The Ascham Tradition

Girl with hat looking right

Ascham is a non-selective, day and boarding girls’ school that provides a strong academic program within a friendly, inclusive culture. Through its liberal arts curriculum, the Dalton Plan, and extensive co-curricular offerings, an Ascham girl is supported to develop into a confident, independent, compassionate young woman with a sense of purpose in the world. 

We are proud of our girls and of their contribution to school and beyond. Ascham presents each girl with personal challenges so she can seek to explore her potential and begin to become all she hoped for – and more. The school believes passionately in the education of young women and works in partnership with parents, staff and alumnae to create a nurturing and exciting atmosphere in which each girl can grow. We seek to build resilience by helping each girl develop the confidence to stretch herself and stumble. We believe that self-confidence comes from effort leading to real achievement, and that learning to bounce back from setbacks is an integral part of this process.

Our academic approach

Founded in 1886, the school has always aimed for girls to pursue a thorough and rigorous academic program. This is underpinned by the individual attention they receive through a modified version of the Dalton Plan, which is a method of organising teaching such that girls are not only taught well but become active drivers of their own learning. The Dalton Plan originated in the USA as part of the progressive education movement. This method allows the students, in close cooperation with their teachers, to take responsibility for and ownership of their learning. They develop a keen interest in their subjects, the ability to question and debate ideas and exceptional time-management and organisational skills. This individual and independent approach not only benefits each girl but lifts the understanding and achievement of all.

Community

Ascham girls have a strong sense of community. The school is organised in three sections: Preparatory School, Prep to Year 2 (called Hillingdon), Junior School, Year 3 to Year 6 (called Fiona) and Senior School, Year 7 to Year 12. All sections of the school, from Prep to Year 12, are on the same site which encourages interaction between years and promotes support for each other as well as continuity throughout their education. Boarding is an integral part of the school community and all boarding houses are on the school site. 

Co-curricular

Girls are involved from early in their education in contributing to school life through co-curricular activities and leadership opportunities. In addition, from Year 6, they take part in community service both inside and outside school. Ascham has built two schools in Cambodia and continues to support them through fund raising and annual visits.

Sport, music and drama are important aspects of school ethos. Ascham girls understand that a well-rounded life is important. There is a very high participation rate in all co-curricular activities and girls learn to work together in sporting teams, music groups and drama productions. In addition there are debating, chess, dance and myriad clubs and societies available. These activities provide each girl with opportunities to develop her talents and learn new skills.

Well-being

The well-being of each girl is vital. We aim to help girls build healthy minds and bodies as well as develop their emotional intelligence so they will benefit from positive and respectful relationships. The school employs a strong support system of form teachers, year coordinators, and school counsellors as well as developmental programs to help girls build resilience, compassion and understanding of themselves and others. 

Ascham is independent of any religious affiliation. Girls are introduced to the world’s major religious and ethical systems and they learn to respect and value the richness of diversity of thought and culture. The school seeks to help girls develop strong moral and social values including a sense of connection with and responsibility for others. 

An Ascham girl

Ascham seeks to assist the development of girls into energetic, interesting young women who: 

  • support each other, care for others and appreciate diversity
  • engage with the world, have a strong ethical sense and are deeply aware of their responsibilities
  • have a wide range of interests, a zest for learning and strive to do their best
  • are resilient independent thinkers, open-minded but true to themselves and their values
  • are flexible, resourceful, and confident in their skills
  • are ready and equipped to achieve their full potential in tertiary education, and life beyond. 

The Alliance of Girls' Schools

Ascham is a member of The Alliance of Girls' Schools.