We could tell you at length why we feel Abingdon offers an excellent education but we thought you would rather hear it from the boys. 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.
“The pupils are proud of their school and there is a true sense of belonging.”
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. Boys 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 with A levels for most subjects and the Pre-U for Modern Foreign Languages. Some of our sixth form lessons are taught jointly with the neighbouring girls’ school, St Helen and St Katharine. At GCSE we offer 13 subjects with most boys 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 boys, 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 boys to feel known and valued as individuals, rather than feeling that they have to conform to a type, and we want our students to look out for each other. Our tutor groups are small, all staff are involved in pastoral care, and each boy 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.
“The pupils are articulate, mature and self-aware individuals who are ambitious and hard working, and who possess an intellectual curiosity, setting them in good stead for life beyond school.”
Boarding and Dayboys
Abingdon enjoys a mix of dayboys, 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 boys who live locally and international boarders all drawn by the impressive activity programme, the School’s facilities and the excellent pastoral care based on our ‘house system’. The house system, for dayboys and boarders, is centred around tutor groups with the tutor being the focus for liaison between School and home.
“There is a caring atmosphere throughout the school.”
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 the 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.
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
We thought we would leave the last word to our Heads of School, who take a look back at their time at Abingdon.