23 Feb 2023


Message from the Headmaster

Dear Parents

I’ve enjoyed welcoming our students back to school after the half term break. Our Upper Sixth Formers have been taking their A Level mocks this week and I hope that going through this process and then reflecting on feedback will leave them well prepared for the real thing in the summer.

Over half term, our oarsmen were working hard down at the Boathouse, while the Modern Languages department led a number of visits overseas. Middle School pupils took part in the annual exchange with the Ratsgymnasium in Bielefeld, Germany, which has now been running for nearly sixty years, while a group of Third Year students were able to enjoy the delights of Seville in Spain for the week. A group of Lower Sixth students had a study visit to Paris and I was delighted to receive a postcard from one of them  – in excellent French – describing his impressions and experiences. These international visits are so important in helping to bring languages to life and I’m grateful to all my colleagues who organised, led and accompanied our students overseas.

I will look forward to meeting many of you at the various events of this busy second half of term.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor



  • To parents of Upper Sixth pupils – Yearbook
  • For students who are applying for Oxbridge, Medicine and some selective Maths courses, university entrance dates have now been published and include Wednesday 18 October which is in our half term. Further details will follow but students should confirm any exam requirements prior to making travel plans for the October half term.
    • BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT) (Medicine and Biomedical sciences at several universities)
    • Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) (Cambridge Computer Science or Economics, optional for Maths at some other universities)
    • Engineering Admissions Assessment (ENGAA) (Engineering at Cambridge)
    • Natural Sciences Admissions Assessment (NSAA) (Natural Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology at Cambridge)
    • Thinking Skills Assessment Section 1 (TSA S1) (Economics & Management or History & Economics at Oxford)
    • Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) (Psychology, Geography, HSPS, PPE, PPL at Oxford)
  • Confirmation Class Letter



  • World Book Day Author Visit and Book Pre-Order.  Philip Womack, author of How to Teach Classics to Your Dog and The Darkening Path trilogy, will be visiting Abingdon School on Thursday 2 March to speak to the 1st and 2nd Year in celebration of World Book Day.  Independent bookshop Mostly Books is providing your child with the opportunity to purchase Philip’s latest novel, Wildlord, at a discount as part of this event. Philip will be happy to sign copies following the event.  Further details and an order link are in the attached letter, and orders must be placed no later than Wednesday 1 March.


