The service activities encompass a wide range of initiatives from the CCF and Moldova project to volunteering in the local community. Many Abingdon students arrive each morning from fairly distant villages and some of our boarders come from far-flung countries, so to them Abingdon is just a town, where their school is situated. It’s important that they get to meet people, who live in the town, so Abingdon School does not seem just an isolated world in its own bubble. Our students have the opportunity to visit the local hospital, residential homes, primary schools and charity shops. Not only can they take pride in helping the local community, they also learn about residents’ lives and British culture.
After School Clubs
- Where: Local Primary Schools
- When: Any day between 4 – 6 pm
- Who: 6 – VI (16+)
- i/c: JEF
There is scope for initiative and leadership. Tell us your special skills and interests: football, computers, music, art, etc. The usual commitment is for the whole school year, though this may be for a shorter time through prior arrangement if sporting activities clash in one term.
- Where: As appropriate
- When: As appropriate
- Who: All Lower School boys
- i/c: AJJ
“The Baker Award” (named after retired teacher, Mr Roger Baker) represents an Abingdon School junior version of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme designed to run over the course of a boy’s time in Lower School. All Lower School boys are automatically entered for the award. There are four sections: Skill, Service, Expedition and Sport. Boys are strongly encouraged to become involved in all sections, keeping track of their participation by using a record book. Satisfactory completion leads to a certificate, presented at the end of the second year.
Biology Department Volunteers
- Where: Biology Department
- When: Thursday lunchtimes
- Who: All Lower School Boys
- i/c: SEB
A small number of lower school pupils can get involved in the biology department helping out with a variety of tasks. Primarily they will be involved with the routine care of the animals in the department and maintenance of the fish tanks. At certain times of year work will need to be carried out in the departmental pond and we would also be looking to set up a wildlife area somewhere on the school grounds.
Boarders Community Service
Bridge House Quiz Team
An opportunity for a team to run a weekly quiz for lively residents at Bridge House, on subjects ranging from Literature, to History and Geography, Nature and Science, Famous People, General Knowledge, Sport, Music and Entertainment.
- Where: S301
- When: Monday P8
- Who: All years
- i/c: KEML
The Charities Committee organises and co-ordinates the key charity events within the school. The pupils involved help with the selection of charities to support as well as the planning, organising and promoting of events. Pupils tend to find the work very rewarding and enjoyable.
Combined Cadet Force
- Where: CCF HQ
- When: Tuesday lunchtime (3), Tuesday 3.45 – 5.15pm (3 - VI)
- Who: 3 - VI, with entry in the 3rd year
- i/c: RZC
CCF membership is voluntary and begins in the 3rd Year. Recruit training takes two terms and boys are expected to parade every week in uniform. Pupils are expected to commit to attending for a whole year at a time – and to keep their hair cut short and smart. The CCF is a disciplined organisation, which emphasises qualities of leadership and teamwork, common sense and responsibility.
It involves a variety of activities on Tuesday afternoon parades and camps, exercises and field days throughout the year. At least one camp must be attended in each year, and in the first year this will be the Easter recruit camp.
Cadet training continues throughout their time with the CCF, in either the RAF or Army sections of the CCF; it involves academic work, adventurous and military training. There are opportunities to fly, shoot, take part in joint exercises, to train alongside the regular armed forces in the field, and to develop an understanding of why these forces are needed and how they operate. We are well supported and Abingdon’s CCF is highly regarded outside the School for its excellent standards. A number of cadets go on to join the armed forces as commissioned officers.
- Where: Geography Department
- When: Tuesday, 3.55 – 5.00 pm, 3rd Year, other times by arrangement
- Who: I – VI
- i/c: ICF
By virtue of school membership everyone should consider themselves a part of the Environmental Service scheme. Our Environmental Service scheme seeks to increase awareness of waste recycling and energy conservation within the School and the broader community.
The third year programme is a compulsory element of the Service scheme: the aim of the 5/6 week course is to heighten awareness of our School policies and mechanisms for waste recycling and energy efficiency within the School plant.
