Weekly Mailing

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

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

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

End of Term Reports

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

Term Calendar and Key Dates

As you will be aware the School is not printing a hard-copy calendar so parents should refer to the online calendar which is kept regularly up to date.  Any amendments to Summer Term 2019 events made after today will be indicated clearly.  Parents may wish to consult the online calendar and the term dates page now to remind themselves of the beginnings and ends of terms and half-terms.

Start of Next Term

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

L6 Futures Fair Monday 29 April 5-7pm

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

Looking for tips on how to revise? 

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

Music Notices

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

Abingdon School Box Office

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

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

SUS - Second-hand Uniform Shop bargains

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

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

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

All opening dates and times are on the website.

ASPA Quiz - Reminder

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

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

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

News from the week:

This week's mailing is:

Notices:

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

Have you thought about boarding? 

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

The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award

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

ASPA / OA Club Travel Awards

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

ASPA Quiz

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

Saturday Bus Service: Summer Term

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

Sport priority on a Saturday 

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

Abingdon Box Office

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

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

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

Thought-provoking blogs from the Abingdon Community.

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

News from the week:

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

ASiP Newsletter from Director of Partnerships

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

Music 

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

Wellbeing - Student Lecture given by Cam Adair

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

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

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

Reminder - Reporting Feedback Form 

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

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 1

This week's mailing is:

Letters: 

Notices:

2nd Year Parents' Evening Presentation

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

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

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

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

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

L6 parents evening, Tuesday 12 March, 5.30pm 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporting Feedback Form

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

Music 

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

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

Annual Boat Club dinner - Reminder

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

Follow the Amey Theatre on Facebook and Twitter 

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

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

Ultimate Activity

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

3rd Year Parents' Evening Presentations

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

Safer Internet Centre - Momo Challenge

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

Update on A level & GCSE results release

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

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

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

Third Year Parents Battlefields trip briefing reminder

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

Music Notices

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

Football Club Dinner 2019  - Friday 22 March 2019 

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

Courses and Academies 2019 

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

ASPA

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

Abingdon Box Office

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

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

U6th Revision Leave: Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March

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

Haircuts and School Dress

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

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

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

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

To parents of Third Year boys

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

Music Notices

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

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

Hockey Club members

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

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

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

Abingdon School Box Office

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

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

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

This week's mailing is:

Notices:

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

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

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

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

Music

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

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

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

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

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

February Sports Camps 

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

Key areas of the course:

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

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

Email: olly.deasy@abingdon.org.uk

Booking form: Hockey Camp

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

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

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

Course content:

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

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

Email: neil.hunter@abingdon.org.uk

Booking form: Rugby Skills Camp

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

Dinner with World Cup Winning Captain

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

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

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

Abingdon Box Office

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

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

Website feedback

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3.

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Postponing of tonight's “Government Inspector” at SHSK

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

Six Nations Social - Saturday 2 February in Charles Maude Room

This has been cancelled.

Revision leave dates - Summer 2019

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

Advance Notice for L6 Parents: Futures Fair at Abingdon

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

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

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

Music

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

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

Some Forthcoming Music Events

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

Reminder for all parents about coats

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

5th year mocks & parents' evening

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

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JCQ and CIE Exam Notices

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

Mock Exam Results

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

Music Notices

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

Michaelmas term's fourth year History and Politics Society magazine

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

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

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

Parking and driving on roads close to School

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

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

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

For Lower Sixth boys and their parents: UCAS

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

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

National Citizen Service 2019 Programme

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

National Wellbeing Survey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music Notices

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

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

Ultimate Activity Camps

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

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

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

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

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

Food menu for the coming week - Week 3

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New Threat of Financial Scams Involving Email

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

The Abingdonian

The 2019 edition of the Abingdonian magazine has been distributed to all boys who were members of the school last academic year.  In the case of brothers, a copy has been given to the older sibling.

Abingdon News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music 

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

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

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

Abingdon School Parents' Association (ASPA)

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

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

Reminder - Public Examination Timetables 

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

Reminder - Sport priority on a Saturday 

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

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

Reminder - Saturday Bus Times

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

Senior Rugby Tour Dinner - save the date!

