Christmas Jumper Day and Student Council Letter
Letter from Student Council - A letter from the Student Voice can be found here.
Christmas Jumper Day Friday 14 December - For a £1 donation to their house charity, students may wear a Christmas jumper over their shirt and tie and under their blazers. Full school uniform and equipment is expected.
Ofsted and performance data
The Ofsted report for October 2017 can be found here.
Extracts from our Ofsted report:
- 'Safeguarding is effective. Pupils agree that the school is a safe place and that their well-being is given high priority.'
- 'The school provides well for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Pupils have a good understanding of fundamental British values such as knowing right from wrong.'
- 'The range of sports is a particular strength.'
- 'Relationships in the school are strong and inspectors saw many examples of positive interactions between staff and pupils and between pupils themselves.'
- 'Where pupils make more rapid progress, such as in English, science and languages, teachers use a variety of ways to gain pupils’ interest in their learning. They plan effectively and use different styles of questions to test pupils’ understanding.'
- '...pupils now have access to a curriculum which is better suited to their needs and prepares them better for their future paths.'
- 'Pupils have opportunities to develop their wider skills through a range of extra-curricular activities in areas such as sport and the arts.'
- 'Pupils are generally respectful of the classrooms and grounds and keep them free from litter. They are smartly dressed and respond well to the school’s expectation of high standards of personal presentation.'
- 'There is a growing sense of common purpose among staff and pupils to make the school a better place in which to learn.'
The Department for Education's school performance data for the school can be found by clicking here.
Our Ofsted data dashboard can be found here.
2018 Examination Results Headlines
The Academy saw an improvement in results across the board in the Summer at both A-Level and GCSE. Whilst modest, the GCSE results improved by 5% (44-49% English and Maths match) against a national dip, whilst we saw a fantastic improvement in our 6th form results which saw us move into the top 25% of schools in the country for progress.
Whilst we have made progress in our GCSE progress 8, we are unrelenting in our drive and determination to achieve at least in line with national progress. This year our attainment score made a 5% increase, when nationally there was a dip in schools outcomes.
We are confident that over the course of the next year, progress will improve further and that our students will make progress in line with their peers nationally. Our attainment 8 grade of 4.0 means that our students achieved a standard pass grade on average in their GCSE subjects this year. The percentage of students achieving a 4-9 in both English and Maths was 49%.
Progress students make in the sixth form
Attainment and progress
Christopher Case Study
Ark 6th Form student Christopher is looking forward to university following the results of his A-Level’s in Business, Politics, and Economics. He already knows he has achieved a distinction in Business through his coursework and is planning to go to Loughborough University to study Business, Economics, and Finance.
Christopher has an interest in how businesses operate and whilst studying for his exams, Christopher juggled a job in retail. Looking to the future, Christopher has high ambitions and with a passion for business and finance he would like to consider a career in investment banking after university.
Reflecting on his time at the Ark 6th Form, Christopher praised his teachers for getting him through his studies and preparing him for his exams and was able to receive a distinction in his Business A-Level.
‘I think that was mainly down to the teacher…He really pushed us to make sure that we all got the best grade, and in that class, in my class and across the year we all did really well.’ ‘He’s pushing you to get the best out of yourself without you even realising it’
Christopher enjoyed his time at Ark 6th Form and was grateful for the support he received from his teachers who he felt he could go to at any time.
‘I think somewhere like here where you want that support or just want security in that if you have a problem you can go to your teacher and you can talk to them… if I had a question I could ask it whenever.’
Christopher was also one of several students to receive a bursary to help with his time at University. Christopher was awarded the Marshall Wace bursary and said,
‘The bursary from Ark will help massively. £3,000 a year is a huge amount of money. It offers me extra financial security and I know I can get all the stuff I know I need for university and have the money to live comfortably and know I won’t be without.’
Dillan Case Study
Ark William Parker’s Head Boy Dillan has just finished his GCSEs and is now planning to continue his studies at Ark 6th Form in September to study A-Levels in Biology, Economics, Geography and Psychology.
Dillan has high aspirations and hopes to go to Oxford University to study Law.
He has been in a fortunate position to be chosen by Ark William Parker to take part in residential trips to Oxford University and it is these trips that inspired him to consider Oxford as a destination for a law degree.
‘They chose us to go over to Oxford and live the Oxford life for a week, and then we came back in Easter and prepared for our GCSEs.’
Alongside the visit to Oxford University, Dillan has been offered another life enhancing experience and is one of a few students across the Ark network that has been chosen to take part in an 18 day expedition with Outward Bound Canada which is provided by the Stuart Horne Bursary and seeks to support teenagers through funding scholarships to universities, schools and outdoor leadership/wilderness programs.
The aim is to provide transformational experiences by taking students out of their normal, routine environment, and supporting them in a space where they can engage with nature, face impactful challenges, and work in a team environment. On the trip Dillan will learn outdoor survival and adventure skills, get to hike through mountain ranges and learn to canoe and camp.
But not everything has been plain sailing for Dillan and in his early years at Ark William Parker he struggled with school life, but fortunately things started to turn around for him when teachers intervened and set him back on the right path. He credits his teachers for their support and understanding.
‘When I was in Year seven there was the Senior Leadership team members who were really nice… I got along with them a lot. You had Miss Cook was here up until Year 9, and she was constantly helping me through all my problems. And I think that’s why I started going on the right path.’
Considering his time at Ark William Parker he praises the experience and the teachers who were there for him through the tough times.
‘I still think it was a brilliant experience. If I went anywhere else I wouldn’t be the same person.’ ‘the teachers were always there for you.’
William Case Study
Among those Hastings students off to university in the summer is Ark 6th Form East Sussex student William who is set to study Sociology at Newcastle University with hopes to go on to a Post-grad Masters and PHD, and is aiming for a future career in social work or youth offending.
His time at school and studying Sociology has given him a desire to understand different cultures and he hopes to be able to travel the world visiting far flung places after his further education.
‘I want to go travelling and experience cultures as it’s all well and good learning about cultures in sociology but we’ve got to truly experience them to understand them.’
William took A-Levels in Biology, Sociology, Philosophy and Ethics and praises his teachers throughout his time at Ark William Parker and the Ark 6th Form for their support and really understanding him.
‘They’ve just been there. They know what you are like, they know your skills and weaknesses… and they could tailor their teaching towards me specifically.’
Outside of his studies William took part in the county run LGBT youth group ‘Some People’. Participating for 4 years, he experienced the work of social workers which sparked his interest in a possible career in this field.
‘I saw how much they helped…I saw how they shaped these broken children into the adults they are now.’
Reflecting on his experience at the Ark 6th Form, William would recommend it to future students.
‘I like the fact the sixth form is small, because you knew everyone and everyone knows everyone.’
‘I would recommend it for the teaching and I would recommend it on the idea of being small and quite close knit.’
William was one of a few students to receive a bursary from the Driver Youth Trust from Ark, the network of high-performing schools which includes four schools in Hastings. Each year, the Driver Youth Trust helps talented Ark students headed for top universities, who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education, with expenses like accommodation and subsistence.
‘I was ecstatic that I got it. It will take away financial stress. I’m going to Newcastle and so I’m fully flying the nest and I feel that having that money will be a back-up.’ Having extra money in my pocket for rent, for food and clothes, as well as for laptops and study aids.’