Oundle School’s ‘Have a Go Days’ (HAGDs) have been running for over thirty years and have established themselves as important dates in the special needs clubs’ and schools’ calendars. On Sunday 26 and Monday 27 April Oundle pupils and staff hosted over 550 visitors to the School who came from far afield and took part in various activities including swimming, badminton, music percussion, basketball, archery, football, t-shirt design, indoor rowing, face painting and art.
Liz Dillarstone, Head of Community Action at Oundle School commented, “HAGD is an opportunity for visitors to try their hand at new sports and activities in safe and familiar surroundings. It is lovely to see the faces of our guests light up at the prospect of sampling activities which many people take for granted. Their presence is like a breath of fresh air and our pupils are privileged to host them.”
Some visitors make a bee-line for their favourite activity as soon as they arrive; football is always extremely popular and the archery well supported. Others like to try their hand at music and other sporting activities - this year the T-shirt designing activity was a real hit.
Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive with comments including:
- “Thank you so much for Sunday. Bob had a lovely time trying out all the activities and despite his visual problems did very well with the sports. His great love though is music and he really loved his go on the drums. Please pass on our thanks to Dominique who kindly showed us around and all the other helpers at the different sports who were very patient and enthusiastic. Their enthusiasm definitely rubbed off on us all. It is lovely to be able to join in with something on our doorstep, thank you.”
- “On behalf of Wellingborough Gateway club and Peaches Class Rowan Gate School I would to say a huge Thank You to the staff and pupils for two really nice successful afternoons enjoyed by us all. The weather certainly was on our side and that helped. As always your pupils were very welcoming, polite and helpful to us and we all look forward to the next ones.”
- “Just a quick note to say thank you for having us today, we have had a lovely time at your beautiful school. We were well looked after by Charlie, what a nice lad. And a special thank you to Pak for being so patient with our daughter’s flower tattoo while she wriggled around. It is so nice for her to have different experiences like today, we are very grateful you are willing and able to put an event like this on.”
Headmaster, Charles Bush commented, “Oundle pupils are most fortunate to host Have a Go Day and enjoy giving something back to the community. Out of all the activities at School, this is one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding. It is highly motivational for teenagers to have the opportunity to entertain these visitors. We were delighted to host so many people and I hope they all had a wonderful time.”
Any clubs wishing to be notified of future events should contact Oundle School Community Action department on 01832 277267 or email email@example.com for further details.
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.