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

Rugby Skills Camp 

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

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

Course content:

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

To find out more information, please contact us:

Health Centre 

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

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

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

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Term Dates and Key Dates

Boys will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term, but, for information for new parents, there is an online calendar which is kept regularly up to date.  It is available from the front page of the website under 'Information'. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page for 2019/20. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents.

End of Term Reports

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

Residential Trips 2019

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

Christmas Concert DVD Film

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

Holiday Reading

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

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 12 January 2019.  Please see the attached document which identifies the six different bus routes, including the individual stops and the designated times.  We are very keen for as many boys as possible to use this service. It has been set up to ease the burden on parents of getting their sons to School for the inter School fixtures. There is no charge for this service.

The buses are scheduled to arrive at School at 11.30am, allowing the boys time to have lunch in the Dining Hall, have a brief team meeting, and depart for their fixtures on time. Those boys who are involved in home fixtures will be catered for and supervised until the start of their matches. This service applies to all boys involved in sport on a Saturday afternoon, whether it be in cross country, badminton, hockey, football or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. If you intend to utilise this service, please ensure that you son is at the appropriate stop 5 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Inter School Fixtures

Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in inter school fixtures across the age ranges. In recent years we have strengthened our fixture list, and been more ambitious in the schools we have been playing. Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from, and granted, by the Headmaster. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture. The Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell should be copied in on any such leave of absence request.

To assist parental planning, the Sport and Physical Education Department email teamsheets for each of the age groups to parents on a Thursday evening. This will be sent to the primary contact, which we have stored on iSams, our internal database. 

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

School Dress

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

Middle School Scholars' Newsletter and Podcast

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

To all Hockey Parents and Hockey Players

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

New Year, New Courses 

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

Abingdon Box Office

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

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

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

Next Term

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

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

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Notices:

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

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

Summer 2019 GCSE and GCE Exam Timetables

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

Music Notices

Key Musical dates for next term for your diaries:

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

Tuesday 11 December - Christmas Jumper Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abingdon Box Office

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

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

School Notices

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

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Lower 6th parents and boys: Presentation on UK University Applications, Tuesday 12 March, 7-7.30pm, Amey Theatre

All Lower Sixth boys and their parents/guardians are invited to a presentation on the UK university applications process at 7pm on the evening of Tuesday 12 March 2019. This presentation forms an integral part of the Lower Sixth Parents' evening.

During the presentation Mrs Caroline Taylor (Assistant Upper Master, Universities) will give an overview of the process, highlighting what is expected of each applicant, detailing key dates and deadlines, outlining what is required for the personal statement and providing insight into how to choose subjects and universities. Mrs Taylor and the Universities Team will also be available throughout Parents' Evening to answer any questions you may have about the process.

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

From the Head of Career Guidance: I am still looking for parent volunteers in several key career areas for the upcoming Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention in March.  If you work in one of these career areas, and can volunteer as a career representative at the event (6:00pm-9:30pm), I would love to hear from you: 

Aviation (Commercial), Business (Operations), Charities and NGOs, Engineering (Aeronautical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Nuclear), Environment/Conservation/Wildlife, Fire and Emergency Services, Foreign Affairs, Government (Civil/Public Services), Journalism and News Media, Music, Planning (Town/Urban/Landscape), Press and Public Relations, Product/Industrial Design, Project Management (General), Publishing and Writing, Radio/TV/Film/Video, Textiles/Clothing/Apparel

Please email michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk or register your interest online. Thank you!  Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance

Music Notices

Christmas Concerts on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December, Amey Theatre, 7pm - Parents are warmly encouraged to apply for Christmas Concert tickets which are now selling fast. We perform on two evenings next week in order to accommodate everyone. The concert will include some marvellous works including Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No 3, Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 and Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto, first movement. The following ensembles will be performing - 1st Year, Gospel and Joint Chamber Choirs, First Wind and Big Bands, Chamber, Second and First Orchestras. Please remember to book your tickets in advance and arrive in good time, as there can be a queue! 

