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:

Letters:

Notices:

Parents of 3rd Year Pupils: DofE Bronze Applicaton

Boys in the 3rd year are invited to apply to start the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award.  Please see the attached letter and apply online using the link in the letter.

Change of Early May Bank Holiday 2020

Following the government's announcement that the early May bank holiday is moving to Friday 8 May 2020, our term dates now reflect this change.  SHSK, APS and the Manor are modifying their dates, too.  Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Leavers' Service

All leavers and their families are invited to the Leavers' service at St Michael's Church, Park Road at 9.30am on Saturday 22 June.  Rousing hymns, leavers' performance, the chapel choir and profound thoughts!

Parents' Prayer Group.

The final meeting of the academic year will take place on Tuesday 18 June at 8pm in the Chapel. There will be a short service of evening prayer and we will be thinking about both the Prep and Senior schools. Refreshments will be served.

Music

Parents are warmly invited to attend these upcoming events:

  • Lower School Gala Concert - Thursday 20 June at 6pm in the Amey Theatre.  This concert will involve all the boys in our Lower School (1st and 2nd years) who will be participating in a Lower School choir and it will also include solos, ensembles and performances from both the Lower School Band and Junior Strings. Admission is free and the concert should be finished by 7.30pm.
  • Japan and Hong Kong Pre-tour Concert on Friday 28 June at 7pm in the Amey Theatre.  We are expecting a big turn-out for our pre-tour concert where parents can view and hear the hard work that has gone into preparing for our ambitious tour to the Far East - we leave just 36 hours after this concert. We hope to perform the whole programme of music, including both Big Band and First Orchestra in a range of repertoire, including Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninov and Beethoven - not forgetting Burt Bacharach and Thunderbirds! Please order tickets in advance to avoid the queue!

Middle School Scholars' Newsletter: Summer Edition

The latest edition of the Middle School Scholars' Newsletter, this time written by the 4th Year academic scholars, can be found here

Celebration of the Arts 

A reminder of our upcoming event entitled 'Celebration of the Arts' at Abingdon School.  The event takes place on Wednesday night (19 June) from 5pm-8pm.  Our students will be playing live music outside Beech Court and we will be holding several exhibitions of artwork.  There will also be poetry readings, film work, drama excerpts and a design technology show.  Mostly Books are exhibiting creative books for you to purchase.   Some Year 3 student work will also be on show.  Refreshments will be provided on this exciting night celebration of our schools creativity.  We hope you can join us?

Join us for our Hockey Camp - Based at Tilsley Park 

Girls and boys: Aged 9-16 years

Key areas of the course:

  • 1 v 1 skill development, game play and movement, short corner skills, passing techniques, game play.
  • This is a high-quality coaching course led by professional players and current premier league and regional coaches.
  • Learn and develop core skills such as hitting and slapping, tackling, movement, short corner skills and overall game play. These will be covered in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment.

Available dates:

  • Monday 22 – Tuesday 23 July 2019 (9am-3pm).  The cost of this two-day course is £96.  To book this course, please click here.
  • Monday 21 – Tuesday 22 October 2019 (9am-3pm).  The cost of this two-day course is £96.  To book this course, please click here.

To find out more information, please visit the website. You can also click here to download the information poster. 

Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club Memberships 

Get summer off to an active start by joining the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club and take advantage of our promotional discounts - allowing you to become a Premium Member for only £29.99, which gives you access to:

  • Strength & Conditioning Gym
  • 8-lane swimming pool
  • Extensive range of exercise and spinning classes, 7 days a week
  • Badminton courts
  • Squash courts
  • Tilsley Park Boot Camp

We’re also giving Pay As You Go customers 50% off all spinning classes throughout June, relocated in our brand new spin studio at Tilsley Park.  For more information or to sign up, please call 01235 849 062 or email ase.info@abingdon.org.uk. You can also click here to download the full information poster.   *Offers expire Sunday 30 June 2019. T&C’s apply. 

Recent news:

Food menu for week beginning Monday 17 June - Week 3

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For parents of 4th year boys - Slides for the Parents' Evening

We hope most parents were able to make it to yesterday's parents' evening and that it was a productive event.  The slides from Mr May's and Mr Crisp's talk during the break between appointments are now available.

Music 

  • Coventry Cathedral Evensong on Tuesday 11 June at 5.15pm - Do come and hear the Chapel Choir sing an uplifting Evensong at the iconic Coventry Cathedral. 
  • Junior Solo Instrumental Competition Wednesday 12 June at 6pm in the CMR - This year's competition sees half a dozen of our promising young musicians of about grade 5 standard perform in front of our adjudicator, Mr William Morris, Director of Music at the Dragon School, Oxford. All will be most welcome.

“There is no Planet B - students lead the way on environmental issues.”

Please see the latest school blog from Alastair Blackmore, OA(2005) and Deputy Estates Manager.

Abingdon Box Office

ROH Live: Romeo and Juliet - 7.15pm, Tuesday 11 June

Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake - 7pm, Thursday 13 June

Larry Sanders - Still Fighting - 2.30pm, Saturday 15 June

Food menu for week beginning Monday 10 June - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

For information for parents, there is a Term and Key dates page 2019/2021 which is kept regularly up to date.  

Revision advice for 3rd Year pupils

Here is a link to the general revision advice emailed this week to the 3rd Year pupils.

Music - A Summary of Music in the 2nd Half of Term

  • Wednesday 12 June at 6pm, CMR - Junior Solo Instrumental - adjudicator, William Morris (Director of Music, Dragon School)
  • Thursday 20 June at 6pm, Amey Theatre - Lower School Gala Concert
  • Sunday 23 June 2-5pm, Amey Theatre - Far East Rehearsal Afternoon
  • Friday 28 June at 7pm, Amey Theatre - Pre Tour Concert 
  • Sunday 30 June to Wednesday 10 July - Far East Tour to Japan and Hong Kong.

School website - unavailable on Wednesday 5 June, 6am-8am

On Wednesday 5 June the school website will be unavailable for approximately two hours around 6am-8am. This is to allow for routine maintenance.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Reminder - Parents' pastoral evening 3rd year parents and above “Navigating the teenage years” Monday 3 June, 7.30-8.45pm, Sports Centre Hospitality Suite 

Navigating the teenage years can be a bumpy road for many boys (and parents) journeying through adolescence. It is rarely plain sailing all of the time! Twenty first century boys face many and varied pressures that come from all angles: social media, gaming, body image, their peers, even themselves. This is set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and ever quickening digital world. Drawing upon our collective experience we are offering an evening with three pastoral leaders in the school to provide you with some guidance and support in helping steer your sons through to flourish into wonderful young men.

We are not claiming to know all the answers but offer our collective wisdom as well as anecdotal advice, drawing upon several decades of pastoral encounters with teenage boys. We will be covering topics such as: maintaining positive mental health and well-being, how to be well organized for school and exams, tackling the gauntlet of social media, dealing with the world of alcohol, parties and sleepovers (amongst others). Please sign up on the google form below if you would like to book a place. We would love to see you there if you are free to attend to join in the shared conversation. Please book a space

Henley Royal Regatta - Friday 5 July 2019

Parents, OAs, current and former staff and governors, are invited to the OA Club's strawberries and Pimm's event at the Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club tent in Henley Cricket Club car park during the afternoon tea interval (usually between 4pm and 5pm) on Friday 5 July 2019. No RSVP required.

Summer courses and holiday camps - Now available to book online 

We would like to remind parents and pupils that our summer courses and holiday camps are available to book.  Listed below are just some of our popular summer camps that we hope many boys will enjoy taking part in: 

The full range of courses and holiday camps can be found on the Abingdon Sports and Leisure website. Alternatively, you can browse the online brochure.  All course payments can now be taken online, via the website. If you have any queries, please email ase.info@abingdon.org.uk

Coach Park in the morning

Just a reminder: please can parents NOT use the Coach Park drop off in the mornings.  We have 25 coaches dropping off between 8.15am and 8.35am so it becomes very unsafe if there are also cars using the same space.  

NT Live: All My Sons (Delayed Live) - 7pm, Tuesday 28 May

News from the week:

Food menu for week beginning Monday 3 June - Week 1

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L6th study leave

L6th boys taking internal exams will be granted revision leave from the beginning of Monday 3 June to 3.40pm on Thursday 6 June.  This means that they will not be expected in school during lesson times unless they have an exam.  Boys who don’t have an exam but nonetheless wish to be in school (perhaps because they use the school bus system) are welcome to be in school for silent study purposes.  They can also take lunch in the Dining Hall as usual.

Many L6th boys will have Other Half commitments that they will still wish to fulfil (e.g. team practices for Saturday matches).  The exam programme means they will still be able to attend things like period 8 activities (e.g. orchestra rehearsals) and Wednesday afternoon activities.  We strongly encourage boys to continue with their Other Half activities where possible during this time.  Doing something other than revision can provide an excellent break for the mind and still allow plenty of time for final revision.  It can also be difficult for things like team practices to be effective for others if there are many absences.  We are not, however, insisting that L6th boys fulfil these commitments during revision leave if they feel they really need to spend the time revising for upcoming exams - in such cases, though, we would expect boys to contact the organiser of the relevant activity to excuse themselves well in advance of when that activity is due to happen. Other Half commitments resume at 3.40pm on Thursday 6 June. Boys will be doing UCAS work on the Friday morning followed by sports in the afternoon.

Fourth Year Exam Results

Results of the recent fourth year exams will be posted to the parent portal by Friday evening. You should expect the fourth year exams to form part of the discussion with teachers at the parents' evening after half term, on Thursday 6 June.  The Deputy Head (Academic) will also be sending all parents an email with notes on how to interpret these results along with information on the new national GCSE grading system (using numbers rather than grades) which will be used by all subjects for this cohort of boys except English and English Literature.

Third Year RSE Morning 22 May

Wednesday 22 May sees the annual Relationship and Sex Education morning for boys in the Third Year. This year we have a visit from Loudmouth Theatre Company who will present their acclaimed project “Working for Marcus”. Sexual exploitation and sexual grooming are serious and important issues for schools to address. “Working for Marcus” has been used in many schools to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and to train professionals since 1998. Due to a recent rise in interest in this work and growing concerns about the issues from schools particularly in online safety, Loudmouth have updated this powerful programme to include new research into exploitation through social media, gangs and violence against women and girls and boys. The drama production and workshops help young people to gain a deeper understanding of the grooming process and potential risks. In addition, the boys will attend a roundabout of workshops on STIs, contraception and men's health issues delivered by registered healthcare practitioners as well as the School Doctor. If you have any questions about the morning, please email Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing.

