'Achieving beyond expectations' means that our school aims to:
- encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning.
- challenge pupils of all abilities and strive to achieve their full potential.
- involve parents in their children's learning.
- develop an ethos where striving for excellence is a natural part of our culture.
- provide resources that support the individual learning needs of our pupils.
- reward pupils when effort or attainment exceeds our expectations.
- take full advantage of the school's beautiful surroundings throughout our curriculum.
- encourage every pupil to play an active part in our vast extra curricular activities available at lunch times and after school.
- ensure that our pupils aspire to meaningful, fulfilling lives.
- encourage every pupil to achieve their best at all times. Second best is not good enough at Ashton Park School.
- create a happy, secure, caring environment where politeness, honesty, loyalty and integrity are valued.
- help pupils develop personal moral value, respect for religious values and an understanding of the needs and rights of individuals
- instil in pupils their role as ambassadors of our school in the community so that they develop a sense of their own worth, belonging and pride in attending Ashton Park School
Activities / School Visits
Pupils can try new, and exciting activities.
Visits abroad and camping in Devon are just two of the activities offered, during our Activities Week.
In addition, there is an extensive range of courses, many off site, which the school funds from its budget.
Visits to Normandy, Paris and Germany are organised by the Modern Language Department, ski trips and sports tours through the PE Department, enabling students to experience other languages and cultures.
Charging and Remission Policy
The governors have a detailed policy which can be obtained by applying to the Headteacher.
The principles rest on the request to parents to make a voluntary contribution to school visits but the school will make reductions of up to 50% in certain circumstances to parents on Income Support.
If you have any complaints or worries about your child's life at Ashton Park please contact us. We aim to sort the problem out immediately.
In the unlikely event of you still not being satisfied, then we will use the formal procedure via the Governors and Local Education Authority. The details of this are available from the Headteacher.
The Chair of Governors may be contacted via the school.
Parents are able to see copies of all government circulars and acts by asking the Headteacher to make these available to them.
The schooI has a traditional approach to conduct, relationships and values. Self discipline and self esteem are fostered and we stress two basic principles that pupils should work to the best of their ability and that they should behave in a considerate and thoughtful manner.
The School adopts a policy of firmness and fairness in its control of pupils. School rules are kept to the minimum necessary to maintain an orderly and purposeful atmosphere. School rules are displayed in all tutor rooms and are available to parents on request.
Self-discipline is the best kind of discipline, which we try to make our pupils realise. Bad behaviour has to be discouraged and pupils who go astray may be kept behind for a maximum of 10 minutes at the end of the day without prior warning to parents. If there is more persistent infringement pupils are given at least 24 hours' notice of a longer detention and a letter will be posted home explaining the reason for the length of their detention.
The School operates a 'Remove Room' where pupils are sent if they act in a way that stops others from learning. Pupils who are placed in this room work in isolation, have no morning break and have only 30 minutes for lunch. By operating this system we can assure parents that quality learning is available to all pupils every lesson.
Depending on the nature and severity of the offence, breaches of discipline may also result in reprimands, a detention, extra work or exclusion, in accordance with the Local Education Authority system.
In all matters of discipline, except the most minor instances, parents are informed, as we believe that parental involvement and interest are important factors in the way their child responds to school.
The School Library is open at lunch times and after school. Pupils are encouraged to borrow books and to use the library for research to support their studies.
There is also a school bookshop where pupils can buy their own books from the range available.
Our Careers Officer is also based in the library providing an extensive range of information for students making decisions on their future.
All schools say they are caring. We believe our school goes beyond this.
Not only do we have tutors and Head of Year, who daily look after the same small group of pupils, but we involve older pupils in supporting children in Years 7 and 8. This engenders a real caring and family atmosphere that allows new pupils to feel welcome right from the start.
In any large school it is necessary to set up a system which breaks the school down into small units to ensure that each child can be known as an individual who will have regular daily contact with one member of staff. Ashton Park operates a Year system with the tutor group providing the daily personal contact for pupils and the tutor being the initial reference point for parents. If serious problems of any sort arise, they will be dealt with by a Head of Year who may need to refer the problems to the Deputy Head.
The Tutorial System occupies a vital place in the organisation of the school. On entering the school each child is assigned to a Tutor Group and becomes a member of one of the three Houses so that they can participate in House activities such as games and athletics.
In our current year 7 there are approximately 200 pupils under the direction of our Head of Year. Each tutor group consists of about 28 children of all ranges of ability. They meet their tutor, each morning for 20 minutes to take the register and follow a tutorial programme, which includes Assembly. In the afternoons there is a 5 minute registration period. On one of these sessions the School Prefects join the tutors to help the year 7 and 8 pupils.
