LVS Ascot


Image for LVS Ascot

  • Category: Pre-Preparatory / Preparatory / Senior / Sixth Form
  • Pupils: Co-Education
  • Type: Day & Boarding
  • Religious Affiliation: Non-Denominational
  • Roll: 533 (Boys) 334 (Girls)
  • Age Range: 4 - 18 years
  • Founded: 1803

General Information

If you want to be sure that your child gets the best education, in an environment where they can shine, then LVS Ascot has everything you are looking for. As an independent, non-selective, co-educational school, for young people aged 4-18, LVS Ascot provides a stimulating curriculum, taught in small classes led by highly qualified and enthusiastic teachers.

‘Relationships in the school are outstanding, and contribute to the strong personal development of the pupils and to a highly conducive learning environment.’
ISI inspection 2011

‘A school with timeless values that makes non-selectivity the starting point for success rather than a justification for its absence.’
Good Schools Guide 2012



LVS Ascot is a non-selective, co-educational day and boarding school of around 870 pupils aged 4-18. It is a through-school so pupils can begin their school career at LVS Ascot at age 4 and remain there until they complete Sixth Form.

The school is located on a bright and spacious site amongst 25 acres of landscaped gardens and playing fields. As one of the most modern boarding and day schools in the UK, the purpose built campus provides excellent facilities in a safe and stimulating environment, including a sports centre with indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sports hall and all-weather sports pitch, dance studio, medical centre, a 300 seat theatre, drama studio and a music technology suite with recording studio, plus a Learning Resource Centre and over 500 networked computer workstations.

Both Junior and Senior school follow the National Curriculum, but with the added feature of a wide range of GCSE, A Level and Vocational options, catering for each individual pupil's strengths. An extensive range of activities and extra-curricular clubs and societies underpin academic studies by providing opportunities for pupils to extend their horizons in team sports, drama and music, visits, clubs, hobbies and interests.

Pastoral care is a great priority at LVS Ascot. In LVS Ascot Senior School each child is allocated to a house, and within that to a tutor group. House Masters and Mistresses, supported by teams of tutors, oversee the welfare and development of their pupils. In LVS Ascot Junior School, pastoral care is undertaken by the children's class teacher. Students are encouraged to give of their best, whether the goal is university entrance, success at GCSE, honour on the Sports field, artistic endeavour, or coping with the trials and tribulations of growing up. LVS Ascot aims to develop ‘caring, confident citizens’ for the future.

Entrance Requirements

Current school report and interview. There is no entrance examination. Main ages for entry are 4, 7, 11, 13 and 16 years. Limited entries at other ages.


Academic scholarships at 11+ and 16+.

Open Days

Please contact us to find out more about our inspiring learning environment and to arrange a visit to see the school and meet the people at the heart of our community – our students. We look forward to seeing you.


2016/2017. Infants: £3,176. Junior Day: £3,804. Junior Boarding: £8,128. Senior Day: £5,395. Senior Boarding: £9,610 Sixth Form Day: £5,693. Sixth Form Boarding: £10,002. All per term. HM Forces, Licensed Trade and sibling discounts are available.


ISI Inspection 2016

School Contact Details

Headteacher: Mrs Christine Cunniffe

Contact for enquiries: Mrs M Buttimer, Registrar

LVS Ascot
London Road

[t]: 01344 882770
[f]: 01344 890648

Location Description

A 26 acre site, to the west of Ascot on A329. Although set in the Berkshire countryside we are within easy reach of London, M3, M4 and M25 motorways and Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

To send an email to the school please fill in your details below and add a short message. If you are requesting a prospectus to be sent to you please include your postal address.

School News

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Sixty junior school pupils from LVS Ascot, some as young as four years old, took to the school’s professional stage on

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Thursday 25th May to perform individual and group routines in front of a capacity audience. The LVS Ascot Has Got Talent show was a celebration of junior performance and demonstrated the amazing confidence that pupils at the independent all-ability school are building.

The audience of 300 people was brought to tears of emotion and laughter as pupils wowed the crowd with their musical recitals, dance routines and comedy acts. Professional dancer Sophie Coster was the guest judge, and she praised the young performers for their courage, commitment and talents, saying she was blown away by both the number of pupils involved and the standard of the performances.

5-year-old Lucy from Reception class won the ‘Key Stage 1 and EYFS’ category for her dance skills whilst 11-year-old Connor claimed the prize for ‘Upper Key Stage 2’ with a superb piano recital which he dedicated to the late Roger Moore. However, the winners of the ‘Lower Key Stage 2’ category where undoubtedly the biggest crowd pleasers of the evening. Theo (10 years old), Ollie (10) and Sam (7), of Years 5 and 3 respectively, left the audience in tears with their comedy routine in which they mimicked various members of Junior School staff, including Senior Master of the Junior School Mr Dennis, all in a tight and well-choreographed routine wearing giant masks.

