Head's View

8 November 2019

Few of us, I imagine, would wish to be interviewed in front of an audience – even less so if it involved presenting solutions to a complex physics problem or decoding a tricky unseen poem. But the willingness of two student volunteers from University College Oxford to face such a challenge as part of this week’s demonstration interview event enabled Oxbridge candidates from The Abbey and from our local schools and colleges to see first-hand how this guided intellectual stretch works.

What I loved was how, in the many questions asked and in the animated conversations which followed, students of all disciplines were visibly enjoying the ‘puzzle’ of the equation, the ‘riddle’ of the poem – and the chance to inch up on new understanding by trial and error. Far from being a simple test of existing knowledge, joy was to be found in exploring what we didn’t know.

It is this spirit of discovery which is the hallmark of our approach and which is wonderfully evident in our new collection of student research pieces: Abbey Extend brings together a selection of investigations, essays and reports compiled by senior students as part of their IB studies, through the powerful Sixth Form enrichment programme or as part of a CREST award, a nationally recognised scheme for the promotion of STEM in schools. I do hope you will enjoy this new publication.

It is good to have our half-term travellers back with us and we hope they thoroughly enjoyed their trips, either side of the Atlantic (and the Brecon Canal!). See the photo below of our Lower and Upper V students enjoying the sun in Italy.

Wishing you a happy weekend

Jan Cresswell