The tutor is responsible for all aspects of the general wellbeing of each child in his/her group - regular attendance, personal appearance, progress in work, records, regular contact with parents and in relations with teachers and other children.
The Tutor and Head of Year remain with this group of children for all five years that the pupils are at Ashton Park. This means we get to know each pupil very well and we have a long term relationship with the parents.
Senior pupils are encouraged to support teachers in making the school run smoothly by taking on additional responsibility and acting as role models to younger pupils.
Each May the school selects pupils to be School Prefects. They are led by the Head Boy, Head Girl, Deputy Head Boy and Deputy Head Girl. The pupils are given a badge of office, new school tie and a social room.
Our prefects are seen as our senior pupils who should act as models for others to follow. Each prefect has to perform duties around the school to ensure we maintain the correct ethos. In addition two prefects, one boy and one girl, are linked to each year 7 or year 8 tutor group to help younger pupils feel settled in their new school.
Currently we have 70 prefects and a small group of them form a management group to co-ordinate the work of our prefects. Prefects were introduced to give our pupils more responsibility as they grow up. We believe it is important to recognise the qualities they have so they can be seen as role models for our younger pupils. In taking on this role we hope our younger children will look upon our prefects as friendly and helpful. This makes the transition from primary school to secondary school so much easier.
The school aims to work closely with its partner Primary Schools both to aid the transition for children from one phase to the next and to aid continuity in the curriculum.
An opportunity to spend a day at Ashton Park School is offered to the pupils of all our partner Primary Schools. During this day the children follow a timetable of lessons so that they can experience how a comprehensive school works whilst having the security of the presence of their fellow class mates.
Each summer we arrange an 'Academic Challenge' involving four subject areas for over 400 primary pupils, drama workshops and a major production watched by over 300 primary pupils.
Our staff are liaising with primary teachers to devise work that can be started in primary school and continued in the first few weeks of secondary school. Our current first year trialled this approach for us and teachers are beginning to improve it for next year.
Our primary colleagues have all agreed to forward us samples of each pupil's year 6 work in English, Mathematics and Science as well as a copy of their year 6 report and SAT results. This proves invaluable for us to pitch work at the correct level early on in their secondary careers.
Recognition of success
The school hopes to stimulate positive attitudes and develop potential for good work, attitude or service in school or the community by means of a merit system.
Pupils in year 7 and 8 have merit cards and Merit Certificates, Tutor's and Head of Year Commendations are awarded.
In years 9 to 11 merits lead to Tutor and Head of School Commendation Certificates.
Every subject awards certificates each term to pupils who have performed well in either effort or attainment. These are presented in assembly in front of their year group.
If pupils gain a large proportion of 'A' grades on their reports for effort the Headteacher interviews them to acknowledge their commitment and encourage them.
If a teacher considers a pupil has achieved 'Beyond their Expectation' then they will ask the pupil to take the piece of work to the Headteacher. He will discuss the work with the pupil and then write to the parent to share in the pupil's success.
Any outstanding achievements are recognised by entry in the Roll of Honour which is displayed in the cabinet in the foyer of the school.
Reports and Parents' Evenings
Written reports on pupils' progress and performance are sent to the parents each year. Parents' Evenings are held to coincide with these reports so that parents have an opportunity to talk to the staff who teach their child.
In year 10 and 11 a new form of recording pupils' progress called a Record of Achievement has been introduced. This differs from the traditional report by acknowledging achievements in and out of school and by providing an opportunity for pupils to make written comments on their own performance in addition to teachers' comments.
In addition to the formal meetings, parents are welcome to make individual appointments with the Form Tutor or Head of Year to discuss particular problems. We believe that by working closely with parents most problems can be resolved.
Each year the pupils elect a school council with representatives from each Tutor Group.
This body enables pupils to involve themselves in discussion of any aspect of school life and to make their views known to the Headteacher, staff and governors. Although this is quite a recent innovation the potential is very great, and the present school council has already proved effective.
The Headteacher issues the council with a small amount of money each year to improve the facilities and the environment of the school.
Sec. Mod. that is like a public school
Taken from Bristol Evening Post, Saturday August 14, 1954
On the edge of Bristol at Bower Ashton, a secondary modern school is being built in a public school setting. Already its planners, designers and builders are proudly claiming the environment to be the best of any secondary school in Bristol if not throughout the country. Biased they may be, but even strangers passing the site, on part of the old Ashton Court Estate, which was compulsorily acquired, have had inquired when the 'new private school' is to be opened and where a prospectus could be obtained. The answer of course is that it is not a private school and secondary schools do not publish prospectuses. If they did, then the school, likely to be named Ashton Park Secondary Modern, could certainly issue an attractive one.
