Weekly Mailing

The School uses electronic communication where possible.

If you would like to receive the electronic notification of updates to this page, please contact us at mailing@abingdon.org.uk.

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Reports: First cycle of the year

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

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: Work Experience Scheme – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please read about the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme here and how you can support your son as he seeks to secure a placement for summer 2018.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: COA Career Matching Preview Programme Interviews

If your son is participating in the COA Preview Career Matching Programme, he will have received earlier this week an email with the date, time, and location of his interview with an independent career adviser from COA. This interview will be either on Tuesday 31 October or Wednesday 1 November. Thank you for ensuring he has put this appointment in his planner/diary and that he sets aside some time in mid-November to go over his COA Preview report with you and to do some further career research in order to inform his tentative A-Level subject choices from a career planning perspective.

3rd Year Bring Your Own Device

We would like to remind Third Year parents and students that a laptop-style device will be required for use in and out of the classroom upon return from half term.  We expect that many boys will already have an appropriate device that they will be able to put on our school WiFi. We have prepared a Q&A document that we feel covers the majority of questions, and Mr Whitworth is happy to answer any further ones you may have via email: ben.whitworth@abingdon.org.uk.

Family Music Quiz Night with Quizmaster, the Headmaster, Friday 10 November, 7pm, CMR, Abingdon School

The whole family is invited to a fun and sociable Quiz Night and Greek inspired 3 course meal; a cash bar will be available.  It's a great opportunity for  parents and the boys to socialise whilst enjoying a relaxed evening to end a busy week.    The School Music Society is organising the evening, but don't worry you need not be a music scholar to join in!  Questions will be far ranging from the downright silly to the more erudite, and there may even be a few musical ones!  We have a star Quiz Master - Michael Windsor, so please put this date in your diary now.

  • Tickets are £15 for adults and £12 for children.
  • Reductions for families 
  • Booking  available through the School Box Office; the link is here

Need further information?  No problem, please e-mail Gillian Powter from ASMS

School Uniform

Half term is a good opportunity for parents and boys to check that School Uniform fits, and purchase any larger items if necessary, as well as getting ready for colder weather.  School Uniform, Sports Kit lists and the Dress Code for all years are on one website page: School Uniform.  Boys are expected to have their shirt top buttons done up.  Dates of opening of the Second Hand Uniform Shop are on their usual page, together with details of how to sell your second hand uniform.  Many thanks to all involved in SUS, as the boys benefit from money raised which is donated to the School.

Survey reminder

Parents should have received an email from the Headmaster on Wednesday 27 September requesting their participation in a confidential survey on fees.  A reminder of that email can be found here.  Please note the 4 digit code you need to access the survey is 9830 and the survey closes on Sunday 22 October.  Thank you in advance for your help in this important survey.

The Cunning Little Vixen - A Talk and Screening by Geoff Dunbar - Wednesday 1 November at 7pm

BAFTA award winning animator and director Geoff Dunbar presents a very special screening of The Cunning Little Vixen, a visually stunning feature length film based on the opera by Leoš Janáček. Geoff explores the complexities and delights of the world of animation, followed by a screening of the film in the Amey Theatre auditorium.

The Big Band Charity Concert - Friday 3 November at 7.30pm

Come and enjoy an array of jazz talent as well as contributing to the funds of The Abingdon Bridge - a charity supporting local young people as they manage their challenging lives.  The concert will start with the Abingdon School Big Band, under the direction of Simon Currie and featuring special guests, including Tom Richards (OA). Tom is the musical director and saxophonist for Jamie Cullum. Other arranger and saxophonist credits include Gary Barlow, Tim Minchin and Joe Stilgoe.  After the interval the concert will feature Joe Stilgoe, internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and song writer.  Whatever your taste in jazz music you will be enthralled by the line up for this charity concert.  Tickets are £10 with all proceeds going to support The Abingdon Bridge.

Food Menu for week beginning Monday 30 October - Week 1
 

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Abingdon Michaelmas Fair: Monday 9 & Tuesday 10 October and Abingdon Runaway Fair: Monday 16 October - Reminder

Parents should expect that traffic flow in Abingdon will be severely disrupted by the Abingdon Fairs. On Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 October vehicle entry to Park Road and Park Crescent will only be via the gate on Faringdon Road (along from the Coach Park). When leaving the park through the gate into Faringdon Road, please, when queuing, leave the gate clear for incoming traffic. Please see attached map.

Survey reminder

Parents should have received an email from the Headmaster on Wednesday 27 September requesting their participation in a confidential survey on fees.  A reminder of that email can be found here.  Please note the 4 digit code you need to access the survey is 9830 and the survey closes on Sunday 22 October.  Thank you in advance for your help in this important survey.

6th Form Careers Evening with the OA Club

The Old Abingdonian Club, Abingdon School’s alumni association, will host a 6th Form Careers Evening on Friday 17 November 2017, 6pm to 9.45pm, including a networking dinner in the Dining Hall. At this event, OAs at early or middle stages in their career will be at Abingdon to share with 6th Form pupils what they have learned since leaving Abingdon, including insights into their current job and choices they made during their career journey to date. The event helps to inform pupils of options to pursue after leaving Abingdon, as well as gives them insights that might influence longer-term career planning. Please encourage your L6 or U6 son to attend. He has recently received an email invitation with a request to RSVP and book career discussion sessions by Friday 3 November.

FASBC Quiz and Curry Night - Saturday 18 November, Abingdon School Dining Hall, 7pm

A fun evening to test your not-so-general knowledge and includes a delicious curry supper with drinks available to purchase. All age groups and guests are welcome. 

Signing in for SUS (Second Hand Uniform Shop)

Parents are reminded that they should, please, except on Saturdays, sign in at Park Lodge Reception to obtain their badge.

Andrew Jamison (poet and member of Abingdon's English department): book launch

Mr Jamison, a new member of the English department, has two book launches for his latest poetry collection happening in Oxfordshire over the next couple of months.  Students, parents and staff are invited: 

  • Tuesday 24 October 
  • Mostly Books, 36 Stert Street, Abingdon, OX14 3JP
  • Doors at 6.30pm for 7pm start
  • £4 ticket can be purchased in the shop at any time before the event, or on the night upon arrival 
  • Ticket price includes glass of wine/ soft drink, and £2 redeemable off the price of the book
  • The event will involve a reading, Q and A, and a book signing

 

  • Friday 17 November
  • Albion Beatnik Bookshop, 34 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AA
  • Doors at 7pm with 7.30pm start
  • £2 ticket price, and there is a cafe serving refreshments
  • This will be a joint launch, with poet and editor Ahren Warner, involving a reading from both poets and a book signing

Inter School Fixtures

A reminder when planning Saturdays in the second half of this term, and on into the new year....

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, as it hinders the progress the boys make. 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.

RSC Live: Coriolanus - Wednesday 11 October at 7pm

A full-throttle war play that revels in the sweat of the battlefield, Coriolanus transports us back to the emergence of the republic of Rome.  Caius Martius Coriolanus is a fearless soldier but a reluctant leader. His ambitious mother attempts to carve him a path to political power, but he struggles to change his nature and do what is required to achieve greatness. In this new city state struggling to find its feet, where the gap between rich and poor is widening every day, Coriolanus must decide who he really is and where his allegiances lie.  Rome Season Director, Angus Jackson, completes the Royal Shakespeare Company’s collection of Shakespeare’s Roman plays with a visceral production which sees Sope Dirisu (One Night in Miami, Donmar Warehouse, 2016) take on the title role.

Abingdon Sports & Leisure - Climbing and squash courses

Food Menu for the coming week: Week 3

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Abingdon School is a Nut Free School

We have several boys who have a serious nut allergy that can cause anaphylaxis.  Even small traces of nuts on the hand of someone else can be enough to cause a reaction.  For this reason we would like to remind everyone that nuts must not be brought into school.

Maths - Puzzle of the Fortnight

This week has seen the Maths Department launch its puzzle of the fortnight. There are puzzles available at two levels, one aimed at Senior boys and one which is accessible to Middle (and Lower) school pupils. Both puzzles are on display in the Maths department and are on the Maths Department Firefly pages. The deadline for submitting solutions is Friday 6 October - full instructions on the poster on Firefly. Good luck and we look forward to receiving your son's solutions.

Music

  • Wednesday 4 October at 5.45pm - Music Society AGM and Solo Platform No 1 - CMR.  Parents are warmly invited to the first solo platform of the academic year. We start with a brief AGM with news about the music department - our successes of last year and plans for the future. By 6pm the music is underway and we have about 15 of our talented young solo musicians for you to hear. Do join us!
  • Joint Choral Society - call for more Tenors and Basses. We still need some enthusiastic adult singers for our non-auditioned Choral Society rehearsals on Wednesdays, 7 to 8.30pm. Please get in touch with michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk if you would like to sing. We need you!

Information for Parents - 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.