Lent Term's Music Calendar - for advance planning

Ruby Wax - How to be Human: The Manual - Tuesday 8 January 2019 at 7.30pm

Join successful comedian, TV writer and performer, Ruby Wax, as she talks about her latest book How to be Human at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon on Tuesday 8 January.
This book is about how to be human. Why we haven't figured this out by now, I do not know.

Tickets are £22.50 and include a copy of How to be Human and a glass of wine or soft drink on the night. Copies of Ruby's previous book, Frazzled, will be available for sale at a discounted price. Doors open at 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start.  

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Revision leave dates - Summer 2018

Fifth year: revision leave begins Friday 3 May, 5.20pm
Upper Sixth: revision leave begins Friday 17 May, 1pm

Notes:

Fifth Year: The 5th year will, as usual, be offered optional study leave help for the first three weeks of their revision leave in the form of subject clinics and supervised study rooms at school  More detail on this will be given before they go on leave.

Upper Sixth: Some Upper Sixth boys will be taking public exams in the week before their official revision leave begins (e.g. some maths units).  In such cases, for an afternoon exam, boys will be permitted to take the morning as revision leave.  No revision leave is granted the day before a morning exam.

Lower Sixth: Now that all subjects have been reformed, there are no public examinations at all for L6th boys.  The School will hold its own Lower Sixth internal exams in the week after half term in the summer and will then issue both exam grades and 'guidance grades' (projections towards A Level) to boys and parents to assist in the choosing of which subject (if any) to drop for Upper Sixth and to help with research into university options.

Abingdon Box Office

Lord of the Flies - 29 & 30 November - SOLD OUT. Tickets will not be available on the door.

ROH Live: The Nutcracker - 7.15pm, Monday 3 December. Tickets available here.

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For all Upper and Lower Sixth Biologists…

The Biology department are running another trip to the highly popular Biology Science Live A Level Lectures on Wednesday 16 January 2019 in Birmingham Town Hall.  “The Lectures provide an exciting day specifically designed for A-level Biology students.  The chance to hear some of the best scientists who are working at the cutting edge of their specialisms.  The scientists are carefully chosen for their ability to communicate with students of this age in a direct and exciting way.  Help improve your Science A-level results with two sessions from a specialist Biology examiner.”  The trip will leave by coach from the Abingdon School Coach park at 8am, returning around 6pm, outside the timings for the normal School buses. The event and transport will cost £43 per place.  Boys should wear presentable home clothes, and a basic School packed lunch will be provided, but there are some local venues available to the boys for lunch if they want to bring some money for additional food… I also suggest bringing their own water.  Places are limited to 15 each from the Upper and Lower Sixth Biology year groups, and priority will be given to those who didn't attend the event last year..if you are unsure please contact Su McRae to clarify eligibility.  Please sign in and use the appropriate WisePay link to pay and confirm your place by 5pm Friday 30 November 2018:

To Fifth year parents: Sixth Form options evening, last Monday. 

We hope 5th form parents found our 'Towards the Sixth Form' evening on Monday helpful.  Please do remember that it represented really just the first step in an on-going conversation, to be continued next term after mock exams.  Mr May's presentation from Monday evening can be found in pdf form here.

Parents' Carol Service

All parents and boys are warmly invited to the carol service at St Michael's Church, Park Road on Thursday 13 December at 6.30pm.  The service will be a shortened form of the traditional lessons and carols from King's College, Cambridge.  The boarding community will be in attendance and the outstanding Chapel Choir will sing.  Do join us for this delightful and inspiring occasion.

