Weekly Mailing

The School uses electronic communication where possible.

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

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Bus times and traffic

A plea from the Joint Bus Service: to ensure maximum efficiency, please could you ensure that your sons are at their bus stops 5 minutes before the stated departure time. This allows the buses to run on time, and ensures that the pupils arrive in school in a timely fashion. We are loath to move the bus times earlier if being more efficient can solve the issue. Thank you.

Lost Property

There has been an increasing build up of unclaimed lost property over the past weeks.  Given this, next week we are going to have a Lost Property amnesty. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, all Lost Property, named and unnamed will be available for collection from Boarders Hall during breaks and lunch times. If you or your son think that there is an item belonging to you in Lost Property, named or unnamed, then please encourage him to come to Boarders Hall to collect it. All property left in the Sports Centre or changing rooms will be included in this Lost Property. The boys will, in addition, be emailed to inform them that this is happening.  Please note that at 2pm on Friday, at the end of lunchtime, ALL items still left in Lost Property will automatically go to SUS for resale.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - 4th and 5th Year

Parents of the Fourth and Fifth Year are reminded of the introduction of the school's BYOD scheme.  The aim is to roll the BYOD approach out to all of Middle and Upper School by September 2018. With this in mind we will be asking all the Fourth Year to bring in appropriate devices after their exams at the start of May 2018. Fifth Year pupils will not be required to bring in a device this academic year, although they are welcome to do so if they would like. They will be required to have device if they then carry on into the Sixth Form.  There is an updated Q&A document available and if you have any questions please email Mr Ben Whitworth, Director of eLearning on ben.whitworth@abingdon.org.uk

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

February and March 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.

Music Notices

  • Dorchester Abbey - Choral Evensong with the Chapel Choir at 5.30pm at the Abbey - All are most welcome to come and hear our Chapel Choir next week.
  • Piano Masterclass with Ben Schoeman - Wednesday 28 February at 6pm in the CMR - This is a must for all our budding pianists. Come and hear Ben Schoeman working with six of our senior pianists. Admission is free thanks to our wonderful Music Society.


To all current 4th & 5th Year rugby players - Sign up to the Senior Rugby Tour - South America 2019

Please check your email to find all information regarding sign up to the next senior rugby tour. The tour is not selective and open to all players of all abilities. The deadline to sign up by is Friday 9 March 2018.  Please contact Matt Gold (Director of Rugby) directly if you have any questions.  

Charities

Many thanks for your support with donations for the Abingdon Emergency Foodbank as we were able to give over 750 items before half term.

Home Clothes Day

Friday 2 March is home clothes day. A contribution of £2 is expected from those in home clothes and will be collected by tutors. The charity we are supporting is Mary's Meals which aims to provide a daily meal, in a place of education, for children in the world’s poorest communities.

Abingdon School Football Club End Of Season Dinner 

As a finale to this year’s football season, Middle and Upper School players and parents are invited to attend the Abingdon School Football Club End Of Season Dinner on Friday 23 March. The evening will start at 7pm with a drinks reception followed by dinner, presentations and speeches.  It is hoped that ex England Assistant Manager and current Oxford United Caretaker Manager Derek Fazackerley will be able to join us as the special guest for the evening, and more information can be found here. Tickets can be purchased here at the school Box Office.

Food Menu for the coming week - Week 1
 

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Punctuality

As in the Parents' Handbook, the school day begins at 8.35am.  Boys are registered then, and then either go to Chapel or an Assembly or spend time with their tutors.  After half term we will be instigating a new system to discourage lateness: where a boy has two late registrations in a week, or three in a fortnight, this will trigger a detention.  If your son is not on the Joint Bus Service, please can we ask your support in addressing this. Pupils should aim to be in school for 8.30am so that they can be in situ and registered between 8.35 and 8.40am. We know that traffic can be variable, but unless there is a major, demonstrable traffic incident - eg the A34 closing - poor traffic will not be a valid excuse.  If your son is on the JBS, then please be aware that bus timings have been discussed with Tom Peeke of the JBS, and we are monitoring bus arrival times to ensure that the boys are arriving in good time for us to have a prompt start.  All this has been made clear in an email to all pupils, so please could you reiterate the message at home as well?  Many thanks.

Music Notices:

Dates for your diary - its a busy second half of term for our musicians.  Do join us - admission to all these events are free.

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

FASBC would like to invite all rowers and their parents to attend the 27th Annual Rowing Dinner on Saturday 17 March. 

  • 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 Matthew Rossiter, OA 2007. Matt was Junior World Champion in 2007, and was selected for the Great Britain Senior Team in 2017 making the top boat - the Coxless Four - for the Senior World Championships, and won a bronze medal.  This is always a popular event so we encourage you to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.  Please book through the school box office.

Abingdon School Football Club End Of Season Dinner - Save The Date

As a finale to this year’s football season all Middle and Upper School players and parents are invited to attend the Abingdon School Football Club End Of Season Dinner on Friday 23 March. The evening will start at 7pm with a drinks reception followed by dinner, presentations and speeches.  It is hoped that ex England Assistant Manager and current Oxford United Caretaker Manager Derek Fazackerley will be able to join us as the special guest for the evening, and more information and invitations will be distributed after half term. 

Reminder - For Lower Sixth boys and their parents: UCAS

UCAS1: Introduction to the university application process: Friday 23 February 2018, 7pm, Amey Theatre. This is an important opportunity for boys and their parents to be introduced by experts to some of the key features of university application and admission processes.

Programme:

  • 7pm: Introduction, followed by Katherine Pagett, Student Recruitment Manager at Birmingham University, who will give an overview of the application process from a university admissions perspective (Amey Theatre);
  • 7.45-8pm: Refreshments (Amey foyer and Cafe);
  • 8pm-8.45pm: Boys and parents choose to attend: EITHER Oxford University and Cambridge University applications talk, OR Question and Answer: a panel of current Upper Sixth boys will talk about their own experiences of university applications (CMR).

'Fiddler on the Roof' Photobooks

To capture the brilliance of the Joint Senior production 'Fiddler on the Roof', St Helen and St Katharine will be producing a high-quality, hard-backed photobook using professional photographs taken at the dress rehearsal. The books will cost approximately £35 each (this is based on a minimum order number). If you would like to purchase a book, please complete this electronic response form by Friday 9 February. There are samples of books from previous productions for you to look at in St Helen's Reception.

