There has been a lot to celebrate lately at Ascham—this year marks 100 years since the unique educational framework, the Dalton Plan, was introduced to our School. Since 1922, thousands of Ascham students have graduated with a toolkit of skills built on the Dalton pillars of independence, responsibility, collaboration and reflection.
Just one 2021 Ascham graduate and boarder who embraced everything the Dalton Plan has to offer is Sophie Deal of Wagga. In Year 12, Sophie was Co-Head of Boarding, Captain of Speech and Drama, and a prefect on the School Committee. Now, Sophie has embarked on a big move to Adelaide where she is undertaking a Bachelor of Clinical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine at Flinders University.
The Dalton Plan’s three elements of Lesson, Assignment and Study provided the structure for Sophie to plan her assignments, schooldays and workload—building responsible skills and habits that she now applies to her university studies.
‘The Dalton Plan developed my skills in knowing when I needed help and provided me with time to ask my teachers for it. It helped me plan my weeks to balance my workload and other activities. Right before I started my university degree, I took a trip to Officeworks and immediately bought myself a diary [just like the Ascham School Diary!] so that I could plan my days by the hour, and note when I have assignments and assessments due. This was always a key element of the Dalton Plan that was useful to me at school: starting the week off through planning, knowing your workload and making time for long-term assessments throughout your week,’ she said.
Sophie added that being a boarder at Ascham was beneficial for her.
‘The Boarders’ Prep tutors were always an advantage to have, as we studied in the evening, and we could get help with work promptly without waiting to see our teachers in a Study. Boarding fosters the Dalton pillars of independence, responsibility, collaboration and reflection as it allows students to grow and develop as individuals, alongside their peers. Developing these four traits was invaluable as a boarder to cope living away from home and enjoy being a part of the Boarding community,’ said Sophie.
When asked about the ‘Dalton Difference’, Sophie replied that she feels students develop a sense of independence and autonomy in relation to work and study under the Dalton Plan. ‘It compels students to aspire to a balanced lifestyle,’ she said.
With balance and wellbeing being at the heart of teaching and learning at Ascham, we look forward to another 100 years of Ascham students flourishing under the Dalton Plan!