In this blog posting, Ark's Head of Early Years Development, Jodie Reed, warns that government policy changes designed to help working families could have the unintended consequence of making quality early years education less available to disadvantaged communities.
Since July 2015, Ark has been working with Dhanpatmal Virmani Education Trust to operate a school in Lajpat Nagar III, Delhi.
Lajpat Nagar is located on a non-descript street, situated between five low-income communities. It is a government school run in partnership by Ark and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, serving a mixture of Hindi, Bengali and Tamil-speaking families.
This week, teachers from across the country will be at Ark St Alban's Academy, discussing the change to 'no-coursework' GCSEs as part of Ark's free CPD workshop on the topic. The workshops, which are open to all teachers regardless of whether they work in an Ark school, will see teachers hear from expert speakers on the changes - including Mark Critchard, Ark's Network Lead for Maths.
In this blog, Mark considers the implications of a linear curriculum - and suggests 6 points for how to tackle the changes.
Recently, teachers from across the country attended the latest in Ark's series of free CPD sessions, which are open to all teachers, on Life Beyond Levels and the link between elite sports and the classroom. In this blog, Ark Helenswood Academy Principal Lucy Monk reflects on the session - and what teachers can take from sports-style coaching.
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.