GCSE courses at Ashbourne College, London

Ashbourne’s long-running GCSE programmes are designed to help students achieve great results as well as guaranteeing entry into the college’s Sixth Form. Ashbourne’s A level students consistently achieve outstanding results with half attaining A*/A grades and more than 50% going on to Russell Group universities. 

Students on the one-year intensive programme take nine GCSE subjects including the core compulsory subjects Maths, Double Award Science, English Literature and English Language, plus a choice of optional subjects. They also take part in PSHEE (personal, social, health and economic education) and PE (physical education) for two hours each per week.

“My decision to stay at Ashbourne for my A levels after GCSE was an extremely easy one because of the immense individual support that I received from all of my teachers and the strong friendships that I had made at GCSE.” Anna, currently studying English Literature at Cambridge University

Ashbourne also offers a specialised two-year programme for students who are academically capable of starting their GCSEs and A level studies early. Students sit the core GCSE subjects at the end of the first year and complete their optional GCSE subjects in the second year. Students who are performing particularly well are invited to start one or two A level subjects during the second year, providing them with a head start to their studies in the Sixth Form.

Lessons take place between 9am and 4pm, including one hour lunch break from 1pm to 2pm. Each subject receives four hours’ teaching per week. Where there are fewer than three students in a class the teaching time per subject is two hours. GCSE Science Double Award requires eight hours per week.

“If you want a school that is nurturing, that prepares you for life, that respects you, that treats you like you are valuable, then I couldn’t recommend Ashbourne enough.” Hope, currently studying Computer Science at Leeds University

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 include test results from mock examinations set within each subject. There will also be opportunities to meet with members of the teaching staff twice per year, after Autumn and Spring half term break.

Students are invited to the end-of-year GCSE Boat Party to celebrate their hard work and efforts after the exams. This is one of the many extra curricular events, trips and activities the college organises.

“I chose Ashbourne because of its excellent reputation. I can’t stress enough how appropriate the attention has been to my son’s needs, both academically and pastorally. If he has a problem or concern it is dealt with swiftly and with a tremendous amount of understanding and kindness.” Melissa, parent of current GCSE student

Why choose Ashbourne

GCSE student experience

Nadeen is a current GCSE student at Ashbourne. She started the one-year intensive programme in September 2020 after moving back to the UK from Egypt where she was studying. Nadeen reflects on her experiences at Ashbourne so far.

Why Ashbourne?
“It made total sense for me to join Ashbourne not only as my sister is part of the Ashbourne alumni but also because the cultural diversity and accepting nature at Ashbourne is like no other college.”

“My initial reaction to starting a one-year intensive GCSE programme was apprehension about whether I would be fully supported. However, I have not even had to ask for any help as each lesson is perfectly planned and well-structured to ensure we gain the most out of each class and complete the full syllabus on time without feeling rushed.”

Independent learning
“I am incredibly grateful for my teachers’ encouragement of independence within our own learning, which enables us to ask questions frequently and seek help when needed. I could never have imagined the amount of guidance, resources and countless opportunities I would be offered during my GCSE experience at Ashbourne.”

Individual attention
“Ashbourne prioritises every single one of its students. It is refreshing to see GCSE students are paid as much attention and recognised as much as those in the years above. Ashbourne has dedicated an equal amount of time to all students throughout the college in order to maximise the success and personal growth of all pupils.”

Teacher support
“I have found each and every single one of my teachers approachable, considerate, organised and eager to help at all times which is exactly what students require when undergoing an intensive academic year. I believe that there is no better place that can accommodate a student’s needs, whether that be with extra guidance or help through subject clinics, being able to approach teachers at break times, even lunch, or after school where you can organise a one-to-one meeting for assistance or support.”

Personal development
“Ashbourne has presented me with countless opportunities that have only proven to increase my motivation, assert my capability and accentuate my self-confidence.”

Careers advice
“Ashbourne has consistently conveyed their genuine care for our passions and needs as an entire unit through their testing for those who require access arrangements, inviting leading industry professionals to talk about their field and industry and answer any questions on how they achieved their goals and success. This has proven to be extremely beneficial for me as it has highlighted what qualities are required in various industries and what each industry entails, giving us clarity on what it is we wish to pursue later on in life!”

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
All of the Ashbourne teachers are very kind and friendly. Our principle Mike really helped me a lot in my university application. I got many unforgettable experiences at Ashbourne such as UKMT Maths Challenge and UKMT Team Maths Challenge. I want to say thank you to all the teachers and staff who helped me in these two years
YanniElectrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College
She feels well respected as a pupil and gets the assistance she needs to understand the material
I have had a very valuable experience working at Ashbourne. I feel lucky that I got such a great opportunity to deal with different kinds of jobs which include; document preparations, helping at some organised opening evenings or dealing with students’ enquiries. Having a chance to deal with these tasks I feel that I have already gained a lot of valuable improvements in the skills which are needed in a college administrative working environment. The Ashbourne staff are very friendly and helpful. They never hesitated to give me advice on the jobs I was doing and what I should and should not do. I can not thank them enough for such great help and experience during all those times I was working at Ashbourne
Kim Anh TranFormer Part-Time Administrative Assistant