Weekly Mailing

This page is updated weekly during term time when a new mailing to parents is sent out.

If you would like to receive the email notification of the weekly update, which is usually on a Friday, then please contact us at mailing@abingdon.org.uk.

This week's mailing is:

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Notices:

The Abingdonian

The 2014 edition of The Abingdonian magazine has been distributed this week to all boys who were members of the school last academic year. In the case of brothers, a copy has been given to the older sibling.

Abingdon News

The latest edition of the School's newsletter, Abingdon News, has been given to your son to bring home this week. Boys who are full boarders will have a copy posted home. The newsletter can also be viewed online. Any feedback regarding school publications is very welcome, please email communications@abingdon.org.uk

Sport priority on a Saturday - reminder

In planning for this term, please observe this extract from the Parents' Handbook:

Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Head. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Andrew Hall. Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in interschool fixtures across the age ranges. In recent years we have strengthened our fixture list, and been more ambitious in the schools we have been playing, and we are putting out more teams. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. We are keen the boys practise and play together, that the boys develop an allegiance to the School, and that our opponents have the best opposition we can provide.

Music Notices

1. New Year Charity Concert – Thursday 15 January

Please consider coming to our concert next week. There will be performances from 1st, 2nd Orchestras, Lower School, Brass and Big Bands and the debut of Gospel Choir.

2. Ben Schoeman Masterclass and Recital - Wednesday 21 January

Parents are warmly invited to join us for this occasion when six of our top pianists will perform in a masterclass (4.30pm) followed by a recital (7pm) from this award winning South African pianist. Admission to both events is free.

3. Concert Trip – Spanish Night with CBSO at Birmingham - Thursday 22 January

We have booked 50 seats for a spectacular concert of Spanish music with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra featuring music by de Falla and Ravel. Please see CBSO Spanish Evening letter attached and reply promptly if you would like your son to be considered.

Tennis Coaching

Apart from the Wednesday afternoon sessions, which are free of charge, other coaching sessions will cost £7.50 per session. This reflects the local market rates.

To all parents of 3rd Year Rowers

The FASBC committee would like to invite all parents, guardians and families of the 3rd Year boys starting rowing this term to a “Tea Party” on Saturday 17 January at 2.30pm at the school boathouse, Wilsham Road, Abingdon, OX14 5LE. Come and see what your sons are up to at the boathouse and on the water, weather permitting, have a cup of tea and some cake and find out what the FASBC does to support the boys rowing. Further information will be sent out by the coach, Mr Price.

Parking is very limited at the boathouse. Please try and park in Wilsham Road, alongside the river, and walk round to the boathouse. Please take care not to block any driveways - we try to be considerate of our neighbours. We look forward to seeing you there.

Parents of L6 or U6: Friday 23 January Sixth Form OA Careers Evening 6.30 - 9.30pm

As there is still room to accommodate more boys at this event, we are extending the deadline for boys to book until the end of this coming Sunday 11 January. There is limited availability for some sessions, details of which have been shared with the boys via email. Boys will need to book themselves onto the event using the Google form that has been shared with them. Please contact sarah.gibbard@abingdon.org.uk if you have any questions.

Additional Les Miserables Tickets

Please note that there may be limited additional tickets for the joint Abingdon/SHSK senior drama production of Les Miserables made available online only, after 5pm on Monday 12 January.

This weeks mailing

Letter from the Head (PDF)

Letters:

Notes:

Term Calendar and Key Dates

As you will be aware the School is not printing a hard-copy calendar so parents should refer to the online calendar which is kept regularly up to date. Each week there is a link from the Friday Weekly Mailing to the 'The Week Ahead' which you will find on the top right of the weekly mailing page. Any amendments to Lent Term 2015 events made after today will be indicated clearly. In addition, there is a 'Key Dates' page for 2014/15, which is also available on the website under the calendar tab. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, Head's receptions for current parents, social evenings and evening presentations to parents. Term dates for 2014/15 and 2015/16 are also available on the website.

Reports

We aim to publish the end of term reports to the parent portal by the end of Friday 12 December. Years 1-4 and L6th have long reports this time and Years 5 and U6th have short reports.  

Abingdon moved to electronic-only reporting during the last academic year.  All parents should have received an email with log on details, either last year or earlier this year (for new parents).  Any issues with gaining access to the parent portal should be reported to support@abingdon.org.uk. Parents should note that this is the second reporting session of term - there was an earlier one just before half term, with long reports for 5th and U6th. Those reports are still on the parent portal.

Residential Trips 2015

The trips list has now ben updated to include trips planned for the Michaelmas 2015, too.

Hockey Dinner Club

The “Annual Hockey Club Dinner” will be taking place on Saturday 21 March, it will be open to 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th year parents and pupils, save the date for the diary.

Holiday Reading for Middle and Upper School Boys

The English Department's latest list of holiday reading suggestions is now available and can be downloaded and also will be on Reading pages of English section of the website. This year, the recommendations are a 'top ten' for lower, middle and upper school, and they cover a great range of subjects and genres.