Mr Dennis said: “LVS Ascot is a place where young pupils can build their confidence, have the courage to try new things, exceed their expectations and excel at their special talents. This evening of public performance highlighted how successfully we instil these values in our pupils, so well done to everyone who took part in this memorable event. Also a big thank you to all of the parents who helped organise the performances”.

Photo: Key Stage 1 & EYFS winner Lucy receives her prize from professional dancer Sophie Coster

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire


Year 13 students from LVS Ascot made emotional farewells to each other and the school on Friday 26th May at their Leavers’ Celebration Day in

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Windsor. The traditional goodbye to school life finished with a service at Windsor Parish Church followed by afternoon tea and presentations at the Harte and Garter Hotel.

A morning of inflatable ‘It’s A Knockout’ style games in LVS Ascot’s 25-acre grounds gave them plenty of excitement to begin their last day at the independent all-ability school. They then dressed up for a poignant service at Windsor Parish Church, with farewell speeches from Head Boy Alistair Drape and Head Girl Jessica Tipping.

This was followed by afternoon tea and presentations at the Harte and Garter Hotel in Windsor, with lots of laughter as their teachers recounted many vivid memories created during the students’ time at the school.

It summed up life at LVS Ascot perfectly with the school delivering a refreshing approach to independent education; full of fun, camaraderie, a wide variety of experiences both serious and not so serious, and at the end of it all eighty confident, caring citizens fully prepared for the future.

LVS Ascot Principal Christine Cunniffe said: “If you could highlight an LVS Ascot education in just one day this would be it. Our Year 13 students enjoyed a whole range of experiences and emotions, saved memories of their time and friendships together, and emerged ready to face life beyond the school equipped with the confidence, social skills and academic knowledge that will help them to be successful in further education and their careers”.

Eighty students from the day and boarding school are leaving this summer, some having been at the all-through school since they were four, attending junior and senior school there before completing sixth form.

The students will return to school over the next few weeks to complete their A-Levels, hoping to follow the success of last year’s leavers who achieved LVS Ascot’s highest ever pass rate of 99.2% with 61% of the class of 2016 going on to their first choice university.

Photo: Year 13 students from LVS Ascot prepare to say goodbye at their leavers’ celebrations at the Harte and Garter Hotel in Windsor

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire


Students at LVS Ascot are being given the best possible chance of GCSE success thanks to the school’s innovative new Revision Hub Café which opened

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this month specifically to help students gain the edge in exams.

Every Tuesday and Thursday Year 11 students flock to the new Revision Hub Café at the independent all-ability school, where they can meet their friends and teachers to share knowledge and ask key final questions they need answered as final preparation for exams. The sessions are proving extremely popular, with students able to relax and chat over complimentary cookies and hot chocolate, access teachers who are on hand to offer help and advice, and also make use of a supply of Revision Hub Café stationery including highlighters, revision prompt cards and their Year 11 VIP Pass to their private revision area.

Watch and share: LVS Ascot students using the new Revision Hub Café.

Student Harriet Rawlinson said: “I have had three exams already and have more coming up. The Revision Hub Café is good for me and other Year 11 students as we can all come together to relax and also speak to the teachers to ask questions if we need reassurance on anything before an exam”.

Whilst the school’s Year 11 pupils are being helped through exams by peers and teachers in the Revision Hub Café, LVS Ascot Head of Sixth Form has offered a number of useful tips to all students looking for that crucial edge in achieving exam success this summer. Dr Paul Hodges said: “We created the Revision Hub Café as we are always looking for innovative ways to help our students achieve more. Exams can be a really stressful time that you can tackle more effectively if you are able to relax, and also access extra help from friends and teachers. We are also passing on our knowledge on revision tips to help students use their time effectively to prepare for what are the most important few weeks of their lives so far”.

Paul’s top tips for all students sitting GCSE and A-Level exams in the next few weeks are:

· Colour code your revision with post it notes or highlighter pens to identify what you need to spend more time on. Green = I know this and am confident on it so don’t waste time on it unnecessarily. Orange = I should practice this so I am more confident on it – you might need to go through your textbooks and do a few exam-style questions. Red = I don’t understand this – so review your notes, re-read the text book, make new notes or ask for help.

· Practice exam papers. Students should aim to complete at least five practice papers for each subject. You can start by doing parts of a paper in timed chunks. Later challenge yourself to do past papers, without notes, in silence and within the time limit to make them more realistic. Get them marked to work out where you have gaps in your knowledge.

· Turn your phone off and go off-line. Avoid the constant distraction of social media, text messaging and news feeds when you are revising.

· Use an exam planner to give you a “to do” list for each subject, and assign each task with a deadline to make sure you don’t run out of time.

· Ask for advice. Speak to your teacher to pinpoint any errors that you may be making. They should be happy to demonstrate a concept to you to help you understand.

