GCSE courses at Ashbourne College, London

Guaranteed entry to top London sixth form college for A level

Students who complete the GCSE programme at Ashbourne will automatically gain entry onto our A- level courses. Ashbourne has been one of the top two colleges in London for many years. Our A-level students consistently achieve outstanding exam results, with more than half attaining A*/ A grades and 57% going on to Russell Group universities.

“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

30 years’ experience

Ashbourne has been delivering a GCSE Programme for more than 30 years. Our teachers and staff therefore have detailed and extensive knowledge of what is required to deliver high level teaching as well as an enjoyable and effective student experience.

“Even though a one-year accelerated course may sound quite daunting, a lot of stress is removed thanks to the efficient lesson structure and fantastic support from teachers, staff and classmates.” Kristina, Year 11 Student

Individual attention

Individual attention begins with the small class sizes of rarely more than ten students. This allows teachers to devote more time to assessing each student’s work individually. Students make excellent progress because of the discipline of regular homework and half-termly mock examinations. Each round of mocks is followed by a detailed personal report outlining specific areas for improvement which ensures that all students’ performance is monitored carefully and consistently.

I have found each and every one of my teachers to be approachable, considerate, organised and eager to help at all times, which is exactly what students require when undergoing an intensive academic year.” Nadeen, Year 11 Student

Grown-up environment

Ashbourne embraces a friendly and adult approach to education, often presenting a refreshing change from more traditional schools. We believe this encourages independent thinking, learning and discipline. The great range of subjects offered within the College’s curriculum reflects the wider diversity of Ashbourne’s students and their personalities, interests and ambitions.

“I would recommend Ashbourne unreservedly for any child with the maturity to function well in a less structured, more flexible environment. Equally, for families who seek an inclusive, mutually respectful and more mature environment for their kids.” Sara, Parent of Year 13 Student

Positive behaviour and student happiness

Ashbourne has zero tolerance for poor behaviour which enables students to feel secure and enjoy the focused and informal environment that Ashbourne is able to cultivate. Often students develop a warm affection for Ashbourne and form lifelong friendships. We consider student happiness our most important goal.

“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, Computer Science at University of Leeds

Superb location

Ashbourne is wonderfully situated next to Kensington Palace and Hyde Park, a picturesque and leafy area of Central London. Students have ideal access to a wide range of cultural sites including world-famous museums, libraries, concert halls and art galleries.

One-year programme

Ashbourne’s one-year programme students typically complete a total of nine GCSEs, comprised of core (English Language, English Literature, Maths and Science Double Award) and optional (Art & Design, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, French, History, Music and Spanish) subjects. This sets them up for progression into Ashbourne’s Sixth Form, where they will undertake their A-levels.

Supervision is much closer than at A-level but our GCSE students still enjoy the informal relations between teachers and students, which is what attracts many of our students to us. Most would say that they have never been happier educationally than when studying at Ashbourne.

We welcome students from a diverse range of backgrounds, including British students returning home from boarding school, international students looking to transition to the British system, as well as students who simply want a more tailored and academically focussed education programme.

Our GCSE Programme includes teaching in both PE (Physical Education) and PSHEE (Personal, Social, Health and Economics Education). PE takes place each week at an external sports centre and includes different individual and team sports. PSHEE helps teach students invaluable life skills as well as an understanding of how to keep happy and safe as a teenager in Central London. Students also receive initial support and guidance in the UCAS application system.

Two-year programme

Ashbourne offers a specialised two-year programme, beginning in Year 10, for students who are academically capable of starting GCSEs early. This programme is seen as a four year course, with students completing their A-levels by the end of their fourth year with us.

First year

The students will study the core GCSE subjects (English Language, English Literature, Maths and Science Double Award). Students then sit examinations for these subjects at the end of this first year. Much of the content covered in this first year forms foundational knowledge that will aid students when studying their optional GCSE subjects and subsequent A-levels.

Second year

In the second year, students will complete a maximum of four optional subjects chosen from Art & Design, Computer Science, Drama, Economics, French, History, Music and Spanish.

Students who are performing particularly well will have the opportunity to start either one or two A-level subjects in this academic year. This will provide them with a head start to their studies in the Sixth Form.

Beyond Learning

Honour Roll

The Honour Roll is an Ashbourne tradition that rewards students who demonstrate outstanding achievement and conduct during their studies. The Honour Roll is announced twice a year and includes the names of some exemplary students nominated by Ashbourne staff. Students that gain a place on the Honour Roll will have demonstrated excellent academic performance, work ethic, punctuality and a positive attitude to their schoolwork.

From the small class sizes to the thorough and sharpened teaching styles, I found myself learning more quickly than I ever had previously, and before I knew it my fear of doing my GCSE exams in one year was replaced with excitement to get my grades back in the summer!” Isaiah, Year 12 Student

Extracurricular activities

The College runs a selection of clubs and organises activities that take place throughout the year such as go-karting, laser tag, sushi making classes and even a trip to the House of Commons.

Students will attend a variety of theatre performances including a trip to The Globe Theatre to watch the Shakespeare play they are studying in English Literature. These clubs and events help to make students’ experience at Ashbourne memorable, educational and fun.

Students are also encouraged to take part in the UKMT Intermediate Mathematical Challenge. This national mathematics competition tests students’ logical thinking, reasoning and mathematic fundamentals.

The Ashbourne Revue

Every year students and staff from across the College come together to create and perform in the very popular Ashbourne Revue, showcasing a range of skills and talents including dance, music, theatre, fashion and poetry.

GCSE Boat Party

The GCSE boat party is an end-of-year event to celebrate students’ hard work and efforts following their exams. The party is hosted on board a boat which travels along the River Thames and includes a live DJ. GCSE Academic Awards are presented then.

Creative Arts Event

Each year, Ashbourne hosts a gallery event which displays the work of A-level and GCSE Art students. This includes live music performances and a fashion show.

“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 College?
Choosing to study at Ashbourne was one of my best decisions because I was so well cared for both academically and personally. This was especially true in preparing for my interview at Cambridge, for which I received a lot of help from my Personal Tutor
ThongMedicine at St George's Hospital Medical School (University of London)
Gained responsibility and independence and has a mature approach to their studies
I see Ashbourne as a place which I feel comfortable to express myself and it creates an environment that encourages me to develop as a leader. I am constantly looking for ways to improve. I am determined to continue to develop myself and I know that this is made more attainable with Ashbourne’s fantastic support and encouragement. I am very lucky to find myself at Ashbourne. It is a truly remarkable place to work.
Dennis FulcherHead of Multi-Media and Social Science Faculty