It is recommended that a child is registered two years before entry, but he/she can be registered at any time after birth. We would expect to meet parents and children prior to entry, although occasionally a skype conversation is possible. Prospective families are given a tour of the school and an informal interview from the Headmaster. This, together possibly with a taster day/24 hours will help ensure that Ashdown is the right environment for the child to flourish. We would also ask for sight of a child’s latest reports.
Overall view on curriculum
We are proud of a broad-ranging curriculum, both in and out of the classroom. In their penultimate year at Ashdown, children are offered the opportunity of spending half a term at the Chateau Sauveterre in France. Science, Geography and outward bound activities are offered at The Old Malthouse in Dorset . We are proud of our reputation for teaching languages: both modern (French throughout the school with the capacity to cater for bi-lingual children) and classic (Latin for all for three years and Greek for most children for either one or two years). Mandarin is also available as an extra. The headmaster would be happy to discuss other aspects of the curriculum when you visit the school.
With a strong boarding ethos, we are very much a seven day a week school. Day children come to school on Saturdays and there may be occasional Sundays when they are required to come in, eg Choral Day. Day children can remain at school up till 7.15 pm and very much feel part of the boarding community in so doing.
There are four ‘landings’ in the school and they are divided between year groups with girls and boys each having two houseparents (one for the juniors and one for the seniors). The school is small enough to ensure that the pastoral side of life reflects the family atmosphere of the school – often chaotic and busy with the usual ups and downs, but always caring. The Headmaster and his wife currently live in the main building and oversee the boarding community.
The school ‘rules’ can be found at the back of the Calendar and Good Mark Cards are carried by each child and are based upon common courtesy and awareness of other people in the community. We operate a system of rewards (good marks, ‘show ups’, presentations in Prayers) and sanctions (bad marks, loss of free time or seeing the Headmaster). The Headmaster sees the whole school in Prayers each morning where any issues are addressed.
The school reserves the right to exclude (suspend) a pupil for serious offences or for failing to respond to previous sanctions. In extreme circumstances a permanent exclusion or agreed withdrawal of a child may be a last resort (something that hasn’t happened at Ashdown in many years). It goes without saying that no corporal punishment is used in the school.
Ashdown House is a Christian school celebrating both Anglican and Roman Catholic traditions. Sunday and Wednesday services are an important part of school life. We aim, however, to provide an ecumenical approach appropriate for children of other denominations and faiths. Visiting preachers regularly attend our services and we hold Roman Catholic Mass two or three times a term with our School Chaplain.
Ashdown parents may request information relating to, or copies of, the school’s policies. The regulatory policies can be found on the website including those of Safeguarding, English as an Additional Language and First Aid provision.
The school’s Complaints Procedure may be requested by parents. Records of any complaints received will be kept and the school will provide, if requested, the number received during the past year. The Complaints Procedure is also on the website.
Staff and Trustees
A list of Staff can be found in the front of the Calendar and on the website. Mr Tom Beardmore-Gray is Principal of The Cothill Trust (contact: 01865 390030)
The School is part of The Cothill Trust whose Trustees can be found on the CET website.