19 May 2017


This week's mailing is:



Data Check Forms

The annual data check forms will be sent out in the next few days. Please complete and return to the Common Room Secretaries by Wednesday 31 May.  If you have any queries regarding the form please email the Common Room Secretaries.

L6th study leave

L6th boys taking internal exams will be granted revision leave from the beginning of Monday 5 June to 3.40pm on Thursday 8 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 8 June.  Lessons will resume on Friday 9 June – Boys doing Government and Politics have two AS external exams in the same week – on Monday morning and Thursday afternoon.  For the latter, boys may also take the complete Thursday morning off to prepare for the afternoon exam as additional revision leave.  If they were due to take an internal exam on Monday morning or on Thursday morning/afternoon they will either have had it arranged for another time across these four days or they will be allocated a catch up slot after Thursday.

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 after half term, on Thursday 8 June. Overall, these results are well in line with previous years.   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 2018. 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) expressing a particular concern and 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 2017 and Lent 2018 to encourage them into the best working practices.  Parents are reminded that Abingdon's bar for entry to the Sixth Form has been 3As and 4Bs for some years.  Given this year group will be the first to experience number grades in some of their subjects (Maths, Art, Drama, Greek, Latin, Music, RS) the bar will be set for equivalencies.  This means 3 As/7s and 4Bs/6s will be expected. Results in these exams give a reasonable projection as to how safely an individual might feel he is going to pass the 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!

5th year and 4th year boys: Nicaragua training weekend – Save the date & next meeting

The weekend of 27 – 29 October will be our training weekend. Much care has been taken that the weekend does not collide with any sports fixtures or trips. This is the last weekend of half term, so please take into account when you book holidays that attendance at the training weekend is compulsory. The group will meet on Monday 18 September in B5 at 4pm to plan their itinerary which is usually one of the most exciting parts of the preparation phrase. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Alexandra Widdern.

Careers Event: The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers Wednesday 28 June 2017

Abingdon School will soon publish a new career resource called The Truths and Myths Behind Often Misunderstood Careers. On the evening of Wednesday 28 June 2017 from 6pm to 7.30pm at Abingdon School (Geography Department, Greening Court), pupils and parents (4th year, 5th year, L6, and U6) are invited to attend an event by the same title at which we will reveal some truths and bust some myths about careers in Banking/Finance, Engineering, Government, Healthcare, Law, Marketing, and Scientific Research. Please save the date. No booking is necessary.

Michaelmas Term 2017 start

These arrangements can all be viewed on the website:

  • Sunday 3 September – New boarders arrive
  • Monday 4 September – First year induction
  • Monday 4 September – Boarders return
  • Tuesday 5 September – Term begins 
Junior Orchestral Course

We are delighted to announce that we will be running a Junior Orchestral Course from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July 2017 at Abingdon School. Available for both girls and boys aged 9-15 years, this course is designed to give your child the chance to demonstrate their musical ability, potential and, most importantly, to give them the chance to enjoy making music in the company of other talented musicians of their own age. The perfect holiday course to keep budding musicians entertained during the summer. 

Teachers/Musicians running the course: 

  • Michael Stinton (Conductor, Course Director, Woodwind)
  • Valerie Findlay (Lower Strings)
  • Christopher Fletcher-Campbell (Percussion and Brass)
  • Mariette Richter (Upper Strings)

Please take a look at the electronic leaflet. Further information and booking details can be found on our Website. We look forward to welcoming your child onto the course. 

Box Office

RSC Live: Antony and Cleopatra – Wednesday 24 May 2017 at 7pm – Iqbal Khan directs Shakespeare's tragedy of love and duty, picking up the story where Julius Caesar ends.  Following Caesar's assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Torn between love and duty, Antony's military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads the lovers to their tragic end.

NT Live: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (Encore Screening)- 25 May 2017 at 7pm – Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black), Joshua McGuire (The Hour) and David Haig (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Witness for the Prosecution) star in Tom Stoppard’s brilliantly funny situation comedy, broadcast live from The Old Vic theatre in London. David Leveaux’s new production marks the 50th anniversary of the play that made a young Tom Stoppard’s name overnight.  Against the backdrop of Hamlet, two hapless minor characters, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, take centre stage.  As the young double act stumble their way in and out of the action of Shakespeare’s iconic drama, they become increasingly out of their depth as their version of the story unfolds.

Food menu for the coming weekWeek 2