This week's mailing is:
- To parents of all lower sixth boys – Parents' evening
Next week is the annual Anti-Bullying week. This year's theme is “All Different, All Equal”. We will address this in Assemblies, Chapel, tutor periods and in PSHCE lessons. Please could you try to find the chance to raise it in discussion with your son as well, as one aim for this year is to encourage a 'talking school' where pupils are open to discussing these issues, whether they are the victim or whether it is someone that they know. A real issue that we try to address at School, that might be a starting point for a chat at home, is the age old issue of what to do if you are present when someone is being unpleasant. After the fact we want boys to feel able to raise their concerns with someone, but dealing with the situation there and then is never easy. Please stress how important it is to speak and act at the moment it is happening, as peer disapproval is crucial in establishing – and continuing – an anti-bullying culture where difference and diversity is encouraged and celebrated.
Please also take the opportunity not only to reiterate the importance of being compassionate in our dealings with others, but also to highlight some of the groups of people who can be targeted. At Abingdon we want to build a culture where difference is celebrated rather than being used as a means of picking on the outsider. The points of difference could revolve around gender, sexuality, or it could be simply that the interests of that person are not stereotypical. Please also feel free to visit the Anti-Bullying Alliance website.
Music Notices this week
- Senior Solo Instrumental Competition – Wednesday 15 November at 6.30pm (please note the start has been delayed by 30 mins to accommodate a clashing rehearsal) – We have eight of our advanced musicians competing for our senior instrumental trophy and a distinguished musician, George Caird, to make that tricky choice. Parent of an OA, George Caird, is a distinguished oboist and former Principal of the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music. Do come and hear some distinguished playing and adjudication – admission is free.
- Mozart and Rutter with the Joint Choral Society – Sunday 19 November at 7pm – A final opportunity to order tickets for this year's choral society event, including chorus, soloists and orchestras from both Abingdon and St Helen's. Please follow this link to order your tickets.
- ASMS Woodwind Masterclass with Paul Harris – Wednesday 22 November at 6pm – Clarinettist, composer, author, educator and friend of Abingdon School, Paul Harris, comes to hear our top woodwind players and to put them through their paces. We have some extremely promising players lined up for him. Please come and hear this fascinating series of open lessons – Paul's comments are wonderfully intuitive and helpful. For woodwind players and their parents, this is an unmissable event. Please join us – admission is free.
Abingdon Science Partnership
The inaugural Abingdon Science Partnership Christmas Lecture will be held on Wednesday 13 December at 7pm in the Amey Theatre with all proceeds from ticket sales going to support the annual Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology. The lecture will be given by top dinosaur expert, TV presenter and author Dean R. Lomax who will talk about his favourite subject, Dinosaurs and Ichthyosaurs of Britain. Anyone interested in this subject, expert or enthusiast, young or older can obtain tickets via the Amey Theatre online booking system.
Parents' Prayer Gathering – Simon Steer, Chaplain
An opportunity to pray for the Prep and Senior schools will take place on Thursday 16 November in the library at the Prep School from 8-9pm. Refreshments will be served. All welcome.
Horizon Lectures: Karen Darke – Tuesday 14 November at 7.30pm
As a young adult Karen Darke filled her time with adventures in the outdoors – running, climbing and exploring as much as she could. At the age of 21 Karen was paralysed from the waist down in a climbing accident and was told she would never walk, climb or cycle again. Despite this, Karen kept her love of adventure and – with the help of friends, perseverance and a little creativity – has gone on to hand-cycle across the Himalayas, traverse the Greenland ice cap, climb El-Capitan – and even win a Gold medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympics…
NT Live: Follies – Thursday 16 November at 7pm
Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical is staged for the first time at the National Theatre and broadcast live to cinemas. New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton play the magnificent Follies in this dazzling new production. Featuring a cast of 37 and an orchestra of 21, it’s directed by Dominic Cooke (The Comedy of Errors). Winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Olivier awards, Sondheim’s previous work includes A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George.
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