RSC Live: Twelfth Night - Wednesday 14 February at 7pm

'I am all the daughters of my father's house, And all the brothers too. 'Twelfth Night is a tale of unrequited love – hilarious and heartbreaking. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. The first twin, Viola, falls in love with Orsino, who dotes on Olivia, who falls for Viola but is idolised by Malvolio. Enter Sebastian, who is the spitting image of his twin sister... Christopher Luscombe, Director of the ‘glorious’ (Daily Telegraph) Love’s Labour’s Lostand Much Ado About Nothing (2014 and 2016), returns to the Royal Shakespeare Company to tackle Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, a brilliantly bittersweet account of "the whirligig of time".

DIY Theatre Present: Calamity Jane - Friday 16 to Sunday 18 February

Deadwood City's two most famous peace officers, Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock, get involved in saving the neck of Henry Miller, the local saloon operator. It seems that "Millie" has been promoting a beautiful actress named Frances Fryer, but Frances turns out to be a boy, Francis. Millie's attempt to cover up is soon unmasked by the angry miners, and to keep the peace, Calamity sets out for Chicago to bring back the miner's real heart-throb, Adelaide Adams. In Chicago Calamity mistakes Adelaide's maid, Katie Brown, for the actress and hauls her back to Deadwood. Onstage Katie is greeted warmingly, but breaks down and confesses that she is not the famous star. Calamity once more has to restore order and persuades the audience to give Katie a chance. They do, and she wins the heart of every male in town including Calamity's dashing love hope, Lt. Danny Gilmartin. Calamity reluctantly overcomes her jealousy over losing Danny and discovers her true love for Wild Bill.  
A fun packed musical with a young cast aged between 7 and 15 years.

NT Live: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - Thursday 22 February at 7pm

Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece Cat on a Hot Tin Roof played a strictly limited season in London’s West End in 2017. Following his smash hit production of A Streetcar Named Desire, Benedict Andrews’ ‘thrilling revival’ (New York Times) stars Sienna Miller alongside, Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?  Please note, this is a recording of the Young Vic’s production captured in front of a live audience.  Please note this production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has been classified as a 15.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 3

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5th year mocks & parents' evening

The presentations Mr May and Mr Lomax gave during Monday evening's Parents' Evening (on mocks overview/Easter revision and Sixth Form options) are available in PDF form here and here. Plus a video of the 5th form parents' evening.

Revision leave dates - Summer 2018

Fifth year: revision leave will now begin on Friday 4 May, 5.20pm.
Upper Sixth: revision leave begins Friday 18 May, 1pm.

Reporting pupil absences

With the large number of absences at the current time it is an opportune time to remind you of the procedure to report your boy’s absence from school.  If you wish to telephone and leave a message please call the Attendance Office on 01235 849031 or email attendance@abingdon.org.uk.  If you prefer to notify your boy’s Housemaster and/or Tutor please also copy the email to attendance@abingdon.org.uk. We do request that absences are reported each day to avoid any confusion.  If you know of any forthcoming appointments, University visits or the like, please also notify the Attendance Office in the same way, having sought permission, for day absences, from your son's housemaster.

Safer Internet Day, Tuesday 6 February 2018 - from the Deputy Head (Pastoral)

Tuesday 6 February is Safer Internet Day with the theme of "Create, Connect and Share Respect." Various conversations around this theme will be happening in school, and we would encourage the same at home. Safer Internet Day also gives the chance for a wider conversation. When his snapchat pings, what does the message contain? What comments has he made in reply to someone's Instagram post? If you look at his own Instagram post are the pictures compromising? Who are the disembodied voices that he talks to when he is gaming?  It might be that the conversation is a good chance for you to ask him about his perspective, as the ways in which a teenager views the online world are very different from those who are 35+ .... Please follow the link for some factoids on the internet to trigger a conversation with your son - http://www.unboxingdeals.com/one-second-of-internet/ and the Safer Internet Site is https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2018.

The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet – internationally acclaimed wildlife cameraman Doug Allan comes to the Amey Theatre, Friday 2 March 2018

"For me, wildlife cameramen don’t come much more special than Doug. There’s just no one else who knows these frozen worlds as he does" - David Attenborough

DOUG ALLAN - AN EYE BELOW ZERO - In collaboration with the Abingdon Science Partnership and Science Oxford. Did you ever wonder how to approach belugas underwater? Get up close and personal with polar bears without being eaten? Stop your fingers falling off from frostbite? And not lose that important dive hole when you’re diving under the ice?  Doug Allan is one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen, and he’ll be giving his own personal insights into marine biology, diving, and filming at the poles. Illustrated with his own photographs and clips from his best-known series, and with a wealth of behind the scenes stories – Doug’s aim is to amaze, inspire and challenge. In the 40 years since Doug first went to Antarctica, he’s witnessed first-hand how the warming of the poles and the changing ice is affecting the animals north and south. What should we be doing to turn the tide? He’ll also be signing copies of his book Freeze Frame – A Wildlife Cameraman’s Adventures on Ice.

Doug is one of the world’s best known and respected cameramen. He's worked for the BBC, Discovery, National Geographic and many others, filming for series like The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Ocean Giants, Operation Iceberg, Wild Cameramen at Work, and Brian Cox’s Forces of Nature.  Further information and to book tickets.

Helen Pearson to speak at Abingdon School about Careers in Law: Thursday 8 March 2018

Drawing upon nearly 30 years of experience as a lawyer, Helen Pearson will talk to 5th Year and 6th Form pupils about what being a lawyer is like; key personal qualities for success; rewards and sacrifices of the profession; different types of legal careers; and educational routes into these different careers. Thursday 8 March 2018. 

6th Form: 1pm to 1.40pm, Big School, Classroom B11. 
5th Years: 1.45pm to 2.30pm, Big School, Classroom B7. 

If he is considering a career in law, please encourage your 5th Year or 6th Form son to save the date!

Abingdon Careers Convention: Friday 16 March 2018, 7pm - 9.30pm, SHSK

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 16 March 2018, 7pm-9.30pm at SHSK.  5th Year, L6 and U6 students will not want to miss this event! Already, nearly 90 parents and alumni of the three schools (representing some 70 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 meeting with an independent career adviser. The event is compulsory for 5th year students; all 6th form students are invited to attend voluntarily.  And parents are welcome, too; no booking is necessary.

FASBC - Annual Dinner on Saturday 17 March

The Friends of Abingdon School Boat Club invite you to save the date for their annual dinner on Saturday 17 March with speaker GB rower Matt Rossiter, OA 2008. Booking details to follow soon.

