15 May 2015


This week's mailing is:


Fourth Year Exam Results

Results of the recent fourth year exams will be posted to the parent portal by Friday evening. You should expect the fourth year exams to form part of the discussion with teachers at the forthcoming parents' evening on Monday 8 June. You will be pleased to hear that, overall, this year group's performance is in line with previous fourth year exams. However, there are clear indications that some boys need to see these results as a wake up call and reconsider their approach to their studies. The next formal set of exams for this year group is the GCSE mock exams in January 2016. It may seem like some time away, but in fact the distance is a matter of only 20 or so teaching weeks. As the pace towards GCSE hots up, boys should be expecting to spend more of their own time, in holidays and at weekends, consolidating and revising material.

As is always the case, some parents will be receiving letters from the Deputy Head (Academic) offering further academic support for some boys who did not perform as well as we might have hoped. We will also be placing some boys into supervised study during lunchtimes on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Michaelmas and Lent 2016 to encourage them into the best working practices.

Parents are reminded that Abingdon's bar for entry to the Sixth Form stands at 3 As and 4 Bs. Results in these exams give a reasonable projection as to how safely an individual might feel he is going to pass that bar but there is often a lot more context to be placed around a result, such as other exam papers and practical elements. It is the case year on year that the majority of boys make significant improvements on their showing in these exams by the time they get to GCSE – not unconnected with the fact that they finally see the link between hard work and success!

Fifth Year School Reports

'Valedictory' reports for boys in the Fifth Year will be posted to the parent portal by the end of next week. They will contain comments from tutor and housemaster only.

Fifth Years: activity after exams

Fifth year boys do not return to school after the completion of their last examination, but obviously there is a significant degree of variation in that last date depending on a boy's subject choice. We strongly encourage all fifth year boys to participate in some form of work experience in the very long holiday after examinations and before the start of the new academic year in September. Where pupils have advised the School of work experience placements paperwork will be sent to the home address before the placement starts. Those who still feel they need advice on this should contact Mr Litchfield on 01235 849003 or by email.

Lower Sixth Subject Choices

Many sets are now at levels that we would consider to be ‘full' and so any boy who wishes to apply for a change in his subject choice should contact the Curriculum Director, Mr Oliver Lomax, as soon as possible by email. Although we will always do our best to be accommodating, we do have to stress that changes may not be possible at this stage in particular subjects and it is certainly the case that the earlier we receive a request the greater likelihood there is of us being able to satisfy it.

Music Notices
  • Summer Concert rehearsal arrangements – Friday 26 June 9.00am

Parents will be aware that we have our Summer Concert on the eve of Leavers' Day this year – Friday 26 June, and this should already be in your diaries. May I also alert you to the rehearsal arrangements for that day?  We will start promptly at 9.00am with the First Orchestra and with Big Band joining us at 11.00am.  The rehearsals will be finished by 12 o’clock midday, allowing Middle School and Lower Sixth to participate in the Sports afternoon.  I would be most grateful if Fifth Year and Upper Sixth musicians could be in school, please, for that morning rehearsal.

  • Junior Scholars’ Concert – Wednesday 20 May, 6.30pm, Amey Theatre

Parents are warmly invited to our scholars' concert for the younger musicians in years 1 to 4. It is always exciting to see the talent that is flourishing among the younger years – talent which will only fully emerge when the older years are moving on. Please do join us, noting please, the slightly later time of 6.30pm, which enables some of the boys to return from cricket fixtures. Admission is free.

Thame/Headington Route Update

Now that the Headington roadworks have been completed we are going to continue operating 2 separate routes in the morning from the Thame & Headington area. The routes will however remain combined as part of the 5.20pm Thame route for the time being. With effect from Monday 18 May we are going to add new AM stops in Great Milton, Little Milton & Stadhampton. We will also be restoring the stops in Sandhills & Risinghurst on our Headington route and adding a new AM stop near the Open University in Boars Hill. Our 5.20pm return service to Thame remains unchanged.  Full AM route details below.

Thame AM Route
Thame Town Hall 07.15hrs
Milton Common Bus Stop, oppostie Sandy Lane 07.25hrs
Wheatley Bus Stop, London Rd/Ambrose Rise 07.35hrs
Wheatley Bus Stop, London Rd/Holloway Rd 07.37hrs
Great Milton Bus Stop, The Green Nr Bull Inn 07.50hrs
Little Milton Opposite Village Hall, A329        07.55hrs
Stadhampton     Layby, A329 Thame Rd (Nr BP Garage) 08.00hrs
Headington AM Route 
Sandhills  Bus stop on A40 just after Park & Ride   07.40hrs
Risinghurst   Bus stop on A40 nr Collinwood Rd  07.41hrs
Headington Bus Stop  Demop Hair, London Road  07.45hrs
Headington  Post Office, London Road 07.47hrs
Headington  Windmill Road / Margaret Road 07.48hrs
Holoway Bus Stop, St Francis Court 07.50hrs
Cowley  Swan PH Stop, Between Towns Rd 07.53hrs
Iffley Turn Henley Avenue/Iffley Turn 08.00hrs
Oxford Go Outdoors, Abingdon Road 08.03hrs
Boars Hill  Foxcombe Road / Hinksey Hill  08.14hrs
Boars Hill Open University Bus Stop, Jarn Way 08.18hrs
Boars Hill Fox Lane / Lincombe Lane 08.22hrs
Abingdon Census Form

Parents should this week have received in the post a letter asking parents to check the information held on the School database. Please return the form by Friday 22 May. Should you have any queries regarding the data check form please address them to the Common Room Secretaries by email or telephone 01235 521563.

Parent log-in

Please note that the link on the main school website for parents to log in and view their son's report has been updated and parents now have the option to reset their password from the login page. Please update any shortcuts or browser bookmarks that you have made.

Book collection

As previously advertised, the final deadline for 5th and U6th book returns will be Saturday 27 June. Books not returned by that date will be charged to bills. Many departments will already have made clear to boys the occasions on which they can return books and it would be sensible for boys to plan to bring in any remaining loan texts on the day of their final public exam to save having to make a special trip. Much unnecessary chasing and unwanted charging of extras to bills can be avoided by boys being properly organised. It is often not possible to waive charges for books returned after the deadline as Heads of Department will spend part of the last week of term ordering the necessary texts for the new school year.

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 1