20 Jan 2017


This week's mailing is:

Letter from the Headmaster (PDF)



Mobile phones

The following link makes for very salutary reading. I would urge all parents to look at it and to think about the conversations that you might have with your son. He might tell you that he is not affected by his device, but for 75% of us (speaking as a parent as well as a teacher!) our sons will be fooling themselves or us or both! The research states 68% of pupils' work is affected by their phone use – and that is predominantly through use at home.
Does he need his phone when he goes to bed? Why? I would urge you to challenge him, to break this habit, and to buy some cheap alarm clocks(!) This won't be easy but I would encourage you to be clear and not be afraid to make a stand on this, and the corollary issue of gaming. However, perhaps the biggest challenge for us all is to model the behaviour that we want in our children by leaving the phone at the bottom of the stairs 90 minutes before we ourselves intend to sleep…. 

Mumps – from the Health Centre

There have been a very small number of confirmed cases of mumps amongst the boys. This is a viral illness which can be contagious with a 2 week incubation period during which time there may be no presenting symptoms. It is not a serious illness, however, a diagnosis needs to be confirmed by a doctor and if confirmed they should not return to school for a minimum of 5 days. Please could you stress the importance of good hand hygiene to try and prevent any spread of infection.  Boys will be reminded in sectional assemblies.

FASBC – Tea party for parents of 3rd year rowers

The FASBC invite the Parents of the new 3rd year rowers (J14) to a tea party at the boat house on Saturday 4 February at 2:15pm. This affords the opportunity to have a first glance at your sons' rowing (weather permitting), to meet the Coaches and the FASBC Committee and to see around the boat house. The Abingdon School Boat House can be found at the bottom of Wilsham Road, OX14 5LE and can be accessed through large black gates just after Kingfisher Close. There is limited parking within the grounds of the boat house, so please park on Wilsham Road, showing respect to our neighbours. There is no need to RSVP, but we very much hope that many of the new parents will be able to join us at this first event of the season. Please contact [email protected] if you have any questions.

4th Year CV and Cover Letter Writing Lesson: A Request for Parents from the Head of Career Guidance

On a Monday in Lent Term, each 4th Year Pupil will participate in a lesson called ‘Applying for Work Experience’ during which they will learn how to write a CV and Cover Letter. This lesson is offered in 4th year because the search for a summer 2018 work experience placement (as part of the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme) begins in Michaelmas term next year. Following their lesson, pupils will need to spend time working on their CV and Cover Letter. To assist them, they may attend an optional walk-in mentoring clinic to get bespoke help from me on their own CV and Cover Lettet These walk-in clinics are from 3:45 to 5pm on Thursday 2 and 23 Feb and 9 and 23 March. Pupils have these dates and can attend a clinic after they have had their lesson. Please encourage your son to take advantage of this opportunity to write their first CV and Cover Letter so they arrive back at School next year ready to start their search for a summer 2018 work experience placement. If you have any questions, contact Michael Triff on [email protected].

For Lower Sixth boys and their parents: UCAS

UCAS1: Introduction to the university application process: Friday 24 February 2017, 7pm, Amey Theatre. This is an important opportunity for boys and their parents to be introduced by experts to some of the key features of university application and admission processes.


7pm: Katherine Pagett, Student Recruitment Manager at Birmingham University, will give an overview of the application process from a university admissions perspective (Amey Theatre);

7.45-8.00pm: Refreshments (Amey foyer and Cafe);

8pm-8.45pm: Boys and parents choose to attend: EITHER Caitriona Woolhouse, Head of Student Recruitment at Oxford University, and Kathy Purdy, Admissions Co-ordinator at Peterhouse, Cambridge, will identify the particular issues involved in an application to Oxford or Cambridge University (Amey Theatre) OR Question and Answer: a panel of current Upper Sixth boys will talk about their own experiences of university applications (Ingham Room).

  • Whole First Year Concert Trip to Birmingham, Monday 30 January – A reminder to Parents of all 1st Year boys to complete the consent form sent in last week's mailing.
  • Scholars' and Soloists' Concert, Wednesday 1 February at 6pm – Do consider attending our first such concert of 2017. The concert is at 6pm and features our senior musicians. in solo performance. Admission is free.
  • Joint Chamber Concert at SHSK on Tuesday 28 March, 7pm – Parents of boys in the joint Chamber choir are informed of the above concert, details of which have just come to us from St Helen's School.

Food menu for the coming week – Week 3