Letter from the Headmaster, 11 January 2018

11 January 2018

Dear Parents, Colleagues, Governors and Boys of Abingdon,

I hope all Abingdon families were able to enjoy a restful and peaceful break over Christmas. I think it’s still early enough in the year to wish everyone all the very best for 2018.

It was good to welcome pupils back to school earlier this week. They were remarkably cheerful considering the gloomy weather but I hope they are excited about the term ahead and the many opportunities that will be available to them. A good number of pupils were involved with school trips and events over the holiday and please do have a look at the links below to learn more about what has been going on.

Work continued on the Beech Court project over the holiday. I visited the site just before Christmas and can confirm that our contractors are making excellent progress and the building is really beginning to take shape. We believe that the new building will not only offer advantages to the Sixth Form, the Library and the Art department, all of whom will be housed there from September, but to the rest of the School as well as space will be freed up elsewhere on the school site. This will allow us to expand the Music and Drama departments in the Amey Theatre complex, as well as providing more space for day house rooms, which will give better bases where pupils can work, socialise and - importantly - store their kit. I will also be moving my office into Big School from its current location on the edge of the site and I look forward to being nearer to the heart of the action.

The teaching staff launched the new term by sharing a day of professional development with the staff from the School of St Helen and St Katharine. This was a great opportunity to focus on approaches to teaching and learning with our SHSK colleagues and the day included time for departments to compare practice in their respective subjects. There were also opportunities for staff to discuss areas in which our two schools could collaborate more effectively, with a particular focus on projects where pupils can work together, and I expect to build upon those discussions over the course of the year.

Parents may be familiar with the Good Schools Guide and indeed may have used it to inform their choice of school. The Guide recently visited us so that they could update their report and this should be available soon. We will inform parents when the new report is published and I hope you enjoy reading it.

We welcome a small number of new staff to the School. Mr Adam Hepworth joins us as our new Head of Economics while Mr Adam Simmons will be a temporary member of the English department. Mr Charles Cousins has been appointed as an Assistant Rowing Coach and he will also be undertaking boarding duties in Austin House.

There is a tremendous amount happening in the short space of time before half term so I look forward to meeting parents on the touchline/riverbank or at concerts or drama productions over the next few weeks. There are a number of parents’ evenings too and I will look forward to talking to you then. Do keep a close eye on the weekly mailings for updates and further information.

Finally, I wish all Abingdon families the very best for the term ahead.

Kind regards

Michael Windsor

News

Physicists explore CERN, hydroelectrics, the observatory and the Swiss Plasma centre in Geneva.
Austin House ski trip
Top marks in Physics Olympiad

Sport

Senior football squad on tour to Villarreal, Spain
Pre-season football & OA football news
Canoe polo success in British Canoeing Southwest tournament
U18 ISRFC Lambs selection

See more of the latest news