Survey Reminder 

Parents should have received an email from the Headmaster on Wednesday 27 September requesting their participation in a confidential survey on fees.  A reminder of that email can be found here.  Please note the 4 digit code you need to access the survey is 9830 and the survey closes on Sunday 22 October.  Thank you in advance for your help in this important survey.

School Notices - A great new market place for parents

We are pleased to announce the enrolment of Abingdon School in a new digital noticeboard and market place for parents: School Notices.  This allows parents at Abingdon to communicate, advertise and trade between themselves and parents at other independent schools, whilst also benefiting some of our school causes through the sharing of advertising income. 

School Notices is free for all to browse and post notices whilst providing a place for local and parent owned businesses to advertise.  We are pleased to enrol in this new platform, joining many other independent schools who have also joined recently. As more and more schools enrol, it broadens the reach for those posting notices and the site has also become a good place to promote the many sales and charity events being run by parents.

The School Notices website is accessible to all parents at www.schoolnotices.co.uk and please follow this link to register. 

Health Centre

If your son is feeling unwell please do not send him into school. It is the school policy that pupils need to remain off school for 48 hours from the last incident of vomiting or diarrhoea. Please see the link which gives advice from the NHS.

An unforgettable evening with the international singer and raconteur, Jonathan Veira, Saturday 14 October 7.30pm, St Helen & St Katharine School 

Tickets £10 available from claire@medicassistinternational.org or Tel 07767 400419

Reminder - Annual Touchliner Rugby Dinner

To all parents, our annual Touchliners Rugby Dinner takes place on Saturday 4 November, 7pm til 11.30pm in the Dining Hall. Out guest speaker this year is Neil Back (England 2003 World Cup winner and British Lion). It promises to be a cracking night. Please email: touchliners@abingdon.org.uk.

Food Menu for the coming week: Week 2

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Open Day - Saturday 30 September

Open Day runs from 9.30 until 12.30. All boys, EXCEPT first years who are not involved in an activity such as an orchestra or band, are expected to attend and should arrive at School no later than 8.45 am to register before beginning their Open Day activities. Boys on school buses should go straight to registration when their bus arrives.  Request for absence on this day should, as usual, be made to the housemaster, as for a single weekday absence. For boys wishing to miss School sports fixtures, parents should write to the Headmaster, as usual, copying in the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell.  For boys who use the joint bus service, all the morning routes will be operating the weekday schedule running 30 minutes later than usual. For the return journey, the weekday 5.20pm service will depart on all usual routes from the coach park at 1pm.

Abingdon Prep School Open Day. Saturday 7 October 10am - 12pm All welcome

Abingdon Prep will be holding an open morning on Saturday 7 October from 10am-12pm. It will be a lovely opportunity to meet the new Headmaster, Craig Williams, and to see the fantastic new facilities that have been built over the summer.  For full details about the Open Morning please follow this link, and you are invited to pre-register for the event on our online form.

Pastoral Advice for Parents from the Deputy Head (Pastoral)

I am aware that we have a large number of new parents, and that the summer holiday might have meant that your son has not only grown out of all his uniform, but has also hit a new stage of adolescence. Equally, for some of our existing parents, your son might have hit a new age and stage of development. To that end, please find a link to the document "Pastoral Advice for Parents" covering a variety of pertinent issues from screen time to parties. As ever, please do feel free to contact Mr Hindley (Deputy Head Pastoral), or your son's housemaster, if there are aspects of this document that you would like to discuss.

For parents of 3rd, 4th and 5th Year Pupils: 'Language Skills in Careers' Symposium, Friday 6 October 2017, 6:00-7:30pm, Charles Maude Room, Abingdon School

To help 3rd, 4th, and 5th Year pupils (and their parents) gain an insight into the value of foreign language skills in careers, the Career Guidance and Modern Foreign Languages departments are co-hosting with the Old Abingdonian Club a symposium entitled 'Language Skills in Careers' on Friday evening, 6 October 2017, 6pm-7:30pm in the Charles Maude Room (CMR). The event features a panel presentation by Abingdon School alumni (OAs) from different career sectors, all of whom studied foreign languages at Abingdon and at university. They will tell you about how foreign language skills are used in their specific job and their wider career sector and also share their professional opinion on the value of foreign language skills when it comes to competing for jobs and for career progression. Parents are encouraged to attend.  Booking is not necessary, and last-minute attendance is fine, but completing this form will give us a better idea of numbers.

Jazz Charity Concert for TAB

Big Band to appear in Jazz Charity Concert for TAB, The Abingdon Bridge, supporting young people in challenging circumstances. 
The school's Big Band is taking centre stage alongside some famous professional Jazz musicians at a special charity concert on Friday 3 November, straight after half term.

I am writing to encourage you to book tickets as I believe they are already selling fast, particularly so in the stalls.
The charity TAB (The Abingdon Bridge) supports some of the poorest and disadvantaged young people in Abingdon. The director of the charity happens to be former parent Dick Richards, whose son, Tom OA, is now a highly regarded and successful saxophonist and Big Band leader. He is joined by fellow jazz musician, Joe Stilgoe, (son of Richard).
Tickets are selling fast - please book yours by following this link

Musical Youth Company of Oxford present Something Wonderful - Friday 6 October 2017, Amey Theatre

Don't miss the award-winning Musical Youth Company of Oxford as they bring 'Something Wonderful' to the Amey Theatre this autumn.  Featuring the best of stage and screen, this talented group of Oxfordshire teenagers (including boys from Abingdon School) will delight audiences with Songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as West End and Broadway shows such as West Side Story, Billy Elliot, Matilda and Hamilton.  Renowned for their highly acclaimed performances, MYCO's 'Something Wonderful' guarantees a night of pure musical entertainment.

Annual Touchliner Rugby Dinner

To all parents, our annual Touchliners Rugby Dinner takes place on Saturday 4 November, 7pm til 11.30pm in the Dining Hall. Out guest speaker this year is Neil Back (England 2003 World Cup winner and British Lion). It promises to be a cracking night. Please email: touchliners@abingdon.org.uk.

Ultimate Activity Camps and Academies of Sport at October Half Term

If you are planning your October Half Term arrangements for the children, Ultimate Activity Camps and Academies of Sport are back at Abingdon School’s Sport Centre and Tilsley Park for some Half Term inspiration and fun!

Ultimate Activity Camps

As well as their exciting range of over 40 activities available through the week, for October Half Term they will also sprinkle in some fun seasonal activities.

  • Monday 23 - Friday 27 October 2017
  • For children age 4-14 years
  • Early Booking Offer of £39 per day or £179 per week if booked by Tuesday 3 October
  • Book through www.ultimateactivity.co.uk or call 0330 111 7077.

Academies of Sport

After a popular summer academy when GB star Tom Carson coached at Tilsley Park, the ‘Hockey Academy with International Star’ returns for October half term (star name to be confirmed).

  • Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 October
  • For children age 7-16 years
  • £109 (10% off when booked before Tuesday 10 October)
  • Book at www.academiesofsport.co.uk or call 0330 111 9077

Driving along Park Road and Park Cresecent: 20mph

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

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 1 

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Trips information - Residential Trips 2017/18

For the benefit of new parents, and those here last year, a spreadsheet of trips details is on the website. 

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair: Monday 9 and 10 October and Abingdon Runaway Fair: Monday 16 October

Parents should expect that traffic flow in Abingdon will be severly disrupted by the Abingdon Fairs. On Monday 9  and Tuesday 10 October vehicle entry to Park Road and Park Crescent will only be via the gate on Faringdon Road (along from the Coach Park).

L6 Bring Your Own Device

Now that term has settled down for the Lower Sixth, we would like to remind students that a laptop-style device is now required for use in and out of the classroom.  We expect that many boys will already have an appropriate device that they will be able to put on our school WiFi. We have prepared a Q&A document that we feel covers the majority of questions, and Mr Whitworth is happy to answer any further ones you may have via email: ben.whitworth@abingdon.org.uk.

Harp Lessons starting at Abingdon School this term - New pupils invited 

I am delighted that, for the first time, we are offering harp tuition at Abingdon School. This has been made possible thanks to the generous benefaction of an OA, David Allen. It has enabled us to secure several lever harps that we can loan to pupils for no more than the hire charge for a trumpet or a trombone (£80 per term). The lessons are offered by an excellent local teacher, Jenny Hill, who gave a demonstration to the First Year pupils on Wednesday. We are looking for a maximum of three starters. If you think your son is interested, please contact the Director of Music at michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk.
 

Ocean Film Festival World Tour - Tuesday 19 September 2017, 7.30pm

Calling all ocean lovers! The annual Ocean Film Festival is sweeping towards Edinburgh with a brand new selection of the world’s most amazing ocean films, from both above and below the surface.  Brought to you by the team behind the Banff Film Festival UK Tour, this collection of short films celebrates divers, paddlers, surfers and oceanographers who live for the sea’s salt spray. Be wowed at the mind blowing marine life; exhilarated by the power of the waves, and inspired by the characters who dedicate their lives to answering the call of the ocean.

