9 Sep 2016


This week's mailing is



Open Day: Saturday 1 October and traffic issues

Please be aware that the School has recently been informed by the Vale of White Horse Council that there is a civic event taking place in Abingdon on the same morning as our Open Day.  The ceremony requires road closures, which will disrupt traffic around the town. We are advised that road closures will be in force in the centre of Abingdon between 10.30​am​ and 12​pm​ although not necessarily for the entire period.  We, and St Helen's and St Katharine's ​School ​who hold their Open Day on the same day, are taking steps to provide additional parking and minibus transport between our two schools. We will shortly send you further information (in Weekly Mailing) on the parking arrangements which will also be posted on the school website. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.
Open Day runs from 9.30 until 12.30. All boys, EXCEPT first years who are not involved in an activity such as an orchestra or band, are expected to attend and should arrive at School no later than 8.45 am to register before beginning their Open Day activities. Boys on school buses should go straight to registration when their bus arrives.  Request for absence on this day should, as usual, be made to the housemaster, as for a single weekday absence. For boys wishing to miss School sports fixtures, parents should write to the Headmaster, as usual, copying in the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell.  For boys who use the joint bus service, all the morning routes will be operating the weekday schedule running 30 minutes later than usual. For the return journey, the weekday 5.20pm service will depart on all usual routes from the coach park at 1.00pm.

For Parents of 5th Year Pupils: COA Preview Programme – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

You will have previously received an email about the Preview career guidance programme designed and delivered by an external company called Cambridge Occupational Analysts. Preview is operated by Abingdon at a cost to parents and on an opt-out basis. The cost for a 5th Year pupil to participate is £79 (including VAT), which will be charged via your next school bill.  To read more about Preview, go to: https://www.abingdon.org.uk/coa_preview_programme. If you do not wish for your son to participate in Preview, you may opt-out. To opt-out, a parent or guardian must email Michael Triff no later than midnight on Friday 16 September; otherwise, your son will be enrolled automatically in the Preview programme and the £79 charge will be made. We regret that refunds will not be possible after this date.

Exam Remarks

Parents are asked to remind their sons that the deadline for exam remarks is fast approaching. Requests should be made by 3pm on Tuesday 20 September, and any requests received after will not be processed. Mrs Cottam will be available in her office in Park Lodge for pupils to make application. To contact Mrs Cottam please email or call 01235 849035.

Music Notices 

New Boys, New Music Lessons – We have a very good crop of promising musicians who have started this year and a new school year is a great time to begin an instrument.  Please see the Music Lesson information sheets, which explains our routines, and do discuss any interest with the Director of Music who is always happy to advise. Please have a look at the Music Department Newsletter, which explains this term’s music calendar and activities.

The Music Calendar has undergone some revisions and now accurately reflects our music events. Please note that the Chapel Choir is singing evensong at Tewkesbury (not Gloucester) and the Frankie Valli tribute concert and workshop on 13 October has been sadly cancelled for reasons beyond our control.

Joint Choral Society with St Helen’s School invites parents to sing in the next concert on Sunday 20 November.  Under the direction this time of Helen Coad, Assistant Director of Music at St Helen’s School, the programme consists of two works; Vivaldi’s Gloria and Vaughan William’s Five Mystical Songs.  There are five rehearsals on Tuesday evenings, 7 – 9pm in the weeks approaching the concert and all parents are welcome to attend (4/10, 11/10, 7/11, 8/11, 15/11).  The rehearsals are at St. Helen’s School and vocal scores will be available at the first rehearsal.

Christmas Concert Tickets Now On Sale

When we present this concert at the Amey Theatre, as opposed to Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre, we do it twice in order to allow all those who wish to go to do so. This is the highlight of the term, which involves the senior ensembles and choirs, with something for everyone, from Gospel and Jazz to Bach and Mozart.  Please book early to be sure of getting your night of choice.

Abingdon Film Unit Annual Screening – Saturday 1 October, 7pm

The annual screening of new films by members of the Abingdon Film Unit is a unique and popular event. The AFU's 2016 screening sees Abingdon's young filmmakers exploring as wide and varied a range of subjects as ever. Although tickets and refreshments are free, we ask that you book a ticket in order that we cater for the correct number of people. Thank you.

Behaviour on the Buses

We now have 600 boys using the Joint Bus Service. Most behave impeccably but there can be moments of poor behaviour, ranging from nagging irritations, such as the persistent leaving of litter on the floor and use of bad language, to the safety issue of boys not wearing seat belts. Inevitably the people who tend to bear the brunt of this bad behaviour are the drivers. The boys know our expectations of them, but please reiterate to your sons that they are representatives of Abingdon School and that they must behave accordingly. Equally it is a requirement, not an option, that they wear seat belts.

In the course of that conversation could you please also remind them that if they cannot adhere to the requisite standards of behaviour, then they will receive a Friday Detention. If they continue to misbehave, we reserve the right to ban them from the buses for a period of time, probably 3 to 5 days in the first instance. The level of the sanction will obviously be dependent on the severity of the offending behaviour.

Rugby: concussion

Now we are back in the midst of the rugby term, can we take this opportunity to remind you of the protocol if your son is unlucky enough to be concussed during a rugby match. This is something that we are all very sensitive about in order to ensure best 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 match here or Cox's Field we have a doctor on site who can see them on the same day. If a concussion has occurred the boy will be off games for 23 days. During this period they will have a graduated return to play programme and this will include being reviewed by the school nurses at week 1 and 2. Please note, before being allowed to play again, they need to see a doctor to confirm them fit to play – this can either be your own GP or the Sports Doctor in school on a Saturday.

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 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.

Dropping off and collection of pupils by car

Parents are reminded not to drop off or collect boys from the Bursary 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 boys 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.

Weekly Mailing

We aim to send an email each Friday at 5.00pm which provides a link to that day's Weekly Mailing. All editions of Weekly Mailing may be found on the website, under the News tab. We would encourage those who missed the link to view last Friday's Weekly Mailing, which was the first mailing of the term.

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 with asthma must carry their inhaler with them at school. We will hold a spare inhaler in the Health Centre for boys in case of an emergency.


Please follow the link to complete the ASPA Contact Form which you need to complete and submit electronically in order to be included on the Contact List for your Year Group and receive the ASPA mailing. Thanks to all those who have completed it however for parents of boys in Years 1 and 3 particularly, we still don’t have all the forms submitted and if your son has just joined the school in another year, getting onto the Contact List for your year group is a great way to get in touch with other parents and to be invited to events.

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 2