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News14th July 2021

A record year for teaching graduates at Ark

Ark is celebrating a record year for teacher training with 152 new graduates coming to the end of their training year.

This is Ark Teacher Training (ATT)’s eighth cohort of new teachers and they are a cohort like no other, having learned to teach in a historic year of partial school closures, in community classrooms and online.

As Leila Mactavish, Head of ATT, said to the cohort at their online graduation ceremony on Friday 9 July, “We’ve got nothing but admiration for the professionalism with which you face the challenges and for the support that you’ve shown the children in our schools.”

This record number of trainees was made possible thanks to additional funding from Ark’s Covid appeal.

The trainees provided invaluable support to our schools throughout this unprecedentedly tough year.

The graduation ceremony featured a range of the graduates sharing their experience of their training year with their fellow graduates.

Michael Rose, an Ark trainee working at Mossbourne Victoria Park Academy, said, “This year has been a very difficult year because of the pandemic but I feel like because of the difficult year that we’ve been through, we’re going to be a unique cohort.

“Other teachers had to adjust to big change. We didn’t have to adjust, we were just thrown into it. Our only experience of teaching has been teaching in the classroom as well as online so let’s try and look at the positive of that: We’re going to be a more diverse cohort who have these other experiences.”

Katie Juckes, primary trainee at Ark King Solomon Academy, described her classroom-based future, “We’ve decided to spend the next however many years with snot, tantrums, whining, fighting, arguing, complaining, daydreaming, bad behaviour,… being given endless drawings with our names being spelt wrong, being told every detail of what children had for dinner the night before,… laughing with colleagues over shared stories,… and finally, looking at the sea of small faces and thinking to ourselves, we know each and every one of you so well and really kind of love you and love being here.”

Jerry Collins, Ark’s Director of Secondary, commended the graduates’ choice of profession, “Having pupils glued to what you’re doing and engaged in a subject you’re passionate about, it’s a wonderful job to be able to do.”

Lucy Heller, Ark’s Chief Executive, reflected on the success of previous cohorts and her high expectations for this year’s. “ATT has powered you up and given you special powers. A very high proportion of your predecessor cohorts are already in leadership and middle leadership.”

Sir Paul Marshall, the Chair of Ark Schools, talked about how the last 18 months has highlighted the importance of schools and how schools’ success rests on great teachers, “We’re on a mission at Ark to transform not only the lives of the children in our schools but also the whole country by seeding the country with great teachers and brilliantly trained teachers. Ultimately, it all depends on you guys. You’re the guys who have the future of these children in your hands.”

If you’d like to be part of next year’s cohort, don’t miss your chance to apply: