Schools from across the Ark network have been celebrating the festive season with music and dramatic performances - raising an impressive amount of money for vital causes. King Solomon Academy's student orchestra performed outside Piccadilly Circus' iconic advertisements:
David Laws, the former MP and Schools minister, has joined Ark as an adviser to our international programmes. He will be advising Ark on the development of global education systems, including quality assurance and value add programmes.
Eleven year old pupils at Ark schools have posted their best ever key stage 2 results (sometimes known as SATs) this year. 72% of Ark pupils achieved the benchmark ‘level 4’ in reading, writing and mathematics combined. This represents a five point rise on last year’s average of 67%.
There was also a five point rise for those getting Level 5 – above the expected benchmark, demonstrating better outcomes for the most talented students.
One of the biggest challenges in schools across the world is to ensure that students in lower income communities have access to the same quality of teaching and learning as those from more affluent backgrounds. The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in South Africa is piloting a new model
Two Ark schools have been celebrating world culture by hosting their first ever assembly together - despite being over 4,000 miles away.
Children at Ark Atwood Primary Academy, started their International Day with live video assembly over Skype with Lajpat Nagar III, a new primary school in South Delhi which is Ark's first ever school abroad.
Over the last couple of weeks, 11 of our London schools and two of our Portsmouth schools participated in the Shakespeare Schools Festival 2015. From a 1940s themed Queen Lear to Much Ado About Nothing set to a Madonna soundtrack, to a Twelfth Night involving Space Hoppers, we witnessed fantastic performances from our talented students.
Sarah from Ark Brunel played Lady Macbeth, she said “it was scary, but when we got on stage, the lights meant that you couldn't see beyond the first row. I'm glad that I did it and am proud of myself."
The first ever school outside of the UK supported by an academy network held a special celebration assembly today, four months after opening. The school, Lajpat-Nagar III Primary School in South Delhi, India was established through a new partnership between Ark and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), the local government, and is free to attend.
Ark St Alban's Academy was today featured in a TES cover feature: "Birmingham's shining bright." The story reveals how schools in Birmingham, once thought of as underachieving, have recently seen an impressive increase in results. The TES notes that at Ark St Alban's "80 percent of students qualify for the pupil premium, yet 69 per cent achieved 5 A*-C grades at GCSE including English and maths - well above the national average of 52.8 per cent."
Figures released by the Department for Education show that Ark Kings Academy in Birmingham is the most improved sponsored academy in the whole country over two years.
Since 2013, GCSE results at Ark Kings are up 27 percentage points, while the national average for all schools is down by 6 points.