Music 

  • Japan and Hong Kong Music Tour 30 June to 10 July 2019.  Parents of participants should note that a newsletter will be be sent shortly with details of the latest arrangements.
  • Music Society Violin Masterclass with Levon Chilingirian - Wednesday 21 November at 6pm, CMR.  Parents are warmly welcomed to attend our biennial visit from Levon Chilingirian for a Masterclass (open lesson) with a group of our top violinists. These occasions always give us a fascinating insight into the teaching and learning process and will be interesting for all our musicians and particularly our string players. We are encouraging all our string players to attend this event which, thanks to our Music Society, is provided free of charge,. For parents of these musicians, we are inviting the boys to sign up for an early supper so that they can attend without hunger pangs - please would you encourage them to come along. There's lots to learn and it should be hugely enjoyable.
  • Christmas Concerts 2018 - Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December at 7pm.  It's not too early to get your Christmas Concert tickets. For new parents, please be aware that we do the same concert twice so that we can accommodate everyone and they should know that the following ensembles are taking part this year: First Year Choir, Chamber Orchestra, Gospel Choir, Second Orchestra, Big Band, Joint Chamber Choir, Symphonic Winds Band and First Orchestra.  Please see this link for further information and a link for booking Christmas Concert tickets.

Let's talk about Food - Wednesday 21 November

Parents are asked to encourage their son to attend if they so wish. Please see poster for further information.

EPQ Presentation Evening Friday 23 November, Yang Science Centre 5.45-7.15pm

On Friday 23 November 34 boys will be delivering their EPQ presentations in an evening event which is running from 5.45 until 7.15pm. The presentations will be delivered  across a number of classrooms in the Yang Science Centre, with three separate sessions at 5.45, 6.15 and 6.45.The presentations will be accompanied by refreshments and snacks in the lobby. 

The topics this year range from “Can the apparent absence of life on exoplanets be explained and what does it mean for humanity?” to “What impact did Blaxploitation films have on mainstream American perceptions of African-American Culture?”

Supervisors use the evening to grade their EPQ candidates. To achieve the highest grades the boys need to be asked challenging questions by an engaged audience so they would also be very pleased to see you there. Parents who would like to come to the presentations you would be most welcome.  

Abingdon Box Office

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Remembrance Parade 

Only the Lower and Upper Sixth pupils in CCF are involved in the Remembrance parade on Sunday at 9am.

2018 Anti-Bullying week

Next week is the annual Anti-Bullying week. This year's theme is to “Choose respect over bullying” and we will be raising this issue with boys throughout the week. Please, could you try to find the chance to talk about this with your son as well?  We will be exploring the idea that we can respectfully disagree with each other, and the importance of respecting others face to face as well as online.  Boys will be encouraged to think about the idea that bullying is a behaviour choice, and if they ever witness it, of the need to speak out to a trusted adult/ carer or by reporting it via our whistleblowing system. We will also be thinking about what respect is and what this might mean at school, at home and in the community.   Thank you in anticipation of your support with this.  Please also feel free to visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website and/or the School’s Anti-Bullying policy.  If you haven’t already done so I also invite you to join our wellbeing twitter feed @Ab_Wellbeing.

Parents of 6th Form Boys: US University Advice Evening, Thursday 22 November 2018, 6 - 7.45pm, CMR

Is applying to US universities right for your son, especially since there are so many excellent universities in the UK (and other European countries)? If this is a question you and your son are pondering, you are invited to attend the US University Advice Evening at Abingdon School on Thursday 22 November 2018, 6pm to 7.45pm in the CMR. This event will provide detailed insights into all the important considerations required to decide whether or not to apply to—or attend—a uni in the US. There is much to consider! No booking is necessary—just turn up on the night. For more information, contact Michael Triff, Coordinator of Non-UK University Applications, 01235 849129.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for Middle and Upper School

Parents of the current 3rd Year and above are reminded of the school's BYOD scheme.  It is a expected that all Middle and Upper School students will bring in an appropriate laptop style device into lessons as part of their normal 'kit'.  Student access to the internet is now part of many lessons therefore, if a member of the class does not have access, they will not be able to fully take part in the activity. A Q&A document is available and if you have any questions please email Ben Whitworth, Director of eLearning.

Reminder - School Uniform

Parents and boys should, please, check that School Uniform fits, and purchase any larger items if necessary.  Boys have recently been reminded that 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.