L6 parents: 360 Degrees: discuss, discover, decide - Friday 21 June, starting at 7pm, Yang Science Centre

We are delighted to invite you to join your son to meet staff and OAs at a forum of shared experiences and discussion all about university applications.  The event brings together tutors, heads of department and OAs as well as all members of the sixth form team, and presents a fantastic opportunity for you and your son to discuss plans for university applications.  360 Degrees* should be seen as an occasion to consider possible degree subjects, universities and potential future pathways in the round, in order to put together a successful application. The event has been timed to provide a useful indication of the suitability of degree course and university choices, ahead of the summer holidays when university visits and personal statement drafts should be on the agenda.  In due course, your son will be invited to make appointments for the evening to meet with staff to discuss his post Abingdon plans, his higher education aspirations and his suitability for his chosen course. For subjects akin to those studied at school (e.g. history, classics, physics) your son should book a meeting with the relevant head of department. Where the head of department is unavailable for the evening, there will be a department representative, so that all school subjects are covered. In the case of those subjects not taught at school (e.g. law, engineering, computer science), we hope to have staff available who can provide some insight into the study of those subjects at degree level.  In addition, a number of OAs who will be on hand to share their recent experiences of degree level study and of undergraduate life, particularly at their university. The range of degree courses they have studied/are studying at university reflects most subject areas. You and your son should also meet with his tutor to discuss post school plans, university ambitions, etc. and how realistic and appropriate those plans are. The boys will be asked to make appointments for these meetings.

All members of the sixth form team will be at 360 Degrees. Your son can make an appointment prior to the event or please come and chat to us on the evening if you would like to discuss the following:

  • Applications for Oxbridge – Richard Taylor
  • Applications for Medicine & Veterinary Science – Ben Whitworth
  • Applications to overseas universities, gap years and alternatives to university – Michael Triff
  • Anything UCAS related – Caroline Taylor & Sarah Gibbard
  • Nick O’Doherty, Head of Sixth Form

*360 Degrees was formerly called UCAS 2

Music 

Thursday 23 May at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - Summer Concert

A reminder that our summer concert is next Thursday, just before half term and all parents are most welcome to join us. All the main school ensembles will be playing - all three orchestras (First, Second and Chamber Orchestras) and three bands (Wind, Brass and Big Bands). There will also be some jazz ensembles, junior and senior. 

5th Year boys on Revision Leave will need to be in school by 4pm for rehearsals. There are two GCSE papers the following day (Greek and DT), so those boys are excused this concert. Supper will be provided for all the boys.  As usual, tickets are available on the school website by clicking here.

Michaelmas Term 2019 start

These arrangements can all be viewed on the website:

Sunday 1 September - New boarders arrive
Monday 2 September - First and third year induction
Monday 2 September - Boarders return
Tuesday 3 September - Term begins 

The Ultimate Activity Company will be back this Summer using our fantastic facilities for their fun, safe and active camps, Summer dates are Monday 22 July –  Friday 16 August.  Children will be inspired to try new activities, make new friends and ultimately have lots of fun in a safe environment.  Their Summer Saver Offer ends on Tuesday 11 June so please visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk to book online or call 0330 111 7077 to speak to the very helpful customer service team.

Take a look at our latest school blog

Top tips on how to learn a language - read the latest school blog from the MFL department.

News from the week:

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Sixth Form Subject Choices

Many sets for next year’s lower sixth are now at levels that we would consider to be ‘full’. Any boy who wishes to apply for a change in his subject choice should contact the Curriculum Director, Oliver Lomax, as soon as possible by email. Although we will always do our best to be accommodating, we do have to stress that changes may not be possible at this stage in particular subjects and it is certainly the case that the earlier we receive a request the greater likelihood there is of us being able to satisfy it.

Music

  • Wednesday 15 May at 6pm in the CMR - Solo Concert Platform No 5 - Parents and friends are welcome to join us for the first concert of the new term when we will see some of our pupils in solo performance. Admission is free.
  • Thursday 23 May at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - Summer Concert - Looking a little further ahead, our summer concert is just before half term this year, since the end of term is dominated by final preparations for our Japan/Hong Tour with a Pre-Tour Concert on Friday 28 June. All the main school ensembles will be playing - all three orchestras (First, Second and Chamber Orchestras) and three bands (Wind, Brass and Big Bands). There will also be some jazz ensembles, junior and senior. As usual, tickets are available on the school website by clicking here.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for September 2019

Parents of the current 2nd Year and above are reminded of the school's BYOD scheme: all Middle and Upper School students are required to bring an appropriate device into lessons as part of their normal 'kit' from September 2019.  Their current school-owned Chromebook will be returned at the end of this term, and we recommend these devices as very suitable for a student owned device if they do not have one already.  There is an updated Q&A document available and if you have any questions please email Mr Ben Whitworth, Director of eLearning on ben.whitworth@abingdon.org.uk

Touchliners : Trip to HSBC International Rugby 7s London Finals Day : Sunday 26 May

The Touchliners are organising a trip to Twickenham to watch the finals of the HSBC International 7s on Sunday 26 May, and there are a few places still available.  We will also be arranging return coach transport from the school, with a drop-on and drop-off point at Reading.  The cost will be £30 for adults and £10 for children (aged 3-15).  If you are interested in joining us for this event, please email us on touchliners@abingdon.org.uk before the end of the weekend.

Parking on Saturdays

Parents are asked to avoid parking across the cycle lanes on Faringdon Road by the coach park. Please use the main School car park on Park Road and walk to the relevant pitch, if there is not space in the coach park.

Book Collection

As previously advertised, the final deadline for 5th and U6th book returns will be Saturday 29 June.  Books not returned by that date will be charged to bills.  Many departments will already have made clear to the boys the occasions on which they can return books and it would be sensible for boys to plan to bring in any remaining loan texts on the day of their final public exam to save having to make a special trip.  Much unnecessary chasing and unwanted charging of extras to bills can be avoided by boys being properly organised.  It is often not possible to waive charges for books returned after the deadline as Heads of Department will spend part of the week of term ordering the necessary texts for the new school year.

ASPA, 3rd Year Parents Mexican Evening, Saturday 18 May

Book your space before the deadline on Monday 13 May at midday.  Tickets include welcome drink & a three course, fine dining Mexican style in the Dining Hall. £25 per person.

Amendment to Tennis Fixtures in the School Calendar

Unfortunately we have had to amend several of our tennis fixtures.  This is due to a number of schools informing us that they can no longer attend the proposed dates (although in the case of MCS it is to allow for a more efficient fixture).  For all schools, instead of playing several small fixtures we have arranged a series of tournaments which will allow us to play all fixtures on the same day.  Details of these tournaments are outlined below, as are the cancelled fixtures.  These new dates will be put on the school calendar ASAP.  I understand that having two fixtures on consecutive days isn't ideal.  We will look to do fast 4s (i.e first to 4 games rather than a full set) where appropriate.  *Please see below for new tournament dates and cancellations*

ROH Live: Within The Golden Hour / Medusa / Flight Pattern - 7.15pm, Thursday 16 May

News from the week:

Tennis New Tournament dates: 

  • Abingdon vs Matthew Arnold School Tournament
  • Date: Monday 3 June 
  • Location: Tilsley Park
  • Start time: 4pm
  • Approximate finish time: 6pm
  • Teams: LTA U15s & U13s - player selection to be made nearer the time.

 

  • Abingdon vs St Birinus School Tournament
  • Date: Tuesday 4 June 
  • Location: Tilsley Park
  • Start time: 4pm
  • Approximate finish time: 6pm
  • Teams: LTA U15s & U13s - player selection to be made nearer the time.

 

  • Abingdon vs Wood Green School Tournament
  • Date: Monday 20 May 
  • Location: Tilsley Park
  • Start time: 4pm
  • Approximate finish time: 6pm
  • Teams: LTA U15s & U13s - player selection to be made nearer the time.

 

  • Abingdon vs MCS Tournament
  • Date: Wednesday 22 May
  • Location: MCS
  • Start time: 3.45pm
  • Approximate finish time: 6.30pm
  • Teams: LTA U15s & U13s - player selection to be made nearer the time.

 

Tennis Cancelled fixtures:

 

  • Matthew Arnold School
  • Thursday 2 May U13s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 23 May U15s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 6 June U13s & U15s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 13 June U13s and U15s - Cancelled

 

  • St Birinus School
  • Thursday 9 May U13s & U15s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 16 U15s - Cancelled

 

  • Wood Green School
  • Thursday 9 May U13s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 16 May U13 & U15 - Cancelled
  • Thursday 23 May U15 - Cancelled
  • Thursday 6 June U13 - Cancelled

 

  • MCS
  • Thursday 2 May U15s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 9 May U13s & U15s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 16 May U13s - Cancelled 
  • Thursday 13 June U13s - Cancelled
  • Thursday 20 June U13s - Cancelled

 

Thank you for your patience and understanding. Tom Allen, Master i/c Tennis

Food menu for the coming week - Week 1

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Letters:

Notices:

5th year GCSE revision leave

Revision leave began at 5.20pm on Friday 3 May.  As promised, the programme for supervised study and subject clinics has been published to the boys and parents can find it here.  Inevitably the programme will change a little but this link accesses the 'live' version of the programme so it is worth checking regularly to get the most up to date version - the version number and date in the top left corner will change if we need to update it.  Boys have been told that the programme is entirely voluntary but if they do want to partake of it, they must attend school in uniform and make sure they are either in a clinic or in one of the supervised study rooms for each teaching period of the day - we do not want them coming in and out of the site except at the usual break times (morning and lunchtime).  They are welcome to have lunch in school and can take lunch from period 4 onwards (12.10pm) and are not bound by the lunch timings that have existed for 5th year up until now.

School Policies

Parents are reminded that School Policies are available under the “About” & then “Governance” menu of the website.  They are reviewed and updated from time to time.

Middle School Scholars Newsletter

Please find attached the termly Middle School Scholars' Newsletter written by some of the third year academic scholars. We hope you enjoy it.

Roysse Society Lecture

The next Roysse Society Lecture will be held in the Amey Theatre on Wednesday 8 May from 5.30-6.30pm. This term's speaker will be OA Philip Johnson, a Senior Principal at Populous, an internationally renowned architecture firm based in London. Philip led the design of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, and has also worked on projects at Lord’s Cricket Ground, Ascot Racecourse and The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. His talk will focus on these projects, his career path, but also touch upon his particular interest in sports and entertainment buildings, how venues evolve, and how they can be integrated successfully into their environment. It promises to be a great opportunity to hear from an architect working at the highest level. Attendance by scholars is compulsory, but all Abingdon students and parents are also most welcome.