Music

Parents are warmly invited to view the Lent Music Calendar, which is now available to view on the website, and to make a note of two special events that occur near to the start of term.

Special mention is made of the New Year Charity Concert on Thursday 15 January which features much of the music that could not be fitted into our recent Sheldonian Christmas Concert. This will include First, Second and Chamber Orchestras, Brass Band and Second Year Choir. Tickets at the usual price will be available at the door or in advance, online.

The following week, a Piano Masterclass and Recital on Wednesday 21 January, sees a return visit of the International prize-winning pianist and Steinway artist, South African, Ben Schoeman. The masterclass with the boys will be at 4.30pm, followed by an evening recital at 7pm. Admission is free to both events, thanks to our marvellous Music Society, and the School is grateful to the committee and all the parents whose subscriptions benefit our music.

We would also like to thank Marilyn Moore and her helpers with SUS, whose generous gift has enabled us to purchase the most wonderful new Yamaha grand piano which was unveiled at our concert on Friday and now graces the Amey Theatre foyer.

Next Term

Term begins on Tuesday 6 January 2015 at 8.35 am with tutor time, followed by lessons from 9.00 am.

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 

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Sixth Form Careers Evening - Friday 23 January from 6.30-9.30pm

The OA Club and the Careers Department will be hosting a careers event for sixth formers to meet with, and learn from, the experiences of twenty early- and mid-career OAs from a range of occupations.  The boys have been asked to RSVP using an online form linked to from an email sent to them.  In the form, they can indicate which sessions they would like to attend. The deadline for submission of the form is Friday, 12 December. We hope it will be a brilliant evening for the boys, and we very much hope that you will encourage them to attend.  More information about the event can be found here, but please contact Sarah Gibbard, Head of Careers, at sarah.gibbard@abingdon.org.uk if you have any questions.

Public Examination Timetables

Public examination timetables for Summer 2015 are now available on the School Website.

Health Centre

We are having a significant number of boys at school with diarrhoea and/or vomiting. Could we please remind parents and boys that they must not return to school until 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhoea or vomiting so that we can try to prevent the spread of infection.

St Helen’s and Abingdon Sixth Form present: 

Chapters of Chekhov on Wednesday 21 - Friday 23 January 2015 in St Helen’s Studio Theatre at 7pm. Tickets available.

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Tickets for Les Misérables

The joint senior production of Les Misérables in February 2015 is now sold out. Should any tickets become available nearer the time, we will advertise this in a weekly mailing and on the Abingdon school website, but in the meantime, please note that we are unable to process any further ticket enquiries for the show at this stage.

To Parents of Lower Sixth boys

All boys and parents are invited to an evening of introductory talks about the university admissions process on Friday 27 February  2015 in the Amey Theatre to start at 7pm. We host speakers from a Russell Group university to talk about admissions from a university perspective, from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to talk about particular issues in the Oxbridge process, and a panel of Upper Sixth boys talk about their application experience. Further details to follow.

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 3

This week's mailing includes:

Letter from the Head (PDF)

Letters:

Notes:

For the attention of 3rd Year parents: Battlefields

Please note that the deadline for signing up for the 3rd Year trip to the Battlefields of the First World War from the Friday 17- Sunday 19 April is approaching. If you want your son to come on the trip please contact david.mcgill@abingdon.org.uk. It is an excellent trip and with the centenary this year then it will be particularly interesting.

Music - Carol Service

The Parents' Carol Service on Monday 8 December at 7:30pm in St. Helen's Church will be a service based on the Nine Lessons and Carols format and will feature representatives from a cross-section of the school community. This service has been introduced for the first time this year, to allow parents and boys to attend a Carol Service together. All parents and boys are welcome, but as space is limited and interest is expected to be high, tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please book early.

Joint Abingdon & St Helen's Senior Drama Production - Les Misérables: Ticket Sale

On Monday 24 November from 5pm, tickets will go on general sale for this year’s joint Abingdon and St Helen’s senior drama production. Winner of over 100 international awards and seen by over 65 million people worldwide, Les Misérables is an epic and uplifting story about the survival of the human spirit. This February, Abingdon and St Helen’s proudly present the Les Misérables School Edition, which features one of the most memorable scores of all time and some of the most memorable characters to ever grace the Amey Theatre stage.

In 19th century France, Jean Valjean is released from years of unjust imprisonment, but finds nothing in store for him but mistrust and mistreatment. He breaks his parole in hopes of starting a new life, initiating a life-long struggle for redemption as he is relentlessly pursued by police inspector Javert, who refuses to believe Valjean can change his ways. Finally, during the Paris student uprising of 1832, Javert must confront his ideals after Valjean spares his life and saves that of the student revolutionary who has captured the heart of Valjean's adopted daughter.

Epic, grand and uplifting, Les Misérables School Edition packs an emotional wallop that has thrilled audiences all over the world. We are tremendously excited to present our dynamic version of this much-loved musical in the Lent Term. Performances take place on Wednesday 4, Thursday 5 and Friday 6 February 2015 in the Amey Theatre at 7pm.

