Subject Stretchers

These extension clubs provide a tremendous opportunity to broaden minds, whether it’s learning a new language, investigating topics not covered in the curriculum or considering issues in more depth than can be covered in lessons.

Abingdon is one of only nine schools nationally to offer the new AFA in Creative Writing, an exciting, two-year A Level style course, which is officially recognised by UCAS. The course, which is offered exclusively to the sixth form, is aimed at students who have loved writing throughout their time at school and want to continue and develop into the sixth form. In the first year, students are encouraged to write in a range of styles and genres, and in the second, there is the opportunity to specialise in their chosen form, be it poetry, drama, prose fiction or non-fiction. There is one taught lesson per fortnight, and a weekly workshop, which, as a dedicated one-hour session, forms a central part of the course, where students give feedback on each other's work, under the supervision of a teacher.

The Archaeology Club offers the opportunity to learn about life in the Ancient World in many different civilisations, including the Egyptians, Persians, Vikings, and of course the Greeks and Romans. The club also learns how archaeologists piece together information about past societies- and most excitingly there is the opportunity to excavate. Activities will include watching films and documentaries, making models and posters, learning to use archaeological techniques, and how to dig.

Open to all Middle School pupils who wish to explore mathematical patterns, investigate new areas of maths and develop their mathematical thinking skills. The group have solved live problems on nrich and have had solutions published. Many weeks the group work through the UKMT Maths follow on rounds and mentoring problem sheets. We have a relaxed atmosphere, enjoy good company and would welcome new members!

The Classical Society offers a range of events throughout the year to enable boys to pursue their interest in the Ancient World beyond the confines of the various syllabi. Speakers are invited from universities and other schools on a variety of historical and literary topics, but there are also trips to plays, various museums and classical sites in Britain, as well as further afield. Those not studying classical subjects are welcome to attend.

The Edmund Society is a club for members of the School with a passion for philosophical discourse and discussion. It is an activity aimed predominantly at sixth formers where a variety of material is covered, including, but by no means limited to, epistemology, symbolic logic and the philosophy of science. On top of regular meetings the Society looks to put on one lecture per term, and guests have included Peter Hitchens, Prof. Michael Lacewing and Prof. Stephen Mulhall, with talks on the political situation of the Ukraine, epistemology and Ludwig Wittgenstein respectively.

An exciting opportunity to explore Geography through digital mapping software called GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Navigate the globe, create your own datasets and maps, and explore the world through this virtual software.

Third, fourth or fifth year? Come along to History and Politics Society to discuss the key issues of the day, watch relevant documentaries, take part in heated discussions and debate, watch films and write the occasional article for our online publication! Politics is current and exciting - whether it is Brexit, Trump, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, Venezuela, terrorism or global warming… we discuss it, watch it, write about it and more!

Do you want to broaden your mind, read more widely, become more interesting, cultured, imaginative, and generally well-versed in intellectual discussion? The Joint Literary Society is a chance to read and discuss literature from around, above, beyond, below, and indeed nowhere near the syllabus. Here you can encounter writing and ideas from the most classic to the most contemporary of writers and become a literary critic and connoisseur in the company of Abingdon's and St Helen's finest minds. 

Rumour has it that the eating of cake may also be a central feature of this society.

If you are in L6 and interested in reading, literature, culture, discussion and cake, or indeed you are considering applying to read English at University, then please do come along. 

The Modern Languages Department runs a series of events throughout the year in conjunction with St Helen’s. The Society is co-organised by a committee of sixth form linguists at both schools. The Society is not only for boys studying modern languages (French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Russian…) but any Sixth Formers interested in languages, language learning and other cultures. Events include social evenings, dinners, film showings, visits to the theatre/cinema and talk by visiting speakers. Details published on an ad hoc basis.

This club is designed for those interested in fun activities related to history. Past activities have included the making of helmets and swords, constructing models of castles and battlefield scenes and big screen viewing of history-based movies and favourites such as ‘Blackadder’.

We meet to explore interesting and quirky areas of maths, play mathematical and logic-based games, and pit our wits against puzzling challenges. Everyone is welcome, even if you don't feel that you're a maths whizz!

Open to anyone from third year to upper sixth with a love of poetry and an interest in exploring the art of verse speaking. Students learn poems by heart and enter a national competition if they wish. This group also takes part in National Poetry Day activities and helps to promote a love of poetry across the school.

An opportunity to listen to talks from distinguished visiting historians – and to discuss historical topics, informally. A range of topics will be addressed, often tied to the A level syllabus – but also designed to broaden historical perspectives. The society also stages a Christmas Quiz and end of term social gatherings.