14 Sep 2023


Message from the Head

Dear Parents

Yesterday I travelled with pupils and colleagues to a special event at BFI Southbank in London to mark the 20th anniversary of the Abingdon Film Unit (AFU). We were treated to a selection of films by current members of AFU as well as a number by pupils from one of our partner schools, Larkmead. There was also a retrospective telling the story of the origins of the Film Unit and describing its ethos and approach.

The Film Unit was established by Jeremy Taylor, who continues to oversee it with the support of professional tutors from the world of TV and film. It was inspired by the work of Michael Grigsby (OA), a highly influential documentary maker. The work of the unit continues to display Grigsby’s influence in terms of the content and style of its work.

Since its inception many pupils have passed through the AFU and it has provided a platform for numerous alumni to go on and make a career in film and television. More importantly, it’s been a unique opportunity for students to express themselves and their perspective on the world.

It was of course a great privilege yesterday for our pupils to be able to screen their films at such a prestigious venue. The good news is that there will be another chance to see their excellent films in the Amey Theatre at school on Wednesday 8 November at 7-10pm.

I’m also looking forward to meeting many parents at the various Meet the Tutor events taking place over the next couple of weeks. Please see the items below for further information.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor



  • Parents of Upper Sixth students – UCAS university application deadlines: Upper Sixth students applying to UK universities are working on their personal statements, researching final choices and filling in their UCAS applications. A reminder of key internal and external deadlines for those applying for 2024 entry (and 2025 deferred):
    • Monday 18 September – predicted grades expected to be published
    • Wednesday 20 September – student deadline to submit UCAS application if applying for Oxbridge/medicine/vet science/dentistry
    • Friday 29 September – main booking deadline for pre-interview assessments
    • Monday 16 October (during half term) – deadline for UCAS team to approve all Oxbridge/medicine/vet science/dentistry applications
    • Wednesday 18 – Friday 20 October (during half term) – BMAT, TMUA and Oxbridge admissions tests
    • Monday 20 November – student deadline to submit all other UCAS applications
    • Wednesday 31 January – deadline for UCAS team to approve all other UCAS applications (equal considerations deadline)If students have questions about their UCAS application or would like to discuss university options, they can speak to Mrs Hoddinott or Dr Ambrose in the UCAS office or email them on [email protected].
  • Parents of all Sixth form scholars – Scholars’ events this term
  • Parents of Lower Sixth students – Calculators Letter
  • Parents of Lower Sixth students: Reminder – Meet the Tutors, Thursday 28 September.  If you would like to attend and have not yet signed up, please do so via this link.  The event will run from 7pm until 8.30pm and parking is available on Lower Field on Park Road.  This event is for parents only, so students should not attend.  Bookings close 5pm Monday 25 September.


  • For parents of Fifth year students: Offer of a programme of free parent webinars run by Elevate.
    • Over a number of years, we have invited a company called Elevate to come and run a revision seminar with our 5th years to help them prepare for their GCSEs as well as for parents.  Elevate also offers a free fortnightly webinar programme for parents.  Each session will focus on a different topic and aims to show parents how they can help support their children with their learning at home.  The first webinar – ‘How to Get (And Keep) Your Child Motivated’ – will take place on Tuesday 19 September at 6:00pm.  If you would like details of all the webinars on offer this term and a link of how to sign up, please click on this LINK.
  • Parents of all Middle School scholars – Scholars’ events this term
  • Parents of Fifth year students – Calculators Letter
  • Parents of Fourth year students: Reminder – Meet the Tutors, Thursday 28 September.  If you would like to attend and have not yet signed up, please do so via this link.  The event will run from 7pm until 8.30pm and parking is available on Lower Field on Park Road.  This event is for parents only, so students should not attend.  Bookings close 5pm Monday 25 September.
  • Parents of Third year students: Reminder – Meet the Tutors, Thursday 21 September.  If you would like to attend and have not yet signed up, please do so via this link.  The event will run from 7pm until 8.30pm and parking is available on Lower Field on Park Road.  This event is for parents only, so students should not attend.  Bookings close 5pm Monday 18 September.



