Abingdon News No.56

2 January 2021 In his Letters to a Young Poet , the German writer Rainer Maria Rilke urged his friend ‘to have patience with all unsolved problems in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, or books that are written in a foreign tongue’. This is an approach that I hope we nurture at Abingdon. We want our students to understand that there are not always simple solutions but instead sometimes we need to embrace and enjoy complexity. It has been such a relief this term to all be back together on the school site and I’ve particularly enjoyed being able to drop into lessons again to observe the boys go about their learning. In such strange times, we’ve all relished the sheer normality of timetabled lessons. It is always uplifting to see teachers engaging with their students and challenging them to extend themselves. The intellectual curiosity that the boys bring to school creates a real buzz and we aim to inspire them to explore their ideas and indulge their thirst for knowledge both within and outside the curriculum. This creates a stimulating culture of academic enquiry, cultivating lifelong skills while building a powerful base of knowledge that can underpin future study and careers, while at the same time ensuring that Abingdon is an exciting place to study and work. Abingdon News Message from the Headmaster European Day of Languages Although the annual joint dinner with St Helen’s was cancelled this year, the School still managed to celebrate European Day of Languages in style. Pupils were treated to an online chapel service led by Middle Master Andrew Crisp, during which boys and staff could be heard speaking in a variety of languages. The message was simple: we need a global effort from people of all nations to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. Boys also enjoyed an escape room activity with their tutors where they had to tackle language-related questions in order to crack the code. Teachers entered into the spirit of the day, wearing badges with ‘hello’ translated into a variety of languages from Tok Pisin to Georgian and everything in between. First Prize and a day at The Fat Duck Congratulations to Alexandre Peuch in the Lower Sixth who came joint first in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Chemistry / Food Science Communication Competition 2020. His prize is an exciting day in the development kitchen at Heston Blumenthal’s, The Fat Duck. Faringdon Lodge opens The new facilities in Faringdon Lodge which opened this September look fantastic. Boys and staff are delighted. The three-story building which is connected to the Science Centre is ‘home’ to two new houserooms for O’Doherty’s and Donnelly’s and for the Computer Science and Business and Economics Departments. It also houses the Faringdon Lodge reception and the Second Hand Uniform shop. The building looks over Waste Court with lovely views from the balcony on the first floor. First years have been learning about Roman theatre in their Latin lessons and were encouraged to create and wear a rather different type of face covering! Roman Theatre