9 March 2017

Dear Parents, Colleagues, Governors and Boys of Abingdon,

As the mornings and evenings grow lighter and the temperature gradually creeps up, it feels as if spring is on its way and it’s great to see pupils out and about enjoying their Period 8 activities every day.

Many of our pupils were away with the School over half term and I was delighted to be able to join our German exchange at the Ratsgymnasium in Bielefeld to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the partnership between our two schools. The German exchange had organised a wonderful celebration which, alongside speeches and reminiscences, featured interviews with previous participants, including a pair who had first met in the early ‘80s and who are now firm family friends. The event was further enhanced by the brilliant performances from musicians from Bielefeld and our own First Orchestra, who were there as part of their tour of northern Germany.

It has been a pleasure this term also to welcome our exchange partners from France and Spain. It is perhaps easy to overlook the significance of language exchanges when there are so many amazing opportunities available as school trips but they are of great educational value, not just in terms of the linguistic advantages but also with regard to the broader benefits of developing cultural awareness and building confidence. Although organising exchanges presents significant challenges today in a climate of safeguarding and child protection, I hope we will sustain them in the future – and I appreciate parents’ patience in going through the DBS process.

I am conscious that parents had some holiday homework to complete over half term in the form of the questionnaires from School Pulse. I am very grateful to the many parents who completed the questionnaires. These responses will be of great value as I work with colleagues and Governors over the coming weeks to set the strategic course for Abingdon. I will of course keep parents informed about our conclusions. In the meantime, I can confirm that our contractors are making good progress with the enabling works for our new Beech Court development, which will include a Sixth Form Centre, Library and the Art department.

There is much to look forward to over the remaining few weeks of term – not least, I’m sure, will be the finals of Abingdon’s Got Talent. Another highlight is the ATOM Festival of Science and Technology which is running from 22 to 26 March in Abingdon. There is a very exciting programme of talks, workshops and other activities so do visit the website to find out more.

Please do also follow the links below to see what has been happening at Abingdon so far this half term.

Kind regards

Michael Windsor

Abingdon School News – 13 February to 9 March

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