Abingdon News No.48

2 September 2018 Working with Parents My mother claims that dishwashers have made bringing up sons an even harder task. She is adamant that it was always over the washing up that my brother and I would tell her what was really going on in our lives, and what was on our minds. Whether this is true or not, one of the things that we would always advise parents to optimise is the time spent shoulder to shoulder with your son - it might be in the car, walking the dog, casually doing a chore together, but boys are much more likely to reveal their emotions and thoughts side by side than if sat down face to face. Sharing advice like this with parents is something we feel is very important at Abingdon, as we know how vital it is that parents and staff are working together to provide the right support structure, and it has to be a two-way process so that the school is also listening to parents about what they have found that works. Indeed, at our latest pastoral meeting, it was a parent who told us about OurPact, an awesome app that lets parents and children work together to control social media usage. Teenage life is complicated – and getting more so. If schools and parents are going to engage with their teenagers, we know we need to engage with each other as well. Mark Hindley, Deputy Head (Pastoral) Abingdon News Message from the Headmaster A couple of years ago, Abingdon took the decision that if careers education were to be effective, it needed someone to focus on it full-time. Michael Triff has now completed his second year in post and he has given great thought to constructing a programme that is relevant and attractive and that can help our pupils make informed choices as they move through the school. One of the highlights of the programme is a session for fourth year pupils in the summer term entitled ‘Truths and Myths about Careers’. Like a number of other elements of careers at Abingdon, this event relies upon OAs and current and former parents who come into school to talk to pupils to explode myths and emphasise truths. Our pupils are very fortunate to be able to benefit from such collective wisdom that can shape their thinking about the paths they might take after school - and the best way to prepare for the rapidly evolving world of work. Another myth that needs banishing is that the route to academic success depends on relentless and endless hours of revision; the key, of course, is a healthy balance between study and recreation. The exam season, especially for pupils facing GCSEs or A Levels, is a busy time and undoubtedly brings its stresses but I was heartened to see boys offsetting their study with involvement in the Other Half, be it with the Film Unit, preparing for concerts or taking part in sport. This has meant that there has been much to enjoy over the course of the summer term. I hope you enjoy reading all about it in this edition of Abingdon News. Michael Windsor, Headmaster