12 Jun 2020


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all parents: 

Dear Parents

A highlight of my week was the chance to join the Lower School for their online Sports Day via Zoom on Tuesday. It was great to see the boys joining in from gardens, bedrooms and front rooms, pets and/or family members occasionally coming into view. I’m grateful to the Sports department for their creativity in coming up with an unusual programme of events that could be completed in front of a screen at home, such as keepie-uppies with toilet rolls (now happily more widely available than in the panic-buying phase of the lockdown). The Third and Fourth Years will have their chance to take part in their online Sports Days on Thursday and Friday of the coming week.

We designated this last week as Eco Week, held jointly with St Helen’s and St Katharine’s. I’m grateful to the pupils’ eco-committees who developed the concept and put together a Thought for the Day for each day of this week, coming up with a selection of issues for discussion and reflection in tutor groups and assemblies. It’s been good to hear about the steps that boys are taking to protect the environment at home. You can read more about the School’s approach to sustainability on the website.

The issues raised by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the Black Lives Matter movement have also been on our mind this week and have been the focus of assemblies and tutor group discussions. In my assembly last week, I commented on the importance of education in combating racism. I’m grateful, therefore, to Mr Gardner, the School’s Librarian, who has produced a reading list of pertinent articles and books, which I thought might be of interest to parents.

We continue to focus, of course, on preparations for the coming academic year. Although we await further guidance from the government, we are working through a range of scenarios, and I hope to share more information with parents in the next couple of weeks so that you have an opportunity to ask questions before the end of term. We continue to work on proposals to bring Fourth Year and Lower Sixth students in before the end of term for socialisation purposes.

Next week will be the final week of lessons for Upper Sixth and 5th Year students. They’ve engaged with real purpose and focus in their pre-university and pre-A Level courses. We look forward to saying farewell to our leavers at our online Prize Giving on Saturday 20 June at 11am. There will also be a short event on Friday 19 June at 1pm to welcome leavers to the OA Club and I’ll look forward to seeing them there.

I hope that this weekend the boys take the chance to get away from their screens and to spend some time outdoors. Of course, they are now able in the UK to meet up in groups of six (outdoors) and I am sure that many of them will enjoy seeing their friends. I hope you are able to enjoy some good time together as a family too.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor

Headmaster’s assembly – w/c Monday 8 June 2020

This week’s assembly from Michael Windsor introduced ‘eco awareness week’ which is an initiative from the School eco committees at Abingdon and St Helen’s. View the assembly.

Virtual Celebration of the Arts Day (Music, Film, Art): Tuesday 16 June – from Paul Williamson, Head of Art

After the success of last year’s Celebration of the Arts day in June, there will be an on-line festival this year with recordings in music, film and a gallery of art produced in lockdown.  Items will go live on the school webpages on Tuesday 16 June as we celebrate the creativity that is bursting out from people’s homes.  We couldn’t miss this opportunity to share with you some of our amazing student work.

Back to School Challenge

2M are preparing for their charity “Back to School” Challenge.  All 22 and the tutor Mrs McRae are going to travel the collective distance to and from their homes and School over the weekend 20/21 June.  They will be cycling, unicycling, walking, running , stepping and much more.  The collective distance is over 700 miles and the boys will need to cover an average of 32 miles each over the weekend.  All of this is in aid of Cancer Research UK. Please visit the giving page herePhotos of two of the boys ready to go!  Please support us if you can, this event marks the culmination of their time in Lower School and the end of our Be the Best You Can Be / 21st Century Legacy Programme as well.  Mrs McRae, Lower School Tutor.

News from the Week:

School Calendar

Given the number of calendar changes, owing to the impact of Covid-19, please continue to consult the School Calendar.

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.