Photo: LVS Ascot students in the Revision Hub Café

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Six students from LVS Ascot are celebrating after being awarded with prestigious tall ship sail training scholarships from the Worshipful Company of Innholders, one of

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the City of London’s 110 livery companies, on Wednesday 3rd May.

The Master of the WCI, Charles Attlee, visited the independent all-ability school to put students through a rigorous interview process before awarding the valuable scholarships. The awards will see the group of A-Level students become sailors on the high seas on an intensive course in October, where they will board a tall ship from Portsmouth and spend a week sailing on the Solent.

The trip will see them climb high rigging on an old-style ship and take on testing tasks as part of the boat’s crew, providing amazing experiences where they will need to work well together in difficult circumstances, building their character on the trip of a lifetime.

Master of the Worshipful Company of Innholders Charles Attlee said: “We are delighted to offer to LVS Ascot’s students the opportunity to broaden their experiences and do something very few people have the chance to do. The students interviewed extremely well. They had a range of skills and backgrounds and showed off different sides to their characters. They were all confident interviewees and I enjoyed meeting them”.

Dr Paul Hodges, Head of Sixth Form at LVS Ascot, said: “Our ethos at LVS Ascot is to provide a refreshing approach to independent education, and being the only school to whom the Worshipful Company of Innholders offers sail training highlights that. We inspire our students to exceed their expectations and on this dream trip our six successful applicants will do exactly that as it will be a voyage of discovery in more ways than one”

Photo: Members of the WCI with LVS Ascot’s students awarded with prestigious sail training scholarships

LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Students in the junior and senior school at LVS Ascot were captivated by a visit from Irish author Dave Rudden on Thursday 20th April, who

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helped the school deliver its inspiring education with a talk in the theatre and book signing session with his young fans.

A short film of highlights from Dave’s visit can be viewed and shared here.

LVS Ascot’s 300-seat theatre was packed full of eager students from the independent all-ability school and Easthampstead Park Community School who were invited to share the occasion, and the author of Knights Of The Borrowed Dark and The Forever Court did not disappoint. He talked to students about ways they can improve what they write, such as using every word as a weapon and not being afraid to fail as they need to experiment to succeed.

A question and answer session gave several students the opportunity to win signed copies of Dave Rudden’s books, and he then took a look around the LVS Ascot Learning Resource Centre which he was hugely impressed by, comparing the depth of facilities to those available at a public library, before signing copies of his books for young fans and answering their personal questions on what they can do to improve.

Dave Rudden said: “Today’s visit was so much fun. You can really tell when the kids are readers and passionate about books and they are here. It is clear that LVS Ascot is an excellent reading school and that will stand students in good stead as a basis for creative writing”.

Mrs Emma Keeler, Head of Learning Resources at LVS Ascot, highlighted the importance of meeting authors to inspire and encourage the development of reading and writing skills in young people: “There is strong evidence linking reading for pleasure with educational outcomes, as well as other health and social benefits.  Bringing an author to the student breaks down the idea that writing is something other people do and encourages them to be creative themselves.  Dave Rudden made our students laugh but also demystified the writing process. It was clear that students were inspired to excel and flourish by the visit, and that is the school’s ethos in all areas”.


Photo: Excited LVS Ascot students meet author Dave Rudden

LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Students at sixth forms across Berkshire are being advised by a local Head of Sixth Form to leap into action now to obtain valuable work

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experience this summer. Dr Paul Hodges, Head of Sixth Form at independent all-ability school LVS Ascot, says that students should be arranging their placements over Easter if they have not done so already and that such placements are gathering increasing importance not just with employers but also for universities as well.

Dr Hodges said: “It is a great idea for young people to gain work experience, especially if they are thinking of applying to university as it provides a degree of professional credibility that will really boost their UCAS application. It is important that students gain genuine value and skills from any work experience placements – it will also give them a good idea as to whether a career in a chosen profession really suits them”.

In a report published by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), 66% of employers said that work experience is a critical or significant factor in their recruitment, something LVS Ascot takes seriously with a specific work experience week for Year 12 students, a LinkedIn page that allows parents to offer work experience placements to other students in the Sixth Form and careers advisers available to help with finding the most suitable placements for students. Inspiring placements in the last two years at LVS Ascot have included Facebook’s UK headquarters, Longcross Studios and even working for MPs the week after the Brexit vote.

Here are Dr Paul Hodges’ top tips for securing that all-important work experience placement: 

Where to start?

Use your existing network of connections such as family, neighbours and family friends.  These people may be able to put you in contact with the human resources department of a company. If you already have a good idea of an organisation you would like to work with, do a web search for their contact details. 

Make sure it is relevant and interesting

Think carefully about the career you want to pursue in the future and try to get work experience in that industry. Most employers are happy to be approached and it is often easier to undertake work experience in your local area.  Most work experience placements last five days and this can seem like a very long time if you are not really interested in the profession. 

