Age Range Change
Year 7 students will be able to start their Ashby School journey straight from primary school, when changes to the school’s age range take effect.
The change will mean that students can choose Ashby School for every stage of their secondary education, from Year 7 through to Sixth Form.
Parents with children currently in Year 5 will be able to apply from October 2021 for entry in 2022.
Ashby’s expert staff are already prepared for the change – and are excited about welcoming Year 7 students and their families to become part of Ashby School’s caring and aspirational culture.
Ali Jackson, Director of Curriculum Teaching and Learning, said: “At Ashby School, we believe it’s a privilege to be chosen to educate your child. When a parent or carer chooses Ashby, we are entering into a contract with them to nurture and empower their child. We want every student to benefit from the high quality learning experience we offer and to embrace the Ashby ethos that anything is possible.”
Find out what Ashby's expert teaching staff have in store for Year 7 students and why they're excited about the Key Stage 3 journey.
This week, PE, personal development and the library...
- Spotlight on...English
At Ashby School, story-telling is at the heart of the Year 7 English curriculum, which has been designed to arm students with the skills they need to interpret, analyse and explore the written word.
Through the discovery of stories, English students learn to understand the craft of writing and the construction of plot, characters, and themes. In Year 7, students will be encouraged to harness their imagination to create their own stories, while also developing their written expression and technical accuracy.
Ashby’s experienced English staff are determined to equip every student with the tools not only to read and write great stories, but also to deliver them with confidence and enthusiasm; the ability to articulate ideas fluently and precisely is a fundamental aspect of English.
In the words of author Phillip Pullman: “The art of storytelling is something that connects us in a profound way with our earliest ancestors. It's one of the most important, humane, most liberating and most democratic things that human beings can do, and it should have a central place in every classroom.”
Stories are powerful: they inspire, fascinate and enrich us. That’s why Ashby’s Year 7 English curriculum centres on the evolution, and key aspects of stories and storytelling, beginning with oracy and ancient myths, before moving on to Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’, and Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
All 13 members of the faculty are English specialists with a wealth of experience of inspiring and challenging young people. Their knowledge of both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 teaching allows for a deeper appreciation of the trajectory of learning.
Chris Mould, Teaching and Learning Co-ordinator for English, is one of a number of staff who already have experience of KS3 teaching. He said: ‘I am looking forward to returning to teaching Key Stage 3, to develop and enrich the minds of young thinkers, readers and writers.’
By 2022, English teaching will take place in a new, purpose built English block on the main Nottingham Road campus, where students will learn in six, newly built and furnished, spacious classrooms. Students will also have access to the school’s modern and well-equipped library.
The English leadership team has already developed strong links with local feeder schools. The arrival of Key Stage 3 students will provide a real opportunity for the English faculty to be creative as it embarks on the challenge of shaping students’ future progression.
Brooke Keating-Rogers, Head of Faculty, said: “The real excitement for me is knowing that students will explore and enjoy rich, exciting stories, developing their creativity and love of the world around them!”
Sam Strasters, Second in Faculty, added: “I can’t wait to help pupils at Key Stage 3 explore their imaginations, teaching them how to express who they are as people and who they could become in the future.”
- Spotlight on...Mathematics
Did you know that there are 367 ways to prove Pythagoras’ theorem? Pythagoras’ theorem is a cornerstone of the secondary maths curriculum, making it a crucial part of the journey that picks up from triangles and measures at primary school and leads pupils on to advanced trigonometry and multi-dimensional space at A level.
Aiden Chamberlain, Maths Specialist Leader in Education, said: “We craft our curriculum with this journey in mind. If we want the story of maths to make sense to students, we need to take into account not only the maths they have already discovered, but also the end-goals of their mathematical journey.”
When planning for Key Stage 3, Ashby’s team of expert mathematicians has looked carefully at the foundations laid in the Key Stage 2 curriculum. They believe strongly in the importance of teaching the subject in depth, preparing students to take on new ideas in the future.
Sam Blatherwick, Head of Faculty, said: “At Ashby School, we aim to share with students not selected highlights of a journey through maths, but a fundamental understanding of this story, so that students can retell it themselves. We believe that all students are capable of achieving in maths, because students have an instinctive understanding of maths in the way that they view the world.”
Confidence is central to the maths faculty’s approach and empowers students, giving authority to their voices.
Maths teacher Helena Wells said: “If our students have the resilience and skills to solve difficult problems, if they have the language to explain their mathematical ideas, if they can engage with the views of others, this will prepare them for a future in which anything is possible – and these are skills that all students can develop!”
- Spotlight on...Science
Ashby School provides a high-quality science curriculum that forms the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
The key focus of Ashby’s expert science teaching team at KS3 is to nurture a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in these disciplines.
Students will start to recognise the connections between these subjects and to see the bigger picture, helping them to develop an awareness of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding.
Ashby’s 18-strong science team is highly experienced, offering the scientific background to develop and nurture young scientists on their academic journey, from Year 7 through to GCSE or A level. Many of the teaching staff have STEM backgrounds and are also exam board markers and moderators.
Students are taught in light and airy, bespoke, modern laboratories in the purpose built science block. Extra-curricular lunchtime or after school science clubs are offered to further develop the inquisitive minds working towards the CREST award scheme.
Adam Linnik Head of Faculty says “We are looking forward to embedding school trips to places such as the Think Tank, Birmingham, to foster a sense of awe and wonder in science and to encourage the belief that anything is possible. Throughout the curriculum, science staff will link the experience/exhibit pieces to the science curriculum to encourage a lifelong love of learning."
