4 Mar 2022


This week’s mailing is:


  • To all parents of Upper Sixth pupils – Yearbook


From the Headmaster to all parents:

Dear Parents

It has been great to see students and staff again after the half term break, especially as we have now returned to in-person assemblies and chapel services.

Inevitably our thoughts have been dominated by the events in Ukraine and students have expressed their concern about the situation. We have talked about the war in chapel services and assemblies, emphasising the human dimension of the tragedy and the need for us all to champion peace and justice. This is the address that Mr Crisp, Middle Master, shared with members of the Middle School on Monday.

Mr Knowland, our Head of History, has also prepared a set of materials for tutors to use with their tutor groups which puts the conflict in a historical context and explains the background to the war. We have encouraged discussion in tutor groups so that students can ask questions and share their responses to the tragedy.

Our Charity Committee is considering ways to support the humanitarian relief effort.

If you have concerns about your child’s response to the war or if you have family members who are involved in the events in Ukraine, please do let their tutor know so that we can ensure they are receiving the support they need.

Best wishes, Mike Windsor


International Women’s Day

Dear Parents, we will be pausing to think about International Women’s Day in tutor time next week so do take the opportunity to further the conversations around this theme at home.  Paul Gooding.

Subject Preferences for current 3rd year going into 4th year

The parents’ evenings on Monday 7 and Tuesday 8 March will be an opportunity to discuss possible GCSE subjects. More information about selecting subject preferences, together with an online form, will be sent to parents via email on Monday 7 March.

5th Year parents:  Revision seminars

There will be a revision seminar run for all 5th Year students by Elevate on Tuesday 22 March during the school day.  In addition, there will be a parents’ seminar on revision from 7pm to 8pm on the same day.   More details will follow shorty.   Please keep a note of this date.

Parents of 5th 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 child has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, time is running out, and they 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 child can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer formal work experience schemes but who may be happy to host a placement, if asked. If your child has made applications, but has not heard back yet, some polite but persistent ‘chasing’ may be needed. And, if your child has already received an offer of a placement, congratulations! If they have received more than one offer, they can undertake more than one in the summer holiday 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 child’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)

For parents of 5th, L6 and U6 pupils: Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention 2022: Thursday 10 March 2022, 7.00-9.30pm at Our Lady’s Abingdon

The Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention, jointly run by Abingdon School, Our Lady’s Abingdon, and St Helen and St Katharine, will take place on Thursday evening, 10 March 2022, 7.00-9.30pm at Our Lady’s Abingdon. Please note:

  1. There is no parking at OLA; please either park at Abingdon School and walk to OLA, park in the local neighbourhood (very limited spaces), or park in the nearby Charter (only 56 spaces – under repair from 3 March) or Audlett Drive (98 spaces) car parks (free after 6pm) – allow extra time to find parking.
  2. Face coverings are optional; please do not attend if you are displaying Covid symptoms or received a positive Covid test result in the previous ten days.
  3. Event programmes have been sent to all 5th, L6 and U6 students so they may plan out their evening – please encourage them to do so!
  4. The career fair is most crowded during the first 60-90 minutes of the event; please be forewarned.
  5. There will be free drinks, and a small selection of food for sale in the OLA café.  Parents/guardians are welcome to attend with 5th, L6 or U6 students. There is no event booking;  just show up. If you have any questions, contact Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance, at [email protected].

Confirmation Class reminder

Dear Parents, I have received an encouraging response to my earlier letter about our upcoming Confirmation class for students considering becoming members of the Church of England. There is still time to sign up for the class, which begins on Thursday 10 March from 1.15- 1.50pm in the Avernus dining room. There will be six sessions, culminating in the Confirmation service conducted by the Bishop of Dorchester on 10 May at 6pm, to which family and friends are warmly invited. The class is open to all students in the third year and above. I would be grateful if you would discuss with your child whether they would like to be part of this process and let me know if they intend to join the class. Pupils are, of course, welcome to contact me as well. Warm regards, Simon Steer

Careers Webinar Masterclass with John Madgwick (OA 1979) – Reminder

The Old Abingdonian Club is hosting a Careers Webinar Masterclass with John Madgwick (OA 1979), Head of Finance Careers at Saïd Business School on Monday 7 March at 6.30 pm. This event is perfect for undergraduates, graduates and anyone considering further study or a career in finance. The webinar is open to everyone in the Abingdon community, please sign up here.

In Conversation with Kim Darroch – Friday 18 March 2022

National Security Adviser 2012-2015, British Ambassador to the United States 2016-2019
Kim Darroch (OA 1972) will be in conversation with LBC presenter Tom Swarbrick (OA 2005) on Friday 18 March 2022 at 7 pm in the Amey Theatre, Abingdon School. This event is very nearly sold out. The remaining tickets are available in the Amey Theatre Circle. All members, including pupils, of the Abingdon community and the OX14 Learning Partnership are warmly invited to attend. There is no charge for this OA Club event however online booking is required via the Box Office here.

Abingdon tennis players – Easter pre-season training reminder

Please refer to the letter posted on the weekly mailing of Friday 18 February.

Hockey Awards Dinner

After two Covid years, the annual Abingdon Hockey Awards Dinner makes its long awaited return! This event is for all middle school and senior school hockey players and their parents to celebrate the successes of the hockey season and say goodbye to the Sixth Form Leavers. Tickets cost £25 per child and £40 per adult, and include a drinks reception and 3 course dinner. This year the guest speaker is Alex Danson MBE, who has played hockey on the international stage for both England and Great Britain, and won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games and bronze in the 2012 Olympic Games. Tickets can be purchased here.


  • Solo Singers Platform next week – POSTPONED TO NEXT TERM
    We would like parents and friends to be aware that, for reasons beyond our control, the Singers Platform, scheduled for Wednesday 9 March, has been postponed. We hope that this event will take place early next term.
  • Evensong at Keble College, Oxford on Friday 11 March at 6pm
    The Chapel Choir travels to Oxford next Friday to sing Evensong in the magnificent chapel of Keble College. All are most welcome.

Abingdon Box Office:

Please see this link for upcoming events.

OX14 Learning Partnership Upcoming Events 

Easter courses and holiday camps are now available to book

We are pleased to inform parents and pupils that we are running a variety of high quality courses during the Easter holidays that we hope will be of interest to you and your friends. This includes:

An information flyer is attached, and the full range of courses can be browsed here. Please note, all of these courses can be booked directly through the Abingdon Sports and Leisure website.

Photography with Chris Baines at St Helen & St Katharine School

Professional photographer Chris Baines will be running a one-day photography course at St Helen and St Katharine School on Monday 11 April. Students aged 13-16 will spend the day exploring original approaches to photography. If pupils from Abingdon would be interested in attending, please follow this link for further information and to sign up. If you have any queries, please contact St Helen and St Katharine directly.

News from the Week:

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 3

School Calendar

Please continue to consult the School Calendar for up to date information.

Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.