SIXTH FORM: A GLIMPSE AT OUR WIDER LEARNING
WIDER LEARN OPPORTUNITI
Education is about more than gaining qualifications; it is about deepening understanding, making connections between topics and pursuing your individual interests and talents. At Ashford School our Sixth Form academic programme is designed to help pupils develop their skills, knowledge and curiosity. We provide a community where Adventurous Learning is the norm, where pupils understand the value of taking risks and become the thinkers of the next generation. Our aim is to offer variety, to capture pupils’ imagination, to challenge the accepted and to ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to grow and develop as a whole person. Beyond the standard curriculum, opportunities for wider learning are encouraged in all subjects. These include the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification), an English Literature Society, international and national Science and Maths competitions (Olympiads), Ceramics and Animation classes, a Medics Society, Art trips, a Physics trip to CERN, language exchanges, Philosophy and Ethics conferences, CREST awards, charity organisations, partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s schools’ project, a Science society, Senior Drama society, musical productions and an array of orchestras and choirs. Life in Ashford School’s Sixth Form will not be without challenge, but it promises to put you on a journey of knowledge and confidence.
THE CLASSROOM Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) Open to: all Sixth Form pupils The EPQ gives students the opportunity to research a topic of their interest; this does not have to be based on an academic subject that the student is studying. Once research has been undertaken, students must submit their work, which usually takes the form of a dissertation but can also include compositions, an investigative report or an artefact project supported with a written piece. The EPQ can accrue UCAS points equivalent to half an A Level (maximum 28 UCAS points for grade A* in the EPQ)
Achievements 100% A*-B since launching the project at Ashford School four years ago. The EPQ is a particularly attractive option for students as its scope is so wide and varied. Examples of past student essays include: The evolution of prestige architecture in Andalucia during the Muslim inhabitancy (711-1492) and its political/prestigious significance. The negative political, social and economic impact of Fairtrade coffee on those working in the production of coffee in Tanzania. The influence of Western media in shaping perceptions of the Lebanese fundamentalist militant group Hezbollah since their formation in 1985. How does the Ketogenic diet affect neurological pathways in the Brain? How is this linked to epilepsy? Defining infinite within black holes.
ARTEFACT PROJECTS: Artefact projects give students the freedom to be particularly creative and inventive. Examples of student Artefact Projects include:
Swinging Seaside: a project looking at women’s fashion during the 1940s. This event saw the pupils stage an event featuring wartime dancing, a show depicting the history of women’s fashion and 1940’s hair styling. The money raised was donated to The Royal British Legion.
A charity lunch: a project looking at the preparation, planning and organisation of charity functions. 150 guests attended the lunch and the money raised was donated to Abbie’s Army.
100% A*-B SINCE LAUNCHING THE PROJECT AT ASHFORD SCHOOL FOUR YEARS AGO.
A Sixth Form five-a-side football competition: a project looking at event management in sport. All monies raised were donated to Cancer Research.
Hockey training with national and international players and coaches Open to: First Team Hockey players A wealth of experience is brought to Ashford School from national and international coaches and players to complement our Sixth Formers’ programme of high level sport. We’ve recently been visited by Dutch international coach Max Caldas; Toon Siepman who is one of the top drag flick coaches in the world; German international and captain Mo Furste; David Ames, England and GB international player; and Alex Danson, current GB international and winner of Gold medal at Rio and Bronze at London.
Senior Drama Club Open to: Years 10-13 Students from the senior school work tremendously hard rehearsing twice a week for six months to put on a spectacular show. Recent glittering productions include Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar and Schools Will Rock You. The shows have been said to rival the local theatres with a huge array of sound, lighting and special effects. Pupils gain the opportunity to become a part of a performing family where they will sing, dance and act at the highest level.
UKMT Senior Team challenge Open to: Sixth Form Mathematicians – teacher selection Teams of students solve a selection of mathematical questions and papers. Achievements • The Senior Maths Team has won its regional final in Kent for several years, qualifying for the National Team Final. • In 2016, they finished 17th nationally.
