30 Aug 2019


This week's mailing is:



Start of Term

We look forward to welcoming new boys and those returning.  Extract from Key Dates:

  • Sunday 1 September – New boarders arrive
  • Monday 2 September – Other boarders return
  • Monday 2 September – First and Third year induction
  • Monday 2 September – Headmaster's reception for 1st Year parents, Lacies Court Garden
  • Tuesday 3 September -Term begins (first day back for lower sixth)

After beginning with a tutor period, there will be Headmaster's and House Assemblies.  The service at St Helen's Church will be on Wednesday at 11.30am.

Medical matters

Please can parents keep the Health Centre updated of any changes to your son's health so that we can update our records accordingly.  

  • Asthma: All boys who require an inhaler for their asthma must carry it with them at all times whilst at school. It must be clearly labelled with their name. The Health Centre will hold a spare inhaler in case of an emergency.
  • Epipens: All boys who have an Epipen or other adrenaline-auto injector (AAI) must keep it with them at all times and it must be clearly labelled with their name and expiry date. The Health Centre will hold their spare named AAI in case it is required in an emergency.

Term Dates and Key Dates

Boys will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term, but, for information for new parents, there is an online calendar which is kept regularly up to date.  It is available from the front page of the website under 'Information'. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page. This page highlights events such as parents' evenings, social evenings and evening presentations to parents for 2019/20, and also gives the term dates for 2020/21.

Requests for absence

Extract from 2018/19 Parents' Handbook: Requests involving the absence of any boy for more than a day of School time should be made in writing to the Headmaster.  His Housemaster may deal with requests involving absence of a day or less.  Parents are strongly requested not to take their sons out of School for any but the most pressing reasons.  It must be said that we object strongly to applications for leave that have the effect of extending the already generous School holidays.

Tutor Groups

Please see the attached document for details of the tutor groups in each house.

Coach Park and Faringdon Road

Parents are reminded that cars waiting by the coach park impede prompt departure of the buses as well as causing traffic problems.  The pick up point is Park Crescent.

Bus Safety

Parents are asked to remind their sons that they should wait to cross the road until well after the coach has departed from a stop, to ensure boys have full sight of other traffic.

Teenage Wellbeing presentation for parents – Tuesday 8 October 2019, 7pm Amey Theatre, Abingdon School (a presentation to parents by Natasha Devon MBE)

Natasha Devon MBE is a writer & activist. She tours schools and colleges throughout the UK, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality. Natasha regularly speaks at Parliament and gives evidence to the Education and Health Select Committees, representing the interests of teenagers and teachers. In 2015 she was awarded an MBE for her services to young people and in 2016 the Sunday Times and Debretts named her one of the 500 most influential people in Britain. This promises to be a truly excellent and informative talk.  Please sign up to secure a free ticket as we anticipate this to be a very popular event.

Sporting Fixtures

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, [email protected].

Rugby: concussion

Concussion is something that we are all very sensitive about and we want to ensure we follow the best possible practice. Please follow the link to RFU website so that you can familiarise yourself with the suggested protocol and perhaps take the online parent course in support of your son. We do need to highlight one very important point, especially for day boys.  In case of a head injury please ensure the following steps are undertaken:

If a boy sustains a head injury during a rugby match on a Saturday on either of our 3 sites – Cox's, Tilsley Park or Abingdon School we will have a doctor on the school site who can see them on the same day.  If a concussion has occurred the boy will be off games for a minimum 23 days. During this period they will follow a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses at week 1 and week 2.  Before being allowed to return to full contact sport, they need to be reviewed by a doctor to confirm they are fit to play – this can either be with your own GP or the Sports Doctor in the school Health Centre on a Saturday. Please note, if the boy is to be reviewed by their own GP, please ensure the GP is happy to provide this service; occasionally the GP surgery may charge you for this service.

If they are playing away they should be seen by the medic covering the match; they may be advised to go to the Emergency department.  This information then needs to be shared with his rugby coach and Matt Gold (as Director of Rugby) and the Health Centre must also be copied in. The Health Centre can then get them reviewed with the nurses at week 1 and week 2 and by a doctor at week 3. Again, the advice is clear that no boy can play competitively until a medical professional signs him as fit. Any queries to Matt Gold please.

Mouthguard Fittings

This is a reminder that the Titan dentist fittings, are on Tuesday 3 September between 1.30 and 3.30pm and Thursday 5 September between 1 and 3pm in the Sports Centre changing rooms. Years 1, 2 & 4 will have their fittings during their sports lesson on Tuesday.  Years 3, 5, L6 & U6 should attend when available between 1.30 and 3pm either day.  If you have ordered a new mouthguard, please remind your son to attend. If you would still like to place an order, please click the link and follow the simple step by step instructions. 

Saturday Bus Service

This service will start on Saturday 7 September.  Please see the attached document which identifies the six different bus routes, including the individual stops and the designated times.  We are very keen for as many boys as possible to use this service. It has been set up to ease the burden on parents of getting their sons to School for the inter School fixtures. There is no charge for this service.

The buses are scheduled to arrive at School at 11.30am, allowing the boys time to have lunch in the Dining Hall, have a brief team meeting, and depart for their fixtures on time. Those boys who are involved in home fixtures will be catered for and supervised until the start of their matches. This service applies to all boys involved in sport on a Saturday afternoon, whether it be in cross country, badminton, rugby or any other sport. If you would like to make any comment, or have any queries in this regard, please contact the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. If you intend to utilise this service, please ensure that you son is at the appropriate stop 5 minutes before the scheduled departure.

Inter School Fixtures

Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in inter school 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. Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from, and granted, by the Headmaster. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture. The Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell should be copied in on any such leave of absence request.

To assist parental planning, the Sport and Physical Education Department email teamsheets for each of the age groups to parents on a Thursday evening. This will be sent to the primary contact, which we have stored on iSams, our internal database. There are a number of primary contacts for whom we have not got email addresses attached, and these contacts will therefore not be receiving the email. Please do supply data to the School, so as to ease our paths of communication. 

It is vitally important that parents contact the appropriate member of staff in cases of illness on a Saturday morning so that replacements can be sought, and we do not end up in the embarrassing situation by being short of players to fulfil our fixtures. Sanctions will be applied to those boys who fail to comply with this request. Parents may also contact the Abingdon School Sports Centre Reception on 01235 849062 in case of any problems arising.

Off-Games Procedure

Boys who are unable to participate, because they are ‘off games’, must excuse themselves in advance. Boys must present an ‘off games’ note/letter from parents or the Health Centre to the member of staff i/c their activity, by lunchtime on the day of the activity. Alternatively, the pupil should report to the member of staff at the start of the activity to excuse themselves in person. Sending a message via other pupils is not acceptable. Team players, who are able to do so, should attend the training session in order to pick up coaching points and so that the coach has an opportunity to talk to the boys about likely availability for the next match.

If the pupil has a medical note or advice from a medical professional regarding the rehabilitation process, please send in a copy of this note so that the School can play an active role through use of the Fitness Suite or by maintaining fitness through participation in an alternative activity. If you have any queries in this regard please contact the Director of Sport & PE, Pete Bignell.

Food menu for the coming week: Week 1