ROH Live: The Magic Flute - Wednesday 20 September 2017, 7.15pm

The first of the ROH 17/18 Live Season, Julia Jones conducts the Royal Opera's spellbinding production of Mozart's The Magic Flute with a wonderful cast including Roderick Williams as Papageno.  Mozart’s glorious opera The Magic Flute is brought enchantingly to life in David McVicar’s production with beautiful sets by John Macfarlane. Prince Tamino promises the Queen of the Night that he will rescue her daughter Pamina from the enchanter Sarastro. He begins his quest, accompanied by the bird-catcher Papageno – but all is not as it seems...

Sung in German with English surtitles.

Road Closure of Stert Street, Abingdon from Monday 18 to Friday 22 September 2017

Traffic in Abingdon will be affected by this road closure.  The road south out of Abingdon to Culham will, effectively, not be accessible to south bound traffic.  The diversion is to turn south from Ock Street along the road to Drayton, and then east through Sutton Courtenay.  Attached are maps supplied by Oxfordshire County Council. More will follow to parents by email from Tom Peeke of the joint bus service about the effects on School bus routes and timings.

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 3 

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Road Closure of Stert Street, Abingdon from Monday 18 to Friday 22 September 2017

Traffic in Abingdon will be affected by this road closure.  The road south out of Abingdon to Culham will, effectively, not be accessible to south bound traffic.  The diversion is to turn south from Ock Street along the road to Drayton, and then east through Sutton Courtenay.  Attached are maps supplied by Oxfordshire County Council. More will follow to parents by email from Tom Peeke of the joint bus service about the effects on School bus routes and timings.

Behaviour on the Buses

I am told that the Joint Bus Service is the biggest school bus service in the country, with over 1100 pupils from The Manor, SHSK and Abingdon using the bus service: Abingdon alone has over 650 boys using the Joint Bus Service. 

Most behave impeccably but there can be moments of poor behaviour, ranging from nagging irritations, such as the persistent leaving of litter on the floor and use of bad language, to the safety issue of boys not wearing seat belts. Inevitably the people who tend to bear the brunt of this bad behaviour are the drivers. The boys know our expectations of them, but please reiterate to your sons that they are representatives of Abingdon School and that they must behave accordingly. Equally it is a requirement, not an option, that they wear seat belts.

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

Exam Remarks

Parents are asked to remind their sons that the deadline for exam remarks is fast approaching. Requests should be made by 3pm on Tuesday 19 September, and any requests received after will not be processed.  Rebecca Cottam will be available in her office in Park Lodge for pupils to make application. To contact Rebecca Cottam please email or call 01235 849035.

Chaplaincy Welcome Event for Parents - Thursday 12 October 7.45-9.15pm, Sports Centre, Hospitality Suite - from the Chaplain

Come and learn about the work of the chaplaincy at Abingdon and about Christian activities in the life of the school.  Our guest speaker will be Hugh Bradby.  Hugh served as a Headteacher for 21 years, first at an international school in India and then in Hoylake.  He currently serves as General Secreatry of TISCA (The Independent Schools Christian Alliance).  Hugh is also a trustee of Interserve and of the Association of Christian Teachers.  He is married to Ruth and they have three grown up children.

There will also be a presentation by Anthony Bewes.  Director of Lymington Rushmore, an organisation that supports the work of chaplaincies in independent schools and runs outstanding holidays and revision camps.  This will be a joint event with parents from St Helen and St Katharine.  Refreshments will be provided.  I look forward to seeing you.

Music

  • Joint Choral Society for Parents  - first rehearsal Wednesday 13 September at 7- 8.30pm in the CMR (below the chapel).  Come and sing in the school's Joint Choral Society! We are singing Mozart and Rutter under the direction of Dr Jason Preece. We join with pupils from both schools for a concert on Sunday 19 November in the Amey Theatre. Parents, Staff and Friends of the school are all welcome (no audition necessary). Please see the rehearsal schedule here.
  • Music lessons and ensemble rehearsals start from next week!  The boys should now know their teacher and the date and time of their music lesson. For parents of pupils new to the school (as well as old hands, perhaps), please encourage your sons to tell you when their music lesson is. They should have made a note of this on their music lesson card, in their Prep Diaries - or perhaps on a mobile device. Boys have been tasked to check their music lesson times and will have been emailed by Mr Fletcher-Campbell with their times for the first two weeks of term. They also need to check their teachers' timetables which are posted on the boards.

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.communications@abingdon.org.uk

The new Foundation video and keeping in touch 

We thought you might like to see the new Abingdon Foundation video and we also wanted to let you know that if you would like to keep in touch with all that goes on at Abingdon you can follow the school on social media.
 
Instagram: @abingdon_school
Twitter: @abingdonschool
Facebook @abingdonschool
 
To view the new school video please follow this link.

Weekly Mailing

We aim to send an email each Friday at 4.00pm which provides a link to that day's Weekly Mailing. All editions of Weekly Mailing may be found on the website, under the Information tab. We would encourage those who missed the link to view last Friday's Weekly Mailing, which was the first mailing of the term.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: COA Preview Programme – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

You will have previously received an email about the Preview career guidance programme designed and delivered by an external company called Cambridge Occupational Analysts. Preview is operated by Abingdon at a cost to parents and on an opt-out basis. The cost for a 5th Year pupil to participate is £79 (including VAT), which will be charged via your next school bill.  To read more about Preview, go to: http://www.abingdon.org.uk/coa_preview_programme.
If you do not wish for your son to participate in Preview, you may opt-out. To opt-out, a parent or guardian must email Michael Triff at michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk no later than midnight on Friday 15 September; otherwise, your son will be enrolled automatically in the Preview programme and the £79 charge will be made. We regret that refunds will not be possible after this date.

Come and experience Abingdon Sports and Leisure 

Family and friends, welcome! Abingdon School Sports Centre will be holding an Experience Day on Sunday 17 September 2017 from 11am-4pm.  Everyone is welcome. All the facilities will be open to view with a range of taster sessions for our brand new exercise classes, squash and climbing, fun in the pool with inflatables plus our bouncy castle and Zorb football games will be available to try out. EVERYTHING IS FREE!

  • You can also join the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club - Memberships from £19.50 per month.
  • No joining fee and one month FREE if you sign up on the day*.
  • Membership includes: the completely refurbished Strength and Conditioning gym, exercise classes, squash, badminton, tennis and swimming. The weekly Tilsley Park Boot Camp is also free for members.

Click here to download the full Experience Day programme and for your chance to win a year's FREE membership to the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club! 

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

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.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2


 

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We look forward to welcoming new boys and those returning.  Extract from Key Dates:

  • Sunday 3 September - New boarders arrive
  • Monday 4 September - Other boarders return
  • Monday 4 September - First year induction
  • Monday 4 September - Headmaster's reception for 1st Year parents, Lacies Court Garden
  • Tuesday 5 September - Term begins (first day back for lower sixth)

After beginning with a tutor period, there will be Headmaster's and House Assemblies.  The service at St Helen's Church will be on Wednesday at 11.30am.

Website update 

During the summer holiday we have updated the school website to improve the navigation and reduce the number of clicks needed to get to information. The main changes that affect parents are:

  • The weekly mailing and parent log-in have moved to a new "Information" tab under the​ sub-heading For Parents. The parent log-in is also in the footer.
  • The school calendar, term and key dates have all moved to the new "Information" tab under the sub-heading Calendar. 
  • Fixtures, results and match arrangements have moved to "Other Half" under the sub-heading Sports.
  • ​Contact details are now under ​the "Information" tab​.

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 2017/18. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents.

For Parents of 3rd Year Pupils, from the Acting Middle Master

On the afternoon of Friday 8 September, 3rd year boys will be having a bbq (weather permitting) followed by some team building activities within their tutor groups. Please can your son bring in comfortable home clothes for this afternoon. The activities will end by 4.30pm so boys who travel home on the school bus will not be affected. Also, if you have not yet had a chance to RSVP to the 3rd year parents' social evening on the evening of Monday 18 September from 7.15pm please can you kindly fill in the details at this link. I wish your sons a very happy start to the 3rd year and I look forward to meeting you on Monday 18 September.

