We could tell you at length why we feel Abingdon offers an excellent education but we thought you would rather hear it from the pupils. So we asked three pupils from the Lower School, Middle School and the Sixth Form to take visitors on a virtual tour of the school and to give their insight into all that goes on here.
“Pupils gain confidence in this encouraging and challenging environment, and develop resilience and independence.”
ISI Inspection report
Although academically selective we look for potential as much as attainment on entry and our teaching is very much tailored to the individual with setting and support to ensure everyone feels confident to progress at their own pace. Children join us from a wide range of state primary schools and prep schools, including our own prep school.
We encourage parents to look at the academic curriculum, not just league table positions. How flexible are A Level and GCSE choices? At Abingdon we offer between 23-25 subjects in the Sixth Form. Some of our Sixth Form lessons are taught jointly with neighbouring school, St Helen and St Katharine. At GCSE, we offer 13 subjects with most pupils taking ten. We pride ourselves on being flexible, offering subjects – all of which have passed our robust academic standard – and subject combinations that suit our young people, not our timetabling preferences.
The Other Half
At Abingdon our Other Half extra-curricular activities programme is exceptional even amongst independent schools. We have over 150 Other Half activities ranging from our own award-winning Film Unit, a plethora of sporting, music and drama activities to bell ringing, croquet and debating. The Other Half programme offers opportunities for pupils and staff to work together, nurturing confidence and reaping tremendous benefits back in the classroom.
“Great for extra-curricular”
The Week Magazine
We are very clear in the aim of our pastoral care. We want our pupils to feel known and valued as individuals, rather than feeling that they have to conform to a ‘type’, and we want them to look out for each other. Our tutor groups are small, all staff are involved in pastoral care, and each of our pupils is part of a house where they can go to relax. In addition, we have Heads of Section, a Head of Wellbeing, and a dedicated team of counsellors, so that we can celebrate our students’ good days, but also provide a safety net if, and when, life gets hard.
Our academic credentials are excellent with the vast majority of pupils leaving to their first choice of university, predominantly Russell Group, and an impressive percentage each year to Oxbridge and to top U.S. and international universities. Sixth formers receive careers guidance and support from specialist staff with extensive experience of the further education entry process.
“School leavers are successful in gaining places at the universities of their choice, including Oxford and Cambridge.”
Boarding and day pupils
Abingdon enjoys a mix of day pupils, weekly and full boarders (boarding from age 13) and offers the many advantages of a full boarding school to all. Boarding is a big part of Abingdon’s character, attracting those who live locally as well as those from abroad, each drawn by the impressive activity programme, the School’s facilities and the excellent pastoral care based on our ‘house system’. The house system, for day pupils and boarders, is centred around tutor groups with the tutor being the focus for liaison between School and home.
A Bright Future
In September 2020, we opened a new 3-story building which is connected to the Science Centre and is ‘home’ to two new houserooms and the Computer Science and Business and Economics Departments. In 2018, we opened a stunning Sixth Form Centre, library and Art department which closely followed the opening of our impressive 21-lab Science Centre. Our sports facilities have been extended to include a 3G all-weather rugby pitch and a multi-use sports area. Our investment story is ever-evolving and, looking forward to 2023, there is much anticipation for the completion of our renovated and extended boarding facilities and the creation of a stunning dining pavilion which is set to become a real hub for School life.
Independent accolades include praise from The Week magazine for extra-curricular provision and from the Good Schools Guide and the Tatler Schools Guide as well as an excellent ISI inspection report – it’s an exciting time in Abingdon’s history. Please do come and see for yourself – we look forward to welcoming you.
“ “Most parents’ top choice” of the “excellent schools” in Oxfordshire.”
Tatler Schools Guide