Abingdon School Guide: Reviews, Rankings And More
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Table of Contents
Summary Of School
- Type of school: Day and Boarding school for boys
- Age range: 4-19
- Pupils: 1309
- Boarders: 13%
- Fees: £45,600
- 2021 A-Level Results: 80.2% A*/A
- 2021 GCSE Results: 91.1% 9/7
Abingdon School has a long history spanning 750 years, and is known as a truly international school— with alumni from 63 countries around the world and a current pupil body from 18 countries.
The school believes in challenging their pupils both mentally and physically through a combination of intellectually challenging lessons and ample sports activities. The belief in constantly improving themselves is not only instilled through school work but also through the teaching staff. Self-reflection and constant improvement have created a strong culture in the school that earned the top grades of ‘Excellent’ at its recent ISI inspection.
The majority of Sixth Form leavers from Abingdon School have ended up in the top Russell Group universities. In 2020, 12 alumni from Abingdon managed to secure positions in Oxbridge while a few others went overseas to study medicine. Other top-tier university destinations among alumni include Durham, Exeter, UCL, Bristol and Birmingham.
The most popular choice of university courses were Social Sciences, Humanity, Physics & Engineering and Biological & Chemical Sciences. However, the choices also expand to History, Classics and Philosophy, which shows the wide range of topics that the Abingdon boys demonstrate an interest in.
Abingdon School Courses / Programs
Abingdon School offers both GCSE and A-Level programmes.
In 2019, students did exceptionally well in A-Level subjects such as Science, Maths, Physics and Chemistry and Economics. Students who took GCSEs performed well in subjects such as Maths, Physics, Biology and Chemistry, as well as non-Science subjects such as Geography and History.
Some who were given the option to take the additional OCR Maths qualification have achieved top marks as well. There is a great variety of core languages to choose from such as French, Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese. Classics such as Latin, Ancient Greek and Ancient History are also available.
Abingdon School Application Deadline
Parents are advised to register their children well in advance of the admission date. Overseas pupils can join as boarders in the Third Year when the pupil is 13 years old or older.
RECOMMENDED REGISTRATION DEADLINE
First Year (11-12 years old)
day students only
End of October of the year before entry
(UK National Curriculum Year 6)
Third Year (13-14 years old)
End of May two years before entry
(UK National Curriculum Year 6)
Fourth Year (14-15 years old)
End of October of the year before entry
(UK National Curriculum Year 9)
Sixth Form (16-17 years old)
End of September of the year before entry
(UK National Curriculum Year 11)
Late candidates may be accepted to the school if there are places still available. Competition can be tough on years with limited spaces so it is best to discuss the application with the admission team prior to registration.
Abingdon School Ranking
In 2020, 86% of Abingdon School pupils achieved 9-7 at I/GCSE; 69% of them achieved A*/A at A level (89 per cent A*/B).
In 2019 (the last year of exams), the result was higher with 88% achieving 9-7 at I/GCSE and 69% receiving A*/A at A-Level (90% received A*/B).
Abingdon School Fees
Here are the fees for the academic year 2021-2022:
Weekly Boarding Fee
Full Boarding Fee
Registration Fee for non-UK residents (non-refundable)
*The Day fee includes lunches.
For details on additional charges, please contact us for more information.
Abingdon School Entry Requirements
All candidates for First Year, Third Year and Fourth Year entry will take exams in Mathematics, English and Verbal Reasoning.
For Sixth Form applicants, there is a minimum requirement of four subject papers in the preferred A-Level subjects along with a Verbal Reasoning paper. A minimum of 6 in all I/GCSEs and a 7 in the subjects to be studied at A-Level (8 or further Maths) are required.
Candidates are required to be competent in English so non-native-English-speaking candidates must take the school’s English grammar tests. There are English as an Additional Language (EAL) lessons available at the parents’ own expense.
The exams can be taken at Abingdon School or the British Council or one of the school’s approved assessment centres.
Once the candidate has passed the entrance exams, they will proceed to an interview via Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts. Some boys taking exams overseas will receive the interview prior to the exams.
Abingdon School Reviews
“The quality of boarding is excellent and parents are highly appreciative of the outcomes for boarders, the provision and care, and the leadership of boarding.”