Everest Lab with Greg Foot

On Monday 10 December at 7.30pm, Blue Peter Science Guy, Greg Foot, will be presenting his 'Everest Lab' stage show in the Amey Theatre, using demonstrations and photos from his expedition to the world's highest pop-up lab at Everest Base Camp and describing the effects of high altitude on human physiology. Tickets are available from the Amey Theatre box office or online.  All proceeds from ticket sales will be used to support Greg's free presentation for local, partner primary schools earlier in the day for which over 400 children from seven local schools have already booked!

Touchliners : Trip to England vs Japan rugby at Twickenham : Saturday 17 November : Tickets

The Abingdon Touchliners have arranged for tickets to the England vs Japan Autumn International rugby match at Twickenham on Saturday 17 November (kick-off 3pm).  Tickets are available for purchase in pairs of one adult and one child ticket for a total combined price of £57.  The cost of a return coach from the School to Twickenham is included and is being covered by the Touchliners.  The link for purchasing tickets is here (there are two links, one each for adult and child tickets, so please purchase one of each):

If you have any questions, please contact us at touchliners@abingdon.org.uk.

Perfect presents at the St Helen and St Katharine Christmas Fair

If you’re looking for special gifts that you won’t find on the high street, then look no further than the ever-popular Christmas Fair at St Helen and St Katharine School.  Held on Saturday 24 November from 10am to 3pm, the Fair will feature over 50 stalls located in attractive spaces across the school, creating a lively marketplace atmosphere.  Students’ and Young Enterprise teams’ stalls create even more of a buzz.  And an added bonus is the fabulous raffle of gifts donated by the stallholders. You can also relax over street food and other foodie treats in the school’s sit-down café, prepared by its award-winning catering team. The Fair is organised by St Helen and St Katharine Parents' Association and its proceeds are shared between the school and its 2018 charity, Mercy Ships.  Entry costs just £2.50 per adult (children free).  So put the Fair in your diary today! 

The Raymond Blank Cookery School, Monday 17 & Tuesday 18 December, St Helen & St Katharine.

Abingdon Box Office

Tickets for the Joint Senior Musical are now on sale - Loserville - 7pm, 6, 7 & 8 February

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Sponsored Walk

A very well done for all of the students and staff who took part in the Sponsored Walk on Thursday 27 September. The current total raised has reached £22,594.42 which is a phenomenal achievement. The online donations page will be shut on Friday 16 November and we hope to have a final total shortly after this date; therefore could any outstanding sponsorship be returned to school or donated online as soon as possible.

All Parents: Volunteer Career Representatives needed for Abingdon Careers Convention, Friday 15 March 2019, Abingdon School

The annual Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention, jointly run by Abingdon School, Our Lady’s Abingdon and St Helen and St Katharine, provides an excellent opportunity for students to gather information about and insights into careers of interest and educational routes into those careers. It features parents and alumni of all three schools, as well as local employers, representing a wide range of careers. Students can meet with ‘career representatives’ one to one, participate in small group career discussions, and watch panel presentations on current topics. The event is always well attended – and much appreciated – by 500 students and parents. This year’s Careers Convention will be held on Friday evening 15 March 2019 at Abingdon School. At present, I am recruiting Abingdon parents to volunteer as a ‘career representative’ (or to serve on a panel presentation, if preferred). To register your interest, please complete this online Expression of Interest form no later than 30 November 2018. Completing this form DOES NOT commit you to being a volunteer; it only tells us of your interest. I will follow up with you to provide further information and answer any questions you may have. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: Morrisby Aspirations Programme Interviews

If your son is participating in the Morrisby Aspirations Career Matching Programme, he will soon receive an email with the date, time, and location of his interview with an independent careers adviser from Morrisby. This interview will be next week on one of the following days: Tuesday - Friday, 6 - 9 November. Thank you for ensuring your son has put this appointment in his planner/diary and that he sets aside some time this weekend (if not already) to go over the results of his Morrisby questionnaire with you, to research occupations listed in his results, and to complete the pre-interview questions - all in his online Morrisby account. The Morrisby Aspirations Programme can help to inform A-Level subject choices from a career planning perspective, so thank you for ensuring your son makes the most of his participation. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Music 

