The Prep School at Ashville: the five main benefits for your child
*Sponsored blog by Ashville College
It’s that time of year. Parents up and down the country are in the process of accepting, considering, or appealing their original first-choice primary school offers. It’s an exciting and often anxious time for children and parents, 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.
Offer day and the days following it can be a good time to revisit priorities, particularly if your circumstances have changed since you first applied. It’s important to remember you still have options, including pursuing an independent education.
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).
If you put us on the spot and asked us for the five main benefits of an education at our Prep School, here’s what we would say:
1. We really do make learning fun
In the Prep School, we crush the myth that private schools can be stuffy or strict; we don’t just dispel it! The Cornerstones curriculum, which covers Science, Art, History, Geography and the foundation subjects, allows us to be really creative and flexible in how we teach a Topic. We can deliver 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!
2. It’s part of an all-through School
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.
3. The teacher:pupil ratios are higher than at the average state school
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.
4. They will receive specialist teaching
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.
5. Your child’s talents will be allowed to shine
Even at Reception level, many parents will start looking at how that 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.
Mr Simon Asker, Head of Ashville’s 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 2021-22 starting in September, so do get in touch. It’s also not too early to enquire about places for the 2022-23 academic year. 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.”
Your choice of school and reasons behind it, from its location to the extracurricular opportunities available, are unique to you and your child. For more information on the Prep School at Ashville, please visit our website or call 01423 566358.