1 Sep 2017


This week's mailing is:



We look forward to welcoming new boys and those returning.  Extract from Key Dates:

  • Sunday 3 September – New boarders arrive
  • Monday 4 September – Other boarders return
  • Monday 4 September – First year induction
  • Monday 4 September – Headmaster's reception for 1st Year parents, Lacies Court Garden
  • Tuesday 5 September – Term begins (first day back for lower sixth)

After beginning with a tutor period, there will be Headmaster's and House Assemblies.  The service at St Helen's Church will be on Wednesday at 11.30am.

Website update 

During the summer holiday we have updated the school website to improve the navigation and reduce the number of clicks needed to get to information. The main changes that affect parents are:

  • The weekly mailing and parent log-in have moved to a new “Information” tab under the​ sub-heading For Parents. The parent log-in is also in the footer.
  • The school calendar, term and key dates have all moved to the new “Information” tab under the sub-heading Calendar. 
  • Fixtures, results and match arrangements have moved to “Other Half” under the sub-heading Sports.
  • ​Contact details are now under ​the “Information” tab​.

Term Dates and Key Dates

Boys will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term, but, for information for new parents, there is an online calendar which is kept regularly up to date.  It is available from the front page of the website under 'Information'. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page for 2017/18. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents.

For Parents of 3rd Year Pupils, from the Acting Middle Master

On the afternoon of Friday 8 September, 3rd year boys will be having a bbq (weather permitting) followed by some team building activities within their tutor groups. Please can your son bring in comfortable home clothes for this afternoon. The activities will end by 4.30pm so boys who travel home on the school bus will not be affected. Also, if you have not yet had a chance to RSVP to the 3rd year parents' social evening on the evening of Monday 18 September from 7.15pm please can you kindly fill in the details at this link. I wish your sons a very happy start to the 3rd year and I look forward to meeting you on Monday 18 September.

Open Day on Saturday 30 September for all pupils except first years who are not in activities

All boys except first years will need to be in school for Open Day.  The weekday bus schedule will run half an hour later than on normal weekdays.

Music Notices

  • Joint Choral Society – All parents and friends are most welcome to join the Joint Choral Society this term. JCS will rehearse Mozart Coronation Mass and Rutter Gloria under the expert direction of Dr Jason Preece.  The concert will be on Sunday 19 November, at 7pm in the Amey Theatre, with an afternoon final rehearsal.  Rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays, 7 – 8.30pm, in the Charles Maude Room, commencing Wednesday 13 September and continuing until the concert, with the exception of the two half-term weeks.  If there are any questions, please address them to [email protected]. There is no need to give advance notice of attendance – just come along and enjoy the singing!
  • Music lessons and music ensemble rehearsals – For the information of both parents and boys, music lessons and ensemble rehearsals for choirs and orchestras get underway from Monday 11 September. Music timetables will be posted on the Music School boards on or before Friday 8 September and Mr Fletcher-Campbell will email these timetables to musicians. Boys should continue to check their music timetables in the music school and note their rotating lesson times on the music panel on their school calendars.
  • Parents of New Boys requesting music lessons – Parents who have requested music lessons should ask their sons to check the New Boy Music Teacher Allocation register which is displayed in the Music School. This list confirms the name of their music teacher. Boys coming into the First Year can also check with their housemaster, Mr Jenkins. I am attaching the New Musicians' Notice which is published in the Music School and should be read by all our new musicians. Finally, we extend a warm welcome to Abingdon's music!

Music Calendars – Please do note the dates in our full programme of music events listed in the Michaelmas 2017 Music Calendar. Parents are warmly welcome to attend to all our concerts at school.

Medical matters

Please can parents keep the Health Centre updated of any changes to your son's health so that we can update our records accordingly.  

  • Asthma: All boys who require an inhaler for their asthma must carry it with them at all times whilst at school. It must be clearly labelled with their name. The Health Centre will hold a spare inhaler in case of an emergency.
  • Epipens: All boys who have an Epipen or other adrenaline-auto injector (AAI) must keep it with them at all times and it must be clearly labelled with their name and expiry date. The Health Centre will hold their spare named AAI in case it is required in an emergency.

Coach Park and Faringdon Road

Parents are reminded that cars waiting by the coach park impede prompt departure of the buses as well as causing traffic problems.  The pick up point is Park Crescent.

Requests for absence

Extract from 2017/18 Parents' Handbook

Leave out of School

Requests involving the absence of any boy for more than a day of School time should be made in writing to the Headmaster.  His Housemaster may deal with requests involving absence of a day or less.  Parents are strongly requested not to take their sons out of School for any but the most pressing reasons.  It must be said that we object strongly to applications for leave that have the effect of extending the already generous School holidays.

Sporting Fixtures

Boys are expected to be availale for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Headmaster.  Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, [email protected].