- Spotlight on...Physical education
PE at Ashby School is about much more than being good at sport. The school’s specialist PE staff pride themselves on promoting a wide programme of physical activity but also supporting students’ personal development and putting student wellbeing at the forefront of the curriculum.
For Year 7 students, the PE faculty has devised a holistic curriculum with students’ wellbeing very much in mind.
Head of PE Michael White said: “We’re committed to creating a modern day PE curriculum that meets the needs of all students. Physical activity is at the centre of our lessons but it is also our responsibility to educate young people about health, giving them the knowledge and skills they need to make informed decisions about their lifestyle to support and protect their wellbeing.
“As a core subject, PE has a key role to play in contributing positively to students’ physical, emotional and social health. We’re looking forward to building a strong rapport with our Year 7 students, creating some strong extra curricular teams and ultimately inspiring them to lead an active, healthy lifestyle from an early age.”
Students in KS3 will receive two hours of high quality PE each week, with a strong focus on skill development. They will have access to high quality sporting facilities including the sports hall, gym, fitness suite, swimming pool and a newly built, multipurpose studio for dance and other activities.
There are also four dedicated PE classrooms for theory lessons. The faculty achieves excellent examination results and is highly experienced in the delivery of examination PE. The school offer two routes at KS4 to maximise achievement.
The arrival of students in KS3 will be an excellent opportunity to deliver theoretical content over three years and guide students who wish to pursue examination PE along the correct route, whether this is GCSE PE or Cambridge National Sport Studies.
The arrival of KS3 students will also add new impetus to the school’s extra-curricular programme.
Extra-curricular activities are open to students of all abilities, giving students a chance to develop their skills in a fun environment. Initiatives such as ‘Sport Leaders’ and ‘Active Girls’ and ‘Active Boys’ will run alongside and complement the curriculum, providing students with additional opportunities to get involved in sport.
Ashby School has a long-standing reputation for sporting excellence and was named
'School of the Year' at the North West Leicestershire Local Sports Alliance Sports Awards in ?? for outstanding competitive success, increasing participation rates and creating an ethos of 'sport for all' across the school.
Ashby School was also credited for its engagement with community sport and strong links with local clubs.
PE teacher Laura Wright said: “Overcoming challenges, not giving up and striving to do your best is at the heart of PE. In this subject, students really do discover that anything is possible.
“We’re confident that the experiences and resilience they develop in PE at Ashby will prepare them for whatever exciting challenges lie ahead.”
- Spotlight on...Personal development
At Ashby School, staff believe in encouraging and supporting students to develop as individuals.
With this in mind, the school’s multi-faceted personal development curriculum focuses on the holistic development of students. It is delivered through dedicated lessons, a tutorial programme, guest speakers, trips and extracurricular activities.
Roger Skervin, Director of KS3, said: “At Ashby School, we recognise that Year 7 students will be coming to us as enthusiastic, imaginative and curious learners and we’re excited to be working with them to develop their skills and character as they embark on their secondary school journey.
“To be successful in the 21st century, we believe our young people need more than good exam results. They need the skills to navigate successfully through their school years but also to prepare them for the next stage of their journey and the workplace.
“To help achieve this, we have our ‘three Rs’ character curriculum focusing on the values of Respect, Responsibility and Resilience. All students learn the importance of showing respect, accepting responsibility and building resilience, as well as to embrace and embody the Ashby School ethos that ‘anything is possible’.”
Form tutors are a key part of the personal development curriculum and build strong relationships with students. The tutorial programme has been carefully designed to ensure that it addresses the local context of the school and meets age appropriate needs. The programme plays a key role in helping students to become responsible, respectful and resilient citizens.
The curriculum is further supplemented by a dedicated personal development lesson. Students receive age appropriate personal, social, health education and religious education, along with relationships and sex education.
Trips, visits and extra-curricular activities are also a key part of the personal development curriculum and provide fantastic opportunities for student enrichment. From the arts to sporting activities, the school offers a wide range of opportunities to engage all students, allowing students to build on their skills and also bring the curriculum to life.
- Spotlight on...The library
Ashby School’s vibrant, modern and well-resourced library reflects a deeply-held belief in the importance of reading and the vital role it plays in the education, health and wellbeing of all students.
As one of the jewels in the Ashby School crown, the library has even been known to inspire students to choose the school.
One student wrote: “The library is the reason I wanted to come to Ashby. Genuinely. I remember going to the library on Open Evening and thinking ‘Wow’!”
Being able to read is a key life skill, supporting not only enhanced levels of text comprehension and an improved grasp of grammar but also better general knowledge and a deeper understanding of different cultures.
Every student at Ashby School can access the centrally-located library to read and explore books and other resources. The library provides a welcoming, comfortable and flexible space where reading is celebrated, friendships are forged, and activities, workshops and clubs help to challenge, empower, inform and entertain users.
One book group member said: ““I can’t wait to become a Library Prefect next year and can we carry on with book group, please?”
Library prefects, student librarians and the qualified librarian all provide constant motivation for students to pick up a book and start reading, to share their enjoyment with others and to make good use of their time.
Technology plays a key role, with a full bank of laptops available and access to the Library WebApp.
Librarian Mrs Mullen, who has experience of working with KS3, said: “I love the enthusiasm and excitement that is generated by the Year 7 students when they first see the library and use its range of resources. It’s essential to continue with their reading journey by developing a love of reading and providing a choice.
“Readers are nurtured, reluctant readers are encouraged, students are supported and memories are created. Our aim is to establish each child as a lifetime reader.”
The library is a space that fires the imagination as students read about inspirational and illuminating characters and stories, learn about different cultures, identities, and countries, and discover through reading that anything is truly possible.