This is suitable for any age group within the School, as part of the Lower School Wednesday afternoon programme as well as a service activity contributing towards the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. Timing and levels of commitment are negotiable.
This would be an excellent opportunity for boys with an interest in environmental issues and architecture to make a real difference at the School. In addition, there is a pupil sub-committee of the School's Environment Committee. The aim of this committee is to coordinate specific campaigns during the year to raise the profile of environmental issues within the school. In addition, this sub-committee will aim to monitor and audit our overall programme of activity and to drive new initiatives as and when appropriate. It is an important conduit for pupils to suggest and coordinate new initiatives that could become part of school policy.
Gardening and Conservation
- Where: School garden and Boxhill Walk Nature Reserve
- When: Tuesday 3.55 – 5.00pm
- Who: 3
- i/c: RKJ
The School has a fruit and vegetable garden at the back of Whitefield. There will be opportunities to maintain this and develop it as a source of vegetables and summer fruits. Conservation work will take place in Boxhill Walk Nature Reserve. This will include maintaining a list of plant and animal species, removal of dead/decaying timber and providing management of the nature reserve and its accompanying stream, the River Stert.
- Where: Beech Court Library
- When: Wednesday, 2.40 pm - 3.55 pm. Librarians also need to commit to other times to help run the library desk
- Who: 2nd - VI, maximum 4 boys per year group
- i/c: GSG
The Library Team is integral to the library service at Abingdon, operating both front-of-house at the library desk and behind the scenes. Students are expected to commit for a year at a time, and usually do so from the beginning of their second year, having undertaken a 'taster term' at the end of their first year.
On Wednesday afternoons, every student librarian is in the library, preparing books for the shelves, tidying, discussing priorities and undergoing training. Student librarians also commit to at least one lunch slot and one morning break slot a week, when they help manage the library desk, re-shelve returned books and answer queries from students. For Middle and Upper School, library service on Wednesday afternoons are open only to boys who were signed up in the previous term.
Most students who join the Library Team remain part of it as they move up the school, taking on increasing responsibility for managing other team members and developing valuable skills in ICT, information management, display and problem-solving.
- Where: Sixth Form trip to Moldova in July
- i/c: AJJ
Since 2000, Abingdon has been supporting the work of AGAPE, a charity working with young people in Moldova, the poorest country in Europe. There is an annual Sixth Form visit to Moldova to run a summer camp for disadvantaged Moldovan children. The project represents an excellent chance to learn about a culture very different from our own – and to provide support and friendship to those in real need of it.
Older and Bolder
Sensory Garden at Abingdon Hospital
Help tend the Sensory Garden at Abingdon Hospital. The garden is maintained by volunteers and is used by patients to speed their recovery and relax.
Third Year Service
- Where: Various locations
- When: Tuesdays P8
- Who: 3rd Year
- i/c: SJP
The Third Year Service and Citizenship Scheme was set up to help pupils to develop a broader understanding of their place in the wider community (local, national and global) and to encourage them to make an active contribution to the society in which they live. All pupils in the Third Year who are not involved in CCF participate in the scheme.
A range of different activities is available for which boys are invited to express their preferences at the beginning of the school year. They are then put into groups, which will change on a termly or half-termly basis.
In some cases boys will go out into the local community to undertake activities ranging from visiting residential homes and entertaining the residents, to offering ICT help in the Abingdon town library. In other groups boys will be acquiring life skills such as managing personal finance or touch-typing. Contemporary global issues will be covered by activities such as Environmental Service and the Moldova Project.
Within the scheme, pupils will have the opportunity to do a basic First Aid course or some expedition training that will be particularly useful if they are thinking of participating in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in the 4th year.
With such a wide range of activities on offer, boys are able to gain experience of different aspects of service and citizenship and many choose to continue serving the community higher up the School.
Visiting the Elderly
- When: Tuesday/Wednesday (or other day by arrangement)
- Who: 3 – VI
- i/c: VEM