Do some research

Make sure the company can offer a varied experience. You should find out the aims and values of the company, the profile of its customers, the nature of the work and also who you will be reporting to during the placement.

Ask for help

The careers advisers at LVS Ascot and sixth form team are available to help with finding the most suitable placements for our students. LVS Ascot has a specific work experience week for Year 12 students and also a LinkedIn page that allows parents to offer work experience placements for other students in the Sixth Form.

Getting in touch

It is really easy to ignore an email so it is always best to telephone the company and ask for the person who organises work experience.  Making the call can be a bit daunting and you need to plan what you want to say and write it down beforehand.  Have a pen and paper to hand in order to make a note of names and important information. Speak clearly and be polite – introduce yourself and your school before explaining that you are interested in work experience. You should explain briefly why you are interested in the company and the work that they do.  The employer may ask for a CV so be prepared to create one that is tailored to the placement.

During the work experience placement make sure you do the following: 

Be organised and get involved

Try to make a good impression by being in the right place at the right time and show enthusiasm for the tasks you are given.  Employers won’t really know what you are capable of so show initiative and their confidence in you will grow.

Keep a note of what you learn

It is useful to note down any skills you learn or the skills required for a particular job – for example time management, the ability to manage your time and work as a team.  Reference these skills and achievements when you write your UCAS personal statement or CV.

Ask questions

Be prepared to ask relevant questions while on your placement as this will help you to understand different aspects of the business. It also shows that you are keen to learn more and are interested in the company. Most people will happily talk about their roles and their career path.

Say thank you

It’s always a good idea to be polite and send a thank you letter following your placement.  If a potential employer remembers you for the right reasons they may offer you a position in the future.


Reflect on your placement – is it really the right career for you? If you didn’t enjoy the experience, try to work out which components you liked or disliked.  This should help you to focus your career path and consider alternatives.


Photo:  LVS Ascot student Megan Jenkinson (2nd left) at Facebook’s UK headquarters with LVS Ascot teacher James Paterson and two members of the Facebook staff



LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Young pupils at LVS Ascot swapped ipads and computers for quills and chalkboards last week as they took a trip back to Victorian times as

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part of an entertaining and enlightening Humanities Week.

All 174 junior school pupils made a trip during the event to the Reading Museum to help them discover historical information in the week themed ‘How life has changed since 1803’. The interactive sessions saw pupils at the independent all-ability school take part in Victorian school room or Victorian child at work sessions. They dressed in uniforms of the times and were shown exactly what life was like for children of that era, with volunteers experiencing what it was like to be stood in the corner in a dunce’s hat and even to be caned by the teacher in front of the class.

Another highlight from Humanities Week was an assembly on the history of Licensed Victuallers’ School, which opened in 1803 and has been honoured by the patronage of the reigning monarch since 1836 when a Royal Charter was granted by King William IV. The Queen has been patron since she ascended to the throne in 1952.

Pupils also received a lesson on ethics from LVS Ascot Senior School Head of Philosophy & Religion Simon Martin, created timelines to put major historical events in order and did role plays on what life was like in past times.

The week ended on a high for children and parents alike as all pupils from Reception to Year 6 took part in class presentations to their families. Pupils exuded confidence as they each talked about what they had learned and displayed their work from Humanities Week, to the delight of their audiences.

Principal Christine Cunniffe said: “One of our aims is to develop caring, confident citizens for the future and our children as young as four demonstrated the confidence they are building here during some excellent presentations.  These are skills they will be able to take forward to the LVS Ascot senior school when they become involved in technology competitions, debating, and performing arts productions”.

Parents wishing to find out for themselves how LVS Ascot builds confidence in young pupils at the school’s junior school and reception class tour on 22ndApril. Google LVS Ascot Open Days for more information.

Photo: An LVS Ascot pupil tries out the dunce’s hat in a Victorial classroom at the Reading Museum


LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Students from LVS Ascot enjoyed an inspiring senior football tour to Holland during half term, training at top division Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem’s superb facilities

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and meeting stars of the game over there from 10th to 14th February.

Twenty students from the independent all-ability school were treated like stars themselves on the tour designed to build team morale and help them flourish in the sport. The trip gave them the opportunity to watch Vitesse Arnhem players training at close quarters, meet them, and make use of their superb training facilities.

Staying at the Hotel Papendal, a sports hotel used as the Dutch Olympic training centre, a short walk took the visitors to the Vitesse Arnhem training ground where they were invited to use the 3G pitch as well as the main training pitch used by the team, and receive a technical coaching session from the Vitesse academy coaches and reserve team players before using specialist gym equipment.

