Ashgrove is a well established school for boys and girls aged between three and eleven years which opened in September 1986 with thirteen pupils. The success of the school was quite remarkable: within two years there were six full classes and a long waiting list. Ashgrove had already established itself as a school which strives for excellence, both academically and socially. Many children who have since left Ashgrove now attend some of the most competitive secondary schools.
There is a positive approach to education by praising a child's efforts and hard work. Ranking is totally discouraged in favour of encouraging children to make full use of their natural abilities and to become worthwhile members of society. Since great importance is attached to the development of a child's character, individuality, initiative and self-confidence are actively encouraged.
Unlike other schools, subject specialism across the whole curriculum at both infant and junior levels is seen as essential. Children experience a variety of well-motivated teachers, expert in their own subject areas, which they present in a style both individual and stimulating. As a result children enjoy learning and gain in confidence. Specialist subjects include mathematics, English, science, computer programming, creative arts, humanities, music, drama, sport and Spanish.
Early emphasis is placed on the basic skills to include the acquisition and practice of reading, writing, phonics and number work. Later the emphasis is on proficiency in essay work, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Pupils are given a thorough knowledge and understanding of basic mathematical concepts rather than rote learning. Problem solving and algebra are regarded as very important and introduced in the reception class and developed as the children progress up through the school. Entries for the Primary Mathematical Challenge start from 9 years of age as does practice in tackling problems which require interesting and diverse strategies in order to solve them.
The curriculum which is broad and well-balanced includes creative art, craft, design and technology, Spanish, humanities, information technology and computer programming (where children write their own programs) music, physical education and science. Children play the recorder, keyboards and various percussion instruments as well as being taught to read music. Tuition for cello, piano and recorder is available after school.
Much of the sport takes place at Bromley Cricket Club's beautiful 8 acre site (www.bromleycricketclub.org.uk) situated just a few minutes walk across the road from school offering excellent facilities for cricket, football, hockey, netball, rounders, squash and tennis. Health related fitness instruction and netball take place on the all weather sports surface at school where there is also the use of outdoor gym equipment for keeping fit.
Testing is used to monitor progress and familiarise children with taking examinations. This is carried out every year in both the spring and summer terms from the age of seven years in English, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.