Message from the Headmaster
It has been great to welcome students back to school this week. They have certainly been making the most of the good weather and dry pitches and I’ve enjoyed hearing the sound of cricket matches on Upper Field. I suspect my office windows are a target for the more aggressive batsmen among the student body but to date they remain intact.
One of the areas of school life most badly affected by the pandemic was our programme of trips. This constitutes a precious part of our work as we value greatly the opportunity educational visits provide for personal development, as well as the role they play in bringing the curriculum to life for our students.
I’m pleased to report, therefore, that the number of trips and educational visits has now returned to pre-pandemic levels. Over Easter, the 1st Year visited PGL in Liddington, while the 2nd Year enjoyed Outward Bound activities at Plas Pencelli in the Brecon Beacons. Our CCF cadets took part in their Easter camp while our Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award teams undertook their practice expeditions in the Yorkshire Dales. A team of Abingdon students also entered a robotics competition at Southampton University.
We have also restarted our programme of overseas trips. After our skiers faced down Storm Eunice on a dramatic trip to the French Alps at half term, our Classicists picked up the baton with their trip to the classical sites in Greece, while our linguists took part in a joint study trip with SHSK to Lyon.
It is a significant responsibility to lead and accompany these trips and I am grateful to my colleagues for all the work they put in to ensure that they run smoothly and safely. We continue to plan trips for the future and I hope that there will be opportunities for all students to take part.
To finish, a quick reminder that Monday is a Bank Holiday so there will be no lessons or activities for day students!
Best wishes, Mike Windsor
- Scholars’ Summer term events letter
- Universities Week – Tuesday 3 – Friday 6 May. Students will be discussing a range of topics in preparation for applying to and studying at university. We are delighted to have a range of universities in school during the week including Bath, Durham and Warwick. Talks will cover topics from choosing a university, applying to competitive universities, personal statement writing and student life. In addition to daytime activities there will also be two evening sessions available. Parents and guardians are invited and encouraged to attend along with students.
- Understanding UK university student loans webinar, Tuesday 3 May 7-8pm (zoom). A webinar outlining how UK student loads work and how to apply, presented by Head of Career Guidance, Mr Michael Triff. The joining link will be emailed to parents and students on Tuesday.
- London university panel presentation, Wednesday 4 May 5-6pm (Amey Theatre). A live panel discussion with representatives from Imperial, UCL and Queen Mary universities where they will discuss the unique experience of being a student in London and share insight into what they are looking for in UCAS applications. Students have been asked to sign up for this talk, parents are very welcome to join with their student on the night.
- Fourth year parents’ evening letter
- Summer term RSE letter
- Scholars’ Summer term events letter
- Revision leave for the 5th Year officially begins at 5.20pm on Tuesday 10 May. Thereafter they will not be expected in school unless they have a public exam. Our revision leave policy on this is that pupils may take the morning off as revision leave for an afternoon exam but no additional revision leave is granted for a morning exam.
- French GCSE will take place on the afternoon of Friday 6 May, ie before revision leave begins. In this instance, French GCSE pupils are not not expected to be in school on that day until the time of their exam however should pupils wish to come into school for the morning (e.g. because they use the school bus service) they should report to the Library. All pupils are expected to fulfil their Other Half commitments until official revision leave begins at 5.20pm on Tuesday 10 May.
- Parents of 5th Year Pupils: Next Steps with Summer Work Experience. Earlier this week, all 5th year pupils received an email asking them to report their summer work experience placement using this online form; once a placement is confirmed, students must report their placement to the School. Placements can begin any time after the GCSE exam ‘contingency date’ of Wednesday 29 June 2022 and should be completed by the last Friday of the summer holiday, 2 September 2022. Students involved in sports at Abingdon in the summer term are expected to attend all training sessions and fixtures until the end of summer term, Friday 8 July 2022. Please do not schedule a work experience placement on any date that may clash with a sports training or fixture commitment. There is a work experience checklist that can be downloaded from the web page linked to in this earlier Weekly Mailing from March. If you have any questions about summer work experience, contact Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance, at [email protected].