LVS Ascot’s young players were able to enjoy watching a Dutch Eredivisie match – the equivalent of the Premier League in England – as their hosts Vitesse Arnhem took on Willem II. The following day the LVS Ascot squad’s game had to be cancelled due to heavy snow so their hosts rerouted them – all expenses paid – to Amsterdam to watch Ajax play in another Eredivisie match, a trip which saw them meet one of football’s most successful managers, Louis Van Gaal, who has been in charge of Holland and Manchester United.

When the snow had melted, LVS Ascot’s squad, made up of senior school students and sixth formers, was able to play two specially arranged games against local teams, going down narrowly 2-1 in one match and drawing the other 2-2. They were also to enjoy

watching more close up training sessions at Vitesse and meeting several of the first team players, including Lewis Baker who is on loan from Chelsea. They were able to quiz him and find out valuable information on what it takes to make it to the top of the sport.

Sports teacher Matt Humphrey said: “Our students are used to first class sporting facilities at LVS Ascot with several football pitches in our 25 acre grounds as well as an all-weather sports pitch, gym and indoor pool, but this was something else. They were also able to see at close quarters the levels of dedication and ability required to make it at the top level in sport, which we hope will inspire them to build on the hard work we always encourage them to put in. Our students were excellent ambassadors for the school and came back really inspired by our ethos to exceed expectation”.

Photo: LVS Ascot (previously known as Licensed Victuallers’ School) is a co-educational day and boarding school for over 800 pupils aged 4-18 years old, located on a purpose built campus in Ascot.

LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Five students at LVS Ascot realised a childhood dream by producing and directing their own sell-out variety show on Tuesday 14th March. The sixth formers

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directed Let Me Entertain You, a show featuring the best music and drama performances from Years 7 to 13, in front of a thrilled audience of 300 in the school’s purpose-built theatre, with all proceeds going to Mousetrap Theatre Projects.

Alex Hill, Thom Robin, Ben Fowler, Ian Dunlop and Chris Dobson approached Principal Christine Cunniffe in September about producing their own show. Alex said: “When I was younger I took inspiration from my brother who put his own shows on at LVS and after getting permission set out on our journey to create a theatre production. It was important to us to find a charity that we could give the money raised to, and one that we felt was relevant and that we connected with. Mousetrap was perfect as it helps disadvantaged children to experience theatre”.

The young directors at the independent all-ability school set up an audition process to showcase the range of talent at LVS Ascot from musical numbers to sketches and scenes from plays. Eight weeks of rehearsals on musical numbers such as Annie, West Side Story, Matilda and Oliver, along with comedy sketches written by the students themselves, culminated in a sell-out show in LVS Ascot’s 300-seat theatre.

Alex Hill added: “Our Let Me Entertain You show made me realise just what a brilliant place LVS Ascot is. The amount of support we received from the whole school was overwhelming and simply incredible and it was one of the best things I have ever done. I would like to thank the school for giving us this opportunity and anyone who came to watch – it was a very special night that we will never forget”.

Principal Christine Cunniffe said: “LVS Ascot is a special place where we encourage students to flourish as individuals and exceed their expectations. We are very proud of this group of students, as they have been inspired by the amazing work that our music and drama departments do to build their confidence and skills to such an extent that they had the knowledge and belief to create their own production, and helped a worthy charity at the same time”.

Photo: Charlotte Reid (left) and Amy Harrington-Cook perform

LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

Eighty captivated LVS Ascot students listened intently on Wednesday 8th March as one of the leading technology experts in the world visited to give advice

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on how they can develop their computing careers like he has – and praised the school for the level of its IT and Computing education.

Mark Silis Associate Vice President at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), a world leader in research and education, discussed the technology education available at the independent, all-ability school and said: “I am very impressed that LVS Ascot students are already using Python . They are studying things like this at a much younger age than I started so already have an advantage. It is also good that students here are doing machine learning – they are very well prepared for the future”.

A question and answer session allowed students to gain inspirational advice on how best to progress their IT careers.  Mark’s advice included always being prepared in advance – using online learning to research topics prior to lessons – and that curiosity is one of the greatest things you can find in life to help drive you to discover how things work and what you can do to adapt and improve them. However, his main advice was regarding gaining a top education: “Achieving the best education you can get is important. You guys are here at LVS Ascot so are already doing well in that as at MIT we seek well-rounded individuals who are interested, do volunteering, and are not just academics – we want people who are engaged in society and can excel and contribute in different areas”.

In Britain to deliver a keynote speech at the UCISA conference, the premier IT event for UK colleges and universities, Mark was invited by LVS Ascot to inspire computing students on how to succeed in their career aspirations. He was accompanied by Jules Wakefield and Chris Regan from VMware, whose UK head office is in Staines and who work closely with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in providing them with cutting-edge technology software.