Up-coming musical events for your diaries:

  • Harry the Piano - Wednesday 7 November in the Amey Theatre at 7pm.  Tickets are going fast for this event with this internationally known piano virtuoso improvisor/extemporiser. Harry is giving a masterclass with our pupils in the afternoon, but the evening event should be terrific. Please see the poster and book your tickets online - they are free of charge, but we do need to know who is coming.
  • Solo Concert Platform - Thursday 8 November in the CMR at 6pm.  An opportunity for you to hear some of our emerging solo talent.
  • JCS - Sunday 11 November - Mozart's Requiem as part of St Helen's School's Festival of Remembrance at St Helen's School at 7pm. The festival will also include WW1 songs and readings by pupils with the Requiem in the second half. Please see the poster and book your tickets online through the St Helen's School website.
  • New College Evensong with Chapel Choir – Wednesday 14 November at 6.15pm.  Our Chapel Choir has its Director, Mr Adam Treadaway, at one of Oxford's most distinguished choral venues. Please do join us at New College Chapel (approached through Holywell Street.)
  • Music Society Violin Masterclass with Levon Chilingirian – Wednesday 21 November in the CMR at 6pm.  We are so lucky to have such a connection with one of the world's most distinguished violinists. Every two years Levon Chilingirian comes to Abingdon to give an open lesson to a number of our more advanced violinists. Thanks to our Music Society admission is free and it should be seen as a must for all our string players and their families.

Pocket Guide to Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Next week, all students in years 1-5 will receive a Pocket Guide to Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling from their English teacher. We hope that your son will use this comprehensive reference guide not just for his English work but across all his subjects. Further information, including a downloadable version of the guide, is available here.

Fines for parking on Park Road and on Park Crescent

Parents are reminded that, to discourage parking on these private roads, a company is employed by Christ's Hospital to fine cars parked there.  Visitors should use the School's Lower Field Car Park on Park Road, and then report to Park Lodge Reception, please.

Reminder FASBC Quiz and Curry Night - Saturday 10 November, 7pm 

Abingdon School Box Office

Harry the Piano Concert - 7pm, Wednesday 7 November

1918: The Bloody Road to Victory - 7pm, Friday 9 November

Tickets for the Joint Senior Musical are now on sale - Loserville - 7pm, 6, 7 & 8 February

Abingdon and the Great War - Thursday 9 November at 7pm, Amey Theatre

How strange and unreal it seemed, as again we paced the streets of our quiet little country town! For in a brief few weeks, the world had changed.
The story of the Great War, as experienced by the Abingdon School community, is told in a selection of readings drawn from the school's archive, supported by photographs, images and music to evoke the experience of a school community as it attempts to make sense of events unfolding in France and beyond.  Presented by senior drama scholars, this is a free event that is expected to last around an hour. No booking is necessary.

Sport Karate Kumite Seminar - Sensei Alton Brown

Alton Brown is an exceptional athlete, and one of the most prolific and successful athletes of the past 20 years. He’s an ambassador and a great role-model for Sport Karate.  We hope that the boys attending Karate Club will be inspired to attend this seminar, on their own doorstep, as well as those who attend Karate Clubs outside Abingdon School. All are welcome.

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Reports: First cycle of the year

Reports will be posted to the Parent Portal over the course of Saturday 13 October.  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 (we have updated the grade descriptors to acknowledge the arrival of number grades at GCSE).  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 2019.

Parents of 6th Form Boys: US University Advice Evening, Thursday 22 November 2018, 6pm-7.45pm, CMR

Is applying to US universities right for your son, especially since there are so many excellent universities in the UK (and other European countries)? If this is a question you and your son are pondering, you are invited to attend the US University Advice Evening at Abingdon School on Thursday 22 November 2018, 6pm to 7.45pm in the CMR. This event will provide detailed insights into all the important considerations required to decide whether or not to apply to—or attend—a uni in the US. There is much to consider! No booking is necessary—just turn up on the night. For more information, contact Michael Triff, Coordinator of Non-UK University Applications, michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk, 01235 849129.

