12 Jan 2018


This week's mailing is:



Parking notice for parents attending fixtures at Abingdon School on Saturday 13 January

There are a number of fixtures taking place this Saturday afternoon at Abingdon School. We also have a large number of candidates attending our First Year entrance examination. Due to recent wet weather there may be some parking restrictions and we would greatly appreciate if any parents can park elsewhere in the town that afternoon and/or share lifts into school.

Abingdonian News

The 2018 edition of the Abingdonian magazine will be distributed next week to all boys who were members of the school last academic year.  In the case of brothers, a copy has been given to the older sibling.

Abingdon News

The latest edition of the School's newsletter, Abingdon News, has been given to your son to bring home this week.  Boys who are full boarders will have a copy posted home.  The newsletter can also be viewed online.  Any feedback regarding school publications is very welcome, please email [email protected].

Public Examination Timetables

Public examination timetables for Summer 2018 are now available on the School Website.  Boys personal timetables will be issued after half-term.

5th Year Work Experience: A Request for Parents

If your 5th year son has already applied for, and even secured, a summer work experience placement, please praise him for his initiative! The ‘early bird catches the worm’ when it comes to work experience, especially at employers with popular work experience schemes. If your son has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, please encourage him to do so…and soon. There is a special 5th Year Work Experience Scheme page on Firefly with a list of employers who offer placements and links to application information. Most summer work experience schemes have application deadlines in January or February, so time is of the essence. Of course, your son can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer a formal work experience scheme but may be happy to host a placement from time to time.  Parents are strongly advised to download from this web page a checklist of things to consider when preparing for their son’s work experience placement. Your support and encouragement is very much appreciated. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Space Walking with an Astronaut, Michael Foale, Former NASA astronaut, Tuesday 30 January 2018, 7.30pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

Dr Michael Foale CBE is a British/American astronaut, veteran of six space missions, and the only NASA astronaut to have flown extended missions aboard both the Russian Mir and International Space Stations. He was the first Briton to perform a spacewalk, and until 2008, he held the record for most time spent in space by a US citizen: 374 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. He still holds the cumulative-time-in-space record for a UK citizen. In 1997 Mike was on board Mir with two other cosmonauts when it was hit by a supply craft – the worst collision in the history of spaceflight. It sent the space station tumbling out of control and left the team without power and contact with Earth.  Come and hear the story of how events unfolded at this unique event and how Mike used his skills to save Mir from disaster.  Tickets: £12.50 adults, £8 children/students, £33 Family (2 adults, 2 children).  To book: www.abingdon.org.uk/future_events.

Music Notices

  • New Year Charity Concert – Thursday 1 February at 7pm – Do consider attending the concert. The following groups will be performing; 2nd Year Choir, Lower School, Brass and Big Bands, Abingdon Academicals, Chamber and First Orchestras. The repertoire includes Arnold's Little Suite for Orchestra and an arrangement of Thunderbirds. We think that the concert should finish by 8.30pm or soon afterwards.

  • First Year Concert Trip to Birmingham – Friday 2 February – The music department has arranged for the whole First Year to attend an 10.30am matinee performance with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. This trip to Birmingham will support the listening work done in First Year Music lessons and will last from 10.30am to the end of the day.  We will leave school by coach at 10.45am prompt, halfway through period 2. The boys will be supervised throughout by staff and we expect to be back at school by 5pm,  in good time for the buses. The boys will be provided with a packed lunch and a drink.  The cost of the trip has been subsidised by the music department, but a contribution of £10, to include travel and entry, will be charged to school accounts. I would be grateful if parents would kindly express their consent by completing the google form, which can be accessed here

