The House System

Boys entering the School at 11 join the Lower School under the direction of the Lower School Housemaster. At 13 and in the Sixth Form, boys join one of nine houses: three houses cater for a mixture of boarders and dayboys and there is a further six dayboy houses. Each house is run by a housemaster who works closely with a team of tutors to safeguard and promote the welfare of boys in the house.

The housemaster stands "in loco parentis" to the boys in his house, while they are on school premises - and he will try to help them outside the School as well, with the co-operation of parents. Housemasters play a major part in the disciplinary structure of the School, and may be expected to deal directly with parents in matters concerning their son's good behaviour and appearance.

The housemasters are assisted by teams of tutors, who look after tutor groups within the houses. A boy will stay with the same tutor in the Middle School prior to joining a Sixth Form tutor group in the same house in the Upper School, unless special circumstances require a transfer. There are usually about 18 boys in a group. The tutor is primarily responsible for getting to know the boy as a personality and looking after his academic development. At the beginning of the year, the tutor will check that timetables are in order, and, where necessary, will advise on courses and options. The tutor will monitor a boy's academic progress, and will write a general academic summary when school reports are issued.

All tutors see their charges for a brief period every day. Tutor time for each boy amounts to at least one hour a week, in which tutor groups discuss topics such as choices, progress, current affairs and personal and social education. We regard this time as a crucial part of a boy's educational experience at Abingdon.

Houses:

Housemaster: Mr James Golding

Educated at Kent College, Canterbury, James then represented Kent County Cricket Club for 6 years whilst gaining a degree in Sports Science and Geography. After working for two years at Bristol Grammar School, James completed his PGCE at the University of Bath, before working at Abbeyfield School for 7 years as a PE teacher and housemaster. James moved to Abingdon in 2014 as Director of Cricket and became housemaster of the renamed, Austin House in 2015.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr David Border

David was educated at Reading Blue Coat School before moving on to UWE to study Pharmaceuticals. Having been offered a scholarship place at Sandhurst, David decided instead to pursue a career in teaching so completed his PGCE at Christ Church, Oxford. He has taught Chemistry at Abingdon since 2012 and took over the position of housemaster in September 2016. Beyond the classroom David has been heavily involved in rowing since a young age and still competes as a veteran. He also enjoys American football, cooking, cycling, and travelling.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr Matthew Kendry

Matt studied Engineering at Cambridge before working for Unilever as a project manager for several years. After a career move into teaching he joined Abingdon as Housemaster of Crescent House in 2014, and became Head of Boarding in 2016. He teaches Mathematics and coaches rowing, as well as running the Codebreaking Club. Matt also enjoys cycling and pub quizzes.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr David Franklin

David read Classics at Oxford in the gaps between squash, table tennis and fencing. He pursued his research there for two years, and went on to teach at the Dragon and Harrow before discovering Abingdon. He has been in charge of squash here since then, and was Head of General Studies until taking over the house. His translations of Antigone and Bacchae are bestsellers for Cambridge UP.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr Simon James

Oxford physicist and golf Blue, Simon leapt at the chance to return to Oxfordshire and teach at Abingdon. He heads up the golf at school and took over as housemaster of the controversially apostrophized James’s in 2015. The House Charter, formulated by members of James’s, is founded on the values of positivity, determination, respect, loyalty and resilience. Mr James’s Instagram profile reads: Coffee addict & knitted tie obsessive. School master. Runner & pork pie enthusiast. Pro-tweed.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr Henry Morgan

Henry studied Mathematics at Oxford before taking a PGCE and his first teaching post at The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. He is currently in his tenth year at Abingdon and is in his fourth year as housemaster. Henry was very involved in rowing at school and Oxford, where he spent many happy years as a coxwain. He still spends a lot of time on the river coaching crews and even ventures out in a single scull once in a while, as long as the weather is just right.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mrs Emily O'Doherty

After completing a Foundation Course at Winchester College of Art, Emily studied Fine Art at Bretton Hall, University of Leeds. Deciding to have a break from her artistic endeavours she worked as a PA in a law firm and as a nanny in the USA. She returned to the UK as an Artist in Residence at King Edward's School. This consolidated her desire to teach and she completed her PGCE at Cambridge University. Emily's first position was at St Bartholomew's School Newbury where she taught Art for 6 years. Emily joined Abingdon in 2008. She was Head of Art for 4 years before becoming a housemaster in September 2016. Emily's Other Half activities have included cross-country and hockey but she currently focuses on art clubs. Outside of school she likes to travel, visit galleries and museums and keep fit.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr Mike Litchfield

Mike, an Old Abingdonian, studied Chemistry at Manchester University. After graduating he travelled around South East Asia before returning to the UK to work as both a Sub-Contract Manager and Project Manager on a large international defence program. Teaching came calling in 2007 and he began his career teaching Chemistry at Abingdon where he is currently Head of School House. Mike really enjoyed sport at Abingdon and currently helps with cross-country, referees rugby occasionally, and coaches the J15C crew.

Contact:

Tutors

Housemaster: Mr Robin Southwell-Sander

Having taken a degree in Geography and Sport and Recreational Studies at Birmingham University, Robin worked for 4 years at Bacon's College in Bermondsey as a Geography and PE teacher. He then moved to St Bartholomew's School in Newbury as an assistant housemaster before moving to Houston, Texas to teach Environmental Science. He has taught Geography at Abingdon for 10 years and has been the housemaster of the Green Army for 9 years developing a Growth Mindset ethos. In addition he has been in charge of PSHCE and more recently partnerships. He coaches the 3rd XV rugby and 2nd XI cricket, and loves sport, current affairs, travel and boot camp!

Contact:

Tutors