13 Nov 2020


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all Parents:

Dear Parents

This week we marked Remembrance Day in school with a service that was broadcast to all the boys and staff. It was our opportunity to reflect upon the sacrifice of those who died to protect the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today. You can watch the service and see photos of the CCF parade here.

Parents will be aware that we paused last weekend’s activities in order to refine our understanding of the government guidelines associated with the current national restrictions. I’m delighted that we have confirmed that Saturday and after-school activities can go ahead as they form part of our core educational offering and we look forward to seeing lots of boys taking part this weekend and through to the end of term.

The periods of lockdown that we have undergone this year have confirmed the importance of the arts in our lives. Two events this week highlighted the cultural landscape of Abingdon.

Firstly, we held a screening of films produced by older members of the Film Unit, which included films about the experience of living with ADHD, the art of falconry and the science of bomb disposal.

We also held the first in a new online series of events called Arts Forum. This is a set of conversations with arts professionals who have either attended, or forged close links with one of the schools in Abingdon. The series kicked off with an interview with OA actor, writer and director Simon Evans, whose BBC One and Netflix series Staged was one of the successes of lockdown. Simon provided some fantastic insights to the realities of working as a director in both theatre and TV, including teaching Dame Judi Dench how to use Zoom. We hope that these interviews will be inspiring resources for students who are interested in knowing more about working in the arts in the post-Covid world, as well as being of interest to parents and the wider public alike.

This week we also marked Maths Week England so tutor groups have been getting stuck into a range of puzzles and activities. I entertained and amused my family (a rare occurrence – sadly!) with this trick; why not have a go this weekend?

Best wishes

Mike Windsor, Headmaster

Reminder – Parents’ and Carers’ webinar “Navigating the Teenage Years”, Monday 16 November, 7pm

Parents and carers are reminded that the pastoral evening webinar “Navigating the Teenage Years” will take place on Monday 16 November at 7pm UK time. This is particularly useful for 1st and 3rd year parents together with parents who have not attended this before, or indeed those who would like a refresher. Zoom details were emailed to all parents on Friday 6 November. We look forward to seeing you there. Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: Morrisby Aspirations Programme Results

If your son is participating in the Morrisby Aspirations Career Profiling Programme, earlier this week, he will have had an interview with an independent careers adviser from Morrisby. By early next week (if not done already), the career adviser who interviewed your son will have typed up and posted notes from their interview to your son’s Morrisby online account (www.morrisby.com).  If your son has given you read-only access to his online account, you can view these notes and the various analyses on which the advice given is based. If not, please ask your son to give you access to his account (which he can do via the Planner tab). You may wish to find time over the next few weeks to discuss the results of this programme with your son and how these results might impact on A-Level subject choices (from a career planning perspective). Tentative A-Level choices will be requested by Wednesday 25 November. Please email me at [email protected] if you have any questions, concerns or requests. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

From Software Engineering to Venture Capital in Silicon Valley  – Neil Carson (1994), CEO and Co-founder of Yellowbrick Data  

On Tuesday 10 November, sixth formers, staff and OAs attended a live webinar talk by Neil Carson (OA 1994). Now a successful Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, this talk represented an Abingdon first, with Neil speaking live from San Francisco via Zoom to a live audience here at Abingdon. Hosted by Dr Peter Willis, Head of Computer Science, the talk was a fascinating insight into the journey of an Abingdon entrepreneur and self-styled geek. You can watch the talk here.

Abingdon Film Unit (AFU) Online screenings

Our apologies to any people who were unable to access this week’s AFU online screening of new films due to technical difficulties. For all who missed it for whatever reason, the screening is now available to view here on the School’s YouTube site.  Jeremy Taylor, Director of Arts Partnerships & Abingdon Film Unit

FASBC Boatclub Quiz night – Saturday 21 November 7.15pm

We have had a great response to the initial interest survey for the quiz. Thank you. Since the initial survey we’ve entered new COVID restrictions but that has not dampened our enthusiasm for the quiz. Going online with teams across different homes is likely to make us sweat a bit but having a quiz that lets the boys, parents and coaches get together across different locations will be great and we are now able to go ahead with this.  Please can I ask parents to sign up for teams now by filling in the google link here.  Simon Peacock Chair FASBC.

Abingdon Bobble Hats supporting the OddBalls Foundation

Once again, the Sports department have teamed up with the ‘OddBalls’ charity to produce bespoke Abingdon bobble hats.  Through the sales of these hats we will not only support the charity and their research into testicular cancer but will also raise the awareness amongst our boys of testicular cancer.  These hats will hopefully be useful for both the boys and also parents in the winter months whilst training or on the touchlines … not to mention make a perfect Christmas present for relatives.  If you would like to order one or more of these bobble hats please complete the google form before Monday 23 November.  The cost of £12 per hat will be added to your next school bill.


  • Solo Concert Platform on Tuesday 10 November.  Congratulations to all those who performed at Tuesday’s Solo Platform. There were some wonderful performances and the concert is now available to view online.
  • Violin Masterclass with Professor Levon Chilingirian – Wednesday 18 November at 5pm.  Please join us online to hear six of our violinists in a masterclass next week. You will need to have a link from the Box office in order to join us live. Please note the earlier start time of 5pm.
  • Associated Board music examinations are taking place during the following week beginning Monday 23 November. The boys will soon be given the times of their examinations.
  • Junior Solo Competition – Wednesday 25 November at 4pm.  Again, please consider joining us for this live-streamed competition adjudicated by Sean Fitzpatrick, the new Director of Music at Abingdon Prep School. Candidates who are eligible to perform are those who have not yet taken their grade 6 examination.

Abingdon Box Office:

News from the Week:

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 3

School Calendar

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

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.