From 2nd – 8th March, Oundle School and Laxton Junior School (LJS) participated in Climate Week - Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future.
Geography teacher and event organiser, Philip Pitcher commented, “The School’s aim was to raise awareness of climate change, its history and the impact faced now and that may be faced in the future. We also asked pupils to think about energy efficiency and the role they can play.”
There was a series of workshops and assemblies at LJS. At Oundle School, pupils across all year groups received cross-curricular lessons in Geography, PSHE and Chemistry, including practical experiments to demonstrate the effects of climate change. There were displays around the School as well as an energy conservation challenge and low carbon meals in the boarding and day Houses
Pupil Lawrence Ward-Lilley (17) commented, “It has been a very interesting week and the competition has really helped get people on board. I have appreciated the enthusiasm with which people in House have approached the challenges. People are naturally wary of climate change and the consequences of feigning ignorance of its effects. Perpetual darkness is probably the best way to describe our House this week as people are turning off lights where they find them on unnecessarily. I hope people will continue to turn off lights out of a developing habit which is always good news, and I think we might all think twice before leaving the radiator on and the windows open! I am sure our consumption and emissions will go back up but I am hopeful that we will see some long term improvement. A few more years and it might be significantly lower, and I guess that is the
Pupil Ed Wilson (16) added, “The week has been very effective in getting everyone to do their own little bit. People have become more aware of the impact of a lot of people doing what takes very little effort, can have. The serious issues have been addressed, but if anything is going to change, it will take significantly more than one week.”
Pupil Sam Stocks (18) commented, “This week we have learnt a lot about how and why we should be more energy efficient. Everyone has got involved and gone beyond the call of duty to make a difference. The incentive for the House is a large fillet steak on the BBQ this summer if we win, and it seems to be a powerful source of motivation as switches are being turned off all over the building.
Climate week in Oundle will leave a long lasting legacy, making everyone more aware of what needs to be done to make the environment they live in greener.”
Culminating in a week of activities, Climate Week showcases practical solutions from every sector of society. Each year, half a million people attend 3,000 events in Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion which has been running since March 2011. Events are run by schools, businesses, charities, councils and many others. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect the planet and create a secure future.
Climate Week shone a spotlight on the many positive steps already being taken in workplaces and communities across Britain. The power of these real, practical examples – the small improvements and the big innovations – will hopefully inspire millions more people.
Climate Week has support from every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, Girl guiding UK to the CBI, the Big Lottery Fund to the National Association of Head Teachers.
Geography teacher, Philip Pitcher concluded, “This was a great opportunity to get pupils and staff alike talking about climate change as well as looking at what the School is doing to mitigate, adapt and better its energy efficiency. Next year we hope to embed more events such as links with the Sixth Form Lecture series and visiting speakers from places such as the Meteorology Department at the University of Reading. Alongside this we hope to nurture links with other local schools and have a series of interactive sessions on climate change.”
Background 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 both physically 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 1100 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.