A Dalton Education

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At the heart of Ascham’s learning and teaching excellence is our focus on the individual girl, achieved through The Dalton Plan. The Dalton Plan stimulates self-reliance, assists each girl to assume responsibility for her own learning and engages both learner and teacher in intellectual partnership.

The Dalton plan at Ascham involves a combination of lessons and studies where each student makes active decisions about how she works and learns. This way of learning, and the confidence and independence it gives, stays with our girls throughout their tertiary study and into their careers. It helps lift and sustain the academic progress of every one of our girls, whatever their abilities and aspirations. It is uniquely Ascham.

Dalton at Ascham comprises three main components: the lesson, the study and the assignment. Girls attend lessons in class groups where teachers deliver the curriculum. In studies, girls learn to work in different ways; in groups, independently and in partnership with their teacher. The assignment sets out the work for each topic so that girls are able to plan their work for the week, in conjunction with their teachers. 

We encourage each girl to have a questioning spirit, to engage in driving her own learning, negotiating and processing ideas with her teachers. Teacher and learner work together to explore intellectual possibilities and thereby gain greater understanding. The opportunity for all girls to interact individually with teachers in study periods, to ask questions, to try out ideas, is at the heart of Ascham’s commitment to educational engagement and challenge from which academic achievements flow. Not only does this benefit each girl but it also lifts the understanding and achievement of all girls. 

Girls and staff talk about Dalton at Ascham