9 Jul 2021


This week’s mailing is:



From the Headmaster to all parents:


Covid-19: Symptoms over the weekend

If your child develops symptoms up to and including this Sunday 11 July and tests positive, then do please let us know as we will need to conduct track and trace to identify close contacts from when your child was last in school on Friday 9 July. The email to use is [email protected].

From Dr Gardner and Mr Coolin – Summer Reading Challenge 

If you’re looking to encourage reading over the summer, why not take advantage of the reading lists offered by the English Department and the Library?  Divided between Lower School, Third Year, Fourth & Fifth Year and Sixth Form, each list features 10 great books.

The English Department and the Library are also inviting all students to take part in the Summer Reading Challenge 2021. The challenge is to read between four and eight books, ideally across four or eight literary genres respectively. Instructions and a reading record form are attached. Please do encourage your child to take part and to use the relevant reading list for inspiration. At the start of the Michaelmas term, your child can hand in their form to their English teacher to receive a chocolate prize. The most committed reader in each year group, and the reader who has read from the most genres, will also receive a more substantial prize.

For parents of 3rd year pupils opting to take IGCSE History

For those pupils in the 3rd year opting to take IGCSE History, here is a list of films, books and websites that you can access over the summer if you want to,  https://abingdon.fireflycloud.net/history/third-year-history.  The Firefly page for 4th year history is here https://abingdon.fireflycloud.net/history/fourth-year-igcse-history. You will find a more detailed reading list on the first unit you will study (Russia) on this page.  Enjoy!  Mr Knowland

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. This page highlights events such as social evenings and parents’ evenings for next term.

Parents’ Evening 2021-22: Information for parents

For the coming academic year, following feedback from parents, parents’ evenings will be on-line, using the SchoolCloud booking system, which was rolled out successfully in the Summer Term.

Like many schools, appointments will be all on one main night only.  However, when a teacher has 2 or more sets in that year group, bookings will be allowed to overflow into a second night in order to maximise the opportunity for parents to speak to the teacher.

The nominal time of the first evening is 6.30pm to 8.30pm, but some staff may offer earlier and/or later appointments.   For the second night there will usually be fewer appointments available, as the majority will have been done the previous night.  Early in Michaelmas 2021 parents will be told which staff are needing to offer a second night.  In general, most staff will only need one night to cover all their pupils.

As always, we will review how this system operates.  We also hope parents will use other opportunities at School to meet face-to-face with staff and other parents.

Teacher Directory

Due to growing cybersecurity threats, we’ve decided to remove all individual teacher contact information from the public website. The Teacher Directory is now available inside the iSAMS Parent Portal. If you wish to find a teacher’s name and email address please log into the Parent Portal and navigate to “Links & Info” > “School Directory”. If you have any questions please contact [email protected]. Thank you – Niki Dinsey, Information Systems Manager


  • The Music Calendar for the Michaelmas Term is available here. We have an action-packed programme of musical events, including parental and family participation, such as the  Music Society Quiz and Supper on Friday 12 November. We hope you will join us!
  • Cuillin Sound Concert (woodwind quartet) – Wednesday 15 September at 7pm  We would like to give a special invitation to this highly acclaimed professional ensemble that will be visiting Abingdon for an evening concert. Comprising some of the most well-known woodwind players in the UK, this ensemble will precede their evening concert with a workshop demonstration in the afternoon (4-5pm). This will be a marvellous opportunity for pupils to hear and understand woodwind instruments. Do consider supporting this exciting live concert at 7pm in the Amey Theatre. Further information and tickets will be available from the website.
  • Joint Choral Society on Sunday 21 November – Pirates of Penzance.  Next term it is the turn of the St Helen’s School music department to be in charge and Assistant Director of Music, Helen Coad, has chosen this G&S operetta for a concert performance on Sunday 21 November. The concert will include pupils, staff and parents. Please contact [email protected] if you would like to participate in the adult choir which will rehearse on Mondays 6-7.30pm, starting on Monday 20 September.
  • Alexander Technique Lessons at Abingdon School are offered by Cathie Kidger in the Music Department on the same basis as regular music lessons – in weekly 30 minutes slots. We believe this knowledge and activity is more valuable than ever as we return from lockdown. To sign up, please contact [email protected].  For more information, please follow this link.

Abingdon Box Office:

Summer holiday Camps

We would like to take this opportunity to remind parents and pupils that we have a variety of high quality summer camps on offer over the coming weeks that we hope will be of interest to you. This includes:

For more information and to view the full range of courses and holiday camps available to pupils this summer, please click here.  Please note, all of these courses can be booked directly through the Leisure website.

News from the Week:

Second Hand Uniform Shop (SUS)

SUS will be open on Monday 6 September (induction day) between 9am and 4pm.  Thereafter it will be open every Wednesday and Saturday during term time.  Dates and times are available here.  When visiting the shop, please park at Faringdon Lodge Reception. The postcode for this is OX14 1BQ.

Next Weekly Mailing

The next weekly mailing will be on Friday 3 September.  Here is the link to previous weekly mailings.

We look forward to school beginning for all pupils on Tuesday 7 September.  The timetable will be an A week.  Best wishes for the holiday.