On Tuesday, 61 trainees from the Ark Teacher Training programme gathered together with their coaches and Ark staff to celebrate their graduation at Ark All Saints Academy in London.
The event marked the end of a successful year for trainees on the Ark Teacher Training programme working in schools across the Ark network and beyond. 61 trainees graduated with Qualified Teacher Status and a PGCE, with all of them being graded as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’. Most will now take up permanent Newly Qualified Teacher roles in their school or another in the Ark network.
Paul Marshall, chairman of Ark’s network of schools in the UK, called the event an ‘amazing and inspiring occasion’. “After many years of running schools and changing children’s lives, we can safely say that, of all the things that transform education and the system more widely, great teaching is the most important. And you have been trained by the best” he told trainees.
On the one year training programme, trainees have been based in-school from day one, learning on the job as they go. Starting with an intensive two week-summer school, and combined with multiple school placements in different schools and weekly training sessions, trainees have had an intensive yet rounded introduction to teaching.
Damian McBeath, Executive Headteacher of Ark Bentworth, Conway and Swift Primary Academies praised the trainees for what they have accomplished, and said they had challenged his views on education. “Years ago I thought great teachers were born, not created. When I joined Ark, this mindset was challenged, and absolutely smashed these past two years as I have watched the growth and development of these new teachers through Ark Teacher Training. How can this one programme produce such consistent excellence?
Llewella Owen, primary trainee at Ark Tindal Primary Academy in Birmingham, said her training year has been ‘amazing’. “The great thing about the programme is I now know the school, so I can hit the ground running in September – it’s given me all the confidence I need to go into my NQT year and beyond.”
This week Education Secretary Nicky Morgan visited Ark Academy in Wembley, London to meet trainees from the Ark Teacher Training programme, who she called ‘inspirational’.