Abingdon Sports and Leisure - Courses and Academies 2018, based at Abingdon School 

Abingdon Sports and Leisure are delighted to announce that our Courses and Academies 2018 are now available to book. This includes the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification, a high performance rugby camp, swimming, climbing, squash, a junior orchestral course and much more. These courses provide an opportunity for participants to develop new or existing skills in an environment designed and equipped to an exceptionally high standard, led by qualified, experienced and DBS-checked coaches and staff.  The full range of Courses and Academies for both adults and juniors can be found listed on the ASE website here, along with an online registration form and brochure. All bookings are on a first come, first serve basis so we advise that you book early to avoid disappointment.

Abingdon School box office

The following events are taking place in the Amey Theatre next week:

Reminder - An Evening with James Ketchell - Monday 5 February, 7pm, Amey Theatre

All parents and pupils are warmly invited to attend this event at 7pm in the Amey Theatre to hear from James Ketchell, serial adventurer, motivational speaker and Scouting ambassador. On 1 February 2014, James became the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, successfully summited Mount Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world. There is no charge for the event but tickets do need to be booked at this link. James will be signing copies of his book “The Ultimate Triathlon” at the end of the evening (cost: £10).

Hockey Academy

Hockey academy at February half term at Tilsley Park.

Current 4th & 5th Year: Senior Rugby Tour in Summer 2019

Please look out for the senior rugby tour launch letter in your inbox. The proposed tour is heading to South America (Argentina & Chile) in August 2019. The letter includes a date for the launch evening which invites all current 4th & 5th Year rugby players and their parents to an introductory meeting on Thursday 22 February. The meeting does not sign you up to the tour, but is a fantastic opportunity to find out more about the detail of the tour before making a final decision about signing up for the trip.

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.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2

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Traffic Disruption in Park Road

Due to essential gas mains replacement by S.G.N., there will be some considerable disruption to vehicles visiting the School, travelling along Park Road from Monday 29 January.  Although the works will predominately be carried out to the footpaths and grass verges, it is expected that some temporary road closures will occur.  Parents and pupils will be contacted if significant changes to routes are needed.  

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.

JCQ and CIE Exam Notices

Please find attached all the JCQ notices and one CIE notice for the External Exam Candidates.  These have been sent to the boys on Monday 15 January.

Music

  • Wednesday 31 January at 7pm - Please do join us for one of the musical highlights of the year. More information and tickets applications can be found by following this link.
  • Thursday 1 February at 7pm New Year Charity Concert - A final reminder about this concert which features many of our senior ensembles: First and Second Orchestras, Big Band, Brass Band, Symphonic Wind Band, Lower School Band, Jazz Septet and the full Second Year Choir. 

Please see the programme by following this link and order your tickets here. The benefitting charity will be Home-Start, Oxford, a local charity that supports local families who are experiencing challenges.

Driving along Park Road and Park Crescent: 20mph

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

Food menu for the coming week - Week 1

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OA Damian Sutcliffe to Speak at Abingdon School on the Technological Revolution in Financial Services

Damian Sutcliffe (OA 1987), the now retired former EMEA Head of Technology and Global Chief of Operations Technology at Goldman Sachs, is coming to Abingdon on Friday 2 February (4-5pm, Sports Centre Hospitality Suite) to speak about the technological revolution occurring in the financial services sector and career opportunities that this revolution is already bringing. The event is open to any students who are interested in the topic, but is most relevant to 5th year, L6 and U6.

Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form Pupils and Parents

Abingdon will host a Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form pupils and parents on Thursday 25 January 2018, 6pm-7.30pm in the CMR. 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 five 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.

FASBC - Tea party for parents of 3rd year rowers

The Friends of the Abingdon School Boat Club invite the Parents of the new 3rd year rowers (J14) to a tea party at the boat house on Saturday 3 February from 2pm. This is a great opportunity to watch and cheer for your sons (weather permitting); to meet the Coaches, other parents of rowers and the FASBC Committee; and to see around the boat house. The Abingdon School Boat House can be found at the bottom of Wilsham Road, OX14 5LE and can be accessed through large black gates just after Kingfisher Close. There is limited parking within the grounds of the boat house, so please park on Wilsham Road next to the river and walk down, showing respect and consideration to our neighbours. There is no need to RSVP, but we very much hope that many of the new parents will be able to join us at this first event of the season. Please contact fasbc@abingdon.org.uk if you have any questions.

The Abingdon Science Partnership

The Abingdon Science Partnership has been asked to find young volunteers to help the Department of Psychology at the University of Oxford with their Brain For Maths study. This study aims to find out how the brain processes numbers throughout life. They are looking for children and  young people to take part in the research to help understand the development of the brain and numeracy skills. Currently, they are recruiting children aged 6, 10 and 14 years, and first year A-Level students NOT taking Maths at A-level. Participants must be right-handed, fluent English speakers, and without any known (or suspected) learning or developmental difficulty. The study involves a safe brain scan using a Magnetic Resonance Scanner (1 ½ hours) and several Maths puzzles and games (3 hours). Repeat sessions will take place in 18 or 24 months’ time (depending on the stage of education). Sessions will be in the volunteer's own time and must not interfere with normal schooling. All participants receive a voucher to say thank you for taking part. Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed. The team hope to make the experience of being involved in research interesting and fun. You can find out more about this research on the study website.  Or please contact the team on brain4maths@gmail.com or 07464 755010 for further information.

  • Or text Participate to 07464 755010
  • Facebook and Twitter @brain4maths!
  • CUREC ref: MS-IDREC-C2-2015-016 Date 15.08.16 Version No: SI10_v4

Music Notices

Friday 2 February - Whole First Year trip to Birmingham to hear CBSO - Parents are respectfully reminded to complete the permission for their sons to attend the CBSO Schools Concert Matinée performance on Friday 2 February. The link was sent in last week's mailing but should be accessible by following this link to the Google response form.

There is a flurry of concert opportunities coming up....

  • Wednesday 24 January Solo Platform 6pm CMR - Admission is free to hear some of our leading players in solo performance.
  • Wednesday 31 January Fitzroy String Quartet 7pm, Amey Theatre - We would request that all string players and their families support this important occasion to hear one of the rising star ensembles of the international chamber music world. Please apply for tickets using this link.
  • Thursday 1 February New Year Charity Concert 7pm Amey Theatre - Come and hear many of our leading ensembles and support the school's selected charities at the same time. It's win, win! Please use this link to order your tickets.

