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Oundle School


School Name: Oundle School
Description: Co Educational Independent boarding and day school
Acceptance Ages: 11+


Oundle School is the third largest independent boarding and day school in England. The school is fully coeducational and around three-quarters of its pupils are boarders.

Located in the historic market town of Oundle, on the River Nene in Northamptonshire, the school’s buildings are scattered throughout the town. Some of the boarding houses are in the centre of the town, with large grounds extending to the rear. Others are located on the edge of the town alongside the school’s playing fields and sports facilities.

The school has been governed by a Royal Charter since 1930. However, its history extends back much further, to 1556, when Sir William Laxton bequeathed money for the foundation of a free grammar school in Oundle. Sir William Laxton was the Lord Mayor of London and Master of the Worshipful Company of Grocers and the Company still supports the school today and is responsible for nominating eight of its governors.

Oundle School operates a complex two-strand curriculum, with examined subjects being taught with non-examined and voluntary courses. It also has its own unique subjects, including ‘Trivium’, which it describes as “a course based on ‘interestingness’”. During the First and Second Forms (Years 7 and 8) at Oundle, there is a strong focus on the traditional academic subjects, with a wider range of choices becoming available to pupils from the Third Form (Year 9) onwards. The school has a strong record of exam results and 94% of GCSE grades fell into the A*–B bracket in 2018.

Oundle School 11 Plus Admissions

There are approximately 60 places available each year for 11+ entry into the First Form (Year 7). Boarders for the junior boarding house are called The Berrystead day pupils enter Scott House. There are 20 places available in The Berrystead and 40 available in Scott House.

The school is academically selective and places are offered based on performance in a written entrance exam and interview. The exam consists of a cognitive abilities test, plus papers in maths, English and science.

Applicants applying for day places in Scott House must take the cognitive abilities test online in November. Based on the performance from the test, applicants may be offered a place or invited to take the entrance exam in January.

Applicants applying for boarding places in The Berrystead take the test and exam at Oundle in January and stay overnight.

A limited number of means-tested bursaries are available. However, decisions regarding bursaries are made around two years ahead of entry, so parents must contact the school in advance about financial assistance.

Four academic scholarships and two music scholarships are available at 11+ entry and extend for two years. Applicants who performed in the entrance exam at a high level are invited to take separate scholarships papers to contest the academic awards. Applicants for the music awards are auditioned and interviewed. Scholarships are awarded in recognition of proven talent and do not necessarily offer any remission of fees.

The school launched a booklet of Admissions Information and is also downloadable from its website.

How to Apply for 11 Plus Entry to Oundle School

Oundle School hosts three open days each academic year – in September, January and May – for aspiring pupils and their families. To book for a place in one of these events or to arrange an individual visit, please contact the Admissions Office directly: or 01832 277125.

Parents who are interested in applying for an 11+ place at Oundle School should request a prospectus via the website. A registration form is included in the prospectus pack and a non-refundable fee of £250 is payable on registration.

It is recommended that parents who wish to apply for a place at Oundle School for their child register as early as possible, especially as decisions about bursaries are made approximately two years in advance of entry.

Oundle School 11 Plus Exam Format

The Oundle School entrance exam consists of the following papers and tests:

  • English paper is for 1 hour: reading comprehension and writing composition
  • Maths paper is for 1 hour: arithmetic and problem solving (calculators are not allowed)
  • Science exam
  • Cognitive Ability Test

Candidates who perform to a high standard in the English and Mathematics papers are invited to sit a scholarship paper, which is for a half-hour section of maths problems and a half-hour section of English reading comprehension.

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