Oundle is the third largest independent boarding school in England, after Eton and Millfield. The various school buildings which date from the 15th century are
scattered around the market town, with the Cloisters acting as the
nucleus of the school community. The Good Schools Guide described the school as a "Popular, well oiled, well heeled co-educational boarding school which is riding high." Pupils obtain strong results at GCSE and A Level. In 2007 91.1% of grades awarded to students at A-level were A or B grade and 83.9% of grades awarded to students at GCSE were A* or A grade. Sixty pupils went on to Oxbridge in the last two years; the overwhelming majority of pupils go on to study at Russell Group universities. Oundle School has the largest Combined Cadet Force
of any school in the country which plays an important role in both the
development of pupils as well as in the community, for example in the
annual Remembrance Day service held in St Peter's Church.
At least three Old Oundelians have been awarded the Victoria Cross. Like sport, music plays a vital role within school life for many pupils and over 60% of pupils regularly practice a musical instrument while at
Oundle. The school offers an extensive range of groups, bands,
orchestras and choirs which cater for many musical tastes. Such is the
success of music at Oundle that in recent years many pupils have gone on
to receive musical or choral scholarships from Oxbridge, while school bands and choirs have gone on to perform concerts across the U.K., Europe and even Asia.
Musical and non-musical pupils are encouraged to get involved in the
house shout and part song competitions in the Lent term which are
independently judged and contested fiercely. Possibly the greatest
success in the practice of music at the school is its rock society,
which can count the likes of Bruce Dickinson
among its earliest members. 'Roc-Soc' has been running since the 1970s
and promotes the independent formation of popular music bands which have
their own dedicated concerts towards the end of every term.
Most of Oundle’s boarders join in the Third Form from a wide range of Prep Schools, either through Common Entrance examinations sat in June each year or the Academic Scholarship examination sat in two stages; the preliminary papers in February and the main papers in May. Candidates who are not at a Prep School sit Oundle’s own entrance tests in the January before entry in September. The examination consists of papers in Mathematics, English, Science and normally a Modern Foreign Language (French/Spanish/German). Candidates performing exceptionally well in these may be invited to sit the main Academic Scholarship examination at Oundle in May.
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