  • Internationally Acclaimed Fitzroy Quartet Concert – Wednesday 31 January, 7pm at the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School – Abingdon School has great pleasure in inviting parents, students, family and friends to a concert with the international award winning Fitzroy Quartet on Wednesday 31 January at 7pm. The quartet has won many awards and competitions including First Prize in the Cavatina Intercollegiate Chamber Music Competition, First Prize in the Wolf Wolffinsohn Quartet Competition, the St Peter’s Eaton Square Prize and the Sir John Barbirolli Prize. The quartet had a busy 2017 performing throughout the world in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Poland and South Africa. Further information and book ticket

  • Lent Term Calendar – Parents are warmly invited to any of our music events this term –  New Year Charity Concert, two Solo Concert Platforms, Intermediate Solo Competition, Annual Chamber Evening, Piano Masterclass, Singers' Platform and Choral Concert. Please consult the up to date Lent Music Calendar.

​Saturday Bus Times

Timings of Saturday School buses are the same as last term.

Sport priority on a Saturday – reminder

In planning for this term, please observe this extract from the Parents' Handbook:

Boys are expected to be available 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, Pete Bignell. Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in interschool 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, and we are putting out more teams. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. We are keen the boys practise and play together, that the boys develop an allegiance to the School, and that our opponents have the best opposition we can provide.

Health Centre 

Please can parents ensure that the Health Centre is kept up to date with any changes to your son's health. This is especially important following a holiday period so that we can update our records accordingly.  Boys with medication: all boys who carry any form of medication on them e.g. inhalers for asthma, Epipens must ensure that it is clearly labelled with their name and is still in date.

Abingdon School Box Office

ROH Live: Rigoletto – Tuesday 16 January, 7.15pm

David McVicar's acclaimed production of Verdi's potent and tragic opera is conducted by Alexander Joel, with an excellent cast led by Dimitri Platanias, Lucy Corwe and Michael Fabiano.  The corruption of innocence is at the heart of Verdi’s potent tragedy in David McVicar’s production for The Royal Opera. Rigoletto, court jester to the libertine Duke of Mantua, is cursed by the father of one of the Duke’s victims for his irreverent laughter. When the Duke seduces Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda, it seems the curse is taking effect…   

David McVicar’s production highlights the cruelty at the heart of the court of Mantua. Richly dressed courtiers engage in orgies and revelries to Verdi’s heady, spirited dances. The opera’s many musical highlights include the ebullient ‘La donna è mobile’, in which the Duke boasts of his disregard for women; Gilda’s exquisite, plangent duets with Rigoletto and the Duke; and the gorgeous Act III quartet that beautifully weaves the voices together as the story quickens to its shattering conclusion.  Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

A Matter of Life and Death – Amey Theatre, Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 January, 7pm

On the night of 2nd May, 1945, an English airman tells a woman he's never met he loves her before jumping from his burning aircraft to almost certain death. However, in the thick fog above the channel, the angel sent to collect pilot Peter Carter misses him, and Carter finds himself washed up on the shore, alive. But having issued an invoice, the other world must balance its books, so Peter has to take the heavenly authorities to the Universal Court of Appeal to argue for his life.  Inspired by Powell and Pressburger’s ground-breaking 1946 film, this wildly romantic tale was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007 in a breathtaking adaptation by the Kneehigh Theatre Company.  Please note, staff are able to book one complimentary ticket. If you wish to do so, please get in touch.

Fiddler on the Roof – YPH (SHSK), Tuesday 30 January – Thursday 1 February, 7pm

SHSK and Abingdon School present a Joint Senior Production of the beloved musical, 'Fiddler on the Roof'.  Tevye, the hard-working, affable Dairymain, has five spirited daughters. When it comes to marriage, how can he reconcile his traditional views with their progressive dreams? Set in 1905 on the eve of the Russian revolutionary period, the tensions in Anatevka, a small Russian village, bubble over in the face of change. The musical's themes remain as relevant today, in a world questioning cultural identity, displacement and family values, as they were a hundred years ago.  Well-known songs include Tradition, Matchmaker and Sunrise, Sunset vividly capture what is at stake in this charming, honest and heart-breaking piece of musical theatre.

Food menu for the coming week – Week 2