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Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College Sixth form and tutorial colleges

Ashbourne College, based in Kensington in the heart of the capital, is one of the most successful sixth form colleges in London. It recruits equal numbers of British and overseas students, many of whom stay in student residences close to the College. Ashbourne is selective, requiring that all its students should have good English and a serious attitude to education.

Ashbourne is rated as ‘Outstanding ‘ by OFSTED, the government agency that inspects British schools, and enjoys excellent exam results. In Summer 2015, our A Level grades were 47% A*A; 74% A*AB and 92% A*ABC. Our students progress to top British universities, with our most popular destinations including the London School of Economics, Imperial College London, University College London, King’s College London and the University of Manchester. And each year, a couple gain entry to Oxbridge. Many of these students take degrees in Medicine, Engineering, Mathematics, the Sciences, Business and Finance, as well as creative subjects such as Art and Fashion.

Highlighted Courses

1 Year A Level Course

This should appeal to many types of students, for example:
A level retakes in London – these students will have completed A levels but did not get the grades they wanted
AS level students – as above these students will have completed their first year of A level and are unhappy with their results. The course at Ashbourne allows these students to take part in specific classes to revise and improve their AS results whilst at the same time receiving most teaching for the more challenging A2 syllabus.
IB students – may want to change to the more focused approach of A levels and so improve their chances for university. We welcome applications from IB students after their first or second year.
International students – will generally have completed high school in their own country but need to pick up A levels before applying to UK universities.

We are able to complete the A level syllabus in one year because:

Class sizes which never exceed 10 students
Exceptional teaching time which generally extends to almost double the customary provision.
Keeping our class sizes small keeps the opportunities for engagement and communication at a high level. Because they have fewer students to teach, teachers may set and mark more homework. Practice improves performance in every walk of life including preparing for A level exams.

Ashbourne’s unique approach to one year A levels offers two sets of classes running in parallel from the beginning of the course: one for the first year’s work (AS) and one for the second year’s work (A2). Students are timetabled for both of these classes for each subject undertaken, with the more challenging A2 work receiving more teaching time. They can thus finish the course with confidence because the additional teaching time allows for the supervision of work in class including at least 1 mock exam each half-term (6 weeks). Significantly there is always plenty of time for revision at the end of the course.

Each student is assigned to a Personal Tutors with whom they will meet on an individual basis throughout the first term. To make the most confident application to university, requires time, patience and experience especially for demanding courses which require more depth, such as those for Oxford, Cambridge and Medicine.
Interestingly the Personal Tutors often have a vital role to play after the results are released. If a student has narrowly missed their offer the Personal Tutor will take up their case directly with the universities. This intercession can make the telling difference with a Russell Group university.

We are quite selective in offering places to students on our one year A level course and will only offer places to those whose foundations are equal to the challenge a one year A level course presents. Because of this and the many other benefits of studying at Ashbourne mentioned above, including some outstanding teachers, we expect our students to achieve 50% A*/A and 75% A*/A/B on their examinations.

2 Year A Level Course

Individual attention begins in the classroom where you will rarely find more than 10 students. This improves engagement, communication and understanding in a natural way. Nonetheless the simple benefit of this arrangement is that any teacher may set at least twice as much homework as they would with a class size found almost everywhere else. In this sense good education is not rocket science: any student who wishes to do their best must learn to work independently and will excel because of the encouragement provided by regular homework.

The teaching time for each subject significantly exceeds the national average. Students are rarely under pressure to complete the syllabus and consequently almost always have plenty of time for revision at the end of the course.

An important benefit of more time in the classroom is the opportunity to assign and supervise work. Ashbourne is very exam orientated and has the time to formally test its students in class each half term (six weeks). Such tests offer valuable practice for the final exam and the grades achieved on these tests provide important information to students, parents, teachers and administrators.

To deal with university applications, academic and social issues each student has a Personal Tutor with whom they meet once per week, often more in the final year. For parents the Personal Tutor is the go-to person should they have any concerns or urgent matters to discuss.

