Ashton C of E Middle School provides pupils with an extensive curriculum taught by specialist staff. Our school is underpinned by Christian values. We are an inclusive school, valuing and respecting everyone equally. We teach our pupils to set high expectations of themselves and to show compassion towards others. As such our pupils leave our school as enthusiastic and independent learners and fully prepared for the next phase of education
The Future of Ashton Middle School The Governing Body of Ashton C of E Middle School will apply to Central Bedfordshire Council, subject to the outcome of the consultation process, to change the age range of pupils from the current arrangement from 9 years to 13 years to 11 years to 16 years from 1st September 2015.
The Future of Ashton Middle School DateAction 13 th January 2014Informal Consultation begins 20 th January 2014 3.30 pm at the schoolMeeting with Ashton Middle School staff 20 th January 2014 6.30pm at the schoolMeeting with parents, community and other stakeholders 3 rd March 2014Consultation ends 5 th March 2014Governing Body meet to consider results of consultation and to decide whether to proceed to the publication of statutory notices 12 th March 2014Publication of statutory notices (Formal publication of the proposal) 13 th March 2014Representation (Opportunities for interested parties to make their views known) 1 st May 2014Representation ends June 2014Decision made by Central Bedfordshire Council 1 st September 2015Proposed implementation
Why change? All Lower Schools in Houghton Regis were granted permission by the Local Authority to operate as 4-11 Primary Schools from September 2013. Hadrian Academy and St Christopher’s Academy, were granted Primary (4-11) status from October 2012 Barnfield Vale Academy (formerly Mill Vale Middle School) admitted children into Years R to 5 from September 2013. All Saints Academy, formerly a 13-18 Upper School, is operating as an 11- 18 Academy Houghton Regis Academy is also making the transition from being a Middle School to an 11-18 secondary school from September 2013.
Why change? Lark Rise, Ardley Hill and St Augustine’s Academies to operate as full Primary Schools, retaining Year 5 pupils from September 2014; Lancot, Kensworth and Ashton St Peter’s Lower Schools to operate as full Primary Schools, retaining Year 5 pupils from September 2014; Queensbury Academy to operate as a full Secondary School, admitting pupils into both Year 7 and Year 9 in September 2014; Manshead Upper School to operate as a full Secondary School, admitting pupils into both Year 7 and Year 9 in September 2014; Priory Academy to operate as a 9 -16 Secondary School, retaining pupils into Year 9 from September 2014.
Our Proposal The Governing body believe that our children would benefit from a secondary school setting that is designed to meet the desired learning needs of the Key Stages 3 and 4 students. The change proposed would provide stability and a continuity of learning and more significantly the changing face of schooling in Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Luton and the immediate locality.
Our Proposal FromAction September 2015Year 8 pupils remain at Frances Ashton C of E secondary school and move into Year 9. There will be no admission into Year 5 at this point, but current Year 5 pupils would move into, what would be, a final Year 6. September 2016Year 9 pupils remain at Frances Ashton C of E secondary school and move into Year 10. Year 6 pupils remain at the school and move into Year 7, to be joined by the first admission into that year group from local Primary Schools. September 2017Year 10 pupils at Frances Ashton C of E secondary school move into Year 11.
Mrs Lesley Phillips Headteacher Ashton C of E Middle School
Time To Move On We are supporting the needs of our local community. By 2015 Dunstable will, effectively, be a two tier system. Shortage of secondary stage places.
Time to move on: We are supporting the needs of our local community. Parents are desperate for a clear route for their children. By 2015 Dunstable will, effectively, be a two tier system – perhaps rather more complicated than most but two tier, nevertheless. We know that the shortage places are in the secondary stages and that is what we are offering.
Why another secondary school in the Dunstable area? A bespoke education. A smaller school with a focus on support and innovative teaching. We have the staff and the facilities. We have time to plan and prepare.
We are offering a bespoke education where support, flexibility and individualised learning will be our key focus. We are already a school that does things slightly differently, takes risks and thrives on opportunity – we aim to continue in this vein. As a school we are well known and respected for the support we offer our pupils. We have an onsite fully trained counsellor to provide additional emotional support as well as an assistant Headteacher who is experienced in her role as the designated safeguarding officer. We have close links with 4YPS which works closely with young people and their career choices.
You will hear later about our links with Develop EBP this company also works closely to support young people and young adults in preparing for their future employment. Many of the staff (50%) are already secondary trained and we have most of the facilities. Other staff also have secondary school training. In areas where facilities need to be extended or provided we have given our selves a sensible time frame in which to plan and prepare for an exciting future. We have 5 years to grow and develop.
Where are we now? We are already underway in our preparations. We are also proud to be working alongside DevelopEBP and we are now the designated training centre for digital technology for the South East of England. We already have access to high technology equipment and all of our pupils will be using this equipment as a matter of course.
Design Technology HPC Laser Cutting Machine Dimension 3D Printer Autodesk Inventor DevelopEBP: Design and Technology Association (DATA): Associations with Industry Training and tuition for pupils and parents alike Green Power Goblin Formula F1 Ceesay Design Challenge Rocket Club STEM Association with STEMNET
A wealth of expertise Our staff are experienced in all academic subjects. We already provide our pupils with a high level of academic experience. GCSE’s Maths / French 5 pupils who left Manshead to go on to Oxford and Cambridge – All 5 ex- Ashton pupils. Maths Challenge Science challenges We can provide knowledge and experience across the curriculum
Excellence Across the Curriculum French Department Students have also undertaken an official GCSE examination, with one pupil attaining an A*. Maths Department As Ashton Middle School, we are the only school in the county to have entered and won the Secondary Challenge ‘The Jaguar: MATHS in Motions School Challenge’. Our Yr8 pupils competed against secondary schools from across the country Previously, Yr8 students have taken mock GCSE exams under exam conditions with the majority of students attaining grades C.