“It’s great being all together in one house. It’s a proper community.”
“Boarding in the Sixth Form is great academically. You don’t have to spend any time travelling and there is plenty of support available from teachers and other students.”
“There’s a great range of activities to do and a lovely atmosphere.”
“Rowing at Abingdon gave me a huge amount… it’s an honour to be representing the School in the Boat Race. While I will be wearing dark blue, I will have my heart beating pink.”
“We know the school, teachers and overall education, relationships and care at Abingdon are fantastic, the boys are proud and love their school.”
Abingdon School Accommodation
Abingdon School provides three boarding houses: School House, Austin House and Crescent House. Most boarders at Abingdon are full boarders, with some weekly boarders and day boys that only board occasionally.
The boarding houses offer study bedrooms, a kitchen and a games room with a great range of entertainment such as table football, pool and table tennis. There is Sky TV and Wi-Fi in all the boarding houses.
The boys at Abingdon school are served with locally sourced, on-site cooked breakfast, lunch, after-school tea and dinner as well as all-day snacks. The boys occasionally cook over the weekends using the boarding house kitchen too.
Besides their boarding houses’ facilities, boarders can freely access all the school’s facilities from outdoor five-a-side pitches, tennis courts and the sports centre equipped with an 8-lane 25m swimming pool, gym, ergo suite, multi-activity sports hall and studio.
Outside of their studying time, the boys can enjoy over150 activities in the Other Half programme every weekend and at the end of the school day.
During weekdays, the boys typically spend their time at the school’s sports facilities or the school library. There are also activities run by tutors and senior boys in each house such as quizzes, table tennis competitions and cooking.
On Weekends, there are a great variety of sports or other hobby activities for the boys to try from cooking, card games, computing, community service and more. Weekend evenings are filled with organised activities such as socialising with neighbouring schools, trips to famous British sites and cities, movie and quiz nights, Go-karting, paintball and many more.
Abingdon School Student Services and Extracurricular Activities
Each house has a resident housemaster and his family, with at least one resident tutor and a matron. House tutors live nearby and are ready to provide support. There is 24/7 health support, a Health Centre on-site and a team of school counsellors who specialise in counselling adolescents to assist in the pastoral needs of all students.
The school’s famous Other Half programme includes all of the available music, art, DofE, CCF, community service and more than 120 clubs and societies as part of their all-rounded educational environment. Other exciting activities include unique options such as Lego architecture, Ceramics, Entomology, Code-breaking, Debating society and Abingdon Film Unit (AFU). Since its foundation in 2003, the AFU has taken over 120 short films made by secondary school pupils to national and international festivals and awards.
Music, Art and DT are encouraged but are not as popular at A-Level. The music department creates a nurturing environment for all kinds of musical talent – in fact, some of the most famous alumni of Abingdon were all five members of Radiohead who found their roots here. Every boy is encouraged to learn to play an instrument when joining the school unless they are already playing one. There are choirs, bands, orchestras and chamber groups available for both the boys and their parents. There are regular organ and choral scholarships to Oxbridge and music colleges that eager applicants can aim for.
There are annual drama productions at all levels, as well as house drama and joint theatre studies in A-Level with the girls from St Helen and St Katherine schools nearby. Other activities include theatre design workshops, modern foreign language plays and a podcasting club for keen participants.
The school recently refurbished the Amey Theatre to host all concerts, plays and whole school events. There is also a projection screen and surround sound for films, live theatre and opera screenings.
Abingdon School boys are proud of their sporting spirit with over 30 different choices of sports. The boys are required to do at least two sessions of sport a week. There are Saturday training and matches, lots of tours and specialist development camps for them to participate in as well.
The best performing sports in Abingdon School are rugby, rowing and hockey. There is a full fixture list for the school’s teams against their regular opponents of Marlborough, Radley, Bradfield, Wellington and Eton. Some less mainstream sports available include fencing, cross-country, sailing and shooting. Boys who do not like conventional sports can try out karate or canoe polo.
The school has invested heavily in sports with its sports centre that offers a swimming pool, several grass pitches, a climbing wall and other extensive facilities such as athletics tracks and a 4G pitch down the road at Tilsley Park.