Pupils from Oundle School recently took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, an annual competition launched by the University in 2011 to coincide with the 2011 International Year of Chemistry.
Kadi Sun (17) achieved an outstanding Roentgenium Award, which is only give to the top 0.8% of the 7060 entrants. In addition, four Oundle pupils; Rebecca Siddall (17), James Clayton (18), Arthur Thomson (17) and Kimi Xie (17) all received a Gold Award which placed them in the top 7% of the highly able cohort who sat this paper. Five pupils achieved Silver Awards and twelve pupils achieved Copper Awards.
As in previous years, in June 2017, the pupils sat a ninety minute written exam designed for pupils in Year 12 or below attending schools in the UK. Entrants who did well in the competition were sent certificates of achievement, and those who performed best won an invitation to a residential camp at the University of Cambridge at the end of August.
Kadi commented, “The camp was a great experience. We met the organisers of the Challenge, enjoyed lectures given by professors at Cambridge and got to do some research and experiments mainly focused on Chemistry beyond A level.”
Head of Chemistry at Oundle School, Jonathan Peverley commented, “I am delighted that Kadi achieved such an award and very pleased that he was able to attend the residential event at Cambridge University that is given to the recipients of such an award.
Our annual cohort of highly able chemists have performed so well in this competition. Not only is it a fun exercise which takes the level of thinking beyond the normal discussions had in the classroom, it also provides a good breadth of the subject that pupils may not be exposed to. The resilience of these pupils to preserve with very challenging questions under tight timescales is something that is often talked about as being desirable by universities and I hope that this is an experience that these pupils will be able to utilise during their application process.”
For the first time this year, selected Fifth Form (Year 11) pupils were invited to take part in the Challenge. Many commented on the enjoyable experience of being challenged far beyond what the IGCSE syllabus would cover and several have chosen to continue their studies of Chemistry into the Sixth Form.
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 2016, the School completed its ambitious SciTec project, uniting 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. The development includes the ground-breaking Patrick Engineering Centre, a new Mathematics department and an extension to its sixteen state-of-the-art Science laboratories. Oundle has now embarked on a detailed Sports MasterPlan which will significantly upgrade sporting facilities across the School by 2020, incorporating the building of a new Sports Centre housing a fifty metre swimming pool and an eight court sports hall.
There are currently 1110 pupils on roll at Oundle School, with 860 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.