For Lower Sixth boys and their parents: UCAS

UCAS1: Introduction to the university application process: Friday 23 February 2018, 7pm, Amey Theatre. This is an important opportunity for boys and their parents to be introduced by experts to some of the key features of university application and admission processes.

Programme:

  • 7pm: Introduction, followed by Katherine Pagett, Student Recruitment Manager at Birmingham University, who will give an overview of the application process from a university admissions perspective (Amey Theatre);
  • 7.45-8pm: Refreshments (Amey foyer and Cafe);
  • 8pm-8.45pm: Boys and parents choose to attend: EITHER Oxford University and Cambridge University applications talk, OR Question and Answer: a panel of current Upper Sixth boys will talk about their own experiences of university applications (CMR).

An Evening with James Ketchell - Monday 5 February, 7pm, Amey Theatre

All parents and pupils are warmly invited to attend this event at 7pm in the Amey Theatre to hear from James Ketchell, serial adventurer, motivational speaker and Scouting ambassador. On 1 February 2014, James became the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, successfully summited Mount Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world. There is no charge for the event but tickets do need to be booked at this link. James will be signing copies of his book “The Ultimate Triathlon” at the end of the evening (cost: £10).

Reminder - A Matter of Life and Death - Amey Theatre, Wednesday 24 - Friday 26 January, 7pm 

On the night of 2nd May, 1945, an English airman tells a woman he's never met he loves her before jumping from his burning aircraft to almost certain death. However, in the thick fog above the channel, the angel sent to collect pilot Peter Carter misses him, and Carter finds himself washed up on the shore, alive. But having issued an invoice, the other world must balance its books, so Peter has to take the heavenly authorities to the Universal Court of Appeal to argue for his life.  Inspired by Powell and Pressburger’s ground-breaking 1946 film, this wildly romantic tale was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007 in a breathtaking adaptation by the Kneehigh Theatre Company.  Please note, staff are able to book one complimentary ticket. If you wish to do so, please get in touch. Tickets still on sale.

Traffic Disruption in Park Road

Due to essential gas mains replacement by S.G.N., there will be some considerable disruption to vehicles visiting the School, travelling along Park Road from Monday 29 January.  Although the works will predominately be carried out to the footpaths and grass verges, it is expected that some temporary road closures will occur.  Parents and pupils will be contacted if significant changes to routes are needed.  

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 3

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Notices:

Parking notice for parents attending fixtures at Abingdon School on Saturday 13 January

There are a number of fixtures taking place this Saturday afternoon at Abingdon School. We also have a large number of candidates attending our First Year entrance examination. Due to recent wet weather there may be some parking restrictions and we would greatly appreciate if any parents can park elsewhere in the town that afternoon and/or share lifts into school.

Abingdonian News

The 2018 edition of the Abingdonian magazine will be distributed next week 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.

Public Examination Timetables

Public examination timetables for Summer 2018 are now available on the School Website.  Boys personal timetables will be issued after half-term.

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 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.

Space Walking with an Astronaut, Michael Foale, Former NASA astronaut, Tuesday 30 January 2018, 7.30pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Dr Michael Foale CBE is a British/American astronaut, veteran of six space missions, and the only NASA astronaut to have flown extended missions aboard both the Russian Mir and International Space Stations. He was the first Briton to perform a spacewalk, and until 2008, he held the record for most time spent in space by a US citizen: 374 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. He still holds the cumulative-time-in-space record for a UK citizen. In 1997 Mike was on board Mir with two other cosmonauts when it was hit by a supply craft - the worst collision in the history of spaceflight. It sent the space station tumbling out of control and left the team without power and contact with Earth.  Come and hear the story of how events unfolded at this unique event and how Mike used his skills to save Mir from disaster.  Tickets: £12.50 adults, £8 children/students, £33 Family (2 adults, 2 children).  To book: www.abingdon.org.uk/future_events.

Music Notices

  • New Year Charity Concert - Thursday 1 February at 7pm - Do consider attending the concert. The following groups will be performing; 2nd Year Choir, Lower School, Brass and Big Bands, Abingdon Academicals, Chamber and First Orchestras. The repertoire includes Arnold's Little Suite for Orchestra and an arrangement of Thunderbirds. We think that the concert should finish by 8.30pm or soon afterwards.

  • First Year Concert Trip to Birmingham - Friday 2 February - The music department has arranged for the whole First Year to attend an 10.30am matinee performance with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. This trip to Birmingham will support the listening work done in First Year Music lessons and will last from 10.30am to the end of the day.  We will leave school by coach at 10.45am prompt, halfway through period 2. The boys will be supervised throughout by staff and we expect to be back at school by 5pm,  in good time for the buses. The boys will be provided with a packed lunch and a drink.  The cost of the trip has been subsidised by the music department, but a contribution of £10, to include travel and entry, will be charged to school accounts. I would be grateful if parents would kindly express their consent by completing the google form, which can be accessed here

  • Internationally Acclaimed Fitzroy Quartet Concert - Wednesday 31 January, 7pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School - Abingdon School has great pleasure in inviting parents, students, family and friends to a concert with the international award winning Fitzroy Quartet on Wednesday 31 January at 7pm. The quartet has won many awards and competitions including First Prize in the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition, First Prize in the Wolf Wolffinsohn Quartet Competition, the St Peter’s Eaton Square Prize and the Sir John Barbirolli Prize. The quartet had a busy 2017 performing throughout the world in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and South Africa. Further information and book ticket

  • Lent Term Calendar - Parents are warmly invited to any of our music events this term -  New Year Charity Concert, two Solo Concert Platforms, Intermediate Solo Competition, Annual Chamber Evening, Piano Masterclass, Singers' Platform and Choral Concert. Please consult the up to date Lent Music Calendar.

​Saturday Bus Times

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

Sport priority on a Saturday - reminder

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.

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.

Abingdon School Box Office

ROH Live: Rigoletto - Tuesday 16 January, 7.15pm

David McVicar's acclaimed production of Verdi's potent and tragic opera is conducted by Alexander Joel, with an excellent cast led by Dimitri Platanias, Lucy Corwe and Michael Fabiano.  The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production for The Royal Opera. Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect...   

