Weekly Mailing: 11 January 2019

This week's mailing is:

Letters:

Notices:

New Threat of Financial Scams Involving Email

Fee paying schools are increasingly the target of fraudsters and the level of sophistication of scammers continues to grow - a number of other schools have been attacked over the Christmas holidays.  Please be very cautious about emails (even if they do come from an Abingdon email) that ask you to change bank payment details or offer discounts in return for early payment (or payment by Bitcoin!).  Abingdon has no plans at all to change its bank account or its fee arrangements.  If you do want to query suspicious emails please do so by an alternative channel such as calling the Finance team as scams often hijack email accounts entirely.  

The Abingdonian

The 2019 edition of the Abingdonian magazine has been distributed to all boys who were members of the school last academic year.  In the case of brothers, a copy has been given to the older sibling.

Abingdon News

The latest edition of the School's newsletter, Abingdon News, has been given to your son to bring home this week.  Boys who are full boarders will have a copy posted home.  The newsletter can also be viewed online. Any feedback regarding school publications is very welcome, please email communications@abingdon.org.uk.

All Parents: Career Reps Needed for Abingdon Careers Convention, Friday 15 March 2019, Abingdon School

I am still looking for parent volunteers in several key career areas for the upcoming Abingdon Independent Schools’ Careers Convention in March.  If you work in one of these career areas, and can volunteer as a career representative at the event (6pm-9:30pm), I would love to hear from you: Business (Operations); Charities and NGOs; Engineering (Aeronautical, Biomedical, Electrical, Nuclear); Environment, Conservation, Wildlife; Financial Services (Insurance, Investment/Fund Management); Fire and Emergency Services; Video Gaming; Government (Civil/Public Services); Journalism and News Media; Music; Product/Industrial Design. Please email michael.triff@abingdon.org.uk or register your interest online as soon as possible. Thank you!  Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Reminder - Parents of 6th Form Students: Gap Year Advice Evening, Thursday 17 January, 6.15-7.45pm, CMR, Abingdon School

Abingdon will host a Gap Year Advice Evening for Sixth Form pupils and parents on Thursday 17 January 2018, 6.15-7.45pm in the CMR at Abingdon School. The event will feature a presentation about the reasons to take a Gap Year; the pros and cons of a Gap Year; setting goals and finding relevant experiences during a Gap Year; the likely costs of a Gap Year; and the transition following return from a Gap Year. In addition, there will be a panel of Old Abingdonians on hand to share their own Gap Year story and insights. No booking is necessary; just show up on the night. Pupils can also download (from the University Admissions page of Firefly) the Abingdon School Gap Year Guide, which is intended to help pupils think carefully through all the considerations involved in electing, planning, and managing a Gap Year.

Reminder - 5th Year Work Experience: A Request for Parents

If your 5th year son has already applied for, and even secured, a summer work experience placement, please praise him for his initiative! The ‘early bird catches the worm’ when it comes to work experience, especially at employers with popular work experience schemes. If your son has not yet applied for a summer work experience placement, please encourage him to do so…and soon. There is a special 5th Year Work Experience Scheme page on Firefly (the pupil intranet) with a list of employers who offer placements and links to application information. Most summer work experience schemes have application deadlines in January or February, so time is of the essence. Of course, your son can also approach employers of interest who don’t offer a formal work experience scheme but may be happy to host a placement from time to time.  Parents are strongly advised to download from this web page a checklist of things to consider when preparing for their son’s work experience placement. Your support and encouragement is very much appreciated. Michael Triff, Head of Career Guidance.

Parents' Prayer Meeting, Thursday 17 January, 8pm, 29 Park Road (The Chaplain's House)

Do join us to pray for the Prep and Senior Schools.

Music 

This term is a very busy one for our musicians. The Lent Term Music Calendar gives up to date information about our plans.

Here are the main events of the first half of term to which all are most welcome.

