28 Feb 2020


This week’s mailing is:


  • To all parents – Sabina Gray: Parents’ Presentation on Drugs and Substances – Reminder
  • To parents of Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth Pupils studying Russian History – Conference Trip to London


Coronavirus COVID-19 (as previously emailed to parents on 26 February 2020)

Having considered the new guidance from Public Health England, we have updated our advice to parents and guardians regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

  • We ask any parents or guardians who have travelled to the UK from a coronavirus affected area in Category 1 of Public Health England’s guidance not to have direct contact with their sons until they have been in the UK for at least 14 days and remain free of any symptoms of the coronavirus. We are not aware of any boys in the school who have recently visited these areas.
  • Travellers from Public Health England’s Category 2 areas do not need to take any special measures, but if they develop symptoms, they should not have direct contact with their sons, but should self-isolate and call NHS 111. Boys who have recently – within the last 14 days – been in a Category 2 area are permitted to be in school unless they develop symptoms in which case they should remain at home, self-isolate and call NHS 111. Boarders who feel unwell should report to the Health Centre where appropriate action will be taken.
  • Boys who are in direct contact with people from Category 1 affected areas who have not completed the 14 days self-isolation, will not be allowed back to school until they have also completed a 14 day self-isolation. This would be the responsibility of the family to organise and not something the School could undertake. Materials will be available via Firefly so that boys will be able to continue with their learning.
  • We would remind parents and guardians that boys should not be in school if they are feeling unwell. Please call NHS 111 if you have concerns.
  • We ask people not to visit the School, including our leisure facilities, such as Tilsley Park, the Amey Theatre and the Sports Centre, if they have travelled from or been in direct contact with someone who has visited a coronavirus affected area in Category 1. They are welcome to visit once they have been in the UK for at least 14 days and remain free of any symptoms of the coronavirus.
  • Boys have been reminded of the need for good hygiene and specifically of the need to carry and use tissues and then put them in the bin. They have also been reminded to wash their hands regularly.

Looking ahead to the Easter holidays, we advise families planning to travel that restrictions are very likely to still be in place and periods of self-isolation may be needed. We cannot say for certain at this stage, but parents of boarders who live in affected areas should assume that restrictions may prevent their sons travelling home over the Easter holidays and begin to make contingency plans with guardians accordingly.

We appreciate the added complications that may be caused to Abingdon families by these measures and are grateful for your ongoing support. The wellbeing of the whole school community is our priority and we will ensure that all our pupils are appropriately supported and cared for.

Further Information:


PHE Guidance: Category 1 and Category 2 areas

For parents of fifth year pupils:  Work Experience Scheme – checklist of things to consider

March and April are critical months for the 5th Year Work Experience Scheme. If your son has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, time is running out, and he should make applications as soon as possible. There is a special 5th Year Work Experience Scheme page on Firefly with links to employers who offer work experience placements, and your son can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer formal work experience schemes but may be happy to host a placement if asked. If your son has made applications, but has not heard back yet, some polite but persistent ‘chasing’ may be needed. And, if your son has already received an offer of a placement, congratulations! If he has received more than one offer, he can undertake more than one or request to defer one perhaps to the October half-term next school year. Parents are strongly advised to download from the bottom of this web page a checklist of things to consider when preparing for their son’s work experience placement. Note, we do not require students or parents to complete any work experience forms for Abingdon School. If I can be of assistance, just let me know. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance ([email protected], 01235 849129)

A level & GCSE results release

A Level results day is Thursday 13 August 2020, GCSE results day is Thursday 20 August 2020, Candidates are be able to access their results via ‘My Abingdon’ portal by 8am on results days. Boys will still be able to come into school to collect their results and any not collected will be posted to the home address that afternoon. The venue for results day collection is the Sixth Form Centre in Beech Court.  Please click on this link for JCQ important announcement re change of examination results embargo times.

International Women’s Day

Next week tutors will be exploring the topic of “International Women’s Day” with your sons during tutor time. I hope that you might find time to discuss this important topic with your sons at home in order to reinforce what we are doing in school. You might like to look at this video as a prompt for your discussions. Thank you.


  • Tuesday 3 March – Pro Corda Chamber Music, semifinals round.  We have three ensembles who have successfully progressed to this stage and we wish them the best as they compete to gain a place in the finals concert at Brighton College on Sunday 8 March.
  • Thursday 5 March at 6pm in the CMR – Intermediate Solo Instrumental Competition.  We have fourteen keen instrumentalists in this category (grades 6 to 8) who will be performing in front of adjudicator, Aimée Jamison, Aimée is the Director of Music at Headington School.  We will look forward to her unenviable task of separating these musicians who are offering a vast range of instruments, including percussion!  Do consider joining us – admission is free.
  • Wednesday 11 March at 6pm – Music Society Singers’ Opera Masterclass with Richard Burkhard – this international opera singer (an Abingdon parent) returns for another fascinating insight into opera singing with a host of boys singing extracts from Verdi’s Rigoletto, Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Benjamin Britten. Please see this link to a poster.

Wellbeing Podcasts for parents

There are some excellent podcasts available to parents at this link kindly provided by James Shone who recently came to Abingdon to talk about teenage wellbeing. Experts cover topics such as parenting tips, internet safety, nutrition and wellbeing, resilience, gambling and gaming, happiness, mental health first aid and sex and pornography. Paul Gooding, Head of Wellbeing. Please follow us on twitter @Ab_Wellbeing.

3rd year Parents’ Evening Presentations

The presentations and a recording of the presentations given at the above on Thursday 13 February were sent to parents via email on Wednesday 26 February.

I Am #InspiringTheFuture campaign

Abingdon School is supporting the “I Am #InspiringTheFuture” campaign which seeks to motivate children from all backgrounds to aspire to challenging and fulfilling careers by connecting teachers directly to volunteers via a free, online ‘matchmaking’ service. We are encouraging parents, alumni and staff to make a difference and volunteer to share their experiences with pupils in tens of thousands of state primary and secondary schools. Click here to find out more.

Football Club Dinner – Friday 20 March 2020

Tickets are now on sale for the 5th Annual Football Club Awards Dinner to be held on Friday 20 March 2020. The evening will start at 7pm with a drinks reception followed by dinner, speeches and the presentation of awards, bringing to a close the 2020 season. To order your tickets please purchase them through the school box office link.

More information on the awards evening can be found here.

Abingdon Box Office:

News from the Week:

Food menu for the coming week – Week 2

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.

For forthcoming events, here is the link to the School Calendar.