Tickets will be available online. Please note that tickets have already been on sale to cast members, and that there is already high demand – act quickly to avoid disappointment! Any problems booking tickets, please contact boxoffice@abingdon.org.uk.

We hope as many of you as possible will come to see the show.

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 2

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Revision leave dates - Summer 2015

Fifth year: revision leave begins Friday 1 May, 5.15pm
Lower Sixth:  revision leave begins Thursday 7 May, 5.15pm (boys to return on Wednesday 3 June, 8.35am)
Upper Sixth:  revision leave begins Friday 22 May, 1pm

Notes:

The 5th year will, as usual,  be offered optional study leave help for the first three weeks of their study leave in the form of subject clinics and supervised study rooms.  More detail on this will be given next term. It is recognised that many L6th boys will still have some AS and A2 papers to sit after their return from study leave on 3 June.  We cannot justify keeping study leave going, however, when relatively few boys still have exams to sit or there is a long gap between most subjects finishing and one final paper being sat.  As per our usual policy, boys still taking public exams outside of the official study leave times will be allowed (if they wish) to take the morning off before an afternoon exam.
We are also aware that U6th boys will be taking more AS resits in the summer session than we used to see, owing to the loss of the January resit window a couple of years ago.  Given that these exams mostly take place before half term in the summer, they will be sitting them without any study leave provision, except as outlined above (morning leave for an afternoon exam).  U6th boys intending to take AS papers in the summer need to be planning their time now as to how they are going to prepare for them; they should certainly not be leaving their revision of AS material until Easter or the summer term.  Heads of Departments and tutors will no doubt be giving guidance to boys who will be preparing for resits but it is also the responsibility of U6th boys to take charge of the process and make sure that they pace themselves sensibly.  If they haven't already begun revising that material, then we would suggest that they start and certainly that they have a plan in place for next term.

U14 Football Tour To Paris – Easter 2015 - For the attention of 3rd year parents whose son has elected to play football during the Lent Term 2015.

Next term Mr Donnelly is proposing to take both an U14 and U15 football squad to Paris for five days, from Wednesday 8 to Sunday 12 April. Whilst in France we will be attending the 2015 International Youth Festival of Football, providing an opportunity to demonstrate our ability against competitive opposition from across not only France, but also other areas of Europe. The cost of the tour is £550, which includes half board accommodation, all transport, entry to the Disney Land Paris resort, and playing / travel kit. Invitations will be distributed to those boys selected in mid January, once the U14 football playing squads for the Michaelmas term have been established. If you would like any further information please contact Mr Donnelly (tom.donnelly@abingdon.org.uk).

French Exchange

In the context of the French exchange, we are looking for 7 families willing to host a French pupil from Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 March 2015. The French pupils are boys and girls of between 15 and 16 years of age. The young person would stay with your family, come into school with your son and go out on trips while your sons are in lessons. If you think you can help, please contact Jane Mansfield (jane.mansfield@abingdon.org.uk) as soon as possible. 

Anti-Bullying Week - Monday 17 - Friday 21 November 2014

Next week is the annual Anti-Bullying week. This year's theme is “Let’s Stop Bullying For All”.  We will address this in Assemblies, chapel, tutor periods and in PSHCE lessons.  Please could you try to find the chance to raise it in discussion with your son as well, not only to reiterate the importance of being compassionate in our dealings with others, but also to highlight some of the groups of people who can be targeted.  At Abingdon we want to build a culture where difference is celebrated rather than being used as a means of picking on the outsider.  The points of difference could revolve around gender, sexuality, or it could be simply that the interests of that are not stereotypical. Please do ask your son how he might react if he witnesses this kind of thing happening? Does he know who to talk to if he feels he needs to raise a concern?  Please also feel free to visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website:http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/

A bit about As You Like It

There is a joint 3rd year Abingdon/St Helen’s production of ‘As You Like It’ by William Shakespeare taking place on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 December at 7pm in the Amey Theatre. The performances will last just over an hour and the cast would love as many people in the audience as possible, having been working on the production since the beginning of the school year: there is a fight; singing (and dancing); a Deity and a really good story to entertain you. Don’t miss out on getting tickets – go online now and be sure of a seat!

Christmas Concert - Friday 5 December 2014

The Sheldonian Theatre Concert is selling fast and there are only about 150 tickets.  Please book now if you would like to come, as we will soon be sold out.

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Eminent WW1 historian to give Centenary Lecture

Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and a leading expert on the First World War, will give a public lecture in the Amey Theatre at 7.30 pm on Thursday 20 November. All welcome - admission is free.

No stranger to controversy, Professor Sheffield will challenge head on the Blackadder School of history. Without underestimating the scale of the human tragedy, or playing down the disasters, he will argue that far from ‘lions led by donkeys’, the British Army in 1918 was the most effective fighting force in the world. Professor Sheffield frequently broadcasts on TV, radio and writes for the national press. His books include The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (2001) and the First World War in 100 Objects (2013). Further information: elizabeth.robson@abingdon.org.uk.

