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Why I’ve loved the move from Primary to College: Ashton Cook

At ACG Strathallan, students become members of our College in Year 7, and this move from the Primary School can be an anxious time for those who are not sure what to expect. To help alleviate any concerns our future Year 7 cohorts may have (such as receiving mountains of homework and no longer having time to play sports or catch-up with friends), we’ve asked some of our current students to share their experiences.

Student Ashton Cook

We’ve followed these students as they transitioned through Years 7 and 8, interviewing them each year to chart their progress as they entered a new phase of their schooling.

Joining ACG Strathallan at the start of 2019, Ashton Cook admits he was feeling a little apprehensive about entering the College in Year 7. But over the past two years, the athletic thirteen-year-old has flourished alongside his classmates. The keen footballer explains the challenges he faced, the successes he achieved, and how much he has enjoyed his time as a member of the Year 7 and 8 cohorts.

2020: YEAR 8

What have you enjoyed most about the year so far?
Probably having a better understanding of what I need to do to achieve better grades. I have been attending lunchtime tutorials and studying a bit more, so my grades have improved. Now it’s really exciting when I receive my grades.

What is your favourite thing about being a member of the College?
I have formed many great friendships and have loved meeting many new people.

Have you noticed any changes between being in Year 7 and in Year 8?
Last year, I had just moved from a rural school and was quite surprised at the amount of work I was given – I definitely noticed a change in workload. But this year I am much more used to everything and have learnt how to plan my time to cope with any extra work.

What is the best thing about studying the Cambridge curriculum?
I enjoy the challenge. I have realised that the Cambridge curriculum is a bit harder, but I really enjoy being challenged to do my best.

Are you involved in the same sports or extracurricular activities as last year?
I am still involved in all the cross country races, but this year I have taken on basketball, orienteering and volleyball – all sports I would never have imagined playing.

Do you have any plans for what you’d like to do when you leave school?
At this stage, I would like to go to university and study accounting.

2019: YEAR 7

What were your main concerns about moving to the College when you started Year 7?
I was a bit worried about how I would get my homework done and still have time for football academy training, but I used the library to do my homework after-school, so it all worked out great! I could get my homework done in a quiet environment before heading to training.

What are the highlights you will take away from Year 7?
Having lots of great friendships, having the experience to try Chinese and Spanish, and being able to learn a new instrument – the saxophone.

Mum Melissa agrees, adding, “Ashton has a lot of great highlights and has totally flourished since arriving at Strath. He’s a very happy kid who has really loved learning the saxophone and has developed some great friendships. Previously he struggled with finding kids on his wavelength.”

What are your favourite subjects and why?
Spanish and sport. I like Spanish because I enjoy learning new languages, and I enjoy doing sport because I like to be active.

Are you involved in any sports or extracurricular activities?
Zone cross country and interschool cross country.

What are you most looking forward to in Year 8?
I think it’s being able to have the same great experiences as in Year 7 and enjoying more new ones.