David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.  Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

A Matter of Life and Death - Amey Theatre, Wednesday 24 - Friday 26 January, 7pm

On the night of 2nd May, 1945, an English airman tells a woman he's never met he loves her before jumping from his burning aircraft to almost certain death. However, in the thick fog above the channel, the angel sent to collect pilot Peter Carter misses him, and Carter finds himself washed up on the shore, alive. But having issued an invoice, the other world must balance its books, so Peter has to take the heavenly authorities to the Universal Court of Appeal to argue for his life.  Inspired by Powell and Pressburger’s ground-breaking 1946 film, this wildly romantic tale was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007 in a breathtaking adaptation by the Kneehigh Theatre Company.  Please note, staff are able to book one complimentary ticket. If you wish to do so, please get in touch.

Fiddler on the Roof - YPH (SHSK), Tuesday 30 January - Thursday 1 February, 7pm

SHSK and Abingdon School present a Joint Senior Production of the beloved musical, 'Fiddler on the Roof'.  Tevye, the hard-working, affable Dairymain, has five spirited daughters. When it comes to marriage, how can he reconcile his traditional views with their progressive dreams? Set in 1905 on the eve of the Russian revolutionary period, the tensions in Anatevka, a small Russian village, bubble over in the face of change. The musical's themes remain as relevant today, in a world questioning cultural identity, displacement and family values, as they were a hundred years ago.  Well-known songs include Tradition, Matchmaker and Sunrise, Sunset vividly capture what is at stake in this charming, honest and heart-breaking piece of musical theatre.

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

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Term Calendar for Lent Term 2018, Key Dates and Term 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. The School Calendar is accessed from the tab called 'Information' at the top of the front page of the website. This is searchable using your web browser. Any amendments to Lent Term 2018 events made after today will be indicated clearly. The Key Dates for 2017/18 are also available on the website 'Information' page. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents. Term dates for 2017/18 and 2018/19 are also available on the same page.

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 at http://www.abingdon.org.uk/school_uniform.

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 18 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 2018

The trips list has now been updated to include trips planned for the Michaelmas Term 2018, too.

SHSK - Tech Camp

With the Christmas being a time that people often start to think about Summer holidays, Tech Camp would like to launch their camps for 2018.  Abingdon pupils can also use the St Helen’s discount code.

Abingdon School’s Annual Fund 2018 is now live!

Thanks to the generosity of parents, alumni, staff and governors, our Annual Fund is now in its 11th year and has raised over £900,000 for specific projects which benefit current boys across the School. With projects supporting anything from virtual reality design to spin bowling, we are excited to announce that the 2018 Annual Fund is now open and encourage you to visit the Annual Fund page on the school website. Here you can find all the projects and donate to any of them.

Shooting in Lent Term - Message from the Master i/c Shooting:

The time is upon us to start planning shooting sessions for the Lent term. So that we can start shooting in the very first week back, I would like boys to sign up to sessions now. All the sessions, and rifle type, are in the attached Google Form. Boys can commit to as many sessions as they like but do bear in mind that we are capping air rifle sessions at 12 boys and .22 rifle sessions at 8 boys this term.  Sessions will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, although some tweaking may take place by the Master in Charge and Shooting Coach.

There is also a £75 charge per term to cover the Shooting Coach's time, ammunition, targets and other ancillaries. Therefore, after boys have signed up using this form I will be asking parents to also sign a consent form. If a boy's name is not down for a session or parents haven't given consent, boys will not be allowed to fire.  Please sign up to sessions here - https://goo.gl/forms/L3zQsDsFPN3m6SuJ2 

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. 

Abingdon Box Office

NT Live: Young Marx - Thursday 11 January at 7pm - Rory Kinnear (The Threepenny Opera, Penny Dreadful, Othello) is Marx and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night, Green Wing) is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, the production is directed by Nicholas Hytner and reunites the creative team behind Broadway and West End hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors.  1850, and Europe’s most feared terrorist is hiding in Dean Street, Soho. Broke, restless and horny, the thirty-two- year-old revolutionary is a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit, and child-like emotional illiteracy. Creditors, spies, rival revolutionary factions and prospective seducers of his beautiful wife all circle like vultures. His writing blocked, his marriage dying, his friend Engels in despair at his wasted genius, his only hope is a job on the railway. But there’s still no one in the capital who can show you a better night on the piss than Karl Heinrich Marx.  Please note that this is an Encore Screening of the Live Performance on Thursday 7 December 2017.

Dr. Michael Foale CBE, ex-NASA Astronaut, Tuesday 30 January, 7.30pm, Amey Theatre - We are extremely pleased to be welcoming back to the Amey Theatre Dr.Michael Foale CBE, ex-NASA Astronaut, who still holds the record for longest time in space by a British born person. His visit is particularly exciting for the 37 pupils of Abingdon and St.Helen's schools who spent a week with Mike at Russia's Cosmonaut training centre, Star City near Moscow, last February: Abingdon Head of School, Patrick McCubbin, says of Mike and the trip "To visit a place like Star City, and meet people like Dr Michael Foale CBE, is inspirational. Everybody there is determined to always be improving, to aim high, be proactive, to work for each other as well as themselves." You can find out first hand about Mike's amazing story, including six space missions and life aboard both the Mir and International Space Stations, at his public lecture on Tuesday 30 January at 7.30pm. Tickets are available from the Amey Theatre and via this link bit.ly/ASPastronaut.

Joint Senior Production 'A Matter of Life and Death' - Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 & Friday 26, 7pm, Amey Theatre. Tickets are now on sale.

Next Term

Term begins on Tuesday 9 January 2018 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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Saturday Buses

Saturday 9 December - the Saturday buses are running this weekend but the pick up times will be 1 HOUR EARLIER this weekend in order to get the boys into school in time to depart for the away matches to Bedford.

Weather - snow

Given the weather forecast, this is a reminder that, should travel be affected or the school has to close for daypupils, we aim to send a text message, and an email, to parents by 6.45am.  There should also be a message on the front page of the website.  We aim to remain open, where possible, for pupils and staff who can travel safely. 

 Work will be sent by e-mail to pupils' Firefly accounts, for the lessons they would usually have on that day. The status of the Joint Bus Service might also be a useful page.

Updates will be sent by text message and by email to parents if arrangements for departure need to alter.

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.

