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Welcome to Hillingdon

Years P to 2

The first few years in a girl’s education are important steps in developing a love of learning. In Hillingdon, our role is to help nurture this passion and build confident learners, while ensuring each girl feels safe, secure and supported in her surroundings.

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Average class size, allowing for a caring, supportive approach to teaching and learning.

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of Ascham 2016 Year 12 students were offered entry into Universities.

Judi Butcher, Head of Junior School

Our highly qualified staff are dedicated to caring for the girls on a daily basis, valuing each as an individual and helping them become active participants in her own learning. They have strong foundational skills across the curriculum and use The Spalding Method to teach literacy and develop excellent skills in reading, writing and spelling.

A varied program of activities

The girls have a rich and varied program including excursions, assemblies, concerts, incursions and parent events that broaden their horizons and give them a real sense of enjoyment and community. Visual Arts, Physical Education, Music and Languages programs, each taught by specialist staff, are also incorporated into classroom activities.

Co-curricular activities are also introduced early in the girls’ schooling. Prep and Kindergarten students are offered many opportunities to develop a love of music and sport.

Introducing
the Dalton
Plan

The philosophy of the Dalton Plan begins in Hillingdon, when girls are introduced to the concepts of independence and responsibility while they learn and complete tasks.

From Prep to Year 2, the concepts of independence and responsibility in completing tasks are continually reinforced. The girls also team with learning buddies in order to collaborate and reflect on their work and their learning approach is informed through the Spalding Method.

Curriculum

Student life and learning in Hillingdon is stimulating and engaging. It is important that each child feels connected, challenged and valued. Our well-balanced curriculum focuses on developing literacy and numeracy skills.

The Spalding Method—a multi-sensory, structured language program

Ascham uses The Spalding Method to help build strong decoding and encoding skills for reading, spelling and writing. It enables girls to gain an understanding of how the English language works. Children look, listen, say and write simultaneously and concentration is focused. All class teachers are trained in this method, so there is consistency and continuity from class to class and from year to year.

Small class sizes allow for a caring, supportive approach to teaching and learning. Each class is staffed by highly qualified, specialist teachers in Music, Physical Education, Visual Arts, French, Mandarin, Library and Learning Enhancement teachers in Mathematics and English.

Reaching learning goals through critical thinking

Critical thinking skills are explicitly taught through a number of thinking routines. Assessment strategies enable girls to articulate their learning goals and to understand how to achieve them. Feedback from their teachers, learning buddies and peers allows girls to consider the next steps in their learning.

Technology as a learning tool

Technology is widely used in Hillingdon to support learning, and incorporated into activities across the curriculum. All students have access to networked computers and sets of iPads and laptops. There are interactive whiteboards in all classrooms, as well as a central computer lab.

STEAM and Innovation

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education is vital to the future of our girls, and complements the Dalton Plan well. We introduce girls to this critical teaching platform with a range of programs and activities.

Projects combining elements of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) engage girls in authentic problem solving, project management and collaboration, skills which align with the Dalton philosophy.

Inspired learning

Girls are introduced to project-based learning, working on fun and challenging projects, including Little Bits and Makey Makey kits (creating new things out of objects), 3D design and printing, coding with iPads and Bee Bots, an activity that allows girls to build robots.

Lunch time groups also run throughout the year for Year 1 and 2 students to pursue their interests, be creative and help each other on projects, applying skills they have learnt to projects that interest them.

Student Wellbeing

Student wellbeing is integral to all that we do in Hillingdon, and we have a proactive pastoral care program where each girl is known and nurtured as an individual.

We constantly strive to provide a happy and caring environment where each girl feels secure in these early years of her educational journey. We encourage our girls to appreciate their own worth, find their place and build their confidence in learning.

Ascham is based on the fundamental values of trust, respect, co-operation and concern for others, and we help foster these in our girls from the very start of their school life. Our Personal Development classes and Social Skills programs provide a suitable platform for teaching these values, along with common courtesy and good manners.

Our You Can Do It! program helps encourage positive social skills and service to others and is supported through buddy groups, charity days and sponsorships.

We also provide exposure to a range of leadership responsibilities, offering girls the chance to carry out a Leader or Monitor role. Girls look forward to fulfilling their responsibilities and are excited to be developing a range of leadership skills at this early age. This commitment helps to foster independence as well as team spirit

Co-curricular

Sport, Music and Drama are important aspects of School life and we introduce a wide range of activities to girls in Hillingdon.

All girls are encouraged to experience the enjoyment and benefits of co-curricular activities, and learn to work together in sporting teams, music groups and drama productions. Active involvement helps promote the growth of well-rounded students and ensures that girls are able to maintain a balance in School life through academic pursuit, co-curricular activity and free play.

Hillingdon Sport

At Ascham we value participation in sport and it has always been an integral part of our students’ daily life. The Hillingdon Sports Program is supported by a highly experienced team of Head coaches and coaching staff who provide girls with the opportunity to participate and develop as players in a safe and enjoyable sporting environment.

We offer a range of competitive and non-competitive sporting opportunities, enabling students to select sports based on their personal interest and available time.

There are a number of co-curricular sports offered to the girls in Hillingdon before and after school, including Swimming lessons, Tennis lessons, Dance, Gymnastics, Diving and Football.

Hillingdon Music

We offer many opportunities to encounter and appreciate music in a wide variety of forms and styles, and encourage Hillingdon girls of all levels to participate actively in the musical life of the School.

Classroom Music

Hillingdon Classroom Music is based on The Kodaly method, through which girls receive stimulating and enjoyable music lessons, while teaching them as a whole in a logical manner.

Instrumental Tuition

Violin and cello lessons available for all Hillingdon girls, while Piano lessons are available from Year 1. Half-hour private lessons and half-hour group lessons for cello and violin are also offered on a weekly basis.

Performance Opportunities

All girls are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many performance opportunities offered to them, including participating in instrumental ensembles and performing at assemblies, recitals and formal concerts.

Hillingdon Soirées—a joint event from the Music and Speech and Drama Departments— and Twilight Concerts are held each term.

Hillingdon String Program

Hillingdon girls who learn a string instrument also participate in a weekly group lesson with a focus on developing ensemble playing skills, sight reading skills and to further enhance their playing posture and technique. Advanced string players from Kindergarten to Year 2 are encouraged to audition for Poco Ensemble.

Involved with
the Community

While in Hillingdon, girls develop an understanding of the importance of caring for others.

Hillingdon supports a number of charities through various collections, charity and mufti days. Girls also sponsor a World Vision child and contribute to a range of worthy causes including Greystanes Children’s Home Leura, The Royal Hospital for Women, Guide Dogs Australia, and The Children’s Medical Research Centre.

Collections for Easter and Christmas presents and tinned food are made for Barnardos Australia twice annually.

After School Care

The Ascham After School Care Program caters exclusively to Ascham students and is available for all Hillingdon girls every afternoon in a safe and secure environment.

This program is provided at an extra cost and runs from 2.30pm to 6pm on weekdays. As well as supervised homework time, activities including art, craft, games and cooking are organised by experienced childcare staff. Afternoon tea is provided.

Attendance can be on a permanent or casual basis.

Ascham School