22 May 2020


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all parents: 

Dear Parents

I write as we reach a historic half-term break; the first half term in Abingdon’s long history that has been dedicated entirely to remote working. It is extraordinary what today’s technology allows us to do and the response of teachers to the challenges that they have been presented with has been phenomenal, as has been the creativity, endeavour and resilience of the pupils. I do hope you will get a chance to read the latest edition of Abingdon News, which captures what has been going on over the past few weeks.

The boys have earned a break over the coming week and I hope they will take the opportunity to spend some time away from their screens. The PE department shared today a list of 35 things to do away from a screen which should provide them with inspiration. I will be spending some quality time with the lawnmower while also trying to come up with an impressive entry for the Staff’s Bake Off competition; this could be a stern challenge for a novice baker like me.

Preparations will continue next week for the reopening of Abingdon Prep School after the half-term break, in line with government guidance, and I am grateful to the APS team and our support staff for the huge amount of work that has already gone into this project. We are learning valuable lessons that will stand us in good stead when it comes to the reopening of the Abingdon School site. Although we are preparing for another half term of remote working at Abingdon School, we will continue to pay close attention to government advice and explore possibilities for bringing boys back onto the site when it is safe to do so.

I would like to express my thanks for the strong support that parents have given the School this term. The many positive messages that we have received have certainly buoyed everyone up while we continue to maintain and improve our remote offering.

I hope you and your families are able to spend some time together over the coming few days and that the boys make the most of the opportunities for rest and recuperation.

Best wishes

Mike Windsor

From the Headmaster to all pupils:

Please follow this link to view a message which has been sent to all pupils today from the Headmaster.

Headmaster’s assembly

In this week’s Headmaster’s assembly, Michael Windsor discusses risk. Follow this link to watch the video.

Parents of U6 Students – Pre-University Programme Sign-Up

If your son has not yet signed up for an U6 Pre-University Programme academic or non-academic course, please remind him to do so as soon as possible. The deadline given for signing up is today, Friday 22 May.  All students received an email from Mr Triff with a link to an online booking sheet. If you or your son have not yet seen the Programme brochure, view it online here.  Thank you very much for your support in helping us to maximise participation in this Programme.

Annual Data Check – Reminder 

The Annual Data Check forms were sent to parents on Wednesday 29 April via iSAMS email.   The deadline to submit forms was last Friday, 15 May.   Even if your data has not changed, a form is still required to be completed please.  The Data Check is an online process that takes a few minutes to complete. If you have any queries regarding the process please email [email protected]

Book Collection

Remote working by staff and students means we need to adopt a different system for the return of textbooks this year.  We recognise it is difficult for parents to ensure books get back to school this term, as posting would be expensive and difficult to arrange, given social distancing expectations currently in force.

Boys who are due to be at School in September must return the textbooks they currently have when next term begins.

·      On the first day of term they should bring in books in any subjects which they are no longer studying. These books should be returned directly to the relevant department.

·      On subsequent days they should bring their old textbook to their new classes, and their subject teacher will collect the relevant old books.

·      Many departments number each book, and record the book number. Boys MUST put their name in the book, too. When the issued copy is returned by your son the Head of department then knows not to charge parents for the book. If the pupil returns a copy belonging to someone else then his parents are billed for the ‘missing’ copy and the original ‘owner’ is credited with having returned his book. 

·      When returning books to departments boys should follow instructions given locally in each department as to how and where they should leave the textbooks.

For boys who are not returning next term, boys and parents are asked to return all the books they can to Faringdon Lodge by the coach park by Saturday 27 June. We appreciate that this will probably not be possible for boys who live overseas, and for others.  We will not be charging leavers for unreturned books.

Family Book Club for all pupils

Despite its limitations and frustrations, lockdown has enabled many of us to spend more time with our loved ones. With this in mind, the English department is inviting boys and their families to join our Family Book Club.

To take part, parents should suggest a book for their son that was particularly significant for them at the age their child is now. Boys should read the book and write a short review, comparing their response to the book to that of the parent who recommended it. Reviews should be sent with a photograph of the book cover to [email protected]. We will then upload reviews to the Family Book Club blog, which is currently in development.

The whole family can get involved: grandparents, uncles, aunts and even older siblings. We also welcome participation from parents who have bravely chosen to read a book recommended by their son!

Finally, if you’re struggling to get hold of a particular book, our librarian Dr Graham Gardner may be able to provide a digital copy. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Matthew Coolin – Head of English

Abingdon News online – half term special edition May 2020

We have put together a special edition of Abingdon News for this half term as boys and parents have not been able to be at school in the same way as they usually would. This edition is only available online which means we were able to include lots of video clips which we hope you will enjoy. There is also an interview with the Headmaster about ‘Life in Lockdown’ and just a bit of fun for boys with a short quiz to identify places around school that they may not have seen for a while.
Please do take a look and email any feedback to [email protected]
View Abingdon News online

Fraudulent Email Scam

We have been made aware that a fraudulent email has been doing the rounds purporting to be from schools to parents advertising discounted fees during the coronavirus pandemic.  One school who experienced this fraudulent attempt has said that the email came from an email address that was slightly incorrect, the fees were not correct and the bank details were wrong.  However, the fraudsters had used the correct logo for the school and the name of the staff member responsible for fees.  The email looked like this, complete with grammatical errors and typos:

“Dear Parents,

Due to the current coronavirus crisis. we were offering an option to prepay the tuition for the entire year at a discount. As we are getting questions from some of you about this, we decided to offer such an option once again in respect of payments for 2020/21 school year.

We offer 20% discount for tuition if the entire amount is paid upfront till 15th of May 2020. Based on your contracts, tuition for 2020/2021 school year is £16,650. After 20% discount these would amount to £13,320.

In the case you are not being able to complete the academic year, due to illness or other unforeseeable event, the money will be reimbursed to you.

I would be grateful if you could confirm by return email if you are interested in the discount offer and I will provide you with the bank details for payment

Looking forward to reading from you

Many thanks”

Abingdon Sports and Leisure  

Follow our Abingdon Sports and Leisure Instagram account for inspiration on how the Abingdon community and beyond are keeping fit and active whilst our sport and leisure facilities are temporarily closed.  You can find us here: https://www.instagram.com/abingdonsportsandleisure

ASPA – Lower School Family Quiz: Friday 12 June at 7pm

Lower School families are invited to take part in an online quiz – fun questions for all ages and abilities!  The quiz will take place using Zoom. Please click on the link here for further information and to register your interest and contact details. A Zoom meeting link and further information will be sent nearer the time.  We look forward to seeing you!

News from the Week:

School Calendar

Given the number of calendar changes, owing to the impact of Covid-19, please continue to consult the School Calendar.

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.