As Ark Lajpat Nagar’s first school year comes to a close, Principal Urmila Chowdhury reflects on the progress the students have made and the lessons learned along the way.
In just one year, our students have shown tremendous growth. When they first came to school, most had vocabulary levels which were much lower in comparison to children from affluent backgrounds. Many had never even played with toys, which is crucial for cognitive development. We had a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time.
I was on a crowded bus headed home when I got the call. ‘We’re pleased to offer you…’ I was so happy I didn’t even hear the rest: I’d been offered a place in the second Frontline cohort.
I’d heard about Frontline, a new charity that recruits and develops social workers, from a friend’s mum. She’s a social worker and emailed me as soon as she saw the programme, saying, ‘you have to apply for this!’
Ffion Evans is a Lower Key Stage 2 Phase Leader at Ark Atwood Primary Academy in north Westminster. Last year she visited primary school Ark Lajpat Nagar in New Delhi, India on our Fellows programme and describes the experience as "life changing".
Aoife O'Donnell is a reception teacher from Ark John Keats in Enfield. Last summer she spent two weeks in India as part of the Ark Global Teaching Fellowship Programme, sharing her expertise with our first primary school in India, Ark Lajpat Nagar.
I arrived in India with limited knowledge of the education system. I expected overcrowded classrooms with few resources and I was sceptical of the quality of education that could be provided in these circumstances. I was hopeful however that Ark Lajpat Nagar would present an alternative education for India’s poorest children.
It has already been praised as Outstanding by Ofsted and one of the best schools in the country for value-add by CentreForum, but for teachers at the school, Ark St Alban’s Academy in Birmingham means something more – a welcoming and community.
Phil Elks is International Education Manager for Ark. Formerly head of secondary school accountability at the Department for Education in the UK, in this blog, he talks about the programme he is running to measure educational progress in Ugandan schools.
Bryony Hackett-Evans is a first-year trainee teacher at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, a primary school in Hastings. A Sussex local, Bryony writes about how her first term of teaching has gone - and how Hastings' countryside and cultural scene has made her feel at home.
I moved to Hastings just a few months ago to take up my first teaching job as a Reception teacher. I grew up in Chichester, so Hastings really appealed because it it’s on the coast and has an independent, artsy vibe.
Nestled in the heart of Brixton, Evelyn Grace Academy is a new, purpose-built secondary school. The school, which is just a few minutes’ walk from Brixton’s famous market, is already making waves in the local community thanks to its award-winning buildings, cutting-edge facilities and track record of giving great opportunities to its students.
STIR Education, a member of the Ark family, is building the largest independent professional movement for teachers across the developing world. The aim is to motivate and empower teachers to become skilful practitioners who impact student learning.
In India, the 2014 national assessments determined that 47% of children in Grade 5 could not read a Grade 2 text. This was a national scandal. Many blamed India’s teachers.