ASPA – Connecting Parents, Supporting School life
Welcome to the Abingdon School Parents’ Association (ASPA). As an Abingdon School parent you are automatically a member of ASPA, at no extra cost.
What do we hope to do?
Our objectives are to:
- Foster the support and goodwill towards the school and its traditions of governors, staff, parents, old boys and friends;
- Promote social and networking activities for parents throughout the School, including at House and year group level;
- Support the management, Development Office, existing clubs and pupils in the School;
- Promote links between the Prep and Senior Schools.
We meet these objectives by organising fund raising activities, facilitating parent to parent communication through ClassList, and much more….
So, you may have danced and dined at the Burns night event or stocked up at the Second-hand Uniform Shop, quizzed against other parents or perhaps you’re about to meet up with fellow parents and your year group reps, we arrange / encourage this activity as all this supports us to support you.
With this support, we’re pleased to be able to bring together the parent community and to help towards school life.
We use ClassList as a means of direct parent to parent contact. When you received registration information from the school you will have consented, hopefully, to allowing ASPA permission to contact you with details for being invited to join the ClassList community and therefore giving you access to contact details for other parents in your son’s tutor group, year group or House year group.
If you have not received this invitation to join ClassList, or you now wish to do so, then please contact Clare Coombs at [email protected]
Please note ClassList is used by ASPA only for parent to parent contact. The School does not use ClassList for any communication to you nor do they monitor ClassList.
SUS (Second Hand Uniform Shop)
Whilst SUS forms part of the overall parents’ association, a dedicated SUS team led by Marilyn Moore, run SUS. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email [email protected]
As one of the main functions of ASPA is to provide networking and social opportunities for parents, we are very keen to receive ideas which can be developed to achieve this objective. If you would like to suggest an event, whether at Year Group or Whole School level please contact ASPA via [email protected]
Thousands of parents have come to ASPA organised events over the years and interest in the new and different events being run continues to grow! Over £100K has been donated to the Partnership Programme (previously the Annual Fund) since 2011 which is largely thanks to the number of events supported by parents. Each year, a group of boys are recipients of the OA and ASPA Travel Awards, helping towards the cost of overseas experiences, usually involving research or charity work.
The Second-hand Uniform Shop has raised tens of thousands of pounds in recent years and includes the donation of the Yamaha Grand Piano now living in the foyer of the Amey Theatre, as well as the Merlyn Bowling Machine used by cricket players.
If you’d like to know more or come along to one of our meetings, please contact us at aspa[email protected].
ASPA: THE social network for parents.
Welcome to ASPA – the Abingdon School Parents’ Association
As a parent at Abingdon, you are automatically a member of ASPA and our purpose is to bring together the broader Abingdon School community. We aim to achieve that purpose by organising events – especially aimed at Lower School and Third Year parents to help those who are new to the school meet other parents. We also actively encourage other social events particularly within form and year groups organised by the parents themselves.
Our purpose also includes an element of fundraising and we will be looking to have a whole school fundraising event each year, probably in the Summer Term.
As you can imagine Covid-19 curtailed the activities of ASPA and I became Chair at the start of this academic year. As such we are in effect ‘relaunching’ this year and working out what the cycle of events and activities will be going forward. We are always open to volunteers!
In addition we also aim to work closely with the other parent groups within the school which are more interest based and which you can choose to join to support those particular activities. We also oversee ‘Classlist’ which is a key resource for parents looking to reach out to other parents.
We look forward to hopefully meeting many of you in person this year after the hiatus of the last couple of years and to helping you meet and connect with others in the Abingdon School community. If in the meantime you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at [email protected].
With best wishes
Whilst ASPA focus on social networking for parents we also raise funds which are donated back into the school, for the community as a whole or to enhance Other Half activities.
