Ten new pupils began their school adventure at LVS Ascot on Wednesday 5th September, forming the Reception class at the Infant & Junior School accompanied by their proud parents. As well as experiencing school for the first time, they will also be taking part in a brand new initiative introduced by the independent all-ability school – the LVS Ascot Junior School Diploma – and have already enjoyed the school’s impressive £820,000 dining hall refurbishment that was unveiled last week.
Each section of the diploma is linked to a pair of the LVS values and skills: curiosity and creativity, resilience and risk-taking, empathy and reflection, initiative and independence and collaboration and self-confidence. The unique course will fully embed the values and skills into pupils’ way of life from Reception class right up to Year 6 so they can build character qualities and develop key life skills, with diplomas presented at the end of their final year before moving up to LVS Ascot Senior School.
Criteria will include items such as learning to play an instrument, contributing to school council meetings and cooking a meal for their families. Head of LVS Ascot Infant and Junior School Rachael Cox said: “Our aim is to deliver a unique and vibrant education that inspires young people to exceed their expectations. The Junior School Diploma will reinforce that and help develop our pupils”.
The new pupils have already joined their older peers from the Senior School and Sixth Form in enjoying the superb new facilities available to them at lunchtimes after a major £820,000 refurbishment of the dining hall. The improvements made over the summer have created a much better user experience, transforming a standard school canteen into a high-end restaurant quality space. With meals provided by Sodexo included in the fees at the independent school, and a focus on healthy nutritious eating, the dining hall is an important area of the school and has had a complete makeover. A 20% increase in size has been created to comfortably accommodate the 850 pupils, along with new furniture and booth seating, and an increase in natural lighting due t o the insertion of skylights and slimline aluminium windows.
The new dining hall has suspended acoustic ceiling panels to help with sound deadening and improve conversation, and a servery that includes a theatre cooking suite for demonstrational cooking. LVS Ascot Principal Christine Cunniffe said: “We are continually looking to improve our facilities to provide the best learning environment so our students can maximise their achievements. Last September we opened a new sixth form centre and last week’s unveiling of the new dining hall drew equally high praise from students. The outstanding facilities on offer to students here really do provide superb support to help them excel and develop”.