Our academic scholars have access to a rigorous package of stretch and support to ensure that they make the very best not only of their award, but of their academic experience at the School.
The central pillars of this are as follows:
Our mentoring programme exists to ensure that all scholars are fully supported through academic life. Each lower and middle school scholar is assigned a dedicated mentor from the staff body who meets them on a half-termly basis to discuss progress, challenges and points for development. These sessions are used as a springboard for academic discussion, promotion of wider reading and exposure to new ideas. In addition, we operate a less formal student mentoring programme, whereby are senior Sixth Form are trained to oversee the progress, attainment and engagement of their younger counterparts. All mentoring overseen by Mr Vafidis, the School’s Lead in charge of High Potential Learners and Challenge. Mrs Miller, Director of Sixth Form, acts as a lead mentor for Sixth Form academic scholars.
Octagon Lecture Series
Our Octagon Lecture Series, a bespoke programme of talks, exists to push students’ perception of and exposure to different subject disciplines. This runs alongside our wider scheme of department-led enrichment events, such as the Humanities Twilight talks. As part of the Octagon Lecture Series, representatives of each faculty deliver lunchtime talks and host discussions that look at an obscure or unusual element linked to their subject specialism, to take students beyond the parameters of the curriculum. These are delivered on a half-termly basis and are compulsory for all scholars.
13th October: Mrs MacKinnon – How to be a writer
3rd November: Mrs Hall – Do we need to change our view on giving to charity?
8th December: Mrs Miller – Can Psychopaths show empathy?
26th Jan: Dr Britton – When Statistics Lie
9th March: Dr Dickers – Biomedical materials science: the future of joint replacement surgery
4th May: Mr Radcliffe – Commoditisation of freight
Mr Kendall: Why is the gap between rich and poor getting wider, both in the UK and globally, and should we be worried about it?
Dr Hayes: Nathaniel Lee – Forgotten Genius of the Restoration Stage
Teas and socials
Scholars’ Society Teas are held on a termly basis. All academic scholars are treated to a year-group meet-up with teas, hot chocolate and pastries served. From there, they participate in a briefing, activity or social time. These sessions build on the mentoring programme and encourage socialisation, cross-pollination of ideas, debate, exchange and cohesion as a year group.
All academic scholars receive a badge recognising their achievement and status. They also have a dedicated Scholars’ Noticeboard in the library. As well as showing who the scholars are, this displays information on upcoming events, talks, articles, podcasts and exhibitions.
At Ashford School, we have high expectations of academic scholars. The scholarship programme offers the opportunity to set the tone for academic excellence. Accordingly, scholars are expected to participate fully in the programme and act as role models for what hard work, high achievement and effective study skills look like at Ashford School.
Head of Academic Scholars
Student Leadership is an essential cornerstone of the Scholars’ programme, and every year the schedule is overseen by a Senior member of the Upper Sixth. The Head of Academic Scholars coordinates the mentoring scheme, and occupies the role as student ambassador for all award holders. This can range from providing support, delivering lectures to setting the annual agenda. We are extremely proud that our programme is, to a great extent, generated by the students for the students. This outstanding effort (and fierce competition) year on year, is instrumental in ensuring the success and vitality of the programme.