Stratton Way drop-off

Parents are asked to avoid dropping their sons off in the entrance to the Abingdon Early Intervention Centre, near the bus stops on Stratton Way in Abingdon, as cars are blocking the entrance and creating traffic difficulties.  Your co-operation is requested.

Cafe Saturday Opening Times

The cafe will now be open on Saturday from 1-5pm for visitors of both parents and boys. There will be hot and cold drinks available, and a light food offering.

Food Menu for the coming week - week 3

This week's mailing is:

Letter from the Head (PDF)

Letters:

Notices:

Half Term Reports

Reports will be posted to the parent portal by the end of Saturday 18 October. For most year groups this report comprises just a set of subject grades along with comments from housemasters and tutors (i.e. no subject comments); longer reports will come at the end of term. 5th and U6th have longer reports this session (i.e. with subject comments) balanced by a shorter report at the end of term.

Abingdon's reporting policy is on our website in the policies section. 

All new Abingdon parents should have recently received an email notification of their portal logon details. Parents are reminded that problems with electronic reporting (e.g. accessing the portal) should be directed to support@abingdon.org.uk.

Fifth Year Work Experience Scheme 2015

Your son recently had a briefing outlining the 2015 Work Experience Scheme and will have received a copy of the School’s work experience form relating to this scheme via their tutor. The briefing outlined that it is the responsibility of the pupil to identify a potential placement and advise this to the School via the form. Forms, outlining the details and dates of the proposed placement, need only to be signed by the pupil and parent (not the employer) and should be handed in at the Masters' Common Room. The deadline for providing completed forms to Mr Litchfield is Friday 1 May 2015. The School will then arrange for a risk assessment to be carried out and final confirmation of the placement with the employer. The placement does not need to be during the week commencing Monday 29 June, and other weeks are acceptable; although these should be after the GCSE exams have finished.

A copy of the presentation, a guide outlining the scheme, and replacement forms can be found on the School’s Careers website, to which all boys have access. Any questions regarding placements can be sent to Mr Litchfield mike.litchfield@abingdon.org.uk.

Food Menu for the coming week - week 2

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FASBC Curry and Quiz Night

The School and The Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club invite all parents and boys to a Curry and Quiz Night on Saturday 22 November from 7pm in the School Dining Hall. Why not put together your own team of six to eight people or FASBC can put you in a team if needed. All are welcome, parents, boys and guests of all age groups, from the whole school community. You do not have to be connected with rowing! The Annual Rowing Dinner will be held at school on Saturday 14 March 2015. Further details to follow nearer the date.

An Evening with David Mitchell, OA 1992 – Amey Theatre, Thursday 13 November, 7pm

Comedian and writer David Mitchell returns to Abingdon School to discuss (and sign) his new book “Thinking About It Only Makes It Worse”.  Tickets are £12 from Mostly Books of Abingdon, who are hosting this event, and books can also be purchased from Mostly Books at a discount. Call 01235 525880, email books@mostly-books.co.uk or visit the bookshop (36 Stert Street, Abingdon, OX14 3JP). n.b: Mostly Books have allocated some tickets for exclusive sale to current and former parents, pupils, staff, governors and OAs until 7 November. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

Music - Carol Service, Monday 8 December 2014 at 7.30pm

The Parents' Carol Service on Monday 8 December at 19:30 in St. Helen's Church will be a service based on the Nine Lessons and Carols format and will feature representatives from a cross-section of the school community. This service has been introduced for the first time this year, to allow parents and boys to attend a Carol Service together.
All parents and boys are welcome, but as space is limited and interest is expected to be high, tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so please book early.

Music Notices
  • Music Staff Parents’ Evening – Thursday 6 November from 5pm

Parents of School-taught musicians are reminded of the forthcoming opportunity to communicate or meet with their sons’ music teachers at the Music Staff Parents’ Evening.  Please read the attached letter to determine if your son’s teacher(s) will be present at that evening and e-mail caren.hardiman@abingdon.org.uk or submit the return form to make an appointment.  Some teachers are inviting you to contact them by e-mail if they cannot be present.  Mrs Pringle (violin) will be available from 4-5.30pm.  There are also some useful notes regarding practice, care of instruments etc.

  • Levon Chilingirian – Violin Masterclass – Wednesday 19 November at 6pm

All parents are warmly invited to come and see in action Levon Chilingirian who will be working with half a dozen of our senior string players.  This event is open to anyone, so please bring along your friends.  Admission is free, thanks to the Music Society.

  • Messiah (JCS) – Sunday 30 November 7pm, Yolande Paterson Hall, St. Helen’s School

Tickets are available in advance or at the door for our Choral Society Concert involving pupils, parents and staff from Abingdon and St. Helen’s and which, this term is directed by Lisa McAdam, Assistant Director of Music, SHSK.  The concert will include highlights from Handel’s Messiah.  Do come and join us!

  • Christmas Concert – Friday 5 December, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, 7pm

Please note that tickets are now available online for our Christmas Concert.  This year we are doing a single concert at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre.  The programme will include appearances by First and Chamber Orchestra, Big Band, Symphonic Wind Band, the entire First Year Choir and three soloists (Wu, Bracey, Tong) playing the different movements of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor.

