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?
Ashbourne has provided me with the platform, the time and the space to grow intellectually. We are encouraged to read widely and since Ashbourne offers extra curricular critical theory, I have found my subjects being independently stimulated and motivated by cross disciplinary links. Aside from academic growth, Ashbourne has offered me a chance to feel a part of something. The opportunity to be the co-editor of Ashbourne Identity, the college’s student magazine, has given me a sense of responsibility, creative freedom and pride toward Ashbourne’s diversity. From Ashbourne’s Christmas Revue to its annual European trip, the college’s nurturing and collaborative atmosphere will remain a highlight of my time at Ashbourne
VictoriaEnglish and Drama at University of Manchester
Treated with kindness and respect whilst being taught to grow as an individual personally and academically
If I had to describe Ashbourne in three words it would be welcoming, intimate, and fun. I have never met such an eclectic group of people who all get on and are integrated with each other so well. It’s a great opportunity to get the grades that you want alongside gaining confidence and maturity
Emily BoothroydFormer Administrative and Behavioural Assistant and PA to the Director of Studies