25 Sep 2015


This week's mailing is:



From the Head: Permission for absence on Saturdays

We are very concerned at the number of requests for absence that we are receiving at the moment. As a school we have worked hard to secure an enviable and competitive fixture list. Given the breadth of our Other Half, we do not have a host of substitutes that we can call on if boys drop out of rugby fixtures. There is a danger that if parents demand that their sons miss a Saturday commitment, we will not be able to field the respective team that day, whether it be an A, B, C or D XV.

If a number of boys from a particular team are absented by their parents, then that team will be unable to play; it would be inequitable to simply fill up a team with players from a different squad. Furthermore we will not do so as it could lead to players being promoted beyond their comfort zone, and it would mean that the C or D team would be the team always being cancelled, something that would be unfair if the problem was due to absences in other teams. Having to cancel fixtures is something we are loath to do, not least because it is very disappointing for the other members of that team who have committed to play.

Given this, please can we ask you to think very carefully about your weekend arrangements before emailing school to ask for absence. As per the 2015/16 Parents' Handbook and the weekly mailing of 4 September 2015 our policy is that:

Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Head. 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].

Bus users

It is always prudent at this time of year to have a brief chat to your son about safety around the buses. He will moan that you are talking to him about it, but hopefully he will register the key facts. Please remind him that he should wait for the coach to pull away before crossing any road in order to ensure there is clear visibility each way: remember the old fashioned stop, look and listen. Equally it is best to avoid the need to rush in the morning, so please build in some extra time: it is when pupils rush to cross roads that accidents occur.

Finally there have been issues in the mornings with children waiting in cars rather than at the stop itself. This adds to the running time thus having an adverse effect on everyone. Please ensure that your son waits at the stop so he is ready to get on the coach as soon as it arrives. 

Revised AM Route Times

Now that we are a few weeks into the new term we are looking at the running times of our routes trying to ensure they run as effectively as possible. For some of the routes below changes are merely tweaking times between stops to try and avoid any dead time on the route. These changes will come into effect from Monday 28 September.     

Start the Year with the Abingdon Foundation and St Helen and St Katharine Prayer Groups 

You are warmly invited to join parents and staff from all three schools to meet the Chaplains, find out about Christian activities and hear a talk from theologian, apologist, teacher and writer, Rev Dr Michael Green on Thursday 8 October 2015 at 8pm in the Sports Centre Hospitality Suite, Abingdon School. Refreshments provided. For more information contact Carl Savage on 01235 539226 or [email protected].

Opening of Yang Science Centre – Invitation to all parents and pupils

All parents and pupils are warmly invited to attend the opening event for the Yang Science Centre on Thursday, 15 October from 4.00 to 5.15pm, please see details. RSVP by Monday 28 September 2015 using the Google Form linked to the online invitation. Enquiries to [email protected]. We very much hope that you will join the whole Abingdon School community for this very special event.

Parents of Middle School Scholars

All parents of Middle School Scholars should have received an email with further details of the program for this term and an invitation to the Middle School Scholars' Dinner. If you have not received this email please contact James Hallinan, [email protected] so that the information can be resent and you can book a place at the dinner should you wish to attend.

Ocean Film Festival World Tour – The Ocean Film Festival showcases the world’s most amazing ocean films film above and below the water’s surface

Brought to you by the producers of the Banff Film Festival UK Tour, this extraordinary collection of short films document the beauty and power of the ocean, and celebrate the divers, surfers, swimmers and oceanographers who live for the sea’s salt spray; who chase the crests of waves; and who marvel at the mysteries of the big blue. Visit the Ocean Film Festival Website for more details. To book tickets, please click here.

MGB Register Lecture – 15 October 2015 at the Amey Theatre – SS Great Britain – Isambard Brunel

The sixth presentation in the lecture series promoted by the MGB Register will feature the story of SS Great Britain, the iconic ship designed by the innovative Isambard Brunel in 1843. It was the world’s first screw propelled ocean-going iron-hulled steam ship, the fore-runner of all modern shipping. Again we are covering one of the greatest British engineering projects, this time of the 19th and 21st centuries. We will feature the original design and build, then cover the ship in use, continuing on through its shipwreck in the Falkland Islands, then describe the dramatic recovery back to Bristol, finishing with its renovation to become one of the great visitor attractions of the 21st century. This is a unique opportunity to hear the inside story of one of our country’s greatest achievements, and ask questions of the people who passionately believe that it should be renovated to show British design of the 1800s as part of our engineering heritage. For more information and to book tickets, please visit the MGB Register website.

Food Menu for the coming week – Week 1