Discussion and Debate

  • When: Thursday 1:45pm - 2:30pm
  • Who: Third Year
  • i/c: GRM

The Abelard Society is the Abingdon Third Year philosophy club, which runs on Thursday lunchtimes. It is named in honour of Peter Abelard, a medieval scholar well known for his excellence in dialectic, a form of philosophy. Meetings will be in the form of an open discussion arising out of a philosophical prompt.

These groups provide an opportunity for anyone who would like to consider the relevance of Jesus Christ today and what it means to have a living relationship with God. Each week we do this by meeting together and looking at God’s teaching in the Bible, often with the help of an outside speaker. Anyone is welcome.

‘The Way’ – Lower School

  • Where: G206
  • When: Tuesday P8
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: HFCP

The Lower School group meets to consider what it means to follow Jesus. Each week we seek to do this together as a group by playing a game and looking at the teaching of the Bible, often with the help of an outside speaker. Anyone in the Lower School is welcome. Snacks provided.

‘Y’ – Middle School

  • Where: Chaplain's House, 29 Park Road
  • When: Monday P5
  • Who: Middle School
  • i/c: The Chaplain (SMS)

This is a fun way of exploring the Christian faith by discussing tough questions, watching video clips and by looking at the Bible. Anyone in Middle School is most welcome - whatever your beliefs. All accompanied by good food!

Youth Alpha Course

  • Where: Sports Centre, Entertainment Suite
  • When: Monday, Lent term, 4.00–5.00pm
  • Who: 5th and Sixth Form
  • i/c: PDBG

The Alpha Course, attended by millions worldwide, is an opportunity for 5th and Sixth Formers to explore the Christian faith in a relaxed café-style setting. The Alpha Course is designed primarily for those who are not church-goers and is open to anyone who wants to understand more about Christianity, whatever their beliefs. There will be ten thought-provoking sessions, where there will be a short presentation and opportunity for discussion. Pupils get to discuss what they really think and to ask any questions they may have. This could also be of particular interest to pupils studying Philosophy and Ethics to help them formulate their own opinions and arguments. For more information check out www.alpha.org.

Confirmation Preparation

  • Where: Chaplain's house, 29 Park Road
  • When: Friday lunchtimes 1.10-1.50pm, Lent term
  • Who: Middle and Upper School
For most people, becoming a Christian is like a journey. The journey involves faith but also doubt, lots of questions and some surprising and wonderful answers. The journey is unique to each one of us and yet it works best when we share it with others. The confirmation class is an important part of the journey of faith. It is designed for those considering the possibility of becoming an adult member of the Anglican Church and leads to a memorable confirmation service. The course will consist of three components: What Christians believe, How Christians grow and Living the Christian Life. Food will be provided.
  • Where: CMR 
  • When: Friday P8
  • Who: All years
  • i/c: RAJ

Allegedly Abingdon’s oldest non-sporting society, the Debating Society is the place to argue and form opinions about a variety of topics and motions. If you love an argument, or generally thrive on controversy, this is the society for you.

Last year we debated everything from the serious politics of the Falklands and the National Health Service to rather more abstract ideas such as whether we should follow our dreams in life, via the thorny issues of organ donation and torturing terrorists. In the open debates on Friday, volunteer speakers put their views across in speeches before the debate gets opened up to the floor, when all the other people who have opinions get their say, and lively disagreement inevitably ensues.

We also enter teams into a number of national competitions in debating and public speaking and run workshops to help you improve your debating skills. Throughout the year, we also arrange popular dinner debates with girls’ schools for the senior members of the society. All are welcome, and anyone interested in speaking should contact MJE or a senior member of the committee. Within the Debating Society there are also opportunities for Sixth Form pupils to meet in smaller groups to hold debates - and there is a workshop aimed at Middle School pupils to help them develop debating and public speaking skills.

Sixth Form Debating

  • Where: M103
  • When: Thursday P5
  • Who: Sixth form
  • i/c: MSC

Law Society is for Sixth Form students who want to develop their understanding of the theory and practice of law. It is ideal for anyone considering a career in law or interested in the subject for its own sake.

Our activities include discussions of the mechanics of the UK and US legal systems, mock trials and debates on jurisprudence and points of law.

  • Where: G201
  • When: Thursday P8
  • Who: Lower School
  • i/c: TASC

A chance for Lower school boys to hone their public speaking skills while debating topical issues. Joint debates with St Helen’s can be arranged over the course of the year.

Debating in a foreign language is one of the highest skills and is not only useful for exams or university preparation but for life. As many of you know, it is also a lot of fun to think laterally and outdo your opponents. Abingdon teams have been extremely successful in external competitions in recent years and we aim to prepare you for at least one if not two competitions.

  • Where: Geography Department
  • Who: Fourth year and above
  • When: Tuesday P8 & Thursday P4
  • i/c: KJY

Through the Model United Nations Society we will take delegations along to conferences throughout the year at other schools. At these we will represent a country’s interest in debates. It’s an excellent way of building legal, political and debating experience as well as broadening knowledge of current and international affairs and socialising with other schools. (Also see Debating).

Young MUN:

  • Where: GIS Room
  • Who: 3rd Year
  • When: Tuesday P6
  • i/c: KJY

Reading Groups are for students who want to be adventurous in their reading and enjoy wide-ranging discussions of what they like and don’t like in a book. Groups collectively decide which books to read together, typically getting through two or three in a term. 

Books and Biscuits – Lower School

The Lower School group focuses on fiction. In the Summer Term, we join with other local schools to shadow the annual Carnegie medal for the best children's book of the year.

Novels and Nibbles – Third Year & Reading and Refreshments – Fourth Year

The Third and Fourth Year groups cover both fiction and non-fiction. Our discussions are wide-ranging and include the significance of literature and ideas in society.