  • Music Society Mailing

Parents of musicians will receive a mailing next week from ASMS regarding membership.  Please look out for it next week.

Food Menu for the coming week - week 1 

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Reports

Our first reporting cycle has begun and parents of boys in all year groups should be receiving written reports on their son via the parent portal as half term begins. For years 1-4 and L6th, this report is designed to give a quick snapshot about how things have been going over the first few weeks of term and will comprise grades from subject teachers along with overall communication from Tutor and Housemaster. Years 5 and U6th will have a fuller report this session, balanced by a shorter report at the end of term. Abingdon's grading system for subject reports remains unchanged and a full explanation of how grades are awarded is given on the report.  All of the grades get turned into two average Effort and Achievement percentages which are also listed on the report; these offer an instant view of how a particular boy is getting on. As a rule of thumb, percentages in the 60-70% range indicate that things are going well, percentages reaching 80% and above mean that things are going extremely well indeed and percentages dropping into the 50s and below indicate that some things may be going awry. We do not report on Other Half or instrumental lessons in this session; those reports come at the end of term. Parents may like to note that, as well as the Tutor and Housemaster comment they can see on the reports, all the reports in a year group will have been read by a senior member of staff before they are sent out. This allows the senior team to keep in touch with trends and concerns across the school. Parental feedback on reports is welcomed - in the first place you should contact your son's Housemaster.

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair: Monday 6 & Tuesday 7 October and Abingdon Runaway Fair: Monday 14 October - Reminder

Parents should expect that traffic flow in Abingdon will be severely disrupted by the Abingdon Fairs. On Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 October vehicle entry to Park Road and Park Crescent will only be via the gate on Faringdon Road (along from the Coach Park). When leaving the park through the gate into Faringdon Road, please, when queuing, leave the gate clear for incoming traffic.

Food Menu for the coming week

At School Council's request I am including an item about next week's food menu. Next week will be week 3 of the menus

Information for parents

Parents are reminded that School Policies are available on the school website. They are under the “Administration” menu. They are reviewed and updated from time to time.

This week's mailing is:

Letter from the Head (PDF)

Letters:

Notices:

Open Day: Saturday 27 September

Open Day runs from 9.30 until 12.30. All boys, EXCEPT first years who are not involved in an activity such as an orchestra or band, are expected to attend and should arrive at School no later than 8.55 am to register before beginning their Open Day activities. Request for absence on this day should, as usual, be made to the housemaster, as for a single weekday absence.

For boys who use the joint bus service, all the morning routes will be operating the weekday schedule running 30 minutes later than usual. For the return journey, the weekday 5.20pm service will depart on all usual routes from the coach park at 1.00pm.

French exchange to Aix en Provence

There are 8 places remaining on the French exchange to Aix en Provence, which is open to pupils in the 4th year upwards. The French party will be in Abingdon from Sunday 8 to Sunday 15 March 2015 and we will go to Aix in the first week of the Easter holidays from Friday 27 March to Friday 3 April 2015. If your son is interested or if you would be willing to host a French student for the week of their stay, please contact Jane Mansfield.

Junior Trip to Croatia

Unfortunately, after many discussions, the Easter Junior Tennis Trip to Croatia has had to be cancelled, due to only three courts being available there. A plan for a more local, intensive pre-season event is in gestation. 

Music

There are some exciting events coming up this term and parents and friends are encouraged to mark up their diaries and to apply for tickets as follows. There is also a letter from Lisa McAdam, who is directing the performance of Handel's Messiah (abridged).

Thursday 9 October at 7.30pm The Joint Abingdon and St Helen's Concert with the Waterloo Band of the Rifles Regiment. Please do join us and see the Bands Concert. Further information.

Thursday 16 October at 7pm. The renowned trumpeter, Crispian Steele-Perkins comes to Abingdon for a workshop with the boys at 5pm and a Recital at 7pm, which is a great opportunity to hear this world-famous player perform and demonstrate his instrument. Further information

Sunday 30 November at 7pm at St Helen's School - Handel's Messiah. Please see the poster and for the parents of the performers, please see the letter from Miss Lisa McAdam.

Sickness & Diahorroea

The Health Centre would like to remind parents that any boy having episodes of vomiting or diahorroea should be kept off school until 48 hours after the last episode has occurred. We currently have a number of boys experiencing such symptoms and are keen to contain this to avoid a spread throughout the school. We cannot stress enough the importance of good hygiene and hand washing as the best method of avoiding the spread of infection of any kind. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Food Menu for the coming week

At School Council's request I am including an item about next week's food menu. Next week will be week 2 of the menus. 

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Notices:

Examinations this tern

The only set of exams for any year group this term is the lower sixth tests which will take place during lessons in the week beginning 17 November. We take the boys' performance in the Tests seriously (as we hope they do!) and reserve the right to recall any boys who we feel have under-performed for resit exams on the day before the Lent Term begins. By the time of the tests the boys will be more than a third of the way through their AS courses and the results they achieve in November are useful early indicators of their likely grades in the summer.

