14 Jan 2022


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all parents:

Dear Parents

It has felt this week that there has been more news around than we know what to do with, as the various travails of the Prime Minister, Prince Andrew and Novak Djokovic dominate the front pages.

I’m delighted that there are so many different outlets for our students to respond to current affairs, through publications such as The Martlet and Words & That, or through our podcasting group. These opportunities have broadened into an initiative that forms part of the OX14 Learning Partnership, which brings us together with local state and independent schools. The Oxford Academy of Broadcast Journalism is spearheaded by an Old Abingdonian who works in broadcasting, with the help and support of Mr Taylor. It is aimed at young people from local schools who are interested in a career in this field or simply want to develop their presentation skills. The group had some valuable sessions this week; there is definitely no shortage of issues for them to discuss…

Best wishes, Mike Windsor


Summer 2022 GCSE and GCE Exam Timetables

The Summer 2022 Exam Timetables have now been published on the website along with JCQ & CIE Exam Notices. Please be aware that these are correct timetables as is and any clashes shown are yet to be resolved.  All candidates will receive a personalised exam pack after the February half-term break. All candidates must be available on Wednesday 29 June as this is the JCQ Contingency day for GCSE/GCE examinations, should a sustained national or local disruption arise during the June 2022 examination series.

Revision leave for fifth years begins at 5.20pm on Tuesday 10 May; for Upper Sixth it begins at 1pm on Friday 20 May.

Lower School reading

Book recommendations
The cold, dark days of January are an ideal time for curling up (or lying down) with a good book. To support and encourage reading for pleasure amongst Lower School students during the Lent term, the School Librarian has selected ten ‘new books of note’, ranging from humour to science fiction to fantasy, all of them either published within the last few months or about to be published. The list is attached.

For a wider selection of reading recommendations, Lower School students are encouraged to look at the longer lists of recommended reads for First Years and Second Years, and the Stretch & Challenge list, aimed at students wanting to expand their reading ability and range of reading interests. In addition, the School Librarian is always happy to give advice on request, drawing on his own extensive reading and what other students have recommended.

Reading Challenge
This Friday sees the launch of the latest Lower School Reading Challenge, in which students are challenged to read and review up to eight books before the end of the Lent term. The tutor group with the most reviews wins chocolate. It’s  intended to be fun, but the ultimate goal is serious: to encourage and help Lower School students maintain / develop a habit of regular reading that will support their learning and wider self-development in the years to come.

Audiobooks and ebooks
All students continue to have access to a wide range of audiobooks and ebooks through the school’s e-library. Logging in is simple; as long as students are logged into their school Google account, they just need to click ‘Sign in’ – no need to remember a password.

For Lower Sixth students and their parents: After Abingdon and university applications

On Tuesday 15 February from 6.30pm we will be holding a virtual event to introduce the Lower Sixth to the options available to them after they leave Abingdon. This is an important opportunity for students and parents to learn about the UK university application process and alternatives to university.

The evening will include three sessions:

  • After Abingdon –  a keynote presentation introducing the UK university (UCAS) application process, key considerations for choosing degree courses and how Abingdon supports its students in their future pursuits (Mrs Jen Hoddinott, Assistant Upper Master, Universities)
  • Applying to Oxbridge – a presentation aimed at those considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge (Mr Richard Taylor, Assistant Upper Master, Extension)
  • Alternatives to university – an overview of some of the alternatives to university including work-based learning, apprenticeships and school leaver programmes
    (Mr Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance)

Full details of how to access the webinars and recordings will be published nearer the time.

Friday 18 March 2022 – In Conversation with Kim Darroch , National Security Adviser 2012-2015, British Ambassador to the United States 2016-2019

The Old Abingdonian Club is delighted to announce that Kim Darroch (OA 1972) will be in conversation with LBC presenter Tom Swarbrick (OA 2005) on Friday 18 March 2022 at 7pm in the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School.

Kim is a retired UK civil servant and life peer in the House of Lords. His diplomatic career spanned over 40 years, primarily focusing on national security issues and European policy, and included roles as the UK’s National Security Adviser and Permanent Representative to the European Union. Kim served as British Ambassador to the United States as the age of Trump dawned and Brexit unfolded.

All members, including pupils, of the Abingdon community and the OX14 Learning Partnership are warmly invited to attend. There is no charge for this OA Club event, however online booking is required via the Box Office here.

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.