Abingdon School: Reviews, Rankings, Fees, And More

Embark on a journey into the educational realm of Abingdon School, a distinguished institution nestled in the heart of the UK. We invite you to delve into a comprehensive exploration of the school’s reviews, rankings, fees, and more. Discover the essence of Abingdon School as we unveil the facets that make it a notable educational hub in the United Kingdom.

Abingdon School Review

Table of Contents

Key Features of Abingdon School

  • Boarding: Yes
  • Local authority: Oxfordshire
  • Pupils: 1,070; sixth formers: 360
  • Religion: Church of England
  • Fees: Day £23,475; Boarding £39,090 – £47,880 pa
  • Open days: October 2024

Abingdon School Results

In 2023, Abingdon School maintained its commitment to academic excellence, with an impressive 81% achieving grades 9-7 at GCSE. At the A level, the school achieved a commendable 70% A*/A, with a remarkable 90% securing grades A*-B. This reflects the institution’s dedication to nurturing high academic standards.

Comparing these results to the pre-pandemic era of 2019, Abingdon School has consistently demonstrated a commitment to academic success. In that year, 88% achieved grades 9-7 at IGCSE, showcasing a strong academic foundation. The A level results were equally noteworthy, with 69% attaining A*/A and an impressive 90% securing grades A*-B. These consistent achievements highlight the school’s resilience and commitment to maintaining exceptional academic standards over the years.

Boarding Experience in Abingdon School

Abingdon School offers a unique and enriching boarding experience, catering to both full and weekly boarders from the age of 13. With just over 10% of the student body opting for boarding, the school takes pride in its small yet significant boarding community. The head of boarding emphasises this significance, highlighting the attention and focus given to boarding, even with the modest number of boarders.

Saturday activities, compulsory for younger pupils, encompass a range of engaging options, from cooking and robotics to board games. Social interactions are fostered through connections with girls’ schools like Headington, Downe House, and Heathfield, providing a well-rounded experience for boarders.

The boarding accommodations received a significant upgrade in late 2023, providing single rooms for all sixth formers and communal spaces for both boarders and day pupils to study, relax, and socialise. This renovation enhances the overall boarding experience, creating a comfortable and conducive environment for academic and social activities.

Inclusivity is a core value at Abingdon, starting with respect and kindness. The school actively promotes multiculturalism and gender equality, with various equality, diversity, and inclusion groups throughout the school. The school’s approach to behaviour is reasonable and collaborative, treating students as adults where appropriate. 

Extra Curricular Activities

Abingdon School prides itself on offering a diverse array of activities, which encompasses both arts and extracurricular pursuits. The variety is astounding, ranging from traditional pursuits like rugby and football to more unique offerings such as mahjong and mooting.

The school encourages students to explore their interests, with clubs like the entomology club, where students breed moths, showcasing the intriguing range of options. German baking club’s Weihnachtsplätzchen-backwettbewerb (Christmas cookie competition) and activities like Lego Mindstorms, ‘books and biscuits,’ and ‘100 best documentaries’ demonstrate the mind-blowing diversity available to students.

For those with a passion for music, the school offers scholarships, provided academics are maintained. The commitment to the arts also extends to fashion, architecture, digital photography, and drama, with notable productions held at the Amey Theatre, including a recent rendition of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’

In the realm of sports, Abingdon School offers a well-rounded experience. Traditional sports like rugby, football, and cricket are played on-site, with a sports centre boasting facilities like a climbing wall and an eight-lane pool. The school’s long history of rowing is evident, with river access a mile away, and Tilsey Park serves as a venue for hockey, athletics, and third-generation pitch sports.

Admissions Process: Entering Abingdon School

The admissions process at Abingdon School is a carefully curated journey, reflecting the institution’s commitment to academic excellence and a well-rounded education. For Year 7 entry, the school admits 60 students based on their performance in the school’s own exam, references, and interviews. Approximately 1/3 of these students come from state primaries, showcasing the school’s dedication to a diverse student body.

The process for Year 9 entry involves admitting around 120 students, with 1/3 of them being Abingdon Prep boys. Year 7 pre-tests and the school’s own exam are key components of this stage. The school emphasises academic suitability as a fundamental criterion but is equally interested in students who exhibit a genuine enthusiasm for the array of opportunities offered. 

Parents describe the admissions process as rigorous, appreciating the school’s commitment to identifying students who are a good fit for the institution. The school actively discourages excessive tutoring, emphasising that students need not be elite but should possess a genuine eagerness to explore and engage with the rich offerings available.

For entry at the 16+ level, exams and interviews play a pivotal role. The school sets a minimum requirement of 6 GCSEs and expects students to achieve 7s in the subjects chosen for A levels, with an 8 required for further maths. This stringent academic criterion ensures that students joining the sixth form are well-prepared for the challenges of advanced studies. The sixth form primarily sees joiners from overseas or the maintained sector, adding a diverse dimension to the student body. 

SEN Support

Here is a list of special needs that Abingdon School supports:

  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • SEMH – Social, Emotional and Mental Health

Abingdon School Testimonials and Reviews

Hannah Defoe

I believe the sports facilities astro pitches are the best in the area – I’ve been to many to watch sports and they are often over groomed with plastic grass falling out. I was at Tilsley Park at the weekend and they are looking great.

Hylton Moore
Excellent boys day school for both sport and education. They kept the pace going through Covid WFH. The sports hall and other facilities are top notch. Their rowing coach is ex Team GB/Olympians level, say no more.
The 6th Form rugby awards evening showed great spirit and team work ethos too.
Sheila Bury

Fantastic school and they have transformed Tilsley Park into a first class facility.

Frequently Asked Questions about Abingdon School

Notable alumni include: Actors acDavid Mitchell, Tom Hollander, and Toby Jones, the band Radiohead (who formed at the school), businessman Tim Parker, and former-politician Lord Maude of Horsham.

Michael Windsor, Head of Abingdon since September 2016, was born in Bristol. He attended Bristol Cathedral School, where he was a chorister, before going to Durham University where he achieved a First in German with French.

Not particularly hard to get into based on cohort from our prep for 2020 y9 start. A fair few were on wait lists to begin with but I think nearly all those got in eventually. Lots of people hold a boarding and a day place, with Abingdon being the day place and the lists seem to move right up to about May/June.

All students study French and German in the First Year and can opt to continue with either language into the Second Year. In the Third Year, pupils continue with French or German and have the option to add Spanish and/or Mandarin to their language portfolio.

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