Abingdon School in Partnership

The aim of Abingdon School in Partnership is to build relationships with the local community, and in particular our partner schools, to the benefit of and to challenge all staff and students.

The School has a long history of working with partner schools on a range of projects from teaching Classics in senior schools to primary school sports days.

The opening of the School’s Science Centre and the subsequent Abingdon Science Partnership initiative has broadened our association with around 30 schools. The Abingdon Science Partnership has been shortlisted on three occasions for the prestigious TES Awards for both the Community and Collaboration category and the Independent State School Partnership category.

Fitzharrys School and Abingdon have worked together for four years. Joint activities include: action based research for staff and student collaboration ranging from joint drama performances, swimming coaching, A level geography teaching and more recently sixth formers planning, resourcing and delivering the teaching of certain curriculum areas within maths and science.

As a forward thinking, outward looking school, Abingdon is keen to forge further links with schools, both primary and secondary, within the town and surrounding area.

We are looking to develop our partnerships further within academic areas as well as extra-curricular, student leadership and staff development. All of which will build on: 

  • Community – For Abingdon School to build on the positive role it plays in the local community.
  • Collaboration – For Abingdon School students and staff to collaborate effectively and positively with members of the local community.
  • Challenge – For Abingdon School students and staff to stretch and challenge themselves via collaboration.

Follow us on social media:

Instagram: @aspartnerships
Twitter: @ASPartnerships

ASiP Newsletter:

The March 2019 edition (Volume 1) can be viewed as an online publication or in PDF format.

See our page on the Schools Together website. The Schools Together Group is a nationwide group of those in state and independent schools with an interest in inter-school partnerships: “Harnessing the power of partnerships for the benefit of children”.

View the 2018-19 ASiP year review.

I have enjoyed ten happy years at Abingdon School teaching in the Geography department, coaching various sports teams and running a day house. For the last four years I have been working very closely with one of our partner schools, Fitzharrys, where, with the help of members of their Leadership Team, we have set up opportunities for staff and student collaboration which have been unquestionably beneficial to both schools.

I am hugely excited by the prospect of being able to develop our existing partnership programme further and to use the excellent practice seen in the Abingdon Science Partnership, under the leadership of Jeremy Thomas, to act as a springboard to develop a whole school partnership programme.

The ASiP programme is based on the concepts of Community, Collaboration and Challenge.

Our aim is for:

  • Abingdon School to build on the positive role it plays in the local community
  • students and staff to collaborate effectively and positively with members of the local community
  • students and staff to stretch and challenge themselves via collaboration.

Subject areas will look to provide opportunities for students within our cluster of schools to collaborate with each other, and with staff, to further their knowledge and deepen the passion for the subject.

This includes sixth form mentoring where older students try their hand at teaching the lower school or middle school curriculum to younger students. This helps develop core skills of collaboration, communication and initiative.

Developing leaders partnerships provide the opportunity for students within our cluster of schools to take on leadership opportunities and work collaboratively with other students. This may include activities such as Model United Nations, sports coaching, academic mentoring, pastoral mentoring and primary school liaison. These opportunities can help develop skills fundamental to future success such as communication, teamwork, public speaking, creativity and initiative. Leadership achievement will be recognised by way of a leadership ladder with awards presented at each level.

With growing pressure on adolescents in terms of academic expectations and issues linked to social media, mental health and wellbeing partnerships give students and staff from our cluster of schools the opportunity to share experience and best practice to try and promote positive mental health and wellbeing across the town of Abingdon.

Arts Partnership activities at Abingdon began in September 2018 in two areas - filmmaking and playwriting - but there are also plans for Abingdon students to work with their counterparts at partner schools on the staging of a music theatre production before the end of the academic year.

The Abingdon Film Academy launched in 2019 with filmmaking programmes run by the AFU tutors at Larkmead and Fitzharrys Schools. At Larkmead, five pupils in Years 11-13 have come forward to work on their own films while also creating a short promotional film for Larkmead’s website. 

At Fitzharrys, an initial taster workshop with nine students drawn from Years 9-13 was followed by further filming sessions at Abingdon in shooting and editing, and six students in Years 9-11 are preparing to make their own films.

Meanwhile, the Abingdon Film Unit has been working with Raw Workshop in Blackbird Leys - a social enterprise that manufactures bespoke furniture from recycled wood and supports the rehabilitation of people who have overcome significant challenges such as addiction, homelessness or imprisonment - on the making of a promotional film for the organisation’s website.

On the drama front, Abingdon is running the National Theatre’s New Views playwriting scheme in which professional playwrights guide students through the process of creating their own thirty-minute plays for entry into a national competition that offers winners the chance to see their work staged by the National Theatre. There are currently five students from Larkmead in Years 10-13 taking part.

Professional development partnerships give staff across our cluster of schools the opportunity to observe teaching and learning within a different setting and also help forge professionally beneficial links with different colleagues.

Having an outward looking ethos helps schools within the cluster learn from each other, provide cross-sector CPD opportunities and ultimately drive up standards of teaching and learning across Abingdon.

Sporting partnerships provide the opportunity for students within our cluster of schools to benefit from top level coaching and improve their knowledge and proficiency in certain sports. In addition members of the top sports teams could also turn their hand to coaching and try to inspire novice and intermediate students from other schools.

These opportunities will help build self confidence and enjoyment of sport.

Under the leadership of our primary school liaison teacher, Victoria Middleton, and with the support of our DT outreach teacher, Mike Webb, we are looking to forge positive links between Abingdon School and our surrounding primary schools. This will help develop mutually beneficial links, where primary school students and staff are supported both with academic and extra-curricular activities such as DT outreach projects, primary school sports days at Tilsley Park, 6th form mentoring as well as a range of other activities.