School Uniform

School uniform and sports kit is available from Stevensons' Schoolwear Oxford either at their shop in Summertown (245 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 7HN; 01865 554559) or online. Items of uniform purchased online may either be delivered directly to you with a small postage charge or delivered for you or your son to collect free of charge from Faringdon Lodge (01235 849118) during office hours. 

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair: Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 October and Abingdon Runaway Fair: Monday 13 October

Parents should expect that traffic flow in Abingdon will be severly disrupted by the Abingdon Fairs. On Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 October vehicle entry to Park Road and Park Crescent will only be via the gate on Faringdon Road (along from the Coach Park).

Joint Choral Society (Adults)

This year's Joint Choral Society concert will take place on Sunday 30 November 7.00pm, at the YPH, St. Helen's School. The programme will be Handel's 'The Messiah'. JCS will be conducted this term by Lisa McAdam, Assistant Director of Music at St. Helen's School. Rehearsals for adults are taking place on Monday evenings, 7.00 - 8.30pm, at the YPH, at 7pm. We look forward to welcoming parents to sing alongside pupils and staff members. Please spread the word amongst your singer friends - as always, new members will always be welcome.

Food Menu for the coming week

At School Council's request I am including an item about next week's food menu. Next week will be week 1 of the menus. 

 This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Food Menu for the coming week

At School Council's request I am including an item about next week's food menu.  Next week will be week 3. 

Bus Time Adjustments

As I am sure you are all aware, there are extensive traffic problems at the moment in Oxfordshire. We are trying very hard to ensure that the start of the school day is not adversely affected. In order to try to achieve this we are looking at adjusting routes, and the pick up times on some of the bus routes. Please can you bear with us, and be extra vigilant about checking for alerts from the Joint Bus Service in case of alterations to your son's travel arrangements.

Medical Matters

Please can parents keep the Health Centre updated of any changes to your son's health so that we can update our records accordingly.

Asthma: all boys with asthma must carry their inhaler with them at school.  We will hold a spare inhaler in the Health Centre for boys in case of an emergency.  If you wish to send a spare inhaler please ensure it is labelled with their names and in date.

This week's mailing is:

Letter from the Head (PDF)

Letters

Notices:

Head's Reception for 2nd, 4th and 5th Year parents on Tuesday 9 September at 6.00pm

Over the summer parents should have received an invitation to the Head's Reception next Tuesday. Drinks and canapes will be served in the Sports Centre Hospitality Suite. If you have yet to reply and wish to come please email.

Open Day: Saturday 27 September

Open Day runs from 9.30 until 12.30. All boys, EXCEPT first years who are not involved in an activity such as an orchestra or band, are expected to attend and should arrive at School no later than 8.55 am to register before beginning their Open Day activities. Request for absence on this day should, as usual, be made to the housemaster, as for a single weekday absence.

For boys who use the joint bus service, all the morning routes will be operating the weekday schedule running 30 minutes later than usual. For the return journey, the weekday 5.20pm service will depart on all usual routes from the coach park at 1.00pm.

Exam Remarks

Parents are asked to remind their sons that the deadline for exam remarks is fast approaching. Requests should be made before Friday 19 September, and any requests received after will not be processed. Mrs Cottam will be available in her office between 9am - 3pm. To contact Mrs Cottam please email or call 01235 849035.

American Universities

An introductory meeting for boys and parents who are considering applying to universities in the USA will be held on Wednesday 24 September at 7.00pm in the Amey Theatre. All are welcome, but it will be of particular value to fifth year students and above. Come along and find out more about the American university system and the application process, scholarships and financing an American education. Please contact Mrs Waite for further information.

Joint Parents' Prayer Group meeting, - Tuesday 16 September, 7.45pm, St Helen's

Abingdon has a thriving community of parents who support the school by praying for it. We aim to meet on six occasions during the school year, finishing with a chapel service in the summer term. Our first meeting of the new academic year is joint with St. Helen and St. Katharine and will be at St. Helens on Tuesday 16 September at 7.45pm. Refreshments will be served. Do join us to meet with other parents and staff,  to learn about the various Christian activities that happen in the school and to pray. 

Rugby: concussion

Now we are back in the midst of the rugby term, can we take this opportunity to remind you of the protocols if your son is unlucky enough to be concussed during a rugby match. This is something that we are all very sensitive about in order to ensure best practice. Please follow the link to the RFU website so that you can familiarise yourself with the suggested protocol, but we need to highlight one very important point, especially for day boys.  In case of a head injury please ensure the following steps are undertaken:

If a boy sustains a head injury during a match here or Cox's Field we have a Doctor who can see them on the same day, who will then review them in three weeks. The boy will need to come into see him prior to matches starting. During this period they will have a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses at week 1 and 2. If they are playing away they should be seen by the medic covering the match, they may be advised to go to the Emergency department.  This information needs to be shared with his rugby coach and Peter Coke (as Director of Rugby) and the Health Centre should be copied in. We can then get them reviewed with the doctor at week 3 and the nurses at week 1 and 2. The advice is clear that he should not play competitively again until he is signed as fit by a medical professional. Any queries to Peter Coke please.