Music

  • Lent Term 2018 Music Calendar - Parents are warmly invited to view next term's music calendar which offers some very exciting performance opportunities for pupils and audiences alike.
  • Fitzroy String Quartet comes to Abingdon on Wednesday 31 January - Please do consider joining us to hear this young award-winning string quartet who are playing the programme advertised in this concert poster. This is an event not to be missed - please go to the school's website to book tickets.
  • Music Technology Lessons at Abingdon School from January 2018

The Music Department is again 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, next term, will cost £22.50 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 at michael.stinton@abingdon.org.uk

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/

Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form Pupils and Parents

Abingdon will host a Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form pupils and parents on Thursday evening, 25 January 2018, 6pm-7:30 in the CMR. The event will focus on the reasons why a leaver might want (or need) to take a Gap Year; some of the pros and cons of a Gap Year; setting goals and finding relevant experiences to achieve those goals during a Gap Year; the likely costs of a Gap Year; and the transition following a return from a Gap Year. 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.

Ultimate Activity Camps at Abingdon Prep and Sports Centre for ages 4-14 in Summer 2018 - 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 stating on Tuesday 19 December (when bookings are live to book) until Friday 5 January – see the attached flyer for details or visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk for details or you can call their friendly team on 0330 111 7077 (local rate).

Abingdon Science Partnership

Tickets are still available for the inaugural Abingdon Science Partnership Christmas Lecture 'Dinosaurs and Ichthyosaurs of Britain' on Wednesday 13 December 7-8pm in the Amey Theatre from http://bit.ly/ASPdinosaurs

Food menu for the coming week - Week 1


 

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Save the Date: OA Damian Sutcliffe to Speak at Abingdon School on the Technological Revolution in Financial Services

Damian Sutcliffe (OA 1987), the now retired former EMEA Head of Technology and Global Chief of Operations Technology at Goldman Sachs, is coming to Abingdon on Friday 2 February (4-5pm, Sports Centre Hospitality Suite) to speak about the technological revolution occurring in the financial services sector and career opportunities that this revolution is already bringing. The event is open to any students who are interested in the topic, but is most relevant to 5th year, L6 and U6.

Music

  • The Christmas Concerts - Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 December at 7pm - The two popular Christmas Concerts will take place next week and they provide a platform for all the School's senior orchestras and bands. For those new to the School they will give a sense of the range and depth of Abingdon's music. Tickets are available in advance from the school's website (Friday is sold out) and we look forward to seeing many of you there.
  • Programme - The following ensembles will be performing: First Year Choir, Gospel Choir, Joint Chamber Choir, Brass Band, Big Band, First Wind Band, Chamber Orchestra, Second Orchestra, First Orchestra
  • Arrangements for performers - Parents of boys in the First Year have been circulated already with arrangements for the concert days. All the other performers will be required for final rehearsals after school on the Wednesday at times published in the Music School. Supper will be provided on both nights, and the school will bear the cost of one of these. Boys are reminded to wear white shirts as usual on concert days. Boys in the Big Band should be aware that their concert dress includes a colourful waist coat of their choice.

Food menu for the coming week - Week 3

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Lower 6th parents and boys: UCAS1 evening: Friday 23 February 2018, 7pm

All Lower Sixth boys and their parents/guardians are invited to an evening of introductory talks about the university admissions process on FRIDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2018 in the Amey Theatre to start at 7pm. We host speakers from a Russell Group university to give advice about admissions from a university perspective, from Oxford and Cambridge Universities to describe the particular issues in their application processes, and a panel of Upper Sixth boys talk about their own university application experiences followed by a question-and-answer session. The evening is due to end around 9.30pm. Further details to follow.

Revision leave dates - Summer 2018

Fifth year: revision leave begins Friday 4 May, 5.20pm
Upper Sixth:  revision leave begins Friday 18 May, 1pm

 

Notes:

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

Upper Sixth: Some Upper Sixth boys will be taking AS units in the summer in subjects that were reformed only from September 2017 (e.g. Maths & Further Maths, Philosophy, DT) and it may be that these fall before official study leave starts on Friday 18 May.  In such cases, for an afternoon exam, boys will be permitted to take the morning as study leave.  No study 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.  Abingdon does not offer the new 'stand alone' AS qualifications in reformed subjects. 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.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - 4th and 5th Year

Over the course of this term the Third and Lower Sixth have been bringing in their laptop-style devices to use in and and out of lessons, in addition to the 2nd Year's Chromebook initiative. The aim is to roll the BYOD approach out to all of Middle and Upper School by September 2018. With this in mind we will be asking all the Fourth Year to bring in appropriate devices after their exams at the start of May 2018. Fifth Year pupils will not be required to bring in a device this academic year, although they are welcome to do so if they would like. They will be required to have a device if they then carry on into the Sixth Form.  There is an updated Q&A document available and if you have any questions please email Ben Whitworth, Director of eLearning.

Lower School Pre-Season Football Training Day 

All Lower School pupils considering playing Football next term are warmly invited to attend a pre-season Football training day on Saturday 6 January 2018.  Please see further information in the letter attached, and if your son would like to attend complete the following form https://goo.gl/forms/GGi1Ppbey7vb2WV42

3rd Year Football Pre-Season Football Training Day

All third year pupils considering selecting Football as their core-sport during the Lent Term 2018 are invited to two pre-season training days on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 January 2018. As the final selection of the 2018 Football squad of players will not take place until the start of the Lent Term, any players considering selecting Football as their core-sport are warmly invited to attend these sessions. Please see further information in the letter attached and if your son would like to attend complete the following form https://goo.gl/forms/adkOqJ6y9xtdZVFe2

Black River Bridge - Lower School Drama Production: Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December, Amey Theatre, 7pm

9 December, 1861.  Johnny Clem is a musician in the Union army. He dreams of better things, having been down trodden and ignored his whole life. He bets his fellow musicians he will become a successful soldier one day. Orion Howe leaves home as a result of his father’s drunken beatings. He too joins the Union army by lying about his age and proves to be a brave and useful soldier. The battle of Black River Bridge turns out to be the most ‘human’ moment he has ever had.  Set in the American Civil War, this specially commissioned piece will be performed by our Lower School boys

B12 - Middle School Drama Production: Thursday 30 November and Friday 1 December, Amey Theatre, 8pm (approximately)

Inspired by 2013's 'History of Abingdon in 63 Objects', B12 - A School Story weaves together imagined scenes of the school's past and present, viewed through the lens of a single classroom.  Performed by our Third Years, this play has been specially commissioned by OA Ed Rowett, author of Radio 4’s award-winning sitcom “Reluctant Persuaders”.

