A Dalton education
Ascham girls develop an extraordinary skillset and leave School ready to meet the challenges of the 21st century, thanks to the distinctive academic framework of the Dalton Plan.
The Dalton Plan
Now more than ever, students on their educational journeys need guidance and structure, to develop firm foundations and relevant abilities both academically and personally. They must delve more deeply into their learning and seek clarity through questioning and collaboration. Just as importantly, they need to retain a sense of balance and positivity as they navigate the challenges of School life and their own development.
The Dalton Plan at Ascham is the perfect platform for our girls to manage this successfully. 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.
Our approach to academic excellence
Our teaching philosophy embraces the four principles of the Dalton Plan—collaboration, responsibility, reflection and independence. Together, these ‘pillars’ inspire classroom learning and individual development, and present personal challenges that develop academic potential. We encourage her to stretch herself and stumble along the way, applying effort to meet the demands of the curriculum and striving for her best in whatever pursuits she follows.
Throughout her time, our vibrant learning environment and strong community network build personal confidence, develop social connection and instil a well-developed sense of being.
This ethos stays with our girls well beyond their lives at Ascham, sustaining their tertiary studies and subsequent careers, whatever their abilities and aspirations.
Vi et Animo
— uniquely Ascham
At Ascham, to ‘do well at school’ means much more than just succeeding academically—something that can only happen when a girl feels connected, balanced and well socially, emotionally and physically.
A wide range of lessons, initiatives, workshops and activities combine to our unique Vi et Animo wellbeing program, central to every girl’s education at Ascham.
Girls develop an ‘academic buoyancy’ through our wellbeing framework, ‘Vi et Animo’ — with heart, soul, strength and courage —built on our values and the philosophy of the Dalton Plan. It provides the foundation for our girls to take a proactive approach to their learning challenges, to feel well in themselves and in turn flourish in their various activities—in the girls’ own words, ‘feeling good and functioning well’.
Academic buoyancy is vital for every girl: they enjoy School life more completely as they become more resilient, with greater capacity for coping with the everyday setbacks that are a natural and essential part of learning and growing.
Education with strong values
We focus firmly on maintaining a positive, inclusive culture, guiding girls to develop core values, positive attitudes and respectful behaviours that lead to a healthy, happy and fulfilling life. We actively encourage our girls, staff, parents and Ascham Old Girls to display:
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.
Show enthusiasm and appreciate challenge by setting goals.
Learning and living on campus
Ascham accommodates all girls in a single, 5-hectare campus in Edgecliff. From their earliest years to completing their HSC, girls call this central location home and are in easy reach of Sydney Harbour, Bondi Beach, buses, trains and ferries, and all the activities and excitement that Sydney has to offer.
Our boarders also live right at the heart of the School, creating a real sense of community for everyone.
They have access to all of the School’s facilities as well as local transport and Sydney’s wider social, arts and entertainment offerings.
A culture of positive leadership
We encourage Ascham girls to be brave, resourceful and proud of their role in the world, helping to shape the society they live in as leaders. We embrace this through a culture of positive leadership, using the Dalton Plan and our values to guide development and allowing them to truly thrive.
Girls take part in workshops, camps and other programs to develop their skills in resilience, leadership, communications, confidence, self-discipline and teamwork. Further activities provide guidance in entrepreneurship and empowerment and developing study skills.
Hillingdon (P-2) offers girls the chance to carry out a Leader or Monitor role, a commitment that teaches a sense of independence as well as team spirit. Girls are always excited to be developing leadership skills at this early age and look forward to fulfilling their responsibilities.
There are a number of opportunities for Fiona (3-6) girls to be leaders, including Class Captain and Vice-Captain. Year 6 students can take on a prefect role and undertake responsibility for a portfolio taken from various areas.
A Service Learning Program operates from Year 7, allowing girls to explore different dimensions of leading through commitment to a cause and from Year 9, girls can participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
Senior School girls can nominate for leadership positions with the Student Representative Council as well as Form Representatives. Girls are encouraged to take on informal leadership roles in areas where they have a passion and sense of purpose.
The expertise and commitment of Ascham’s teachers are just two reasons why Ascham girls flourish in their time at School and in later life.
Our experienced, dedicated staff inspire girls in their academic and wider endeavours, building strong and rewarding relationships with them under the guidance of the Dalton Plan – as a result, our girls thrive in all aspects of their educational development.
School life is enriched with the willingness of staff to participate in the wide range of activities on offer, and through their approach they engender a love of learning and the mindset to embrace life with courage.