14 Feb 2020


This week’s mailing is:



Coronavirus COVID-19 – update 14 February 2020

We continue to monitor the situation very closely and are following the advice of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Public Health England (PHE), the Department of Health & Social Care and the school doctor.

We have advised our boarding community not to return to China and other affected areas during half term. We have also suspended all visits from prospective parents to the school from people travelling from these areas, unless they are outside the 14-day quarantine period. The situation is dynamic and we urge parents to follow the travel advice given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department of Health & Social Care.

We ask any parents who have travelled to the UK from China or other affected areas not to have direct contact with their sons until they have been in the UK for at least 14 days and remain free of any symptoms of the coronavirus. Boys who are in direct contact with people from affected areas are asked to take a period of quarantine in which the boy would not be allowed back to school. The quarantine would be the responsibility of the family to organise and not something the School could undertake. Materials will be available via Firefly so that pupils will be able to continue with their learning.

We would remind parents and guardians that boys should not return to school at the end of half term (or at the end of any holiday period throughout the year) if they are feeling unwell. We would advise general hygiene precautions at all times, such as using tissues and washing hands regularly.

Looking ahead to the Easter holidays, we advise families planning to travel that restrictions are very likely to still be in place and periods of quarantine may be needed. We cannot say for certain at this stage, but parents of boarders who live in affected areas should assume that restrictions may prevent their sons travelling home over the Easter holidays and begin to make contingency plans with guardians accordingly.

We appreciate the added complications that may be caused to Abingdon families by these measures and are grateful for your ongoing support. The wellbeing of the whole school community is our priority and we will ensure that all our pupils are appropriately supported and cared for.

We will continue to monitor the situation and are taking a proactive approach to what is a complex and ever-changing picture. We will continue to update the Abingdon community over the coming weeks.

Advance Notice for L6 Parents: Futures Fair at Abingdon School

On Monday 27 April we will be holding this year’s Futures Fair at Abingdon School. This event, for L6 boys and their parents, provides the opportunity to talk to student ambassadors and representatives from over 30 exhibitors, including many of the UK’s top universities, apprenticeship providers and other HE institutions. The Futures Fair is the perfect time for students to consider the broad range of UK degree courses and alternatives on offer before shortlisting places to visit or research further. We strongly recommend that all L6 boys attend this event, which takes place between 5.30pm and 7pm in the Sixth Form Centre, Beech Court. Parents are most welcome to join us.

Prior to the Fair, there will be a short presentation on ‘World Class Study in London’, given by representatives from four of London’s top universities: LSE, King’s College London, Imperial and UCL. The start time will be confirmed later, but is likely to be around 4.45pm.

More information will be sent to parents towards the end of this term; should you have any questions in the meantime, please email Caroline Taylor, Assistant Upper Master, Universities at [email protected].

U6th Revision Leave: Monday 24 February to Friday 28 February

During their revision leave Upper Sixth formers are not expected in School unless they have an exam. Sixth form games options will run as normal but we appreciate some boys may not be in attendance. Team players are encouraged to get to practices when they can.  Boys selected for sports fixtures on Thursday afternoon are expected to attend.  Boys are encouraged to keep exercising for their own wellbeing.

1870-2020: A Celebration of 150 Years at Albert Park – Reminder

With February half term approaching, it’s a great opportunity to design an entry for our Postcard competition.   To commemorate 150 years of Abingdon School at Albert Park, we’ve invited the whole School community to design a postcard inspired by Big School & its surroundings.  The winning entry will be printed as a new School postcard, to be used as School stationery, and the winner will receive a £50 voucher.  Entries must be A4, and are to be submitted to the Old Abingdonian Club Office, Abingdon School, Park Road, Abingdon, OX14 1DE or digitally to [email protected]. Closing date for entries is Friday 27 March.  More details here.


Music events after Half Term

  • Martin Speake International Jazz Quartet comes to Abingdon – Monday 24 February at 8pm, Amey Theatre.   This is an amazing opportunity to hear outstanding jazz of the quality to be found in London’s Ronnie Scott’s, but on our own patch! It should be a must for all our jazzers and is strongly recommended for all. Please do come and support this jazz concert. Martin Speake is a leading international saxophonist who is bringing his musicians on a nationwide tour that will include Abingdon School. Please share the poster with your friends and buy your tickets online using this link.
  • Annual Chamber Music Concert – Wednesday 26 February at 6pm in the Amey Theatre.  We are delighted to announce the success of three Abingdon chamber ensembles who have won through to the semi finals of the Pro Corda Chamber Competition. They include two string trios and the senior quartet, all of whom will be appearing in our feast of chamber music that is the Annual Chamber Concert.  It happens soon after half term in the Amey Theatre and is free of charge – please do join us for a wide variety of chamber music for woodwind, strings and brass.
  • Coventry Cathedral Evensong with Chapel Choir – Thursday 27 February at 5.15pm. No doubt parents of chapel choir choristers will turn out in usual numbers for this evensong at Coventry, but all are very welcome to join us there.
  • Intermediate Solo Competition – Thursday 5 March at 6pm in the CMR.  Please come and join us as we see many of our senior musicians (grades 6 to 8) battle it out to win the coveted intermediate solo cup. Our adjudicator is Aimée Jamison, Director of Music at Headington School.

ASiP Newsletter

Working collaboratively in partnership with many of our local schools to the benefit of students and staff alike is at the very heart of Abingdon School. As a result, we have great pleasure in launching our second Abingdon School in Partnership newsletter showcasing many of the partnership activities that are available to both Abingdon students and staff and also to those across the town and surrounding area. These activities range from working with primary schools to help develop a love of languages and to broaden their appreciation of art, to our badger research project and primary science club, along with a peer mentoring and academic mentoring programme, our widening performing arts partnership and events such as Model United Nations and our ‘After Abingdon’ evening. Working collaboratively within and between schools can develop skills of teamwork and communication, oracy and self motivation. It can also help build friendships and understanding beyond the walls of our School. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many academic and support staff that help make these events such a success, the support we get from the parent body and also the tireless effort of colleagues to get this publication completed. If you would like to find out more about our partnership programme please see our website or email Rob Southwell-Sander on [email protected].

Lower Sixth ‘After Abingdon’ Presentation

The slides from the presentations given by Mrs Taylor on Wednesday 12 February, together with the UCAS Toolkit were sent to parents on Thursday.  A recording of the presentations was sent separately to parents via email today.

Second-hand Uniform Shop

The Second-hand Uniform Shop opening dates and times are all on the school website.  We stock all Abingdon uniform and sports equipment.

SUS Sale Items: 5 blue shirts for £10, 5 white shirts for £10, 2 Fifth Form shirts for £10, 3 pairs of grey trousers for £10.

We have a good stock of cricket shirts, trousers, jumpers, sleeveless body warmers, bats, pads, helmets and all other cricket equipment ready for the Summer term.

Abingdon Box Office:

New Code Camp at Abingdon School this Easter.  

News from the Week:

Food menu for the week after half term – Week 1

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.

For forthcoming events, here is the link to the School Calendar.