Open Day on Saturday 30 September for all pupils except first years who are not in activities

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

Music Notices

  • Joint Choral Society - All parents and friends are most welcome to join the Joint Choral Society this term. JCS will rehearse Mozart Coronation Mass and Rutter Gloria under the expert direction of Dr Jason Preece.  The concert will be on Sunday 19 November, at 7pm in the Amey Theatre, with an afternoon final rehearsal.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays, 7 - 8.30pm, in the Charles Maude Room, commencing Wednesday 13 September and continuing until the concert, with the exception of the two half-term weeks.  If there are any questions, please address them to cfc@abingdon.org.uk. There is no need to give advance notice of attendance - just come along and enjoy the singing!
  • Music lessons and music ensemble rehearsals - For the information of both parents and boys, music lessons and ensemble rehearsals for choirs and orchestras get underway from Monday 11 September. Music timetables will be posted on the Music School boards on or before Friday 8 September and Mr Fletcher-Campbell will email these timetables to musicians. Boys should continue to check their music timetables in the music school and note their rotating lesson times on the music panel on their school calendars.
  • Parents of New Boys requesting music lessons - Parents who have requested music lessons should ask their sons to check the New Boy Music Teacher Allocation register which is displayed in the Music School. This list confirms the name of their music teacher. Boys coming into the First Year can also check with their housemaster, Mr Jenkins. I am attaching the New Musicians' Notice which is published in the Music School and should be read by all our new musicians. Finally, we extend a warm welcome to Abingdon's music!

Music Calendars - Please do note the dates in our full programme of music events listed in the Michaelmas 2017 Music Calendar. Parents are warmly welcome to attend to all our concerts at school.

Medical matters

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

  • Asthma: All boys who require an inhaler for their asthma must carry it with them at all times whilst at school. It must be clearly labelled with their name. The Health Centre will hold a spare inhaler in case of an emergency.
  • Epipens: All boys who have an Epipen or other adrenaline-auto injector (AAI) must keep it with them at all times and it must be clearly labelled with their name and expiry date. The Health Centre will hold their spare named AAI in case it is required in an emergency.

Coach Park and Faringdon Road

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

Requests for absence

Extract from 2017/18 Parents' Handbook

Leave out of School

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

Sporting Fixtures

Boys are expected to be availale 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.org.uk.

Rugby: concussion

Concussion is something that we are all very sensitive about in order to ensure best practice. Please follow the link to RFU website so that you can familiarise yourself with the suggested protocol and perhaps take the online parent course in support of your son. We do need to highlight one very important point, especially for day boys.  In case of a head injury please ensure the following steps are undertaken:

If a boy sustains a head injury during a rugby match on a Saturday on either of our 3 sites - Cox's, Tilsley Park or Abingdon School we will have a doctor on the school site who can see them on the same day.  If a concussion has occurred the boy will be off games for 23 days. During this period they will have a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses at week 1 and 2. Please note, before being allowed to play again, they need to see a doctor to confirm them fit to play - this can either be your own GP or the Sports Doctor in school on a Saturday.

If they are playing away they should be seen by the medic covering the match; they may be advised to go to the Emergency department.  This information then needs to be shared with his rugby coach and Matt Gold (as Director of Rugby) and the Health Centre must also be copied in. The Health Centre can then get them reviewed with the nurses at week 1 and 2 and by a doctor at week 3. Again, the advice is clear that no boy can play competitively until a medical professional signs him as fit. Any queries to Matt Gold please.

Mouthguard Fittings

This is a reminder that the O-pro dentist fittings, are on Tuesday 5 September between 1.30 and 4pm and Thursday 7 September between 1pm and 3.30 in the Sports Centre changing rooms. Years 1, 2 & 4 will have their fittings during their sports lesson.  Years 3, 5, 6 & 7 should attend when available between 1.30 and 4pm.  If you have ordered a new mouthguard, please remind your son to attend.

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 9 September.  Please see the attached document which identifies the six different bus routes, including the individual stops and the designated times.  We are very keen for as many boys as possible to use this service. It has been set up to ease the burden on parents of getting their sons to School for the inter School fixtures. There is no charge for this service.

The buses are scheduled to arrive at School at 11.30am, allowing the boys time to have lunch in the Dining Hall, have a brief team meeting, and depart for their fixtures on time. Those boys who are involved in home fixtures will be catered for and supervised until the start of their matches. This service applies to all boys involved in sport on a Saturday afternoon, whether it be in cross country, badminton, rugby or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the 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. There are a number of primary contacts for whom we have not got email addresses attached, and these contacts will therefore not be receiving the email. Please do supply data to the School, so as to ease our paths of communication. 

It is vitally important that parents contact the appropriate member of staff in cases of illness on a Saturday morning so that replacements can be sought, and we do not end up in the embarrassing situation by being short of players to fulfil our fixtures. Sanctions will be applied to those boys who fail to comply with this request. Parents may also contact the Abingdon School Sports Centre Reception on 01235 849062 in case of any problems arising.

Off-Games Procedure

Boys who are unable to participate, because they are ‘off games’, must excuse themselves in advance. Boys must present an ‘off games’ note/letter from parents or the Health Centre to the member of staff i/c their activity, by lunchtime on the day of the activity. Alternatively, the pupil should report to the member of staff at the start of the activity to excuse themselves in person. Sending a message via other pupils is not acceptable. Team players, who are able to do so, should attend the training session in order to pick up coaching points and so that the coach has an opportunity to talk to the boys about likely availability for the next match.

If the pupil has a medical note or advice from a medical professional regarding the rehabilitation process, please send in a copy of this note so that the School can play an active role through use of the Fitness Suite or by maintaining fitness through participation in an alternative activity. If you have any queries in this regard please contact the Director of Sport & PE, Pete Bignell.

Tutor Groups

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

Bus Safety

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

Come and experience Abingdon Sports and Leisure 

Family and friends, welcome! Abingdon School Sports Centre will be holding an Experience Day on Sunday 17 September 2017 from 11am-4pm.  Everyone is welcome. All the facilities will be open to view with a range of taster sessions for our brand new exercise classes, squash and climbing, fun in the pool with inflatables plus our bouncy castle and Zorb football games will be available to try out. EVERYTHING IS FREE!

  • You can also join the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club - Memberships from £19.50 per month.
  • No joining fee and one month FREE if you sign up on the day*.
  • Membership includes: the completely refurbished Strength and Conditioning gym, exercise classes, squash, badminton, tennis and swimming. The weekly Tilsley Park Boot Camp is also free for members.

Click here to download the full Experience Day programme and for your chance to win a year's FREE membership to the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club! 

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Calendar

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 Michaelmas Term 2017 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 each half-term.

Website update over the summer

During the summer holiday we will be updating the school website to improve the navigation and reduce the number of clicks needed to get to information. The main changes that affect parents will be:

  • The weekly mailing and parent log-in will move to a new "Information" tab under the​ sub-heading Parent Information. The parent log-in will also be in the footer.
  • The school calendar, term and key dates will all move to the new  "Information" tab under the sub-heading Calendar. 
  • Fixtures, results and match arrangements will move to "Other Half" under the sub-heading Sports.
  • ​Contact details will be under ​the Information tab​

We will repeat this message again in the first weekly mailing of next term.

Summer Reading Challenges - for all parents

The Library and the English Department has compiled a new list of summer reading recommendations for boys at all levels of the school. Many boys will have had a chance to discuss summer reading in their English lessons but we feel it's useful for you to see the lists too. The list attached includes thought-provoking and enjoyable books that we believe the boys will enjoy. To motivate them, we also include a selection of challenges and a template to use to complete them. Ideas for books for future lists and any feedback is always most welcome: please contact: Joanna Bridgeworth or Emma Williamson.

We have also set a separate, more specific, challenge for boys going into the second year (a genre challenge) so there is a further list for them here.  Parents often ask us about the importance of reading and for advice on how to encourage their sons to read. To this end, we have produced some guidance which can be found here.

Music
Bagpipes and bassoons, harps and horns

We are delighted to announce that we have vacancies for young players in a number of instruments. We are keen to recruit in the areas above, particularly in bagpipes and harp - yes, we have an excellent harp teacher starting at Abingdon in September.
Young pianists are always at a slight advantage in starting these noble instruments, as the reading of music is going to be straightforward - but no-one should be deterred from starting them. We will be delighted to advise on instruments and, by way of incentive, we offer free hire of bassoons, horns and harps for the first year. Please contact the director of music to express interest, michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk.

Orchestra and Big Band Tour to Japan and Hong Kong

A reminder to parents, please, to state their initial interest to the Music Department's invitation to do so a short while ago. The current tally is just under 50, so we are already looking pretty quorate.

Tennis Coaching

Tennis coaching will take place on the school courts throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms at the following times. If your son would like to take lessons then he will need to sign up through the Other Half choices system in September with his tutor. An amount of £7.50 will be added to the school bill for every (paid) session they attend. The expectation is that every session is attended during the term. In extreme circumstances, contact Mr Ponniah to inform of any absences.

  • Mon 12.10 - 13.10 – Lower School, 2pm - 2:50 – 4th Year, 4 - 5pm – 3rd Year 
  • Tues 12.30 - 1.30 – 6th Form, 1.30 - 2.20 – 5th Year, 4 - 5pm – 4th Year 
  • Wed 2.45 – 4pm – All years (Tennis) - no cost
  • Thurs 12.15 - 1.15 – Lower School (Tennis) - no cost, 1.15 - 2pm – 5th Year – no cost, 3.50 - 5pm – 3rd Year 
  • Fri 1.20 - 2.15 – 4th Year, 4.05 - 5pm – All years (Tennis 1st VIII squad) - no cost (invitation only)
  • Sat 9 - 11am 
The Summer Term in pictures

If you have a few minutes to spare you may want to take a look at the summer term in pictures.

