APS News 32

AbingdonPrep News January 2023 • No. 32 PRE-PREP NATIVITY, A KING IS BORN

2 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 It has been a fantastic term and wonderful to be able to return to all of the usual trips and activities that we have missed somewhat over the past few years. The children have been working hard both in and out of the classroom and there have been numerous highlights to reflect on at the end of term. Perhaps one that we have now become more used to, but has made an incredible difference, is the use of our new building and facilities. It has been brilliant to have our new Music school and second Science lab alongside our incredible Design and Technology classroom. The children, teachers and parents have really appreciated these new spaces, alongside our spacious new library which seems to have been full every time I have walked past it this term! Our Year 4s experienced their first residential trip back in September as they walked for two days along the Ridgeway whilst our Year 8s spent two days exploring the Jurassic coastline around Swanage. Other day trips saw Pre-Prep visit Roves Farm together, whilst our Year 4s went to Oxford Castle and our Year 5s went to The Black Country Living Museum. Our Year 7 and 8s even had a day of film making in school producing their own short movies which was a brilliant experience for them all. On the sports field, all of Years 3 to 8 have represented the school in rugby matches, both touch and contact, and our U11s and U13s performed incredibly to reach the IAPS Football National Finals this term, the first time this has ever been achieved by Abingdon Prep. In Drama this term, Year 6s performed an abridged version of ‘80 Days around the World’ which they thoroughly enjoyed, and we have now cast roles for our senior section musical, ‘Oliver’, taking place next term. Our carol concerts and Pre-Prep Nativity were lovely events and greatly enjoyed by both the children and their parents. Events like these really do make you feel that Christmas is not too far away. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. Craig FROM THE HEADMASTER The Headmaster, Craig Williams, reflects on the wonderful new facilities and a more ‘back to normal’ term at Abingdon Prep. NEWS SCHOOL COUNCIL The School Council met with Craig in early December to present their thoughts for possible changes they would like to see made. Suggestions covered all aspects of school life from sport, food, clubs and playground activities, including plans for a new basketball hoop in the playground area, ideas for Other Half clubs in the future and suggestions for lunch menus next term. FIREWORKS NIGHT! READY TO GO ON... IAPS Football Qualifiers Christmas presents with Reception

abingdon.org.uk/prep 3 NEWS In September, Chair of Governors Professor Michael Stevens officially opened Abingdon Prep School’s exciting new state-of-the-art facilities, with the whole school gathered in the new amphitheatre for the ceremony. The dedicated music school, DT workshop, junior science lab and new classrooms have enabled existing rooms to be repurposed and renovated. This includes the creation of a new library situated in the heart of the school and a Pre-Prep hub. Adding to the already enviable facilities; 30 acres of sports grounds, play areas and woodland, and access to those of the senior school, the new amenities significantly enhance our offering, and will certainly enhance the NEW FACILITIES OPEN school experience for pupils. Headmaster, Craig, says: “As a Foundation, Abingdon is passionate about ensuring our students and staff have up to date, modern, flexible and ‘fit for purpose’ facilities which will help them to succeed academically and support them pastorally in an ever changing world. “Our new facilities, all built with sustainable credentials, will offer even greater opportunities to Abingdon Prep pupils both now and in the future. “I am incredibly grateful to our Estates team who have overseen the project from fruition to completion and to Professor Michael Stevens for coming along today to officially open the facilities.” Staff and pupils came together to commemorate Remembrance Day, stopping to observe a two minutes’ silence, signalled by the Last Post. This year, we particularly remembered the many important and changing roles of women during times of war and our students sold poppies to help raise contributions to the Royal British Legion from our School Community. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM Last term, the Eco Committee agreed it would be brilliant to grow our own produce on the school grounds by planting fruit trees. The team chose a variety of trees including: apple, pear, cherry, apricot and plum, which we hope to harvest next year. The trees were planted on the land behind the MUSA and the children hope they will flower to provide a spring buffet for pollinating insects. Coming soon: our next project will involve wildflower seed planting. FRUIT TREE PLANTING CHRISTINGLE

