Ark Ambitions is our own unique brand of Careers Education, Advice and Independent Guidance [CEAIG]
Ark Academy uses the Gatsby Benchmarks as a guide to plan our Pathways and Enrichment programme. As part of our commitment to informing our students of the full range of learning and training pathways on offer to them, we are happy to consider requests from training, apprenticeship and vocational education providers to speak to students.
Ark Academy also proactively seek to build relationships with these partners as we plan our Pathways and Enrichment activity throughout the school year to ensure that providers have multiple opportunities to speak to students and their parents across years 7-13, to offer information on vocational, technical and apprenticeship qualifications and pathways. Ark Academy ensures that Academy staff involved in personal guidance and pastoral support are up to date on their knowledge of these post 16 and post 18 pathways, through a programme of Continuing Professional Development.
Opportunities for providers to speak with students may include school assemblies, employer and provider engagement events or opportunities to speak with students and parents on a one-to-one basis supporting GCSE, post 16 or post 18 option choices. Ark Academy Academy’s Pathways and Enrichment programme is monitored for quality and impact by the Academy’s Senior Leadership and Governance Teams.
In the first instance, requests by providers should be sent to the Academy’s Pathways and Enrichment Lead, Stephen O’Carroll [firstname.lastname@example.org] with a minimum of 6 weeks’ lead time. All requests will be considered on the basis of; staffing availability to support the activity, clashes with other planned activity, trips or visits to the Academy, interruption to preparation for examinations or rooming and space availability to host the activity.
For questions on this or Ark Academy’s wider Pathways and Enrichment programme, please contact the Academy’s Pathways and Enrichment Lead, Stephen O’Carroll. If you would like to contact us specifically in relation to sixth form progression activities then please contact Ms Iliffe [Director of Sixth Form] via email@example.com
Click here for the Pathways & Enrichment Policy.
The aim of Ark Ambitions is to ensure that all our students are prepared for life after Ark Academy, for university and for the world of work. We particularly want to help students develop the skills and knowledge needed for the changing job market which we set out to achieve through giving students a range of opportunities to engage with employers, further education and higher education providers through their time at the Academy.
Our aim is to meet all the Gatsby Benchmarks** to ensure we are providing the best preparations for our pupils. We use the Gatsby Benchmarks as a guide to plan our Careers & Enrichment programme. As part of our commitment to informing our students of the full range of learning and training pathways on offer to them, we are happy to consider requests from training, apprenticeship and vocational providers to speak to students.
**A detailed overview of each of the Gatsby Benchmarks can be found here: http://www.goodcareerguidance.org.uk/
Ark Ambitions Curriculum
At Ark Academy we place a great emphasis on our students having a personal development programme that ensures they are well equipped for moving into the appropriate further education, apprenticeship or workplace. This starts as soon as they arrive at school in Year 7 and builds significantly through Year 8 -13. We make every effort to get 100% of our students onto the right pathway suitable for their particular skill set and this is done through the rigorous Ark Ambitions programme. This entitlement for ALL students is set out below
Adaptations due to the impact of Covid-19:
The Ark Ambitions programme has been impacted significantly by the covid-19 pandemic. Previous elements such as work experience, industry insight visits and visiting speakers/workshops have been put on hold during this time. Even with the full return to school from September 2021 we have not been able to return to all these activities.
The growth in virtual opportunities has countered this to some degree. These include virtual work experience and insight opportunities [Speakers4Schools & Springpod] along with virtual speakers and workshops e.g., Year 10 students participated in the [virtual] Rock Assembly with 7 different industry sectors during the Autumn term 2021
We will continue to develop our links with partners and providers who can offer virtual opportunities; with the hope of returning to face-to-face experiences soon.
Key Stage 3 Ark Ambitions:
|Year||Provision for all students: [Links to Gatsby benchmarks shown in brackets for each strand of the Ark Ambitions programme]|
|7||All pupils explore who they are and who they would like to be in the future [identification of personal skills and qualities]
|8||All pupils explore how self-esteem and confidence can have an impact on behaviour, achievements and future aspirations.
|9||All pupils further explore who they are and begin to refine their future career aspirations.
Key Stage 4 Ark Ambitions:
|Year||Provision for all students:|
We measure the success of the Ark Ambitions Programme in the following ways:
- Destinations Data – we monitor destinations data each year, to ensure we understand what our students go on to do after Ark Academy and whether the Information, Advice and Guidance they received during their time here has had an effect.
- Pupil voice/reflections – pupils reflect on their experiences when they visit workplaces or hear from speakers. This allows us to identify which experiences pupils enjoyed and which they didn’t, as well as providing a record for the pupil they can use in future applications.
- Evaluation of the programme – each year, we have an annual review of the programme with Ark Schools, who assess how many of the Gatsby Benchmarks we are meeting and identify strategic goals for us to work on over the next year.
Through the Ark Ambitions programme we have developed a number of key partnerships in order to deliver on our commitment to excellent careers and pathways opportunities and guidance. A number of these partners offer additional opportunities alongside the entitlement for all students listed above. These opportunities are tailored to the interests and needs of individuals at various key points to ensure a personalised approach to Ark Ambitions.
A key partnership exists with Prospects who deliver impartial careers guidance to all KS4 & KS5 students through one to one or small group sessions. This partnership has developed further to include support through particiaption in the local careers cluster [LEAN Network]
Disha Dansghani is our dedicated [impartial] careers advisor and can be contacted via Disha.Dansingani@Prospects.co.uk
Alongside this, we have an incredible relationship with Ipsos Mori, the global leader in market and opinion research. Through this partnership we are able to offer business insight visits to our students in year 9 and 10. A number of sixth form students receive hints, tips and practice in interview skills along with the opportunity to attend qualitative skills and project management masterclasses. This partnership has seen students gain work experience at the Ipsos head offices and a small number of sixth form students have gained paid employment during their holidays.
Further programmes include The Brilliant Club and the Into University programme. The Brilliant Club is an award-winning charity that exists to increase the number of pupils from under-represented backgrounds progressing to highly-selective universities. Into University provide academic support, mentoring and programmes that promote young people’s aspirations. Both programmes run for targeted groups of students who meet the eligibility criteria.
Unifrog is an online platform available to all students in Years 9-13. It enables students to explore how their individual interests can lead to different education and training pathways. Students can explore what steps need to be ticked off to stand the best chance of application success; be it for apprenticeships, universities or scholarships to top US universities. Students also have access to online learning modules accredited by universities to help them stand out from the crowd in the competitive field of applications.
As part of Ark Schools we also receive support and guidance from the Ark Schools Pathways and Enrichment team. This includes a variety of support benefits such as helping us to engage with employers and employees from highly successful businesses, arranging encounters with further and higher education providers and assisting with the policy design behind our stable careers and pathways programme.