Delivering our strategy—
Towards 2030.

Introduction

From Andrew Powell, Head of School

It is my great privilege to be the Head of School at Ascham.

Now is an exciting time to be a member of the Ascham community, as we move towards our 140th Anniversary in 2026, and beyond that towards 2030 and a new decade.

The Dalton Plan lies at the heart of everything we do at Ascham. The School motto Vi et Animo—with heart, soul, strength and courage—provides us a true pathway as we deliver an exceptional academic and co-curricular program.

Mapping out our strategy, Towards 2030, has given us the opportunity to both reflect deeply and think ahead creatively. What do we see as intrinsic to the ongoing success of Ascham? What are the core strengths of our community, our legacy and our reputation as an inclusive, high-performing school that we can draw on to map out our future?

We settled on six strategic commitments that are key to the success of our journey:

  1. Inspired teaching and learning
  2. Wellbeing for all
  3. Authentic student leadership
  4. A culture of high performance and growth
  5. Ascham community
  6. Sustaining our future.

Each is underpinned by a strategic priority that speaks to how we intend to realise our commitments.

At Ascham, we know every girl. We know what she needs to develop independence in her thinking, a sense of responsibility, and how she may grow her skills of collaboration and reflection, so that she flourishes today and tomorrow. The four Graduate attributes of our Strategic Plan mean that by the time each student walks out through the Ascham gates for the final time, she is equipped for life. Our graduates are:
 
  1. Generous collaborators
  2. Critical and agile thinkers
  3. Intrinsically motivated
  4. Authentically confident.

With a thriving student body, dedicated staff and a well-articulated School life, as we journey towards 2030 we are ready with a strategy that lights our path.

From Nell Anderson, Chair,
Ascham School Council

To begin crafting a strategy, it is essential to start with knowing who you are, what is your purpose, where you have been and where you want to go.

At Ascham, we began crafting our new strategy, Towards 2030, by taking the time to map out and reflect upon our School’s identity. We have a long and rich history of nearly 140 years and, while there is a valuable sense of tradition and indeed generations of family members have attended Ascham, we are a school that educates for today’s complex and diverse society, with changing responsibilities and expectations.

We know that the unique identity of Ascham is predicated on several pillars that we regard as foundational to who we are:

A girls’ school—While we regularly analyse the latest studies into co-education vs single-sex schools, we are proud of, and intend to stay, a single-sex school. We pride ourselves on knowing every girl, working with her, nurturing her abilities and supporting her through any challenges she encounters.

A richly diverse community—From families spanning four generations, to families who are new to Australia, First Nations students and refugee students, we have a diverse population of both current and past students and their families. Our city day girls learn hand-in-hand with their peers from the country, who make up a vibrant boarding community living and learning at Ascham.

A Dalton school—Ascham is the only school in Australia to teach under the Dalton Plan, and we have done so for the last 100 years. Dalton is our clear and unique differentiator when parents are considering Ascham. New parents often say in interviews that they have heard about Dalton and what a difference it makes for our girls when they leave school, attend university and enter the workforce. It’s true. We are proud not only of our long-term sustained academic excellence, but how Dalton provides a unique structure for holistic development of the whole student. The four pillars of Dalton—independence, responsibility, collaboration and reflection—are even more relevant and crucial today in an increasingly complex and digital world. We are confident that the unique combination of Dalton, our academic and flexible HSC curriculum, and our extensive co-curricular and leadership programs provide an unsurpassed offering for our students.

Non-denominational—we have always been a school without religious affiliation. Instead, we have a robust set of School values we live by that provide our north star to guide students and staff. They are: respect and kindness, collaboration and community, courage and resilience, acceptance and responsibility, and ambition.

These and other important elements, such as offering only means-tested scholarships and bursaries, come together to form the Ascham School identity of which we are proud.

A history with heart and soul

Founded in 1886, Ascham has a respected history, rich with significant events.

Our beginnings

Ascham has been providing the highest levels of education since 1886, when Miss Marie Wallis first established a school for nine day students in Marathon Road, Darling Point, expanding to boarders shortly after, in 1887. From the outset, the focus was firmly on strong academic development, thorough preparation for examinations and high levels of achievement.

