Education at OLA begins at Key Stage 2 which is a natural point in a child’s development for parents to consider the type of junior education needed to prepare your child for Senior School.
By starting at OLA in Year 3 they will not need to make another change of school having an easy and stress-free transition to our Senior School and Sixth Form (OLA 6th) with no entrance examination required.
Research has shown that between the ages of 7 and 8 children develop the attitudes, abilities and relationships that help them to succeed in education and also begin to gain a level of independence in their learning. It is therefore important for your child to be in the right school, receiving the right stimulus to direct this development.
Our success in providing the right stimulus comes from the combination of six factors that deliver the unique OLA learning experience.
1. Small, Friendly School
OLA is a small school of under 400 pupils in total including our Lower and Senior Schools and Sixth Form. This has major benefits.
Our small is beautiful approach with all age groups being taught on the same site in central Abingdon, means Lower School children benefit from access to the trained teaching professionals from our Senior School. This includes:
1. Specialist Science teaching in the Senior School laboratories for our Year 5 and 6 pupils
2. Teaching in the Senior School Design and Technology suite for our Year 4, 5 and 6 pupils
3. Specialist PE staff
4. Specialist French lessons
5. Swimming teaching from specialist swimming instructors in OLA’s 25m indoor pool
Because we are a small community, pupils have greater opportunities to represent the school in a wider range of activities than is possible in schools with larger pupil numbers. These include sport, the performing arts, music and inter-school academic challenges, as well as nationally recognised activities such as the English Speaking Board.
All of these play a valuable role in building pupil self-confidence as children move through the school.
2. Small Classes
We have an excellent teacher to pupil ratio. We pride ourselves on the individual relationship we have with each pupil, which enables teachers to really get to know each child and help them develop and exceed their potential.
Trips and Expeditions
A wide range of trips and residentials are organised for the children. In recent years these have included the Ashmolean Museum, Cadbury’s World, Warwick Castle, Claydon House, Dorchester Abbey and residentials to Woodlands Educational Centre in Wales and Youlbury Scout Activity Centre.
3. Fun and Innovative Learning
OLA staff work hard to create a fun and inspiring learning environment where pupils enjoy learning and make excellent progress. Exciting topics and special subject weeks are regularly used to help nurture this enthusiasm including Maths Week and Book Week. Children’s work from these activities can be seen proudly displayed around the school.
Our current Year 3 have written stories about why they love learning at OLA. You can read the stories on the link below.
4. Highly Praised Pastoral Care
Our pastoral care is highly praised by parents. Each child is known as an individual and OLA’s caring, family atmosphere enables children to flourish, both academically and beyond the classroom. Our children are nurtured to achieve their best and encouraged in every way.
Education is not just about academic results, although these are important, it is about building confidence and self-respect.
We spend time developing every aspect of our children’s characters so that they go on to their chosen Senior School as confident, resilient learners, curious about the world around them and with friendships which can last for decades.
5. Family Community
Our close family community creates a deep sense of belonging and support. This is achieved through:
- A very close working relationship between teaching staff, pupils and parents
- A Buddy Family system for the children
- The weekly term-time parents’ eNewsletter
- A system of parent class representatives who report to the Parent Voice group, resolving issues and providing feedback. OLA encourages an open dialogue between home and school
6. Catholic Christian Ethos
Our Catholic Christian ethos is at the heart of everything we do, welcoming children of all faiths and none. It is reflected in the positive relationships that exist between all members of our school community. The encouragement given to each child to be the best they can be is part of that positivity.
Come and see us in action
We are always pleased to arrange visits for prospective parents and pupils. You may wish to book an individual visit to have a look around, or to come along to one of our Open Mornings.
If you would like to make an appointment to visit our Lower School please contact our Admissions Department:
Telephone: 01235 544808
Address: Our Lady’s Abingdon School, Radley Road, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire OX14 3PS