Mark was the perfect guest speaker for LVS Ascot, which has a focus on preparing pupils to be confident digital citizens for the future. Pupils from Year 5 have Computing/IT lessons with specialist teachers to develop computational thinking and understanding from the Junior years, and the school offers both IT and Computer Science through GCSE and A level along with additional opportunities for keen students via activities such as First Lego League, CyberCenturion, EGX2016 at the NEC and Adaptabot with Brunel University.  The LVS IT and Computing Department works closely with the Science Department to address a range of wider Stem topics and to ensure that students wishing to focus on the digital world have the essential underpinning skills.

LVS Ascot confirmed its desire to support students to flourish as individuals by providing one particular student with the opportunity to enjoy a one-to-one session with Mark to help boost his qualifications. Bryn Parry-Jones, in Year 11 and hoping to study at the MIT, is undertaking an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) in data sharing in specialist science and interviewed Mark as part of the project.

Photo:Mark Silis (left) inspires LVS Ascot students to develop their computing careers


LVS Ascot independent day and boarding school Berkshire

With an end of March deadline fast approaching at many schools for students to select the subjects they will study at A-level, Year 11 pupils

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across Berkshire are being urged to carefully consider their options by a local Head of Sixth Form. With a 2016 poll by Which? University showing that 28% of students wish they had chosen different A-levels, and 41% saying they should have given more thought to which subjects would help them get into university, Dr Paul Hodges from independent all-ability school LVS Ascot has offered a number of tips on choosing the right A-level subjects. Paul has been advising students on Sixth Form choices for eight years and says: “Preparation is the key as there is so much to consider – one of the reasons LVS Ascot’s A-level pass rate reached a new high (99.2%) in 2016 was that we encouraged students to leave nothing to chance in picking the right subjects to help them succeed”.

Here Paul gives his top tips on what students should be doing to make sure they choose the right options:

  1. What do you enjoy?

The first thing to do is ask a really obvious but very important question: What do you enjoy studying? If you enjoy a subject you are likely to be more motivated and succeed, and if you succeed you will enjoy it even more. A-levels and BTECs are intensive and you need to be hooked for two years. However there is also the opportunity to experience a range of subjects not available at GCSE, such as A-level Criminology or BTEC Travel & Tourism, and you should investigate these new subjects by talking to teachers and students at open days, such as LVS Ascot’s Senior School & Sixth Form Tour on Saturday 18th March where independent advice will be available.

  1. Have your end goals in mind

Many university courses require qualifications in particular subjects and will need you to achieve specific grades before they accept you. If you have a clear idea about a career path then check the degree course requirements as some of these may surprise you. For example, you may not need an A-level in Economics to study Economics but you will probably need A-level Maths. You can check university course requirements on the UCAS website and the Which? University guide also has information on subjects needed for particular courses.

  1. Play the percentages

If you are unsure what you want to study at university or what career path to choose, keep your options open by selecting “facilitating” A-levels. These are subjects that generally keep more university courses open to you when you apply and include Biology, Chemistry, English Literature, Geography, History, Maths and Modern Foreign Languages.

  1. To BTEC or not to BTEC?

It’s not all about A-levels in the sixth form – don’t forget the vocational subjects. Cambridge Technicals and BTEC qualifications tend to have a greater emphasis on practical elements. The nature of the courses helps to develop independent study, self-organisation and time management.  LVS Ascot has introduced a range of these as they are equivalent to A-levels (depending on the number of units you complete) and are recognised by most universities including those in the Russell Group.

  1. Avoid misinformation

There is a lot of misinformation about which A-levels particular universities will and won’t accept. Check the university websites and make contact with admissions officers if you are unsure – they are usually very helpful. Furthermore, your UCAS application will allow you to write a personal statement which gives you the opportunity to present yourself as an individual and demonstrate all the co-curricular activities you have undertaken during your time in the sixth form. Many universities will consider you if you have an interesting yet truthful personal statement regardless of the A-level combinations you select. The LVS Advantage programme and Duke of Edinburgh scheme always help LVS Ascot students stand out so make the most of your sixth form opportunities.

  1. Remember the reforms

The reforms to A-levels in all subjects will be complete by September 2017.  This means most departments will simply offer A-level qualifications and not AS-level qualifications.  AS-level qualifications do exist and can provide additional UCAS Tariff points so long as you do not study the subject to A-level. However, an AS level is only worth 40% of a full A-level.  In view of this, a better option to gain extra UCAS Tariff points would be to consider studying an EPQ (extended project qualification) alongside three A levels. An EPQ is worth 50% of an A-level and is recognised as providing university-style study with the opportunity to expand your knowledge in a particular interest area. In 2016 100% of EPQs at LVS Ascot sixth form achieved A* – B results, so they can be a very rewarding qualification as you seek to gather enough points to take you to university.  Information on the new UCAS Tariff system is available here.

To provide further help from Paul Hodges along with additional independent advice on A-level choices, LVS Ascot is holding a Senior School & Sixth Form Tour on Saturday 18th March with all students considering studying A-levels, and their parents, invited to attend to find out more.

