For over 125 years Ascham has provided a strongly academic, liberal
education with an emphasis on intellectual rigour, personal responsibility and
commitment to others. The School, which is independent of any church or religious
affiliation, educates girls from Preschool to Year 12, with boarding facilities
from Year 6.
An Ascham education is designed to prepare girls for tertiary
studies and for life beyond school. The School is noted for its consistently
high level of academic excellence. Through its long boarding history the School
maintains strong links with rural communities and has proportionally one of the
largest enrolments of country boarders in NSW. Ascham is situated on 3.9
hectares of beautiful grounds on New South Head Road, Edgecliff, in the eastern
suburbs of Sydney. The School is in a prime location near Sydney Harbour, only
3.5 kilometres from the CBD and five kilometres from the coastal beaches,
including Bondi Beach. Ascham is well served by public transport: Edgecliff
railway station and bus terminal are opposite the School’s main entrance on New
South Head Road. Ascham is also within easy walking distance of Darling Point
and Double Bay ferry wharves.
Facilities: Modern classrooms, fully equipped science laboratories,
computer rooms, art rooms, music and drama studios, professional-standard
theatre, computerised library. Sporting facilities include a heated indoor
swimming pool, a gymnasium, tennis courts and playing fields. Through its
integrated computer network, Ascham provides students and staff with skills in
key areas of application software and ongoing encouragement is provided to
students to apply these skills in all learning areas. The well-appointed
theatre allows girls the opportunity to develop useful stage management and
technical skills, and also to take part in a variety of highly polished
productions. The visual arts and design and technology departments have
specialised teachers in ceramics, drawing, design, painting, and photography.
Electives Years 7 to 10: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Latin,
Geography /Commerce, History, Drama, Music, Visual Arts.
Electives Years 11 and 12: English and Mathematics to Extension 2
level, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Ancient History, Modern History, History
Extension, Economics, Geography, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Mandarin)
Extension, French, French Extension, German, German Extension, Latin, Latin
Extension, Drama, Music, Visual Arts.
Sport: Saturday sports available for Senior School students include
softball, touch football, soccer, rowing, tennis, basketball, netball, hockey
and water polo. In addition to Saturday sports there are a number of other
extra-curricular activities — swimming, diving, athletics/cross-country,
sailing, dance, gymnastics, fitness, inter-school snow sports, triathlon and
Music: Tuition in a number of instruments, choirs and participation
in orchestras and ensembles. Major orchestra tours in recent years have gone to
China and Europe.
Extracurricular activities: Year 9 students attend Outward Bound.
There are regular excursions to art exhibitions, opera, ballet and the theatre.
We have a number of overseas tours — most recently a ski trip to Whistler, a
community service trip to Cambodia (where Ascham has established and maintain
two schools) and to China. There are also Year 10 student exchanges to UK, USA,
Germany, France, South Africa, Canada, China and South America. Ascham also has
more than 20 instrumental and choral performance groups, a residential music camp,
dramatic productions and many clubs — for example, chess, debating,
Shakespeare, art and mathematics enrichment. Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
and Community volunteer work is encouraged from Year 9 with wide participation.
Ascham students also participate at a high level in the Sydney Philosothon, the
University of Sydney’s Mind and Morality course, the Future Problem Solving
Program, Tournament of Minds and the da Vinci Decathlon.
Welfare and personal development: Form Teachers, Year Co-ordinators
and staff work closely together to form an extended and supportive network for
students. Programs are run by Ascham’s two psychologists to develop students’
psychological and social wellbeing, alongside a strong sense of moral and
ethical responsibility towards their school community and the wider community
There are a variety of leadership roles available for the girls,
from representing the student body on the Student Representative Council in all
years through to the senior girls in Year 12 being House Captains and Chairs of
committees including the School Committee (the prefect body). There is one
parent/staff meeting scheduled for each Year group per year as well as a
parent/staff consultation day each term. A careers adviser provides assistance
with work experience and career guidance and encourages involvement in
community work and other activities.
Special features: Junior and Preparatory schools — The Spalding
method is used in the Preparatory school to teach spelling, reading and writing.
Specialist staff provides lessons in sport, French, Mandarin and German, art,
music, technology, library and dance. Group work allows girls to work at
appropriate levels. Girls are encouraged to audition for orchestras, choirs,
musical productions and crew. Chess, debating, Tournament of Minds and other
groups are offered. The Junior and Preparatory Schools share a number of the
facilities located within the senior school (that is, the theatre and sporting
facilities). Senior School — education in the Senior School is arranged on the
Dalton Plan. Work is set in assignments, divided into weekly units. A number of
periods are allocated to class lessons. In the remaining periods, students
attend studies with their teachers. Ascham offers a broad range of subjects and
its class sizes are small. Ascham is able to offer a number of scholarships
each year, which are subject to a competitive examination and interview. All
girls benefit from having the three sections of the School on one site. This
allows interaction between older and younger girls and staff, easy access to
the School’s many facilities and the enhancement of school community and