Behaviour on the Buses

We have over 460 boys using the Joint Bus Service. Most behave impeccably but there can be moments of poor behaviour, ranging from nagging irritations, such as the persistent leaving of litter on the floor and use of bad language, to the safety issue of boys not wearing seat belts. Inevitably the people who tend to bear the brunt of this bad behaviour are the drivers. The Deputy Head (Pastoral), Mark Hindley has spoken to all the boys about bus behaviour, but please could you reiterate to your sons that they are representatives of Abingdon School and that they must behave accordingly. Equally it is a requirement, not an option, that they wear seat belts.

In the course of that conversation could you please also remind them that if they cannot adhere to the requisite standards of behaviour, despite his warnings and the efforts of the Bus Prefects, then they will receive a Friday Detention. If they continue to misbehave, we reserve the right to ban them from the buses for a period of time, probably 3 to 5 days in the first instance. The level of sanction will obviously be dependent on the severity of the offending behaviour.

School buses: problems

Parents are reminded of the following extract from our bus service coordinator, Tom Peeke, which is part of the bus service contract:

  • If your bus is more than 5 minutes later than normal and you have not been contacted, ring the bus company direct (see contact numbers below). They are best placed to give the reason for lateness and the likely revised time of arrival for the bus or its replacement.
  • Do not wait longer than 5 minutes before calling, as your call may speed up the action needed. Always leave someone in a visible position at the stop if you move away to make a call, in case the bus arrives.
  • Only call the Co-ordinator 01235 546565 if you cannot get a reply from the bus operator. Telephones are not usually manned before 8.30 am or after 5.30pm. We may have been informed of delays, but cannot contact families to inform them.

We have had a couple of operator changes this term and wanted to make you aware of contact numbers for our operators. Apart from when a bus does not arrive, your first point of call is either the JBS number on 01235 546565 or email. Please do not use the bus company numbers to report lost property. This should only be done using the form available on the school website. Our operators will always do their up most to get things back to you as soon as possible. Because of the jobs the vehicles are doing this can take a day or 2 at times.

Any news items such as alternative routes because of local road works will be made available on the JBS website at www.jointbus.co.uk

Baileys Coaches         01635 203005
Blunsdon Coaches      01993 811320
Pearces Coaches        01865 340560
Plastows Coaches       01865 872270
Whites Coaches          01865 340516

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect boys from the Bursary area, or Lower Field car park, please. This is because the area is already busy with pedestrians, pupils and school traffic. We therefore ask that parents drop and collect boys in Park Crescent, operating a one-way system travelling clockwise past the private housing on the west of Albert Park, and ending up near the boarding houses. The Crescent ends at a cross roads, where halting is obligatory on these private roads. Wheel clamping operates on Park Road and Park Crescent, so you are advised not to leave a car unattended.

Abingdon News

Copies of the new 'Abingdon News' will be given to boys to take home next week. There is one copy per family. Boys who are full boarders will have copies posted home.

Permission for use of images for Marketing Purposes: Photographs, videos, media images of pupils

Occasionally the School would like to use photographs, video or media images of pupils at Abingdon School for use in promotional or broadcast material including on the school website and in promotional literature such as the prospectus and Other Half booklet. Each year we ask parents or legal guardians to give permission to use photographs of boys should the opportunity arise. If we have not received the completed consent form from parents or guardians we will roll over permission to use photographs of pupils from the 2013/14 academic year. If pupils are new to the school and we have not received the completed consent form we will assume consent unless parents or guardians contact the school. If you would like to withhold permission then please email the school by Wednesday 10 September.  

Weekly Mailing

We aim to send an email each Friday at 5.00pm which provides a link to that day's Weekly Mailing. All editions of Weekly Mailing may be found on the website, under the News tab. The search facility at the top right of every page can be useful to find archived items. We would encourage those who missed the link to view last Friday's Weekly Mailing, which was the first mailing of the term.

Mobile website www.abingdon.org.uk/m

A reminder to parents that the School has a mobile website where you can view a smaller version of the school website from handheld devices.  Information includes the latest news, weekly mailing, calendar, match arrangements and joint bus service status. You can also follow the school on Twitter @abingdonschool and many of the sports teams and some departments also have their own Twitter accounts.

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Return to school

We look forward to welcoming new boys and those returning.  Extract from Key Dates:   
Sunday 31 August                                   New boarders arrive
Monday 1 September                             Other boarders return  
Monday 1 September                             First year induction
Monday 1 September, 3.45pm             Head’s reception for 1st Year parents, Lacies Court Garden   
Tuesday 2 September                            Term begins (first day back for lower sixth)

After beginning with a tutor period, there will be Head's and House Assemblies, and a service at St Helen's Church at 11.15am.

Open Day on Saturday 27 September for all pupils except first years

All boys except first years will need to be in school for Open Day. The weekday bus schedule will run half an hour later than on normal weekdays.