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2


 

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Parents on site

For safeguarding reasons, please can I remind all parents that they must sign in at Park Lodge reception if they have a meeting with a member of staff.  Please do not come on to the site without signing in and receiving a visitors' lanyard.  The exceptions to this are if you are attending a sports fixture, or concert. I hope that you would understand why we would like the site to be as secure as possible, and as ever, if you have any queries please do contact Mark Hindley, our safeguarding lead.

EPQ Presentations Evening

The EPQ Presentations Evening will take place on Monday 20 November in the Yang Science Centre from 5.30 to 7pm. Parents of those boys doing presentations have been invited to the event, but all parents are welcome to attend. If you would like to come, please let Mr Hallinan know by email.

Seeing homework on Firefly

Homework for students in Middle and Upper School (and often Lower School as well) is set through the school's learning site, Firefly.  Homeworks ("tasks") are listed for boys in the order they are due in and work can be submitted to the teacher electronically via the same site if the teacher has indicated they are happy to receive work in that manner.  Students can access the site through an app for iOS or Android, as well as through any web browser and are reminded to make sure they mark each task as complete after they have done it. If you would like to see what homework has been set, then we encourage you to ask your son to show you his Firefly dashboard, as well as giving you a guided tour of the many resources available.  We are not able to give parents their own access to their son's Firefly pages.  If you have any questions, please contact Ben Whitworth, Director of eLearning. 

Music Notices

  • Music Society Woodwind Masterclass, Wednesday 22 November at 6pm in CMR - Next Wednesday there is an opportunity to hear some expert woodwind tuition from Paul Harrison, clarinettist, teacher, author and composer, who will be working with nine of our senior woodwind players. The event is financed by our Music Society and so admission is free.  We are hoping that all our woodwind players will attend. Please do consider coming along and bringing your sons. There is no doubt that all will benefit from insightful and motivational playing and teaching that they will see.
  • Christmas Concerts , Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 December at 7pm - Our Christmas Concerts are now fast approaching and tickets are selling for one of our most popular musical events. The concert will include performances from the senior ensembles (three orchestras and Symphonic Wind and Big Bands) and choirs, including the entire First year, the Gospel and the Joint Chamber choirs. Our senior flautist, William Lam, will be performing the beautiful Concertino by Cecile Chaminade.  The programme is repeated on the two adjacent evenings - please use this link to apply for tickets for either evening.

Parents' Carol Service

All parents and boys are warmly invited to the carol service at St Michael's Church, Park Road on Thursday 14 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 perform.  Do join us for this delightful and inspiring occasion.

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 1​

 


 

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Anti-Bullying week

Next week is the annual Anti-Bullying week. This year's theme is "All Different, All Equal". We will address this in Assemblies, Chapel, tutor periods and in PSHCE lessons. Please could you try to find the chance to raise it in discussion with your son as well, as one aim for this year is to encourage a 'talking school' where pupils are open to discussing these issues, whether they are the victim or whether it is someone that they know. A real issue that we try to address at School, that might be a starting point for a chat at home, is the age old issue of what to do if you are present when someone is being unpleasant. After the fact we want boys to feel able to raise their concerns with someone, but dealing with the situation there and then is never easy. Please stress how important it is to speak and act at the moment it is happening, as peer disapproval is crucial in establishing - and continuing - an anti-bullying culture where difference and diversity is encouraged and celebrated.

Please also take the opportunity not only to reiterate the importance of being compassionate in our dealings with others, but also to highlight some of the groups of people who can be targeted.  At Abingdon we want to build a culture where difference is celebrated rather than being used as a means of picking on the outsider.  The points of difference could revolve around gender, sexuality, or it could be simply that the interests of that person are not stereotypical.  Please also feel free to visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website.

Music Notices this week

  • Senior Solo Instrumental Competition - Wednesday 15 November at 6.30pm (please note the start has been delayed by 30 mins to accommodate a clashing rehearsal) - We have eight of our advanced musicians competing for our senior instrumental trophy and a distinguished musician, George Caird, to make that tricky choice.  Parent of an OA, George Caird, is a distinguished oboist and former Principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. Do come and hear some distinguished playing and adjudication - admission is free.
  • Mozart and Rutter with the Joint Choral Society - Sunday 19 November at 7pm - A final opportunity to order tickets for this year's choral society event, including chorus, soloists and orchestras from both Abingdon and St Helen's. Please follow this link to order your tickets.
  • ASMS Woodwind Masterclass with Paul Harris - Wednesday 22 November at 6pm - Clarinettist, composer, author, educator and friend of Abingdon School, Paul Harris, comes to hear our top woodwind players and to put them through their paces. We have some extremely promising players lined up for him. Please come and hear this fascinating series of open lessons - Paul's comments are wonderfully intuitive and helpful. For woodwind players and their parents, this is an unmissable event. Please join us - admission is free.

Abingdon Science Partnership 

The inaugural Abingdon Science Partnership Christmas Lecture will be held on Wednesday 13 December at 7pm in the Amey Theatre with all proceeds from ticket sales going to support the annual Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology. The lecture will be given by top dinosaur expert, TV presenter and author Dean R. Lomax who will talk about his favourite subject, Dinosaurs and Ichthyosaurs of Britain. Anyone interested in this subject, expert or enthusiast, young or older can obtain tickets via the Amey Theatre online booking system.

Parents' Prayer Gathering - Simon Steer, Chaplain

An opportunity to pray for the Prep and Senior schools will take place on Thursday 16 November in the library at the Prep School from 8-9pm. Refreshments will be served. All welcome.

Horizon Lectures: Karen Darke - Tuesday 14 November at 7.30pm 

As a young adult Karen Darke filled her time with adventures in the outdoors – running, climbing and exploring as much as she could.  At the age of 21 Karen was paralysed from the waist down in a climbing accident and was told she would never walk, climb or cycle again.  Despite this, Karen kept her love of adventure and - with the help of friends, perseverance and a little creativity - has gone on to hand-cycle across the Himalayas, traverse the Greenland ice cap, climb El-Capitan - and even win a Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics...

NT Live: Follies - Thursday 16 November at 7pm

Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas.  New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves.  Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors). Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.

Follow Abingdon School Enterprises on Instagram

Abingdon School Enterprises (Abingdon Sports and Leisure) has joined Instagram so if you'd like to follow them here's the link

Food menu for the coming week - Week 3

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Survey reminder

Last call to complete the survey on fees.  Thank you to all parents who have completed this survey - we have had a very good response and have decided to keep the survey open for a few more days for any other parents who would like to complete the survey.  The new deadline is 11pm this Sunday (5 November).  A reminder of the Headmaster's cover letter can be found here.  Please note the 4 digit code you need to access the survey is 9830.  Thank you again for your help in this important survey.

Device security

With the introduction of devices in the 2nd, 3rd and L6 year groups, we are reminding pupils to look after their devices and to use the secure facilities provided by the school.  The safety and security of the students' devices is of utmost importance to us. With this in mind we strongly suggest:

  • When not in use the devices should locked in the boys lockers in the houseroom (e.g. for Games sessions and Wednesday afternoon). 
  • Over lunch they can use the Big School foyer lockers, provided they bring a padlock, if they do not happen to pass their houseroom. 
  • For PE they can either quickly drop their device back in their lockers in their houserooms if it is on their way, or they can get a key from the sports centre reception for use in that lesson.

All devices should have a suitable case or sleeve that protects it whilst in the bag.

If anyone has any concerns or questions, then please contact Ben Whitworth, the Director of eLearning.

All Parents: Volunteer Career Representatives needed for Abingdon Careers Convention, Friday 16 March 2018, St Helen and St Katharine

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 personal 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 students and parents alike. This year’s Careers Convention will be held on Friday evening 16 March 2018 at St Helen and St Katharine. At present, we are recruiting parents and alumni to volunteer as a career representative. To register your interest, please complete this online Expression of Interest form no later than Friday 17 November 2017.

Parents of 5th Year Pupils Participating in COA Preview Programme - This week, your son will have had a 1:1 interview with a professional careers adviser from COA and received a printed report of the findings from his online career matching questionnaire as well as a book to help him research, think about, and plan for a future career. With tentative A-Level subject choices made at the end of this month, now is the time for your son to look over his report, focusing on Section C, which outlines the career areas to which he would appear to be well matched (based on his answers to the questionnaire). He should research specific careers in these areas (using the COA Careers Directory given to him, or other web sites recommended on the school’s Study Site, Firefly) with a view to long-listing a number of potential careers he might like to pursue in the future and then looking at the educational options/requirements for entering those careers. This latter information may help inform his A-Level subject choices (see Section D of the report).  If your son would like to discuss further the findings in his report, about research he has since undertaken on careers of interest, or on the selection of specific A-Level subject choices (from a career planning perspective), please encourage him to contact me directly to arrange a meeting. And, if your son is planning to seek a work experience placement after his GCSE exams, encourage him to look for a placement with an employer in a career of interest as a way of finding out more about that career. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Music

There are plenty of upcoming music events which parents are kindly invited to note - here is a summary:

  • Solo Concert Platform No 2 - Thursday 9 November, 6pm in CMR (admission free)
  • Music Society Quiz (with the Headmaster as Quizmaster) and Family Supper - Friday 10 November, 7pm in CMR.  Due to catering requirements, tickets in advance are required for this event. Please make your ticket purchases by 5pm on Monday 6 November.
  • Senior Instrumental Solo Competition - Wednesday 15 November, 6pm in CMR  (admission free)
  • Joint Choral Society sing Mozart and Rutter - Sunday 19 November, 7pm in the Amey Theatre.  Tickets are required for this event.

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 18 November, 7pm 

Website Feedback

We would be very grateful if parents could spare just a few minutes to give us some feedback on the school website which was updated at the beginning of this term. Please follow this link, it will only take a few minutes.

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Reports: First cycle of the year

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

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

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

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

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

3rd Year Bring Your Own Device

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

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

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

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

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

School Uniform

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

Survey reminder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survey reminder

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

6th Form Careers Evening with the OA Club

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

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

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

Signing in for SUS (Second Hand Uniform Shop)

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

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

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

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

 

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

Inter School Fixtures

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

Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from, and granted, by the Headmaster. Please avoid asking for leave of absence, as it hinders the progress the boys make. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture. The Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell, should be copied in on any such leave of absence request.

RSC Live: Coriolanus - Wednesday 11 October at 7pm

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

Abingdon Sports & Leisure - Climbing and squash courses

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Abingdon School is a Nut Free School

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

Maths - Puzzle of the Fortnight

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

Music

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

Information for Parents - Policies

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

Survey Reminder 

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

School Notices - A great new market place for parents

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

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

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

Health Centre

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

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

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

Reminder - Annual Touchliner Rugby Dinner

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

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Open Day - Saturday 30 September

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

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

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

Pastoral Advice for Parents from the Deputy Head (Pastoral)

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

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

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

Jazz Charity Concert for TAB

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

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

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

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

Annual Touchliner Rugby Dinner

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

Ultimate Activity Camps and Academies of Sport at October Half Term

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

Ultimate Activity Camps

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

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

Academies of Sport

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

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

Driving along Park Road and Park Cresecent: 20mph

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

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Trips information - Residential Trips 2017/18

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

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

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

L6 Bring Your Own Device

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sung in German with English surtitles.

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

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

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

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

Behaviour on the Buses

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

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

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

Exam Remarks

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

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

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

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

Music

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

Abingdon News

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

The new Foundation video and keeping in touch 

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

Weekly Mailing

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

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

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

Come and experience Abingdon Sports and Leisure 

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

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

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

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 2


 

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

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

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

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

Website update 

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

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

Term Dates and Key Dates

Boys will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term, but, for information for new parents, there is an online calendar which is kept regularly up to date.  It is available from the front page of the website under 'Information'. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page for 2017/18. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents.

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

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

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

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

Music Notices

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

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

Medical matters

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

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

Coach Park and Faringdon Road

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

Requests for absence

Extract from 2017/18 Parents' Handbook

Leave out of School

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

Sporting Fixtures

Boys are expected to be availale for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Headmaster.  Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, pete.bignell@abingdon.org.uk.

Rugby: concussion

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

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

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

Mouthguard Fittings

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

Saturday Bus Service

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

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

Inter School Fixtures

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

To assist parental planning, the Sport and Physical Education Department email teamsheets for each of the age groups to parents on a Thursday evening. This will be sent to the primary contact, which we have stored on iSams, our internal database. There are a number of primary contacts for whom we have not got email addresses attached, and these contacts will therefore not be receiving the email. Please do supply data to the School, so as to ease our paths of communication. 

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

Off-Games Procedure

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

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

Tutor Groups

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

Bus Safety

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

Come and experience Abingdon Sports and Leisure 

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

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

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

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1

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