Ark is an education charity and one of the country’s top-performing school networks. We believe that education can transform lives. Each school in the Ark network is unique and has its own ethos and character, but we all share the same mission: to give every child the very best start so that, when the time comes, they’re able to go on to university or the career of their choice.
Since 2013, four Hastings schools have joined the Ark network: Ark Helenswood Academy, Ark William Parker Academy, Ark Blacklands Primary Academy and Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy. Helenswood Academy and Ark William Parker Academy both have long histories within Hastings and are now working closely to help their students reach their potential.
Since joining the Ark network, Ark Helenswood has secured the best GCSE results in Hastings and St Leonard’s. Upon joining the Ark network, Ark William Parker’s classrooms were refurbished, with a second canteen and a brand new school library added to the building. The proportion of students at Ark William Parker Academy achieving passes in their English and maths GCSE has risen 17 percentage points since joining Ark.
On average, the schools that have joined the Ark network have 50% more students achieving five good GCSEs than before they joined. Charter Academy in Portsmouth, one of Ark’s secondary schools, is the most improved in the country since joining the network and Ark Conway Primary Academy recently achieved the country’s best results for children aged 7. Ark schools spend more time on core subjects like English and maths than most schools and use Mathematics Mastery – an innovative curriculum based on best practice in high-performing school systems like Singapore – to give all students a real mastery of the subject.
Ark is about more than just great exam results - we also develop our young people outside of the classroom. Students from across the network have the chance to take part in exciting performance s and competitions including debating tournaments, spelling bees and maths competitions, held across the country. Ark students are also invited to perform at the charity’s annual Music Gala at the Barbican, one of the biggest performing arts centres in Europe. Ark students also have the opportunity to perform Shakespeare plays in world-famous venues as part of the Shakespeare Schools Festival. Ark even offers support beyond school, with generous university bursaries and scholarships to sixth form students to help them with living costs for their higher education.
As well as its high-performing schools, Ark runs programmes in the UK and abroad that are transforming children’s lives. Ark is one of the co-founders of Frontline, a programme which is training top graduates to be the next generation of outstanding social workers, and has partnered with international organisations to train teachers in Uganda and India.