Second Hand Uniform Shop

Please view the Michaelmas Term Opening Times for the Second Hand Uniform Shop.

Next Weekly Mailing

The next Weekly Mailing will be on Friday 1 September.  We look forward to school beginning for all boys on Tuesday 5 September. Best wishes for the holiday.

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Trips 2017-18

Attached is the latest trips cost matrix.

Mouthguard Fittings 

Once again, we have organised for the Opro dentists to come in at the start of next term to do the mouthguard fittings. These will take place on Tuesday 5 September with a follow up session on Thursday 7 September. You should be receiving a letter during the holiday with full details of how to order a mouthguard for your son online. Payment will be organised through the school bill. Please ensure you reply to this in good time as late applications have created difficulties in the past. 

Music

Parents are warmly invited to read the current Music Calendar Michaelmas 2017.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2
 

This week's mailing:

Letters:

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Term Dates for 2018/19 & Key Dates 2017/18 

Term dates for 2018/19 key dates for 2017/18 have now been published. 

Music notices
Friday 30 June A Summer Evening of Light Music - 7pm, Amey Theatre

A final reminder about the final music event of the year next week.  We bring the boys back for one final performance of the school year, involving all the senior bands and orchestras. Please do join us for some toe-tapping melodies from theatre, film and from the dance floor!
For those parents of musicians, we are providing supper for all the boys (including 5ths and Upper Sixth). This will be charged to accounts (please contact the secretary if not required).  Dress will be white open-neck shirts, black/charcoal trousers and black shoes. The rehearsal schedule is as follows:

3.30pm    Abingdon Academicals
4.00pm    Second Orchestra
4.30pm    Symphonic Wind Band
5.00pm    First Orchestra
5.30pm    Big Band
5.50pm    Brass Band

Tickets are available online from the following link.

The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers: 28 June 2017 - Meal Planning

As this event begins promptly at 6:00pm, pupils staying on the school site after hours (i.e. not going home for an evening meal first) are advised either (1) to bring a packed meal with them to school that morning, something which they can safely store during the day or (2) to bring some pocket money and go into town from 5pm (after P8) to buy something to eat.  Please ensure plans are made for pupils to eat before the start of the event.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1

This week's mailing is:

Letters: 

  • To all parents of Lower Sixth boys studying Physics - Trip to Geneva

Notices:

Music Notices
  • Lower School Gala concert - Wednesday 21 June at 6pm.  Everyone is most welcome to come to our concert featuring the entire Lower School in a massed choir, singing the famous Beatles Songs, Hey Jude and Let it Be. There will be lots of solos and ensembles, too, enabling us to celebrate the exciting talent that we have in the lower part of the school.  A reminder to parents that the boys will be given only light refreshment before the concert and so will need feeding when they get home! We start at 6pm and should be finished by 7.30pm. Admission free.
  • A Summer Evening of Light Music - Friday 30 June at 7pm.  Come and hear our bands, orchestras and choirs one final time this year. The repertoire is distinctly light in nature, definitely more Second Programme than Third, with the emphasis on song, show and film arrangements, more that symphonies and concertos.  We hope to recognise our Leavers and celebrate the coming of summer.  Please apply for tickets in good time, following this link. ​
Henley Royal Regatta - Friday 30 June 2017

Parents are invited to join the OA Club for strawberries and Pimm's at the Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club tent in Henley Cricket Club car park during the afternoon tea break (usually between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm). No RSVP required.

NT Live: Salomé - Thursday 22 June at 7pm in the Amey Theatre

The story has been told before, but never like this. An occupied desert nation. A radical from the wilderness on hunger strike. A girl whose mysterious dance will change the course of the world. This charged retelling turns the infamous biblical tale on its head, placing the girl we call Salomé at the centre of a revolution.  Internationally acclaimed theatre director Yaël Farber (Les Blancs) draws on multiple accounts to create her urgent, hypnotic production which will be broadcast live from the stage of the National Theatre. 'Epic. A near-perfect production.' Guardian (on Les Blancs )
Please note this performance contains nudity.  Click here to book tickets.

Academies in Sport

Abingdon School Enterprises Ltd is working in partnership with Academies in Sport to promote their high quality sports programme at Tilsley Park. For more information please see attached flyer.

Abingdon Sports and Leisure are delighted to announce a brand new event: Swimming Masterclass with Olympic World Champion Kerri-anne Payne 

Join our Swimming Masterclass with Olympic World Champion, Kerri-anne Payne.  She is coming to Abingdon to share her expertise and passion for swimming.  There will be a special swimming masterclass for all ticket holders to take part in. Full details of the day can be found here.  Further information and booking details can be found on the website.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3
 


 

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Safeguarding alert

We received the following message yesterday (in italics below).  We would encourage you to discuss this with your sons, and ensure that they are taking all the appropriate precautions.  

A Larkmead student was inappropriately propositioned by a lone male, in a car on the Drayton Road, at 1.30 today. The car involved was a red BMW – the matter has been reported to the police, together with a good description of the driver and details of the car registration. The student was not harmed in any way nor were any verbal or physical threats made. There is no general cause for alarm, as full details have been shared with the police, but students should be mindful not to walk home alone.  

We would restate the precautions that we have issued a number of times recently:

  • Where possible travel to school in groups and stick to the busier roads, avoiding alleyways and under passes.
  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings and avoid the use of head phones as this can be a distraction.
  • Please report anything suspicious via 101 or 999 if in immediate danger, or inform the Safeguarding Officer in your school as soon as possible.

At Abingdon the Designated Safeguarding Lead is Mark Hindley, Deputy Head (Pastoral).

Let's talk about Food 

Following on from the recent parent survey,  one of the areas that had been highlighted as an area for review is food at the School.  In order to gather information about the likes and dislikes of the student body and also to help them to understand why a balanced and varied diet is necessary,  we are launching 'Let's talk about Food' next week.  Each lunchtime, different year groups will be encouraged to come into the dining room and to eat with teachers and catering staff.  This will all be done very informally.  At these times it will be possible for some pupils to discuss the menus and to offer feedback on the food served at Abingdon.  This is also the opportunity for them to make suggestions to the catering team of food items they would like to see on the menu in the future. Specific times will be allocated to talk to boarders.  Although this is not a compulsory lunchtime activity,  I would like as many boys as possible to take this opportunity to give their opinions and so I would be grateful if you would speak to your sons and encourage their participation.  Once we have gathered all of the thoughts and feedback we will then review this with a view to presenting new menus back to the boys next term. 

Data check form - Reminder

Data check forms were sent out to all year groups apart from the Upper Sixth.  Can we please remind all parents who have not yet returned their son's form to do as soon as possible.  If you need another copy of the form please contact common.room@abingdon.org.uk.

Bronze DofE

Current 3rd year boys going into the 4th year in September are invited to apply to complete the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh's Award. They need to complete this application form regardless of how they wish to do the expedition section.  Bronze DofE Walking application deadline is Wednesday 28 June 2017 to allow selection of boys before the end of term. Applications should be sent to Mr Dempsey via the MCR by this date.

Bronze DofE with Canoeing Expeditions - Bronze DofE Canoeing application deadline is Wednesday 28 June 2017 to allow selection of boys before the end of term. The Bronze award is open to all boys in the current 3rd year.  Applications should be sent to Mr Johnson via the MCR by this date with a supporting letter of experience.

Bronze DofE with Sailing Expeditions  - Bronze DofE Sailing application deadline is Wednesday 28 June 2017 to allow selection of boys before the end of term. The Bronze award is open to all boys in the current 3rd year.  Applications should be sent to Mr Simmons via the google form in the letter. Please see attached the DofE sailing flowchart.

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

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, and drop-offs cause congestion for our neighbours. We therefore ask that parents drop and collect boys in Park Crescent, operating a one-way system travelling clockwise past the private housing on the west of Albert Park, and ending up near the boarding houses. The Crescent ends at a cross roads, where halting is obligatory on these private roads.  You are advised not to leave a car unattended on Park Road or Park Crescent as there is the risk of a parking ticket and current fine of £100. Please respect the speed limit of 20mph.

Careers Event: The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers, Wednesday 28 June 2017, 6pm to 7.30pm, Abingdon School Greening Court

4th year, 5th year, L6, and U6 Pupils and Parents are invited to attend an event entitled ‘The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers’ on the evening of Wednesday, 28 June 2017 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm at Abingdon School (Geography Department, Greening Court).  Following a plenary session introducing the evening, Old Abingdonians and Parents working in Banking/Finance, Engineering, Government, Healthcare, Law, Marketing, and Scientific Research will meet with pupils in small groups to reveal some truths and bust some myths about what their careers are like. In these groups, we will distribute a new career guidance booklet by the same title, which lays bare the truths and myths about these careers as experienced by Old Abigndonians and Parents. No booking necessary. Questions? Email Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance at michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk.