Music

Thursday 9 May at 7pm in the CMR - Japan/Hong Kong Tour Parents' Information Meeting with staff and Musica Europa.  Parents are welcome to attend with or without their sons. We look forward to seeing you there.

ASPA

Don't forget to book your tickets for the ASPA 3rd Year Parents' Evening on Saturday 18 May. It should be great fun - a Mexican-themed Fiesta!  The party starts at 7.30pm in the Dining Hall, with a welcome Margarita (or non-alcoholic alternative), followed by a delicious selection of Mexican dishes. Tickets for £25 can be booked on the Amey Theatre website.  We really hope you can join us for the festivities! 

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 to reply email communications@abingdon.org.uk.

Design & Technology Workshop - Summer 2019

This summer the School’s DT Department is offering Design and Technology workshop sessions to our current lower school boys, and to boys who will be joining the Third Year in September 2019.  The workshops provide an opportunity to learn D&T skills and meet other like-minded boys.  The sessions will run over three mornings. The projects have been designed so the boys will use a range of tools and machines and complete a project from start to finish in each morning session.  The projects will be repeated on the corresponding day of each week so that boys can mix days from either week. In line with the School’s pricing of Summer Holiday activities there will be a charge of £20 per session (this will include all material costs).  If you have any questions you would like to ask, please email Mike Webb.  To book a place on the course please click here. A detailed poster is also attached.

Abingdon Box Office

So You Think You Know About Dinosaurs with Dr Ben Garrod - Saturday 11 May, 3pm, Amey Theatre.

Take a look at our latest school blog

Why we should teach our children to cook by Ben Phillips, Director of Drama  

News from the week:

Food menu for the coming week - Week 3

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Annual Data Check

The Annual Data Check forms will be sent on Wednesday 1 May via iSAMS email, please complete and submit by Friday 17 May. The Data Check is an online process that takes a few minutes to complete. If you have any queries regarding the process please email the Common Room Secretaries.

Exams

Exams are fast approaching. The dates and times for results days are as follows:

AS & A level - Thursday 15 August, results can be collected from Beech Court Sixth Form Centre from 8.30am to 11am; any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.

IGCSE & GCSE - Thursday 22 August, results can be collected from Beech Court Sixth Form Centre from 8.30am to 11am; any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.

As mentioned in a previous mailing all candidates will be able to access their results via 'My Abingdon' portal by 9am on results days. Post results services for A level candidates opens on Thursday 15 August from 10am to 12 noon that day and Friday 16 August, Monday 19, Tuesday 20, and Wednesday 21 August from 9am to 12 noon. This service is for priority remarks, and priority photocopy of scripts. If your son is a leaver and requires this service he will need to pay in advance by cheque or cash. Post results services for IGCSE and GCSE candidates and all non priority A Level candidates opens at the beginning of the Michaelmas term in September. The deadline for requesting a standard remark is Thursday 19 September 2019. The breakdown of fees will be included in your results pack. Please note that remark requests cannot come from parents or teachers. The candidates must make this request themselves and are required to sign a document that states they are aware that the mark can go down as well as up.

4th year exams

These take place next week (Monday 29 April to Friday 3 May).  The timetable for these exams is available on our website under www.abingdon.org.uk/examination_timetables.  We expect to be able to publish results to the Parent Portal in the final week of this half term at the latest (w/c 20 May) and the exams will no doubt form the starting point for many of your conversations during the Parents' Evening on Thursday 6 June.

5th year revision clinics

Revision leave for the 5th Year begins at 5.20pm on Friday 3 May.  Thereafter they will not be expected in school unless they have a public exam.  As previously advertised, the School runs a revision clinic programme for the first three weeks of revision leave (i.e. up to half term) and the details of this will be published to boys (and placed on the website) next week.  The scheme is entirely voluntary for the boys, but it does provide a structure for revision and offer guaranteed opportunities to access subject teachers to clear up any remaining concerns.

Parents of U6 boys - UK university offers: URGENT DEADLINE 

U6 boys who received replies from all of their universities by Sunday 31 March must reply making their firm and insurance choices by Wednesday 1 May at the very latest. If a reply is not made by that date, all offers are deemed by UCAS to have been declined and the offers will be removed. All boys who are still waiting to hear from a university have later deadlines: those who hear by Thursday 2 May need to make their choices by Thursday 6 June; those who hear by Thursday 6 June have until Thursday 20 June to reply with their choices.  To avoid any confusion over the date by which he should make his choices, each boy should refer to UCAS Track, where he will have been given his personal reply-by date.  Please contact caroline.taylor@abingdon.org.uk should you have any questions.

For L6 parents - Futures Fair, Monday 29 April

This coming Monday, 29 April, we are holding our inaugural Futures Fair at Abingdon School. This event, for L6 boys and their parents, provides the opportunity to talk to student ambassadors and representatives from over 36 exhibitors, including 30 of the UK's top universities, UCAS and several apprenticeship programmes. The Futures Fair is the perfect time for students to consider the broad range of UK degree courses and alternatives on offer before shortlisting places to visit or research further. All L6 boys are expected to attend this event, which takes place between 5pm and 7pm in the Sixth Form Centre, Beech Court. Parents are most welcome to join us.

Sleeping and exercise during the exam term - advice from the Deputy Head (Pastoral)

As exams loom, the importance of rest and good sleep becomes paramount. Can I take this opportunity to reiterate our advice on sleeping and using screens before bed? All the research shows very clearly that being on screens before going to sleep means that the sleep you get is not as deep and therefore doesn't have the full recuperative effect.  I am sure your son will tell you that he sleeps fine, but this is unlikely to be true, and would be evident were he able to measure his REM.  We would recommend a “screentime” ban 50 minutes before trying to go to sleep.  To reiterate, we would advise no screens in your son's bedroom after an agreed time (I would suggest 9.30pm or 10pm.) However beware, he might challenge you to do the same…

Equally, it is very important that your son keeps up his endorphin levels and resists the temptation to be permanently chained to his revision. For this reason we would recommend that he keeps exercising. Hopefully this will happen through his Other Half commitments, so if there is doubt, do encourage him to continue with these. Do also encourage him to go out and exercise, whether that be a brisk walk, a run, a game of football or touch rugby, or even an ergo to show support for the Boat Club!

For parents of current third and fourth year day boys - Boarding Taster Night 

Have you thought about boarding? 

There are a few spaces available for our third and fourth year day boys to experience a 'night of boarding' toward the end of this term. We hope that this will appeal to those who are considering boarding in the future years (from 2020 and beyond) so they can apply in good time to avoid disappointment. Places are limited depending on beds available, but if you are interested please complete this form or contact Lucy Hamerton by email.

Game addiction 

Parents may be interested in this free webinar given by Cam Adair who spoke to some of our students last term about game addiction

Parents' prayer group

The parents' prayer group will meet on Thursday 2 May at 8pm in the library of Abingdon Prep School. We will be praying for both the Prep and Senior schools. Refreshments will be provided. All welcome.

Music

This term marks the music department's exciting tour to Japan and Hong Kong and we would like to thank everyone for their support in making the tour possible.  Meanwhile, the Summer Term Music Calendar can be found here and highlights include the following:

  • Pre-tour Japan/HK planning meeting with parents - Thursday 9 May at 7pm, CMR                       
  • Solo Concert Platform No 5 - Wednesday 15 May at 6pm, CMR                 
  • Summer Concert with main school orchestras and bands - Thursday 23 May at 7pm, Amey Theatre       
  • Junior Instrumental Solo Competition - Wednesday 12 June at 6pm, CMR                      
  • Lower School Gala Concert - Thursday 20 June at 6pm, Amey Theatre      
  • Pre-tour playing day - Sunday 23 June at 1pm, Amey Theatre   
  • Orchestra and Big Band Pre-Tour Concert - Friday 28 June at 7pm, Amey Theatre                               
  • Japan/Hong Kong Orchestra and Big Band Tour Party departs - Sunday 30 June                                            

Return of textbooks

Abingdon is keen to ensure that parents are not charged erroneously for textbooks that have in fact been returned. Please assist your son in following the standard procedure we have been operating for many years. Heads of department need to ensure that there are sufficient books for September, so they need to have your son's books back before the end of this term. Many departments number each book, and record the book number. Boys are encouraged to put their name in the book, too. When the issued copy is returned by your son the head of department then knows not to charge parents for the book. If the pupil returns a copy belonging to someone else then his parents are billed for the 'missing' copy and the original 'owner' is credited with having returned his book. For boys not on revision leave, textbooks are collected by their class teacher during lesson time, but pupils who are absent for any reason need to ensure that their books are returned to their teacher before the term ends. Boys on revision leave (fifth and upper sixth) should return their books directly to the department which issued them at the latest by the Saturday before the term ends (i.e. Saturday 29 June).  Some departments have labelled boxes close to the department office in which books may be left. If there is no area, boys should return the book directly to a member of staff who teaches that subject, and not just leave the book where they hope it will be found. In these circumstances it might be advisable to get a note from the member of staff confirming the receipt of the book(s). Parents should note that returning books after the end of term, including on results day, will not necessarily be sufficient to prevent a charge being placed on the bill - many heads of department will already have incurred a cost by having to reorder books in advance of the new school year.

Reminder - Sport priority on a Saturday 

In planning for this coming 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 Headmaster. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. 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.

Reminder - The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award

The John Rayson Award is a memorial to the late John Rayson (1924-2012), an Old Abingdonian (1942) who gave a lifetime of service to Abingdon School. 
The award will be given to a current pupil to help fund a personal project/experience that embodies the defining characteristics of John Rayson - adventure, courage and resilience coupled with service, loyalty and commitment.  The award carries a value of £250.  All current pupils of Abingdon School are eligible to apply.  Further information is available here

Reminder - ASPA / OA Club Travel Awards

ASPA and the OA Club have joined forces to offer travel awards to upper and lower sixth pupils undertaking some form of travel and activity either during the summer or in their gap year.  The awards range from £50 to £500 depending on the activity and its benefits.  Further details, and the conditions attached to the awards, can be found on the School website.

Driving along Park Road and Park Crescent: 20mph

Parents are asked to adhere to the speed limit along these private roads.

News from Easter

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

End of Term Reports

These should be posted to the parent portal by the end of Friday 29 March.

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.  Any amendments to Summer Term 2019 events made after today will be indicated clearly.  Parents may wish to consult the online calendar and the term dates page now to remind themselves of the beginnings and ends of terms and half-terms.

