Located in the heart of West London, Ashbourne, is in many ways a unique sixth form college. It combines extremely high level teaching with an informal, friendly environment in which no student becomes lost in the crowd and each student receives personal attention and guidance at every stage of his or her development.
Students find their years at Ashbourne some of the most rewarding of their lives both socially and academically.
Ashbourne organises a European trip once each year, as well as having a variety of different clubs, including; Music, Dance, Drama and Chess. The college also runs regular theatre trips and one off events, for example, our spring term Go-Karting race night. Each year the college organises a Revue, which usually involves over half of the student and staff body. This event is a two-hour show of dance, drama, singing and a variety of other unusual acts.
All staff are university educated at some of the top universities in the UK and throughout the world. Most staff have further degrees and some have multiple degrees and have published work in their field of expertise. Most of the teaching staff have taught at Ashbourne for a considerable number of years.
Students are on first name basis with staff, and do not have to wear school uniform. Emails are sent each day to parents (or the appropriate contact) when a student either misses a class, is late or has not completed their homework on that day. Students are expected to complete any outstanding work in supervised conditions and parents receive full, written reports every half term to keep them up to date with progress. In addition, mini-mock examinations based on past paper exam questions take place in the penultimate week of every half term; these are designed as a means of helping students track their progress in each subject throughout the year. After the Easter break, students will sit a full set of mock examinations in each subject in preparation for their summer exams. There are two opportunities per academic year for parents to meet with tutors to discuss their child’s performance at an informal evening event.
Ashbourne is different to other colleges in London, being situated in one of the city’s most beautiful areas. Located 100 metres from Kensington Palace, it offers easy access to the myriad of the capital’s cultural attractions. Nearby are Imperial College, the Museum of Natural History, the Victoria and Albert Museum, as well as the Royal Albert Hall and the magnificent shopping of Knightsbridge and Kensington. It is safe, clean and a quiet influence of residential and commercial London.
The college operates on two sites very close to each other. The main site is at 17 Old Court Place, Kensington. To enter you will need to know the door code (please ask reception). The other is on Kensington High Street but its entrance is on Young Street and is referred to as “Young Street”. If you cross High Street Kensington at the bottom of Old Court Place, turn right, and then take the first left on to Young Street, you will find the entrance just 20 metres down on the left hand side. To enter you will need to know the door code (again please ask reception).
The College is open every day from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. weekdays and 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. most Saturdays.
“There is an atmosphere of mutual respect in lessons and relationships are very positive at all levels.” –
Ashbourne College Ofsted Report 2010
50% of our student population are British and 50% from overseas, with over 30 different nationalities represented at the college. However, English is expected to be spoken at all times. We are fully coeducational, with an approximate 50:50 split between boys and girls. However, we do have quotas for students from different countries, with our upper limit set at 30 from any one country. We group the following countries together as one; Taiwan/China/Hong Kong/Macau. We feel that students would not benefit from UK education if they were surrounded by other students of their own nationality.
Students at Ashbourne receive a level of personal attention that is unparalleled in other schools and sixth form colleges across the UK. Whether in lessons, personal tutorials or in administrative matters, one of Ashbourne’s strengths is its unfailing readiness to help and guide students through his or her academic development.
Furthermore, students are assigned Personal Tutors who will guide them through their academic development and their university applications. They will meet with their Personal Tutor for at least two hours each week.
Apart from personal tutors, students also often call upon the assistance of the administration team to help them with the following problems; accommodation, setting up a bank account, registering and booking doctors appointments, registering with the police, signing out textbooks and all other general queries.
All students at Ashbourne are assigned to a personal tutor who is responsible for monitoring their academic and pastoral progress while at College. If the student is a Middle School student (GCSE or Pre-GCSE), their personal tutor will be the Head of Middle School, Rachel Wilson. If the student is in the Lower Sixth (AS – Year 12), their personal tutor will be: the Director of Studies, John Wilson, or one of the Assistant Directors of Studies, Breanne Grantham or James Wykes. If the student is in the Upper Sixth (A2 or 1-year A level – Year 13), their personal tutor will be either: John Wilson, Breanne Grantham, James Wykes, or the Head of English, Arabella Bridge.
All AS and A2 students will be timetabled for one two-hour Personal Tutoring Session per week. In the Lower Sixth, this personal tutoring session will encompass a variety of different activities throughout the year, designed to be of benefit to the student. These include:
Study and work sessions that enable students to catch up on homework or get ahead on both homework and coursework
Study skills seminars
Exam revision and preparation seminars
Time management seminars
Individual academic monitoring sessions with their personal tutor to discuss and track progress and performance on tests and mock exams throughout the year
University guidance and UCAS preparation (this includes research sessions where students will be given information on different resources available as well as an opportunity to narrow down university choices)
Research skills seminars (including a guided visit to the Kensington and Chelsea Borough Library where they will be given library cards)
Students in our Upper Sixth will start thinking about their university application as soon as they commence their final year of A level study. This process will be completed on-line through the UCAS apply-on-line website. If students are applying for medicine, dentistry, veterinary school, and/or Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge), please note that the deadline for these applications is October 15th. For all other courses, the final deadline for UCAS submission is January 15th.
All Upper Sixth students will meet with their personal tutor principally to discuss their UCAS application. During these sessions, their personal tutor will discuss the student’s course choice(s), university choices, and personal statement. The personal tutor will also provide the student with an academic reference required by UCAS for applying to UK universities.
Classes have a maximum of ten and average of five or six. If the class exceeds 10, the principal will generally split the group. Students therefore benefit from individual attention in lesson time. We encourage both tutors and staff to offer further assistance informally to students outside of normal class time and individual tuition can be organised where necessary.
“The GCSE and A-Level examination results for the last two years have been significantly above the national average.” –
Ashbourne College Ofsted Report 2010
Top universities – Our students have been accepted by all of the top UK universities in the past 5 years, including; Cambridge, LSE, UCL and Warwick.
Good grades – 38% of our exam results were graded “A”.
2008 CIFE AWARDS
Four Ashbourne students, Kevin Khaw, Utku Alhun, Nguyen Duc Thong and Nguyen Hoang Viet, all received prizes at the 2008 CIFE awards for their outstanding academic achievements at Ashbourne. These students were accepted at Ashbourne and offered scholarship, after successfully passing Ashbourne entry requirements.