Rugby: concussion

Concussion is something that we are all very sensitive about in order to ensure best practice. Please follow the link to RFU website so that you can familiarise yourself with the suggested protocol and perhaps take the online parent course in support of your son. We do need to highlight one very important point, especially for day boys.  In case of a head injury please ensure the following steps are undertaken:

If a boy sustains a head injury during a rugby match on a Saturday on either of our 3 sites – Cox's, Tilsley Park or Abingdon School we will have a doctor on the school site who can see them on the same day.  If a concussion has occurred the boy will be off games for 23 days. During this period they will have a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses at week 1 and 2. Please note, before being allowed to play again, they need to see a doctor to confirm them fit to play – this can either be your own GP or the Sports Doctor in school on a Saturday.

If they are playing away they should be seen by the medic covering the match; they may be advised to go to the Emergency department.  This information then needs to be shared with his rugby coach and Matt Gold (as Director of Rugby) and the Health Centre must also be copied in. The Health Centre can then get them reviewed with the nurses at week 1 and 2 and by a doctor at week 3. Again, the advice is clear that no boy can play competitively until a medical professional signs him as fit. Any queries to Matt Gold please.

Mouthguard Fittings

This is a reminder that the O-pro dentist fittings, are on Tuesday 5 September between 1.30 and 4pm and Thursday 7 September between 1pm and 3.30 in the Sports Centre changing rooms. Years 1, 2 & 4 will have their fittings during their sports lesson.  Years 3, 5, 6 & 7 should attend when available between 1.30 and 4pm.  If you have ordered a new mouthguard, please remind your son to attend.

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 9 September.  Please see the attached document which identifies the six different bus routes, including the individual stops and the designated times.  We are very keen for as many boys as possible to use this service. It has been set up to ease the burden on parents of getting their sons to School for the inter School fixtures. There is no charge for this service.

The buses are scheduled to arrive at School at 11.30am, allowing the boys time to have lunch in the Dining Hall, have a brief team meeting, and depart for their fixtures on time. Those boys who are involved in home fixtures will be catered for and supervised until the start of their matches. This service applies to all boys involved in sport on a Saturday afternoon, whether it be in cross country, badminton, rugby or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. If you intend to utilise this service, please ensure that you son is at the appropriate stop 5 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Inter School Fixtures

Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in inter school fixtures across the age ranges. In recent years we have strengthened our fixture list, and been more ambitious in the schools we have been playing. Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from, and granted, by the Headmaster. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture. The Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell should be copied in on any such leave of absence request.

To assist parental planning, the Sport and Physical Education Department email teamsheets for each of the age groups to parents on a Thursday evening. This will be sent to the primary contact, which we have stored on iSams, our internal database. There are a number of primary contacts for whom we have not got email addresses attached, and these contacts will therefore not be receiving the email. Please do supply data to the School, so as to ease our paths of communication. 

It is vitally important that parents contact the appropriate member of staff in cases of illness on a Saturday morning so that replacements can be sought, and we do not end up in the embarrassing situation by being short of players to fulfil our fixtures. Sanctions will be applied to those boys who fail to comply with this request. Parents may also contact the Abingdon School Sports Centre Reception on 01235 849062 in case of any problems arising.

Off-Games Procedure

Boys who are unable to participate, because they are ‘off games’, must excuse themselves in advance. Boys must present an ‘off games’ note/letter from parents or the Health Centre to the member of staff i/c their activity, by lunchtime on the day of the activity. Alternatively, the pupil should report to the member of staff at the start of the activity to excuse themselves in person. Sending a message via other pupils is not acceptable. Team players, who are able to do so, should attend the training session in order to pick up coaching points and so that the coach has an opportunity to talk to the boys about likely availability for the next match.

If the pupil has a medical note or advice from a medical professional regarding the rehabilitation process, please send in a copy of this note so that the School can play an active role through use of the Fitness Suite or by maintaining fitness through participation in an alternative activity. If you have any queries in this regard please contact the Director of Sport & PE, Pete Bignell.

Tutor Groups

Please see the attached document for details of the tutor groups in each house.

Bus Safety

Parents are asked to remind their sons that they should wait to cross the road until well after the coach has departed from a stop, to ensure boys have full sight of other traffic.

Come and experience Abingdon Sports and Leisure 

Family and friends, welcome! Abingdon School Sports Centre will be holding an Experience Day on Sunday 17 September 2017 from 11am-4pm.  Everyone is welcome. All the facilities will be open to view with a range of taster sessions for our brand new exercise classes, squash and climbing, fun in the pool with inflatables plus our bouncy castle and Zorb football games will be available to try out. EVERYTHING IS FREE!

  • You can also join the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club – Memberships from £19.50 per month.
  • No joining fee and one month FREE if you sign up on the day*.
  • Membership includes: the completely refurbished Strength and Conditioning gym, exercise classes, squash, badminton, tennis and swimming. The weekly Tilsley Park Boot Camp is also free for members.

Click here to download the full Experience Day programme and for your chance to win a year's FREE membership to the Abingdon Sports and Leisure Club! 

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1