27 Apr 2018

WEEKLY MAILING

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

Term dates

Term dates for 2019/20 are now available along with the 2018/19 dates previously published: Term Dates – Information > School Calendar > Term and Key dates.

Exams

Exams are fast approaching. The dates and times for results days are as follows:

  • AS & A level – Thursday 16 August, results can be collected from the CMR from 8.30am to 11am; any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.
  • IGCSE & GCSE – Thursday 23 August, results can be collected from the CMR from 8.30am to 11am; any results not collected will be sent first class post that afternoon.

Some boys may not be able to make it in to school to collect results due to living abroad or being on holiday at the time, therefore they can arrange for them to be emailed directly. Please ask your son to send an email to exams@abingdon.org.uk, stating their name, candidate number and the email address(s), they would like the results sent to. Post results services for A level candidates opens on Thursday 16 August from 10am to 12 noon that day and Friday 17 August, Monday 20, Tuesday 21, and Wednesday 22 August from 9am to 12 noon. This service is for priority remarks, and priority photocopy of scripts. If your son is a leaver and requires this service he will need to pay in advance by cheque or cash. Post results services for IGCSE and GCSE candidates and all non priority A level candidates opens at the beginning of the Michaelmas term in September. The deadline for requesting a standard remark is Thursday 20 September 2017. The breakdown of fees will be included in your results pack. Please note that remark requests cannot come from parents or teachers. The candidates must make this request themselves and are required to sign a document that states they are aware that the mark can go down as well as up.

Parents of U6 boys: University offers

U6 boys who have yet to reply to university offers made before 31 March 2018 (and whose postal address is in the EU) are being reminded that the deadline for reply to UCAS is Thursday 3 May at the latest. If a reply is not made by that date, all offers are deemed by UCAS to have been declined.

5th year revision clinics

Revision leave for the 5th Year begins at 5.20pm on Friday 4 May.  Thereafter they will not be expected in school unless they have a public exam.  As previously advertised, the School runs a revision clinic programme for the first three weeks of revision leave (i.e. up to half term) and the details of this will be published to boys (and placed on the website) next week.  The scheme is entirely voluntary for the boys, but it does provide a structure for revision and offer guaranteed opportunities to access subject teachers to clear up any remaining concerns.

Sleeping and exercise during the exam term – advice from the Deputy Head (Pastoral)

As exams loom, the importance of rest and good sleep becomes paramount. Can I take this opportunity to reiterate our advice on sleeping and using screens before bed? All the research shows very clearly that being on screens before going to sleep means that the sleep you get is not as deep and therefore doesn't have the full recuperative effect.  I am sure your son will tell you that he sleeps fine, but this is unlikely to be true, and would be evident were he able to measure his REM.  We would recommend a “screentime” ban 50 minutes before trying to go to sleep.  To reiterate, we would advise no screens in your son's bedroom after an agreed time (I would suggest 9.30pm or 10pm.) However beware, he might challenge you to do the same…

Equally, it is very important that your son keeps up his endorphin levels and resists the temptation to be permanently chained to his revision. For this reason we would recommend that he keeps exercising. Hopefully this will happen through his Other Half commitments, so if there is doubt, do encourage him to continue with these. Do also encourage him to go out and exercise, whether that be a brisk walk, a run, a game of football or touch rugby, or even an ergo to show support for the Boat Club!

Monday 14 May, 7.30-8.45pm, Amey Theatre: Pastoral Evening for 3rd & 4th year parents: “Navigating the teenage years”

Navigating the teenage years can be a bumpy road for many boys (and parents) journeying through adolescence. It is rarely plain sailing all of the time! Twenty-first-century boys face many and varied pressures that come from all angles: social media, their peers, even themselves. This is set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing and ever-quickening digital world. Drawing upon our collective experience we are offering an evening with three pastoral leaders in the school to provide you with some guidance and support in helping steer your son through to flourish into wonderful young men.  We are not claiming to know all the answers but offer our collective wisdom as well as anecdotal advice, drawing upon several decades of pastoral encounters with teenage boys. We will be covering topics such as: maintaining positive mental health and well-being, how to be well organized for school and exams, tackling the gauntlet of social media, dealing with the world of alcohol, parties and sleepovers (amongst others). Please sign up on the google form below if you would like to book a place. We would love to see you there if you are free to attend to join in the shared conversation. Please book a space using this link 

For parents of current 3rd & 4th year day boys – Boarding Taster Night 

There are a few spaces available for our third and fourth year day boys to experience a 'night of boarding' toward the end of this term. We hope that this will appeal to those who are considering boarding in the future years (from 2019 an beyond) so they can apply in good time to avoid disappointment. Places are limited depending on beds available, but if you are interested please complete this form or email katherine.cook@abingdon.org.uk.

Abingdon News

The latest edition of the School's newsletter, Abingdon News, has been given to your son to bring home this week. Boys who are full boarders will have a copy posted home. The newsletter can also be viewed online.  Any feedback regarding school publications is very welcome, please to reply email communications@abingdon.org.uk.