4 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 Their responses to Mahler’s first symphony included a stunning poem by Theo in Year 7 and comments in the chat zone from ‘this sounds just like a soundtrack’ to ‘this music tells a story even though there are no words.’ FOND FAREWELLS - BIG THINK GEORGE OWEN George has been a fantastic addition to APS since his arrival at the beginning of September. Having also left Abingdon School in July, he has been a huge asset to the Sports department and has involved himself in all aspects of school life. He has helped out in lessons and on the games field, refereeing matches at all age groups superbly well and proving himself to be a natural with all the children. We will be sorry to see him go after his term with us, but wish him well on his gap year travels in January and beyond. CHARLIE LLOYD Charlie came to us straight from the senior school having completed his A Levels in the summer, and he has made a huge impression in his time at APS. He has slotted very easily into life at APS and has been a cheerful presence throughout the school, both in lessons and on the games field. A former 1st XV Captain at Abingdon School, his knowledge of rugby has been very well received by the pupils and he has been an excellent referee and coach. We wish him well on his travels in 2023 and at university thereafter. SUZANNE SKELTON It is with great sadness that we say farewell to Suzanne at the end of this term when she leaves to explore new ventures. She has been a very valuable and dedicated member of the Prep School team for over eight years. Initially, she joined us teaching Science to a number of year groups. She then became a Year 3 form teacher and latterly, in the last four years, a Year 5 form teacher and a Middle Section Head. Suzanne has not just been an exceptional teacher of academic subjects, but she has also been part of the Sports department as well as putting her creative skills into action by producing and directing the fabulous Junior Section production ‘Dragon Days’. She has also been on hand to help with the Senior School productions and is a very talented makeup artist. Charlie and George, with Liam and Jake She will be remembered by the pupils, and staff alike, for her kindness, her caring spirit, her teamwork as well as her sense of fun! We will miss Suzanne’s contacts, including sourcing the freshest hearts and lungs from a game butcher for dissection in Science, or arranging an egg delivery for staff during COVID. She has fully immersed herself in all aspects of life at Abingdon Prep, whether it be organising and taking part in events as Head of Dragon House, dressing up for World Book Days, joining in at the Black Country Museum playing the Victorian games or organising ‘It’s a Knockout’ and treasure hunts at the ‘Year 5 Camp Out’. We thank her for all the energy and enthusiasm she has brought to the school, she will be sorely missed. We wish her all the best in the next exciting chapter of her life. Louise Batho The Alchemist Deep in the mountains, Feet in the snow, No-one knows where the Alchemist will go. A spotted mushroom, An Arctic wind, Mix the ingredients with a sinister grin. Far in a cave, The scurry of mice, The water dripping, A look so pale, The Alchemist is nowhere anymore, Just an icy statue and a cauldron lay on the floor. Theo, Year 7 THE BIG THINK This term’s ‘Big Think’ day gave every pupil the opportunity to take time out and purposefully concentrate on how they felt in response to a piece of music. Moving around different zones, the pupils wrote poems, drew art, made dough models, chatted or simply listened to the music.

abingdon.org.uk/prep 5 IN AND OUT OF SCHOOL CLASS PAIRINGS GEOGRAPHY WORK SHARE Pupils from Years 5 to 8 paired up with Pre-Prep and the Junior Section twice this term, first playing card games, and then to read books to each other. It was a heartwarming sight seeing pupils from 8R reading books with the Reception children. It is a wonderful way to share a morning assembly and they commented on how much they loved it. Everyone seems to really enjoy Class Pairings whatever the theme, whether it is reading, building things or playing board games. *Hogwarts Pupils in Year 5 and Year 7 were able to share their great work in Geography this term during a workshare. The pupils in Year 5 had done some independent research on a North American country and on some of the major features of this continent, such as the Grand Canyon. Their work was completed with good text and hand drawn illustrations. Pupils in Year 7 had completed an independent research assignment on clouds, as part of their unit on weather and climate. Some created posters; others made a booklet or slideshow online. The most popular choice, however, was to make clouds Top Trump cards. Two pupils even accompanied their research with a home made film. Well done to both year groups. Six Year 8 pupils took part in the Institute of Engineering and Technology’s Faraday Challenge, along with 5 other Oxfordshire Secondary Schools. This year, the Institute teamed up with UKRI’s Future Flight Challenge giving them the opportunity to learn about different engineering disciplines, become engineers and work together as a team to build a working model. Much fun was had and many skills were learned. We hope this inspires them to pursue a career in STEM. FARADAY CHALLENGE HEADINGTON FILM NIGHT Year 7 pupils joined Headington School for a joint movie night social. Pupils enjoyed the acoustics of The Hive Lecture Theatre while watching Jumangi, with popcorn. An interval of ice cream and drinks gave some the opportunity to chat, followed by the end of the film and a fond farewell until the next time. Year 7 joined other Abingdon schools at the Amey Theatre for a talk by Liam Dutton, Channel 4 weather presenter, who has written a book for children all about the weather and the life of a TV weatherman. It’s an exciting career, and the talk fitted in perfectly with Year 7’s Geography topic of the weather and climate. LIAM DUTTON TALK PARTNERSHIP EVENTS YEAR 5 SCIENCE WORKSHOPS Both Year 5 classes enjoyed a trip to Abingdon School to take part in their Science Club which is run by Sixth Form Ambassadors. 5S learned all about Bunsens, including safety and how to change the flame. Then they tested a wide range of chemicals to see what colour they produced when burnt. 5L learned about forces in an activity led by one of our own ex-APS pupils. They designed and tested paper aeroplanes; the most skilful being able to bend like a boomerang!

