21 May 2021

WEEKLY MAILING

This week’s mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

From the Headmaster to all parents:

Dear Parents

Although we are delighted that we can now welcome you back onto the school site to watch school fixtures, the weather has thus far been reluctant to play ball. On the upside, the grounds are looking particularly lush and verdant but let’s hope for some more consistent sunshine over the rest of term. I’m certainly looking forward to dropping into the Festival of Sport that we will be holding for the Upper Sixth on Sunday, which will be a great opportunity to celebrate their contribution to sport at Abingdon.

You will see below a notice about updates to Covid-19 measures in school, which will take effect from Monday 7 June, after the half term break. These changes represent a further step towards normality and include a tightening up of regulations with regard to school uniform and hairstyles. We would be grateful for your help in encouraging your child to follow these regulations to avoid unnecessary conflict on their return to school on 7 June.

I’m also pleased that students will be able to return to their houseroom in the second half of term. This will not only ensure that Housemasters have more opportunities to meet informally with the students in their Houses but will also allow improved integration between year groups, which is an important feature of life at Abingdon.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about these changes.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor

 

Update to Covid-19 measures from 7 June

We will be revising some of the Covid-19  measures that we have in place after half term. The changes are effective from Monday 7 June. There will be no change to the procedures for home Covid-19 testing of students and staff which should continue twice weekly. The procedures for using the Joint Bus Service and the sport and Other Half programmes for this term also remain unchanged.

The changes affect the following areas:

(This information is also available on the Covid-19 information page of the website.)

  • Year group bubbles
    With fewer pupils on site after half term, following the Fifth Year and Upper Sixth completing their assessments, more lessons will be taught in departmental areas. Pupils will be given revised timetables on Firefly. Students will be based in their house rooms, close to their housemaster, and will use their houseroom lockers.
  • School uniform
    Pupils should wear summer dress from Monday 7 June. Exceptions are: third year students who should wear sports kit on Mondays, and fourth year students on Tuesdays. At other times students are expected to change in the changing rooms. There are protocols in place for using the changing rooms safely. Further details about uniform from 7 June are available on the Covid-19 information page.  From September all students will be expected to have an Abingdon tracksuit.
  • Hair cuts
    All students are reminded of the school policy on hair cuts: Hair must be cut so that it does not lie on the collar nor is excessively close-shaven. Hair must look smart, and must not appear to be attention seeking. Bleaches or dyes that are in blatant contrast to a boy’s natural colour are not permitted.
    While the School accepts that during lockdown it was not always possible to adhere to this policy, it will now be enforced and all students are expected to abide by it.
  • Lunch time arrangements
    Students will be given a revised lunchtime rota before term restarts.
  • Trips update
    Currently the trips (mainly Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme) due to happen in the second half of this term are still going ahead. The Department for Education advice is against overseas trips until at least 5 September 2021.
  • Events
    Please consult the Weekly Mailing for details about venues for end of term events (which will also be indicated on the calendar).

For Parents of U6 – deadline for replying to UK university offers

For the vast majority of students, the deadline for replying to UK university offers is Thursday 10 June. Your child needs to make both the firm (first) and insurance (second) choice at the same time. If your child fails to meet the deadline the offers will be forfeited.

As always, Mrs Taylor and Mrs Gibbard, in the school’s UCAS Office, are very happy to discuss the options and offers available. Please contact them on ucas@abingdon.org.uk.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: STEP – Summer Term Extension Project

All 5th Year students were sent the following letter this week regarding STEP, an optional academic extension project, to be completed before the end of the Summer term. All the relevant information is included in this document. In the absence of public examinations, the project would be a great opportunity for them to extend their academic interests through some guided independent research.

Spectators Return to Sport

We are pleased to say that following the latest government announcement around stage 3 we can now allow spectators at our competitive sporting fixtures.  However we do have to ensure that both the safety of all participants and the wider site are maintained.  As such, all spectators must follow the guidance published at the entry to each playing field.  The easiest way to manage the track and trace procedure is to have your phone ready to scan the site specific QR code.

Relationships and Sex Education Parents’ webinar recording and follow up toolkit, from Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing

A recording of the recent parents’ RSE webinar can be found here and the parents’ toolkit here. The toolkit contains plenty of advice on books, podcasts, and weblinks to help navigate your children through this area. I hope you find them useful.

ASiP parent webinar ‘Emotional Wellbeing For You and Your Family’ recording, from Natalie Hunt, Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator 

We were pleased to host our ASiP parent webinar, ‘Emotional Wellbeing For You & Your Family’ with guest speakers, Natasha Devon MBE and Shahroo Izadi on Wednesday 19 May. We understand that some attendees weren’t able to join us due to problems with one of the zoom links that was emailed, and we sincerely apologise for this. Here is a link to the recording of the webinar, which will be available until 5pm on Monday 24 May.  If you have any questions or would like more information on the speakers or themes covered in the webinar, please get in touch natalie.hunt@abingdon.org.uk

Music:

  • Tuesday 25 May, 4pm – St Helen’s Church Choral Evensong with Chapel Choir – all welcome

Abingdon Box Office:

e-Learning – The Good, the Bad and the Broadband!

The latest school blog is from Adam Treadaway, Director of e-Learning. Adam looks at the advances, and some of the frustrations, of e-learning that were brought about by the pandemic and suggests some digital developments that may be here to stay. Enjoy!

For parents of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year pupils – Ultimate Sports Academies at Abingdon School, May Half Term

Ultimate Sports Academies will be running a 2 day Academy in both Cricket and Athletics this May Half term and still have a few places remaining;

  • Ultimate Sports Academies, Cricket Academy at Abingdon Prep School for ALL children of 7-14yrs on Tuesday 1 & Wednesday 2 June, 2021

The Academy coaches work with the players to develop each cricketer in the technical, tactical, physical and mental elements of the game to help improve overall confidence and game performance.  They will be covering bowling, batting & fielding techniques as well as wicket keeping.

  • Ultimate Sports Academies, Athletics Academy at Tilsley Park, Abingdon Senior School for ALL children of  7-14yrs on Thursday 3 & Friday 4 June, 2021.

The Academy coaches will instruct on how to warm up ready to perform in the varied disciplines of Track & Field, help to improve running style and speed,
hurdling techniques, sprint relays and baton exchange as well as coaching on throwing techniques in shot, discus and javelin, jump techniques for high, long and triple jump as well as helping to improve race, competition and multi-disciplinary tactics. Dean Macey will also be at the Academy on one of the days to inspire the children in Athletics!

The cost of both the Cricket and Athletic Academy is £99 for the two days, the hours are 8:30am until 4:30pm (*extra charge of £5 for extended afternoon hours until 5:30pm)

Please phone their customer services team on 0330 111 9077 or visit their website for further details www.ultimatesportsacademies.co.uk

News from the Week:

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 3

School Calendar

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

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.