School Type:
Abingdon School, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 1DE
OX14 1DE
01235 849041
965, Upper sixth 150
Σ5925 (Day), Σ12,320 (Boarding), Σ10,290 (Weekly)
the Registrar

Founded by 1256 and re-endowed in 1563, it was rebuilt on its present site in 1870. It now occupies a most agreeable estate of some 35 acres of grounds and handsome buildings, a few hundred yards from the centre of Abingdon and six miles from Oxford. Over the past 50 years there has been steady expansion, most recently adding a science centre. Facilities are good and well-maintained, and boarding accommodation comfortable (weekly boarding is a deliberate policy). Dayboys are in the majority but in many ways it feels and operates like a boarding school. Pastoral care is particularly effective. The school is Anglican by tradition. It has the reputation of being a versatile, purposeful and unpretentious school which provides an academic all-round education. A staff:pupil ratio of about 1:10 ensures high academic standards and examination results are excellent. A high proportion of sixth form leavers goes on to Oxbridge each year. Music is particularly strong. A very large number of pupils learn a musical instrument; orchestras and choirs have vigorous support, as do other musical groups. Drama is also strong and it has its own film unit. Facilities for sports and games are first rate and there are national representatives at a variety of sports and numerous county representatives. Numerous clubs and activities exist and an enterprising variety of overseas trips is organised annually. The CCF works in conjunction with community services and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There are close connections with other local schools – including some joint sixth form teaching with St Helen and St Katharine girls’ school – and with the local community and The Mercers’ Company.

School Head:
Headmaster: Michael Windsor, in post from September 2016. Educated Bristol Cathedral School (a chorister) and at Durham University (German with French), Institute of Education (PGCE) and Birkbeck (MA). Previously Headmaster of Reading Blue Coat School, Deputy Head of Royal Grammar (Guildford) and Undermaster at Kings College School. Has also worked in publishing and taught English in Italy; Chairman of the Society of Heads, member of HMC Academic Policy Committee and former Chairman of the South Central division of HMC. Head until September: Felicity Lusk. Teaching staff: 105.
GCSE: 187 pupils in fifth year, gaining at least grade C in an average of 10 subjects (99% including English, maths, a science, a humanity and a modern language). A-levels: 161 in upper sixth, passing an average of 3.3 subjects with a final point score of 413.
Almost all sixth-form leavers go on to a degree course, 10%-20% to Oxbridge. Approximately 40% took courses in science and engineering related subjects.
Music: 50+% of pupils learn a musical instrument; many instrumental exams are taken at a high level. Some 20+ musical groups including 2 orchestras, 5 bands, 2 choirs, choral society, flute, cello, clarinet, brass ensembles, jazz, various chamber groups. Regional finalists in National Chamber Music Competition; pupils play in regional youth orchestra. Regular music tours. Drama: Drama vigorous. GCSE drama and A-level theatre studies may be taken. Regular productions and drama festivals. Art and design: Covers painting and drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, computer graphics and illustration. Pupils regularly accepted to art schools.
Some 20+ sports offered; rugby, hockey, cricket, football plus options including tennis, cross-country, fencing, sailing, shooting. National representatives in rowing, rugby, hockey, fencing, kayaking (various age groups); number of county rugby, hockey, cricket, tennis; rowing 1st VIII in national top five. Bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award; CCF; community service; energetic charity fund raising. Programme of extra-curricular activities (known as The Other Half) includes around 100 activities including chess, debating, film unit, bridge, literary, history, modern languages.
10% have own study bedrooms; 80% share with 1-3 others. Houses of 25-55. Fully catered although if desired pupils can also provide and cook own food. Weekly boarders can stay at weekends. Older boys may visit local town at housemaster’s discretion. Full boarders activities programme.
The Old Abingdonian Club, c/o the school.
Francis Maude MP, Peter Bradley MP; Ben Macintyre (journalist); Tom Kempinski (playwright); Julius Green, Robin Kermode, Tom Hollander, Toby Jones (the theatre); Michael Grigsby (documentary filmmaker); Sir Andrew Foster (Audit Commission); Radiohead (pop group); Tim Parker (Clarks International).