6 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 Year 7 and 8 students put their filmmaking skills to the test with a ‘One Day Film School’ workshop. They learned the basics – film history, learning to use an iPad like a pro, screenwriting and fight choreography, before working in teams to create a short 2 minute film. Their final task was to introduce their film, give it a poster tagline and then wait to hear which team had won the Best Picture Oscar. Worthy winners were ‘Rescue of the Rich’ whose engaging, entertaining story and technical excellence particularly impressed the judges. IN SCHOOL WORLD MUSIC DAY In a planned series of workshops, each World Music Day focuses on one particular region of the globe, enabling students to explore and learn about the rich cultural variety of music. This time, we focused on Africa with visiting tutor, Andy Warn of Sound Roadshows (an expert in world music) who led the pupils in an exciting and engaging workshop towards a whole group performance of a traditional African piece of music. JOYEUX NOËL! Year 5 had the opportunity to practise their conversation skills when they had a visit from two French parents. They found out their names, birthdays, where they live and who is in their family whilst practising their French accents. We then learned all about French Christmas customs including putting shoes under the tree, the importance of family meals on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and a rather impressive selection of thirteen desserts in some regions. Thank you very much to Nelly and Aymeric for letting us practise our French and teaching us all about festive traditions in France. Joyeux Noël à tous! ONE DAY FILM SCHOOL YEAR 3 HISTORY They learned about the different djembes, African xylophones and a variety of other African percussion instruments throughout the session, and thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to make a great deal of (very musical!) noise together from a tradition that stretches as far back as history allows. Next destination: China!

abingdon.org.uk/prep 7 IN SCHOOL PUBLIC SPEAKING AND DEBATING The annual Middle Section Public Speaking and Senior Section Debating Competitions were held near the end of term. The external judges were Dominic Scott, a teacher from Radley College, Abingdon Foundation Governor Ken Welby and former Abingdon Prep pupil and former runner-up of the debating competition, Ted Smethurst. The audience heard speeches on a range of topics, including the possible banning of animal testing, whether the film versions of stories are better than the book versions, and who should be deemed to be ‘Person of the Year’ for 2022. Well done to the winners of both competitions. In the Brainstems Science Club, we grew alum crystals on pipe-cleaners twisted into Christmas shapes. The shapes were hung in the saturated alum solution and after a couple of days they were covered with sparkly crystals, the colours of the pipe-cleaners showing through. Once the crystals had grown, they were removed to dry and harden before taking home to display proudly. CHRISTMAS CRYSTALS YEAR 7 TYCOON IN SCHOOLS In our Computing lessons this year, Year 7 pupils have been taking part in the Tycoon in Schools Enterprise competition. The teams each developed an idea for a product and wrote their own business plans to pitch for a start-up loan from the Peter Jones Foundation. They used their ICT skills to create a variety of sales and marketing materials including presentations, posters, videos and spreadsheets, leading up to a Mini Christmas Market at which the young entrepreneurs sold their wares. The pupils worked with great enthusiasm and teamwork on this project, from which all profits will be donated to the school charities. Many thanks to parents who supported them too. DRAGON CHARITY EVENT Dragon hosted the first House Charity event of the school year. They organised a cake sale and a ‘Splat the Teacher’ competition where the pupils got to throw wet sponges at Roger, Russell and Richard which proved to be very popular! They raised a fantastic total of £337.05 for the UK Ukrainian Appeal (UKUA). Fortified by a superb Christmas lunch, the pupils immersed themselves in a range of festive activities for the afternoon. Pre-Prep had received special gifts from Father Christmas and enjoyed playing a fun game of pin the nose on the reindeer. Years 3-4 enjoyed a carousel of activities, creating tree decorations and competing in the Candy Cane Olympics. Year 5 got creative with customised Christmas crowns and cards before party games and food while Year 6 enjoyed a festive DT workshop, quiz and disco karaoke. Years 7-8 were not to be outdone on the creative front as they ‘dressed a friend as a Christmas tree’, had reindeer races, played a chocolate party game and braved the quad for festive aerobics. What a fabulous way to end the term and start the holidays. CHRISTMAS FUN AT APS

8 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 YEAR 8 AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, OXFORD Starting at White Horse Hill, the pupils walked over seven miles on the first day. After hearty food, a good night’s sleep and a play in the hostel’s beech woodlands, we hiked another six miles to East Ilsley on our second day. We paused to learn more about the places we could see like: Dragon Hill, Devil’s Punchbowl and Segsbury Fort. Each member of Year 4 had chosen a place to research, becoming our ‘class expert’ on the topic and they gave interesting talks at each location. TRIPS Y4 WALK THE RIDGEWAY In September, Year 8 went on their annual trip to the Natural History Museum in Oxford. After a quick lunch and a visit to the Museum Cafe we enjoyed a talk from Sarah, one of the Education Officers, about Evolution and the Diversity of Species. Pupils were given the opportunity to model barnacle behaviour, test for the ability to taste PTC (the bitter chemical in brassicas), and handle the Madagascan ‘hissing’ cockroaches. This was followed by a wander around the museum and the all important time in the Museum Shop. PANTO TIME FOR JUNIOR SECTION A trip to the pantomime is synonymous with Christmas. Years 3 and 4 began the Christmas festivities with a trip to see Cinderella at the Oxford Playhouse. All the panto ingredients were there: the charming prince, a heinous villain, talking mice, water fights, bubbles, sweet throwing and more! We booed, hissed and laughed through the whole performance, and had a thoroughly good time! YEAR 8 DORSET FIELD TRIP In our first residential trip of the term, Year 4 slipped on their walking shoes to explore the Ridgeway with an overnight stay. The pupils demonstrated a super ‘can do’ attitude and super determination along the route. Year 8 spent two days in Dorset as part of their studies on coastal geomorphology. Being able to see up close Durdle Door, Stair Hole and Lulworth Cove on the first day, and Swanage Bay, Old Harry Rocks and Studland Bay on the second, helped them to appreciate real examples of the erosional and depositional features that they have studied in the classroom. A visit to the National Coastwatch lookout at Peveril Point, including an informative talk from Stuart, the chief officer, gave us a valuable insight into local geology, weather and tidal systems, marine activity and the role of this valuable institution. We also enjoyed time on the beach and the attractions of the ever popular seaside town of Swanage.

