A poem by Oundle School pupil, Alanna Gilmartin (15)
has won first prize in the English Secondary School section of a poetry
competition run by The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Fifty pupils studying German at Oundle took part in
the Dinggedicht Poetry Competition, run by the DAAD to coincide with an
exhibition at The British Museum, ‘Germany
– Memories of a Nation’.
The exhibition focuses on iconic objects reflecting
German history. Each of these objects tells a story, and pupils were asked to
bring the story of the object to life in a poetic form known as Dinggedicht, a
‘thing poem’ - a poem based on an object.
From the Renaissance to reunification and beyond,
the show uses objects to investigate the complexities of addressing German
history, navigating Germany’s many political changes from the Holy Roman Empire
to the 20th century.
The competitors were required to write a poem about
one of the objects in the exhibition, and could approach the task from any
Alanna wrote a poem entitled ‘Never Alone’ based on Caspar David Friedrich’s painting, Der
In December, Alanna was invited to read her poem at
the prize giving ceremony at The British Museum, followed by talks by Emeritus
Professor Martin Swales (University College London) and Berlin novelist Annett
commented, “I chose the painting, 'Der
Mittag' because it was beautifully painted and very interesting. Although
there is no obvious focus, I felt that the trees stood taller than everything
around and looked powerful and dominating.
When I went to the British Museum for the awards ceremony I was given a very
warm welcome and had the chance to meet the members of the jury. My poem was
read out and then each of the prize winners went up one by one to collect our
prizes. I was truly honoured to take part in the event, and overjoyed that it
was held at such an amazing place. It was an unforgettable occasion.”
of German at Oundle School, Emily Wagstaffe added, "Having learnt about the competition at the launch of
the Cambridge German Network -http://www.cogs.mml.cam.ac.uk/ - I was keen to encourage all pupils
studying German here at Oundle to participate. I was overwhelmed with the
enthusiasm our pupils showed. They all set about writing their poems in various
ways, in German and in English, and were inspired by lots of the different
items from the exhibition. Alanna clearly spent time researching Friedrich's
painting and produced a wonderful reflection of his work in her Dinggedicht. As
Head of German I am thrilled with her success and congratulate her and all
entrants for their hard work and efforts. Well done to all involved, with
particular thanks to the Daad for creating the competition and the British
Museum for their wonderful exhibition"
Never Alone by Alanna Gilmartin
the mist fell over the hills,
over the fields.
you listen hard you can hear,
their beautiful song,
their hearts thump.
by their breath,
your heart up to the clouds.
Listen closely and you will
They watch over your crop,
They hear your cries,
They clear your heavy soul.
Take a walk outside,
Tread over the stones,
Stay awake long enough to see,
They are there, watching you.
Your life may be sad,
Your life may cause tears,
You’re not alone in this world,
You are loved,
You are important,
Don’t give up,
Take a walk,
Let the trees,
Show the way.
information on Oundle’s Adamson Languages Centre
The opening of Oundle School’s Adamson Centre
in 2013 marked a new and exciting phase for the Modern Languages Department and
is the latest completed project in Oundle’s comprehensive and ongoing
development plan. A stunning blend of traditional architecture and contemporary glass
features, the Adamson Centre, formerly the Sir Peter Scott Building, has been
redesigned specifically with the teaching of foreign languages in mind. In
addition to welcoming over 900 pupils a week, the Centre will also provide a
hub of excellence within the wider community of teaching, with staff hosting
conferences and lectures to promote the development of languages.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department is one of the
largest in the School, with seven languages being timetabled: Arabic, Chinese,
French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. More pupils than ever are
learning two or more languages, with many more taking advantage of the breadth
of clubs, societies and lectures on offer outside the curriculum. A Level and
Pre-U results continue to rise; last summer saw pupils gain 45 A* and A grades
at A2, with 20 Oundelians going on to read one or more languages at university.
The building is named after major
benefactor and former pupil David
Frederic Dobell Adamson who left the School in 1937. He requested that “this bequest be used to improve facilities for and
give opportunities to students to learn to speak and communicate in foreign
The Adamson Centre facilities include:
Rooms: Each classroom
focuses on a single language and culture and is equipped with high quality
audio speakers, an interactive whiteboard and projector.
2 Sony Language
Laboratories: Two dedicated PC suites combine all the features of a
traditional laboratory with the latest multimedia technology, including Sony
Virtuoso language software.
Assistant Pods: Fully equipped with
touch screen computers, these modern glass fronted rooms are designated
specifically for conversation classes and oral examinations.
The Raymond Lee
International Suite: The centre-piece
and ‘hub’ of the Department, this Suite provides a perfect venue for language
conferences, films, lectures from visiting speakers and competitions. It is
equipped with the latest Skype technology, blu-ray cinema system, projector and
Information on Oundle School
Oundle School is situated in
the quintessentially English market town of Oundle, about 90 miles north of
London. The School’s buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are
dispersed throughout the town, which is, to a large extent, its campus.
The School’s history dates back
to 1556, when Sir William Laxton, Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers
and Lord Mayor of London, endowed and re-founded the original Oundle Grammar
School, of which he was a former pupil. In 1876, the Grocer’s Company divided
the School into two parts; Laxton Grammar School, primarily for the inhabitants
of the town, and Oundle School, primarily for pupils from further afield. In
2000, the Grocers’ Company reunited the two schools under the common name of
Oundle School and retained the name of Laxton for the day House.
At the beginning of the 20th
century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by
its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson, who established Oundle’s reputation
as one of the great science and engineering schools, a reputation still
renowned today. In 2007, SciTec - a major and ground-breaking new science
complex - opened, housing 16 state-of-the-art laboratories. The School is now
embarking on a large SciTec Campus development project which will see a new Mathematics department constructed adjacent to SciTec as well
as a significant upgrade to the Design and Technology department within the
Patrick Engineering Centre. Due for completion in September 2016, the
development will unite Science, Mathematics, Design, Technology and Engineering
and philosophically, enabling pupils to
move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the
achievement of a workable technology. A concurrent Sports Masterplan will
upgrade sporting facilities across the School over the next few years, including
a new 1st XI cricket pavilion due to open April 2015.
There are currently 1110 pupils
on roll at Oundle School, with 850 boarders and 250 day pupils. Also within the
Corporation of Oundle School is Laxton Junior School, a day School for children
aged 4 to 11.