Abingdon is a day and boarding school in Oxfordshire founded in 1256. 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 because of its location and increasingly sparkly achievements', while The Times described it as 'an elite boys’ boarding school'. This is protection against premature specialization, and provides them with a broad basis of knowledge and skills. The large sixth form permits a wide choice of different subjects at AS and A level, and many boys read a combination of arts and science subjects.
Abingdon is known for its extracurricular activities, called the "Other Half" (of the syllabus). In recent years the school has reached the later stages of the Daily Mail U18 rugby cup whilst also gaining places in the last four of the HMC national 20/20 cricket competition. Sport is compulsory and each student must do at least two sessions per week. The boat club has a long history with documentary evidence indicating rowing was a school activity as early as 1830. Perhaps the most notable school event is the 'Griffin Ball' held at the end of the school year. It is often attended by members of the upper sixth who are leaving the school as well as other students and many parents and teachers. The British actor, comedian and writer David Mitchell is an old boy.
First Year boys are usually aged 11 on 1 September of their year of entry. The offer of a place in the First Year is made on the basis of a candidate's performance in the entrance test, a confidential report from his current school and an interview. Third Year boys are usually aged 13 on 1 September in the year of entry. There are three main methods of entry to the Third Year: Common Entrance, 13 plus examination and Academic scholarship. For sixth form entry there will be an academic assessment and an interview with the Upper Master or a member of senior academic staff as well as at least one subject interview. Candidates whose first language is not English will usually be interviewed by our Head of EFL.