Dear OOs, Further to my message to you in May, I hope that you are and remain well
and that your life is emerging happily from the restrictions of the last months.
Oundle School remained fully online during the lockdown period, with
the most wonderfully exciting learning happening across the world and a sense of Oundle stronger than ever.
The Fifth Form in particular have soared ahead into their A level studies –
and beyond – in a way that would not have been possible had the GCSE exams gone ahead as usual.
We have held a virtual Speech Day and planned our start to the Michaelmas Term. The Head
I believe that we will look back on 2020 as a year when something important changed. The past months have reminded us of our need for human contact.
There is a reason why we are not hermits. In April, we translated Oundle into Oundle Online, as fully as we possibly could,
but Oundle is more than anything about people: about conversations in passing, about unspoken communication, The Head
about braving the elements or breathing in the sunshine as you move about the School and town with your friends, about enjoying each other’s company.
The period of lockdown has also exposed the ways in which humans react to pressure. Pressure experienced as challenge often brings out the best in people.
Across the pupil and staff body, different people have had different experiences of lockdown, and the resilience of many has been simply extraordinary.
In all sorts of important ways, Oundle School as a whole has flourished and the qualities of resourcefulness, optimism and kindness we associate with Oundelians have shone through.
Pressure experienced as anxiety and unaccustomed powerlessness, however, can often bring out the worst in people. We know that.
But when it is an entire community – an entire country – affected, the fragility of human behaviour under strain is writ large.
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