  • From the Head of Wellbeing: OxWell Student Survey 2023 (& attachment 1 and 2)
  • From the Health Centre:
    • CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) is a charity that aims to identify young people that are at risk from sudden cardiac death.  We have had some enquiries from parents regarding the possibility of carrying out a programme of screening our pupils at Abingdon School. This is something that we have looked into in conjunction with CRY, however, currently they do not have the capacity to be able to offer this to all our pupils.  However, individuals are able to book appointments themselves, to be tested by CRY outside of school. If you would like more information regarding CRY screening please visit:  www.testmyheart.org.uk  where details can be found on how to access public screening events in your area.
  • Invitation to Abingdon Hockey Dinner & Awards, Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm, Voco Oxford Spires Hotel.
    • We would like to invite all hockey players and parents to the annual Abingdon Hockey Club end of season dinner and awards. After playing our final matches against King Edward Southampton in the afternoon, the evening will start with a drinks reception at 7.30pm followed by a three-course meal in the hotel’s Cathedral Suite. The evening will feature guest speaker Todd Williams. A former Australian international and Premier League coach for over 12 seasons with Hampstead and Westminster, Slough Ladies and Surbiton, Todd is currently the hockey professional at Magdalen College School in Oxford. However from after Easter Todd will be the new Head of Hockey at Abingdon, and we cannot wait to hear all that he has lined up for the school. The evening will end with the end of season Awards and an official farewell to our U6 leavers.  All profits from the evening will go to the Hockey Griffens fund to support hockey at Abingdon School. The fund has most recently paid for a banner to promote hockey at Abingdon for Tilsley Park, new Goalkeeper bags for lugging around heavy kit and numbered competition kit for the U16 age group.  BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW.  NB: It is essential that all ticket holders complete the dietary requirements form they receive once payment has been made.
  • Driving near the School.  Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect pupils from the Park Lodge area, or Lower Field car park, please. This is because the area is already busy with pedestrians, pupils and school traffic. We therefore ask that parents drop and collect pupils in Park Crescent, operating a one-way system travelling clockwise past the private housing to the west of Albert Park, and ending up near the boarding houses. The Crescent ends at a cross roads, where halting is obligatory on these private roads. Wheel clamping operates on Park Road and Park Crescent, so you are advised not to leave a car unattended.  Please also be reminded that there is a speed limit of 20mph along these roads.
  • Music:
    • Annual Chamber Music Evening – Tuesday 28 February at 6pm, Amey Theatre. Parents and friends are cordially invited to attend one of the most important and enjoyable events of our music making at the school. In this concert we see and hear pupils performing in small ensembles without staff direction, listening and coordinating with each other. The ensembles include a range of instruments – strings, woodwind, brass and piano. This is the link to the programme and we look forward to seeing you there! Admission is free.
    • Solo Singers Platform – Tuesday 7 March at 6pm, Charles Maude Room.  Another favourite concert presenting the pupils of our singing teacher, Andrew Yeats. Mr Yeats accompanies his pupils at the piano – and the performances will cover a range of repertoire from classical to popular. This is a lovely opportunity to hear these young voices – do join us.
    • Annual Rock Concert – Wednesday 8 March at 7pm, Amey Theatre.  This new venture is spearheaded by music teacher, Mr Fox. The groups were auditioned for the concert before half term and this is an opportunity to hear the burgeoning rock music at Abingdon School in a short concert of about 75 minutes (no interval). Admission is free.
    • Spring Concert – Thursday 9 March at 7pm, Amey Theatre.  This is the major music event of the Lent term and includes all our larger ensembles – the three orchestras, the Big and the Concert Bands, the Gospel and the 2nd Year choirs. At this year’s concert, ASMS, the parent body that supports the school’s music, has organised a Silent Auction in order to raise funds to support the Music Tour to France and Belgium in July. Tamsin Keene, the Chair of the Music Society writes as follows: “We have some fantastic prizes generously donated by teachers, parents and local businesses – and we hope to get some generous donations. Parents are warmly invited to click on the link https://app.galabid.com/abingdontour2023  to browse and to bid!”. Tickets for the concert can be ordered from the box office here.
  • REMINDER: Talk: The Road to RECOVERY: Finding Treatments for a Pandemic, Friday 24 February 2023, 7.00 pm – Amey Theatre, Abingdon School.  Professor Sir Martin Landray (OA 1987) will give a fascinating talk about the discovery of an effective treatment for COVID-19 for which he received his knighthood. From a chance meeting on a London bus on 9 March 2020 to the announcement of the life-saving nature of dexamethasone took 100 days. Come and hear how it was achieved.  Online booking is available via the Abingdon School Box Office here.  All welcome.
  • REMINDER: Talk: An Audience with Ben Macintyre (OA 1981), Thursday 23 March 2023, 7.00 pm – Amey Theatre, Abingdon School.  Author, historian, and associate editor, columnist and writer-at-large for The Times. Join Ben Macintyre as he talks about his latest book Colditz: Prisoners of the Castle in which he gives the inside story of life in this infamous German prison for allied officers, challenging what we always thought we knew. Ben is a bestselling author whose books SAS: Rogue Heroes and A Spy Among Friends have recently been televised. Local independent bookshop, Mostly Books, will have a selection of Ben Macintyre’s books, including limited signed copies, available to purchase on the night at specially discounted prices. Online booking is available via the Abingdon School Box Office here.  All welcome.
  • From the OA Club: On Thursday 2 March, the OA Club will hold an An Entrepreneur Panel Event. Three OAs will be back at Abingdon School to discuss what it took to launch their own business. There will be a brief discussion before a Q&A session, where they will answer any questions that you may have. The event is open to students, parents and OAs. Further information regarding our panelists and a sign form is available here.
  • OX14 Learning Partnership Upcoming Events
  • News from the week
  • Food menu for the following week – Week 1
  • School calendar
  • Weekly mailing archive
  • Box Office:  See upcoming Box Office events
  • SuperCamps returns during the Easter holidays – Up to 15% off. 
    • Are you looking for fun and engaging activities for your child throughout the Easter holidays? SuperCamps returns to Abingdon School and Abingdon Prep School, offering flexible childcare options for children aged 4-12 years old – bookable as individual days or a week at a time, and with extended hour options to help working parents with early drop-offs and late pick-ups.  These Multi-Activity camps offer an exciting programme of creative activities, team games and sports. From ball games and pedal karts to nature, art and messy-play, there’s something to suit all ages and abilities.  SuperCamps are offering up to 15% off until Wednesday 1 March. For further information, please click here.