Oundle School is one of Britains leading co-educational boarding and day schools. It is situated in the quintessentially English market town from which it takes its name, about 90 kilometres north of London. Its buildings, dating from the 17th to the 21st centuries, are dispersed throughout the town, so that the town itself, with a population of about 6,000, is to a large extent the School campus. The School's history dates back to 1556 and it was then that Oundle's strong links with the Grocers Company of the City of London were established.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Oundle was put firmly on the map of leading English public schools by its most famous headmaster, F W Sanderson. He created Oundle's reputation as one of the great science and engineering schools a reputation that has lasted up to the present day, aided in 2007 by the opening of a major new science complex.
In 1990, Oundle admitted girls for the first time: they now constitute 40% of all pupils. Oundle is now the third largest independent boarding and day school in England, with 861 full boarders and 250 day pupils. The boarders come from 130 prep schools from all over the United Kingdom, with about 10% coming from 22 countries overseas. Each pupil is a member of a boarding or day house. The house system is at the heart of life at Oundle. It is in the community of the house that most pupils find the confidence and sense of purpose that lead to fulfilment in the larger community of the School. Oundle has 13 senior boarding houses 8 for boys and 5 for girls. They are specifically designed to have accommodation for a married housemaster or housemistress and about 60 pupils. In addition, there is a mixed junior boarding house of about 40 pupils for entry at 11 or 12. All meals are taken in house dining rooms.
Oundle has a well-earned reputation for academic, musical and sporting excellence. Over the last two years, 60 pupils have gained places at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and over half play musical instruments. Twenty-Four subjects are offered in the Sixth Form at A Level or Pre-U standard.
Sport has always been an integral feature of life at Oundle. The major sports for boys are Rugby, Cricket, Soccer, Hockey and Rowing. For girls, the main sports are Hockey, Netball, Rounders, Rowing and Tennis.