Public examination contingency date 2019 : Wednesday 26 June

The School is still awaiting confirmation of certain dates for the public examinations in the summer of 2019 but wanted to make you aware of one change that the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have brought in for future examinations. For the first time a national contingency examination day has been arranged for I/GCSE and GCE (A/AS-level) examinations ‘should sustained national or local disruption arise during the examination series’ and therefore any examinations need to be rearranged. The date that has been set aside as the contingency day is Wednesday 26 June 2019. This means that all examination candidates must be available to sit examinations on Wednesday 26 June as well as for their timetabled examination dates. This is not a school decision and applies to all candidates in all schools.

Plans for DofE walking have therefore needed to be changed to:

Silver walking assessed expedition (5th years): Sunday 30 June - Wednesday 3 July.  This now creates a clash for the musicians who are on tour to Japan, and these boys will be contacted separately by Mr Dempsey. 

Gold walking assessed expedition (L6th): Sunday 23 -Thursday 27 June.

FASBC Quiz and Curry Night

The Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club invite you to join them for their annual Quiz and Curry Night in the Abingdon School Dining Hall on Saturday 10 November - Arrive at 7pm, Quiz starts at 7.30pm.  
This is a fun evening to test your general knowledge and includes a delicious curry supper with drinks available to purchase.  All age groups and guests are welcome.  There is plenty of friendly rivalry between the various parents’, boys’ and coaches’ teams!  Please encourage your sons to join you; it is always as enjoyable for the boys as it is for the adults.  Boys tend to make up one team per year group.  You do not need to make up a team; we will put you together in groups of 6 or 8 so it is the perfect opportunity to meet other parents in your son’s year group before the regatta season starts.  If, however, you already have a team, just email fasbc@abingdon.org.uk and let us know the team name and members.
 
  • Adults: £17.50, Students: £15

We very much look forward to welcoming you.

Music notices - a summary of events soon after half term

  • Senior Music Competition - Tuesday 1 November, CMR at 6pm
  • Harry the Piano Workshop and Evening Concert  - Wednesday 7 November, Amey Theatre at 7pm.  Please see the poster and this link to the website information. This is an event not to be missed by our pianists and their parents!
  • Solo Concert Platform No 2 - Thursday 8 November, CMR at 6pm
  • Mozart's Requiem - Joint Choral Society Concert on Sunday 11 November, Yolande Paterson Hall, School of St Helen and St Katharine, 7pm.

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.

Sixth Form Dress and Appearance

As has long been our practice, boys should have clean-shaven faces, unless this has been agreed, for religious reasons, by the Headmaster.  Full details of the dress code are available on the School Uniform Page.  

ROH Live: Mayerling - Monday 15 October, 7.15pm

Mayerling is a classic of the Royal Ballet repertory, with its emotional depth, haunting imagery, and one of the most demanding roles ever created for a male dancer.  

AOS Present: Top Hat - Tuesday 23 - Saturday 27 October, 7.30pm (2.30pm Saturday Matinee)

Top Hat is based on the 1935 RKO movie and brings the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the stage in one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.  

ROH Live: Die  Walküre  - Sunday 28 October, 5pm

Wagner’s Ring cycle is one of the greatest works of all opera.  Keith Warner’s production is conducted by Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, and this final revival is cast with an outstanding international array of Wagnerian specialist singers. 

Food menu for week beginning Monday 29 October - Week 1

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Abingdon Michaelmas Fair: Monday 8 & Tuesday 9 October and Abingdon Runaway Fair: Monday 15 October - Reminder

Parents should expect that traffic flow in Abingdon will be severely disrupted by the Abingdon Fairs. On Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 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.

