Oundle is a vibrant community of pupils, parents and staff. It is a place where people matter and where the fulfilment of each individual child is our constant focus. Pupils are at the heart of every decision that we make and we aim to instil in them the skills, attitudes and habits of mind that will sustain them long into the future.
The successful and mutually respectful partnership between pupils and staff is a distinguishing characteristic of an Oundle education, strengthened by the shared experiences and opportunities that living amongst such a strong boarding community brings. A pupil’s Housemaster or Housemistress will be a pivotal figure across all aspects of their School life, as will be their Tutor. Tutors and tutees meet regularly both formally and informally, including lunch at least twice a week in Houses, providing opportunities to discuss progress reports, targets, choices, problems and achievement.
We believe that pastorally, a School is only as big as its smallest unit of care. At Oundle, every pupil is part of a House-based Tutor group which usually consists of around eight to ten tutees. In each House, Tutor groups span all years, reflecting a family feel and providing an opportunity for the older pupils to become mentors to the younger ones. The focus of a Tutor is on ensuring the fulfilment of every tutee and truly understanding what makes him or her tick. For the most part, Tutors are also the first point of contact for parents.
Learning for Life is a graduated and tailored programme across all year groups which aims to help pupils develop good character and make wise choices, equipping them not just with knowledge but a greater self-awareness, confidence and resilience. It supports pupils to approach life from a practical and personal perspective, as well as preparing them as thoroughly and pragmatically as possible for life at university and beyond.
An essential part of an Oundle education and instrumental in helping foster a strong community, Learning for Life has been designed from scratch by both pupils and teachers specifically for Oundelians. Since its inception, the programme has expanded significantly, integrating with the Emotional Wellbeing Team, the Pupil Pastoral Forum and many other areas of School life such as Community Action, the Stahl Theatre, Houses and the myriad of pupil-led societies and groups.
It is further enhanced by external partnerships with organisations including Bold Voices, the Breck Foundation, the Money Charity, IT Happens and The Daniel Spargo- Mabbs Foundation who offer specialist workshops, talks and discussion groups. This opportunity for pupils to hear personal stories and anecdotes from people with different perspectives and experiences is invaluable in helping relate what they learn to real life.
“Learning for Life is so much more than a traditional PSHE programme. It is about promoting healthy debate and attitudes so that our young people are fully prepared for whatever comes their way in life, rather than teaching ideologies or right from wrong. The programme necessarily evolves and flexes throughout the year, reflecting both topical issues and pupil voice.”Catriona Harrington, Head of Learning for Life
Puberty and body image
Good and bad stress
Giving back to society
Relationships and content
Stress and coping mechanisms
Value for money
Politics and immigration
How to write a CV
Let's talk about racism
What do you want from life
How to decipher a payslip
Festivals and first aid
Student loans and spending
How to use social media to your advantage
The importance of contraception
The Dangers of gambling
Grassroots social media
"Pupils’ highly successful personal development is underpinned fruitfully by the School’s Learning for Life programme, which integrates smoothly with substantial mental health provision."ISI INSPECTION REPORT 2021