Ardingly Astana: Preparing students for the world as it will be, and not for what it is now

Astana welcomes the launch of Ardingly: A renowned British independent school expands its success story in Kazakhstan

Photo: press service archive

Ardingly College is a leading British independent school founded in 1858. Over the years, it has established itself as one of the best boarding schools, consistently ranking in the top 10 among British schools and the top 20 worldwide according to the results of the International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. Additionally, based on the results of the A-level exams, it consistently places within the top 50 independent schools in the UK. Each year, graduates of the school secure placements in prestigious higher education institutions around the globe, including Cambridge, Oxford, and many others. The school's certificates are recognized by all leading universities.

This September, the Ardingly satellite primary school will welcome children aged 5 to 10 in Astana. The official launch of the secondary school and the first stage of the main campus is planned for 2025. Plans include establishing a kindergarten and pre-school to cater to the youngest learners. Once at full capacity, the main campus is projected to accommodate 1,000 students, while the satellite primary school will enroll 250 students, fostering a vibrant educational community in Astana.

Photo: press service archive

The partner school in the UK is actively involved in the selection process of the team for Ardingly Astana. The teaching staff will comprise highly qualified educators with international teaching experience.

Ardingly Astana will be opened with the support of Primus Education. In the near future, the company plans to establish branches of Ardingly School throughout Kazakhstan, along with the Coventry University branded campus in Astana, ranked among the top 30 universities in the world for international students.

Alister Bartholomew, President of Primus Education, emphasizes that contemporary parents seek educational institutions that serve as partners in nurturing well-rounded, innovative, and successful individuals who will shape the society of the future. He emphasizes that the establishment of Ardingly Astana broadens access for Kazakhstanis to world-class international education, aligning with the aspirations of families seeking top-tier academic experiences for their children.

Photo: press service archive

"I have been working in the field of education for over 40 years, and during this time, I have had the privilege of opening many successful schools both in Kazakhstan and in numerous other countries. At Primus Education, we were very careful in the choice of our Partner School, and we visited many schools before deciding upon Ardingly College in the UK. In choosing Ardingly, we knew that they fulfilled many of our expectations as a successful academic institution, from Kindergarten through to Senior school (K-12 as it is known), being coeducational, and having a strong commitment to student welfare," remarked Alister Bartholomew during the presentation.

Photo: press service archive

"We are pleased that Ardingly College, known for its exceptional standards and respected reputation, is opening its doors in Astana. British education has long been synonymous with excellent education that promotes critical thinking, creativity, and leadership. We are incredibly proud of this new institution and are confident that it will uphold and strengthen these values," said Beth McKendrick, Trade and Investment Country Director at the British Embassy in Kazakhstan, during the presentation.

Ardingly College is nestled in rural West Sussex County in the south of England, just a short train ride away from London. Boys and girls aged from 2 to 18 study there, and boarding is available from age 13, welcoming local and international students to the school. Ben Figgis, Director of Ardingly College, and Jamie Large, Director of Ardingly College International in the UK, delivered a video presentation of their educational institution and extended their best wishes for the success of Ardingly Astana.

Darren Jones, Headmaster of Ardingly Astana, outlined the distinctive features of the institution's operations in Kazakhstan's capital. He stressed that the school's mission is to ensure that children can maximize their talents at school and be prepared for life outside of it. At the core of Ardingly's educational philosophy lies the belief that each child is valued, understood, and supported, fostering an environment where every individual thrives.

Photo: press service archive

"Our vision is the desire to prepare our students for the world as it will be, and not for what it is now. This means providing a personalized education that allows children to explore their interests, and providing the most modern facilities to ensure that every child can explore and experiment as they wish," explained Darren Jones.

According to Mr. Jones, the World Ready mission or concept entails development in several directions: understanding one's roots while thinking globally, being able to engage with society, fostering entrepreneurial spirit, and acquiring employment skills. To achieve this, individuals need qualities such as compassion, curiosity, cooperation, and resilience. These qualities enable individuals to enrich themselves with knowledge, enjoy learning, care for others and themselves, make informed decisions, and evaluate information.

Primary school education will follow the international Cambridge Curriculum. This program offers an enriching curriculum comprising 11 dynamic subjects, including English, mathematics, science, computer science, robotics, art, design, and extracurricular disciplines that develop competencies in the field of STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Additionally, the program will integrate compulsory subjects such as Kazakh and Russian languages, literature, geography, and history of Kazakhstan. This holistic approach not only fosters academic excellence but also nurtures a deep appreciation for cultural heritage and global perspectives.

Ardingly Astana will offer a Cambridge Secondary school program designed for children aged 11-14 and 14-16 years old. Upon completion of the 14-16 program, students are awarded an International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

After completing the IGCSE program, students advance to the distinguished 'Cambridge Advanced' stage, tailored for adolescents aged 16 and above. Here, they engage in a rigorous curriculum culminating in the attainment of international certificates in AS and A levels across a diverse spectrum of subjects. This educational journey culminates in the prestigious conferment of Cambridge diplomas, which attest to their mastery of the prescribed programs and ensure readiness for the challenges of higher education and the global landscape beyond.

"The opening of Ardingly Astana in Kazakhstan expands access to the best international education for Kazakhstanis and contributes to the overall development of the country. It elevates standards and quality of education and deepens integration into the international community," concluded Alister Bartholomew, President of Primus Education."

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