Mr. Michael Kirby BApSc MSc


17 Old Court Place
W8 4PL


+44 (0)20 7937 3858

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Ashbourne wins Cife awards

Ashbourne is very pleased to inform that four of last year’s graduating students have won awards at the annual Cife (Conference for Independent Education) competition. Each year Cife colleges are invited to nominate students for academic awards in Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Economics, Humanities, Languages, Social Sciences, and Visual and Creative Arts. There are also special awards for ‘value-added’ (generally retake students), GCSE, the Baroness Perry award for singular and noteworthy achievement as well as the Gold award for the most outstanding student. Each college is also entitled to designate one student as its student of the year. The award ceremony takes place in March each year at the House of Lords. Not unnaturally, it is highly popular with the parents of the winners, who are also invited to attend.

Our four winning students stood out for their grade achievements in subjects such as English Literature, Geography, History, History of Art, Media Studies, Classics, Drama, Economics and Spanish. Each student achieved at least A*A*A grades in their examinations.

Each won an award in the Humanities category. The competition for these awards is so fierce that it is rare to win even one award in any given category but this time, Ashbourne swept the board in Humanities, winning all four awards. To give you an idea of the excellence on display, another one of our students achieved 3A* grades in Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics, including 596/600 in Mathematics and 562/600 in Further Mathematics, and was the fifth best performing student in the Mathematics category.

Congratulations to all who helped produce this success – a fabulous performance!

A-Level Results Success 2018

This year Ashbourne’s students achieved 49% A*/A grades in their A-Level exams. This is almost double the national average of A*-A grades of 26%. Ashbourne has been particularly successful for students who joined the college to retake, with grades going up on average by 1.5. This means that students joining us with BBB are likely to leave the college with A*AA.

A-Level exam results 2018 (392 exams)

Grade Percentage
A*, A 49%
B 26%
C 15%
D 8%
E 2%
U 1%

Several of our students have secured places at prestigious UK universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial and UCL. With 49% A*-A average across the last 5 years, Ashbourne has consolidated its position as the top choice for A-Level study in London.

We are very proud of our students’ achievement and acknowledge the primary importance of their effort. Without their ambition, determination and hard work our college would not be as successful as it is. We believe that our students also benefit from these key factors:

  • Our students have high expectations that are encouraged and nurtured by some very talented teachers.
  • Personal and UCAS Tutors spend much of their time with students individually, to monitor their progress constantly throughout the year and to ensure a really confident university application.
  • Small classes promote engagement, which is further enhanced by extending the normal teaching time.
  • There is competition for places in our upper sixth form; students must reach at least C grade standard at AS before proceeding to the second year of A Level. Morale is boosted because the students share similar ambitions and goals.
  • Preparation for exams is a priority. Constant regular testing provides a vital benchmark for all.
  • Personal Tutors insist on the highest standards in behaviour and academic discipline.
  • The College has an informal atmosphere, helping students to develop a sense of independence and responsibility so that they can flourish when they arrive at university.
  • Student happiness is paramount; it is rare to find an unhappy student at Ashbourne.
Creative Arts Event

Ashbourne’s Creative Arts Event, was held at Kensington Town Hall on the 20th of March. It was a fantastic opportunity to see our Art students’ latest work in fine art, graphics and textiles.

Our House Band performed throughout the evening, and there was a stylish fashion show exhibiting a wealth of designs by our Textiles students.

Read more news about Ashbourne Independent Sixth-form College...

Ethos and achievement

Ashbourne is a high-achieving, closely-knit private college, which recognizes the ability in every student and ensures that students' happiness always comes first. We help all of our students not only to realise their academic potential but also to develop as individuals.  We are rated as Outstanding by OFSTED and in 2016 76% of our A- Level exams resulted in an A*, A or B grade while 51% were A* or A.  52% of our students go on to Russell Group universities and this year five of our students have met their offers to study at Oxbridge.

A personal approach

Each student is assigned to a Personal Tutor who acts as guide, mentor and counsellor. As well as liaising between teachers, students and parents, Personal Tutors offer exceptional support and encouragement via individual meetings with their students for advice and counselling.

Each student also has a UCAS tutor who supervises all aspects of the university application, including the personal statement and (where relevant) the interview.

Individual attention encourages ambition

We have an average class size of seven students, and we allocate significantly more contact time to teaching than do most schools. This allows our students to proceed with their studies in a relaxed and confident way and to complete the required material with plenty of time in hand for revision.

Working for success: objective assessment and feedback

The generous provision of teaching time allows for mock exams each half term. These provide crucial indicators of academic performance and add vital clarity to the half-termly reports from each teacher. Our teachers commit to setting and marking a lot of homework and they devote all the time needed to talk it through. This close system of communication and feedback is, we believe, the essence of education.

Opportunity: subject choice

Ashbourne offers a huge range of choice and guarantees to timetable any combination from our range of A Levels, provided students register in good time. The diversity of timetables encourages interaction, friendship and personal and intellectual satisfaction.

A beautiful and stimulating location

The college overlooks one of London's most beautiful parks and is close to many of London's outstanding facilities, including the Museums of Science and Natural History and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Excitement beyond the classroom

We offer a wide and stimulating variety of extra-curricular activities, which help our students to build confidence and maturity. Each year, during the Spring half term, we organize a trip to the Continent. The highlight of the year is the Christmas Revue, a vibrant production of dance, drama, music and fashion, which involves more than 50% of the college.

cife Scholarships

For the academic years 2016/17 and 2017/18, Charli Eglinton was a music scholarship student, being awarded a 40% scholarship for her outstanding academic performance and talent. She left Ashbourne with 3 A grades in Music, Film Studies and English Literature. She did not take up a place at university because she could not identify a course that resonated with her many creative interests in writing, film production and musicals. At the time of writing she is very, very excited about her new job as an assistant in a film production company.

Charli advises that her initial anxiety about taking a place at a ‘posh’ private school was soon overcome because of the ease with which she made friends as well as the stimulation and enthusiasm she of her teachers. She grew in confidence because of the grown-up approach to education found at Ashbourne which led to her embarking on her current non-traditional career path.

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