but it is only part of our academic approach. A love of scholarship is an aspiration for every one of our pupils and staff, nourished by intellectual activity beyond the classroom and pursuits beyond the confines of Oundle. We celebrate and reward involvement as well as achievement, believing that academic fulfilment should never be limited to the brightest of pupils. 

Across the disciplines of Literature, Art, Design, History, Science and Language, we share a common pedagogical culture. Beyond that base, the School’s academic departments have considerable scope for independence. It is this independence and diversity that colours the curriculum, motivates our teachers and invites pupils to explore, read, reflect, debate, create and innovate.

“An Oundle education instils a love of scholarship - a life of learning - in all our pupils and staff, helping forge an intellectually curious community that seeks to understand and improve the complex world we inhabit.”
Sarah Kerr-Dinen, Head

Digital devices

Digital devices have an important part to play in creating engaging lessons in the classroom and pupils need to leave School confident that they can safely navigate the wider world in which they live and work. Universities and businesses expect students and employees to be digitally literate and have an awareness of their personal digital footprint.

We provide Microsoft Surface devices to all year groups and use Microsoft 365 and Teams in lessons and to support learning, ensuring that all pupils are able to have the same digital experience. Having this dedicated work device is part of our Digital Wellbeing Framework which helps pupils learn how to separate work and relaxation more effectively, allowing pupils to make the most of the broader social opportunities that come from living in a boarding community.

Educational Support

Every pupil arrives at Oundle with individual learning requirements. A screening programme for pupils new to the School helps to identify those who may need some additional support and ensures that we are aware early on of any possible underlying difficulties.

The Learning Support department has six specialist members of staff. The department offers help through the School’s programme of Voluntaries, either on a one-to-one basis or in small groups, to develop skills such as essay planning, revision skills, exam technique, mind-mapping and spelling.

Academic Enrichment

A love of scholarship is an aspiration for every one of our pupils and staff, nourished by intellectual activity beyond the classroom and the confines of formal examinations. Our overriding aim is to instil in all Oundelians a love of learning for its own sake and an intellectual curiosity and restlessness that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Much of our academic enrichment comes under Our Life of Learning programme, the ethos of which extends across all departments and year groups. It introduces Oundelians 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 and spiritual importance. From academic societies and voluntaries to bespoke Oundle courses such as Trivium and Quadrivium, the programme is as inclusive as it is broad.

Discover more

Cripps Library

In the midst of a busy day, the Cripps Library is a quiet place for pupils to collect their thoughts, focus on work or browse the shelves. Our open shelves spark excitement for the serendipity of discovery, while the scale and variety of our collection supports the research that is required for our pupils to complete their academic projects and essays.

The Cripps Library is also instrumental in ensuring that pupils understand how to select and evaluate information, and how to use it effectively and responsibly, not just for academic success, but for personal well-being and good citizenship. Within the Cripps Library is The Rare Book Room, containing the School’s special collections, including a 15th century Book of Hours and many significant 16th and 17th century books.

"Pupils’ strong attitudes, together with their high level of knowledge and skills, are major indicators of the School’s successful promotion of a distinctive and outstanding education."
ISI Inspection 2022

Timetabled languages offered


A level options


GCSE/IGCSE subject options


Academic societies


Oxbridge destination


Russell Group destination







“Take advantage of the extensive opportunities Oundle offers you and learn your subjects with an open mind. Make good impressions with your teachers and with your peers as trust and reputation go a long way. Be fearless - Oundle has so much on offer! And have patience. What isn't happening for you now may well end up doing so in the future. Just keep working at it.”
Upper Sixth Pupils

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