Our first priority is the safety of all those in the Abingdon community and we have put in place appropriate measures in order to operate safely.

The situation is dynamic and the guidance we are able to give parents is often dependent on the information we receive from the government. We will update this page and notify parents when further details become available.

Update to Covid-19 measures from 7 June

We will be revising some of the Covid-19 measures that we have in place after half term. The changes are effective from Monday 7 June. There will be no change to the procedures for home Covid-19 testing of students and staff which should continue twice weekly. The procedures for using the Joint Bus Service and the sport and Other Half programmes for this term also remain unchanged.

The changes affect the following areas:

  • Year group bubbles
    With fewer pupils on site after half term, following the Fifth Year and Upper Sixth completing their assessments, more lessons will be taught in departmental areas. Pupils will be given revised timetables on Firefly. Students will be based in their house rooms, close to their housemaster, and will use their houseroom lockers.
  • School uniform
    Pupils should wear summer dress from Monday 7 June. Exceptions are: third year students who should wear sports kit on Mondays, and fourth year students on Tuesdays. At other times students are expected to change in the changing rooms. There are protocols in place for using the changing rooms safely. Further details about uniform can be found in the uniform update accordion below. From September all students will be expected to have an Abingdon tracksuit.
  • Hair cuts
    All students are reminded of the school policy on hair cuts: Hair must be cut so that it does not lie on the collar nor is excessively close-shaven. Hair must look smart, and must not appear to be attention seeking. Bleaches or dyes that are in blatant contrast to a boy’s natural colour are not permitted.
    While the School accepts that during lockdown it was not always possible to adhere to this policy, it will now be enforced and all students are expected to abide by it.
  • Lunch time arrangements
    Students will be given a revised lunchtime rota before term restarts.
  • Trips update
    Currently the trips (mainly Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme) due to happen in the second half of this term are still going ahead. The Department for Education advice is against overseas trips until at least 5 September 2021.
  • Events
    Please consult the Weekly Mailing for details about venues for end of term events (which will also be indicated on the calendar).

School uniform from 7 June to July 2021

Pupils should wear summer dress. Exceptions are: third year students who should wear sports kit on Mondays, and fourth year students on Tuesdays.

Summer Dress:
No school blazer or jacket
Formal open necked shirt, worn without a tie; sleeves rolled up.
Lower School: grey trousers plus white shirt
Third and Fourth Years: grey trousers plus plain blue shirt
Fifth Year: grey trousers plus plain blue shirt or striped blue shirt
Sixth Form: chinos and smart shirt
Lower School and Middle School: plain, NOT patterned, blue or grey jumper
Sixth Form: monochrome jumper
Black leather, polishable shoes, not black trainers, but trainers are allowed when wearing sports kit
T-shirts should not be visible.

Sports Kit:
Pupils should wear Abingdon shorts, Abingdon t-shirts/games shirts, and Abingdon socks. Pupils may wear trainers. ALL pupils MUST wear blue or black tracksuit bottoms (for reasons of safety in Science and practical subjects) but these do not have to be Abingdon branded.
For reasons of hygiene, pupils MUST bring in a change of t-shirt and a change of socks. Their change t-shirt should be inoffensive and does not need to be Abingdon branded.

From September we expect that pupils will wear normal school uniform (not summer dress).

Update on face coverings from Monday 17 May

From Monday 17 May, the Department for Education no longer recommends face coverings for pupils in classrooms or communal areas. Therefore at Abingdon it will be optional for pupils to wear face coverings on the school campus. However, they remain compulsory on the Joint Bus Service, and when travelling on school minibuses and coaches.

Pupils are reminded that all face coverings should be stored safely in a sealable bag and they should wash their hands before and after touching them.

The reintroduction of face coverings may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern.

Covid-19 testing at home

Covid-19 testing at home

We are following government guidelines for the testing of students in schools to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we very much appreciate the cooperation of parents and students in keeping our community safe.

All students should now be testing twice a week at home (on Sundays and Wednesdays). Further information on how to take a test is available here and from this government leaflet and video.