Our tutors write a report for each student they teach once every half term (six weeks). The reports give an overall assessment as well as detailed consideration of homework quality and quantity, mock exam grades, attendance and effort. The college has an advanced IT system so parents may access many of these details on a daily basis. In each academic year there are two parents’ evenings.

We encourage our students to be independent and self-reliant both academically and personally. At the same time Ashbourne is very hands-on and complements the excellent relations between staff and students with the insistence on high academic standards.

Fifty percent of Ashbourne’s students come from other countries, representing up to 40 different nationalities. Our A level college in London attracts international students because of the wide choice of A level subjects we offer, the opportunity to focus on three or four of the most interesting and the overall quality of education.

The majority of students are at the college for only two years but in that short time develop a deep affection for Ashbourne. For many it is a life-changing experience if only for the friendships formed. Happiness is perhaps our most important product.

18 Months A Level Course (Starting in January)

This programme always commences in January, and involves 17 weeks of teaching for the first year and 31 weeks for the second year. The first year of study covers AS material, whereas the second year of study covers A2 material.

Ashbourne offers A level students a variety of subject choices. For the majority of AS subjects, students receive 8 hours per subject per week (hours will reduce to 6 if less than 3 students are in the group). For the majority of A2 subjects, students receive 6 hours per subject per week (hours will reduce to 4 if fewer than 3 students are in the group). A2 students also receive an additional 2 hours per subject per week to cover AS material, if they require resits for any modules. Note that arrangements are slightly different for students taking Mathematics and Art based subjects.

Group sizes rarely exceed ten. Small classes provide a stimulating interactive environment. Students are able to clarify points by discussion with each other as well as with the teacher. Each student will have a personal tutor. During their AS year the personal tutors’ main responsibility is to monitor academic progress. For their A2 year the main focus shifts towards guiding the student through his or her university application.

AS students will take all of their examinations in the summer session, whereas A2 students will usually take examinations in both the winter and summer session.

1 Year GCSE Course

Ashbourne offers a one-year intensive GCSE programme, providing a wide range of subjects. Ashbourne will expect all GCSE students to take the following five core subjects; Maths, Science, English Literature, English Language and ICT. Students will also have the opportunity to take other subjects. For the September intake, our GCSE students have signed up for the following subjects in addition to the core subjects on offer; Art, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, French, Geography, German, History, Latin and Spanish.

The GCSE programme at Ashbourne is overseen by the Head of GCSE, Rupert Browett. Students should expect to participate in lessons from 9am to 4pm, which includes a one-hour lunch break from 1pm-2pm. As well as formal GCSE lessons, students will also participate in games for 2 hours per week, as well as PSHE for 2 hours per week.

Students will find the atmosphere slightly different to more traditional schools. There will be no need for school uniform and many teachers prefer to be addressed on a first name basis. Despite this less formal atmosphere, Ashbourne’s Middle School is an environment for learning. Poor behaviour or failure to comply with simple rules is simply not tolerated and any students who fail to accept the standards of behaviour and effort will quickly be asked to leave the College. We are therefore able to engender a positive learning environment in which students can grow in confidence and achieve their true potential. The class sizes for formal subjects, never exceed ten, and students should expect to receive four hours per subject per week (except for GCSE Science, 8 hours per week, and for any subject that has less than 3 students, 2 hours per week).

Ashbourne GCSE students are usually from a variety of nationalities. Our September intake consists of the following denominations; British, Italian, Kuwaiti, Nigerian, Bruneian and Vietnamese.

Attendance is strictly monitored and any behavioural issues are communicated on a regular basis to parents. Parents will receive reports from tutors every half term, which will involve test results from mock examinations set within each subject. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with members of the teaching staff, twice per year, after Autumn and Spring half term break.

Our aim for GCSE students, is for all of them to receive 5 A-C grades in order to participate onto our A level programme. Please note that unfortunately, apart from unusual circumstances, Ashbourne does not permit GCSE retakes.

