This article is sponsored by Ashville College.
It’s that time of year. Primary school offer day, which falls on 16 April 2021, brings excitement and anxiety for children and parents in equal measure, particularly for ‘school run’ first timers! From ordering uniform to factoring school drop-off/pick-up and holidays into your usual routine, there is a lot to think about.
Your choice of school and reasons behind it, from its location to extracurricular opportunities, are unique to you and your child. Offer day can be a good time to revisit priorities, particularly if your circumstances have changed since you applied. You still have options, from appealing a disappointing result to considering an independent education over state.
Located in Harrogate, Ashville College is a co-educational independent day and boarding school for pupils aged three to 18. The Prep School covers Acorns Nursery Class through to Year 6, and is an integral part of the College, which also has a Senior School (Years 7 to 11), Sixth Form (Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth).
Here are our top five reasons why the Prep School at Ashville might be a good choice for your child.
Smaller class sizes
Keeping class and year group sizes low ensures that your child is known and nurtured as an individual. Ashville pupils enjoy plenty of one-to-one time and develop strong relationships with their teachers. Current parents have told us that the smaller class sizes influenced their decision and that their children have had more opportunities to take part in a wider variety of activities and represent the school as a result of the smaller year groups.
Fun, age-appropriate learning
In the Prep School, we don’t simply dispel the myth that private schools can be stuffy or strict; we crush it! We follow the Cornerstones curriculum, which covers Science, Art, History, Geography and the foundation subjects. Cornerstones allows us to be really creative and flexible in how we teach a Topic, by delivering it across lots of different taught subjects, to ensure pupil engagement from the start. Teachers deliver a ‘Wow’ experience at the beginning of each new Topic, such as a trip, a presentation from a guest speaker, or the Class Teacher doing something a bit different to inspire the pupils. For example, teachers dressed as Harry Potter character to introduce the Year 4 ‘Potions’ topic, and Year 2 went on a pirate adventure for the start of their ‘Land Ahoy’ topic!
A place for your child’s talents to shine
Even at Reception level, parents will look at how the school will support their child’s skills and interests, whether they’ve shown an early flair for the Performing Arts, an aptitude for Maths, or they’re destined to be sporty. In the Prep School and beyond, we team a vibrant and varied academic curriculum with an exciting Enrichment programme of co-curricular activities, so that each individual is able to thrive and pursue their existing interests and passions, as well as being encouraged to try new things.
Ashville Prep School pupils receive exceptional, age-appropriate teaching from our Prep School Class Teachers and often benefit from the experience and expertise from Senior School teachers too, for example, to help introduce or expand on a particular topic. For example, Year 2 pupils enjoyed a rocket-making workshop last Autumn term run by Ashville Senior School’s Head of Physics, Conor Davies, who is also a Lead Educator with The National Space Academy.
Big enough to challenge, small enough to care
Because our Prep School is part of an all-through school, pupils who progress onto Senior School and beyond will already know some of the teachers and surroundings, making the transition from Year 6 to 7 that bit smoother. Parents tell us that, compared to larger state or independent schools, the overall size of Ashville also enables their children to get involved in activities where they might not otherwise have had the opportunity, whether that be in an after-school club, a drama production or sports team.
Mr Simon Asker, Head of Ashville Prep School, said:
“My commitment to our pupils is to give them the very best start in life; to develop within them a love for learning and a curiosity about the world and their place within it. We like to see the children running and skipping into school knowing that they will be experiencing a curriculum that challenges them academically and also excites, delights and amazes them.
“If you are interested in the Prep School for your child, there are limited places remaining across each year group for the new academic year in September 2021-22, so do get in touch. We are a selective school, but don’t be daunted by that; our process for Prep School pupils is age-appropriate, where they come for an informal assessment so we can get to know them better and they can have a look around the School.”