abingdon.org.uk/prep 9 TRIPS During their studies on the Victorians, Year 5 enjoyed a fun trip to the Black Country Museum in Dudley. The living museum element offered an insightful and interactive experience into life during this era. The pupils enjoyed playing street games, were enlightened about the discipline of the Victorian schoolroom, visited the shops, and learned about the dangers of the coal mine and how animal traps were made. YEAR 5 EXPERIENCE VICTORIAN LIFE Supporting their studies of life in Ancient Rome in Latin, Year 7 travelled to Bath to visit the famous Roman bath houses. First was a session looking at sources and handling artefacts, where the pupils were invited to give their own personal response to the question “Was Aquae Sulis just a normal Roman town?” After lunch, they toured the bath complex, looking at such areas as the apodyterium (changing room) and the caldarium (steam room), culminating in seeing the famous Great Bath and the sacred spring which provides the water for it. YEAR 7 AT AQUAE SULIS YEAR 4 OUT AND ABOUT, AT OXFORD CASTLE Year 4 visited Oxford Castle to conclude their enquiry topic on how crime and punishment has changed through the ages. The pupils took part in a timeline workshop and they got to handle artefacts from different eras. The class were especially intrigued by the story of Mary Blandy, a wealthy woman who had been accused of poisoning her father with arsenic. Their next activity was to put Mary Blandy on trial! They enjoyed taking on the roles of the courtroom and, after heated discussions, found her NOT guilty of her crimes. Afterwards, they had a guided tour of the castle and prison, and climbed right to the top of the castle turret and explored the deep, dark crypt too. All in all, it was a super day out that brought our recent History topic to life. ... AND CHRIST CHURCH, ABINGDON Year 4 visited Christ Church, Abingdon as part of our RE topic on places of worship. In class, we have mainly looked at the traditional Anglican church but visiting Christ Church, previously a working stone barn, helped Year 4 to see that churches do not all look the same. The children were excellent at spotting many of the features we have learned about in class, as well as understanding why Churches hold Communion, Baptisms and Christenings. The children were especially excited to spot the Abingdon School Crest which was donated in the 1960s.

10 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 CHRISTMAS CAROLS MUSIC What a talented and hard-working group of young people our pupils are! In our Platform Concerts throughout the term, Prep pupils can perform as musicians in front of their peers and parents in a safe, inviting and informal environment. These concerts are open to all musicians in the School, whether they have instrumental lessons at APS or not. They bring together pupils of different ages (and stages) in their musical development to inspire and entrance one another with their musical passions. In our third Platform Concert this term a record 17 children performed. All had signed up of their own volition, from across the School. Along with three violinists, we had an array of pianists, singers, and other instrumentalists. Highlights included a solo rendition of “Jana Gana Mana”, the National Anthem of India, sung by Adhiraj, followed by a Stormzy Rap, sung by Toju. A diverse selection of music indeed! We are looking forward, with great anticipation, to our next series in the New Year. PLATFORM CONCERTS The many weeks practising music and carols culminated in December in two events, both of which demonstrated the fantastic music making and singing ability of our community and the aplomb of our pupils to perform in public. Held at School, our Junior Section Carols was thoroughly enjoyable and was followed by our service for Years 5 to 8, held in St Helen’s Church, Abingdon. Beginning with a beautiful unaccompanied solo from Arun, there followed an array of confident playing, readings and singing from the pupils. These included a Chopin Mazurka by Xav on piano; a trombone duet by Arthur and Monty of ‘Walking in the Air’; and ‘Gaudete’, a Latin language piece performed acapella by Years 7 and 8. The traditional congregational carols sung by all were augmented by soaring descants and harmonies from the Senior Choir. Thank you to all those who helped to make these events such a success. RADLEY ORCHESTRAL DAY 17 APS Instrumentalists joined pupils from other schools for a day of making music, coming together in full orchestra with a concert to parents at the end.

