Sixth Form

Sixth Form - with a difference

At Abingdon, we believe equally in the importance of two things:

  • Your academic interests and high-level attainment
  • Your broader education and preparing you for life beyond school

As part of our commitment to achieving the best outcome in both of these areas for each student, we have a specialist team to advise our sixth formers. The specialist team covers UCAS and further education, career guidance and academic support.

We offer around 25 A Level subjects and subject combinations are geared around what individuals want to study not what fits into our timetable. We encourage students to take on the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in order that you can develop university research skills and either deepen your academic knowledge or perhaps pursue quite different interests. The topic is entirely the student’s choice. The academic curriculum is complemented by a varied Enrichment programme including lectures, discussion groups and practical workshops, plus wide ranging trips, tours & expeditions in the UK and abroad.

We have a dedicated team to assist with all university applications and the majority of students are offered places at their first or second choice of university, mostly Russell Group institutions, with 10-15% receiving offers from Oxford and Cambridge each year. The range of subjects they study reflects the very diverse nature of our sixth form and the boys within it. The school is able to support overseas applications (mostly USA) and, in recent years, up to five students per year  have been taking up this option. We have specialist career advisors and a wide range of initiatives to help you decide what the next few years will involve, whether it is a gap year or even a move straight into employment. Abingdon has a thriving alumni association (the OA Club) and they work closely with the sixth form providing advice and networking opportunities in a range of careers but also funding for travel and work place internships.

Our sixth formers are encouraged to take on responsibility, to think for themselves and to develop as independent learners in preparation for moving on. We appreciate that this doesn’t happen overnight and some boys take longer than others so we manage the process, giving increased responsibility and freedom to students as they earn it through their lower sixth year.

Sport plays a major part in sixth form life, whether it is as a part of a mixed year group team playing on a competitive fixture list against some of the best players in the country, for the iconic football 5th XI or other more recreational sports and activities, for instance climbing or using the well equipped gym. Students are encouraged to take up leadership opportunities, both within school and through activities such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and CCF.

Those with an interest in drama can take part in major senior school productions, or develop animation, film and documentary skills through our renowned Film Unit. Musicians have numerous orchestras, ensembles, choirs and bands to choose from.

Further information:

Nick O'Doherty

Having studied Geography at Bristol and spent two summers in the USA working as a soccer coach, Nick completed his PGCE at Nottingham in 1997. He joined Abingdon in 2005 after eight years at St Bartholomew's in Newbury, with four as housemaster. Following six years as a day housemaster, he was appointed Upper Master in 2013. Nick's passion is sport; first football and more recently distance running. He currently coaches both of these sports at Abingdon, and has also coached rugby and cricket. Because Geography Is Everywhere #GIE, he can also be found investigating corrie formation whilst skiing or coral reefs as a PADI qualified diver.

Contact: 

Telephone: +44 (0)1235 849083
Facsimile: 01235 849079 via common room - please address clearly
email: nick.odoherty@abingdon.org.uk