Start of Next Term

Boarders return on the evening of Tuesday 23 April. Term begins for all Wednesday 24 April, with registration and tutor time at 8.35am, and the normal on Wednesday Week A timetable starting period 1.  Boys should bring their kit for the sport they expect to do. The next Weekly Mailing will be sent out on Friday 26 April 2019.

L6 Futures Fair Monday 29 April 5-7pm

On the first Monday of next term, we are hosting our inaugural Futures Fair. All L6 boys should attend and parents are very welcome to join them. The Fair is being held in the Sixth Form Centre in Beech Court and runs from 5pm to 7pm.  We have 36 exhibitors, including many of the top universities (excluding Oxford and Cambridge), UCAS and a number of apprenticeship schemes. There will be presentations from UCAS and two universities during the course of the evening.  The Futures Fair offers boys and parents a fantastic opportunity to chat to the universities about degree course options and applications as well as student life and topics such as accommodation and finance. Many exhibitors represent universities from far afield (St Andrews, Durham, Exeter, Edinburgh, Dundee, Manchester, Newcastle) which can be difficult to visit. The apprenticeship schemes also offer interesting opportunities which are worth exploring.  Rather than home in or one or two exhibitors, we encourage all boys to talk to as many of the universities/apprenticeships as possible. It is useful to come armed with specific questions. This will enable boys to broaden their thinking before making an informed decision about their plans for next year.  We expect the evening to be busy, so if you live locally, you may wish to avoid the 5pm rush by arriving slightly later.

Looking for tips on how to revise? 

Take a look at the latest school blog.  Please follow this link.

Music Notices

Parents and supporters are warmly invited to have a look at the Summer Term Music Calendar.

Abingdon School Box Office

Come And Sing With Bob Chilcott - 10.30am, Saturday 27 April, 10.30am

All My Life's Buried Here: The Story Of George Butterworth - Sunday 28 April, 2.30pm

SUS - Second-hand Uniform Shop bargains

  • 5 white or blue shirts for £10
  • 2 blue and white striped shirts for £10
  • 3 grey trousers for £10

As well as all items of school uniform we also have a stock of:

  • Cricket shirts, trousers, body warmers and jumpers.
  • Cricket shoes, bats, pads, gloves and helmets.
  • Wet suits.
  • Tennis racquets and covers
  • Hockey sticks
  • Boots and trainers

All opening dates and times are on the website.

ASPA Quiz - Reminder

Tickets now on sale for the ASPA Quiz (whole school) to be held on Saturday 27 April – start time 7.15pm for quiz to start at 7.30pm. Three course ‘Chip Shop style’ meal and quiz for £23 per head. Teams of 8. For further details and ticket booking please see here.  Ticket sales will be closing on Monday 15 April.

Courses and Holiday Camps 2019 - 10% Early Bird Discounts Available

We would like to remind parents that our courses and holiday camps for 2019 are now available to browse and book. *Early bird discounts are available on a range of courses listed here, if booked before Tuesday 30 April 2019.  We also have Ultimate Activity Camp and Academies of Sport running exceptional courses and inspiring sport coaching camps throughout Easter and Summer, which are running at both Prep School and Senior School, as well as at Tilsley Park.  For the full range of Courses and Academies or to book, please visit the Abingdon School Enterprises website

News from the week:

This week's mailing is:

Notices:

For parents of current third and fourth year day boys - Boarding Taster Night

Have you thought about boarding? 

Our boarding houses are full to capacity (over 100 full boarders and 30 weekly boarders) and we want to make sure that our current pupils are first in line to take up boarding places should they want to. We are therefore offering third and fourth year day boys an opportunity to experience a ‘taster night’ towards the end of the summer term. We hope that this will appeal to those who are considering boarding in future years (from 2020 and beyond) and so they can apply in good time to avoid disappointment.  Places are limited depending on beds available, but if you are interested please complete this form or contact Lucy Hamerton by email lucy.hamerton@abingdon.org.uk.

The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award

The John Rayson Award is a memorial to the late John Rayson (1924-2012), an Old Abingdonian (1942) who gave a lifetime of service to Abingdon School.  The award will be given to a current pupil to help fund a personal project/experience that embodies the defining characteristics of John Rayson - adventure, courage and resilience coupled with service, loyalty and commitment.  The award carries a value of £250.  All current pupils of Abingdon School are eligible to apply.  Further information is available here

ASPA / OA Club Travel Awards

ASPA and the OA Club have joined forces to offer travel awards to upper and lower sixth pupils undertaking some form of travel and activity either during the summer or in their gap year.  The awards range from £50 to £500 depending on the activity and its benefits.  Further details, and the conditions attached to the awards, can be found on the School website.

ASPA Quiz

Tickets now on sale for the ASPA Quiz (whole school) to be held on Saturday 27 April – start time 7.15pm for quiz to start at 7.30pm. Three course ‘Chip Shop style’ meal and quiz for £23 per head. Teams of 8. For further details and ticket booking please see here.

Saturday Bus Service: Summer Term

Thank you to those parents who have used the Saturday Bus Service in the Michaelmas and Lent terms. We will continue to run the service next term on the following term time Saturdays: 4 May, 11 May, 18 May, 8 June, 22 June & 29 June. The pick up points and timings will remain the same as they have been throughout  this academic year. Any comments or queries in this regard can be forwarded to the Director of Sport and PE.

Sport priority on a Saturday 

In planning for this coming 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 Headmaster. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. 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.

Abingdon Box Office

ROH Live: La  Forza  Del  Destino - 6.15pm, Tuesday 2 April

AOS Presents: My Fair Lady - 7.30pm (2.30pm Sat Matinee) Tuesday 9 - Saturday 13 April

RSC Live: As You Like It - 7pm, Wednesday 17 April

Thought-provoking blogs from the Abingdon Community.

From the Headmaster’s “Confidence not Swagger” - in reply to The Times, to “Flinging wide the automatic gates - a time for partnerships?”, the School Blog takes a look at the latest views and opinions from the Abingdon community.  The wide-ranging contributions make for very interesting reading and are posted fortnightly during term time at abingdon.org.uk/school_blog.  Please do take a look.

News from the week:

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

ASiP Newsletter from Director of Partnerships

It is with great pleasure that I present inaugural Abingdon School in Partnership newsletter which gives parents a taste of the activities being undertaken by staff and students at Abingdon and across our partner schools and the town as a whole. As a community we fully embrace the idea that educational collaboration is mutually beneficial to all involved and as a result partnerships are a core element of our school development plan. If you would like to find out more about the Abingdon School partnership program please see our website https://www.abingdon.org.uk/partnerships and https://www.abingdon.org.uk/abingdon_science_partnership, follow us on twitter @ASPartnerships and instagram @aspartnerships. You can also contact me directly at robin.southwellsander@abingdon.org.uk.

Music 

  • School Choirs Evening Concert - Thursday 21 March, 6-7pm in the Chapel.  Our last musical event of the term - and a chance to hear the school's four weekly meeting choirs - involves Chapel Choir, Gospel Choir, Joint Chamber Choir and our close harmony ensemble, Abingdon Academicals, directed by Adam Treadaway. The concert is in the school's chapel - it will last about 50 minutes, admission is free and all are most welcome.
  • Music Technology Lessons at Abingdon School from the Summer Term. The Music Department is offering an exciting opportunity to a limited number of pupils to learn about its latest state-of-the-art music technology equipment. The lessons deal with how music/sound is composed, recorded and produced within the digital studio environment. This will involve the use of a variety of software packages and hardware equipment to unlock the vast potential of recording musical ideas and sound. Recent pupils have gone onto courses and careers in commercial music and sound recording and an understanding of the use of this essential technology will give future candidates an important edge. The lessons are offered on the same basis as individual music lessons, which currently cost £22.95 for a 30 minute weekly lesson. Places are limited so are offered on a first come, first served basis. If you are interested, please contact the Director of Music by email.

Wellbeing - Student Lecture given by Cam Adair

“Following a student lecture this week given by Cam Adair on: “How gaming and social media are designed to keep you hooked” he is offering a free webinar for parents on Tuesday 30 April from 7pm-8pm.  Here is the web address to register if you are interested.

ATOM Festival of Science and Technology - Friday 22 - Sunday 24 March

We are hosting lectures and events in the Amey Theatre and Yang Science Centre as part of the festival. 

Reminder - Reporting Feedback Form 

We are very keen to listen to parents' views on how we manage reporting at Abingdon. We would therefore appreciate your feedback on how and what we communicate, so that we can improve what we do. Please could you take a few minutes to give us your views. Most of the form just requires 'tick box' responses but there is a section at the end of each of the two sections for you to offer more expansive comments if you wish. Please could all replies be in by Monday 18 March.

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 1

This week's mailing is:

Letters: 

Notices:

2nd Year Parents' Evening Presentation

Mr Lomax's presentation from Monday's 2nd Year Parents' Evening is available in PDF format. 

For parents of fifth year pupils:  Work Experience Scheme - checklist of things to consider

March and April are critical months for the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme. If your son has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, time is running out, and he should make applications as soon as possible. There is a special 5th Year Work Experience Scheme page on Firefly with links to employers who offer work experience placements, and your son can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer formal work experience schemes but may be happy to host a placement if asked. If your son has made applications, but has not heard back yet, some polite but persistent ‘chasing’ may be needed. And, if your son has already received an offer of a placement, congratulations! If he has received more than one offer, he can undertake more than one or request to defer one perhaps to the October half-term next school year. Parents are strongly advised to download from this web page a checklist of things to consider when preparing for their son’s work experience placement; there is no need to register the placement with Abingdon School. If I can be of assistance, just let me know. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance (michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk, 01235 849129).

For 5th Year parents - Elevate Parents' Seminar on revision on Tuesday 19 March 7 - 8pm in the Amey Theatre

Following a seminar in the afternoon with all the 5th Years called 'Ace your exams'. Elevate are running a parents' seminar giving advice on how to support your sons with their revision.  Please fill in the form if you would like to attend. 

L6 parents evening, Tuesday 12 March, 5.30pm 

Just a reminder that the L6 Parents' Evening will take place on Tuesday 12 March at 5.30pm.  From 7-7.30pm in the Amey Theatre, Caroline Taylor, Director of Universities, will give a presentation to all boys and parents on the UK university application process.

Bedtimes…. (from Mark Hindley, Deputy Head Pastoral)

We have recently been asked by a number of parents about homewrok and sleep, and were a bit perturbed that a significant proportion of Third Year parents said that their sons were going to bed at 10.30pm or later most nights. For growing teenage boys, ensuring quality sleep is imperative, both for their academic progress and for their well being. We would advise the following bedtimes…

3rd Year - up to bed at 9.30ish, 15-20 minutes of reading (so no screens or TV!) and then lights out at 10pm.

