14 May 2021


This week’s mailing is:



Update on face coverings from Monday 17 May

From Monday 17 May, the Department for Education no longer recommend face coverings for pupils in classrooms or communal areas.  Therefore at Abingdon it will be optional for pupils to wear face coverings on the school campus.   However, they remain compulsory on the Joint Bus Service, and when travelling on school minibuses and coaches. Pupils are reminded that all face coverings should be stored safely in a sealable bag and they should wash their hands before and after touching them.

The reintroduction of face coverings may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern.

Update on spectating

From Monday 17 May, spectating at fixtures on site is allowed.  Parents need to ensure that they socially distance.    Please take note of any additional instructions or requests at the venues, to limit the risk of transmission.

Fourth Year Parents’ Evening – Presentation by the Headmaster and Middle Master

Consultations for Fourth Year parents with individual subject teachers take place next week (Tuesday 18 & Wednesday 19 May). Parents are encouraged to listen to this 20-minute presentation by the Headmaster and Middle Master in advance of those meetings. It includes important information about the Fourth Year exams, as well as advice about the year ahead.

Book Collection

With most students on campus for their last lesson in each of their academic subjects, they should ensure they return their books to their class teachers during their final week, or follow local departmental instructions.  For fifth and upper sixth the deadline for book returns is Half Term.

Only the few pupils who are working remotely should bring their books back next term if they are due back in September: they should return them directly to the Second Master in his office on the first day of term.  Leavers who are working remotely won’t be charged for their books, as the cost of returning them is so high.

Many departments number each book, and record the book number.  Students MUST put their name in the book, too. When the issued copy is returned by your child the head of department then knows not to charge parents for the book. If the pupil returns a copy belonging to someone else then their parents are billed for the ‘missing’ copy and the original ‘owner’ is credited with having returned his book.

Teachers do not spend valuable time issuing emails to parents asking for books to be returned, as we expect students to be responsible for this operation.  Please remind your child.

Parents are not reimbursed for the late return of textbooks which have been charged on their bills because heads of department have had to spend resources on buying replacements for books not returned.

Many thanks for your help in this matter.

Mental Health Awareness Week, from the Head of Wellbeing, Paul Gooding:

This week we have been marking mental health awareness week. The Mental Health Foundation says that: “45% of us report that being in green space has been vital to our mental health during the pandemic.”  We want to pause to recognise the importance of being in nature to our mental health and wellbeing. Each day this week a member of staff shared their own personal thoughts about how nature has had a positive impact on their mental health and wellbeing. We invite you to watch the various staff videos here. Whether it be walking the dog, cycling, going for a run, kayaking down the Thames, going on a family outing etc – we hope that prioritizing time in nature would become a positive habit of a lifetime for us all.

Reminder – Relationships and Sex Education Parents’ and Carers’ Webinar with Dr Eleanor Draeger (NHS sexual health consultant), Monday 17 May, 7pm UK time.

Webinar details were emailed to parents on Wednesday 5 May.   Many thanks, Paul Gooding (Head of Wellbeing)

Music, from the Director of Music:

  • Solo Concert Platform No 5 – streamed on Wednesday 12 May and available here.  On Wednesday we held the last Solo Concert Platform of the academic year with over 20 performances by a range of instruments and from pupils of different years of the school. There are some stunning performances here from pupils at different stages of their musical development, including performances from senior musicians, Ashwin Tennant (violin) and Oliver Simpson (cello).

Dates for your diaries – a round-up of future musical events this term:

Reminder (& change of speaker) – ASiP presents: Emotional Wellbeing For You And Your Family – Wednesday 19 May 7:30pm – 8:30pm

Places are still available for our upcoming parenting webinar. Whilst we are sorry that Kate Silverton is no longer able to attend, we are very excited to announce that behavioural change specialist, Shahroo Izadi will be joining Natasha Devon MBE to discuss strategies for looking after your own wellbeing and modelling positive mental health for your children. Places are limited – you can book here.

Abingdon Box Office:

Second Hand Uniform Shop (SUS)

SUS is open every Wednesday (12.30pm – 1.30pm) and Saturday (11.00am – 12.00pm) during term time. Dates and times are available here.  Please note that only three people are allowed in the shop at any one time and masks must be worn.

Final Reminder – Family Quiz –  Friday 21 May at 7pm via Zoom

Closing date for entries is end of day on Wednesday 19 May.  ASPA and the Charity Committee are running a joint online quiz at 7pm on Friday 21 May

Proceeds will be split between two charities:

  • SSNAP – a charity that works at the John Radcliffe Hospital supporting sick new born babies and their parents
  • AGAPE – a charity supporting educational work in Moldova which Abingdon has collaborated with for 20 years

Cost to join the quiz will be £5 per family but there will be an opportunity on the booking form to donate more to these charities if you wish. To book your family ticket please click here and complete the booking form including the email address to which you would like the Zoom details to be sent.  Zoom meeting details to be sent on Thursday 20 May. We look forward to seeing you!

News from the Week:

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.