Message from the Head
I hope all Abingdon families have managed to enjoy some downtime together over the past few weeks and I now very much look forward to welcoming all our students back to school next week.
I would in particular like to take this opportunity to welcome parents of students who are new to the school to Abingdon. I hope that you will feel a strong connection with the school and its community. There is an open invitation to you to attend fixtures, concerts and productions and I look forward to meeting you soon at various ‘Meet the Tutor’ events.
I thought it might be helpful to remind you that our weekly mailing will be issued every Thursday afternoon during term time. The mailing includes important information while also highlighting forthcoming events and I hope you will find time to read it. I also suggest that you keep a close eye on the website and, depending on your preferences, on our content on Instagram, Twitter/X and Facebook in order to keep up with everything that is happening at the school. If you do have any queries or concerns, please do get in touch with your child’s tutor in the first instance. They can always refer you to the appropriate person if they are unable to assist you themselves.
In recent weeks we’ve been celebrating our students’ results in this year’s public examinations which you can read more about here. Our Leavers’ A Level results have allowed them to move on to a great range of opportunities and I’m delighted that their hard work and endeavour was rewarded with such an excellent set of results. Our new Lower Sixth can also reflect with pride on their GCSE results which will provide a strong platform for continued success,
I look forward to meeting many of you over the coming term. Please do come and say hello if you see me on the touchline or around school.
Best wishes, Mike Windsor
- For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: Morrisby Profile Programme – IMPORTANT INFORMATION. In July, you will have received an email about the 5th Year Career Guidance Programme, including details about the Morrisby Profile Programme. This Programme is operated by Abingdon at a cost to parents of £88 with the choice to opt-out. Should you wish to opt your child out of the Programme, email Michael Triff at [email protected] no later than midnight on Monday 11 September 2023; otherwise, your child will be enrolled in the Programme and the £88 charge will be made. We regret that refunds will not be possible after this date. To read more about the Morrisby Profile Programme, go to bottom of this web page: https://www.abingdon.org.uk/academic/career-guidance/
- Start of Term. We look forward to welcoming new pupils and those returning. Extract from Key Dates:
- Monday 4 September – First and Third year induction
- Tuesday 5 September – Term begins (first day back for Lower Sixth)
- Term Dates and Key Dates. Students will be given a hard copy of the calendar at the start of term if they wish, 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 ‘What’s On’ then ‘Calendar’. In addition, there is a Term and Key dates page.
- Parents’ Evenings 2023-24 (as issued in last term’s weekly mailing)
- Second Hand Uniform Shop (SUS). SUS will be open on Monday 4 September (induction day) between 9am and 4pm. Thereafter it will be open every Wednesday (12.30-1.30pm) and Saturday (11am-12pm) during term time (with the exception of the final week of each term). Dates and times are available here. When visiting the shop, please park at Faringdon Lodge Reception. The postcode for this is OX14 1BQ.
- Requests for Absence. Extract from 2023/24 Parents’ Handbook: Requests involving the absence of any pupil for more than a day of School time should be made in writing to the Head. Their Head of House may deal with requests involving absence of a day or less. Parents are strongly requested not to take their children 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.
- Medical Matters:
- Asthma: All pupils who require an inhaler 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 generic inhaler for use in an emergency only.
- Epipens: All pupils who have an Epipen or other adrenaline-auto injector (AAI) must keep 2 devices with them at all times (including School trips and away sports fixtures). They must be clearly labelled with their name and expiry date. There will be generic AAIs kept in specific areas around the school for use in an emergency only.
- 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. Pupils 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 Acting Director of Sport and PE, Tom Donnelly should be copied in on any such leave of absence request. To assist parental planning, please view the Sport and Physical Education Department’s dedicated website (abingdonsport.org.uk) where all fixture and teamsheets can be found. Teamsheets are published on the website 48 hours in advance i.e. on a Thursday for Saturday or a Monday for Wednesday. 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 pupils who fail to comply with this request. Parents may also use the Abingdon Sport emergency number 01235 422858 in case of any problems arising.
- Off-Games Procedure: Pupils who are unable to participate, because they are ‘off games’, must excuse themselves in advance. Pupils must present an ‘off games’ note/letter from either their parents or the Health Centre to the member of staff i/c their activity, prior to the start of the activity. Sending a message via other pupils is not acceptable. Team players, who are able to do so, should still attend the training session in order to pick up coaching points and so that the coach has an opportunity to talk to the pupils about their return to play and likely availability for upcoming fixtures. 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 help play an active role in supporting the pupils recovery. If you have any queries in this regard please contact the Acting Director of Sport & PE, Tom Donnelly.
- 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 child. We do need to highlight one very important point, especially for day pupils. In case of a head injury please ensure the following steps are undertaken:
- If a pupil 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 pupil will be off games for a minimum of 23 days. During this period they will follow a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses during that time. 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 pupil 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 their coach, Tom Donnelly (Acting Director of Sport & PE) and Matt Gold (Director of Rugby) and the Health Centre must also be copied in. The Health Centre can then get them reviewed with the nurses in the first two weeks and then by a doctor at week 3. Again, the advice is clear that no pupil can play competitively until a medical professional signs them as fit. Any queries to Tom Donnelly or Matt Gold please.
- Mouthguard Fittings: Opro dentists will be coming in to do mouth guard fittings on Tuesday 5 September between 1.30pm and 4.30pm and Thursday 7 September between 1pm and 3.30pm in the Sports Centre. First, Second and Fourth Years will have their fittings during their sports lesson on Tuesday and Third Years in theirs on Thursday. Fifth Years, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth should attend when available on either day. An email with a link to an order form has been previously sent by Andy Broadbent.
- Driving near the School. Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect pupils 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 pupils 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. Parents are also reminded that cars waiting by the Coach park on Faringdon Road impede prompt departure of the buses as well as causing traffic problems.
- Bus Safety. Parents are asked to remind their children that they should wait to cross the road until well after the coach has departed from a stop, to ensure pupils have full sight of other traffic.
- Music in the Michaelmas Term 2023:
- OX14 Learning Partnership Upcoming Events
- News from the week
- Food menu for the following week – Week 1
- School calendar
- Weekly mailing archive
- Box Office:
- An Evening with Bryan Habana – Tuesday 12 September, 7.30pm. We are excited to be able to offer you an opportunity to spend an evening in the company of a true rugby legend – Bryan Habana OIS. In the middle of this year’s Rugby World Cup, Bryan will talk to us about his career, the Rugby World Cup and much more. There will also be an opportunity for an audience Q&A in the second half of the evening. Suitable for ages 18+. Please visit our website to book tickets.
- See other upcoming Box Office events