12 Mar 2021

WEEKLY MAILING

This week’s mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

From the Headmaster to all parents:

Dear Parents

We were delighted to be able to welcome students and staff back to the school site on Monday. It’s been wonderful to hear the sounds of students making the most of break- and lunch-times together and to see them enjoying one another’s company as they move from lesson to lesson. We continue to support our overseas boarders, who have not yet been able to return to school, with mixed-mode teaching but Monday definitely felt like a step in the right direction on the road to normality.

We would like to thank parents for their support last weekend with bringing their children into school for testing. We carried out nearly 1000 tests and the operation went very smoothly thanks to parents’ and students’ cooperation and a tremendous effort from our staff including our healthcare team. The testing has helped staff, pupils and parents be confident with the return to school. Continued testing is an important measure in managing Covid-19 in the school community and I would like to thank parents for their ongoing support.

The second series of tests took place this week and the third in school testing will be on Monday 15 March and Tuesday 16 March next week. As per government guidelines, Covid-19 testing will be ongoing for the rest of this term but following the third test in school it will then take place at home or in the boarding households. Details for testing at home are given below in this weekly mailing.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor

Covid-19 testing at home from Thursday 18 March

We are following government guidelines for the testing of students in schools to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and we very much appreciate the cooperation of our parents and students in keeping our community safe. Our students will have undertaken three supervised tests at school and are familiar with how to conduct the test. Further information on how to take a test is available here and from this government leaflet and video.

  • Testing kits will be given to students to take home on Monday and Tuesday next week and students and their parents are then asked to take responsibility for ensuring that the tests are carried out.
  • If pupils are tested on Monday 15 March then their first home test should be on Thursday 18 March in the evening.
  • Students who are tested on Tuesday 16 March need not test until Sunday 21 March
  • All students should test themselves on the evenings of Sunday 21 March and Wednesday 24 March.
  • Students will be reminded on the relevant day when to take their tests via Firefly.
  • Students aged 18 and over should do the test themselves and report the result, with help if needed.
  • Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision.
  • Students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result.
  • Students should record the result of their test whether it is positive or negative to the School via Firefly and also to NHS Test and Trace.
  • If a student tests positive then they will need to inform the School as quickly as possible, follow government guidance and self-isolate along with their household. They will also need to have the positive test confirmed by booking a PCR test.
  • Boarders will be carrying out their own tests in their boarding households.
  • Consent is not needed for self-testing at home and a privacy notice is linked to here.
  • Any questions should be sent by email to covid.testing@abingdon.org.uk

As yet, we have not been told whether students will be asked to test during the Easter holidays or prior to the return for the Summer term. We will let parents know when we hear more. As a reminder from last week’s weekly mailing, should you want more testing kits, they are available to any household with a student in school by following this link.

 

Return To School Resource Kit

Collated by our Mental Health & Wellbeing Coordinator, Natalie Hunt, this resource pack has links to the best resources for parents and students on ways to look after our wellbeing over the coming weeks and months. Please feel free to share widely, thank you.

Information for 5th Year parents regarding National Citizen Service summer programme

Following the NCS’s presentation to our 5th Years in this week’s assembly, here is a link for a parental letter including a video to parents about their summer scheme.

Music:

  • Winning entries in this term’s competitive Music Prize
    We are delighted to share the joint winning entries for this term’s competitive music prize which was for the best piece of music technology incorporating live instruments. Congratulations to Durotimi Adebutu (Upper 6th)  and Jenson Mckay (Lower 6th) who have won the Lent Term Competitive Prize in Music. Durotimi and Jenson each put together a dance track of a professional standard in response to the competition. The overall quality of entries was exceptionally high this year. Both students have done very well indeed and we hope you enjoy listening to them.  The recording of Durotimi’s piece can be found here and Jenson’s piece here.
  • Wednesday 17 March at 6pm – Solo Concert Platform No 4
    A good number of musicians have submitted solo recordings, some done at home and others at school since our return on Monday. My special thanks to all the students and especially to our accompanist and Head of Piano, Lynette Stulting, and our Amey Theatre Manager, Nick Lloyd. You can join the concert by requesting a link from the Box office in the usual way.
  • Thursday 18 March at 6pm – 5th Year Performance Evening
    The usual deadline for GCSE solo performance submissions has been replaced this year with another streamed concert which can be joined by means of a request to the Box Office.  This year’s GCSE music candidates have been joined by some of their 5th year contemporaries for a concert of exceptional solo performances.  Please do join us.

Abingdon Box Office:

News from the Week:

Old Abingdonians Talk Sport – Wednesday 17 March 2021, 7.30 pm

Abingdon invites a panel of OA sportsmen to discuss their sporting careers and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry. The panel includes Alex Fisher (OA 2007, footballer for Exeter City FC), Graham Scott (OA 1987, Premier League Referee), Charlie Quarterman (OA 2017, Professional Athlete at Trek-Segafredo), Ollie Cook (OA 2008, GB Rower) and Theo Brophy Clews (OA 2015, Rugby Player at London Irish RC) and the evening will be hosted by Johnny Burrow (OA 2014 and Sports Broadcaster). Open to all. Sign up here: https://forms.gle/vWLiRv6kbvaVBmT26

Stevensons – Summer school uniform and sportswear

Please see this link for an update from Stevensons re Summer school uniform and a request to parents, where possible, to purchase Summer wear before Monday 22 March.

Ultimate Activity Camps

Ultimate Activity Camps have been busy planning for their welcome return to Abingdon School to run their fun, safe and engaging holiday day camps during the Easter and Summer Holidays of 2021 with added Covid-safe measures for all.

  • Easter Dates – Tuesday 6 – Friday 16 April 2021
  • Summer Dates – Monday 12 July to Friday 27 August 2021

Ultimate Activity Camps offer exciting holiday day camps with over 40 activities every week delivered by engaging, enthusiastic and energetic staff who will instruct and encourage every child to try new activities and make new friends – and naturally have lots of social time and fun of course!  They would also like to highlight the recent government advice:

  • Parents can access our Easter camps where it is reasonably necessary to support parents/carers to work, search for work, undertake education or training, attend a medical appointment or address a medical need, or attend a support group – we know 99% of parents need us to support your work commitments but please get in contact if you are unsure.
  • We will be Covid testing all camp staff every week during Easter camp to maximise child and staff safety.
  • Face coverings should be worn by secondary school age children when moving around the school, such as in corridors and communal areas. Face coverings are not required during active sessions but may be required for classroom based activities unless social distancing can be maintained.
  • Standard rate of £222 / week
  • Standard rate of £49 / day

Please visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk for full details or you can call their team on 0330 111 7077 (local rate).

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 2

School Calendar

Please continue to consult the School Calendar for up to date information.

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.