|Founder||Mrs. M. Snell, Ashley Cross Girls School, Seldown Boys School|
|DfE URN||139711 Tables|
|Ofsted||Reports Pre-academy reports|
It was first opened as Ashdown School on 7 July 1989 following the merger of Ashley Cross Girls School and Seldown Boys School. In 2001 it became Ashdown Technology College after being awarded specialist status in technology. The school converted to academy status on 1 September 2013 and was renamed Magna Academy.
Construction and opening
The construction of Ashdown School began in 1986 in a large field in Canford Heath, Poole, Dorset. The new secondary school would be the result of two closing schools, Seldown Boys School and Ashley Cross Girls School, fusing together. The name Ashdown is a combination of the school's names.
During construction, a time capsule was placed somewhere within the brick walls, the capsule being removed from its previous location in Seldown Boys School. Fifty ash trees were planted around the border of the school's field, to represent the school's new name. However, deliberately started fires have destroyed some the trees, the most recently in 2003. A collage was made from drawings of the original two schools, that hangs in the entrance of the school.
On July 7, 1989, the new Ashdown School was opened by Princess Margaret and headteacher Mrs. Mollie Snell. Six hundred students attended the opening of the school.
Events in 1990-1999
In 1990, Mrs. Snell retired from her post as headteacher and passed it on to Mr. Ashley Pellegrini, who had previously taught in a comprehensive school in Middlesex. The school also celebrated its first Sports Day on the school's field and running track; this became a yearly tradition for the school. New ICT facilities were also opened.
In 1991, the school performed its first Christmas pantomime, "The Magic Sword", directed by then-head of drama, Mrs. J. Williams. School shows eventually disappeared from the yearly events, as did Drama. The school previously had a newspaper named the Ashdown Echo (a parody of the Echo newspaper), but it eventually ceased. The first Year 11 Prom was held. The School Council was created, to help improve the school's conditions.
In 1995, the Charter Mark Award was given to Ashdown for Excellence in Public Service.
On October 7, Two arsonists set the school on fire at 2:00 a.m. and burnt down part of the school, destroying the music room. The school was closed for a week as police,teachers and Site Manager along with Council staff examined damage to the school. A new area was constructed in 1999, with a new music room and five new classrooms that would become Maths rooms. The school received a second Charter Mark Award in 1998.
Events in 2000-2013
In 2000, the school was presented a DfES School Improvement Award. In 2001, under the DfES; Specialist Schools programme, Ashdown became a Technology College and changed its name to Ashdown Technology College. New technology is added in several classrooms, including interactive whiteboards.
In 2005 Ashdown was recognised by the Specialist Schools Trust as one of the "Most Improved" and "Best Added Value" Schools in the country. The DfEs also designated Ashdown as a High Performing Specialist School. Near the end of the school term, Ashdown said goodbye to its Deputy Head, Mrs. Sleat, who retires after 42 years of teaching. New Deputy Head, Mr. Wood, joins the staff.
In 2006 Ashdown was redesignated as a Technology College with Vocational Learning added to its specialisms. A Sixth Form was introduced. Headteacher, Mr. Pellegrini was replaced in 2007 by Liz Jones. The new term that began in September, 2007, introduced a new school uniform to the school, replacing the school sweatshirts with jumpers and a blue polo shirt both with the school logo on it. Also bringing in the new P.E uniform which is red polo top with school logo and shorts or tracksuit bottoms with school logo on it. Parts of the school were refurbished in 2008, including heavy reconstruction to Ashdown Gym.
Renaming to Magna Academy
The school officially transferred from Ashdown Technology College to Magna Academy on 1 September 2013.
The school is primarily one large building. The reception area and main hallway is the entrance to the school. There are twenty-one main classrooms, teaching subjects including Maths, English, French, Spanish, History, Geography and Religious Education.
The school includes three art rooms, one of which is a small house-like structure on the grounds of the school called the Art Bungalow; five ICT facilities, one of which is also used to teach Business Studies; six rooms for Design Technology, each focusing on different areas of DT (e.g. Graphic Products, Resistant Materials, CADCAM and Food Technology); six science laboratories; a large Drama Hall used for assemblies; a studio used for dancing and also doubles as part of the cafeteria; a Learning Support Centre; a large music room; and a library for research purposes.
Ashdown Leisure Centre is a large sports hall, and also a gym. Outside is a tennis court and a pair of squash courts that are being rebuilt into a dance studio. The school grounds have several mobile classrooms. A large field covers the back of the school, which is shared with Haymoor Middle School. There is also a large running track, an astroturf field used for hockey and football, and an athletics area in the back of the track used on Sports Day.
The school has a school council and a sports council. The people who represent the academy normally make decisions on which the academy chooses to make. The school council have the second to last say. On the other hand the sports council, which has a small leadership team but big councilors team. They make the decisions on internal and external parts of the academy. The sports CEO who is Ben Beninson, in year 10 formally makes the intra-tutor events decisions along with the sports council team. All .magnasport.tk websites are owned by the CEO. Our goal is to make academy a healthy academy.