The school was officially renamed to Ascham in 1890 by Miss Wallis, in respect of Elizabeth I’s tutor, Sir Roger Ascham. Author of The Scolemaster, Sir Roger was known for his enlightened educational philosophy.

In 1909, and after over 20 years of using rented accommodation, Ascham secured a permanent location at Glenrock in Darling Point, a fine Italianate house built by John Marks in 1876, set on six acres of land. The second Principal, Herbert Carter and his wife, Antoinette, also built new classrooms and an assembly hall, which were opened by Lady Poore on 26 August in the same year.

1922 was a defining year—Miss Bailey introduced a modified version of the Dalton Plan, with the purpose of preparing girls for university and life beyond school. In 1937, Ascham transitioned from the private ownership of Miss Bailey to a company, Ascham School Limited, to ensure the long-term succession of the School.

Ascham has continued to grow and evolve since these formative years, while staying true to its educational structure under the Dalton Plan, which drives a rigorous and widely respected academic program for day and boarding students.

Ascham today

Ascham remains proudly a girls’ school, with a deserved reputation for academic rigour and an approach that nurtures self-confidence, resilience and participation. Our vibrant, welcoming environment enables every girl to feel included and equal, so she grows and flourishes through her School years and beyond.

We are firmly committed to providing single-sex education, with strong evidence that it leads to higher academic achievement, greater confidence, more participation and grander aspirations. Every aspect of our teaching and learning environment is tailored specifically to the needs and preferences of girls.

Now more than ever, the Dalton Plan at Ascham is proving to be the perfect platform for girls to manage their educational journeys successfully, while retaining a sense of balance and positivity as they navigate the challenges of School life and their own development. It promotes regular interaction between students and teachers, and provides plenty of opportunities for in-depth collaboration and reflection through which our girls develop a real sense of responsibility and independence.

Combined with our Vi et Animo ethos—with heart and soul, strength and courage—our holistic approach develops a strong sense of empowerment and determination in our girls.

Who
we are

We offer rigorous academic programs from Prep to Year 12, complemented by relevant and engaging co-curricular activities.

Our commitment to the Dalton principles ensures we know every girl and what it is she needs to develop: independence in her thinking, a sense of responsibility, and the skills of collaboration and reflection, so that she flourishes both today and in her future.

We are proudly an independent school without religious affiliation.

This is our Dalton Difference,
and it matters now more than ever.

Our strategic
vision

Realising our
purpose:

The Dalton Difference—now more than ever.

Living our core values:

Respect and Kindness

Treat others as you wish to be treated. Display warmth, friendliness and generosity.

Collaboration and Community

Be both leaders and team players. Understand that the world is interdependent and seek to help others.

Courage and Resilience

Step forward to support what you believe is right. Treat setbacks as opportunities to learn and move forward.

Acceptance and Responsibility

Celebrate diversity and provide an environment that is supportive and inclusive. Own your own actions and recognise their potential influence.

Ambition

Show enthusiasm and appreciate challenge by setting goals.

Demonstrating our graduate
attributes:

Generous collaborators

Ascham students place heart and soul into their learning and collaborate generously, sharing their knowledge, understanding and encouragement within and beyond the classroom.

Critical and agile thinkers

Students learn to manage ambiguity and uncertainty, recognise multiple perspectives and empathise with others’ experiences. They leave as leaders of thinking, able to deliver sound arguments and respond positively to the changing nature of society.

Intrinsically motivated

Our graduates are leaders driven by a meaningful purpose that goes beyond the immediate objective. Their intrinsic motivation sets them up for a lifetime of learning, outstanding performance and leadership in their chosen careers.

Authentically confident

Our students have an unshakeable presence, and are quietly assertive. They graduate with an authentic confidence and having found their voice, enabling them to step outside their comfort zones and boldly pursue their goals.

Delivering on our strategic
commitments:

Inspired teaching and learning

Wellbeing for all

Authentic student leadership

A culture of high performance and growth

Ascham community

Sustaining our future

Defining our strategic commitments

Inspired teaching
and learning

The Dalton Plan ensures our students develop independence, take responsibility for themselves, collaborate generously and reflect upon their learning and purpose, growing through our rigorous academic program.

