Pastoral Care

Abingdon School’s pastoral care revolves around the House system. Boys are all members of a house under the care of a housemaster. Each boy also belongs to a tutor group, within each house, and meets daily with his tutor, who is the principal liaison between a boy, teachers, School and home. In addition, each year-group meets once a week in Chapel to share in an inter-denominational act of worship.

“There is a caring atmosphere throughout the school.” - ISI Inspection

At Abingdon we recognise that pupils can have worries, problems and difficulties from time to time. Being a teenager has always been complicated, but if anything, there is now even more pressure on teenagers academically, socially and digitally. 

The School’s pastoral system supports boys through their time at Abingdon and key pastoral figures can usually deal with most matters of concern. Advice can be sought from Housemasters, Tutors, the School Chaplain, School nurse, Deputy Head (Pastoral) or the Head. However, there may occasionally be circumstances when it might be preferable to talk to someone who is a specialist in counselling. Phoenix Counselling Cooperative is a group of four professional counsellors who provide Abingdon with a school counselling service. They are very experienced in their field and boys will find it very easy to talk to them. They meets in Whitefields. They are at the school on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and can be contacted on school.counsellor@abingdon.org.uk.

Outside agencies can also be contacted such as:

  • PCAMHS (Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) 01235 547170
  • Oxfordshire Social Services Dept. (01865 79534)
  • Childline (0800 1111)

Further information on Abingdon’s Pastoral Care System can be obtained from the Deputy Head Pastoral
Further information on Phoenix Counselling Cooperative

The School's responsibility for Child Protection

All adults working at Abingdon should be aware of their responsibility to safeguard and promote the welfare of every pupil, both physical and emotional, inside and outside school. This involves ensuring that pupils are protected from significant physical or emotional harm and that there is a positive commitment to ensure the satisfactory development and growth of the individual.

Everyone working at Abingdon should be aware of and, when necessary, follow the school's Child Protection Guidelines, which are in line with the Department for Education's (DfE) and Oxfordshire Safeguarding Children Board's (OSCB) practice and procedures - available online at http://www.oscb.org.uk.

The School's Child Protection policy can be downloaded from the School's policy page.

All members of the Abingdon Foundation should be aware of the challenges presented by an increasingly online world. At Abingdon we formally teach digital citizenship through our 1st, 2nd and 3rd Year computing lessons, as well as through the PSHCE programme, where we look at dealing with cyber bullying, plagiarism and managing your online profile.

The School’s view is that all aspects of online behaviour should mirror the high standards we expect in regular, face-to-face behaviour. As of such, the School’s anti-bullying, safeguarding and ICT policies offer procedures and advice on all aspects of eSafety. See School Policies.

The DfE has issued some very helpful guidance for parents on cyber bullying, and CEOP’s ThinkUKnow website has some excellent resources for pupils and parents.

If you have a concern and want to talk to someone there are a number of ways to get in contact.

Points of contact:

Abingdon Whistleblower - whistleblower@abingdon.org.uk
Abingdon’s Designated Safeguarding Lead - mark.hindley@abingdon.org.uk
CEOP’s Report Centre
Childline: 0800 1111

Further advice:

Guardian article for parents on how to teach eSafety
NSPCC advice
DfE Advice
CEOPS

PSHCE is an important part of life at Abingdon, and aims to foster boys’ emotional growth through personal and social education within a programme that engages boys’ emotional intelligence as much as their intellect.

In Lower School, PSHCE is delivered as part of the 21st Century Legacy “Be The Best You Can Be” scheme. Boys explore subjects such as emotional intelligence, coaching, target-setting and reflective practice in fortnightly 55 minute sessions. Each year, they are also treated to an inspirational speech from an Olympic athlete to launch the course. In addition, they are also given assemblies and seminars on topics such as safe use of technology, healthy eating, personal hygiene and mental health awareness.

