Exemplifying the holistic learning experience Strathallan provides, Ashley has become one of the school’s best and brightest. A talented athlete and active Prefect in the student leadership team, she has also excelled academically during her four years at the school.
Described in the most glowing terms by ACG teachers and staff alike, Ashley solidified her reputation as one of Strathallan’s top academics in the 2019 Cambridge International Examinations. The high-achieving teen attained outstanding results, receiving five A* (90% and above) and one A grade (80% and above) across her IGCSE subjects.
Working to her potential is important to the dedicated student.
“Getting good marks means a lot to me,” she explains. “I had set myself goals for what I wanted to achieve in my IGCSE exams which really motivated me to keep studying.”
“Another motivating factor was steadily feeling more ready for the exams. I liked understanding the concepts taught in more depth; the best part was leaving an exam feeling like I’d prepared well and actually found it okay.”
Grateful for the support and guidance of her teachers, Ashley believes the added assistance they delivered in the run-up to her Cambridge exams played a notable role in her success.
“The teachers were a massive help to me throughout the year and in my final prep – they were always open to helping me and answering any questions that I had. Also, the tutorials for various subjects held during lunchtimes and after-school prepared me really well, as I was able to discuss any concerns I had or ask for additional explanations when I needed them.”
Now in her first year of A-Level study, Ashley is currently focusing on a varied remit of AS subjects.
“My favourite subject is Spanish because I just find it so interesting and I love learning about the language and the different Hispanic cultures. I also love literature; I enjoy the deeper analysis and challenging my thinking. Plus, I take biology and chemistry which I really like, they are so interesting and, again, I like the challenge!”
However, Ashley admits that it is an ongoing juggling act to maintain a good study/life balance and is conscious of the need to take time away from her books and computer screen.
“Sometimes I’m so focused on getting good marks and preparing myself well that I forget to let myself have a break, so I need to keep that in mind for my AS-Levels this year. I found the best way to do this is always making sure I have something to look forward to so that it isn’t just school and study all the time.
“I think that’s part of why I love playing netball so much – I can forget about everything else that’s going on and focus all my energy on something different. I have played in the school’s premier team since I was in Year 9 and I also play for a club in Papakura. I enjoy a wide range of sports and never hesitate to get involved in social or competitive games!”
As an expert study-planner, Ashley has drawn on her experiences over the past year to share the following advice with her fellow Strathallan students.
“Always keep a positive mindset toward study and school (as well as everything else) as it makes preparing for exams a much easier time. Another thing is to stay on top of all coursework from week one and prepare properly for all topic tests to make sure you fully understand each concept. Working hard really pays off!”
While her future looks bright, the pragmatic sixteen-year-old is determined to keep her options open with regards to her career possibilities.
“I’m wondering about either medicine or marine biology but I’m really not sure at this stage. I’m just going to see what 2020 brings and see what I’m enjoying most by the end of the year.”