4th Year - up to bed at 9.45ish, 15-20 minutes of reading (so no screens or TV!) and then lights out at 10.15pm.

5th Year - up to bed at 10ish, 15-20 minutes of reading (so no screens or TV!) and then lights out at 10.30pm.

Sixth Form - more flexible, but again aiming for a period before sleep without screens or TV and aiming to be going to sleep by 11pm.

These are the routines that we aim for in our boarding houses and that would be advised by most schools.  If your son is struggling to make these times due to pressure of work, then I would ask you to contact his tutor, and to encourage your son to chat to his tutor about managing his workload and commitments. As ever, please do feel free to discuss any concerns with his housemaster as well. If your son feels these timings are harsh or overly restrictive, do feel free to blame me - I am happy to discuss with him in person the rationale behind these routines.

Reporting Feedback Form

We are very keen to listen to parents' views on how we manage reporting at Abingdon. We would therefore appreciate your feedback on how and what we communicate, so that we can improve what we do. Please could you take a few minutes to give us your views. Most of the form just requires 'tick box' responses but there is a section at the end of each of the two sections for you to offer more expansive comments if you wish. 

Music 

There are several music events remaining this term. Please do consider attending - all are most welcome and admission is free.

  • Solo Concert Platform No 4 - Wednesday 13 March at 6pm, CMR. Come and hear about twenty of our solo instrumentalists in a wide range of repertoire.
  • Intermediate Solo Competition - Thursday 14 March at 6pm, CMR.  This term's solo competition is for solo instrumentalists between the levels of grade 6 and grade 8. Our visiting adjudicator is Thomas Neal, the new Director of Music at New College School, whose role at Portsmouth Grammar School was recently filled by Mr Cotton.
  • School Choirs Evening - Thursday 21 March at 6pm in the Chapel.  Here is a chance to hear all four of our senior choirs in action - Chapel Choir, Joint Chamber Choir, Gospel Choir and the Abingdon Academicals (close harmony ensemble).

Annual Boat Club dinner - Reminder

Last chance to book for the Annual Boat Club dinner - ticket sales close on Sunday 10 March.

Follow the Amey Theatre on Facebook and Twitter 

Follow the Amey Theatre on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest performances, concerts, Live Screenings and much more!  

  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/AmeyTheatre
  • Twitter: @AmeyTheatre

Ultimate Activity

We wanted to remind you that Ultimate Activity Camps have an Early Booking Offer which ends on Tuesday 12 March for Easter and Summer dates.  If you do not know which dates you need yet, you can book now and change dates for free up to 14 days before. Parents can book online (www.ultimateactivity.co.uk) or call their friendly team on 0330 111 7077 (local rate).

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

3rd Year Parents' Evening Presentations

Mr Lomax's and Mr Crisp's presentations from Thursday's 3rd Year Parents' Evening are available in PDF format. 

Safer Internet Centre - Momo Challenge

You might have overheard your son talking about or doing an online search this week for the “Momo challenge”. This is a character, shown with bulging eyes, supposedly appearing on WhatsApp setting children dangerous “challenges” such as harming themselves. However, charities say there have been no reports of anybody receiving messages or harming themselves as a result and are warning that media coverage has amplified a false scare story. The UK Safer Internet Centre reported that it was “fake news”. Nevertheless, the advice for parents at this time is rather than focusing on the specific momo meme, to use the opportunity to remind their children about internet safety, as well as having an open conversation about what children are accessing. I attach a helpful guide to the internet which you might find useful in your ongoing discussions with your sons.  That said if you have any concerns about self-harm at any stage please contact Mark Hindley the Designed Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Head Pastoral or Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing. 

Update on A level & GCSE results release

In a previous mailing it had been mentioned boys had to send a request to the Exams Officer if they would like their results emailed to them. The way results will be released has now changed all candidates will be able to access their results via 'My Abingdon' portal by 9am on results days. Boys will still be able to come into school to collect their results and any not collected will be posted to the home address that afternoon. We will no longer be sending individual emails. Also the venue for results day collection has changed from the CMR to the Sixth Form Centre in Beech Court. 

5th Year and Sixth Form Parents: Abingdon Careers Convention, Friday 15 March 2019, 7pm-9.30pm, Abingdon School

The annual Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention, jointly run by Abingdon School, Our Lady’s Abingdon and St Helen and St Katharine, will be on Friday 15 March 2019, 7pm - 9.30pm at Abingdon School. The event is compulsory for 5th Year students and optional for L6 and U6 students. Parents are welcome; no booking is necessary. This is an exceptional opportunity for students to gather information about careers of interest and educational routes into those careers. The format of the event is that of a careers fair, with students choosing joining small discussion groups led by career representatives. Concurrent with the career fair will be two panel presentations by experts, one called 'What employers seek: Preparing yourself for the future job market' (focusing on what employers look for when recruiting for entry level roles) and one called ‘Alternatives to university: taking the road less travelled’ (focusing on vocational and professional courses, apprenticeships, and school leaver programmes).  Please arrive and be seated in the Amey Theatre by 6.45pm for a prompt 7pm start; this will give you time to read the event programme and plan your evening. If you are driving to Abingdon School for this event, please be aware that there will be very limited parking on the School site and in the visitor car park on Park Road. You are therefore encouraged to park at St Helen and St Katharine School and to walk to Abingdon School. Allow yourself a comfortable 10 to 15 minutes to reach the Amey Theatre.

Third Year Parents Battlefields trip briefing reminder

This is a reminder that David McGill, will be giving a short talk in the CMR on Thursday 7 March, 7pm for parents and pupils about the History Department's Battlefields trip taking place in the Easter holidays (Monday 15 - Wednesday 17 April 2019). It is entirely voluntary and will just cover the sites being visited in a bit of detail. If you intend on coming please email David McGill. The talk should last about half an hour. 

Music Notices

  • Solo Singers Platform - Wednesday 6 March, 6pm, CMR.  Here is an opportunity to hear our marvellous singing teacher, Andrew Yeats working with his singers in a wide of repertoire from Bach to Cole Porter (Ol' Man River…)! We have two boys in 3rd and 4th Year who are about to take their ARSM singing diplomas and there should be something for everyone in this concert. Please do join us!
  • National Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition success.  Congratulations to the two 5th Year String Quartets and the Dvorak Piano Quartet musicians who have gained places in the regional semifinals of the National Pro Corda competition to be held in Salisbury Monday 4 March. We wish them the very best and keep our fingers crossed that we might have a finalist ensemble this year!

Football Club Dinner 2019  - Friday 22 March 2019 

Tickets are now on sale for the 4th Annual Football Club Awards Dinner will take place on Friday 22 March 2019. The evening will start at 7pm with a drinks reception followed by dinner, speeches and the presentation of awards. This year we hope to be joined by former Premiership Football referee and Football pundit Dermot Gallagher as our special guest for evening, and look forward to hearing of his stories in the professional game as well as celebrating the boys achievements on the evening. Tickets can be purchased through the school box office.

Courses and Academies 2019 

We would like to let parents know that our courses and holiday camps for 2019 are now available to browse and book. We have extended our programme this year, to include a more varied range of activities, providing an opportunity for students to develop new or existing skills, led by qualified, experienced and DBS-checked coaches and staff.  We also have Ultimate Activity Camp and Academies of Sport running exceptional courses and inspiring sport coaching camps throughout Easter and Summer, which are running at both Prep School and Senior School, as well as at Tilsley Park.  The full range of Courses and Academies can be found listed in this brochure. For more information or to book, please visit the Abingdon School Enterprises website

ASPA

Third Year Event - save the date.  Mexican theme night Saturday 18 May, 7.30pm in the Dining hall, tickets will go on sale very soon.  It's set to be a fun night.

Abingdon Box Office

Chairman's Charity Concert - 7.30pm, Saturday 2 March. The Abingdon-based Waterloo Band & Bugles of The Rifles will give a concert in aid of SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. Tickets are just £12 (£10).

Come and Sing with Bob Chilcott - 10.30am, Saturday 27 April

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

U6th Revision Leave: Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March

During their revision leave Upper Sixth formers are not expected in School unless they have an exam. Sixth form games options will run as normal but we appreciate some boys may not be in attendance. Team players are encouraged to get to practices when they can.  Boys are encouraged to keep exercising for their own wellbeing.

Haircuts and School Dress

Half term provides a good opportunity for boys to have a haircut.  From the dress code: Hair must be cut so that it does not lie on the collar nor is excessively close-shaven. Hair must look smart, and must not appear to be attention seeking. Bleaches or dyes that are in blatant contrast to a boy’s natural colour are not permitted.

Parents are asked to provide their growing sons with shirts sufficiently large for them to have their top buttons done up throughout the day.  Boys may wear jumpers under their jackets, but they need to be dark blue, V-necked and without a zip.  The exception, for the sixth form, is that their V-necked jumper may be monochrome and of sober colour. The full uniform list and dress code is on the website.

Lower School and APS Year 7&8 Digital technology awareness evening

Please see the attached handouts for parents who were unable to attend the Lower School and APS Year 7&8 Digital technology awareness evening.

To parents of Third Year boys

Preferences for fourth year subjects will be collected in the week after parents’ evening on Thursday 28 February. Further details will follow after half term. The parents’ evening will be a chance to discuss GCSE subjects with your son’s teachers.

Music Notices

Music events in the second half of term, free of charge and to which all are welcome:

  • Wednesday 27 February - Annual Chamber Music Concert - 6pm Amey Theatre
  • Wednesday 6 March - Solo Singers Platform - 6pm CMR
  • Wednesday 13 March - Solo Concert Platform - 6pm CMR
  • Thursday 14 March - Intermediate Solo Competition - 6pm CMR
  • Thursday 21 March - Choral Concert - 6pm Chapel (Chapel Choir, Joint Chamber Choir, Gospel Choir, Abingdon Academicals)

Hockey Club members

We would like to invite all hockey players and parents (from Third Year to Upper Sixth) to the annual Hockey Griffins Dinner & Awards on Saturday 23 March.  After playing our final ISHL 2019 matches against Bradfield College in the afternoon, the evening will start with a drinks reception in the Charles Maude Room at 7.30pm.  A three-course meal, speeches and end of season awards will follow from 8pm. There will be a cash bar and raffle on the night.

  • Dress code: black tie.
  • Tickets for the dinner are £40 per parent and £25 per player, and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

This event always sells out quickly, so we encourage you to apply early through the school box office.  Any profits made on the evening go towards the Griffins Hockey Club fund. This fund has most recently purchased masterclasses from international players, 30 x young ones sticks for all to use, team dugouts and scoreboards up at Tilsley Park. The Club is currently fundraising to contribute to the purchase of top class Goalkeeper coaching.  Proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Blue Skye Thinking.  We hope you can join us for a fitting celebration of the end of hockey season.

