17 May 2019


This week's mailing is:



L6th study leave

L6th boys taking internal exams will be granted revision leave from the beginning of Monday 3 June to 3.40pm on Thursday 6 June.  This means that they will not be expected in school during lesson times unless they have an exam.  Boys who don’t have an exam but nonetheless wish to be in school (perhaps because they use the school bus system) are welcome to be in school for silent study purposes.  They can also take lunch in the Dining Hall as usual.

Many L6th boys will have Other Half commitments that they will still wish to fulfil (e.g. team practices for Saturday matches).  The exam programme means they will still be able to attend things like period 8 activities (e.g. orchestra rehearsals) and Wednesday afternoon activities.  We strongly encourage boys to continue with their Other Half activities where possible during this time.  Doing something other than revision can provide an excellent break for the mind and still allow plenty of time for final revision.  It can also be difficult for things like team practices to be effective for others if there are many absences.  We are not, however, insisting that L6th boys fulfil these commitments during revision leave if they feel they really need to spend the time revising for upcoming exams – in such cases, though, we would expect boys to contact the organiser of the relevant activity to excuse themselves well in advance of when that activity is due to happen. Other Half commitments resume at 3.40pm on Thursday 6 June. Boys will be doing UCAS work on the Friday morning followed by sports in the afternoon.

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 parents' evening after half term, on Thursday 6 June.  The Deputy Head (Academic) will also be sending all parents an email with notes on how to interpret these results along with information on the new national GCSE grading system (using numbers rather than grades) which will be used by all subjects for this cohort of boys except English and English Literature.

Third Year RSE Morning 22 May

Wednesday 22 May sees the annual Relationship and Sex Education morning for boys in the Third Year. This year we have a visit from Loudmouth Theatre Company who will present their acclaimed project “Working for Marcus”. Sexual exploitation and sexual grooming are serious and important issues for schools to address. “Working for Marcus” has been used in many schools to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation and to train professionals since 1998. Due to a recent rise in interest in this work and growing concerns about the issues from schools particularly in online safety, Loudmouth have updated this powerful programme to include new research into exploitation through social media, gangs and violence against women and girls and boys. The drama production and workshops help young people to gain a deeper understanding of the grooming process and potential risks. In addition, the boys will attend a roundabout of workshops on STIs, contraception and men's health issues delivered by registered healthcare practitioners as well as the School Doctor. If you have any questions about the morning, please email Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing.

L6 parents: 360 Degrees: discuss, discover, decide – Friday 21 June, starting at 7pm, Yang Science Centre

We are delighted to invite you to join your son to meet staff and OAs at a forum of shared experiences and discussion all about university applications.  The event brings together tutors, heads of department and OAs as well as all members of the sixth form team, and presents a fantastic opportunity for you and your son to discuss plans for university applications.  360 Degrees* should be seen as an occasion to consider possible degree subjects, universities and potential future pathways in the round, in order to put together a successful application. The event has been timed to provide a useful indication of the suitability of degree course and university choices, ahead of the summer holidays when university visits and personal statement drafts should be on the agenda.  In due course, your son will be invited to make appointments for the evening to meet with staff to discuss his post Abingdon plans, his higher education aspirations and his suitability for his chosen course. For subjects akin to those studied at school (e.g. history, classics, physics) your son should book a meeting with the relevant head of department. Where the head of department is unavailable for the evening, there will be a department representative, so that all school subjects are covered. In the case of those subjects not taught at school (e.g. law, engineering, computer science), we hope to have staff available who can provide some insight into the study of those subjects at degree level.  In addition, a number of OAs who will be on hand to share their recent experiences of degree level study and of undergraduate life, particularly at their university. The range of degree courses they have studied/are studying at university reflects most subject areas. You and your son should also meet with his tutor to discuss post school plans, university ambitions, etc. and how realistic and appropriate those plans are. The boys will be asked to make appointments for these meetings.

All members of the sixth form team will be at 360 Degrees. Your son can make an appointment prior to the event or please come and chat to us on the evening if you would like to discuss the following:

  • Applications for Oxbridge – Richard Taylor
  • Applications for Medicine & Veterinary Science – Ben Whitworth
  • Applications to overseas universities, gap years and alternatives to university – Michael Triff
  • Anything UCAS related – Caroline Taylor & Sarah Gibbard
  • Nick O’Doherty, Head of Sixth Form

*360 Degrees was formerly called UCAS 2


Thursday 23 May at 7pm in the Amey Theatre – Summer Concert

A reminder that our summer concert is next Thursday, just before half term and all parents are most welcome to join us. All the main school ensembles will be playing – all three orchestras (First, Second and Chamber Orchestras) and three bands (Wind, Brass and Big Bands). There will also be some jazz ensembles, junior and senior. 

5th Year boys on Revision Leave will need to be in school by 4pm for rehearsals. There are two GCSE papers the following day (Greek and DT), so those boys are excused this concert. Supper will be provided for all the boys.  As usual, tickets are available on the school website by clicking here.

Michaelmas Term 2019 start

These arrangements can all be viewed on the website:

Sunday 1 September – New boarders arrive
Monday 2 September – First and third year induction
Monday 2 September – Boarders return
Tuesday 3 September – Term begins 

The Ultimate Activity Company will be back this Summer using our fantastic facilities for their fun, safe and active camps, Summer dates are Monday 22 July –  Friday 16 August.  Children will be inspired to try new activities, make new friends and ultimately have lots of fun in a safe environment.  Their Summer Saver Offer ends on Tuesday 11 June so please visit www.ultimateactivity.co.uk to book online or call 0330 111 7077 to speak to the very helpful customer service team.

Take a look at our latest school blog

Top tips on how to learn a language – read the latest school blog from the MFL department.

News from the week:

Food menu for the coming week – Week 2