Music Notices

Wednesday 14 June at 6pm, CMR - Junior Instrumental  Solo Competition - Parents are warmly invited to hear and see our young instrumentalists in a solo competition to win the prestigious Junior Soloist Cup. This is the second year of the competition and we have some fourteen young soloists performing a wide variety of solo instruments under the experienced eye and ear of Debbie Rose, Director of Music at Abingdon Prep School. We start at 6pm, admission is free and all are most welcome.

Checking your son's kit

As well as labelling all your son's kit with his name, parents are asked to check the names in the kit he brings back home.  Please ask your son to return the kit to Lost Property in Boarders' Hall.  If your son has ended up with Nick Bird's bag and running kit please return it to lost property.

British Lions breakfast

On Saturday 24 June the British & Irish Lions play their first test match against the mighty New Zealand All Blacks 08:35KO. You are invited to come and watch the big game here at Abingdon School in the Charles Maude Room.  Doors open from 07:45, entry is £5 per person with bacon rolls & hot drinks available upon arrival. All moneys raised go towards this summers senior rugby tour to Japan.  You are very welcome to bring along family and friends to the event for what promises to be an awesome match and superb atmosphere!  To confirm your attendance please click on this link and complete the Lions Breakfast booking form.

Abingdon Sports and Leisure Summer Newsletter is Available Online Now! 

We are delighted to share our Abingdon Sports and Leisure Summer Newsletter with you, which covers a wealth of news and exciting activities we've got planned over the coming months. From 'Film and Splash' sessions to our brand new Zorb Events, there's something for everyone. Click here to take a look at our Summer Newsletter online.  Hard copies are also available to pick up from the Sports Centre, Tilsley Park and the Amey Theatre.

Rowing Summer Camp 2017, 22-25 August 2017

During the summer holidays we run specialist coaching courses, which includes our Rowing Summer Camp. Boys moving up to the 3rd Year or joining Abingdon in September 2017 are invited to join us at the Boat Club. Learn to row, be part of a team, have fun and experience one of Abingdon’s most successful sports. Details can be found on this poster. Further information and booking details can be found on our website.

Abingdon School Instagram

In addition to following the School on Twitter and Facebook, we now have an Instagram account where we aim to post photos that capture the character of and activities at Abingdon. You can follow us on Instagram: @abingdon_school or follow this link and just a reminder of our Twitter and Facebook contacts:

NT Live: Peter Pan - Saturday 10 June at 2pm, Amey Theatre

'Spellbindingly imaginative. A dazzling production.' Radio Times. All children, except one, grow up. Captured live at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie's much-loved tale screens in cinemas this summer. When Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow, headstrong Wendy helps him to reattach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland, where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. A riot of magic, music and make-believe ensues. A delight for children and adults alike, Sally Cookson (NT Live: Jane Eyre) directs this wondrously inventive production, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic theatre.

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Parents of Lower Sixth boys: UCAS2 

A reminder that UCAS2 takes place on Thursday 29 June 2017 starting at 5.30pm. This is an occasion when boys and/or parents can meet with tutor, subject representatives and OAs to discuss university plans. Attendance is not compulsory: boys and parents are free to make use of this opportunity as they wish. Boys will receive further details about arrangements during the week beginning 5 June 2017.

Musical Events after half term

Parents are warmly invited to consider attending some of the music events that we are putting on in the second half of this term.

  • Wednesday 14 June at 6pm,  Charles Maude Room - Junior Instrumental Solo Competition. Parents are welcome to hear some of our younger players compete in solo performance. The stipulation for entry is that the boys should not yet have taken their grade 5, so this will be a good opportunity to see some of our fledgling musicians of the future. Our adjudicator will be Debbie Rose, Director of Music at Abingdon Prep School
  • Wednesday 21 June at 6pm, Amey Theatre -  Lower School Gala Concert. This concert involves all the boys in our Lower School, who will be performing in a massed choir. The evening will also involve several Lower School ensembles, Junior Strings, Lower School Band and others, together with some solo performances. There is free entry to this concert, which will end at about 7.15pm.
  • Friday 30 June at 7pm, Amey Theatre - A Summer Evening of Light Music. Our final fling of the year, this will feature all our leading ensembles - bands, orchestras and choirs - in an evening of toe-tapping light music (think ABBA, Burt Bacharach, Star Wars and much else). There is a small entry charge for this concert, so please order your tickets in advance. This link will take you to the relevant order page on the website.
Henley Royal Regatta - Friday 30 June 2017

Parents are invited to join the OA Club for strawberries and Pimm's at the Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club tent in Henley Cricket Club car park during the afternoon tea break (usually between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm). No RSVP required.

Coach Park in the morning

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

Rowing Summer Camp 2017, 22-25 August 2017

During the summer holidays we run specialist coaching courses, which includes our Rowing Summer Camp. Boys moving up to the 3rd Year or joining Abingdon in September 2017 are invited to join us at the Boat Club. Learn to row, be part of a team, have fun and experience one of Abingdon’s most successful sports. Details can be found on this poster. Further information and booking details can be found on our website.

NT Live: Peter Pan - Saturday 10 June at 2pm, Amey Theatre

'Spellbindingly imaginative. A dazzling production.' Radio Times. All children, except one, grow up. Captured live at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie's much-loved tale screens in cinemas this summer. When Peter Pan, leader of the Lost Boys, loses his shadow, headstrong Wendy helps him to reattach it. In return, she is invited to Neverland, where Tinker Bell the fairy, Tiger Lily and the vengeful Captain Hook await. A riot of magic, music and make-believe ensues. A delight for children and adults alike, Sally Cookson (NT Live: Jane Eyre) directs this wondrously inventive production, a co-production with Bristol Old Vic theatre.


 

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Data Check Forms

The annual data check forms will be sent out in the next few days. Please complete and return to the Common Room Secretaries by Wednesday 31 May.  If you have any queries regarding the form please email the Common Room Secretaries.

L6th study leave

L6th boys taking internal exams will be granted revision leave from the beginning of Monday 5 June to 3.40pm on Thursday 8 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 8 June.  Lessons will resume on Friday 9 June - Boys doing Government and Politics have two AS external exams in the same week - on Monday morning and Thursday afternoon.  For the latter, boys may also take the complete Thursday morning off to prepare for the afternoon exam as additional revision leave.  If they were due to take an internal exam on Monday morning or on Thursday morning/afternoon they will either have had it arranged for another time across these four days or they will be allocated a catch up slot after Thursday.

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 forthcoming parents' evening after half term, on Thursday 8 June. Overall, these results are well in line with previous years.   However, there are clear indications that some boys need to see these results as a wake up call and reconsider their approach to their studies. The next formal set of exams for this year group is the GCSE mock exams in January 2018. It may seem like some time away, but in fact the distance is a matter of only 20 or so teaching weeks. As the pace towards GCSE hots up, boys should be expecting to spend more of their own time, in holidays and at weekends, consolidating and revising material.

As is always the case, some parents will be receiving letters from the Deputy Head (Academic) expressing a particular concern and offering further academic support for some boys who did not perform as well as we might have hoped. We will also be placing some boys into supervised study during lunchtimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Michaelmas 2017 and Lent 2018 to encourage them into the best working practices.  Parents are reminded that Abingdon's bar for entry to the Sixth Form has been 3As and 4Bs for some years.  Given this year group will be the first to experience number grades in some of their subjects (Maths, Art, Drama, Greek, Latin, Music, RS) the bar will be set for equivalencies.  This means 3 As/7s and 4Bs/6s will be expected. Results in these exams give a reasonable projection as to how safely an individual might feel he is going to pass the bar but there is often a lot more context to be placed around a result, such as other exam papers and practical elements. It is the case year on year that the majority of boys make significant improvements on their showing in these exams by the time they get to GCSE - not unconnected with the fact that they finally see the link between hard work and success!

5th year and 4th year boys: Nicaragua training weekend - Save the date & next meeting

The weekend of 27 – 29 October will be our training weekend. Much care has been taken that the weekend does not collide with any sports fixtures or trips. This is the last weekend of half term, so please take into account when you book holidays that attendance at the training weekend is compulsory. The group will meet on Monday 18 September in B5 at 4pm to plan their itinerary which is usually one of the most exciting parts of the preparation phrase. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Alexandra Widdern.

Careers Event: The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers Wednesday 28 June 2017

Abingdon School will soon publish a new career resource called The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers. On the evening of Wednesday 28 June 2017 from 6pm to 7.30pm at Abingdon School (Geography Department, Greening Court), pupils and parents (4th year, 5th year, L6, and U6) are invited to attend an event by the same title at which we will reveal some truths and bust some myths about careers in Banking/Finance, Engineering, Government, Healthcare, Law, Marketing, and Scientific Research. Please save the date. No booking is necessary.

Michaelmas Term 2017 start

These arrangements can all be viewed on the website:

  • Sunday 3 September - New boarders arrive
  • Monday 4 September - First year induction
  • Monday 4 September - Boarders return
  • Tuesday 5 September - Term begins 
Junior Orchestral Course

We are delighted to announce that we will be running a Junior Orchestral Course from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July 2017 at Abingdon School. Available for both girls and boys aged 9-15 years, this course is designed to give your child the chance to demonstrate their musical ability, potential and, most importantly, to give them the chance to enjoy making music in the company of other talented musicians of their own age. The perfect holiday course to keep budding musicians entertained during the summer. 

Teachers/Musicians running the course: 

  • Michael Stinton (Conductor, Course Director, Woodwind)
  • Valerie Findlay (Lower Strings)
  • Christopher Fletcher-Campbell (Percussion and Brass)
  • Mariette Richter (Upper Strings)

Please take a look at the electronic leaflet. Further information and booking details can be found on our Website. We look forward to welcoming your child onto the course. 

Box Office

RSC Live: Antony and Cleopatra - Wednesday 24 May 2017 at 7pm - Iqbal Khan directs Shakespeare's tragedy of love and duty, picking up the story where Julius Caesar ends.  Following Caesar's assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Torn between love and duty, Antony's military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads the lovers to their tragic end.

NT Live: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Encore Screening)- 25 May 2017 at 7pm - Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black), Joshua McGuire (The Hour) and David Haig (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Witness for the Prosecution) star in Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly funny situation comedy, broadcast live from The Old Vic theatre in London. David Leveaux’s new production marks the 50th anniversary of the play that made a young Tom Stoppard’s name overnight.  Against the backdrop of Hamlet, two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, take centre stage.  As the young double act stumble their way in and out of the action of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly out of their depth as their version of the story unfolds.
 

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2 

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Third Year PSHCE lessons

Wednesday 24 May sees the annual Sex and Relationship 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 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 new version builds on the detailed research and consultation of the original to help young people to gain a deeper understanding of the grooming process and potential risks. In addition, the boys will attend workshops on STIs and contraception and men's health issues from registered healthcare practitioners. If you have any questions about the morning, please email Ben Phillips, Head of Personal Development Education at ben.phillips@abingdon.org.uk

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.

6th Form Revision Leave

The Upper Sixth go on revision leave on Thursday 18 May.  There is no revision leave for L6th formers, who will be sitting internal exams after half term and, in few cases previously advertised, a small number of actual AS units. Study Leave arrangements for U6th boys before Half Term and for L6th boys taking AS units (at any time) are as follows:

Boys with a public examination in an afternoon may take the whole morning of that day as revision leave. They do not have to come into school until the time of their exam but if they choose to be on school premises during morning lesson times they should be in the Westridge Room/Library or, if a boarder, in their House.  Boys with a public examination in the morning of a particular day are expected to attend all of the previous day’s lessons & Other Half activities (i.e. no additional revision leave is granted for morning exams).

It is always our advice that boys should think very carefully about taking additional revision leave outside of the designated periods – you may be missing important revision in the lessons you do not attend. 

Good manners should always prompt you to let the teacher(s) whose lesson(s) you are missing know of your planned absence. Any boy who wishes to withdraw from a unit he no longer wants to sit should let Rebecca Cottam, the Exams Officer, know immediately. Simply not turning up causes unnecessary alarm and ties up staff time trying to track you down.

Music Notices
  • Wednesday 17 May - Junior Soloists Concert, 6pm - CMR - Next week's concert gives an opportunity to our younger boys to show their mettle as soloists. We have some stunning musicians among our younger years, 1 to 4 - in fact, some already have their diplomas! Come and be inspired and hear the Abingdon musicians of the future! Admission is free.

  • Chapel Choir Visit - Cancelled  - Chapel Choir visit to sing at Bristol Cathedral originally scheduled for next Thursday 18 May has been cancelled.

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.

Box Office Events

NT Live: Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf - Thursday 18 May 2017, 7pm, Amey Theatre

Book Collection

As previously advertised, the final deadline for 5th and U6th book returns will be Saturday 1 July.  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.

Food menu for the coming week - Week 1

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Message from the Headmaster:

Many thanks to the parents and friends of the School who came along to Dorchester Abbey last Saturday to support as I abseiled down the tower. You can see a video of this event on the school website by clicking this link, which effectively records the look of terror on my face as I started the descent. I am very grateful too to all the parents who have made donations to support the Sue Ryder home in Nettlebed and Dorchester Abbey; your generosity is much appreciated. 

5th year GCSE revision leave

Revision leave began at 5.20pm on Thursday 4 May.  As promised, the programme for supervised study and subject clinics has been published to the boys and parents can find a pdf static copy of it as it was on Thursday 4 May here.  Inevitably the programme will change a little and the boys have been given a link to the 'live' GoogleDocs version of the programme so they can check the most up to date information. 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.

Abingdon's Got Talent - 5.30pm, Wednesday 10 May 2017

Abingdon's Got Talent returns featuring a whole host of talented hopefuls from Abingdon School and St Helen's. With everything from an attempt at breaking the Ferrero Rocher consumption world record to a heartwarming rendition of Take That's Shine, it promises to be an entertaining night for all. Please note this performance is for Abingdon School boys, St Helen's girls and staff only. For tickets, please click here.

NT Live: Obsession - 7.00pm, Thursday 11 May 2017

Jude Law (The Young Pope, Closer, The Talented Mr Ripley) stars in the stage production of Obsession, broadcast live from the Barbican Theatre in London. Ivo van Hove (NT Live: A View from the Bridge, Hedda Gabler) directs this new stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film. 
Gino is a drifter, down-at- heel and magnetically handsome. At a road side restaurant he encounters husband and wife, Giuseppe and Giovanna. Irresistibly attracted to each other, Gino and Giovanna begin a fiery affair and plot to murder her husband. But, in this chilling tale of passion and destruction, the crime only serves to tear them apart. For tickets, please click here.

Music

A reminder that our Big Band plays at the Abingdon Jazz Festival next week on Friday 12 May, 6pm to 8pm at The Long Gallery, Abbey Buildings. The Long Gallery is one of the few remaining medieval buildings of Abingdon's Benedictine Abbey. This should be a great occasion and we would love to see as many parents there as possible. Please look at these links to the poster and the programme for the Abingdon Jazz Festival.

The performance will be just two hours, and will involve all the boys in the Big Band and some who are not - parents are kindly requested to complete and submit the consent form sent to them separately two days ago. For your convenience here is the link.

REMINDER - Japan Tour Dinner - Manu Tuilagi guest speaker!

Saturday 20 May is our Senior Rugby Japan Tour black tie dinner. All parents and friends of the school are invited to attend. Please use the link to book your place as places are limited. We are very excited to have British Lion and England player Manu Tuilagi speaking and Jonty Hearnden (Cash in the attic, Antiques Roadshow) to compere the night as well as some high quality auction prizes.

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 3

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

  • AS & A level - Thursday 17 August, results can be collected from the CMR from 8.30am to 11am, any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.
  • IGCSE & GCSE - Thursday 24 August, results can be collected from the CMR from 8.30am to 11am, any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.

Some boys may not be able to make it in to school to collect results due to living abroad or being on holiday at the time, therefore they can arrange for them to be emailed directly. Please ask your son to send an email to exams@abingdon.org.uk, stating their name, candidate number and the email address(s), they would like the results sent to. Post results services for A level candidates opens on Thursday 17 August from 10am to 12 noon that day and Friday 18 August, Monday 21, Tuesday 22, and Wednesday 23 August from 9am to 12 noon. This service is for priority remarks, and priority photocopy of scripts. If you are a leaver and require this service you 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 Wednesday 20 September 2017. 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.

Parents of U6 boys: University offers

U6 boys who have yet to reply to university offers made before 31 March 2017 (and whose postal address is in the EU) are being reminded that the deadline for reply to UCAS is Thursday 4 May at the latest. If a reply is not made by that date, all offers are deemed by UCAS to have been declined.

5th year revision clinics and additional revision leave

Revision leave for the 5th Year officially begins at 5.20pm on Thursday 4 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. There are a couple of instances of public exams falling before the beginning of revision leave - French in the afternoon of Tuesday 2 May and German in the morning of Thursday 4 May .  Our revision leave policy on this is that boys may take the morning off as revision leave for an afternoon exam but no additional revision leave is granted for a morning exam.  Boys taking French on Tuesday 2 May are thus not expected to be in school on that day until the time of their exam.  Boys doing French who wish to come into school for the morning (e.g. because they use the school bus service) should report to supervised study in G102 (or G104 if G102 is full). There is no additional revision leave granted for boys taking German in the morning of Thursday 4 May. All boys are expected to fulfil their Other Half commitments until official revision leave begins at 5.20pm on Thursday 4 May.