In 2020/2021 we donated the following to a fantastic range of projects that will benefit a wide variety of pupils:
£1000 – Vertical Garden Wall – Biology
£2000 – Fieldwork equipment – Geography
£2000 – CCF funding remainder of cost for canopy
£2000 – Timeline magazine – Other Half
£1470 – Computer controlled card and Vinyl cutter – DT
£3600 – Mineral and fossil samples – Geology
£500 – Canvas photos – Lower School
£2200 – Sports video camera – PE
The teachers have commented:
Lower School canvases – Mr Jenkins: “Many thanks for this grant – I got a total of 15 canvasses which is enough to cover the whole of the main Lower School houseroom”
Geography Field Kit – Mr Stockdale: “These handheld units will be fundamental in supporting our A-level students in their independent investigations. This is an extended piece of individual research allowing them to investigate a specific geographic question. The units will allow them to use geolocation in their data collection to enable them to better map their findings and interpret the world around them. They will also support students at GCSE in conducting more local fieldwork study whilst investigating river and urban environments. Again, the value of precise location tracking through the use of these devices will help them to more accurately plot their findings and interpret them spatially. “
Geology – Mr Pygott: “The geology club purchased a large range of fossils with the money as well as a core section from the North Sea Oil Basin. We bought fossils that covered a range geological time from a stromatolite fossil which represents some of the first life on our planet (3.5 billion years ago), to a series of ammonites which represent ammonite evolution through the mesozoic to a series of significant plant fossils (such as glossopteris from the Permian period which was instrumental in proving the theory of continental drift). We have used all of these items already in our teaching and will continue to do so – being able to illustrate our teaching with real samples is amazing. I will also use them when I do geological outreach with primary schools.”
DT – Mr Hughes: “Thanks to ASPA for their kind donation allowing us the opportunity to purchase a commercial quality vinyl plotter. This machine enables the boys to be able to convert graphics or text that they have created on a computer into vinyl decals or transfers. It will have lots of scope for whole school use, but within Design & Technology it will allow boys to add decals, texts and images to the practical work that they produce.”
Vertical Garden Wall/Biology – Mr Whitworth: “We have the Hydroponics kit, safely shipped from Finland (despite Brexit) and we are now trialling out which plants grow. We aim for it to be a focal point for the redevelopment of the Biology floor in the Yang Science Centre, and a great teaching resource to see root structures and plant growth. Many thanks to those who have supported this.”
Timeline magazine – Mr McGill: “Our History Society pupils have already produced and printed the first of the ASPA supported Timeline magazine, and with the award we will be able to do two further editions.”
The ASPA committee is composed of officers who hold office for one year, and can be re-elected, current parents/guardians representing year groups, up to two staff representatives and, if they wish, representatives of other parent societies e.g. Music Society. The officers are found from the parent cohort.
The Head, Director of Admissions, and Development Director are ex officio members.
The committee meets once a term. A sub-committee organising a specific event may arrange additional meetings. We are currently meeting via Zoom.
The current ASPA Committee is keen to welcome new members, particularly parents/guardians from those year groups currently under represented. Potential members are most welcome to attend a committee meeting and meet everyone before committing themselves. If you are interested in joining please contact Richard Stone (Chair) at [email protected].
We appreciate there are people who prefer not to commit to joining a committee but are very willing to volunteer their help at specific events. If you would like to join our ‘Occasional Helpers’ list then please let us know using the ASPA email address above and we will contact you.
- Chair – Richard Stone (4th year parent)
- Vice Chair – Jay Hunt (5th year parent)
- Secretary – Kathy Howat (5th year parent)
- Treasurer – Christina Williamson (5th year parent)
- Communications – Siobhan Vinall (4th year parent)
- 1st Year – Gayle Bell, Fiona Urquhart and Adele Zhu
- 2nd Year – Bev Gold
- 3rd Year – Caroline Elly and Marie Fleming
- 4th Year – Francesca Dal Ben
- 5th Year – Vacancy
- Lower Sixth – Vacancy
- Upper Sixth – Vacancy
- School rep – Simon Bliss
- ClassList Coordinator – Clare Coombs (3rd and 4th year parent)
- Old Abingdonian associated member – Alexa Broad
- SUS Coordinator and associated member – Marilyn Moore
- School Development Officer – Harriet Alderman
Your chance to help shape the future
As some of our parents have boys leaving the School this year, we have a number of vacancies on the Committee so this is your chance to get involved! Here’s what some of our current ASPA members have to say. Why don’t you get in touch and find out more?
“Having already been through the school with my first child I had really appreciated all the different things that ASPA do to support parents so I was keen to get more involved second time around. Everyone has been very welcoming and it has been great to meet people from across the school who I wouldn’t have met otherwise”
“ASPA has welcomed me to Abingdon Senior School, allowing me to meet and develop friendships with a wide range of parents from different year groups. The events organised have also been a lot of fun and a vital part of enabling parents to get to know each other better in a social setting”
Vacancies for the 2021/22 School year:
- Year Reps – we welcome anyone from any year group to join us on the committee and are particularly in need of representatives from Year 2 and Year 4.
You can contact ASPA by email to [email protected]