Abingdon School Box Office

ROH Live: Don  Quixote - 7.15pm, Tuesday 19 February

Post-Truth On Trial: Deborah Lipstadt vs. David Irving - 7pm, Tuesday 26 February

Chairman's Charity Concert - 7.30pm, Saturday 2 March

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Notices:

Oxbridge Information Evening (Friday 1st March, 5pm, at St Helen and St Katharine)

SHSK are running an Oxbridge information evening on Friday 1 March to which Fifth Year and Lower Sixth students are invited. There will be representatives from both universities giving advice and guidance on the different application and selection processes as well as a panel of current students answering any general questions that potential applicants may have. It is free to attend but places are limited and sign-up is on a first-come-first-served basis via the web link in the attached document.

Abingdon Careers Convention: Friday 15 March 2019, 7-9.30pm, Abingdon School

Save the Date: The annual Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention, jointly run by Abingdon School, Our Lady’s Abingdon and St Helen and St Katharine, will be on Friday 15 March 2019, 7-9.30pm at Abingdon School. 5th Year, L6 and U6 students will not want to miss this event! Already, more than 100 parents and alumni of the three schools (representing some 80 different careers – more than many commercial career fairs!) have volunteered to serve as ‘career representatives’. This is a rare opportunity for students to gather information about careers of interest and educational routes into those careers…from people who know. The format of the event is that of a careers fair, with students choosing and joining small discussion groups led by career representatives. Concurrent with the career fair will be two panel presentations and the opportunity to have a walk-in, one-to-one meeting with an independent careers adviser. The event is compulsory for 5th year students and optional for 6th form students. Parents are welcome; no booking is necessary. Look for an advisory in early March about limited event parking so you can plan accordingly.

Music

  • Wednesday 27 February at 6pm Annual Chamber Music Evening.  Here is advance notice of one of the best concerts of the year! We have some fabulous chamber music happening at the school at the moment. Parents are warmly encouraged to come and sample it - admission is free! There will be a fine variety of ensembles - woodwind, brass, strings and piano - and it will include music by Shostakovich, Haydn, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody for clarinets and Dvorak's sublime Piano Quartet with four of our very finest musicians.

Abingdon School Boat Club and the Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club (FASBC) 

We would like to invite all rowers and their parents to attend the 28th Annual Rowing Dinner on Saturday 16 March 2019.  Drinks Reception in the Charles Maude Room from 7pm followed by a three course dinner at 7.45pm.  There will be a cash bar and a raffle to name a boat. 

  • Dress: Black Tie or Regatta Dress. 
  • Our guest speaker this year is Jamie Copus, Jamie (OA 2011) won the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup with the 1st VIII in 2011, and went on to win a silver medal at the Junior World championships in the 8+ in the same year. While at university, he won the Temple Challenge Cup in 2014 with brother and ASBC senior coach Mr. Copus. He has represented Great Britain at every international level from the Coupe up to and including Senior Worlds, and currently rows in the flagship lightweight 2x boat.
  • Adults £40 Students £25

This is always a popular event so we encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment.  Closing date for ticket sales is Sunday 10 March 2019. Please book through the school box office.

February Sports Camps 

Hockey Camp - Girls and Boys: Aged 9-16 years, 9am – 3pm, Friday 22 February 2019

Key areas of the course:

  • 1 v 1 skill development, game play and movement, short corner skills, passing techniques, game play.
  • This is a high-quality coaching course led by professional players and current premier league and regional coaches.
  • Learn and develop core skills such as hitting and slapping, tackling, movement, short corner skills and overall game play. These will be covered in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. 

All abilities welcome (beginners to JAC/PC).  The cost of this course is £48.  To find out more information, please contact us:

Email: olly.deasy@abingdon.org.uk

Booking form: Hockey Camp

Website: https://www.abingdon.org.uk/sports_coaching_camps   

Rugby Skills Camp - Boys: Aged 8-16 years, 9am – 3pm, Thursday 21 - Friday 22 February 2019

This is a high-quality coaching course led by ex-professional players and current academy and county level coaches. Learn and develop core skills such as catch and pass, tackle, breakdown, support, back play and set piece play. These will be covered in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. This is aimed at participants who are currently playing or aspiring to play at first team level at their school and clubs.

Course content:

  • Skills workshops
  • Games for understanding
  • Injury prevention warm ups
  • Playing 7s
  • Positional skills
  • Daily post-training hydrotherapy

The cost of this course is £80.  To find out more information, please contact us:

Email: neil.hunter@abingdon.org.uk

Booking form: Rugby Skills Camp

Website: https://www.abingdon.org.uk/sports_coaching_camps 

Dinner with World Cup Winning Captain

As part of the fundraising efforts for this summer's senior rugby tour to South America we are holding a dinner at school on Friday 15 March 2019. Guest Speaker will be 2003 Rugby World Cup winning Martin Johnson. To purchase tickets please click this link.

Football Club Dinner 2019 - SAVE THE DATE - Friday 22 March 2019 

The 4th Annual Football Club Awards Dinner will take place on Friday 22 March 2019. The evening will start at 7pm with a drinks reception followed by dinner, speeches and the presentation of awards. This year we hope to be joined by former Premiership Football referee and Football pundit Dermot Gallagher as our special guest for the evening, and look forward to hearing of his stories in the professional game as well as celebrating the boys' achievements on the evening. Tickets will go on sale after half term. 

Abingdon Box Office

Roysse Society Talk: Coventry Blitz & Sinking the Tirpitz - Monday 11 February, 6.15pm, Amey Theatre.

Menine Brass Quartet Concert - Wednesday 13 February, 7pm, Amey Theatre.

Website feedback

Please could you spare less than 2 minutes of your time and complete this extremely short survey on the school website to help us make decisions on how to improve it?  Your help would be very much appreciated.  Please follow this link.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3.

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Notices:

Postponing of tonight's “Government Inspector” at SHSK

It is with regret that SHSK will have to cancel tonight’s performance of ‘Government Inspector’ due to the weather conditions. They are pleased to announce however that they are aiming to reschedule it for Monday 4 February at 7pm. Parents should email cbaldock@shsk.org.uk to enquire about the availability of any remaining tickets.

Six Nations Social - Saturday 2 February in Charles Maude Room

This has been cancelled.

Revision leave dates - Summer 2019

Fifth year: revision leave will now begin on Friday 3 May, 5.20pm.
Upper Sixth: revision leave begins Friday 17 May, 1pm.

Advance Notice for L6 Parents: Futures Fair at Abingdon

On 29 April (the first Monday of the Summer term) we will be holding our inaugural Futures Fair at Abingdon School. This event, for L6 boys and their parents, provides the opportunity to talk to student ambassadors and representatives from over 35 exhibitors, including 28 of the UK's top universities, as well as apprenticeship programmes. The Futures Fair is the perfect time for students to consider the broad range of UK degree courses and alternatives on offer before shortlisting places to visit or research further. We strongly recommend that all L6 boys attend this event, which takes place between 5pm and 7pm in the Sixth Form Centre, Beech Court. Parents are most welcome to join us.

The Futures Fair is part of a comprehensive calendar of school events which provides information about a wide range of post-school options, including overseas universities and gap years.

More information will be sent to parents towards the end of this term; should you have any questions in the meantime, please email Caroline Taylor, Assistant Upper Master, Universities 

Music

Japan/Hong Kong Tour Auction of Promises - two remaining lots available for bidding until Friday 15 February 2019. Our two fantastic holiday lots are still available until the start of half term for bidding to support our tour to Japan and Hong Kong.  All you need to do is contact Caren Hardiman with your lot preference(s) and maximum bid – it’s that easy!  Please follow this link for further information.  

  • One week in a beautiful 17th Century farmhouse in the Lot region of SW France (sleeps up to 12 plus exclusive swimming pool). Minimum next bid £500
  • A Theatre Weekend in Chelsea, including a two-night stay at an exclusive garden apartment (sleeps 4) and theatre vouchers to the value of £100 - and champagne! Minimum next bid £620

Some Forthcoming Music Events

  • Wednesday 13 February at 7pm Menine Brass Quartet Concert. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear one of the country's top young brass ensembles, who will be working with our brass pupils and ensembles in the afternoon. Do join us - tickets are available here.
  • Thursday 14 February at 5pm Gloucester Cathedral Evensong. I am sure that Chapel Choir parents have this already in their diaries, but all are most welcome to come along.
  • Wednesday 27 February at 6pm Annual Chamber Music Concert. An event not to be missed! We have some fantastic chamber music underway at Abingdon at the moment. Quartets, quintets, strings, brass and woodwind - Shostakovich, Dvorak - even Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody for clarinets! Admission is free - do join us!

Reminder for all parents about coats

Please ensure your son has a winter coat for trips and away sporting fixtures, particularly in these winter months. If travelling to a sports fixture in team kit, please ensure your son has a tracksuit too.

5th year mocks & parents' evening

The presentations Mr May, Mr Lomax and Mr Crisp gave during Monday evening's Parents' Evening (on mocks overview/ Easter revision and Sixth Form options) will be sent separately early next week.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

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JCQ and CIE Exam Notices

Please note all the JCQ notices and CIE notice for the External Exam Candidates are available to view on the school website.  These were sent to the boys on Wednesday 9 January.

Mock Exam Results

5th year mock exam results were posted to the parent portal today and an email regarding them was sent to all 5th year parents at the same time.  If you are having trouble accessing the portal please contact support@abingdon.org.uk.

Music Notices

  • New Year Japan Tour Benefit Concert.  Thank you to all those parents who supported our fund-raising efforts on Thursday evening. With the silent auction of promises, together with the revenue from ticket sales, we raised a total of £4,500, with the results of a couple of extended high value lots coming in at half term. 
  • Solo Concert Platform on Wednesday 30 January at 6pm.  Do come and join us to hear some of our solo musicians, including the last movement of Elgar's Cello Concerto with new music scholar Oliver Simpson. This is an event not to be missed and admission is free.
  • Menine Brass Quartet Concert on Wednesday 13 February at 7pm.  This event has been organised for all our brass players at Abingdon - and we hope you will support us by bringing your sons and friends and family to hear the concert.  The quartet consists of a group of gifted young brass players, newly graduated from Music College. Their leader, William Padfield, was a pupil of the Headmaster at Reading Blue Coat School and the quartet are at the top of their game as players and as an ensemble.  We are delighted they will be joining us for an afternoon workshop and masterclass with the boys and a concert in the evening to which parents, friends and family are very welcome. It should be a great evening, starting at 7pm and ending before 8.30pm. Please support us and order your tickets using this link.  
  • Gloucester Cathedral Evensong with Chapel Choir on Thursday 14 February, 5.30pm.  Chapel Choir parents will have noted, no doubt, the next Chapel Choir event. Do join us if you can at this inspiring place. Evensong starts at 5.30pm.

