Simon’s Story

“When I first came to LVS Ascot I was not very confident at all. The teachers have been brilliant – when I’ve had problems they have just helped me through it without batting an eyelid so I could get better, and have let me go my own way where I was excelling. It has really helped me come a long way.”

Name: Simon Newns

Age: 19

Joined LVS Ascot: September 2008

Year at school: Alumni member (left in 2017)

Studying: Engineering Science at Balliol College, Oxford University

Simon left LVS Ascot in the summer of 2017, having received A-levels of A* in maths and physics and an A in further maths. He gained a place at Oxford University’s prestigious Balliol College to study engineering science, but his aspirations to reach such academic success only grew when he joined LVS Ascot.

Simon’s Story:

Simon, and his older brother Michael, didn’t enjoy their previous school, where Simon felt he was not doing well academically, was not gaining the support he needed and felt the teachers had a low opinion of his ability. His parents attended an open day at LVS Ascot and liked how inclusive the school was; welcoming and accepting of everyone from different backgrounds, and moved both boys to the school.His confidence was low when he joined, both academically and socially, but he thrived in the encouraging environment and with a diverse group of school friends supporting him.

Simon puts his development down to the inspiring ethos of the teachers, who all encouraged him to work as hard as possible and do his best to exceed his expectations and get where he wanted to go. He says the thing he misses most about the school is that all the teachers knew exactly who he was, exactly how he worked and what he was capable of.

His development was also boosted by the relaxed environment and smaller class sizes. These led to a better and closer relationship with the teachers, helping them to get the best out of him.

LVS Ascot gave Simon the opportunity to express who he was and do what he wanted to do, encouraging him to try different things and be the best that he could in all areas. By his own admission, Simon was not very good at team sports but tried many of them including rugby, cricket and rowing, enjoying being able to participate without pressure. He also experienced drama and art amongst a host of other new things with the teachers helping him every step of the way.

“Simon earning a place at Balliol College was way beyond our expectations and thanks to the inspirational education he received at LVS Ascot. He could not have achieved such a positive outcome without the help of all his teachers. More importantly has been the contribution that the general ethos of the school has had to his self-worth – the emphasis on ‘what you can do’ rather than ‘what you can’t do’ has enabled him to succeed”

– Judi Newns, Simon’s mum


What the future holds:

Simon’s Engineering Science course is four years long, after which he intends moving on to a career in engineering. He is going to see what aspects of his course he enjoys most over the next few years before seeing which direction that takes him in.


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