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.
Ark's King Solomon Academy was today confirmed as the best non-selective school in England with the publication of secondary school league tables by the Department for Education.
93% of students at King Solomon Academy, which is located in the most economically deprived ward in London, got at least 5 GCSEs rated A*-C including English and maths, the main measure of secondary school performance.
New figures show that five year olds at Ark schools are outperforming the national average by over a fifth (22%).
81% of pupils at the academy network’s primary schools secured a ‘Good Level of Development’ in the early years, compared to 66% nationally.
Official figures released today by the Department for Education on key stage 1 results (pupils aged seven) and phonics checks show that Ark achieved results well above the national average on every headline measure.
It takes a special kind of resilience, determination and great teaching to go from being a political refugee to a place at Oxford University – but Maan Al-Yasiri had all three in spades.
Maan’s family is originally from Iraq, but moved to Syria to escape political persecution before Maan was born: 'I have three uncles who were political opponents of the Saddam regime and one of them spent time in Abu Ghraib prison.’