Inspired teaching and learning through the Dalton Plan means we develop intrinsically motivated students who are critical and agile thinkers who are ready and prepared to face a changing and challenging world with confidence.

Wellbeing
for all

A focused commitment to wellbeing is vital if every member of our community is to flourish.

Wellbeing for all means an intentional, integrated approach that underpins all that we do, fostering individuals’ ability to connect, learn and ultimately thrive. A focus on the cultivation of positive relationships and the implementation of research-based strategies optimises both individual and collective wellbeing in our School.

Authentic student leadership

Leadership for life.

We believe that every student has the capacity to become a leader.

Through our ethos of Vi et Animo, we empower our students to become lifelong, collaborative leaders who are equipped to make a positive contribution at School and in the broader community.

A culture
of high performance and growth

We believe that every staff member at Ascham is a leader in their field.

A culture of high performance and growth means we actively enhance, celebrate and extend the capacity of ourselves and others. We achieve this through professional learning that is bespoke to our needs, embracing a Vi et Animo mindset.

Our professional growth programs are renowned and respected as best practice in our industry.

Ascham
community

It's your place.

We have an instinctive need to belong. In a world of disconnect, now more than ever, belonging is crucial to our wellness and happiness.

'It’s your place' means developing and maintaining meaningful, lifelong engagement across the community—with past, present and future students, parents and staff—so that we grow together.

Sustaining
our future

So that we thrive well into the future, it is vital we continue to think and plan with sustainability and responsibility at the heart of everything we do.

This means being environmentally, socially and financially responsible in the management of our physical and virtual campus, enrolments and retention, and our supporting services.

Setting out our strategic
priorities

Inspired teaching and learning​​

Expand our knowledge and embed our Dalton Teaching and Learning Framework across P–12.

Embed our rigorous enrichment program and review the effectiveness of our Learning Enhancement model to develop independent learners.

Use data to advise and enhance our Dalton principles, practices and track student outcomes.

Implement an interconnected P–12 academic and co-curricular structure, utilising our resources to maximise opportunities for student learning.

Remain at the forefront of technological progression.

Wellbeing
for all

Integrate the Wellbeing Framework across our community of students, staff and parents.

Utilise digital resources to personalise and inform our wellbeing responses and initiatives.

Create meaningful co–educational opportunities to optimise socio-emotional learning and foster positive, respectful relationships.

Authentic student leadership

Leadership for life

Instil a collective understanding of leadership for life, through our P–12 Student Leadership Framework.

Design and embed an effective student leadership program P–12, where leadership skills, knowledge, attitudes and values are developed through a wide range of opportunities. 

A culture of high performance and growth

Embed our professional growth philosophy, aligning with our Dalton principles to celebrate staff achievements and strengthen our culture of high performance, best practice and ambition.

Design and deliver tailored programs that enhance the capacity of our staff to sustain a culture of high performance.

Establish partnerships with highly regarded external agencies and institutions to deliver impactful and enriching professional growth.

Expand and elevate our offerings for Teacher Education Students.

Ascham
community

It's your place

Collate and utilise engagement data to better understand, serve and celebrate our evolving community.

Grow the culture of participation and giving.

Implement the Ngara Commitment to consciously contribute to the process of reconciliation.

Elevate Ascham’s identity to continue our legacy of being a leader in girls’ education.

Sustaining our future

Maintain the high demand for current and future enrolments whilst remaining committed to knowing every girl.

Position Ascham as an employer of choice to recruit and retain the industry’s top talent.

Manage school resources with an ethos of sustainability and sound risk mitigation.

Identify opportunities to use facilities, materials and technologies in new and innovative ways.

Refresh and implement the School’s building masterplan.

Reimagine and enhance our boarding school offerings to position Ascham as the girls’ boarding school of choice for country families.

Delivering our strategy—
Towards 2030.

Become part of Ascham

Live and learn in an exciting, vibrant environment that nurtures self-confidence, resilience and participation. Begin the enrolment process now or find out more about our approach.

We look forward to welcoming you.

Acknowledgement
Contact us

All rights reserved © 2022 Ascham School

ABN: 69 180 683 767

CRICOS: 00380E