  • Testing kits have been given to students to take home and students and their parents are asked to take responsibility for ensuring that the tests are carried out.
  • Students will be reminded on the relevant day when to take their tests via Firefly.
  • Students aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if needed.
  • Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision.
  • Students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result.
  • Students should record the result of their test whether it is positive or negative to the School and also to NHS Test and Trace.
  • If a student tests positive then they will need to inform the School as quickly as possible, follow government guidance and self-isolate along with their household. They will also need to have the positive test confirmed by booking a PCR test.
  • Boarders will be carrying out their own tests in their boarding households (when at School).
  • Consent is not needed for self-testing at home and a privacy notice is linked to here.
  • Any questions should be sent by email to covid.testing@abingdon.org.uk

As we receive more test kits, they will be handed out to students, if a student requires more tests, they are available from the School’s Health Centre and also to any household with a student in school by following this link to the government’s website.

Spectator Guidance from Monday 17 May

Sport Update Summer term 2021

Covid-19 risk assessments. Published 1 September 2020 and periodically updated. Last update March 2021

The risk assessments were first published on 1 September 2020 and are updated as and when needed.


JBS Covid-19 guidance

Friday 25 September 2020

Dear Parents,

We would like to start by thanking you for working with us to help ensure that we are able to keep the Joint Bus Service running as effectively as possible. We appreciate that the way we are operating has been different and are grateful for the way the new practices have been adopted.

We continue to track the developments in the local and national context and we are in weekly contact with the local authority and with local public health officials. Inevitably the prevailing circumstances require review and refinement of systems and Abingdon and St Helen’s are working closely together through this process.

In the light of local developments, we are now moving to make some changes to ensure that systems such as test and trace can be supported by JBS as efficiently as possible. We are sure that you will understand that we need to work with the coach companies and local agencies to plan for things becoming more complex as Autumn moves into Winter.

To this end, we are moving to a system which will allocate seats to bus users and these allocations will place students in the same year group together as far as possible and aim to keep students from the different schools separate as much as possible. Seating students in this way will assist in any contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 positive case, and hopefully minimise the number of students required to self-isolate. Allocated seats are final and students cannot switch amongst themselves to sit with friends.

In addition, please note the following:

  • Passengers are to arrive at and wait at the bus stop wearing face masks. Face masks need to remain in place throughout your journey to school and until a student reaches the hand sanitising station at their school.
  • Masks are to be worn on the bus at all times. This means that no eating is permitted. Masks must be kept safely by students and must not be discarded on the coach.
  • Passengers must use hand sanitiser when it is provided on the bus or use their own personal sanitiser before boarding the vehicle. This needs to be done in the sight of drivers/staff on duty.
  • Passengers must remain in their seats for the duration of the journey and must not move between seats as other passengers get off.
  • As the requirement to wear a mask is now established as part of day-to-day life, students who do not have a face mask will not be allowed to travel and their parents will need to arrange alternative transport for travel to school.
  • To ensure that the day to day operation runs as smoothly as possible, please can parents ensure that they have advised their respective school medical centre at least 24 hours before travel in the event that a student has a medical exemption from wearing a mask so that we can ensure that the appropriate coach operator is made aware.
  • No student displaying Covid symptoms should set out on a bus journey with the JBS

These changes will come into effect from the return journey on Monday 28th September 2020 and remain in place until further notice.

These procedures are mandatory. Any student not behaving in accordance with these procedures may be refused permission to travel. Students should be aware that they may not be given a warning to change behaviour, permission may be withdrawn as a first measure in order to support the well-being of other travellers. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Kind regards

The Joint Bus Service

PHE guide for parents

Public Health England has issued a guide to help parents and carers know when and how to book a test for Covid-19 for their child. The guide, linked below, also gives advice on what to do if a child tests positive or is a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

We have also been asked the following additional questions which are answered below:

Q: My child is self-isolating because they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive but he has no symptoms and has had a negative Covid-19 test. Can he come back to school?

A: Your son will not be able to return to school. He has to complete the 10 days self-isolation as there is still the slight possibility that he could develop symptoms after the test was taken. Please follow this link for clarification:

Q: If the School tells me to isolate, is that the same as NHS Track and Trace – or is it just optional? Will I be fined if I ignore the School’s advice?

A: If someone goes against the School’s advice to self isolate then the school is obliged to inform PHE as a matter of protecting the health of the public. The School can give the details of the person/parent refusing to follow advice and PHE will then contact that person and it is at that stage that it can be legally enforced.

Q: What is a ‘cold’ cough and what is a ‘Covid’ cough?

A: Please refer to the PHE guidance below which outlines Covid symptoms as opposed to cold symptoms.