abingdon.org.uk/prep 11 ART Our Senior Art students collaborated to decorate a beautiful oak-themed bird lantern to be part of Waddesdon Manor’s Winter Woodland. It’s now on display there on Miss Alice’s Drive alongside work from many schools. WADDESDON LIGHTS Christmas comes early in the Art room with a flurry of festive activity in September. Every child in the school was busy creating a Christmas-inspired image to be printed into their very own range of winter cards. The year 8s used traditional quills and inks to illustrate their whimsical elves in a variety of compositions, and the end results were fantastic. We are looking forward to seeing them printed! CHRISTMAS IN SEPTEMBER In what is becoming an annual visit to APS, Year 5 met Toby the spaniel last week for some doggy life drawing. We learned about the artist David Hockney, and explored how he recorded his two sausage dogs through large observational paintings. Year 5 set to creating their own LIFE DRAWING WITH TOBY THE SPANIEL YOUNG LEADERS IN ART Our fantastic Year 8 young leaders; Lee, Oskar, James and George supported our younger pupils through our lunchtime Art clubs. Voluntarily coming along to advise, demonstrate, help cut out, and chat with our younger artists. Whether helping to draw corgis with Year 3, or crafting pumpkins in clay with Year 5, the leaders are an invaluable asset to the clubs. life drawings of Toby, who sat very well, and even slept, whilst the children looked at the shapes, textures and shading. Toby very much enjoyed his time in the Art department, and he thought all of the pictures were fantastic. Well done Year 5! SATURDAY SKATEBOARD WORKSHOP In October, ten Year 7 and 8 artists spent the day designing, painting, spray painting and screen printing their very own skateboard decks. Their inspirations were very varied: from book illustrations, wolves and snakes to Pop Art explosions and even Bart Simpson made an appearance! Using stencils, hand drawing, and spray painted typography some fantastic street art was made with fantastic end results. CREATIVE ARTS CLUB In November, the pupils led by Claire, completed their sculpture project inspired by the work of Claes Oldenburg. The paper mache ‘dropped ice cream cones’ looked very realistic with dripping sauces and sprinkles. Year 4 explored ‘Colour and Pattern’, whilst also thinking about protected characteristics. Yinka Shonibare is an artist of British Nigerian decent, who enjoys creating patterns of cultural fluidity. He makes extraordinary artwork despite his physical disability, paralysis, and being wheelchair bound. The pupils really enjoyed creating their own Kente patterns and discussing such an interesting artist. YEAR 4 KENTE PATTERNS

12 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 DESIGN TECHNOLOGY Year 3 Year 4 Dragonfly Doodles THE TERM IN DT Year 8 Year 6 Year 4 Year 7 Year 7 • Year 3 has made moving monsters focusing on pneumatics. They have also been using their woodwork skills and created pen pots. They are currently making mini chalk boards which are almost done! • Year 4 has made working model lighthouses. They made their own circuits, learning how to connect components and strip wire. They also created nets to construct periscopes, also linking DT with Science, looking at how light travels. Students are currently working on a textiles project making Christmas cushions. • Year 5 has made moving toys using cam mechanisms, utilising their woodwork and joining skills. They also worked on a jigsaw project where they have transferred images onto wood and laser cut the jigsaw pieces. • Year 6 has made steady hand games working on electronics and creating a functioning product. After this, students have been working with wood, creating model planes. • Year 7 has been designing and making timepieces using the laser cutter. They worked with acrylic and vinyl and added a working clock mechanism. Students have also been introduced to the work of Robert Sabuda and created pop-up cards. • Year 8 has made LED mood lights, learning how to laser cut acrylic and wood. They have also been working on some technical drawing skills, focusing on drawing in one and two point perspective and creating a bedroom design. Year 4 Year 5

abingdon.org.uk/prep 13 PRE-PREP YEAR 1 WENT TO Year 1 and Year 2 now have their Science lessons in our new STEM lab. Year 1 learned about the body, labelling arms, legs and many more parts, and then explored the senses. Year 2 looked at food groups and what we should eat. PRE-PREP SCIENCE RECEPTION’S FIRST DAYS AT SCHOOL Our newest and youngest members of Pre-Prep in Reception got stuck straight into school life from the moment they arrived. Dressing up, building, sticking, drawing and playing, both in the classroom and the outside Early Years Play Area. Year 1 had a fantastic day, taking part in team building challenges including operating land skis and crossing a ‘lava pool’ with planks, crates and tyres. After lunch and time to explore the woods, they learned how to use a flint and steel to light our own mini fires, ending the day toasting marshmallows to make delicious, sticky smores and singing some funny campfire songs. SMILE PLEASE! Rupal, our friendly dentist, came to Reception to share how to keep our smile healthy and sparkling. The children learned all about healthy foods, snacks and how to clean every curve around their teeth. They also found out what happens if you don’t look after them! The children will try very hard to keep them sparkling and clean. Thank you to Rupal! Reception learned about how to keep their bodies healthy and safe. GP, Doctor Selina came in to tell us about her job and how she looks after people, and showed the contents of her doctor’s bag. Doctor Selina also opened the ‘Abingdon Prep Minor Injuries Unit’ and the children learned about admissions, x-rays, bandaging skills and taking care of poorly bears! TEDDY BEAR HOSPITAL