Wider Horizon Lectures Open to: All Sixth Formers, staff and parents A programme of talks from highly engaging speakers and on a wide range of topics, aimed at broadening pupils’ experience of their academic subjects. They are held in a lecture format with a question and answer session at the end. Pupils have listened to an array of lectures, for example, ‘Who wants to live forever’, ‘On the Front Line’, ‘Study, stress and music’, ‘The magic of a Christmas Carol’, ‘Understanding the Universe’, ‘International Security and Nuclear Weapons’ and ‘Recent Developments in Neurological Research’. Pupils are also encouraged to debate significant events, for example, ‘An Evening of Politics’ which was attended by representatives from all the major political parties. These included Lord Carey (former Archbishop of Canterbury), Damian Green (Conservative MP for Ashford), Brendan Chilton (Labour councillor) and Keith Taylor (Green MEP for South East England).
Science and Pseudoscience conference Open to: A level Psychologists and Scientists A conference focusing on the scientific method and being able to identify ‘Bad Science’ in the world around us, particularly in the media. In the past this has included lectures by Richard Wiseman and Dr Dance of Hertfordshire University, and it always features the hypnotist Andrew Newton who runs an interactive session.
Royal society of Chemistry Schools Analyst competition Open to: Year 12 Chemists
The Big Quiz Open to: Year 12 and 13 Design Technology and Science pupils An enjoyable Science and Technology competition held at Benenden school, Kent.
Geography outside the classroom Open to: Sixth Form Geographers Learning outside the classroom is at the core of our approach to extending academic learning and has had considerable impact on our students. Field trips and day visits around the UK supplement and extend learning about Physical Geography. Recent excursions have seen studies of the changing river channel characteristics of the River Darent, and shoreline management strategies of the coastal areas of Rye Bay including Fairlight Cove, Winchelsea Beach and the Camber Sands-Lydd Beach areas. Human Geography studies have included urban regeneration in London and the Thames Gateway and visits to the Siemens exhibition on Sustainable Cities. In addition there are year annual/bienniel international trips to destinations such as Morocco and Iceland.
Challenging our Chemists at the next level, this is a team competition involving a day of practical problem-solving exercises at a university Chemistry department. Achievements 3rd place in 2015
Residential Business and Economics trip to Paris Open to: A Level Business and Economic pupils A conference that discusses the nature of the relationship between the UK and the European Union (EU). Questions can be put to the likes of Evan Davies and visiting MPs. This is a hugely motivating and inspiring course for our students.
Residential Biology Field Trip Open to: A Level Biologists This is an unforgettable experience where pupils go way beyond the syllabus and experience Biology first-hand with a weeklong residential trip to local conservation parks and natural habitats. Pupils stay at a safari park and experience the ‘wild’ side of camping. They complete an individual investigation using university-style research and statistics.
Biology Olympiad – Biology Society Open to: A Level Biologists Compete for a Bronze, Silver or Gold certificate with a selection of tests spanning the full breadth of the subject. Three papers are taken and there are three rounds. Particularly successful students may end up representing the country at the International Biology Olympiad competition. Achievements Our students have won Bronze, Silver and Gold certificates over the past six years. In 2017 pupils achieved 1 Gold medal, 4 Silver medals and 3 Bronze medals.
Debating Society Open to: All Sixth Formers In debating, you argue a position on a certain topic. For example, you might argue in favour of the motion “Assisted suicide should be legalised in the UK”. Debating helps you to hone your thinking and gives you the confidence to present your views to a critical audience, both vital academic skills. Debating in competitions is especially academically rigorous. You have to assume an intellectual position at short notice, then prepare a logical and persuasive argument. During the debate, you need to pay close attention to what your opponents say, and you have to stand in front of others to make your case eloquently and succinctly.
Visit to the Wellcome Collection and the Freud Museum Open to: A Level Psychologists A trip involving a fascinating exhibition entitled ‘The Asylum and Beyond’ which investigates the history of mental illness in the UK and Europe. Students enjoy a facilitated tour of the Freud museum with some enlightening discussions.
Juvenes Translatores Competition Open to: Sixth Form Linguists Selected students from Years 12 and 13 take part in this prestigious competition, where they undertake a challenging translation test and are pitted against students from top independent schools across the UK.
