Parents' Handbook 2023-24

Chapel Pastoral Coordination Other Pastoral Support Housemasters and Tutors After Abingdon - Guidance Personal, Social and Health Education Pastoral coordination across House lines is provided by the Middle Master for the Middle School, and the Upper Master for the Upper School. Personal Development Education is coordinated by the Head of Wellbeing. The Housemaster stands “in loco parentis” to the students in their House, while they are on school premises – and they will try to help them outside the school as well, with the cooperation of parents. The Housemaster has overall responsibility for the wellbeing of your child during their time at Abingdon. The Housemasters are assisted by teams of tutors, who look after tutor groups within the houses. The tutor is primarily responsible for getting to know your child and looking after their academic development. At the beginning of the year, the tutor will check that timetables are in order, and, where necessary, will advise on courses and options. The tutor will monitor your child’s academic progress, and will write a general academic summary when school reports are issued. All tutors see their tutees for a brief period every day. Tutor time for each student amounts to at least one hour a week, in which tutor groups discuss topical issues, choices, progress and current affairs. We regard this time as a crucial part of a student’s educational experience at the School. Lower and Middle School year groups attend one service a week. Sixth Formers alternate weekly between Chapel and AltChapel, a secular thought for the day. Details of chapel services for boarders are published in the website calendar. Parents of boarders are warmly encouraged to join their child at chapel services when they come to visit them. Students may be prepared at school for confirmation. If parents have conscientious objections, they may ask for a leave of absence from chapel or religious studies lessons for their child, by requesting this from the Headmaster in writing. It should be noted that chapel seeks to be an ecumenical experience. All members of the Sixth Form have access to an experienced team of staff who specialise in providing guidance on possible next steps after school. The UCAS Office has dedicated staff who advise on UK university applications, degree courses and personal statements, while the Head of Career Guidance provides a comprehensive career programme and advises on overseas university applications, gap years and alternatives to university: The School recognises that education in the fullest sense means that it has a responsibility to convey information and provoke discussion on important ethical issues and matters of personal morality and public duty. All through school, students are made aware, in both a structured and an incidental way, of these and related matters through the contributions of tutors and housemasters. The Head of Wellbeing and team specialist teachers have developed a full programme of education, details of which are available under the pastoral care section of the website and also by writing to the Head requesting them. However, the School does not, and cannot, pretend to offer students all the good advice and information that they require. The efforts of parents are at least as important as those of teachers in this field, and the School wishes to see its function as that of supporting the parental lead in fostering sound values and behaviour. Students may make arrangements to see either the School Chaplain, the Senior Nurse or School Counsellors if they wish. Contact details are on the website and posted around school. 11