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, scroll down for culture and community...
- Spotlight on...Culture and community
As part of Ashby School's preparation for age range change and curriculum development across three key stages, it's important to explain and embed our vision and values. Roger Skervin, who has experience in many different roles at the school, has joined the senior leadership team to oversee the school's approach to culture and community education.
Mr Skervin said:
"I am delighted that, from September 2022, we will be introducing our new Year 7 cohort to Ashby School.
Our philosophy for education is that we believe ‘anything is possible'. This is an ethos that underpins everything we do; we truly believe in providing an education that encourages learning and success by delivering engaging and relevant. activities. At Ashby School, this is more than just words which is why we provide opportunities for our students to believe, embody and experience this ethos.
At Ashby School, we are proud of our successes and the opportunities we provide for our young people and pride ourselves on offering a complete curriculum. This is a curriculum where the academic and holistic development of our students carry equal weight, which equips our students to be successful now and in the future. A fundamental part of our curriculum is the co-curricular opportunities that we offer. We have a wide range of trips and visits which provide holistic development and help to bring the curriculum to life. In addition, we also offer a wide range of clubs to try and appeal to all students. From the sports to the arts and other areas of interest, we believe these opportunities allow our students to flourish and build character.
As a school, work is well under way to ensure we are prepared for age range change. Facilities such as a new dedicated KS3 canteen, brand new English block, new designated multi-use games area for break and lunchtimes and an updated library will be put in place and ready for September 2022. My role is to oversee culture and community, to ensure that all students understand our ethos and feel part of the Ashby community.
We understand that transition can be exciting, but also sometimes a daunting experience for some students. As a result of this, strong pastoral systems for all students will be at the heart of our provision. This is to ensure that all students feel safe, supported and are happy.
In order to support parents and carers in making the right choice of school for their child, a number of events will be held to enable you to gather further information, including a webinar, open evening, school tours and a designated email address for you to submit questions.
We can't wait to meet you and to welcome your child into Ashby's vibrant and supportive community.
- 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 2016 and 2017 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 arts
Being a student of the arts at Ashby School is all about new experiences. It’s about being excited and enthused, inspired and active, as well as motivated to explore. Students learn how to express themselves in a range of ways, by playing different characters, creating self-portraits or composing music that says something about who they are.
The arts allow students to build self-belief and empowers them to voice their opinion, tackle new challenges and embrace the understanding that anything is possible. Students are encouraged to believe that, if they can imagine it, they can create it.
Subject specialists in the arts provide students with endless possibility, opening their eyes to a wide variety of artistic works and encouraging them to push the boundaries of creativity. Their aim is to foster a sense of wonder and curiosity as students embark on an exciting journey of creative discovery. Creativity leads to empathy, as part of which students are asked to explore the lives and experiences of others and see the world through someone else’s eyes.
The arts block, theatre and drama studio create a hub for the creative community and house the wealth of extra-curricular clubs on offer, as well as being a base for events such as school musicals.
John Bennion, Head of Drama, said: “It’s so exciting to be able to launch a range of clubs designed specifically for Year 7 students, not only to build their creative skills and confidence, but also to help them make new friends. They will also benefit from working with our Sixth Form prefects who will provide great peer support.”
Catherine Matthews, Head of Faculty, said: “This is an amazing opportunity to build on the already strong links we have developed with feeder schools throughout the years. I have led numerous cross school music projects, and the arrival of Year 7 opens up the exciting possibility of creating focused cross curricular projects and developing close collaboration across disciplines.
“The arts has always been a faculty that embodies innovative teaching and learning. That’s why structuring a curriculum where the arts can work together is something we are all really looking forward to.”
Kate Storer, Head of Art and Photography, said: “Knowing that anything is possible has always been our driving force, and that is demonstrated by the number of students who have gone on to achieve such incredible and amazing things in the arts and beyond!”
- Spotlight on...Design
“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works” - Steve Jobs
Ashby School offers a wide range of design subjects in Year 7 from computing, construction, and engineering to food, graphics and textiles. This well-structured design and technology curriculum provides a strong foundation for students to progress onto GCSE and A level.
In design, students quickly learn that anything is possible. Our specialist design staff are passionate about nurturing the aspirations of Year 7 students and helping them to develop as designers.
Students will begin by understanding materials/ingredients and their uses, and go on to learn a range of skills and complex processes by designing and making products they can be proud of. This strong platform of design knowledge and experience will equip students for life in an ever changing technological world.