Brain Day Open to: A Level Psychologists, A Level Biologists and prospective Medics/Vets Neuroscientist Dr Guy Sutton delivers a fascinating and indepth workshop at Ashford School, entitled Brain Day. The day features intense but interactive lectures on the human brain and includes a dissection of a sheep’s brain. Dr Sutton lectures on Forensic Psychology, both from the perspective of cognitive neuroscience and human welfare. This is one definitely not to be missed.
The Debating Society meets every week to develop these skills and to hold debates. Students also routinely compete against other schools in local and national debating competitions, for example the ESU Schools’ Mace, Cambridge Schools’ and Oxford Schools’ competitions. Students have also organised and hosted other political events, for example a panel debate with guests including Damian Green MP and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton.
UKMT Senior Maths Challenge Open to: Sixth Form Mathematicians
Sixth Form Science committee
Take on the challenge of 25 multiple choice questions in 90 minutes. Top performing students are invited to take part in follow-on rounds and the very best can represent their country in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
Open to: Year 12 and 13 Scientists A committee for our most dedicated Sixth Form Scientists to lead and work with others in promoting and extending Science across the school.
Achievements More than 79% of students achieved a Bronze or better in 2016, with 30% achieving Gold.
Physics Olympiad – Physics Society
UKMT Senior Kangaroo
British Mathematical Olympiad
Open to: Top scorers in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge
Open to: Sixth Form Mathematicians – teacher selection and prior testing
An intense and exciting round of mathematical questions, with students competing for a place in the International Mathematical Olympiad.
A mathematical challenge set for the country’s top mathematicians. Achievements Students have achieved Distinction and book prizes.
Spanish Exchange in Seville Open to: Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils studying Spanish Our pupils stay with Spanish host families, attend lessons in school with their partners and go on a wealth of cultural day trips around the centre of Seville with its Arabic and Jewish quarters, the world famous cathedral, the Alcazar palaces, the labyrinthine Santa Cruz quarter, the Plaza de España and Maria Luisa Park. They also visit the famous Mezquita of Córdoba and the sherry distilleries of Jerez.
Open to: Year 13 Physics pupils This is a national Physics competition, pushing pupils well beyond the A Level syllabus. There are follow on rounds for the most successful pupils, leading to entry into the International Physics Olympiad. Achievements Last year students achieved two Bronze medals and one Gold in Round 1, and one Silver medal in Round 2.
Surround yourself with Music
Residential Art trips to Europe (Madrid, Venice or Rome)
Open to: All Sixth Form pupils
Open to: Year 12 and 13 Artists
We run an extensive Music programme for all musicians with Sixth Formers playing a leading role within the Wind Band, Chamber Choir, Jazz Band, Baroque Ensemble and the Ashtones a capella group. Individual tuition is offered to extend pupils within a given area for competitions or performances.
Pupils gain the opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest artworks first hand. This fascinating trip provides students with a wealth of resources and ideas to bring back to the studio to build their projects and portfolios.
British Science Association: Gold CREST Awards Open to: All Sixth Form Scientists This is the highest academic scientific award for pupils under the age of 18 and is the only award that is recognised by UCAS, setting students apart in the university application process. The Science project is completed over 90 hours and students are expected to apply the full and correct scientific approach to their research and experiments. Students are supported by a STEM advisor. Achievements Projects have included: • Sound Advice: designing methods to make old buildings soundproof. Supported by Southampton University. • Can we rely on DNA finger printing? Looking at the current forensic methods and analysing their feasibility in court. • Production of a new synthetic enzyme: looking at the enzymes within washing powders and their molecular structure in order to design a new synthetic enzyme. • Can Chinese medicine replace antibiotics?
Geography In Action Open to: Year 12 and 13 Geographers
Chemistry Field Trip to Royal Society of Chemistry spectroscopy day
An annual conference held in December and February at UCL Institute of Education, delivered by a range of university lecturers on contemporary themes and issues. Recent topics have included migration in the EU, flood risk management, and what happens when oil runs out.
Open to: Year 12 Chemists All Year 12 chemists benefit from this insightful day at Greenwich University and take part in IR, NMR, MS and UV workshops.
Philosophy and Ethics Conferences Open to: A Level Philosophy and Ethics pupils
Chemistry Olympiad â€“ Chemistry Society Open to: Year 13 Chemists This is a Royal Society of Chemistry problem-solving competition for top performing chemists.