Music Notices 

  • Senior Music Competition - Thursday 1 November, CMR at 6pm - Parents and friends are welcome to hear our instrumentalists of grade 8 plus battle it out for this year's prestigious cup. Our adjudicator is Neil Farrow, Director of Music at Our Lady's Abingdon Senior School.
  • Harry the Piano Workshop and Evening Concert  - Wednesday 7 November, Amey Theatre at 7pm - We are delighted to welcome the internationally known artist, Harry the Piano, and his dazzling improvisation and skills of virtuosity. Harry is also leading a workshop for pupils from local schools in the afternoon. Do join us for this unique event - tickets are free of charge. For further information please see the poster and the page on the website.  
  • Solo Concert Platform No 2 - Thursday 8 November, CMR at 6pm - Here is another opportunity to hear some of our solo musicians in performance. Admission is free and all are most welcome.
  • Mozart's Requiem - Joint Choral Society Concert on Sunday 11 November, Yolande Paterson Hall, School of St Helen and St Katharine, 7pm - Our joint School's Choral Society of Mozart's Requiem forms part of the SHSK Festival of Remembrance to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice at the end of the Great War 1914-18. There will also be readings and period popular songs to set the scene.
  • Evensong at New College, Oxford - Wednesday 14 November at 6.15pm - Don't miss Adam Treadaway's first official outing as the new Director of our Chapel Choir at the local medieval chapel - the scene of chorister training for many of our top singers, past and present!
  • Music Society Violin Masterclass with Levon Chilingirian - Wednesday 21 November at 6pm, CMR - We have another welcome return of the famous violinist, Levon Chilingirian, and an opportunity to celebrate the playing of some of our fine violinists. Financed by our Music Society, these are always fascinating events and should be seen as a must for our string players and their families. Please join us.

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 16 November 2018, starting at 6pm in the Yang Science Centre and followed at 8.30pm by a networking supper in the Dining Hall. At this event, OAs at early or middle stages in their career will share with 6th Form pupils insights into their current occupation and the choices they have made along 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 will soon receive an email invitation with a request to register for the event with the deadline of Friday 9 November.  Thank you for your support!  Questions? Email michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk.

Help needed: mock medicine interview

Each year Abingdon offers its Upper Sixth medicine applicants the chance to have a practice interview with someone from the medical profession. We rely on volunteers, parents and OAs to staff this event. This year it will be held on Tuesday 6 November from 6pm to 8.30pm in the Science Partnerships Laboratory.  If you feel you can help out then please email Ben Whitworth.  We aim to run a mock Multiple Mini Interview session (MMI) and any experience of these would be welcome.

High Performance Rugby Camp - October Half Term (Thursday 18 - Friday 19 October 2018)

Due to the success of our July camp, we are running an additional two-day camp this year for boys aged 8-13 years of age. 

This is a high-quality, coaching course led by ex-professional players 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.  

Activities include:

  • Skills workshop
  • Becoming an elite player
  • Injury prevention
  • Sports nutrition
  • Rugby specific physical conditioning
  • Daily post-training hydrotherapy

For more information or to submit the online registration form, please click here. We will then contact you to take payment and to confirm your place on the course.

Chaplaincy Welcome Event  and Parents' Prayer Group Thursday 11 October, 7.45pm. The Atrium, St Helen and St Katharine School, Faringdon Road, Abingdon.

This will be a joint meeting with SHSK, Abingdon Prep and the Manor Prep School. All parents are very welcome to come and learn about the spiritual life of the schools and about various Christian activities. Our guest speaker will be The Reverend Jane Chaffey, Chaplain at Wycombe Abbey School between 2008 and 2018. There will also be a presentation from 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 the first meeting of the Abingdon Foundation Parents' Prayer group that meets twice a term. The dates for the rest of the school year are as follows:

  • Thursday 15 November,  8pm at Abingdon Prep
  • Thursday 17 January, 8pm at 29 Park Road, Abingdon.
  • Thursday 7 March, 8pm at Abingdon Prep
  • Thursday 2 May, 8pm at Abingdon Prep
  • Tuesday 18 June, 8pm in the School Chapel.

If you would like further information, contact Rev Dr Simon Steer, school chaplain.

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.

Horizon Lectures: Richard Parks - 7.30pm, Thursday 11 October

Join us as Richard takes us on his personal journey, from his challenging lows to the summits of peaks around the world. To book tickets, please visit the Horizon Lectures website.

Food Menu for the coming week: Week 3

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