  • Wednesday 16 January at 6pm in the Amey Theatre - Music Society Piano Masterclass with Katya Lebedeva. This is an opportunity to see six of our senior pianists play to one of London's top piano teachers from the Royal College of Music and should be a must for all our piano pupils and their families. Please see the poster advertising this concert. Boys can sign up for an early supper and stay for the masterclass.
  • Friday 18 January - A whole First Year trip to hear the CBSO is a special educational concert enabling them to “Discover the Orchestra”. All First Year parents have been sent information and a Google consent form to complete.
  • Thursday 24 January at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - New Year Japan Tour Benefit Concert. The concert will feature our main ensembles, articulated in an extended interval, we hope, by an auction of promises in aid of our summer tour to Japan and Hong Kong. If you have something you can donate to support our tour we would be most grateful to hear from you and the promises will be advertised in next week's mailing, allowing pre-concert bids up until midnight on 23rd. So far the promises include a weekend in a London apartment and a week's use of a large farmhouse in SW France! Please follow this link to order tickets. 
  • Wednesday 30 January at 6pm in the CMR Solo Concert Platform No 3 - a performing opportunity for many of our talented soloists.
  • Wednesday 13 February at 7pm in the Amey Theatre - Menine Brass Quartet Concert. This is a must for all our brass players. This young professional quartet will be working with our brass players in an afternoon masterclass and will present an exciting and varied repertoire in the evening. Please do support us and follow this link to the website to order tickets.

Abingdon School Parents' Association (ASPA)

The last ASPA mailing was sent via the school this week. See details.   ASPA began to use Classlist in September last year and this is now the primary method for parents to contact each other. If you have not signed up to Classlist you will still receive (via Classlist) any announcements that ASPA send to all parents or to your year group. If you do want to join Classlist, so that you can also contact other parents yourself, and haven’t done so yet, please look out for the recent invitation which was sent from Classlist.  Any queries to aspa@abingdon.org.uk.

NOTE: Abingdon School do not use Classlist for any communication to you nor do they monitor Classlist. This is used by ASPA only for parent to parent contact.

Reminder - Public Examination Timetables 

Public examination timetables for Summer 2019 are now available on the School Website.  Boys' personal timetables will be issued after half-term.

Reminder - Sport priority on a Saturday 

In planning for this term, please observe this extract from the Parents' Handbook:

Boys are expected to be available for matches against other schools unless specific permission has been sought from and granted by the Headmaster. Any request should be made well in advance, at least one week before the fixture and copied to the Director of Sport and PE, Pete Bignell. Abingdon has a strong tradition of participating in interschool 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, and we are putting out more teams. Please avoid asking for leave of absence. We are keen the boys practise and play together, that the boys develop an allegiance to the School, and that our opponents have the best opposition we can provide.

Reminder - Saturday Bus Times

Timings of Saturday School buses are the same as last term.

Senior Rugby Tour Dinner - save the date!

Our current Lower 6th and 5th Year are going on tour to Chile and Argentina this summer.  We are holding a senior tour dinner on Friday 15 March. Martin Johnson '2003 Rugby World Cup winning Captain' will be our guest for the evening.  Please save the date and look out for opportunities to purchase tickets in the coming weeks.

Rugby Skills Camp 

Boys: Aged 8-16 years
9am – 3pm
Thursday 21- Friday 22 February 2019

This is a high-quality coaching course led by ex-professional players and current academy and county level coaches. Learn and develop core skills such as catch and pass, tackle, breakdown, support, back play and set piece play. These will be covered in a fun, safe and enjoyable environment. This is aimed at participants who are currently playing or aspiring to play at first team level at their school and clubs.

Course content:

  • Skills workshops
  • Games for understanding
  • Injury prevention warm ups
  • Playing 7s
  • Positional skills
  • Daily post-training hydrotherapy
  • The cost of this course is £80.

To find out more information, please contact us:

Health Centre 

Please can parents ensure that the Health Centre is kept up to date with any changes to your son's health. This is especially important following a holiday period so that we can update our records accordingly.  Boys with medication: all boys who carry any form of medication on them e.g. inhalers for asthma, Epipens must ensure that it is clearly labelled with their name and is still in date.

NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second - 7pm, Tuesday 15 January, Amey Theatre

Food menu for the coming week - Week 2

See more of the latest news