Michaelmas term's fourth year History and Politics Society magazine

Please click thisf link if you are interested in reading the articles for Michaelmas term's fourth year History and Politics Society magazine. 

Post-Truth on Trial: Deborah Lipstadt vs. David Irving 

Please click on the link below to book your free ticket to an exciting talk organised by the History Society on Tuesday 26 February from 7pm to 8.30pm in the Amey Theatre. Richard Rampton QC will be talking about his experience defending Deborah Lipstadt against Holocaust denier David Irving. The case was made famous by the recent film Denial. 

Parking and driving on roads close to School

Parents are asked to consider local residents when parking outside the homes of our neighbours, and when driving round the narrow roads close to School.  Please adhere to the speed limit of 20mph along Park Road and Park Crescent, which are private roads.

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For 5th Year parents - Elevate Education UK, Tuesday 19 March 2019, 7pm-8pm, Amey Theatre

Elevate is running a fifth year parents' seminar on Tuesday 19 March on revision techniques for GCSE.  Please make a note of the date. 

For Lower Sixth boys and their parents: UCAS

UCAS: An introduction to the UK university application process: Tuesday 12 March, 7pm, Amey Theatre. Part of the L6 parents' evening, this is an important opportunity for boys and their parents to learn about some of the key features of UK university applications, the admissions process and key dates.  Mrs Caroline Taylor, Assistant Upper Master, Universities, will give a presentation outlining the UCAS process and what is expected of the boys at each stage, as well as outlining key factors to consider when choosing degree courses, universities and writing the personal statement.

Following this presentation, at 7.45pm in Beech Court, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Gibbard from the UCAS office, as well as other members of the Sixth Form staff team, will be available to answer any questions. There will also be the opportunity to chat to current U6 boys who have recently applied to UK universities through UCAS. Refreshments will be available.

National Citizen Service 2019 Programme

A member of the Oxfordshire team of the National Citizen Service will coming into the 5th Year assembly on Thursday 24 January to inform our pupils about the NCS Summer 2019 Programme and let them know how they can sign up to this scheme.  All the information about his scheme is included in the attached letter.

National Wellbeing Survey

We have been invited, as a school, to join in with a national wellbeing survey, run by University College London and Manchester University, in conjunction with hundreds of schools across the country. As a school, we think this is an exciting opportunity to get involved in, not least as it intends to run for at least 3 years. We will be inviting our students from year 8 and above to take part in March 2019. The survey will take, on average, about 25 minutes for students to complete.

Please refer to the standard letters from the research team at University College London for further information. As these are generic letters which are sent to all schools we have a few adjustments that we would like to make you aware of when we do the Abingdon survey.

In terms of data transfer, Abingdon school will not be sharing any identifiable data with the researchers (eg name/surname) only unique anonymous identifier numbers which only the school has access to. The only other three bits of data we will be sending to the study are gender, year group, and school name. We will not be sharing data on any other characteristics, such as special education needs or emotional wellbeing for example.

The survey will be entirely voluntary but we would hope that to help with the study, the overwhelming majority of boys will want to take part. If however, you do not want your son to take part please discuss this with him and sign and return the form on the attached letter from Dr. Jessica Deighton and return to me. Also, on the day of the survey if your son decides that he does not want to take part he does not have to; the whole process is entirely voluntary.

If you have any questions about the project, in general, please contact Paul Gooding (Head of Wellbeing) and if you have any data protection questions please contact Amy Hadden (Compliance Officer) or Dr. Jessica Deighton (lead researcher at UCL) as shown on the attached information.

Auction of Promises - Thursday 24 January at 7pm, Amey Theatre

We are hosting a silent auction of promises (listed below) to support the First Orchestra and Big Band Tour of Japan. There are some truly incredible lots and all parents can make a bid.  Successful bids will be announced by the Headmaster at the Japan Benefit Concert this coming Thursday 24 January, but our two “Star” lots will be open to bids until the start of half term (6pm on Friday 15 February) – this will give you time to confer with family or friends, join forces perhaps and enter that winning bid!

There will be opportunities to bid on the night of the Benefit Concert, but if you can’t attend, all you need to do is contact Caren Hardiman with your lot preferences and maximum bid – it’s that easy! Please follow this link to more information on the lots.

  • One week in a beautiful 17th Century farmhouse in the Lot region of SW France (sleeps up to 12 plus exclusive swimming pool).
  • A Theatre Weekend in Chelsea/Kensington, including a two-night stay at an exclusive 2-bed apartment and theatre vouchers to the value of £100 - and champagne!
  • A Sunday lunch for 4 people at the Vineyard Spa Restaurant, Nr Newbury.
  • City Mazes Escape Room Experience for 6.
  • Loose Cannon Brewery Tasting and Tour for 4 People.
  • A Pair of Tickets to hear the world famous CBSO - and an orchestra conducting experience at Abingdon School.
  • A Meal for 2 with a Bottle of Wine at the esteemed Pierre Victoire restaurant in Jericho, Oxford.
  • A Deer-Stalking Experience in the Cotswolds for one person with a qualified and licensed countryman.
  • A two-day Cookery Course for up to three teenagers (or pre-university students) to learn to cook excellent recipes (3 lots for separate bidding).
  • A Seasonal Supper for 4 and a bottle of organic wine at a pop-up refectory in an ancient threshing barn at Sandy Lane Farm near Thame.

Music Notices

Japan Tour Benefit Concert - Thursday 24 January at 7pm, Amey Theatre.  Blow away the New Year Blues with our talented musicians - 2nd Year Choir, First, Second and Chamber Orchestras, Brass Band, Lower School Band, Big Band and Jazz Ensembles, We also have an exciting silent auction of promises (see above), with the Headmaster presiding. Please come early to bid and see details of the lots on offer. We'll have an extended interval to facilitate further bids. Boys will be expected to have supper at school from 6pm. Please bring your friends - proceeds go to the tour fund!

Christmas Concert DVDs. These are nearly ready for distribution and we hope to do so at Thursday's concert. The DVD looks great - many thanks to Keith Hoult and his brother at 3rd Strike Films for filming and editing. If anyone else would like a DVD priced at £10 each (in aid of the tour), these will also be available at the concert.

Ultimate Activity Camps

We are delighted to let you know that Ultimate Activity Camps are returning to run their fun and engaging holiday programmes at Abingdon School Sports Centre and now at the Prep School this Easter and Summer. They work with some of the best independent schools in the country and have a strong reputation for quality holiday programmes.

Established by a team with over 25 years’ experience of running high quality Ofsted-accredited holiday camps, children aged 4-14 years will have the chance to try over 40 exciting sports, games and creative activities each week. Their activities will be delivered by engaging and enthusiastic staff who will instruct and encourage children to try new activities and make new friends – and naturally have lots of fun!

See their information leaflet and website for full details of their activities and offers or call 0330 111 7077. 

ROH Live: The Queen of Spades - Tuesday 22 January 2019

Loserville - Wednesday 6, Thursday 7 & Friday 8 February 2019

Food menu for the coming week - Week 3

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Notices:

New Threat of Financial Scams Involving Email

Fee paying schools are increasingly the target of fraudsters and the level of sophistication of scammers continues to grow - a number of other schools have been attacked over the Christmas holidays.  Please be very cautious about emails (even if they do come from an Abingdon email) that ask you to change bank payment details or offer discounts in return for early payment (or payment by Bitcoin!).  Abingdon has no plans at all to change its bank account or its fee arrangements.  If you do want to query suspicious emails please do so by an alternative channel such as calling the Finance team as scams often hijack email accounts entirely.  

The Abingdonian

The 2019 edition of the Abingdonian magazine has been distributed 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.

All Parents: Career Reps Needed for Abingdon Careers Convention, Friday 15 March 2019, Abingdon School

I am still looking for parent volunteers in several key career areas for the upcoming Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention in March.  If you work in one of these career areas, and can volunteer as a career representative at the event (6pm-9:30pm), I would love to hear from you: Business (Operations); Charities and NGOs; Engineering (Aeronautical, Biomedical, Electrical, Nuclear); Environment, Conservation, Wildlife; Financial Services (Insurance, Investment/Fund Management); Fire and Emergency Services; Video Gaming; Government (Civil/Public Services); Journalism and News Media; Music; Product/Industrial Design. Please email michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk or register your interest online as soon as possible. Thank you!  Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Reminder - Parents of 6th Form Students: Gap Year Advice Evening, Thursday 17 January, 6.15-7.45pm, CMR, Abingdon School

Abingdon will host a Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form pupils and parents on Thursday 17 January 2018, 6.15-7.45pm in the CMR at Abingdon School. The event will feature a presentation about the reasons to take a Gap Year; the pros and cons of a Gap Year; setting goals and finding relevant experiences during a Gap Year; the likely costs of a Gap Year; and the transition following return from a Gap Year. In addition, there will be a panel of Old Abingdonians on hand to share their own Gap Year story and insights. No booking is necessary; just show up on the night. Pupils can also download (from the University Admissions page of Firefly) the Abingdon School Gap Year Guide, which is intended to help pupils think carefully through all the considerations involved in electing, planning, and managing a Gap Year.

Reminder - 5th Year Work Experience: A Request for Parents

If your 5th year son has already applied for, and even secured, a summer work experience placement, please praise him for his initiative! The ‘early bird catches the worm’ when it comes to work experience, especially at employers with popular work experience schemes. If your son has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, please encourage him to do so…and soon. There is a special 5th Year Work Experience Scheme page on Firefly (the pupil intranet) with a list of employers who offer placements and links to application information. Most summer work experience schemes have application deadlines in January or February, so time is of the essence. Of course, your son can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer a formal work experience scheme but may be happy to host a placement from time to time.  Parents are strongly advised to download from this web page a checklist of things to consider when preparing for their son’s work experience placement. Your support and encouragement is very much appreciated. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Parents' Prayer Meeting, Thursday 17 January, 8pm, 29 Park Road (The Chaplain's House)

Do join us to pray for the Prep and Senior Schools.

Music 

This term is a very busy one for our musicians. The Lent Term Music Calendar gives up to date information about our plans.

Here are the main events of the first half of term to which all are most welcome.

