Oundle School required a bespoke audio and visual (AV) system for its historic oak-panelled Great Hall.

About Oundle School 


Oundle School is one of Britain’s leading co-educational boarding and day schools. Its 450 year heritage is reflected in the beauty of the school’s buildings. Over the years Oundle School has experienced significant expansion, and continues to invest in major capital developments, ensuring pupils are equipped with the very best facilities. Oundle School has 860 full boarders and 250 day pupils and is the third largest independent boarding and day school in England.


Project Overview 

CLIENT: Oundle
School LOCATION: Peterborough
TIMESCALE: 6-8 weeks

Project Requirements 

Oundle School required a bespoke audio and visual (AV) system for its historic oak-panelled Great Hall. Built in the early 1900s, the Great Hall can accommodate up to 600 pupils at any one time and is used for a multitude of purposes, such as day to day assemblies and teaching, as well as being a popular venue for conferences, concerts and lectures. A simplistic touchscreen device that had been previously installed was no longer fit for purpose and didn’t lend itself to the different uses of the Great Hall.
The project had clear deliverables, the main one being that the AV system needed to be flexible to cater for the different uses and users.
Importantly, it was required to be installed within a very short time frame (6-8 weeks), ensuring it was ready to use for the start of the new school term.

Project Details

Having assessed the different requirements for the Great Hall, Proactive installed a large video wall with a fully integrated audio system. The 6 x 3 metre video wall comprised of 16 television screens. This was accompanied by a glass fronted lectern incorporating the Oundle School logo, fitted with two separate audio systems. Firstly, an unmanaged, ‘plug and play’ audio for day to day use in school assemblies and general teaching purposes. Secondly, an advanced, multiuse audio system which would be used for larger whole school assemblies run by the Head Teacher, corporate and general public events.

Plug and Play System

One of the main requirements for the plug and play audio system was for a user-friendly interface so any tutor could operate it independently. It was installed with an easy to use control panel. This allows the tutor to simply plug in their electronic device (laptop, tablet, phone) and the system will display the required content on the video wall. The system was fitted with simple ‘turn on and speak’ handheld and lapel wireless microphones. This enables the user to loudly and clearly address up to 300 pupils.

Multiuse System

The multiuse audio system is more advanced than the plug and play, and needed to be very flexible so it could be used for a range of purposes such as musical concerts and corporate events. The system contains a mixing desk, installed within a booth on the balcony of the Great Hall. It is fully integrated with the video wall and controls all of the audio. This advanced system provides complete control of the sound and lighting ambiance, whether used by a presenter at the lectern, or a live band using a range of instruments. It allows a team of experienced technicians to manage lighting, sound, etc. with full control of the set. To make the controls within the mixing booth easy to use for the infrequent user, the system has pre-programmed settings for lighting, sound and visual display type.

Training & Support

The Proactive team trained the tutors and technicians at Oundle School so they can walk in and use this new technology with ease. Proactive continue to offer training sessions for new employees to Oundle School, and also provide technical support for any ad-hoc system issues.

Project Outcomes

The bespoke audio visual system accommodates all of the requirements of Oundle School, from small, simple-use situations to large scale occasions. It provides an engaging piece of technology which can deliver a huge range of content and has real “wow factor” for visitors to the school. Oundle School are delighted that the Great Hall can be used to its full potential, for both in-school and hired functions.


Lucy Waide – Director of IT Oundle School said:

 The School is very pleased with the new AV system in the Great Hall. The system offers us flexibility whilst being easy enough for everyday users to manage on their own without specialist help. The teaching staff using the system see it as a vast improvement and there have been a wide variety of users and uses so far – all without a hitch. 

Contact the ProactiveAV team at:

T: 01480 810405

E: info@proactiveav.co.uk

W: www.proactiveav.co.uk