14 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 PRE-PREP We had the perfect weather for our annual bike day for Reception and Year 1 children. After the safety talks and cycle helmet checks we were off! We honed our control skills by navigating a course of cones which required focus, agility and balance! Pre-Prep families leapt into action to make scarecrows for our October Scarecrow Festival. The ‘Gardening for Good’ team judged them according to their creativity, sustainability and how fit for purpose they SCARECROW FESTIVAL were! Families toured the scarecrows in the new quad, before being treated to a collection of autumnal songs and presentations from the pupils. Reception had their first trip out of school, visiting Cogges Farm, where the children discovered the story of The Little Red Hen. They made little pots, planted corn seed, threshed the corn, ground it into flour and then made bread in the old Victorian kitchen, all while learning about how important collaboration and helping others can be! After lunch we explored the farm, meeting the animals. finishing up on the exciting adventure playground. No wonder nearly all of us were asleep on the way home! COGGES FARM TRIP FIRE SERVICE VISIT Pre-Prep had an exciting morning when Abingdon Fire Service came to visit. Not only did they get to see inside the fire engine but they learned about ways in which they can stay safe. Reception pupils enjoyed learning about all the equipment on board, whilst Year 2 made a safety plan and explored the safety clothing. The visit ended with the fire crew being called away to a real emergency, leaving with blue lights flashing and sirens blaring! Year Two had a wonderful visit to Combe Mill, where they enjoyed learning about the Mill's historic importance and the surrounding area. The day started by listening to the story 'The Wheel that Jack Built' and thinking about water power and changing materials. The children then explored the Mill and the highlight for many was seeing the blacksmiths at work! After lunch, the boys made their very own bird feeders using crack willow and weaving techniques. They completed a pumpkin trail and went for a nature walk. It was a wonderful day enjoyed by all! YEAR 2 AT COMBE MILL

abingdon.org.uk/prep 15 PRE-PREP The Pre-Prep nativity play never disappoints. The children presented their dress rehearsal of ‘A King is Born’ to an appreciative pupil audience before the main event of performing for their parents and the wider school community the day after. The children put in a stellar performance singing their hearts out in all the songs with actions, adopting the traditional roles including sheep, star, shepherds, Kings, Mary and Joseph and, of course, the donkey, with great aplomb (and were divinely sweet to boot!). A KING IS BORN In October, our Pre-Prep classes learned about the meaning of the Hindu and Sikh Festival of Lights as we celebrated Diwali. Special visitor, Rupal, came into School to share the experiences of her own family with the children. The pupils made their own Diva lamps, adorned traditional dress and tasted a variety of festival foods. They also learned to sing ‘Head, shoulders, knees and toes’ in Punjabi and how to wish people a ‘Happy New Year’! DIWALI - HOW LONG IS A SARI? Pre-Prep were rewarded for their hard work and fabulous performance in the Nativity by a visit to Roves Farm. A whole selection of Christmas activities awaited the children, from crafting and preparing reindeer food (biodegradable) to gently handling guinea pigs and rabbits, feeding goats and exploring exciting new play areas. Obviously, the best part of the day was exploring the magical tunnels that took us to Santa! Luckily the children had all been very good and so could enter the Elves’ workshop to choose a gift! A big thank you to the JPA for their kind donation towards the cost of paying for the entrance fees! A VISIT TO SANTA AT ROVES FARM CHRISTMAS STORYTIME IN THE LIBRARY

16 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 SPORT MEET OUR NEW DIRECTOR OF SPORT, ELLIOT BIRKBECK Meet Elliot Birkbeck - New Director of Sport at Abingdon Prep School - a job which couldn’t be better suited to this diverse and dedicated sportsman. For in his time, Elliot has played a variety of different sports to a highly competitive level. At School, he played in the 1st team for hockey and cricket and captained the 1st XV rugby side. Thereafter, he represented Northamptonshire in hockey; represented Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire and then the South of England in rugby; and he won a rugby scholarship to The University of Leeds (where he did a degree in Sports and Exercise Science). When he graduated, he took up Triathlon, representing the Great Britain in his Age Group team, seeing success in both the European and World championships. And his love for sport is almost equal to his love of teaching. Elliot may be a new face to Abingdon Prep but his is not a new face to the Abingdon Foundation. He joined Abingdon in 2014 as a graduate trainee. During his time here, he has done his PGCE, been a PE teacher, Boarding Tutor, become Teacher in Charge of Cross Country and, most recently, has been Head of Cross Country and Head of Athletics. As he moves on to take up the mantle of Director of Sport at Abingdon Prep, he jokes: “My career is better than being a professional athlete. I get to take pupils to competitions, see their progress and share in their successes and losses, without having to deal with the sore muscles afterwards! It is so rewarding to give young people the opportunity to try new disciplines and develop a love for sport. I’m so grateful for the support and career progression I’ve been given at Abingdon and now can’t wait to start my new role at the Prep School where I believe my expertise will lend itself to directing an overall sports programme.” Asked what he is most looking forward to about his new role, Elliot says: “I really love the energy and enthusiasm that you get with younger children and I think watching their progress as they grow and develop their skill set is going to be enormously rewarding.” Elliot’s excitement in anticipation of his new role is nothing compared to that of Headmaster, Craig, who adds: “Not only is Elliot a fine sportsperson with fantastic credentials but he is also someone who understands the requirement for all children to participate, and have fun, in sport - an ethos which is at the very core of the Abingdon Foundation. “Elliot’s knowledge of our Senior School and his strong relationships with the staff will also help to serve Abingdon Prep School for our continued and closer collaboration in the year’s ahead.” Elliot Birkbeck starts as Director of Sport at Abingdon Prep School in January 2023.