Coach park and Faringdon Road

Parents are reminded that cars waiting by the coach park impede prompt departure of the buses as well as causing traffic problems: the pick up point is Park Crescent.

Requests for absence

Extract from the 2014/15 Parents' Handbook:  

Leave out of School

Requests involving the absence of any boy for more than a day of School time should be made in writing to the Head. His Housemaster may deal with requests involving absence of a day or less. Parents are strongly requested not to take their sons out of School for any but the most pressing reasons. It must be said that we object strongly to applications for leave that have the effect of extending the already generous School holidays.

Sporting Fixtures

Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Head. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE.

Parent and Guardian Contact Details

Please do contact us to update us with any changes to parent and/or guardian contact details, such as email addresses and mobile phone numbers, so that we can ensure our databases are kept as up to date as possible. Any changes can be emailed to common.room@abingdon.org.uk

Term Calendar and Key Dates

Boys will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term, but, for information for new parents, there is an online calendar which is kept regularly up to date. Each week there is a link from the Friday Weekly Mailing to the 'The Week Ahead' which you will find on the top right of the weekly mailing page. Any amendments to Michaelmas Term 2014 events made after the end of last term will be indicated clearly. In addition, there is a 'Key Dates' page for 2014/15. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, Head's receptions for current parents, social evenings and evening presentations to parents. Term dates for 2014/15 and 2015/16 are also on the website.

Tuesday 2 September – Sport and PE

Please note that all 1st, 2nd and 4th Year boys have a Sports lesson on Tuesday afternoon. It is important that boys bring their sports kit with them to School on this, the first day of term. We will be working outdoors and it is therefore important that they bring the appropriate kit.

Mouthguard Fittings

This is a reminder that the O-pro dentist fittings, are on Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 September in the Sports Centre changing rooms. Years 1, 2 & 4 will have their fittings during their sports lesson. Years 3, 5, 6 and 7 should attend when available between 1.30 and 4pm. If you have ordered a new mouthguard, please remind your son to attend.

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 6 September. Please see the attached document which identifies the six different bus routes, including the individual stops and the designated times.  
We are very keen for as many boys as possible to use this service. It has been set up to ease the burden on parents of getting their sons to School for the inter School fixtures. There is no charge for this service. 
The buses are scheduled to arrive at School at 11.30am, allowing the boys time to have lunch in the Dining Hall, have a brief team meeting, and depart for their fixtures on time. Those boys who are involved in home fixtures will be catered for and supervised until the start of their matches. This service applies to all boys involved in sport on a Saturday afternoon, whether it be in cross country, badminton, rugby or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Assistant Director of Sport and PE. If you intend to utilise this service, please ensure that you son is at the appropriate stop 5 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Inter School Fixtures  

Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in inter school fixtures across the age ranges.  In recent years we have strengthened our fixture list, and been more ambitious in the schools we have been playing.  Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from, and granted, by the Head.  Please avoid asking for leave of absence.  Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture.  The Assistant Director of Sport and PE andrew.broadbent@abingdon.org.uk should be copied in on any such leave of absence request.
To assist parental planning, the Sport and Physical Education Department email teamsheets for each of the age groups to parents on a Thursday evening. This will be sent to the primary contact, which we have stored on Schoolbase, our internal database. There are a number of primary contacts for whom we have not got email addresses attached, and these contacts will therefore not be receiving the email. Please do supply data to the School, so as to ease our paths of communication.  The teamsheets for each age group will also be displayed on the notice boards in the Sports Centre.
It is vitally important that parents contact the appropriate member of staff in cases of illness on a Saturday morning so that replacements can be sought, and we do not end up in the embarrassing situation by being short of players to fulfil our fixtures. Sanctions will be applied to those boys who fail to comply with this request. Parents may also contact the Abingdon School Sports Centre Reception on 01235 849062 in case of any problems arising.

Off-Games Procedure

Boys who are unable to participate, because they are ‘off games’ must excuse themselves in advance. Boys must present an ‘off games’ note/letter from parents or the Health Centre to the member of staff i/c their activity, by lunchtime on the day of the activity. Alternatively, the pupil should report to the member of staff at the start of the activity to excuse themselves in person. Sending a message via other pupils is not acceptable. Team players, who are able to do so, should attend the training session in order to pick up coaching points and so that the coach has an opportunity to talk to the boys about likely availability for the next match.
If the pupil has a medical note or advice from a medical professional regarding the rehabilitation process, please send in a copy of this note so that the School can play an active role through use of the Fitness Suite or by maintaining fitness through participation in an alternative activity. If you have any queries in this regard please contact the Assistant Director of Sport & PE.

Physiotherapy Provision 

The School is very fortunate to have access to a Physiotherapist who operates on site on a Wednesday afternoon so that the boys are able to access treatment directly, rather than for parents having to make alternative arrangements. If you would like to make use of this service, please contact the Sports Centre Duty Manager.

Tutor Groups

Please see the attached document for details of the tutor groups in each house.

Bus Safety

Parents are asked to remind their sons that they should wait to cross the road until well after the coach has departed from a stop, to ensure boys have full sight of other traffic.

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