Ashbourne College

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Ashbourne College is an independent sixth form college in Kensington, London.<ref name="AsbourneHome">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="DCSFPerformanceTable">Template:Cite web</ref>

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History Ashbourne

One of London's Best Private A Level Colleges

Founded in 1981, Ashbourne independent (private) sixth form college is situated in the very heart of Kensington, London. The college is fully co-educational and considers its primary strength to be its small size, coupled with its friendly and caring approach. No student is allowed to become lost in the crowd.

All courses, whether at A level or GCSE, are organised around a tutorial system in teaching groups of no more than 10 students. This enables tutors to engage directly with each individual.

No assumptions are made about a student's previous knowledge, and understanding is established in a step-by-step manner. The teaching style aims to be positive, encouraging and sympathetic to the challenges which students encounter.


A Levels

A Level 18 Month January Start

This programme always commences in January, and involves 17 weeks of teaching for the first year and 31 weeks for the second year. The first year of study covers AS material, whereas the second year of study covers A2 material.

Ashbourne offers A level students a variety of subject choices. For the majority of AS subjects, students receive 8 hours per subject per week (hours will reduce to 6 if less than 3 students are in the group). For the majority of A2 subjects, students receive 6 hours per subject per week (hours will reduce to 4 if fewer than 3 students are in the group). A2 students also receive an additional 2 hours per subject per week to cover AS material, if they require resits for any modules. Note that arrangements are slightly different for students taking Mathematics and Art based subjects.

Group sizes rarely exceed ten. Small classes provide a stimulating interactive environment. Students are able to clarify points by discussion with each other as well as with the teacher. Each student will have a personal tutor. During their AS year the personal tutors’ main responsibility is to monitor academic progress. For their A2 year the main focus shifts towards guiding the student through his or her university application.

AS students will take all of their examinations in the summer session, whereas A2 students will usually take examinations in both the winter and summer session.

One Year A Level


This should appeal to many types of students, for example

A level retakes in London –These students will have completed A levels but did not get the grades they wanted AS level students – As above these students will have completed their first year of A level and are unhappy with their results. The course at Ashbourne allows these students to take part in specific classes to revise and improve their AS results whilst at the same time receiving most teaching for the more challenging A2 syllabus. IB students – may want to change to the more focused approach of A levels and so improve their chances for university. We welcome applications from IB students after their first or second year. International students – will generally have completed high school in their own country but need to pick up A levels before applying to UK universities. Ashbourne’s unique approach to teaching one year A levels

We are able to complete the A level syllabus in one year because of:

Class sizes which never exceed 10 students Exceptional teaching time which generally extends to almost double the customary provision. Keeping our class sizes small keeps the opportunities for engagement and communication at a high level. Because they have fewer students to teach, teachers may set and mark more homework. Practice improves performance in every walk of life including preparing for A level exams.

Ashbourne’s unique approach to one year A levels offers two sets of classes running in parallel from the beginning of the course: one for the first year’s work (AS) and one for the second year’s work (A2). Students are timetabled for both of these classes for each subject undertaken, with the more challenging A2 work receiving more teaching time. They can thus finish the course with confidence because the additional teaching time allows for the supervision of work in class including at least 1 mock exam each half-term (6 weeks). Significantly there is always plenty of time for revision at the end of the course.

Individual attention and application to universities

Each student is assigned to a Personal Tutors with whom they will meet on an individual basis throughout the first term. To make the most confident application to university, requires time, patience and experience especially for demanding courses which require more depth, such as those for Oxford, Cambridge and Medicine. Interestingly the Personal Tutors often have a vital role to play after the results are released. If a student has narrowly missed their offer the Personal Tutor will take up their case directly with the universities. This intercession can make the telling difference with a Russell Group university.


We are quite selective in offering places to students on our one year A level course and will only offer places to those whose foundations are equal to the challenge a one year A level course presents. Because of this and the many other benefits of studying at Ashbourne mentioned above, including some outstanding teachers, we expect our students to achieve 40% A*/A and 70% A*/A/B on their examinations.


GCSE One Year Course

Ashbourne College London

Ashbourne offers a one-year intensive GCSE programme, providing a wide range of subjects. Ashbourne will expect all GCSE students to take the following five core subjects; Maths, Science, English Literature, English Language and ICT. Students will also have the opportunity to take other subjects. For the September intake, our GCSE students have signed up for the following subjects in addition to the core subjects on offer; Art, Business Studies, Classical Civilisation, French, Geography, German, History, Latin and Spanish.

GCSE Two Year Courses

The GCSE programme at Ashbourne is overseen by the Head of GCSE, Rupert Browett. Students should expect to participate in lessons from 9am to 4pm, which includes a one-hour lunch break from 1pm-2pm. As well as formal GCSE lessons, students will also participate in games for 2 hours per week, as well as PSHE for 2 hours per week.

Students will find the atmosphere slightly different to more traditional schools. There will be no need for school uniform and many teachers prefer to be addressed on a first name basis. Despite this less formal atmosphere, Ashbourne's Middle School is an environment for learning. Poor behaviour or failure to comply with simple rules is simply not tolerated and any students who fail to accept the standards of behaviour and effort will quickly be asked to leave the College. We are therefore able to engender a positive learning environment in which students can grow in confidence and achieve their true potential. The class sizes for formal subjects, never exceed ten, and students should expect to receive four hours per subject per week (except for GCSE Science, 8 hours per week, and for any subject that has less than 3 students, 2 hours per week).

Ashbourne GCSE students are usually from a variety of nationalities. Our September intake consists of the following denominations; British, Italian, Kuwaiti, Nigerian, Bruneian and Vietnamese.

Attendance is strictly monitored and any behavioural issues are communicated on a regular basis to parents. Parents will receive reports from tutors every half term, which will involve test results from mock examinations set within each subject. Parents will have the opportunity to meet with members of the teaching staff, twice per year, after Autumn and Spring half term break.

Our aim for GCSE students, is for all of them to receive 5 A-C grades in order to participate onto our A level programme. Please note that unfortunately, apart from unusual circumstances, Ashbourne does not permit GCSE retakes.


  1. Ashbourne College - Old Court Place Building
  2. Ashbourne College - Young Street
  3. Ashbourne College - 47 Kensington Court

Activities and Events

  • Academic Trips

A variety of Academic, subject-specific trips are conducted throughout the year. This approach integrates the academic with the outside world and proves excellent for a student's critical understanding of their subject. Trips include:

Visits to Universities A Geography Field Trip A Biology Field Trip Trips to Art Colleges Trips to Museums Trips to Galleries A trip to Oxford for Oxbridge Applicants

  • College Revue

This is an annual event organised at Christmas time by the College as a showcase for many of Ashbourne's talented and enthusiastic students. Over half of the student body (and many of the staff) will be involved. In recent years it has developed from a Fashion Show of costumes designed by the art department to an all-encompassing talent show involving music, art, dance, and drama.

  • Ashbourne European Trip
  • Open Evenings

The event is an opportunity to learn more about Ashbourne College and our distinctive approach to education. Visitors are given the opportunity to meet the College’s teachers, as well as members of the student body and management team. The Director of Studies gives a lively and informative talk about the teaching, extra-curricular activities and pastoral care offered by the College, and this is supplemented by presentations on individual departments and subjects.

Visitors can also see an exhibition of work from our Art students as well as enjoying a warm welcome with drinks and refreshments.



External links

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