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. (Please refer to my earlier mailing dated Friday 10 Marh 2017 with Pastoral Advice to Parents for articles and further research on this.) 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!

Monday 15 May, 7.30-8.45pm, Amey Theatre: Pastoral Evening for 3rd & 4th year parents: "Navigating the teenage years."

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: the media, 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 son 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 organised 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 have not yet had the chance to do so. We would love to see you there if you are free to join in the shared conversation. Please book a space using this link.

ASE Courses and Academies  - booklet is now available

Abingdon Sports and Leisure Courses and Academies booklet covering all courses and qualifications from April-August 2017 is now available. The courses provide an opportunity for participants to develop new or existing skills in an environment designed and equipped to an exceptionally high standard. Available for both adults and juniors, the courses are run by qualified, experienced and DBS-checked coaches and staff. From gymnastics and music workshops, to climbing and Wattbike performance training, there is something to suit everyone. Take a look at the electronic booklet online. Further information, course dates and online booking can be found on the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Website

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.

Music

Big Band plays at the Abingdon Jazz Festival - Friday 12 May, 6pm to 8pm at The Long Gallery, Abbey Buildings. We are delighted to have been invited to perform in this year's Abingdon Jazz Festival. The Big Band and other smaller Jazz groups will perform two 45 minute sets in one of the few remaining medieval buildings of Abingdon's Benedictine Abbey. This should be a great occasion - please reserve the date in your diaries.

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 sons' 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 1 July).  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.

Sport priority on a Saturday - reminder

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.

Japan Tour Dinner - Manu Tuilagi guest speaker!

Saturday 20 May is our Senior Rugby Japan Tour black tie dinner. All parents and friends of the school are invited to attend. Please use the link to book your place as places are limited. We are very excited to have British Lion and England player Manu Tuilagi speaking and Jonty Hearnden (Cash in the attic, Antiques Roadshow) to compere the night as well as some high quality auction prizes.

Driving along Park Road and Park Crescent: 20mph

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

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 2

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End of Term Reports

These will be  posted to the parent portal by the end of the weekend at the latest.  

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 wihch is kept regularly up to date.  Any amendments to Summer Term 2017 events made after today will be indicated clearly.  Parents may wish to consult the online calendar and ther 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 Monday 24 April.  Term begins for all Tuesday 25 April, with registration and tutor time at 8.35am, and the normal Tuesday 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 28 April 2017.

Music
  • Early next term - Spring Concert on Friday 28 April at 7pm - I would like to let parents know that our music gets underway very early on the first Friday of next term with our Spring Concert. This features all our senior bands and orchestras, including of Grieg's piano concerto, performed by Alexander Reynolds in the Upper Sixth. Please do join us for that concert.
  • Music Technology Lessons at Abingdon School from April 2017 - Mr Alex Hehir, our Music Technology teacher has said that there are some gaps in his timetable for some new pupils to take up lessons in Music Technology using the department's latest state-of-the-art 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 £18.75 for a 30 minute weekly lesson. Places are limited so are offered on a first come, first served basis. For more information, please contact the music department at michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk

High Performance Rugby Camp for boys aged 11-16 years, 17 – 21 July 2017, 9.00 am – 3.00pm

This is a high-quality, four-day coaching course led by ex-professional coaches and current academy and county level coaches. Learn and develop existing and new skills, whilst experiencing the day to day life of a professional. Core skills, such as catch and pass, tackle, breakdown, support, back play and set piece play 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, Further information is available here

Activities include:

·        Skills workshop

·        Becoming an elite player

·        Injury prevention

·        Sports nutrition

·        Rugby specific physical conditioning

·        Daily post-training hydrotherapy 

NT Live: Twelfth Night - Thursday 6 April 7pm

A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love. The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia's upright housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible.

Simon Godwin (NT Live: Man and Superman, NT Live: The Beaux' Stratagem) directs this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Black Books, Episodes) as a transformed Malvolia. an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Rigby (Flowers, Jericho), Tamara Lawrence (Undercover), Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) and Daniel Ezra (The Missing, Undercover).

Rugby - Japanese Tour Dinner

On Saturday 20 May in the dining hall at school there is senior rugby tour dinner. Tickets £75 per person. This is the major fundraising event for our senior tour to Japan this coming summer. If you would like to attend and support the evening you should contact Matthew Gold via email.  There will be a big auction and a guest (prizes and speaker will be annouched very soon).

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Dorchester Tower Abseil

Motivated by the desire to support the Dorchester Festival which in turn gives funds to Dorchester Abbey and the Sue Ryder charity, the Headmaster has joined a team that will be abseiling down the tower of Dorchester Abbey (approx 100ft in height) at midday on Saturday 29 April. The Headmaster last tried abseiling in approximately 1981 and is not keen on heights. Pupils and parents who wish to see him conquer his fears are very welcome to come along to Dorchester Abbey on 29 April. Donations, all of which will support these excellent causes, will be much appreciated and can be made via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Michael-Windsor2. The Dorchester Festival runs this year from 28 April till 7 May and features a host of interesting and exciting events. You can find more information at dorchesterfestival.com

Parents of U6 and L6 boys - Tuesday 2 May 2017, 5pm-6pm, Amey Theatre: London University Visit

We host visiting speakers from LSE, Imperial, King's and UCL to hear about undergraduate opportunities at these universities; sixth-formers who are considering a UCAS application to (or who might be holding offers from) any of these four are advised to make use of this visit. Parents are warmly invited; this is an informal occasion giving boys and parents the opportunity to ask their own questions.

Music Notices
  • Parents are warmly invited to consult the Summer Term Music Calendar which lists some exciting events next term. We get underway very early with the following highlights.
  • Spring Concert - Friday 28 April. This is our early concert before the 5th Year are away on Study Leave. The concert will involve all our senior bands and orchestras. A special highlight will be the Grieg piano concerto with Alex Reynolds our soloist, an occasion not to be missed!
  • The event billed as a Summer's Evening of Light Music with senior bands and orchestras on Friday 30 June, also involves all the senior ensembles, again, with the emphasis on Jazz and Light Music. The should be a most enjoyable occasion - for our leavers, the last event of their school careers. Do join us!
Tennis Coaching - Summer Term

Martin Butler is available for charged tennis group coaching sessions at the following times during the summer term on the school's hard courts at £7.50 per hour. For further information please contact Master in charge of Tennis, Ben Ponniah.

  • Monday 4pm to 5pm 
  • Monday after 5pm
  • Wednesday after 5pm
  • Thursday 1.20pm to 2.40pm
  • Thursday 4pm to 5pm
  • Thursday after 5pm
  • Friday after 5pm
  • Saturday 9am to 11.30am
School Uniform Resale

The Second-hand Uniform Shop (SUS) urgently require good quality Blazers, Track Suits, Reversible Rugby shirts, Football and Hockey shirts and new style Black Shorts. If your son has grown out of any of these items or does not require them anymore, we will probably be able to sell them for you on the 2 Induction days next term, with 60% of the purchase price returning to you. Please either bring them to SUS when we are open or leave them in the Park Road Reception.

Saturday Bus Service: Summer Term

Thank you to those parents who have used the Saturday Bus Service for theist two terms. We will continue to run the service next term on the following term time Saturdays; 6 May, 13 May, 20 May and 17 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 - reminder

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.

The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award - reminder

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 himself - 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 - reminder

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.

Box Office Events

Workshop on Singing for Performance with Lin Marsh, Amey Theatre, Saturday 13 May, 10am - 4pm, 6pm - 9.30pm and Resonate, Saturday 13 May 2017, 7.30pm. 

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Notices:

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 himself - 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.

St Helen and St Katharine Parents' Association and the Wycombe Astronomical Society present: An Evening of Star Gazing, 7-10pm, Friday 24 March, £5 per family.

Abingdon Swim School - Small classes, better results. Only £99 for 12 weeks! 

Abingdon Sports and Leisure are delighted to announce the launch of  the NEW Abingdon Swim School. The Swim School is situated at Abingdon School Sports Centre, and aims to provide quality teaching in a fun and safe environment, delivered by enthusiastic and passionate swim teachers. Swimming lessons are available for ages 4-11 years, from Saturday 29 April - Saturday 22 July 2017.  Lessons for older children and adults are available on request. For more information or to book, please visit our Website. All enquiries should be sent to swimschool@abingdon.org.uk.

Reminder for the ATOM Festival, Amey Theatre, Saturday 25 March 

Tickets are still available for the fascinating range of lectures by top scientists at this year's ATOM Festival. Topics covered in the Amey Theatre on Saturday 25 March include Black Holes and Gravitational Waves; Stem cells and regenerative medicine; Autonomous car systems and Antarctica's climate. Other events are taking place earlier in the week at various venues. Full details and online bookings are available here

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1

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