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Ascham School


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The Dalton Plan is a highly flexible structure based on three pillars: Assignment, Lesson, and Study. It is valuable for girls of all abilities. It suits the very able student who can use studies to extend her knowledge and interests. It suits the average student who needs a steady consolidation of skills. It suits the weak student who needs particular support and who often needs more time to understand and to practice the essential skills she is learning. Ascham is the only School in Australia to use the Dalton Plan, and it sits at the heart of our teaching and learning. This unique Plan provides girls with a fantastic skillset, not only for School but also in preparing them for life beyond the school gates.

From Prep to Year 2, the concepts of independence and responsibility in completing tasks are continually reinforced. The girl's team with learning buddies in order to collaborate and reflect on their work and their learning approach is informed through the Spalding Method. By Year 3, we have introduced the Diary, with students actively learning how to plan their week. Besides, the girls reflect on their work and then discuss this with their peers. By Year 6, the girls have study sessions, where they work independently as well as collaboratively. They are required to decide how they will best use this time to complete tasks, revise topics, or seek teacher assistance.

By the time girls reach Senior School, the Dalton Plan manifests itself in the timetable. The girls receive clear and direct feedback on the work they hand in every week. The teachers mark it, and then the girls are asked to act on these corrections. This system's strength ensures that teachers know every girl's strengths and weaknesses and can support her individually.

This is the core of the Dalton Plan. Each girl has classes in her timetable, where lessons are not scheduled. In these Studies, girls go to a teacher to continue their Assignment. The teacher's timetable also has many slots where Studies are scheduled over Lessons. Each girl must timetable her Studies for each subject—she chooses the time and sets the agenda. As a result, the amount of one-on-one time that an Ascham girl has with each of her teachers is exceptional each week. It is the Study which teaches each girl how to be responsible for her learning: how to organize her time to choose the best Study to see a teacher how to plan an agenda for that Study how to ask questions in the language of that subject how to debate and test ideas eventually how to develop her language of learning and understanding.

Long after their final school roll call, an Ascham old girl reaps the benefits of the Dalton Plan. The sense of organization of time and of taking responsibility for each task is a secure foundation for university and professional life. Ascham girls enjoy a reputation for being organized, for showing initiative, and as skilled negotiators. That process of taking responsibility, learned in the classroom every day while at Ascham, becomes a mark of each girl's personal and professional maturity. We are a school that:

  •  Is non-selective yet consistently achieves outstanding academic results for girls of all abilities
  • Has a unique learning environment based on the Dalton Plan philosophy, where girls form close relationships with their teachers as they pursue excellence and manage their timetables to suit their individual study needs
  • Offers a tertiary oriented academic curriculum while encouraging girls to participate in a wide range of activities including the arts, community service, leadership, sport, and overseas experiences
  • Is without religious affiliation and is committed to developing confident, healthy, socially responsible girls with strong values and a sense of purpose cherishes the diverse individuality of each girl and encourages her peers to do the same
  • Offers P–12 on a single campus close to Sydney's CBD with a strong boarding program comprised mostly of girls from rural areas.
  • Values the benefits from a supportive community network, not only while girls are at School, but also in their careers and personal lives after that
  • Attracts and retains teachers who inspire and innovate.


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