Five ways Ashville Sixth Form can make your child ‘future ready’
It’s an exciting time for Ashville Sixth Form in Harrogate. The 2021-22 academic year signals a renewed focus on driving forward the academic culture of the Sixth Form, increasing the levels of academic challenge and rigour, and supporting pupils to be ‘future ready’.
We have also welcomed a new Assistant Head: Head of Sixth Form, Mrs Leanne Norton, who believes that passions and experiences cultivated in Sixth Form can last a lifetime and decisions about next steps made during these two important years set pupils on their post-school trajectory.
Like any key transition point, choosing a Sixth Form for your child can be a daunting process and a highly personal decision based on their future aspirations. Nothing can replace a visit in person when choosing a school, whether you’re a current parent or a new parent.
Mrs Norton gave an address at our well-attended Open Day on 2 October, and now looks forward to meeting more parents in person at our Sixth Form Options Fair on 21 October and explaining her roadmap for Ashville’s Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth.
A visit to our Options Fair, where you get to meet current staff and pupils, see the facilities first-hand, and get under the skin of our range of A Level and BTEC courses, comes highly recommended. After a long period where schools were only able to showcase their offering virtually, parents can once again take advantage of physical events to really get a feel for their preferred institutions before making that decision.
To whet your appetite for our Fair on 21 October, we’ve put together five of the top ways we support our Sixth Form pupils to be ‘exam ready, university ready and career ready’. In short – life ready.
1. Oxbridge and competitive admissions application support
We offer a bespoke programme for those aspiring to Oxford and Cambridge or for medicine, veterinary science and dentistry courses. Our preparations start in Lower Sixth when pupils receive tailored guidance on how to prepare for the application process. We provide high-level support for personal statement and reference writing as well as a rigorous programme of admissions exam and interview training. We recently enlisted our alumni, known as ‘Old Ashvillians’, to put the candidates through their mock interview paces. This followed feedback from former pupils that the interview practice they valued the most was with people they didn’t know. According to Mrs Norton: “Pupils acknowledged the extra level of challenge and the way it took them out of their comfort zones.”
2. A wealth of leadership opportunities
More formal leadership roles, such as Heads of School, Red Tie Prefects and Year 7 Liaison Prefects, are awarded to Sixth Formers following a formal application and interview process. There are many informal roles which assist pupils with their communication skills. Jess, one of Ashville’s two current Heads of School, says: “I have been at Ashville since Year 7, and my new role allows me to give back to a School which has given so much to me. I look forward to being a role model for younger pupils and helping to bring about positive change. Ashville has given me invaluable life skills and the opportunity to flourish, as the best version of myself.”
3. An engaging and meaningful programme of academic enrichment
We have a new academic enrichment programme through which every pupil can shine. Depending on each individual’s interests, skills and future aspirations, the three main options are:
A. The Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), a highly-regarded qualification that was created by exam boards in collaboration with leading UK universities to help pupils develop the skills required for successful undergraduate study;
B. The Archibishop of York Leadership Award (AYLA), which is an exciting and fun way for pupils to lead on positive changes for their school, local community or to address national and even international issues, while fostering effective leadership qualities; and
C. Sporting enrichment, with separate sessions run for those who wish to participate in squad training for the School’s major sports, including Rugby and Hockey, and those who wish to participate in a range of sports but perhaps not compete.
4. A relaunched Co-Curricular Programme
At Ashville we place a lot of emphasis on all that happens outside the classroom and recognise the huge benefits of a varied and diverse programme, both for individual pupils, and for the community as a whole. Sixth Formers benefit from a large number of activities, ensembles, clubs and training programmes. We believe there is something for everyone, with categories including the creative and performing arts, sport and physical activity, society and issues, and maths, science and Technology. Because we strive to put our College values at the heart of all that we do, our new-look Co-Curricular Programme has been designed for pupils to not only have fun and get the chance to represent their College, but to develop specific values, such as Resilience and Community Minded, through participation, values that pupils take with them into their future lives.
5. A strong reputation for excellent pastoral support
A strong focus on academic performance does not mean reduced emphasis on pastoral care. At the heart of Ashville’s Sixth Form is the desire for pupils to achieve their best while blossoming into independent young adults within a happy and purposeful environment. By providing a structured underlying support system, pupils can enjoy exploring their new self-sufficiency in a safe environment. Mrs Norton says: “We will aim to strike a balance between academic rigour and the exceptional pastoral care Ashville is known for and on which we will never compromise. I believe we can achieve both.”
“Ashville Sixth Form has so much to offer,” Mrs Norton continues. “The pupils here love their Sixth Form; they feel happy, safe and valued. In applying for my current role, I was attracted to Ashville College for its culture of always striving for excellence, and the incredible scope, flexibility and creativity in what we offer the pupils. There is no doubt in my mind that if you were to visit the College and talk to the staff and pupils, that the enthusiasm, the desire to always aim higher, will come across. We look forward to welcoming you to our Fair later this month.”
To book your place at our Sixth Form Options Fair on Thursday 21 October and to find out more about the event, please click here