The Abbey School is an independent day school in Reading, Berkshire, providing an outstanding education for academically able girls aged from 3-18 years. A supportive pastoral environment and unparalleled extra-curricular opportunities ensure that girls are equipped to lead fulfilling and happy lives.
About the school
The Abbey School is a welcoming and vibrant community of 1100 girls aged from 3-18 years. The school provides an exceptional academic environment combined with a strong focus on pastoral care and an outstanding extra-curricular programme that equips girls to lead successful, fulfilled and happy lives. Always among the top-ranked schools nationally, Abbey students achieve excellent results at A level, International Baccalaureate and GCSE. Academic success is complemented by an exceptional range of extra-curricular opportunities enabling girls to develop confidence, independence and leadership skills. The school is a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award operating authority, with many girls achieving their Silver and Gold awards each year. A range of scholarships and financial assistance is offered to able girls through means-tested bursaries which may cover up to 100% of fees for exceptional candidates. The Abbey Junior School is a lively and friendly community, where girls are encouraged to develop their intellectual curiosity and explore beyond the curriculum. The many extra-curricular clubs range from dance and drama to Chinese, chess and archaeology, and a wide variety of trips and expeditions build independence and a sense of adventure. The Abbey Gardens, opened in 2013, offers an ideal learning environment for girls aged 4-6 years. The Abbey Nursery School’s fully qualified nursery teachers inspire a lifelong love of learning, developing girls’ confidence and creativity in a warm and caring setting. We would be delighted to welcome you to one of our forthcoming open days. Please visit www.theabbey.co.uk for further information.
Pupils at The Abbey Junior School welcomed a lively new classmate on Monday 22 February as Dobby the robot and his friends from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Imperial College, London, visited to teach them about robotic engineering.
3rd March 2016 — Pupils at The Abbey Junior School welcomed a lively new classmate on Monday 22 February as Dobby the robot and his friends from the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Imperial College, London, visited to teach them about robotic engineering.
Year 3 girls have been studying all aspects of robots and were keen to demonstrate their knowledge to Dr Patrick Naylor, who led the sessions. The girls discussed different kinds of robots and their current and future uses, as well as ethical questions such as whether robots were inherently “good” or “bad” and whether they can think independently. Dr Patrick explained how Dobby hears using auditory sensors and sees who is speaking using facial recognition technology. The girls were fascinated with the way Dobby turned his head to look at whomever was speaking and enjoyed provoking a sensory response by tickling him.
Dobby was happy to answer many of the girls’ questions about his likes and dislikes, and even demonstrated his love of music by playing air guitar! He ended by leading the girls in a Tai Chi session, which demonstrated his fantastic range of movement and balance.
Year 6 pupils also had the chance to meet Dobby, and to quiz Dr Naylor and his colleagues Dr Christine Evers and Dr Alistair Moore about how to become involved in robotic engineering. They were interested to learn that as well as involving subjects such as physics, engineering and chemistry, robotics also encompasses the disciplines of psychology and art and design. There were many budding robot designers in the room by the end of the day.
Head of Junior Science Ms Linda Wild commented: “Meeting Dobby prompted some fascinating questions and comments that will continue to stimulate interest beyond the day itself. In year 3, girls are forming their understanding of what scientifically we mean by being alive and Dobby certainly gave us some food for thought. For the older girls, I suspect that many are now drawn to a career in some aspect of robotics and I wonder if Imperial may well be welcoming some of our very able mathematicians and physicists in the years ahead.”
Eleanor Ruffle, Year 12 student at The Abbey School, Reading, enjoyed a successful competition at the European Aerobic Gymnastics Championships held in Elvas, Portugal. A new personal best score for her individual routine at an international event saw her place tenth in a highly competitive field of 34 top gymnasts from 18 European nations. Her score of 19.20 in qualifiers was a new top score for a GB junior aerobic gymnast and just 0.025 off a place in the final 8.