Ashby’s expert design staff have a wealth of Key Stage 3 experience and extensive GCSE and A level knowledge. A number of them work for exam boards.
The design faculty is also extremely well-resourced. Students have access to more than 60 machines, including 14 industry-standard, state of the art 3D printers. The engineering and woodwork suites have multiple practical rooms and workshops, enabling students to bring their design projects come to life.
Industrial links are at the heart of the design curriculum. Strong connections with local industry – which include trips and guest speakers - give a real life context to projects and challenges, helping to fire students’ enthusiasm. Many students go on to secure placements, apprenticeships and jobs in design and technology.
Ed Cooper, Head of Faculty, said: “We’ve been building and planning for this journey for several years. Year 7 students can look forward to learning their design skills in a well-resourced faculty with facilities that are second to none, with support from local industry and teachers who are passionate about teaching design.”
Kirsty Milner, Engineering Subject Manager, added: “For the first time, Ashby School students have the opportunity to engage from Year 7 in the amazing world of design and technology. They will have access to fantastic resources and supportive staff to inspire their design aspirations as they make this important move from primary school.”
- 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.
- Spotlight on...Humanities
Humanities at Ashby School encourages all students to study the human world from a critical perspective beginning from the very first moment they become a Year 7 student. It instils a natural curiosity to ask questions about the world they live in and equips them with the skills and knowledge to challenge a range of concepts.
Year 7 students will begin with an engaging project to discover the area’s local history and a non- European study, developing their ability to analyse primary sources and debate controversial topics across many time periods.
Geography will encourage students to be responsible global citizens and to be enthusiastic to learn about the ever-changing world in which they live. Exposure to current issues and students’ own role and responsibilities in the global system will extend their knowledge to help them become independent and inquiring learners.
In philosophy and ethics, students will be exposed to a range of different beliefs, values and practices to understand and analyse the significance and influence of these on individuals, communities and societies. A core part of the subject will ask students to look at why people believe and act as they do and whether this is morally correct.
Students will be taught by 15 highly–experienced teachers, who are excited to nurture and support students on their learning journey from Year 7 to A level, both inside and outside the classroom.
Victoria Procter, Head of Humanities, said: “Our expert humanities staff are passionate about their subjects and strive to provide students with the best possible experience to help them become driven, determined and versatile young adults.
“We want to prepare our humanities students to be responsible and well-rounded global citizens shaping the world to be a better place. We can’t wait to have the opportunity to join students on their learning journey from Key Stage 3 onwards.”
What our students said...
One Year 11 student said: “For me, psychology has been an amazing opportunity to challenge myself. I enjoy taking part in my lessons. I would recommend doing humanities to everyone because it provides important chances to learn about issues that will be relevant for your future experiences. Not only is it useful but it is also very interesting.”
A GCSE geography student said: “Choosing to take GCSE geography has been one of the best decisions I have made in my education so far! I chose it as I have a passion for making the world a better place for people and for the natural world. I have found the course thoroughly interesting, especially because it is so applicable to everyday life and the issues going on around us – both in the physical and human world. This has been greatly helped by the amazing teachers I have had, who are always available to help and push you to reach your potential and goals. In fact, I have enjoyed geography so much that I am hoping to continue my study at A level course at Ashby School next academic year – I can’t wait!”
- Spotlight on...Modern languages
Bienvenue! Willkommen! Bienvenidos!
Nelson Mandela said: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart."
Language learning is part of a long and successful tradition at Ashby School – and this is a tradition that will continue when Year 7 students are given the opportunity to study French, German and Spanish at Ashby School.
Ashby School's team of expert language specialists will not only enable students to learn language but will also help them to enjoy language. Lessons are designed to help students broaden their horizons, discover different cultures and societies, and have fun along the way. The aim is to create confident linguists who not only love the language but also its country and its people.
From Year 7, students will be able to experience various European trips, including an annual visit to the Christmas markets in France and Germany, film clubs, cooking lessons, spelling bees, literature and music, together with a wide range of technology, to inspire a love of language learning.
The school’s passionate language staff offer fun, interactive, engaging and motivational lessons which build confidence, self-belief and success. Students will learn how to be creative and play with language through the transferable skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. By studying language, students will not only learn how to communicate effectively but will also gain valuable skills for life and to embrace the belief that anything is possible.
