Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions we have to make. Inevitably, you may have many questions. Our Admissions team will be very happy to help you, but we thought that it might be helpful to put some additional information in one place for you.
(We also know that pupils may have their own questions, so we have a pupil FAQ section written specifically with them in mind.)
How many pupils are there at Oakham School?
There are just over 1000 pupils at Oakham, which sounds like a lot, but there are 3 sections to the School – Lower, Middle and Upper – so it really doesn’t feel that big! There are approximately 200 pupils in the Lower School (Lower One to Form 2), 450 in the Middle School (Forms 3 to 5) and 400 in the Upper School (Forms 6 and 7). Class sizes vary depending on year group and the subject, but they are generally considered to be quite small, due to the high number of sets.
What are your entry requirements?
10+, 11+ and 12+ entry is by way of our entrance assessment. The assessment consists of a written English paper combined with a short skills-testing exercise, plus an online diagnostic test covering Maths, English, verbal & non-verbal reasoning skills. Children will also have an interview with a Housemaster/mistress or the Head of Lower School. A confidential report will be requested from the Head of your child’s current school. Pupils joining Oakham in the Lower School are not required to sit entrance exams on moving up to the Middle School at 13+.
13+ entry is usually through the Common Entrance (CE) exam taken at your child’s current school or through the Oakham entrance exam. The expected pass mark at CE is 55%.
16+ entry is based on an interview, as well as personal and academic reports from the candidate’s current school. We would generally be looking for a candidate to obtain a minimum of four 6/B grades and three 5/C grades at IGCSE/GCSE.
Find out more about the entry process
How do you keep me informed about my child’s progress?
We have very small tutor groups (8-9 pupils) and your child’s tutor will keep in regular contact with you. We also send home progress reports at half term and a full progress report at the end of each term. If you have any concerns, questions, or just feel you just want to ‘touch base’ on how your child is progressing or settling in, members of staff will be happy to help you at any point in the term.
Where do pupils go after Oakham?
The vast majority of our pupils go on to study at the university of their choice. We have a number of pupils who choose to continue their studies further afield and head for the USA or Europe. Other go onto pursue specialist courses at elite colleges such as RADA, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Ruskin School of Art. See this year’s leaver destinations
How many pupils receive Oxbridge offers?
On average, 10 pupils receive offers to study at either Oxford or Cambridge in a wide range of subjects.
Read more about our Oxbridge programme
What are the options for boarding?
We are a large boarding school with high numbers of full boarders joining us from across the East Midlands and the UK, as well as some international students. Equally, we know that some families want a more flexible option, so we offer a flexi-boarding package, where families can choose up to 5 nights per week. You can select which nights are taken, during the week or over the weekend, to best suit your family’s needs.
You can find a fuller explanation on our boarding pages.
Why do pupils move to a separate house for their final year?
We are unique in bringing all of Form 7 together into their own final year houses, Round House for the girls and School House for the boys. We do this to encourage them to become even more independent and to further develop their self-motivation and self-discipline as they prepare for their A-levels and IB exams. There are opportunities for integration between the two houses, and within each house there is a strong sense of community and support. We consider this final year provides great preparation for university and life beyond school.
What happens at weekends?
Weekends at Oakham are very busy. With the exception of Lower One, everyone has lessons on Saturday mornings. In the Lower School, there are plenty of activities and trips every weekend. Saturday afternoon is when the majority of sports fixtures take place against other schools in the Middle and Upper School. Following an afternoon of sport, there are usually house events or school events, such as formal dinners, talks, barbecues, boarders’ socials and so on. Sunday is a day when boarders can enjoy trips and outings, some of which are organised by houses and other, are school-wide. It is also a day when those involved in theatre productions and choir might rehearse. Some pupils choose to spend time in the Art department or Library catching up on prep and others sometimes choose to relax and spend time with friends. There is always something to do and no child is ever bored!