Photo: Head of Sixth Form At LVS Ascot Paul Hodges offers advice to a parent and student


LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire


A record number of young musicians across Berkshire and beyond expressed their talents on stage at the LVS Ascot Music Festival on Saturday 4th and

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Sunday 5th February. The event, taking place for the third time, demonstrated the school’s commitment to inspiring young people to exceed their expectations and gave students far and wide the chance to experience playing on stage in front of an audience.

Visitors to the Festival, held in the independent all-ability school’s 300-seat professional theatre, were treated to a stunning array of pieces from a record 118 pupils aged 6 to 18. Competitors from numerous counties including Greater London and Surrey took part in categories including piano, vocal, strings, woodwind and brass in a celebration of musical diversity which reflects the range of music on offer at LVS Ascot.

Eight students from LVS Ascot won ten medals at the event, including 10-year-old Samuel Okoturo who took Gold in the Brass Beginner category as well as Bronze in the Musical Theatre Performance Beginner class. Another 10-year-old LVS Ascot pupil, Connor Simpson, won Silver and Bronze and was joined by younger brother Morgan who took part in the inventive Performer Platforms in the school’s recital room. This initiative allowed younger participants to enjoy the experience of playing publicly without the pressure of staged competition. LVS Ascot was represented by pupils from its junior school, senior school and sixth form to demonstrate the strength of music at the all-through school, with XinYue Liu, 17, claiming the Bronze medal in the Advanced Piano class, a performance you can watch a clip from here.

Also celebrating success at the festival was The Nucleo Project, part of the Sistema England charity founded by Julian Lloyd Webber to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of making music. The group, based in North Kensington, was rewarded by three Golds, 3 Silvers and 3 Bronzes for a series of excellent performances.

Yi-Ann Yeung, the overall winner of the 2015 LVS Ascot Music Festival who attends Marlston House School near Newbury, won Gold in both categories she entered this year.

LVS Ascot Teacher of Music and Master in Charge of Piano and Keyboard James Bryant said: “Our music and performing arts facilities are so extensive that we wanted to provide an opportunity for talented young musicians from far and wide to enjoy performing in them, and we are delighted so many came to experience playing on our stage. Many classes were significantly larger than last year, and there was a real sense of tension and pressure as all competitors raised their musical game as a result. The standard was so high in some of the classes that some joint medal winners had to be awarded as the adjudicator could not select three clear winners each of a Gold, Silver and Bronze medal”.

The overall Best Musician trophy will be awarded at the Festival Winners’ Concert at LVS Ascot on Friday 24th February, with guests welcome to come and enjoy free entry to watch the performances. Google LVS Ascot Music Festival for more information.

Photo: LVS Ascot’s Samuel Okoturo won Gold in the Brass Beginner category as well as Silver in Musical Theatre Performance

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Junior school pupils have been learning about the importance of speaking out about, and staying safe from, bullying and abuse during a series of activities

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between LVS Ascot and the NSPCC. The collaboration ended on Friday 10th February with a special assembly and saw pupils hand over a cheque for £2,237 to the charity after their fundraising efforts.

The independent all-ability school, which provides a safe, welcoming and modern environment for pupils aged 4 to 18, teamed up with the NSPCC as part of the charity’s “Speak Out. Stay Safe” campaign which aims to provide children with the knowledge and understanding they need to recognise abuse and neglect and ask for help if they need it. Activities included class workshops on the different types of bullying and abuse that exist and how to prevent themselves being subjected to it. Interactive sessions also included learning to sign the NSPCC helpline number.

LVS Ascot’s indoor swimming pool, where all pupils have a minimum of 30 minutes swimming per week as part of the curriculum, was the focus for fundraising for the NSPCC as all children from Reception to Year 6 took part in a sponsored swim. In total they swam 3,341 lengths – the equivalent of 51.9 miles – to raise £2,237.15 for the charity which relies on donations from the public.

Kim Williams from the NSPCC Schools Service said: “We are delighted that LVS Ascot has worked with the NSPCC “Speak Out. Stay safe” programme and would like to thank everyone at the school for their support. By raising that wonderful sum of money LVS Ascot has made sure that we can be there to help even more children who desperately need us”.

Senior Master in Charge of the Junior School at LVS Ascot, Ed Dennis, said: “Working with the NSPCC this term has been fantastic. It allowed us to discuss the work of the charity with our pupils more fully. The programme they delivered has been wonderful in helping us teach all of our young people the importance of ‘speaking out, and staying safe’ and highlighting to them the great number of trusted adults in their lives. Pastoral care and support is a crucial part of development at LVS Ascot for pupils of all ages and this was a rewarding extension of an area which has always been a key element of life at the school”.

