20 Nov 2020


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all Parents:

Dear Parents

Last night our online Careers Evening brought together about 80 Old Abingdonians with the members of the Lower Sixth. It gave the boys the opportunity to find out more about possible careers and to draw upon the expertise and experiences of our OAs. A huge range of careers were represented – architecture to IT, financial services to medicine, professional sport to energy – and I am sure the Lower Sixth students found it an exciting and enlightening event.

We are fortunate to sustain such a strong connection with our former students and we very much appreciate the support they give the School, not just on the riverbank at Henley but also at events such as last night’s and through the stimulating internships that they make available to Sixth Formers. The OA Club is a tight-knit and mutually supportive community and an important element in the School’s identity and character.

I’d also like to thank our Head of Careers Guidance, Michael Triff, for all the work that he put into the organisation of last night’s event. We take careers guidance seriously at Abingdon and I’d encourage you to ask your son to show you the pages on Firefly devoted to careers, especially if he is not sure which path he wants to take. Mr Triff is also available for individual consultations with pupils and their parents.

This week I’ve also enjoyed dipping into the latest edition of The Martlet, Abingdon’s leading newspaper, which has recently taken on a new editorial team under the leadership of Rory Bishop. This edition is packed with stimulating and thoughtful articles and is characterised by sharp writing and a clean, readable layout. Highly recommended weekend reading!

Best wishes

Mike Windsor, Headmaster

L6 Summer Term Extension Projects and U6 Summer Research Presentations

On Tuesday a number of sixth form students gave presentations in the Amey Theatre based on research they’d undertaken over the summer. The running order, in itself, demonstrates the breadth and depth of the scholarship undertaken. It was a fantastic afternoon of research, ideas and insight; thanks to all those involved. To see a recording of the presentations, please click here.

“Navigating the Teenage Years” webinar recording

For those parents or carers who were unable to attend the recent webinar on “Navigating the Teenage Years” or those who would like to listen in again, please find a copy here. Many thanks Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing.

From the Head of Wellbeing re Summer Term Wellbeing survey

I would like to thank you for encouraging your sons to take part in the wellbeing survey which was carried out in the summer term in collaboration with researchers at Oxford University. Thousands of students across southern England took part. The team, led by Professor Mina Fazel, have asked me to pass this information on to you.

Researchers at the University of Oxford would like to thank pupils and parents for supporting the OxWell School Survey 2020. The results are being used to help understand how young people experienced the first lockdown and the impact on their mental wellbeing. Schools will soon be able to access anonymous online summaries of pupil responses from their own school, as well as being able to compare findings to the overall survey results. We hope this will help guide how best to provide any support that might be needed. We are also preparing a data tool so that children at school can access summaries of some findings. Please see our up-to-date information on the survey and how the data are used here.

These results will help the School to shape our pastoral care offering going forward and to understand better the needs of our students.  Many thanks Paul Gooding (Head of Wellbeing).


  • The Music Society Chilingirian Violin Masterclass last Wednesday 18 November was an outstanding occasion in which six of our violinists benefited from the magical violin teaching of this internationally renowned musician. Our thanks to the boys, to Levon, to Mrs Pringle and to the Music Society for funding this event about which you can read here and watch the video – a must for all our violinists!
  • Associated Board music examinations are taking place next week. The boys have been given the times of their examinations and the latest timetable can be viewed on Firefly in the music timetables folder.
  • Junior Solo Competition – Wednesday 25 November at 4pm (please note the earlier time which allows the boys to catch their buses home at the usual time).  Please consider joining us for this live-streamed competition adjudicated by Sean Fitzpatrick, the Director of Music at Abingdon Prep School. Candidates who are eligible to perform are those who have not yet taken their grade 6 examination.
  • Christmas Concert – Wednesday 2 December at 7pm – streamed online. Do consider requesting a live streaming link from the Box Office. We have been recording some exciting items from many of our orchestras, bands and choirs, including a lovely performance of Schumann’s Piano Concerto with Nick Raptakis as soloist.

Parents’ Carol Service

In place of the service planned for Thursday 10 December in St Michael’s, there will be a recording made available in the Weekly Mailing the following day.  Pupils will have seen this with their tutors as part of their festivities on the final day of term.

Abingdon Box Office:

Reminder – ASPA Lower School family event – ‘A Question of Sport’ quiz (via Zoom), Friday 27 November, 7pm

Lower school families are invited to join quizmaster Adam Jenkins to test their sporting knowledge in a family event which will include questions and challenges for all ages and abilities!  Please register your interest in the event and complete the booking form here by Wednesday 25 November so that we may send you Zoom joining information prior to the event.

News from the Week:

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 1

School Calendar

Please continue to consult the School Calendar for up to date information.

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.