24th November 2015 — Eleanor Ruffle, Year 12 student at The Abbey School, Reading, enjoyed a successful competition at the European Aerobic Gymnastics Championships held in Elvas, Portugal. A new personal best score for her individual routine at an international event saw her place tenth in a highly competitive field of 34 top gymnasts from 18 European nations. Her score of 19.20 in qualifiers was a new top score for a GB junior aerobic gymnast and just 0.025 off a place in the final 8.
In the group competition, Eleanor’s group also performed very well and achieved 8th place in another tough category with a large number of teams.
Commenting on Eleanor’s achievement Head of The Abbey, Rachel Dent, said: “Eleanor continues to go from strength to strength and we are delighted to congratulate her on this achievement in representing her country at this high level. She is an enormously positive and valued member of our school community, helping to coach our gym squads and balancing her sporting commitment with outstanding academic focus.”
Former Abbey School pupil Tessa Baker is recognised as “a true 21st century pioneer” as she wins "Women of the Future" Award and sets out to challenge Einstein's Theory of Gravity, General Relativity.
17th November 2015 — Scientist recognised as “a true 21st century pioneer” as she challenges Einstein’s Theory of Gravity
The Abbey School is delighted to congratulate alumna Tessa Baker on being awarded a ‘Women of the Future’ (WOF) Award in recognition of her pioneering work in the field of cosmology. The Women of the Future Awards recognise and nurture young female talent in the UK and are now in their tenth year.
In making the award, the judging panel described Tessa as “a true star in the field of cosmology and ... a veritable 21st century pioneer, constructively challenging the foundations of modern science and her field of research.” They concluded by applauding Tessa as “a true inspiration for all.”
Head of The Abbey Rachel Dent said: “Tessa’s career since leaving The Abbey has been, if you’ll excuse the pun, stratospheric. She is pushing hard at the boundaries of what is known about our universe and we are so proud that her journey began here at The Abbey. There is something special about a curious mind that won’t accept “we don’t know” as an answer and Tessa is the embodiment of that urge for discovery. From being a founder member of The Abbey’s rocket club we wish her every success as she challenges Einstein’s Theory of Gravity, General Relativity as a Fulbright Scholar in the US.”
Tessa’s Sixth Form Physics teacher Marlene Robinson remembers that enquiring mind well: “We were discussing the Big Bang Theory when Tessa asked me where the Big Bang actually began? I had to say I didn’t know, but I saw then that she had a true interest in the workings of the universe and I’m delighted that she is succeeding in expanding what we know.”
Tessa left The Abbey School in 2005 and went on to study physics at Oxford University, specialising in theoretical physics and astrophysics; she then stayed on at Oxford to study for a PhD in theoretical cosmology. Her thesis work focussed on the construction of mathematical tools that link non-standard gravity theories, hypothesised to explain the accelerating expansion rate of the universe, to cosmological observations. Towards the end of her PhD Tessa secured a post-doctoral research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, as well as winning the SET for Britain Cavendish medal for communication of science. She is a member of the theoretical physics group behind a planned European space satellite called Euclid, due to launch in 2020. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Tessa will be exploring how gravitational waves and voids in the large-scale structure of the universe can be used to test for modifications of Einstein’s theory of gravity, General Relativity.
Notes to editors
Women of the Future
The Women of the Future (“WOF”) programme is a portfolio of events and projects that support and celebrate the successes of women through the WOF Awards, WOF Summit, WOF Ambassadors Programme and WOF Network. WOF was founded in 2006by Pinky Lilani CBEDL andCherie Blair CBE is Awards patron.
WOF is a movement focused on kindness and collaboration in the workplace, galvanising a community of influential women to work together as a new generation of talent across business, media, culture and public service.
Sponsors for the 2015 Women of the Future Awards are Aviva(headline sponsors), Asda, Ceridian, Coca-Cola, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, KPMG, London Stock Exchange Group, Mishcon de Reya, RICS, Sodexo, Shell, Thomson Reuters, Unilever, and Visa Europe. Media partners are CNBC and Financial Times, and the educational partner is London Business School.