As teaching staff We also have published authors in both the History and Science Department and we are also proud owners of the following: Doctorate in Molecular Genetics Accredited Photographer In our transition from Middle School to a Secondary School we can boast an impressive array of skills within our teaching staff. Excellence Across the Curriculum
Refurbishment of the hall with staging, lighting, a new sound booth and sound proofed partitioning. Areas of specialism include DT, Music, drama, and Art. Advanced skill set with recent appointments including Mr Colin Creasey Mrs Melissa Joliffe Future plans
Training for existing staff so that their knowledge of GCSE’s will be current and relevant. With all the changes that are taking place in the delivery of GCSE’s this will be the same situation for all teachers of KS4. Our LCVAP funding application, this year, is to refurbish this hall with staging, lighting, a new sound booth and sound proofed partitioning in preparation for one of our chosen areas of specialism. These areas of specialism include Music, drama, and Art – all recognised as outstanding features of our school.
We are confident in our skill set and recent appointments include Mr Colin Creasey who comes from Cedars and is fully versed in the KS4 curriculum for DT – this will be another of our specialist areas. Mrs Melissa Joliffe our new Head of English. She is both an outstanding teacher in her own right and has left an English department that has been deemed “Outstanding” by OFSTED. She is fully competent in KS2/3 and 4. Future plans
EBAC We are already looking closely at the EBAC – this is not only a current national recommendation but also highly thought of by our top universities. The EBAC includes English, Maths, Science, a language and History and Geography. We are aware that the government have been keen to implement the EBAC and we are also aware of the issues that have arisen around this possible change to the GCSE curriculum BUT we also know that the top universities think very highly of the depth and breadth of the EBAC programme. We will definitely consider this option as part of our plans.
Forging Links Middlesex University University of Northampton University of Bedfordshire
As part of our 5 year plan we aim to forge significant links to inspire our pupils to “aim higher” We are lucky enough to have a Chair of Governors who already has strong ties to The University of Middlesex. I am a graduate of Leicester University and as a teacher, a graduate of the University of Northampton. Similarly, in his early years of training Mr Creasey was “The face of the University of Bedfordshire. Forging Links
We would like to make use of our connections, as well as these local links, very early on in the education of our pupils purely through visits, contact and possible joint projects to inspire them to “aim higher” and to experience the possibilities of the next stage of education? Our vision is always to prepare our young people for a future that is always possible and within their reach. As the old saying goes “Nothing is impossible – even the word says “I’m possible” Forging Links
“A” Levels Shared learning between Upper Schools, as happens now. Luton 6 th Form college University Technical College
Where will our pupils go next? We will again be working hard to determine a number of routes for higher education. There are already many possible routes of further education for pupils in our community. Learning is, and can be, shared between a variety of Upper Schools according to the interests and preferences of the students. We would guide our pupils to make appropriate choices in this way. We will also look closely at places such as Luton 6 th Form College and the UTC. “The UTC learning experience is like no other. You will spend a significant proportion of your timetable in our workshops and product design centre working on industry-related live briefs that will give you the hands on experience you need to take the next step in your engineering or design career. “ UTC At this stage in their education, young people are ready to choose again and to make informed choices about their chosen subjects. We will guide and facilitate those choices. “A” Levels
As the Government have raised the participation age there will be a variety of initiatives that will be offered and we will be looking closely at all these options and may, in the future, be able to support our own ideas. Some of these options will include: Volunteering. Work-based training. Apprenticeships. Alternatives to “A” Levels
What do the pupils think? We asked all of our pupils to consider their views on the future of Ashton Middle School. They thought about logos, uniforms, mottos, mission statements, web pages – a variety of topics. The following pages are direct example from the pupils work (just one group of pupils).
Our Mission Statement “At The Frances Ashton Secondary School we aim to enhance our pupil’s maturity, as well as their knowledge, in a safe and friendly environment, to ensure pupils take with them excitement for future learning and confidence on their life’s journey. We encourage each individual to work to the best of their ability and strive towards helping others, not just in school but in the wider community. This is the foundation of our motto, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” Tristan Randolf and Daniel Pinner
The image is just my brief resume of their design – probably nothing like they would want it to look but it is the philosophy behind it that really matters. Our logo is a metaphor. The dragon is a symbol for the children who eventually spread their wings and fly away from the Ashton nest. Ashton has helped strengthen the wings on their backs. We chose a dragon over a bird because dragons are strong, proud and noble creatures and Ashton makes dragons out of birds! We have chosen a hammer because much like a hammer breaks physical walls, Ashton helps to break down the metaphorical walls of race and cultural backgrounds and promotes diversity amongst the teacher-student-parent network. Sydney Ibie, Ryan Gemmell, Sam Crosby, School Logo
I am not sure I have anything further to add. The pupils have said it all. At Ashton we are all dragons We are strong, we are noble And we are ready to fly