Nina Pullan, Head of German, said, “We are all extremely excited about being able to offer French, German and Spanish to our Year 7 students. We want them to experiment with language learning and find out which one fits best for them. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to learn the language of their choice and that this can create success in all areas of learning and life itself.”
- Spotlight on...SEND
At Ashby School, a Special Educational Need or Disability (SEND) is regarded not as something to mask, but something to embrace.
The belief that anything is possible for all students is one that is reinforced by the dedicated team at Lockton House, who ensure that every student has high expectations of what they will achieve in school, in the community and in their futures.
Students at Ashby School are empowered to learn, removing any physical or academic barriers that would affect their ability to participate and achieve in every aspect of school life. Students are given the help they need to articulate ideas in speech and the written word, as well as a safe and supportive environment where they learn how to be active and positive members of society.
Staff have created bespoke resources, sessions and space for Year 7 students, drawing on their experience of working with Key Stage 3.
Nicola Conn, Specialist Leader in Education for SEND, said: “What’s really exciting about having Year 7 is being able to start each student’s journey of self-discovery even earlier. This means that we will have so many more great opportunities to explore the learning strategies that really work for each student and can be used for the rest of their lives. By learning how to learn, we will instil a love of lifelong learning!”
Lockton House is the home of SEND, named after past headteacher, Nora Lockton, who gifted her house to the school, aptly reflecting SEND’s place at the heart of the school community. There is space available at break and lunchtime, as well as Lockton House’s own outdoor space.
The highly qualified team members work as mentors with all SEND students and provide regular contact home to share every child’s unique learning journey. Ashby’s SEND provision encompasses all facets of secondary school, including supportive homework clubs and drop in sessions which students can access at any time.
Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who is diagnosed as dyslexic, said: “Learn to love the fact there is no one like you” – a sentiment that is echoed at Ashby School. Each student receives an Individual Learning Plan that informs bespoke teaching and learning, in which each target and strategy is a tool for students to overcome academic and social barriers but also a gift that they can take into the wider world.
Andy Binns, Assistant Headteacher, said: “The provision we offer SEND students at Ashby School is more than a legal obligation. Our focus is to be every student’s advocate, working with school staff, parents and additional agencies to ensure every student leaves Ashby School with a self-belief and a confidence to embrace every ambition.”
Julie Holmes, Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, added: “We are ready to nurture, support and enable. We want all students to remember their time at Ashby School, as the time they were equipped with everything they needed to be the person they have always imagined being.”
- Spotlight on...Pupil Premium
To be educated is to be empowered - this ethos runs through Ashby School, where the focus is to identify, address and overcome any barriers that may prevent students from reaching their full potential. Students are supported to raise their focus, engagement, aspirations and achievement, enabling them to make anything possible.
Because each student’s context is unique, Ashby School provides targeted, bespoke support that is tailored to individual needs. The support offered includes, but is so much more than, financial assistance.
Donna Tolley, Specialist Leader in Education for ‘Closing the Gap’, who has responsibility for Pupil Premium at the school, said: “A strong home-school relationship is vital for us to fully acknowledge any barriers which students may have and to provide relevant and appropriate support to them and their families.
“We are very excited about the opportunity that students joining us from Year 7 will bring for developing stronger relationships and for the support offered to have greater impact.”
In a recent survey of this year’s Year 11 leavers’ parents/carers, 100% of respondents believed that they and their child had been supported in school by the funding and the associated support of the Pupil Premium team and also felt able to contact them at any time for support when needed.
Comments about the support offered by the team included, ‘They have gone above and beyond in everything’, ‘It was more than we could have asked for’ and ‘I don’t think I would have been able to supply [my child] with all the extra support she had this year if it wasn’t for them.’
Ashby’s vision is simple - to provide a range of experiences and supportive strategies to ensure every student believes that anything is possible. This includes enhanced transition, priority careers advice, counselling, one-to-one tutoring and personalised learning, as well as rewards and attendance incentives. Ashby’s highly experienced staff are passionate about embedding social justice through education and strive to ensure students are equipped with the skills and capital necessary for them to succeed and thrive, both during their time with us and in their future.
Mental wellbeing is a key focus in supporting many students, who benefit from growth-mindset and motivation coaching workshops and one-to-one sessions for themselves and their families. These are delivered by Cameron Parker, the UK’s number one youth coach and speaker, who said: “I love working with Ashby School and feel very grateful to be part of the Ashby family….Together we can and we will achieve more, empowering students to realise that anything is possible.”