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New Head in Oundle

(20 Posts)
Startyoga Thu 22-Oct-15 08:38:07

Hi everyone I am new to mumsnet . DS is looking at Oundle and he quite likes the school especially the new Sci block. I am aware of the thread posted around June 2014 re. pastoral care which concerns me (the thread was removed so I can only gather the gist in between lines).
Does anyone know how the new head is doing? On the right track to deal with better pastoral care?

Also is Oundle an academic selective school with lots of pressure and suitable only for the very able children?

Startyoga Thu 22-Oct-15 08:42:54

Hi everyone I am new to mumsnet . DS is looking at Oundle and he quite likes the school especially the new Sci block. I am aware of the thread posted around June 2014 re. pastoral care which concerns me (the thread was removed so I can only gather the gist in between lines).
Does anyone know how the new head is doing? On the right track to deal with better pastoral care?

Also is Oundle an academic selective school with lots of pressure and suitable only for the very able children?
Grateful for any advice and input. Thank you .

Needanadulttotalkto Sat 24-Oct-15 01:40:36

I'm mostly posting to bump this thread for you..... But I also remember hearing murmurings of not so great pastoral at Oundle. Can't for the life of me remember what they were, but it was enough to slightly put me off at the time.

Would you consider any others? Uppingham? Oakham?

Startyoga Sat 24-Oct-15 06:55:28

Thanks a lot. DS and DH are both keen in Oundle . Would like to see if there is any parents of Oundle to share thought on the new head and if it is an academic hothouse ?
DS is smart and self aware but find Engish a challenge as he is mildly dyslexic. Other verbal or spatial or procession speed in educ Psy report are in top 4-6 %. However Revision skill and organisation, and literacy area need learning support (continuous but not a lot) . Very keen on Science and Maths so he loves what he sees there.
He will not suit an academic hothouse but he is a very able boy who wants to excel himself . He is quite sporty and love water sports ( good pool and swim team there).
Any advice please?

happygardening Sat 24-Oct-15 07:27:52

Oundle is selective but not very selective. But I think most school are putting more and more pressure on children than they did 10 years ago as most parents want good results that's what they're paying for and also look and are heavily influence by a schools individual results when choosing a school.
It's so easy to be impressed with facilities, especially when you go on a short visit at an open day, but I personally don't think they mean much, you can have the best science block in the world but find that your DC and you are completely out of step with the school general ethos and be unhappy with it. Try and look beyond the facilities and the manicured lawns.

Orbiting Sat 24-Oct-15 08:22:50

I've watched the school video aimed at overseas candidates I think and I certainly don't get an impression of emphasis on pastoral care in the boarding house clips, it seems rather impersonal and that is their marketing video!
There will usually be at least one good housemaster in most schools. However in your case you have to also work out how good the learning support is and how 'joined up' with support when doing homework or revision in the house. Ask those sort of questions and decide whether the answers convince you. Obviously a strong well funded science department is a draw for your DS and therefore a factor in favour of Oundle

didofido Sat 24-Oct-15 15:12:00

Some years ago I went with someone to visit Oundle with their daughter for 6th form entry. We finally chose Oakham because of better pastoral care and facilities as least as good.

Startyoga Sat 24-Oct-15 20:30:46

Thank you so much for the advice. Am reading them with DH and we will definitely check out those point. Sorry for not replying early as We are out the whole day.
We will visit oundle after half term hopefully to hear some feedback re the new head .
How about Sherboure boy? DS have a few friends senior than him in Sherborne boy and they seem happy in the house . How about the academic performance ?
Grateful for more advice on any area.

Lowdoorinthewall Mon 26-Oct-15 10:18:28

Academic performance is a focus at Sherborne but it is not, in reality, a selective school. They aim to get the best from the very broad range of boys they take.

The pastoral care is great and there is a very strong new Senior Management team. Dominic Luckett will be taking the helm in January and there is a general feeling of optimism and 'on the up' ness about Sherborne.

manicinsomniac Mon 26-Oct-15 13:07:31

I don't have children at Oundle but I am a teacher at a prep that send a few there most years. It's not an academic hot house. A child needs to be of above average intelligence to get in but not desperately clever. The children and parents that I know who have gone there are very happy. The Drama is fantastic if that's something that interests you.

gonegrey56 Mon 26-Oct-15 13:14:24

I know the head from a previous appointment she held and I cannot speak too highly of her, especially her approach to pastoral care .

Startyoga Mon 26-Oct-15 14:56:00

Thanks a lot .
gg56, sorry but how do I interpret the comment ? '... Cannot speak too highly of her...' - should I be reading this in a '... She is brilliant...' Or '.... She is not very atentative to pastoral care....' Sort of way ?

stealthsquiggle Mon 26-Oct-15 15:01:52

Lurking with interest (prospective but not 100% committed Oundle parent)

gonegrey56 Mon 26-Oct-15 15:15:46

She is brilliant, kind and compassionate as well as having all the qualities you would expect in a top Head .

stealthsquiggle Mon 26-Oct-15 15:22:51

You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that, gonegrey56.

Startyoga Mon 26-Oct-15 16:08:33

Yes, Same to me. Thanks.
Hi Stealthsquiggle, glad to hear you are a perspective parents too. Maybe we can exchange ideas after visit.

Hi Manicinsomniac, re. the children from your prep school that have gone to Oundle , do you need learning support ? My son academic achievement is definately above average but he requires continuous learning support to fulfil his potential.

Pepperpot69 Tue 27-Oct-15 21:43:15

Our DS has a place and our prep school are trying their hardest to put us off as they think he will struggle, (slightly dyslexic and maths not his strongest subject). We were all so excited and he loved the school but now we are not sure. I think I would like to go and meet the new head, she sounds lovely and might be just what I need to reassure me!

manicinsomniac Tue 27-Oct-15 22:11:25

Startyoga - I can't think of any of our pupils who receive learning support who have chosen Oundle in recent years but it would certainly be possible. Schools are required to allow children to sit Common Entrance with the access arrangements that allow them to fulfil their potential. BUT they would probably require an Ed Psych report as evidence of what should be allowed. If your son doesn't require any extra support for the exams themselves but has learning support to further his learning in general then that should not be held against him and should be able to continue at Oundle.

I love that the new head is a woman - quite unusual for the big name mixed sex public schools.

Startyoga Tue 27-Oct-15 22:38:17

Thank you all. Am excited to meet the new head ESP after hearing all these good comments .

Orbiting Wed 28-Oct-15 07:33:47

Don't forget a new head needs time to change the culture of a school as it often requires new appointments. Better to know what is happening now and assume it will be like that for another couple of years even when a new head has firm plans.

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