Students receive lectures on Philosophy and Ethics from leading academics in the field, such as Stephen Law, as well as academic writers who have contributed to their textbooks.
Achievements Gold, Silver and Bronze awards have all been achieved
Product Design in Action conference at UCL Institute of Education Open to: Year 12 and 13 Design Technology pupils The event gives our students the opportunity to listen and pose questions to approximately five leading and renowned designers; for example, Matthew Beaven, the chief exterior designer for Jaguar; award-winning designers Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard; and Emily Campbell, Head of Design and Architecture at the British Council.
Sixth Form Drama workshops Open to: Years 12 and 13 Throughout the year there are many opportunities for Drama students to experience Drama within the real world. These include lectures from the Royal Shakespeare Company (including a workshop on Twelfth Night), a Brecht workshop, a musical theatre workshop with Disney professionals in Paris, a Frantic Assembly workshop and a local schools Sixth Form exam sharing evening.
Twilight Humanities course Open to: Sixth Form Humanity students and members of staff
Heartstart Open to: All Sixth Form pupils Heartstart is a scheme run by the British Heart Foundation. It aims to ‘transform the UK into a nation of lifesavers: a country where everyone knows how to save a life’. Ashford School has been a member of this programme since 2013 and each summer we train a selected group of Year 13 pupils to teach pupils, parents and teachers how to deal with an unconscious person, recognise a heart attack and a cardiac arrest, perform CPR, deal with choking and respond to serious bleeding. Not only is this a fantastic initiative for the school but also the wider community.
Vibrant termly twilight sessions in History and Politics. The most recent discussion was on Geopolitics of the Middle East and the pre-reading was Chapter 1 of Tim Marshall’s new book Prisoners of Geography. This course is an excellent introduction to seminar style learning.
Visit to the Psychology department at the University of Kent at Canterbury Open to: Year 12 Psychologists An introduction to studying Psychology at university, featuring lectures on a variety of topics and a tour around the department with an opportunity to experience technology such as the eye tracking device, virtual reality equipment and the mock bar.
Medic Mentor Motivating Medical Minds
Open to: All interested medics Current Status: School Society Leadership
Young Enterprise is a global organisation that helps students to set up and run their own business. Students at Ashford School have formed a range of inventive and exciting companies over the years.
Open to: All Sixth Form pupils
The Medic Mentors are a national committee of doctors, medical students and other healthcare professionals, who oversee numerous educational projects and the overall running of the National Medic Mentor Network. Their responsibilities include publishing books, the Medic Mentor Magazine, organising events such as National Medic Mentor Weekend and Summer Schools, running scholarships and competitions, organising fundraising events, the free school societies mentoring programme and much more. They discuss various Medic Mentor projects and create amazing new resources for aspiring and current healthcare students.
Achievements Mythoz (a card manufacturing company) won the mid-Kent Schools prize for the most innovative product. One pupil was runner-up in the southern Kent Young Enterprise public speaking competition.
Jaguar and Morgan car plants tour Open to: Year 12 and 13 Design Technology pupils A one-day event enabling our students to witness first-hand the inside workings of a modern and, in the case of Morgan, more traditional car plant.
Senior Mathematical Society Open to Sixth Form Mathematicians The Maths Society meets weekly to discuss interesting and challenging problems, often in topics beyond the syllabus. This is excellent preparation for those looking to study Maths or a related subject at the best Universities.
Conference featuring either Dr Zimbardo or Dr Loftus, eminent Psychology researchers from the USA Open to: A Level Psychologists
Sixth Form Arts Programme Open to: Year 12 and 13 Artists This is a unique programme for Sixth Formers, offering a range of activities, including animation, photography, ceramics and portfolio building. Our artist in residence this year is a photographer who works in the art studios alongside the pupils. Pupils are able to talk to her at length about their ideas and gain from her experience of working in the creative industries. We regularly promote competitions for our students to enter, including an annual photography competition in which our students have won many trophies.
A one-day conference in London featuring renowned lecturers including Dr Zimbardo or Dr Loftus; also includes hints and tips on concepts which need to be understood for the A Level examination.
Ashford School, East Hill, Ashford, Kent TN24 8PB Admissions: +44 (0) 1233 739030 The school is open for enquiries Term time: 08.15 - 17.00 Holidays: 09.00 - 16.00
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