- Eco Week – Abingdon School’s Eco Week runs from Tuesday 3 May to Friday 6 May. Over the course of four days, pupils, staff and our wider community will be encouraged to focus on sustainability and encouraged to engage in various initiatives which will help to lower our impact on the environment.
- Reduce food waste
Recycle empty pill packets
Reduce carbon miles
Reduce energy usage
Run our ‘Finer Diner’ campaign – to promote sustainable eating
Joining our Plastic Free School campaign – litter pick supported by Surfers Against Sewage
Protecting biodiversity – our Estates team will be leading litter collection in order to raise awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity
- Key events during the week include: Tuesday 3 May: Eco Youth Forum; Wednesday 4 May: Eco Committee Assembly; Friday 6 May: Eco-debate
- Reduce food waste
- Music in the Summer Term 2022. We have some exciting events with which to entice you in the coming term. Please find here our Summer Term Music Calendar and here is a description of the music events which parents and friends may wish to attend. We look forward to welcoming you soon.
- Music: Abingdon Academicals sing with King’s Singers – Sunday 8 May. Our close harmony singers are excited about participating in a masterclass and concert with the King’s Singers a week on Sunday at the Dorchester Festival. Alongside pupils from MCS and Cranford House, the students will be singing a Billy Joel song which happens to have been arranged by well-known Abingdon parent, the composer, Bob Chilcott. If you would like to join us and to hear this world-renowned vocal ensemble, here is a link for tickets.
- Music: Alexander technique lessons offered again at Abingdon School. A final call for pupils who can benefit from the work from our teacher of Alexander Technique, Cathie Kidger. Good posture is essential for all musical performers, actors, athletes etc and our information sheet here gives more information about the immeasurable benefits to be gained from training in this area. Please do get in touch if you would like your child to be enrolled.
- Reminder – The John Rayson (OA 1942) Award – All current pupils of Abingdon School are eligible to apply for the John Rayson Award, a memorial to the late John Rayson (1924-2012), an Old Abingdonian (1942) who gave a lifetime of service to Abingdon School. The award, which carries a value of £250, will be given to a current pupil to help fund a personal project/experience that embodies the defining characteristics of John Rayson himself – adventure, courage and resilience coupled with service, loyalty and commitment. Further information is available here. Application forms must be submitted no later than Sunday 1 May 2022.
- 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 UK or overseas 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 here. Application forms must be submitted no later than Sunday 1 May 2022.
- OX14 Learning Partnership Upcoming Events – new additions: Radley 175th Birthday celebrations, Sunday 26 – Thursday 30 June 2022
- News from the week
- Food menu for the coming week – Week 2
- School calendar
- Weekly mailing archive
- Box Office: Northern Ballet’s Merlin – Thursday 5 May at 7pm. Inspired by the story of the mythical wizard, Northern Ballet’s ‘Merlin’ will take audiences on a sweeping epic adventure of heartbreak, hope and more than a little magic. Don’t miss the legend reawakened through Northern Ballet’s blend of classical ballet and unrivalled storytelling.
- Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Saturday 7 May at 7:30pm. The Banff Mountain Film Festival joins the world’s best adventure film-makers and explorers as they push themselves to the limits in the most remote and stunning corners of the globe. Witness epic human-powered feats, life-affirming challenges and mind-blowing cinematography – all on the big screen!
- ROH Live: Swan Lake – Thursday 19 May at 7:15pm. This classic fairytale represents the battle between good and evil, and the attempt of love to conquer all. The magic of the lakes, forests and palaces is brought to life with glittering designs by John Macfarlane and a sublime score by Tchaikovsky.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May at 7pm. Join our Lower School actors as they take you on an exciting adventure. Nobody has seen Willy Wonka – or inside his amazing chocolate factory – for years. When he announces plans to invite the winners of five Golden Tickets hidden inside the wrappers of chocolate bars to visit his factory, the whole world goes crazy. Here’s your chance to be part of the magic of Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, and join Charlie Bucket, the Oompa Loompas and a whole raft of other characters live in the Amey Theatre!
- See other upcoming Box Office events.