  • Abingdon School Biennial Sponsored Walk 2023
  • Reminder – Arrangements for Open Day: Saturday 30 September – 9am to 12.30pm
    • Open Day runs from 9am until 12.30pm.  All students, except first years and third years are expected to attend, unless they are required for a specific activity.
    • Students should arrive at School no later than 8.30am to register in their houserooms before beginning their Open Day activities.  They should arrive wearing full uniform unless directed otherwise for a specific activity.  All students will be either involved in activities or guiding our visitors.  Unless involved in an away match, all students will be required to stay until 12.45pm.
    • For students who use the joint bus service, all morning routes will be operating at their usual timings according to the normal weekday schedule.  Students on school buses should go straight to registration in their houserooms when their bus arrives.  For the return journey, buses will depart on all usual routes from the coach park at 12.45pm.  (SHSK 4.20pm service users will also depart SHSK at 12.45pm).
    • Requests for absence at Open Day should, as usual, be made to your child’s Head of House, as for a single weekday absence.
    • Usually we would welcome current parents to our Open Day. However, as we have received exceptional interest from prospective parents this year, we regret that we are unable to invite current parents – unless they are visiting with a sibling who is a prospective pupil.
  • Health and Safety request from the Health Centre:
    • If your child has sustained a significant injury that requires them to use crutches or other mobility aids, please can you inform the Health Centre so we can ensure the pupil’s safety whilst on the School premises.  A mobility assessment will need to be completed to comply with Health and Safety requirements.  We would also be grateful if you could inform us of any other significant injuries or changes to conditions as this will enable us to maintain accurate school health records for your child.
  • Abingdon News – Featuring articles on wellbeing, AI and partnerships, as well as highlights from across the summer term, the latest issue of Abingdon News is now available to read here.
  • Eco-Committee – Apple Pressing Event, Friday 22 September:
    • Fresh apple juice tastes amazing and is far better for the environment than importing it from far away.  The Eco-Committee students invite parents to come and press apples using Abingdon Carbon Cutters’ mill and press next Friday (22 September) between 2pm and 5pm. This event will be on Lower Field with some parking available; please bring your own fruit as well as bottles to take your freshly pressed juice home. More information to follow next week.
  • Abingdon School Physiotherapy:
    • As part of the school’s sporting injury support programme, the Sports department runs an injury triage clinic every Monday afternoon with school physiotherapist Tom Jacobs. This enables pupils to be assessed by the school physiotherapist, who will then provide either written or verbal feedback to the pupil and their parents on appropriate next steps of treatment if required. In order to access this facility the pupil needs to discuss their injury with their respective sports coach. Once this discussion has taken place a letter will be issued to the pupils’ parents to sign up their child for a 20 minute triage appointment the following Monday. There is no cost for this service, For further details please contact the Acting Director of Sport – Tom Donnelly.
    • Further physiotherapy beyond the injury triage clinic is also available on the school site throughout the school day with the school physiotherapist, Tom Jacobs and his team. Please see here for further details
  • Driving near the School:
    • We would like to remind parents to act with courtesy and consideration to local residents and other road users when driving near the School and to respect parking instructions and speed limits.  In particular, please can we remind parents to not park on the pavement, verges and across the cycle lane on Faringdon Road, as this makes life difficult for wheelchair users, pram users and cyclists.
    • Please also be reminded that cars waiting by the Coach park on Faringdon Road impede prompt arrival of the buses making it hard for them to turn in and deliver the students safely, as well as causing traffic problems during departure times.
  • Music:
    • Music Lessons.  For those pupils who receive individual instrumental or vocal tuition at Abingdon, I would be grateful if enquiries, queries, confirmation of lessons or notice for cessation of lessons could be directed to the following account rather than myself, Caren Hardiman or Chris Fletcher-Campbell: [email protected].  If you have particular and specific queries relating to a Visiting Music Teacher or your child’s lesson, please do feel free to contact me at [email protected]
    • Music Calendar.  We have a whole host of different concerts this term and your attendance at these is greatly appreciated. For further information, please do see the attached calendar which details the various events we have throughout the course of this term. (Please note that there have been a couple of amendments which are highlighted). Parents of pupils in the larger concerts such as the Christmas Concerts will be alerted regarding specific details for those events.
    • Joint Choral Society.  The Joint Choral Society comprising both of pupils from St Helen’s and St Katharine’s and Abingdon School, but also of parents from both schools returns this term.  Rehearsals for adults take place in St. Helen’s from 6-7pm on Wednesdays.
    • See other upcoming Music Events
  • Abingdon Heritage Weekend – Old Abingdonians in the creative arts feature this weekend in an exhibition in Unit 24 Bury Street Precinct, Abingdon. The weekend includes walks, talks and open buildings together with an exhibition on the work of the OA poet and artist Oswald Couldrey in the Roysse Room, the old schoolroom of Abingdon School 1563-1870. In addition, a number of films made by the Abingdon Film Unit will be being shown.
  • From the Chair of Abingdon School Parents Association (ASPA), Richard Stone:  I hope everyone had a good summer and has settled back into the new term. A particular welcome to all the fellow parents who are new to Abingdon this year.  ASPA is the parent association for the school. We organise a number of events during the year and I wanted to highlight some key dates to you now for your diaries:
    • Tuesday 10 October – 3rd Year Parents Cheese and Wine evening. 7-9pm in the Sports Centre Hospitality Suite. Free to attend.
    • Thursday 12 October – Lower School Parents Cheese and Wine evening. 7-9pm in the Sports Centre Hospitality Suite. Free to attend. (Please note these are the other way round than originally published in the school calendar due to a clash with the 3rd year student joint social with St Helen’s and St Katharine’s on 12 October.)
    • Saturday 27 January – Burns Night Dinner which will be in the new Pavilion facility.
    • Summer Term – Quiz night. Booking for the Cheese and Wine evenings will open shortly on the Amey Theatre box office site – further details will follow next week.  I hope as many of you as possible will be able to make these events and look forward to meeting you.  If you would like to volunteer, either to be on the ASPA committee or just to help out with an event, please contact me via [email protected]
  • OX14 Learning Partnership Upcoming Events
  • News from the week
  • Food menu for the following week – Week 3
  • School calendar
  • Weekly mailing archive
  • Box Office:   
  • Bookings now open for October half term holiday camps, based at Abingdon School Sports Centre: