Oundle school receives Royal visit for opening of SciTec extension

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Oundle School received a royal visit as HRH The Duke of Gloucester opened an extension to their SciTec development.

Last week he officially opened the completion of Oundle School’s SciTec vision, which encompasses a new mathematics department, science project rooms and the newly extended and refurbished Patrick Engineering Centre.

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SciTec, an award-winning and ground-breaking science complex with 16 state-of-the-art laboratories, first opened in 2007.

This latest development, which has focused on uniting the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), will position Oundle at the heart of applying science and engineering and embrace developments in new fields such as nanotechnology and mechatronics.

The aim is to provide ‘practical hands-on experience’, with pupils able to move seamlessly from theory to practice and from pure science to the achievement of workable technology.

Head of Oundle School Sarah Kerr-Dineen said: “Oundle’s SciTec vision has always been about creating the best possible learning environment for our pupils and promoting the intellectual passion of those who teach them.  

“Bright children learn by making connections: they do not learn subjects in isolation. 

“These facilities, which brings together science, mathematics, design, technology and engineering both philosophically and physically, will inspire children to make these connections.

“We hope that, thanks to SciTec and all that happens within it, the pupils of today – and not only Oundelians – will become the engineers, inventors and innovators of the future.”

SciTec, a facility designed to nurture the UK’s next generation of great scientists and engineers, puts Oundle, which lists evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins and astronomer and space scientist Dr Roger Malina among its former pupils, at the forefront of the continuing national drive to produce top quality scientists and engineers.

The original design and technology department has been extended and exhaustively refurbished, retaining the ‘large projects’ space for which Oundle is famous and adding two design studios for virtual modelling and prototype development, acoustically segregated from the practical facilities. 

Chairman of governors Julian Tregoning said: “Today was a very proud day for Oundle.

“We marked the official opening of an outstanding facility that has evolved from the efforts of many, including Oundle staff, industry experts, architects, engineers, builders, planners and of course our generous donors.

“Pupils are now able to work seamlessly, drawing from scientific fundamentals, their application, design and testing right through to manufacture.

“We are profoundly grateful to all who donated to this significant development and who helped turn our vision into reality.”

Former pupil and major donor Alex Patrick CBE said: “Since the Victorian Era, Great Britain has excelled in producing some of the world’s greatest scientists, engineers and innovative thinkers.

“Many pupils who attended Oundle School because of the aspirations of William Sanderson, headmaster from 1892-1922 have gone on to become the technological leaders of their generation.

“As an Old Oundelian I always enjoyed my time in the school workshops. 

“Today’s pupils continue to experience this opportunity and it is for this very reason that I, and my family trust, were committed to the further development of SciTec.

“In so doing, I hope to help ensure that Oundle remains at the forefront of schools, providing the facilities by which we can inspire future innovators at an early stage in their career development.”