We present here the Ampleforth College in York, Yorkshire, UK. One of English Christian boarding schools in UK! In an academic institution like Ampleforth, academic discipline is essential. Ampleforth College wants each of its students to give more from themselves. Academically, that challenge is created by a comprehensive range of subjects, highly professional teaching staff and first class facilities which help students to develop.
A Christian and Benedictine education is rooted in the conviction that, as God's creation is good, the young deserve access to all greatness of scientific, literary and artistic successes of our wide civilisation. We fight to provide all of our students with a conviction that learning is a crucial thing to do. We hold that the search for truth begun early, and it is the foundation of a well and successful adulthood.
We welcome students of varied abilities and skills and we try to do our best as to provide them with the highest level of education that they deserve. We make demands on scholars and other intellectually gifted much beyond the requirements of the National Curriculum, as well as we offer special guidance and assistance for those who need some additional help. The Head of Academic Scholars gives special attention to the most able students. Ampleforth is focused on the well being of its students by helping them to plan their academic career. All of our students are strongly prepared and educated to face the public examinations.
Our examination results are excellent in many different areas of study. Almost all students progress smoothly into the sixth form. Over the years, around eight per cent of our students have been accepted for Oxford and Cambridge universities. Over 90% go on to higher education. In fact every student who wants to go to a university achieves his/her goal. We are proud of our academic record.
In designing our curriculum, as in every other aspect of school life, we have some high priorities. The curriculum provides a broad education, and a wide choice of subjects at every level of students academic career. Each student takes an academic course in Christian Theology which leads to public examinations and a thorough course in Health Education is provided. What is more, we can also offer our students a comprehensive careers programme.
About the school
In order to contribute towards the aims of the Mission statement, the curriculum at Ampleforth College is designed to provide a broad and balanced education for students where all are given the opportunity to study and choose out of many subjects, and to be able to share the same Benedictine tradition which contributes to learning and scholarship programme. Through high quality and level of teaching and resources, we want to provide an inspiring experience to our students and to make them become more interested in an independent process of learning. Cultural activity, such as sport, music, art and drama is an important part of our students life and all of them have a chance to choose the activity which suits them best. It is natural that the study of Christian Theology is crucial to the curriculum of a Catholic Benedictine school. Respect for the beliefs of non-Catholic boys and girls and the values which they cherish, we hope to communicate and share a lively, articulate and critically aware Christian faith. To this end, all of our students need to participate in the public examination courses in the subject and a knowledge and understanding of Catholic belief is supported by all aspects of the educational programme. What is more, recognition of the personal needs of both boys and girls is necessary to give them support and guidance which they might need. The work of housemasters, housemistresses and the chaplaincy team, a comprehensive Christian Living programme (our version of PSHME) which covers a wide variety of moral and social problems which students might deal with in the future, and we also want to support our students long tim after their graduation from the College.
Subject heads ensure that subject matter and teaching styles are adjusted appropriately in accordance with St Benedict's teaching requirements that we should ask much from the students' strengths and support them in their weak moments. Departmental schemes of work provide for this differentiation. By making regular reports, teaching and learning are monitored and evaluated and this is how we can plan and change our programme in a very short time as to meet the students’ needs.
In Years 9 to 11, all students follow a core curriculum in Christian Theology, Christian Living, English, Mathematics, Science and PE. At our School we can offer a wide range of languages is, both modern and classical, and students are expected to take at least one to GCSE. In addition, History, Geography, Art, Music, Design and Technology, Drama and ICT are offered as compulsory subjects in Year 9 and many of them as options in Years 10 and 11.
In Years 12 and 13 we offer a programme of AS and A levels because we believe that such a curriculum will serve best for the whole students community, keeping in mind the abilities of our students. A wide range of possibilities is available from which students choose to specialise in up to five subjects at AS level, normally reducing to three or four at A level. This allows students to develop a wide and excessive knowledge which, together with a wide ranging programme of cultural and academic development, provides a good preparation for university study. Christian Theology is expected as one option but not necessarily as an AS subject. All students continue to follow a Christian Living course throughout the Sixth Form.
We expect that at least 90% of our A level students will progress to higher education and we want to do everything we can to prepare them for this step to be made, as well as to assist them as far as we can to achieve the grades necessary to gain entry to the best colleges and universities. We can also offer a special advisory programme for those who decide to choose a different path.
Where students with particular educational needs are identified they are offered support as necessary. All will have an IEP which will be reviewed at least once a year.
In all years the curriculum followed will depend on the ability of each student individually. On entry or, if there is insufficient academic information available, at the end of the term after entry, students are assigned to a Form: A to E. This form is determined by student’s previous academic achievements and serves as a summary of their general academic progress. Form A is the top 20% of the year group, Form B is the next 25%, Form C the next 30%, Form D the next 15% and Form E the next 10%. However, all subjects are set independently and so the Form into which a student is placed does not necessarily affect subject setting. The Form is reviewed in a correct periods of time.
On entry, all students are given a MidYIS baseline test. The results of these are used to ensure that appropriate targets are set for each student individually.
Ampleforth operates a two-week timetable cycle in order to maintain a balanced study programme. From September 2012 all lessons will be 50 min in duration and there are 78 periods in each two week cycle. Of these, 12 are for sports and games and 2 (one per week) is for Chaplaincy and Year Group assemblies. This means that there are 64 periods per two week cycle for the academic curriculum. Additionally, there is a tutorial period which is conducted each week. Any numbers of lessons given below refers to the number per two-week cycle. Students will have a slightly different timetable depending on their particular abilities, for example, in Year 9 some will have additional Mathematics and English lessons rather than Latin and/or Greek.
Currently about 70% of students have their own laptops which can be connected to the school network. We strongly encourage parents to provide a laptop for their son or daughter on entry into the school and any crucial information on specifications you can find on our website. Recent developments in the intranet and virtual learning environment (VLE) resources are so broad that we expect that all of our students will find it as highly advantageous to have their own laptop, netbook or equivalent.