November has been Movember at Oundle School with twenty members of staff participating in raising funds for Movember (Reg Charity number: 1137948), a charity which raises awareness on Men’s Health, particularly mental health and male cancers such as testicular cancer and prostate cancer.
Three out of four suicides are males, and one in eight men have experienced a mental health issue.
Geography teacher and event organiser, Philip Pitcher commented, “The purpose of the month was to raise both funds and awareness on these issues with our pupils. Although largely aimed at males, all pupils were asked to think about gender specific cancers and how they can keep an eye out for signs of change that may save their lives. Alongside this we all wanted to break down any barriers which prevent pupils talking about these issues – to get conversations going and encourage pupils to look out for each other.
We also wanted pupils to understand that age is no guarantee of being cancer free. As an example, nearly 50% of testicular cancer cases diagnosed each year fall in the 15-34 age bracket.”
Poster displays, break time fundraising events and the growing of moustaches has prompted much discussion at Oundle School, and have provided visual aids to promote the aims of Movember, which concludes with a judging of the winning moustaches.
It is hoped that the staff involved will raise around £1500. Donations can still be made at: https://moteam.co/oundle-staff
Philip added, “It is really important to raise awareness of these issues within schools, particularly how to self-check for gender specific cancers. My hope is that pupils will normalise conversations around these issues and support each other in a bid to reduce unnecessary deaths.
It has been great to see so many staff and pupils talking about these issues; and the array of moustaches has been a source of great discussion (and humour).”
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.