Photo:  LVS Ascot pupils (from left) Rodrigo, Angelina and Layla present the school’s fundraising cheque to the NSPCC’s Kim Williams

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Rowers from LVS Ascot Boat Club are celebrating after a series of impressive performances at the South of England Indoor Rowing Championships on 22nd January.

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Six pupils returned with medals, including Gold, to emphasise the school’s ambition to inspire young people to exceed their expectations.

Success at the annual event, held in Abingdon, was spearheaded by 16-year-old Adam Oliver who won Gold in the J17 boys singles event, seeing off stiff competition from a number of pupils from Hinksey Sculling School based on the Thames in Oxford. Adam’s Gold medal was just reward for a period of great personal improvement at LVS Ascot Boat Club, which in November saw him attend national trials for the Team GB junior rowing team in Lincolnshire.

Fin Cariss, 13, was another individual medallist at the event for LVS Ascot, taking Bronze in a class of over 30 competitors in the J14 boys singles behind opposition from Chiswick and Evesham. The event again marked further evidence of improvement from Year 9 student Fin, who in October was victorious for the school in the Burway Small Boats Head.

Completing the medal winning heroics on behalf of the independent all-ability school’s boat club, who train at the Jubilee Riverside Centre in Slough, was the Year 11 relay team who beat The Langley Academy to win the J16 boys event.

It was not only LVS Ascot’s pupils who brought back medals from the championships though, with a member of staff also performing impressively to show exactly why the

school’s students are flourishing at rowing. J14 coach Tim Wallis Caddell won Silver in the coaches’ race at the event which saw hundreds of pupils from over 40 schools competing.

Head of Rowing at LVS Ascot James Skeels said: “Our improving performances have been demonstrated in spectacular fashion at this indoor event and highlight the ambition and dedication of the pupils and coaches towards achieving success now and over the course of the busy regatta season. I am delighted to see both team and individual success at the event as that is what LVS Ascot is all about – helping students flourish as individuals but also encouraging them to work as a team to exceed expectations”

LVS Ascot is catching the imagination of pupils keen to try a new sport and thrive at something they show a talent for, having held a learn-to-row course last term which was over-subscribed and produced a large group of pupils in years 7 to 9 ready for their first taste of being on the water. In January the school achieved its largest ever medal haul at the Wycliffe Small Boats Head event in Gloucestershire.

Photo: The winning LVS Ascot J16 relay team with their medals

LVS Ascot Independent Berkshire

Performing arts students at LVS Ascot are celebrating after their innovative promenade production of Alice In Wonderland – a

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first for the school – was hailed a great success by audiences who were swept along on a journey of discovery around the school grounds by two talented casts this weekend.

From Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st January, students led twelve sell-out audiences of thirty around a series of scenes which immersed them in a trip around other areas of the school besides the theatre, such as the drama studio and The Street, the school’s atmospheric outdoor area which was transformed into The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. It was a very different challenge from the usual pressures of performing to audiences of up to 300 at a time in the independent all-ability school’s theatre, and demonstrated the school’s commitment to providing a refreshing approach to education and inspiring students with new experiences.

Thirty young actors from the senior school and sixth form split into two casts to lead their delighted audiences around a set which gave them the full interactive experience of participating in Lewis Carroll’s famous tale, including being guests at the Tea Party and answering questions from the characters as they made their way around sections of the school’s 25-acre grounds.

Alice Newlands, 17, was one of two students at the school to play the title role in the Alice In Wonderland production and was thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in such an innovative play. She said: “I have been involved in the other school shows such as Grease and Fame, but this is the first time I have ever had the chance to star in a promenade production where the audience follows us around and we get to interact with them. I told my friends at a dance school I go to about it and they were amazed at what we were attempting as it is such an unusual and bold thing for a school to take on. I have really enjoyed the experience and being given the freedom to be creative with my character, which we all had the opportunity to do”.

Harry Walters, 16, played the White Rabbit and his family were delighted to see him stretched in such a rewarding role. His mother Nicola Kellock said: We are immensely proud of Harry and it was amazing to be right in the middle of the show as an audience member, it really brought a different dimension to it”. Stepfather Chris Kellock added: “The school is really building on Harry’s strengths and it is great to see him progress. His character has grown as his needs and interests have been developed here, which they seem to be whatever the pupils’ talents are”.

The show is a second success in consecutive months for the school’s drama department after December’s Oliver! production in which children as young as nine took to the stage in the first ever through-school show combining junior and senior school pupils. Head of Drama Georgina Windsor, who adapted Alice In Wonderland for the latest production, said: “This was the perfect way to challenge and expand the considerable talents of our drama students and give them a new experience which will be invaluable in their acting futures. They were wonderful and brought the show to life beautifully”.

Images from the show’s dress rehearsal performed for other students at the school can be seen here.

Musicians from around Berkshire and beyond are also being given the opportunity to show off their skills on stage at the LVS Ascot Music Festival on 4th and 5th February. More information can be found at

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