2 Year GCSE Course

GCSEs have always been an important part of Ashbourne A level College London. Students benefit from many aspects of the its educational ethos including:

Small classes
Individual attention
Excellent exam results
Special location

Individual attention begins with the intimacy of classes where there are never more than 10 students. Aside from the excellent opportunity for engagement, the workload for teachers is less and so they may devote more time to assessing each student’s work individually. Students make progress and learn because of the discipline of regular homework and their efforts are rewarded because of the attention the teacher may give to each piece of work.

Each student at the college is assigned to a personal tutor who is the first point of contact should parents have any concerns about their son’s or daughter’s education. For GCSE students this role is taken up by the head or deputy head of GCSE who, in liaising constantly with teachers act as a mentors and motivators.

Attention to the individual is reinforced and supported by reports which are written by each of a student’s teachers twice each term. The college is without apology very exam orientated so the reports will include grades for mock examinations which are set with the same interval.

The college has a stunning location overlooking Kensington Gardens in central London. Its situation offers splendid opportunities to visit such nearby cultural icons as the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum to name but two of the myriad cultural opportunities of the great city of London.

The style found at Ashbourne is much more informal and personable than in most secondary schools; more often than not, teachers and students are on a first name basis. Because of the great range of subjects found within the college’s curriculum, there is great diversity at Ashbourne which is reflected by the equally broad range of personalities, interests and ambitions of its students.

Because of its focus at GCSE and A level, students are most often here for a short period but many develop a warm affection for Ashbourne and often form friendships that will be lifelong. It is rare for a student to leave for whatever reason so, in a sense, student happiness is our most important outcome.

18 Months GCSE Course (Starting in January)

Ashbourne offers an 18 month GCSE programme, providing a wide range of subjects. Ashbourne will expect all GCSE students to take the following five core subjects; Maths, Science, English Literature, English Language and ICT. Students will also have the opportunity to take other subjects. For the January intake, our GCSE students have signed up for the following subjects in addition to the core subjects on offer; Art, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, French, Geography, German, History, Latin and Spanish. Students will take all of their examinations in the summer session at the end of Year 11, there are no exams at the end of Year 10.

The GCSE programme at Ashbourne is overseen by the Head of GCSE, Rupert Browett. Students should expect to participate in lessons from 9am to 4pm, which includes a one-hour lunch break from 1pm-2pm. As well as formal GCSE lessons, students will also participate in games for 2 hours per week, as well as PSHE for 2 hours per week.

Students will find the atmosphere slightly different to more traditional schools. There will be no need for school uniform and many teachers prefer to be addressed on a first name basis. Despite this less formal atmosphere, Ashbourne’s Middle School is an environment for learning. Poor behaviour or failure to comply with simple rules is simply not tolerated and any students who fail to accept the standards of behaviour and effort will quickly be asked to leave the College. We are therefore able to engender a positive learning environment in which students can grow in confidence and achieve their true potential. The class sizes for formal subjects, never exceed ten, and students should expect to receive four hours per subject per week (except for GCSE Science, 8 hours per week, and for any subject that has less than 3 students, 2 hours per week).

Ashbourne GCSE students are usually from a variety of nationalities. Our September intake consists of the following denominations; British, Italian, Kuwaiti, Nigerian, Bruneian and Vietnamese.

Attendance is strictly monitored and any behavioural issues are communicated on a regular basis to parents. Parents will receive reports from tutors every half term, which will involve test results from mock examinations set within each subject. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with members of the teaching staff, twice per year, after Autumn and Spring half term break.

Our aim for GCSE students, is for all of them to receive 5 A-C grades in order to participate onto our A level programme. Please note that unfortunately, apart from unusual circumstances, Ashbourne does not permit GCSE retakes.

Ashbourne Independent Sixth Form College

17 Old Court Place
London
W8 4PL

London