Basic Information & Location
Abingdon School is located close to the historic city of Oxford, in southeast England. It is one of the best-regarded day and boarding independent schools for boys in the country, one of the twentieth oldest independent British schools, and a leading boys’ boarding school in Oxfordshire. It was established in 1256, and has been educating boys for over 760 years. Set in a beautiful campus yet just over an hour from London and Heathrow Airport and only 15 minutes from the cultural and academic centre of Oxford.
The Good Schools Guide called it “an impressive school which does what it sets out to do well”, also noting that it was “likely to increase in popularity”, while The Times described it as “an elite boys’ boarding school”. According to the 2015 report from Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI), Abingdon was awarded “Excellent” in all nine categories including academic and teaching.
Abingdon offers around 25 subjects at A level including all the sciences, humanities, English, mathematics, modern foreign languages, computer science, art and design, economics, music, and classics. Some of the A level subjects are taught jointly with the girls of St Helen and St Katharine School giving a co-educational feel to the Sixth Form.
Students usually study ten subjects for GCSEs at age 16 and three or four (or occasionally five) subjects at A level, aged 18. In 2020 over 68.3% of A level passes were awarded A* or A grades and 88.4% A* to B grades. The students consistently achieve excellent results and the vast majority progress to leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge where, in the last three years, 50 boys have gone on to continue their studies.
Pastoral Care & Boarding
Full and weekly boarding is available from age 13. The School currently has over 130 boarders in 3 boarding houses meanly Austin House, Crescent House and School House. Boarders are taken care of by Housemasters and matrons and a support network of tutors.
Boarding life at Abingdon is enjoyable and interesting with a full programme of evening and weekend activities. These include cultural and social events such as trips to London and Oxford, and a wide range of activities from bowling, paintballing, punting and social evenings with girls’ schools. There are also “in-house” activities organised within the boarding community which range from barbecues and inter-house sports to film nights.
Extra-curricular & personal development
Abingdon is notable even amongst independent schools for the huge range and diversity of the School’s extra-curricular programme, known as the “Other Half”. Abingdon offers more than 150 clubs and activities for students ranging from science and computing to film making, art clubs, creative writing and debating. There are 31 different sports to try, such as cricket, rugby, badminton, basketball, swimming, table tennis, sailing and fencing. Music ensembles range from orchestra to Big Band and there is plenty of opportunity to try something new or improve existing skills.