College nominated for award

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An activities programme devised by boarding pupils and staff at Harrogate’s Ashville College - which included team building and leadership skill development opportunities - has been nominated for a national award.

The school, which has a 110-strong boarding community spanning 14 different nationalities, is one of just five schools shortlisted in the Boarding Initiative of the Year category in the TES Independent School Awards.

The new activities programme was devised after an on-line questionnaire completed by boarders found just 60 per cent considered the then provision to be either good or excellent.

As a result, the boarding council - which comprised pupils from across the houses - met to look at how a new activities programme could be compiled.

Pupils, together with the house staff identified that they wanted an activity programme which included giving children an insight into British culture, sports activities, encouraging day pupils to take part in boarding activities and engaging with the local community.

Over the last 12-months activities the Ashville College boarders have participated in include paintballing, African drumming, inflatables, fishing, roller disco, go-karting, trampolining and disc golf.

They also enjoyed a trip to Harrogate Theatre to watch Aladdin a traditional English Pantomime, visited Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, walked in the Yorkshire Dales and had trips to the Bradford Alhambra and Leeds Grand theatres and the seaside for fish and chips.

Last term the pupils were anonymously re-surveyed and this revealed an increase to 92 per cent of students citing the programme as good or excellent.

Ashville College Headmaster Mark Lauder said the results speak for themselves: “Being nominated for this award is a tremendous achievement for Ashville College and a ringing endorsement of our boarding regime.

“Next year the College celebrates its 140th anniversary, and boarding has been at the very heart of the school since day one.

“We have listened to our boarders and the outcome is a tailor-made activities package that is rewarding, exciting and challenging.”