The Gatehouse in Ashton Park School grounds
The Gatehouse is situated adjacent to the A370 Long Ashton by-pass and is located on the south side of the school site. Originally the gatehouse was known as the 'Lawn Gate' and belonged to the Ashton Court Estate, being one of the four serving the mansion. The Lawn Gate was the main entrance to the Estate from Bristol and when first erected it would probably have been lived in by a gatekeeper and his family.
No exact information is available about the date of construction but Bristol's leading architects believe it to have been built about 1840 and consider it to be a fine example of early 19th century neo-gothic architecture.
It is built of Bathstone, probably from Westwood Quarry and some of the original leaded windows are still in place. Externally the Gatehouse forms an arch with accomodation on both sides of the main entrance. The east and west ground floor wings have slated pitched roofs and the main two-storey section, above the arch, has a flat roof. All the roofs are concealed behind a castellated parapet.
The original wrought iron gates are still in position together with the adjacent boundary wall and railings During the Second World War the east wing suffered some damage from bombs falling in one of the many air raids experienced by the City of Bristol. These repairs can be detected along with the marks in the stone stone slabs under the archway that were made by carriages going to and from the Ashton Court Mansion.
The remains of a bell pull used to summon the gatekeeper can also be observed on entering the archway. Inside the Gatehouse there is a substantial ground floor room in both the east and west wings which flank the arch and rooms in three of the four turrets; the fourth turret space being taken up by a spiral staircase on the east side. The staircase is made of wood and is very small. The large upper room is normally entered by a main stone staircase on the west side and a small scullery at the base of the staircase. Inside the large upper room there are remains of a decorative cornice and Victorian iron grate.
By the 1940's the Gatehouse was lived in by two families and this large upper room had been sub-divided by a partition giving two rooms - one for each of the families. The building was originally heated by open fires located in some of the rooms and lit by gas lights, even in the 1950's, since electricity was not installed.
The Sequoia Tree
One could imagine its cover, depicting in colour a contemporary school economically designed and distributed over a few acres edging the rolling estate. It would be flanked by the beautiful Avon Gorge and in the distance there would be a gentle slope of hills. Inside one would read of its academic aims, and of the fine gymnasium, the spacious, well lit classrooms, the entire block devoted to science, the airy assembly hall, the two seperate blocks housing craft rooms and a domestic science unit. Such a prospectus would be incomplete unless each page carried a little drawing of the famous Sequoia tree-the giant American redwood variety-in the grounds. It would have come down when building started 12 months ago as it came within the site. But the tree's history (it is over 100 years old) and rarity were pointed out, and the authorities agreed to build the school a few yards further over.
Despite bad weather the construction programme has been excellently maintained. The finishing date is planned for next June but on the site it is optimistically thought that work will be concluded even before then. In September 1955 the first term is scheduled to start with 600 lucky boys and girls. These youngsters will come from Hotwells fisrt of all to ease the strain on Portway secondary school, which will then be in a better position to extend facilities for a secondary education to the children of Lawrence Weston estate. Eventually, as a very long-term plan, other buildings will be added to Ashton Park School to accomodate 2,000 children, all of secondary school age, from Bedminster, Ashton and Southville.
School history 2
Ashton Park Secondary Modern opened on September 8th 1955
An extract from the school magazine, 1984
The school opened with 350 children and the following members of staff. Mr A Hinchley, Headteacher Mrs M G Edwards, English Mr Keershaw, Geography Mr G C Aulman, Languages Mrs M Padfield, Senior Mistress Mr A W Bondface, Music Mr K Jarvis, Physical Education Mr Stezaker, Maths Mr B S Franklin, Art Mr S A Grimshaw, Woodwork Miss B L Wright, History Miss J M Escott, Geography and general subjects Mrs Farelly English and "backward children" Miss Y Edermanger, Physical Education Mr J H Crosland, Science Miss S M Rubery, Domestic subjects.
Everybody arrived in September 1955 and my Mum and Dad were two of the first pupils to attend the school, which had just been built. Everybody met in the school dining hall as the builders were still working on the assembly hall. From there everybody was shown their house master or mistress and whatever classroom they would be using. There was only three years at that time, 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
The 2nd and 3rd years were made up of pupils from other school. The houses were as they are now Fry,Smyth, Brunel and Kingsley. The Headmaster's name was Mr Hinchley. The school consisted of two streams, comprehensive and grammar. The grammar classes were first year classes only, called 6I and 6A, and the comprehensive classes were named after the points of the compass - North, South, East and West.
Uniform was compulsory, girls wore blazers and ties and even a hard hat. School sports were played at the clanage, because the fields were not yet complete. Mr Jarvis was then Sportsmaster.
Clair Tuttiett 1984