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Oundle School: 11 plus entry guide

By Atom | Apr 12, 2023, 3:25 PM

Oundle School, Northamptonshire

Are you thinking about Oundle School for your child? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about applying for a place in Year 7. Learn about key dates, see what's covered on the entrance exam, and get tips and resources to help your child prepare.

About Oundle School

Oundle School is a private day and boarding school in Northamptonshire for boys and girls aged 11–18. Around three-quarters of students board at the school and come from all over the UK and overseas, with 36 different nationalities represented in the student population.

Students experience lessons and activities in a range of buildings across the market town of Oundle. There is a considerable breadth of subjects and academic opportunities, including 'Trivium and Quadrivium' (independent study of personal choice in Years 9 and 12 respectively), 7 timetabled languages, and over 40 academic societies. Students achieve excellent results in public exams and achieve places at the world's best universities, art and music colleges each year.

The house system is at the heart of life at Oundle School. Both day and boarding houses have their own sense of identity and loyalty and provide pupils with plenty of opportunities for social and co-curricular activities. Students are encouraged to become global contributors to society, with activities based in leadership, adventure, and service helping to provide a broad life experience.

  • Headteacher: Sarah Kerr-Dineen

  • Address: The Great Hall, New Street, Oundle, Peterborough, PE8 4GH

  • County: Northamptonshire

  • Age range and gender: boys and girls aged 11–18

  • Number of pupils: 1,100+

  • National league table rank (Sunday Times Parent Power): 86

  • A level results: 87.6 A*–B

  • GCSE results: 84.9% 9–7

Key info for 11+ admissions

  • Admissions contact: [email protected], 01832 277125

  • Open day: 10th June 2023. Contact the admissions office to reserve a place

  • Overview of selection procedure: written papers, cognitive ability test and interview

  • Registration closes: registration by September in Year 6 is encouraged

  • Assessment date: January in Year 6

Oundle School term dates


Saturday 2nd September – Saturday 16th December 2023


Saturday 31st August – Saturday 14th December 2024

Fees at Oundle School

The fees at Oundle School vary depending on the year group and whether your child is a day or boarding pupil. The 2022–2023 fees for day pupils range from £20,595 (Year 7) to £27,075 (Years 9–13). Annual fees for baording pupils range from £32,115 (Year 7) to £42,270 (Years 9–13). Fees are payable termly, and are set in June for the following academic year.

Oundle School is able to support any family whose child has the potential, but not the financial means, to take up a place at the school. Bursaries – means-tested financial assistance – are available on a sliding scale, with some places fully funded. Find out more on the school website.

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Oundle School admissions process

Over 50 pupils join Oundle at 11+ entry each year. Day pupils join Scott House and boarding pupils join The Berrystead – the junior boarding house.

If you are considering Oundle School, it's a good idea to visit the school first to make sure that it's the right fit for your child. Attending an open day is a great opportunity, as you'll be able to talk to current staff and pupils, tour the school facilities, and ultimately get a feel for what the school can offer.

1. Register for 11+ entry

To start your child's application process, you will need to complete a registration form (available by request from the admissions office). This should be returned as soon as possible, but ideally before September in Year 6. A non-refundable registration fee of £250 applies.

If you are applying from outside the UK, it's recommended that you provide the school with your child's UKiset report before applying.

2. Assessments

Your child will be invited to take the Oundle School 11 plus entrance exam in January when they are in Year 6. Children who are taking the exam on-site at Oundle School will also have an informal interview, and prospective boarders will experience an overnight stay in the junior boarding house.

Children applying from overseas will follow the same entrance procedure and take the same papers. You will need to arrange for your child to take the exam at a registered British Council Office.

We've included more details about the Oundle School 11 plus entrance exam below.

3. Offers

If your child is successful in the assessment and interview, you will receive an offer in late January. To accept a place, you will need to pay an acceptance fee and deposit.

Oundle School 11 plus entrance exam

Children applying for 11 plus entry to Oundle School will take written papers in English, maths and science, and an online cognitive abilities test known as the CAT4.


The English exam lasts 1 hour and consists of two sections:

  • Section A: a reading comprehension task which should take approximately 35 minutes. Your child will need to read a passage of text and answer questions to demonstrate their understanding and ability to analyse the text.

  • Section B: a creative writing task which should take approximately 25 minutes. Children will have a choice of prompts, and will choose one to write a piece of original writing.

Get further guidance:


The maths exam takes 1 hour to complete. Questions are aligned to the Key Stage 2 maths curriculum and will cover topics such as number, geometry, and algebra.

Children are encouraged to show their working out on the paper, as marks will be given for demonstrating the method used to reach the answer.

Extra resources:


The science exam lasts 1 hour. Children will have 5 minutes of reading time to decide which questions to answer, then 55 minutes to complete the paper.

There will be a choice of 5 questions – each aligned to either biology, chemistry or physics – broken down into shorter, related questions. Children will need to answer 3 of the 5 main questions.

Learn more about the content this test will cover in our guide to Key Stage 2 science.

CAT4 exam guide

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Find out everything you need to know about the CAT4 and get tips and free resources to support your child's revision.

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How to prepare for entry to Oundle School

Oundle School is selective, and entry is competitive. Children should be working above age-related expectations in all core Key Stage 2 subjects (English, maths and science). Before starting your child's application, it's a good idea to talk to their current teacher to see if they think the school and admissions process would be right for them.

Here are our top tips for helping your child prepare for 11 plus entry to Oundle:

Preparation is key: familiarisation with the question formats and known styles ahead of the exam is essential. Access to quality Oundle School practice papers and CAT4 mock tests ensures confidence when tackling the exam.

Achieve mastery quickly: school entrance exams are designed to identify the children working at the very top of the ability range in their year group, so they assess a huge amount of content. Atom's adaptive algorithm creates your child's personalised learning journey specific to your target schools, with over 90,000 expert, teacher-created resources to support your child to fully master each topic.

Access to instant support: learners need clarification to address any misconceptions and become truly secure in their understanding of a topic. Access to videos, help sheets and engaging examples for each question builds confidence and competence in all areas covered in the exam.

Engage with their progress: celebrate their improvements in their areas of challenge together! An accurate, ongoing assessment of your child’s strengths and development areas is instrumental for preparing efficiently. Atom's Parent Portal gives you data-driven insights into your child’s areas of strength and development.

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CAT4 mock tests

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We understand how important this next step is for them, and for you. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with any questions you may have about applying to Oundle School or other selective schools.

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