Music 

Parents may like to note the highlights from this term's music calendar:

  • Thames Vale Youth Orchestra at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford – Wednesday 2 May at 7.30pm – Over twenty young Abingdon musicians play in our local youth orchestra which will be performing their regular spring concert at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre. We've a wonderful programme of music by Nicolai (Overture, Merry Wives of Windsor), Sibelius (Finlandia) and Dvorak's marvellously tuneful Symphony No 8 in G major. Please do join us – tickets are available at the door.
  • Solo Concert Platform 5 – Wednesday 16 May at 6pm (CMR) – Our school music making opens with a solo platform at a number of musical soloists present their current work. These are some of our most enjoyable concerts at which we see young talent emerging and developing – and the concert is free of charge. Do join us. 
  • Junior Solo Instrumental Competition – Wednesday 13 June at 6pm (Amey Theatre) – As our adjudicator we welcome OA, Tim Bennett, who is Director of Music at Cheam School in Newbury.  He will have the pleasure of listening to our younger talent and the unenviable task of choosing a winner! It should be an exciting contest and one not to be missed. Admission is free.
  • Lower School Gala Concert – Wednesday 20 June at 6pm (Admission free – retiring charity collection) – This is the annual concert dedicated to the exciting music making that is going on in Lower School. The larger ensembles include a complete Lower School Choir (120 boys) singing Beatles, The Lower School Band, Junior Strings and many smaller ensembles and solos. It is always so rewarding to see the youngsters at the beginning of their musical journeys at the school. Do join us.
  • A Summer Concert – Thursday 28 June at 7pm (Tickets £6, £4 concessions, £16 family) – A final event of their school careers for our Upper Sixth musicians, this concert will again feature our senior ensembles in a wide variety music. With music ranging from Tchaikovsky to La La Land, there will be something for everyone and parents can enjoy some refreshments in the summer sunshine, English weather permitting. We look forward to seeing you there!

Return of textbooks

Abingdon is keen to ensure that parents are not charged erroneously for textbooks that have in fact been returned. Please assist your son in following the standard procedure we have been operating for many years. Heads of department need to ensure that there are sufficient books for September, so they need to have your son's books back before the end of this term. Many departments number each book, and record the book number. Boys are encouraged to 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. For boys not on revision leave, textbooks are collected by their class teacher during lesson time, but pupils who are absent for any reason need to ensure that their books are returned to their teacher before the term ends. Boys on revision leave (fifth and upper sixth) should return their books directly to the department which issued them at the latest by the Saturday before the term ends (i.e. Saturday 30 June).  Some departments have labelled boxes close to the department office in which books may be left. If there is no area, boys should return the book directly to a member of staff who teaches that subject, and not just leave the book where they hope it will be found. In these circumstances it might be advisable to get a note from the member of staff confirming the receipt of the book(s). Parents should note that returning books after the end of term, including on results day, will not necessarily be sufficient to prevent a charge being placed on the bill – many heads of department will already have incurred a cost by having to reorder books in advance of the new school year.

An Introduction to Woodwork Skills

Tuesday 1 May – Tuesday 3 July 2018, 7pm-9pm.  Come and learn new skills and enjoy the practical experience of making your own products from the tactile, natural material of wood. Learn how to use marking out tools and understand the properties of timbers and how to cut and make joints.  The aim is to progress to designing and making beautiful wooden products take home and cherish.  This course is for beginners and anyone that wants to enjoy learning new skills with the lovely, natural material of wood.  Cost: £120 for 10 weeks. Minimum age: 16 years old.  To find out more information please email Mike Webb.  To book, please visit the website.

Reminder – Sport priority on a Saturday 

In planning for this coming term, please observe this extract from the Parents' Handbook: Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Headmaster. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in interschool fixtures across the age ranges. In recent years we have strengthened our fixture list, and been more ambitious in the schools we have been playing, and we are putting out more teams. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. We are keen the boys practise and play together, that the boys develop an allegiance to the School, and that our opponents have the best opposition we can provide.

Final Reminder – The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award

The John Rayson Award is a memorial to the late John Rayson (1924-2012), an Old Abingdonian (1942) who gave a lifetime of service to Abingdon School. The award will be given to a current pupil to help fund a personal project/experience that embodies the defining characteristics of John Rayson – adventure, courage and resilience coupled with service, loyalty and commitment.  The award carries a value of £250.  All current pupils of Abingdon School are eligible to apply.  Further information is available here

Final Reminder – ASPA / OA Club Travel Awards

ASPA and the OA Club have joined forces to offer travel awards to upper and lower sixth pupils undertaking some form of travel and activity either during the summer or in their gap year.  The awards range from £50 to £500 depending on the activity and its benefits.  Further details, and the conditions attached to the awards, can be found on the School website.

Driving along Park Road and Park Crescent: 20mph

Parents are asked to adhere to the speed limit along these private roads.

Food menu for the coming week – Week 2