  • Wednesday 16 January at 6pm in the Amey Theatre - Music Society Piano Masterclass with Katya Lebedeva. This is an opportunity to see six of our senior pianists play to one of London's top piano teachers from the Royal College of Music and should be a must for all our piano pupils and their families. Please see the poster advertising this concert. Boys can sign up for an early supper and stay for the masterclass.
  • Friday 18 January - A whole First Year trip to hear the CBSO is a special educational concert enabling them to “Discover the Orchestra”. All First Year parents have been sent information and a Google consent form to complete.
  • Thursday 24 January at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - New Year Japan Tour Benefit Concert. The concert will feature our main ensembles, articulated in an extended interval, we hope, by an auction of promises in aid of our summer tour to Japan and Hong Kong. If you have something you can donate to support our tour we would be most grateful to hear from you and the promises will be advertised in next week's mailing, allowing pre-concert bids up until midnight on 23rd. So far the promises include a weekend in a London apartment and a week's use of a large farmhouse in SW France! Please follow this link to order tickets. 
  • Wednesday 30 January at 6pm in the CMR Solo Concert Platform No 3 - a performing opportunity for many of our talented soloists.
  • Wednesday 13 February at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - Menine Brass Quartet Concert. This is a must for all our brass players. This young professional quartet will be working with our brass players in an afternoon masterclass and will present an exciting and varied repertoire in the evening. Please do support us and follow this link to the website to order tickets.

Abingdon School Parents' Association (ASPA)

The last ASPA mailing was sent via the school this week. See details.   ASPA began to use Classlist in September last year and this is now the primary method for parents to contact each other. If you have not signed up to Classlist you will still receive (via Classlist) any announcements that ASPA send to all parents or to your year group. If you do want to join Classlist, so that you can also contact other parents yourself, and haven’t done so yet, please look out for the recent invitation which was sent from Classlist.  Any queries to aspa@abingdon.org.uk.

NOTE: Abingdon School do not use Classlist for any communication to you nor do they monitor Classlist. This is used by ASPA only for parent to parent contact.

Reminder - Public Examination Timetables 

Public examination timetables for Summer 2019 are now available on the School Website.  Boys' personal timetables will be issued after half-term.

Reminder - Sport priority on a Saturday 

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 Headmaster. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. 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.

Reminder - Saturday Bus Times

Timings of Saturday School buses are the same as last term.

Senior Rugby Tour Dinner - save the date!

Our current Lower 6th and 5th Year are going on tour to Chile and Argentina this summer.  We are holding a senior tour dinner on Friday 15 March. Martin Johnson '2003 Rugby World Cup winning Captain' will be our guest for the evening.  Please save the date and look out for opportunities to purchase tickets in the coming weeks.

Rugby Skills Camp 

Boys: Aged 8-16 years
9am – 3pm
Thursday 21- Friday 22 February 2019

This is a high-quality coaching course led by ex-professional players and current academy and county level coaches. Learn and develop core skills such as catch and pass, tackle, breakdown, support, back play and set piece play. These will be covered in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. This is aimed at participants who are currently playing or aspiring to play at first team level at their school and clubs.

Course content:

  • Skills workshops
  • Games for understanding
  • Injury prevention warm ups
  • Playing 7s
  • Positional skills
  • Daily post-training hydrotherapy
  • The cost of this course is £80.

To find out more information, please contact us:

Health Centre 

Please can parents ensure that the Health Centre is kept up to date with any changes to your son's health. This is especially important following a holiday period so that we can update our records accordingly.  Boys with medication: all boys who carry any form of medication on them e.g. inhalers for asthma, Epipens must ensure that it is clearly labelled with their name and is still in date.

NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second - 7pm, Tuesday 15 January, Amey Theatre

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

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Notices:

Term Dates 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.  It is available from the front page of the website under 'Information'. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page for 2019/20. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents.

End of Term Reports

These will be published to the parent portal over the weekend.  If you cannot see the report on the portal by Monday 17 December, please contact support@abingdon.org.uk which is also the contact if you do not currently have a log on to the portal but think that you should have one.

Residential Trips 2019

The trips list has now been updated to include trips planned for the Michaelmas Term 2019, too.

Christmas Concert DVD Film

Many parents who attended the Christmas Concerts last week were able to place an order for a professional DVD recording of the Thursday evening concert, in a programme that included several of our senior ensembles. The programme is available here.  If any other parent or guardian would like a copy, priced at £10, please click here to see the form and either send it to the Music Secretary by hand of boy, scan it and send to caren.hardiman@abingdon.org.uk or simply send her an email request. The cost will benefit the Japan Tour in 2019 and can be added to your school bill next term.

Holiday Reading

The English Department and the Library would like to encourage the boys to read for pleasure over the Christmas period. The following Christmas Cards suggest books the boys could try according to their age and interests:

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 12 January 2019.  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, hockey, football or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. 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 Headmaster. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture. The Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell 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 iSams, our internal database. 

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.

School Dress

Parents are asked to provide their growing sons with shirts sufficiently large for them to have their top buttons done up throughout the day.  Boys may wear jumpers under their jackets, but they need to be dark blue, V-necked and without a zip.  The exception, for the sixth form, is that their V-necked jumper may be monochrome and of sober colour. The full uniform list and dress code is on the website.

Middle School Scholars' Newsletter and Podcast

Please find attached the new Middle School Scholars' Newsletter, a termly, paperless newsletter, which showcases the best of independent thought and inquiry from some of our scholars.  This issue has been written by our fifth year academic scholars, so please do take a moment to read. Johan Nerlov and Will Taylor have also produced their own short podcast review of the term, including a discussion on the rapid progression of technology, for which I've also included a link, and hope you enjoy that too.

To all Hockey Parents and Hockey Players

Please save the date Saturday 23 March 2019 for the end of season hockey dinner. This is a black tie event and usually books out very quickly.  Tickets will be released in the new year.

New Year, New Courses 

Join us for our brand new Street Cardio and Ballet Fit courses taking place in the New Year, taught by ex-professional dancer and now Principal of the renowned Abingon based Marsh Tompsett School of Dance, Selina Marsh.  We are delighted to be able to offer you a buy one get one half price offer on these courses, so you can bring a friend or book onto the second course for half the price. Please click here to download the full details. 

Abingdon Box Office

André Rieu: 2019 New Year's Concert From Sydney - 7pm, Saturday 5 January

Ruby Wax - How To Be Human: The Manual - 7.30pm, Tuesday 8 January

NT Live: Antony & Cleopatra - 7pm, Thursday 10 January

Next Term

Term begins on Tuesday 8 January 2019 at 8.35am with tutor time, followed by lessons from 9am.  It will be a week B timetable.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Parents of 6th Form Students: Gap Year Advice Evening, Thursday 17 January, 6.15-7.45pm, CMR, Abingdon School

Abingdon will host a Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form pupils and parents on Thursday 17 January 2018, 6.15-7.45pm in the CMR at Abingdon School. The event will feature a presentation about the reasons to take a Gap Year; the pros and cons of a Gap Year; setting goals and finding relevant experiences during a Gap Year; the likely costs of a Gap Year; and the transition following return from a Gap Year. In addition, there will be a panel of Old Abingdonians on hand to share their own Gap Year story and insights. No booking is necessary; just show up on the night. Pupils can also download (from the University Admissions page of Firefly) the Abingdon School Gap Year Guide, which is intended to help pupils think carefully through all the considerations involved in electing, planning, and managing a Gap Year.

Summer 2019 GCSE and GCE Exam Timetables

Please be aware that these are correct timetables as is and any clashes shown are yet to be resolved. Also your son's personal timetable has now been released via parent portal: however, will be subject to change due to clashes (yet to be resolved) and access arrangements. All candidates will receive a personalised exam pack after the February half-term break. All candidates must be available on Wednesday 26 June as this is the JCQ Contingency day for GCSE and/or GCE examinations should sustained national or local disruption arise during the June 2019 examination series (GCSE, GCE, June 2019).

Music Notices

Key Musical dates for next term for your diaries:

  • Piano Masterclass with Yekaterina Lebedeva - Wednesday 16 January
  • New Year Japan Tour Benefit Concert - Thursday 24 January
  • Menine Brass Quartet - Workshop and Evening Concert - Wednesday 13 February
  • Gloucester Cathedral Evensong with Chapel Choir - Thursday 14 February
  • Annual Chamber Music Evening Wednesday 27 February
  • Singers' Platform - Wednesday 6 March
  • School Choirs Concert - Thursday 21 March

Tuesday 11 December - Christmas Jumper Day

Students and staff are invited to put on their festive knitwear for a good cause. A suggested £2 donation will be paid to the Magic Breakfast which delivers nutritional breakfasts to schools across England and Scotland and ensures that ‘No child is too hungry to learn’. Students are expected to be in normal school uniform with the addition of a jumper, it is not a full home-clothes day.

A prize will be awarded to the best jumper on the day!

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car: not on Faringdon Road

Please do not park on Faringdon Road close to the coachpark over the cycle lane, as this hampers cyclists and car drivers.  Also, the pavement is needed for pedestrians.  Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect boys from the Park Lodge 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 to 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.

Ultimate Activity Camps at Abingdon Prep and Sports Centre for ages 4-14 in Summer 2019 - From the Commercial Director, Kieran Henderson

We are delighted to let you know that we have chosen to partner with Ultimate Activity Camps to run their fun and engaging holiday programmes at Abingdon Prep and Abingdon School Sports Centre next Easter and Summer! They have already been successfully running their camps this year at Abingdon School Sports Centre and have a strong reputation for their quality holiday programmes.

Ultimate Activity Camps offer exciting holiday day camps with over 40 activities every week delivered by engaging and enthusiastic staff who will instruct and encourage children aged 4 to 14 years to try new activities and make new friends – and naturally have lots of fun!  They have a very special Christmas Offer starting on Tuesday 18 December (when bookings are live to book) until Friday 4 January  visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk for details or you can call their friendly team on 0330 111 7077 (local rate).

Abingdon Box Office

Everest Lab with Greg Foot - 7.30pm, Monday 10 December

Thames Vale Youth Orchestra Christmas Concert - 7.30pm, Wednesday 12 December

School Notices

We are pleased to be a Member School at School Notices, a digital noticeboard for independent school parents that raises funds for schools. Free to join and free to buy and sell goods, rent houses and find work for gap year students. Exciting offers given by advertisers and new notices posted daily from a wide range of independent school parents, whilst also benefiting some of our school causes through the sharing of advertising income. The School Notices website is accessible to all parents at www.schoolnotices.co.uk and please follow this link to register.  You can also browse their Winter magazine here: http://magazine.schoolnotices.co.uk/

Food menu for the coming week - Week 1

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