The importance of PSHCE at Abingdon is such that in third and fourth year, it is taught by specialist teachers in fortnightly 55 minute lessons, covering the following topics:

3rd Year

  • Friendship and Self Esteem
  • Actions and Consequences: Bullying
  • Risk taking behaviour
  • Alcohol
  • Healthy Eating
  • Body Image
  • Sex and Relationships

We also run an SRE morning every May for third years, which in the past has included performances about sexual health from professional Theatre-in-Education companies, as well as talks about men’s health issues from the School Medical Officer, and STI’s from visiting health practitioners.

4th Year

  • Rights and Responsibilities
  • Government and Politics
  • Drugs Education
  • Emotional Wellbeing
  • Self Awareness
  • Sex and Relationships II
  • Pornography

In addition to these lessons, all pupils are under the guidance of a form tutor. In tutor time they will cover various topics centred around national focus weeks such as anti-bullying, mental health, e-safety, homophobia awareness, and SRE. Tutors work on a number of life skills topics with their tutees, including study skills.

In fifth year, PSHCE is delivered in weekly tutor time by tutors, focussing on the following topics that are explored via a number of learning methods, such as discussions and practical activities:

  • Healthy living
  • Medical ethics
  • Men’s health issues
  • Stereotypes and prejudice
  • Personal finance
  • Work experience
  • Exam preparation
  • Emotional resilience

Sixth form PSHCE is also delivered via tutors, and also manifests itself as part of the Sixth Form Enrichment Programme.

The Librarian works with the third year on information skills and the fourth year on resourcing information.

Finally, a number of aspects of PSHCE are also taught cross-curricularly throughout the school via weekly chapel services, biology lessons and religious studies. This is also underpinned in the School’s philosophy of the Other Half. Further information can be obtained by contacting Mr Ben Phillips, Head of Personal Development Education: ben.phillips@abingdon.org.uk

Telephone: 01235 849059
Duty mobile: 07748591057
health.centre@abingdon.org.uk

Opening hours, term time:

  • Monday to Friday 08:00 – 18:00
  • Saturday 09:00 – 17:00

The Health Centre is located on the ground floor of Whitefield next to Crescent House (Glyndowr) in the beautiful setting of Park Crescent. We have two 2-bedded rooms with ensuite facilities. These are light, airy rooms should the need arise to be an inpatient. We will look after unwell or injured dayboys until their parents/carers are able to collect them.

The Health Centre (HC) is staffed by the Senior Nurse Helen Morris, her deputy Carrie Berry and three Health Care Assistants, Alison Scarlett, Sarah Fuller and Lynn Fisher. They all have a wealth of experience and provide a professional and caring environment for the boys.

Outside of opening hours one of the team will be on call to answer any queries regarding the boarders. Should a boy be unwell out of these hours then a member of the HC staff will remain in the Health Centre to take care of the boy.

During Michaelmas term the HC staff are fully involved with covering rugby training sessions and match day cover alongside a doctor from Oxsport who has an interest in sports injury management.

We need to be kept informed of any new medical issues or any changes to current treatment or medication. This allows us to maintain up to date health records and enables us to take an active interest in the boys' health.

Concussion is taken very seriously and we will follow the RFU guidelines for a graded return to sport. Boys will also be assessed weekly during this time and will have to be assessed fit for return to sport by a doctor.

All the boarders are required to register with the School GP, Dr Khan. Dr Khan works locally at the Malthouse Surgery and provides a weekly surgery in the Health Centre on Tuesdays at 8.00am. The boys can either book an appointment directly with the HC staff or ask their Matron to make one for them.

If there is more of an urgency to see Dr Khan the boys can have an appointment made at The Malthouse the day required.

We all take an active interest in health promotion and have notice boards with current issues. We are always happy to chat about any issue - large or small.

Health Centre,
Whitefield,
18, Park Crescent,
Abingdon
OX14 1DD

Forms and guidelines: