In so many ways, our history is tied up closely with our present and future. Josca’s School was started in 1956 with just 5 pupils, three of them brothers.  Today, across the Abingdon Foundation, there are now approaching 1,300 pupils.

Our Timeline

  1. 1956

    Josca’s was founded with just 5 pupils, three of whom were brothers. The eldest was called Josca hence the name - Josca’s Preparatory School.
  2. 1970

    Josca’s moved to the current site at Frilford.
  3. 1998

    Josca’s merged with Abingdon School to form the Abingdon Foundation. New classrooms and facilities for science, ICT, music and sport followed.
  4. 2006

    New sports hall opened and extensive refurbishment of classrooms.
  5. 2007

    Josca’s renamed Abingdon Preparatory School.
  6. 2017

    Craig Williams joins the school as Head.
  7. 2022

    Opening of dedicated music school, second science lab, new CDT suite, new Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms and new library.
  8. 2023

    Celebrating 25 years of the Abingdon Foundation
  9. 2024

    The Abingdon Foundation announces its decision to move to co-education.

Evelyn Farrell started the school in an outbuilding in her own garden with her three sons in attendance. The eldest, Julian, was nicknamed Josca – hence Josca’s Preparatory School – the apostrophe is important.

The School soon moved to a house in Latimer Road, Headington. A distinct ethos which included a strong drama tradition was established and the school grew quickly in numbers until a bombshell hit in 1969.

The lease on the Latimer Road Property was not to be renewed and it seemed likely that the life of Josca’s had run its course. This scenario did not take into account the ingenuity and passion for the School of the then Head, Tony Savin. Tony sought out fresh premises for the School and organised their purchase.

There was strong parental involvement in the purchase, the move and the transformation of Frilford House, a former home for the elderly, into a working school. This self-help ethos and close liaison with parents has been a lasting and immensely positive influence in the running and organisation of the School. To this day, the strong bond between pupils, parents and staff remains a real strength of Josca’s.

60 pupils moved to Frilford in 1970 and so began another phase of real growth: buildings extended, games fields purchased and mini-bus services started. Features such as the camps which singled out Josca’s from other schools were reinforced. Throughout it all was the clear aim to encourage all pupils to be not only capable of academic and sporting excellence, but to become productive, responsible citizens.

New impetus came to Josca’s in 1998 in the form of a merger with Abingdon School. Developments included Science and ICT suites, new classrooms, music practice rooms, a pavilion, extension of the playing fields and complete refurbishment of all existing facilities.

In July 2006, building work started on a new sports hall, two new sets of changing facilities, three classrooms and considerable internal relocation of facilities.

With the expansion of the School by September 2007, it seemed an appropriate time to change our name to Abingdon Preparatory School. The opening of our dedicated music school, second science lab, dedicated CDT suite, newly created Year 5 and 6 classrooms and library in September 2022 continues to meet our aim of providing state of the art educational facilities for pupils aged 4 – 13. In many ways, from its beginnings in 1956 the School will have undergone a significant transformation, in others, the core values so clearly established in its foundation, development and history have once again been cemented into its new buildings and all those who teach and learn in them. It is a bright and exciting time for our School and for our future.