25 Sep 2020


This week’s mailing is:


From the Headmaster to all parents:

Dear Parents,

Three weeks into term and it feels like the boys have settled into their routines and are enjoying their time in school.

Clearly, we are facing disruption to attendance while parents source tests or play it safe in terms of sending their sons into school with colds and so on. This is to be expected as the term unfolds, so please do continue to keep us informed via the Attendance Secretary ([email protected]).

I am sure that all of us are relieved that the government remains committed to keeping schools open even while other control measures are introduced. We continue to follow guidance carefully and have made contingency plans in case tighter local restrictions are announced. Any changes to our arrangements will be relayed via weekly mailing and on the website.

Particular highlights for me this week have included dropping into the presentations that 5th Year students were making based on their summer research projects. The range of topics covered was refreshingly diverse, including the history of cartography, future uses of virtual reality and how to ‘hack’ biology. It was great to see the level of intellectual curiosity and scholarship on display, as well as the quality of presentation skills.

We have been celebrating European Languages Day in school today and staff have been wearing badges saying ‘hello’ in all sorts of languages (so it’s ‘Gódan dag’ from me). We are in an age when international cooperation and effective communication are more important than ever, so I am delighted that we have such a flourishing languages department at Abingdon and that the boys find such enjoyment and intellectual stimulation in their language learning – both modern and classical.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor

NHS Test and Trace – letter to parents

NHS Test and Trace has asked all schools to distribute a letter to parents advising them of when it is appropriate for them to access a Covid-19 test for their child. The letter also reminds parents of the Covid-19 symptoms. Please follow this link to view the letter.

Help needed: Upper Sixth mock medicine and vet interviews

Each year Abingdon offers its Upper Sixth medicine and vet applicants the chance to have a practice interview with someone from the profession. We rely on volunteers, parents and OAs to staff this event. This year it will be held via zoom on Monday 9 November from 5.30pm to 8.30pm (although we can be flexible on timings). If you feel you can help out then please email Ben Whitworth.  We aim to run a mock Multiple Mini Interview session (MMI) and any experience of these would be welcome.

4th Year Parents’ Meet the Tutor Evening

For any parents of Fourth Year pupils who were unable to attend the webinar at the start of this evening, you can listen to it via a link which has been emailed to you today.

3rd Year Parents’ Meet the Tutor Evening

For any parents of Third Year pupils who were unable to attend the webinar at the start of this evening, you can listen to it via a link which has been emailed to you today.

Joint Bus Service (JBS) – Seating Plan

In response to useful feedback, from Monday 28 September, pupils travelling on the JBS school buses will be asked to sit in specific seats.  This change will take place from the afternoon bus service on Monday onwards (ie the seating on the Monday morning bus service will take place as usual).  This will improve our ability to contact trace in response to a positive Covid-19 case and potentially reduce the number of students we have to ask to self-isolate as a result.  The seating information will be communicated to your sons by Monday 28 September.  JBS will be sending a letter to all users of the buses and we will post a copy of this letter on the COVID-19 Information for Parents page of our website.

Music, from Michael Stinton, Director of Music:

  • Zoom music lessons in the Music School  We are so delighted with the way that all the musicians have responded to the new system of zoom music lessons being delivered remotely by teachers and received by the pupils in the Music School. My special thanks to them, to parents for their support and to Mr Fletcher-Campbell for the extraordinary way that he has managed the complexity of the music timetables and the special year group rooms for the boys.
  • Experiencing our Concerts this term  Under the Abingdon Box Office section of this weekly mailing, you will see some information about how we are sharing our music making this term. Although parents are not able to attend concerts, the events will be available to see “live streamed” by making a request to the Box Office, who will then share the link. These events are also being recorded so you will be able to see an edited version of the event by clicking on the following links. The next events are the Solo Platform No 1 on Tuesday 29 September at 6pm and the Woodwind Masterclass on Wednesday 7 October at 6pm.  Do join us!

Archive Webinar:  What a Difference the Years Make! Abingdon School 1870 – 2020, Thursday 8 October, 7.30pm

The past 150 years have seen enormous changes at Abingdon, not only to the buildings, nor just in pupil numbers, but in the way we think, dress, study and play. Using the School’s vast archival collections, the archivist, Sarah Wearne, will show what a difference the years have made.  Open to all. For more information and to sign up, visit: www.abingdon.org.uk/the-oa-club/event/archive-webinar/

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect boys 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 boys 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.

Abingdon Box Office:

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.