Salesforce has pledged more than £600,000 over two years to enable Ark to provide extracurricular music and sports programmes to our 29,000 students.
Extracurricular activity and working outside the classroom can positively impact young people's prospects when they leave school.
Group activities, such as singing in a choir or playing on a sports team, help create a sense of belonging to a group, support social connectedness, and reduce loneliness.
The money will help Ark to develop our extended curriculum by providing schools and teachers with a framework and structure for activities outside the formal classroom environment.
There will be three offers available:
- Universal: outlining the minimum entitlement for every Ark student. Teachers will receive training so they can deliver suitable activities to students based on insights
- Elected: opportunities for students to stretch so they can discover and develop ideas and talents
- Targeted: providing tailored support and opportunities for students to develop and thrive in a specific field.
Ark CEO Lucy Heller said: "This is an exciting and innovative partnership, as enrichment opportunities can significantly benefit our pupils by ensuring they have access and options alongside excellent education.
“All the research and anecdotal evidence shows that students who participate in extra circular programmes ultimately do well in their academic studies as they develop confidence, appreciation and respect.”
At Salesforce Live UKI, Ruqaiyah Jaffery, Director and Head of Messaging and Engagement & Product Marketing for UKI at Salesforce, told a 3,000-strong audience about the new partnership: "I'm delighted to share that this year, we're giving over £1.1 million in grants to Ark and the Big Education Trust. These two charities do so much good to help give young people from across some of the UK's highest areas of social disadvantage the chance to learn both work and life skills that can help them start their tech careers."
Salesforce has been working with our Sixth Form and Destinations team to help deliver Professional Pathways workshops. The sessions bring curriculum content to life for our Professional Pathways IT and Business BTEC students.
Salesforce will also be supporting our student conferences, allowing students to engage with professionals from various sectors. These opportunities are designed to help them make informed and ambitious decisions about their post-18 destinations.
We will share more about the programmes as they roll out across our schools.
If you would like to help us support more students, don't hesitate to get in touch with Holly Mumford, Head of Development.