abingdon.org.uk/prep 17 SPORT It has been an excellent term for APS in Sport. RUGBY: Given that rugby is the core sport this term, it would only be right to open with the success of the U13 team at our own APS Sevens event. They won all their games on the day, an impressive achievement given the quality of the opposition. Touch rugby was a major feature of our season, partly due to the hard ground at the start of term, but also to the increasing number of pupils committing to play touch as a preferred choice. The U12Cs deserve a special mention as the only rugby team in the school to remain unbeaten for the entire season, a fantastic and well deserved achievement for Year 7 pupils. There were notable successes for all the teams from Year 3 to Year 6, with a particular highlight being the afternoon in November against The Manor School, when all the Year 3 and 4 teams were successful. FOOTBALL: Although autumn is not normally associated with football at APS, two of our biggest sporting achievements have been on the football field. When we pitched our U13 and U11 teams into an IAPS Tournament it was largely as an experiment, although privately we felt we had two teams of great potential. Their subsequent success exceeded IAPS FOOTBALL FINALS Jamie in Year 7 (below) won his first novice pony race at Wolverhampton over the holidays. It is great to see his passion for horses and racing shining through. Toby in Year 6 (right) is now Oxfordshire and South Regional Squash Champion, being nationally ranked no.16 (U11s). SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS OUTSIDE SCHOOL AUTUMN SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS all expectation on the first outing, as both teams attending the regional competitions qualified for the National Competitions. This achievement is particularly special as we are one of the few schools there that were actually in a rugby term rather than a football one, so it is a huge credit to the pupils that they did so well. OTHER SPORTS: We competed well at two swimming galas at St. Hugh’s and The Dragon, winning a number of individual and relay events across all the year groups represented. We also performed brilliantly at the St. Hugh’s Regional Cross Country meeting with our U11s achieving a 2nd and a 3rd place and our U10 and U9 team gaining a 3rd place in their relay event, a superb effort given that we had one of the smallest teams there. We also had three pupils achieve qualification for the National Biathlon Championships next year, another outstanding highlight of the term. Richard Sutton comments, ‘As a relative newcomer to the school, I was genuinely impressed by the sporting achievements of all APS pupils in what has been a hugely successful year. As acting Directors of Sport (until Elliot arrives in January), Hannah and I would like to thank the tireless efforts of all the sports staff in making all this possible. I think 2023 promises to be a really exciting year!’ U8-9 Touch Rugby September v Pinewood

18 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 ABINGDON NEWS At Abingdon, part of our strategic vision is investing in modern, flexible and ‘fit for purpose’ facilities which will help our students succeed academically and support them pastorally in the modern world. This is part of an investment story which has, in recent history, seen the construction of our Sports, Science, Business and Economics and 6th Form Centres. Just as investment in these projects has benefited our current student body; investment in projects today will benefit current and future generations. This is the reason we are so excited about our boarding house and dining INVESTING IN THE FUTURE pavilion projects which are well underway and taking shape. Once complete in September 2023, these initiatives promise to significantly enhance the Abingdon experience for our whole school and wider community for years to come. As sustainability is so central to so much of what we do at Abingdon, we are also mindful of the environment and are making sure that these projects incorporate a full range of sustainability features such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. You can find out more by visiting abingdon. org.uk/about/building-the-future/ The thirteen new films shown at the 19th annual Film Unit screening took the number of films produced by members of the AFU to over 200. As always, the students’ films covered a remarkable range of subjects. The audience spent time with an American Air Force drone 19th Annual Film Unit Screening pilot, an Italian photographer, an Oxfordshire artist, a wildlife volunteer and a community group running a cycle training facility for young people. They were transported to the Isle of Mull; discovered what some boarders really get up to while away from their families!; heard what it’s like to work with a distinguished orchestral conductor; learned why film photography is making an unexpected comeback amongst young people, and even taken to a trio of fictional destinations to amuse, unsettle, inform, or in one case, positively spook us! Afterwards, Mr Taylor congratulated the filmmakers on their tremendous achievements, and awarded The Spirit of Grigsby and The Young Filmmaker of the Year Awards to Alex Heffernan and Theo Shorrocks respectively. ACCLAIMED POET VISITS FOR NATIONAL POETRY DAY As part of our National Poetry Day celebrations on 6 October, our Literary Society, together with that of St Helen and St Katharine, were treated to a reading of Flèche, a Costa Poetry Prize winning debut collection by acclaimed poet Mary Jean Chan. After the reading, the poet held a Q&A session, covering topics such as their Hong Kong heritage, their writing process as well as advice for budding poets. It was a wonderful event to get our National Poetry Day celebrations underway.

