OPEN Learning Partnership
With more than 10,000 people attending academic enrichment opportunities in the last year, 360 taking part in extended courses or programmes and an additional 20,000 joining online – the Oundle, Peterborough and East Northants (OPEN) Learning Partnership is reaching new heights.
Oundle School became a founding partner of the OPEN Learning Partnership in 2018. The partnership includes Laxton Junior School and four schools from the state maintained sector (Thomas Deacon Academy, Kettering Buccleuch Academy, Prince William School and Oundle CE Primary School).
The partnership aims to increase opportunity, raise aspirations and allow the sharing of best practice between schools. It encompasses enrichment days in maths and debating, engineering challenges and STEM Potential, a programme supporting university access. There are after-school science clubs, while the OPEN Summer STEM Festival sees Oundle open its doors for a week-long event allowing over 3,000 children from across the country to take part in a wide variety of practical workshops, demonstrations and shows.
Oundle School says that through its connections with its fellow partnership schools, its pupils are able to develop a broader life experience and to be challenged by the skills and talents of those that they work alongside.
University and local partners
Oundle School has a unique partnership with Imperial College London and employs an Imperial College London Outreach Fellow who teaches Science both at Oundle and at its partner schools. Its Outreach Scientist role leads teacher development and many of its STEM outreach activities. The school also has a valuable link with Swansea University, with students from the university’s Engineering department regularly visiting Oundle to share ideas and advise on pupils’ DET projects in the Patrick Engineering Centre.
A further formal partnership with the Royal College of Music enables talented musicians from Oundle to work with professors and students for mutual benefit. Each year a Fellow from the College spends time working with pupils at Oundle and other local schools and a school concert is held at the College for Oundle musicians to perform at this prestigious London venue.
A School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) hub
As a School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) hub, Oundle runs a successful training scheme in the subjects of Maths, Physics and Modern Languages, where there are teacher shortages. Its subject-specific SCITTs are different from the traditional PGCE route, because trainees spend more time working in schools from the start, and study the educational theory (the PGCE part) alongside teaching in the classroom. Trainees receive weekly or fortnightly subject-specific training throughout the course from subject specialists, and build up their teaching very gradually. They spend their time on placement at two of Oundle’s 30 partner schools in the area and experience teaching in both independent and maintained sectors. Find out more here.