Parents' Handbook 2023-24

BYOD Extra Tuition Parents of each student will be invited once in the course of a year to meet the student’s teachers online. These “parents’ evenings” are organised on a year group basis, and interviews are arranged by appointment. Senior staff address parents shortly before these appointments on matters relevant to the year group. Assessment-internal examinations Alongside the on-going monitoring and assessment that naturally takes place during lessons as well as in the report sessions outlined above, all students have one formal internal examinations session during the year quite apart from any public examinations for which they may be entered. For the Fifth Year, this takes place at the beginning of Lent Term (‘mock’ GCSE exams), for the Fourth Year in the first half of the Summer Term and for Years 1 to 3, just after the Summer half term. The Lower Sixth has a set of ‘tests’ in November and in June and the Upper Sixth have a similar set of ‘mocks’ that take place after the Lent half term. On each examination occasion the results are analysed and reported home (often via the next reporting session) and if performance in the exams raises a concern then contact will usually be made aside from the normal report, for example via a letter from the Academic Deputy Head. Monitoring – the Lists system For students in the Third Year and above whose academic progress causes concern during the year, Abingdon has a ‘Lists’ system to look more closely at them for a period of time to help them to put things right. The first level (the Tutor’s List) highlights a student to their Tutor and their teachers, who will keep a closer eye on them and encourage them to address the specific issues that have arisen. Tutors will usually contact parents via email or phone to let them know this is happening. More serious cases are elevated to the Housemaster’s List and then the Middle Master’s (Years 3 to 5) or Upper Master’s (Sixth Form) List, which involves a more formal reporting back from teachers to the Tutor on a regular basis and a letter home. The most serious level of monitoring is the Deputy Head Academic’s List, which will usually involve a letter home and a regular meeting between the student and the Deputy Head to encourage specific improvement in agreed areas. In Lower School, a modified version of the above system is operated, with just two levels of monitoring. At each stage of this process a student's background and specific needs are considered alongside the potential involvement of the Learning Support department. Often students will appear on the Tutor’s List only for a brief period before putting right whatever has led to the concern. It should be emphasised that the system is designed primarily to be supportive, to give students the chance to recognise, articulate and address their problems. At Abingdon we are constantly thinking about how we prepare our students for life beyond school and over recent years it has become even more evident that developing a proficiency for the use of technology in and out of the classroom is an extremely important part of a student’s education. We know that teachers will enhance the teaching and learning of students by utilising the best tools around them and that it is therefore important that we enable teachers and pupils to harness the power of technology for educational purposes. With this in mind, all Abingdon students in the Lower School are provided with a device for their studies and we have adopted a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach for students in the Third Year and above to bring in suitable devices for use in lessons. Extra tuition is normally necessary only in special cases (e.g. where a student starts a subject late). N.B. arrangements for extra tuition require written permission from the Headmaster. Special arrangements apply if a student needs help with English as a second language, payment for which is made separately. 9