abingdon.org.uk/prep 19 ABINGDON NEWS Just before the start of the Michaelmas term, our 2021/22 U15 cricketers were crowned the National T20 champions. The team won in the last 16 against King Edwards Southampton on the last day of the summer term, and subsequently beat Millfield School in the quarter final stages, before an incredible finals day on 4 September. A magnificent semi-final display against current 40 over champions, The Forest School, resulted in a match up against Cheadle Hulme School in the final. Restricting their opponents to 126 in 20 overs, Abingdon won the contest for the loss of just 2 wickets to win the competition - a very special achievement for all of the players involved throughout the campaign. T20 CHAMPIONS PUTTING THE FUN INTO PHYSICS At the beginning of half-term, 42 Middle School Physics pupils enjoyed a trip to Munich. Activities included a walking tour of the city; a quiz whilst visiting the exhibits of the European Southern Observatory and a planetarium show; the opportunity to do one of three workshops in either Maths, Astrophysics or Quantum Optics at the Technical University of Munich; a talk from a researcher and a tour of the telescopes at the Munich Public Observatory; a robotics workshop at the Deutsche Museum; a visit to the BMW museum and, finally, the opportunity to savour the panoramic views across the city from the viewing platform of the Olympic Tower. It was a truly amazing trip. CCF ADVENTURE TRAINING In October, CCF cadets went Adventure Training in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. From Tyrolean crossing and abseiling, to the more arduous, yet fun, caving and canyoning, they learned some impressive and important skills in a spectacular setting, even managing a hike up Ingleborough (one of the Three Peaks). There was time for recreation too, with a trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, crazy golf, curling and a visit to the cinema. In November, we welcomed back the internationally distinguished violin recitalist and teacher, Sebastian Mueller, to work with six of our promising young violinists. It was wonderful to see our pupils respond with such immediacy and intelligence to Mr Mueller’s fine and intuitive teaching - which included clearly explained exercises, peppered with highly amusing and illuminating anecdotes. At the end of the masterclass, Mr Mueller gave a short recital, sharing his amazing musicality and virtuosity in Beethoven’s Spring Sonata and Dvorak’s Romantic Pieces. Well done to all the students who were involved and our thanks to Mr Mueller; his accompanist, Lynette Stulting; and our parental Music Society, whose support enables events such as these to take place. VIOLIN MASTERCLASS AND RECITAL WITH SEBASTIAN MUELLER

20 Abingdon Prep • January 2023 AbingdonPrep News is the newsletter of Abingdon Preparatory School, Josca’s House, Kingston Road, Oxford OX13 5NX Tel: 01865 391570 www.abingdon.org.uk/prep Editor: Annabel Gaskell Abingdon School is a company limited by guarantee Registered in England and Wales Company No. 3625063. Registered Office: Abingdon School, Park Road, Abingdon, OX14 1DE Registered Charity No. 1071298 CHARITIES & JPA JPA NEWS Joscas Parents Association Chair, Sally reports: It’s been a busy year for the core JPA team of Nicky, Nigel, Yuvani, Cathy and Rob. In the Autumn, we ran Firestorm, and Nicky worked wonders on Gifts for Grown Ups. The JPA is hugely reliant on our amazing Class Representatives, and I am sure you will join me in thanking them all for what they do for our year groups, and us as parents, they truly are a source of wonder and a go to for information. I would like to formally thank Phoebe in particular, for all her work on SHUS (second hand uniform sales) over the last few years. You’ll have noticed we have been slowly taking over the old Drama studio as a parents hub and we can’t wait to show you in what we have been up to! A reminder that Classlist is our method of communicating. Please do join, ask your Class Rep to add you on, as it makes everything easy for us to run events and more! We have much planned for 2023, but we are also starting to look for parents to join the core team to shadow the Exec, whose boys mostly leave at the end of the 2023-24 school year. If you’re interested please do contact us: [email protected] DATES FOR 2023 SHUS Sale - Friday 6 Jan from 9-12 (in the new Parents Hub!) Big School Quiz - Wed 8 February Scalextric Night - Fri 3 March New Year Raffle in January, details to be launched soon This term, your support has paid for gifts for Pre-Prep, the pantomime trip, farm visit, gingerbread men, and more! A huge thank you to everyone. This term we held several very successful fundraising activities. First was Pre-Prep’s Scarecrow Festival, the children generously donated food to The Oxford Food Hub, one of our main charities this year. More recently we saw the return of our popular silver coin fundraiser. Pupils scoured their homes to find silver coins donate through the decoration of two giant banners, one for each of the two charities we were fundraising for. The first was The Oxford Food Hub which featured outlines of different foods and the charity name; the second was Soundabout which featured a giant music stave a dnd notes. Each class came to decorate the giant banners with their silver coins. Huge thanks to all those who contributed to this fun way of fundraising. After a lot of coin counting, the total amount raised was £557.50. CHARITIES NEWS GIFTS FOR GROWN UPS Wearing Christmas jumpers, pupils enjoyed their visit to the Gifts for GrownUps stalls organised by our chief elf Nicky and her team of parent personal shoppers, who were on hand to advise on the perfect present for a discerning relative or other special adult. We offer our thanks to all the JPA elves who worked so hard over the year to make the event such a magical occasion. In the run up to Christmas, our Year 7 Tycoons organised their own mini Christmas Market. The event, held in the school hall was hugely successful. Our teams of entrepreneurs sold with great enthusiasm and together returned a profit of over £350.