Over the Easter holidays,
a group of Oundle School pupils travelled to Geneva to visit CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear
Research), a European research organization that operates the largest particle
physics laboratory in the world.
Sixth Form Physicist, Honor Murison (17) commented, “On the first morning we were shown a video and light display of the
history and development of the research that went on at CERN. This proved
fascinating and explained how the pion (one of the fundamental particles) was
discovered through collision experiments.”
on the agenda in the afternoon was a talk by a physicist at CERN explaining the
physics behind early and current particle experiments, sparking a curiosity
amongst many as to things such as the properties of the little known dark matter.
After this talk the pupils were met by a computer technologist who works on
Atlas, the largest of the four detectors in the large hadron collider. She showed
them the control rooms for Atlas and explained how this massive structure
(taking up a space which is as big as St. Paul's Cathedral and 100m
underground) was created and constructed, with everything being assembled below
ground in the tunnels.
group was then shown where the giant magnets responsible for making the
particles collide were made and tested. Here the pupils saw different sections
of the tunnel and learnt about how the colliders were constructed to be as
efficient as possible using materials such as superconductors to decrease
wasted energy due to resistance.
the pupils visited the UN and were given the chance to see famous and
impressive conference rooms whilst learning about the history of the UN.
added, “Following the UN visit we split
into teams and were given a quiz which took us on a tour of Geneva with the final
location being a charming Italian restaurant where we had dinner.”
Information on Oundle School
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,
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.