Key Contacts and how to get involved.

Mr O’Carroll leads the Ark Ambitions programme. He can be contacted on s.ocarroll@arkacademy.org If you are an employer or self-employed person, interested in working with the school on their Careers Programme, please do get in contact.

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 e.illife@arkacademy.org

Click here to view the Pathways & Enrichment Policy. 

Intent

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 of the Gatsby Benchmarks** this academic year 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/

Implementation: Ark Ambitions Curriculum [Entitlement]

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:

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]    
  • PSHE unit: Being Me [1]
  • PSHE unit: Relationships [including achievements and aspirations] [1]
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
8 All pupils explore how self-esteem and confidence can have an impact on behaviour, achievements and future aspirations.    
  • PSHE unit: Barclays Life Skills – students will explore career pathways and the skills necessary in the 21st century workplace through the Barclays Life Skills programme. [1]
  • PSHE unit: First Give – students develop key skills [collaboration, communication, presenting, problem solving] through a social action project
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
9 All pupils further explore who they are and begin to refine their future career aspirations.    
  • Pathways Assembly Programme – all students will take part in the assemblies’ programme that exposes students to the choices available to them at Key Stage 4. Subject leads will share the overview of their subject along with its importance to future career and pathway choices [2 & 4]
  • Yr9 Parents information evening – all students along with their parents are invited to hear about the GCSE options and how they can best make informed decisions. [3 & 8]
  • Year 9 Careers Day [Drop down Day] – All students will be off timetable for the day to explore their vision about their future lifestyles. Students will discover the reality of adult life and get the opportunity to network with professionals from a wide range of career sectors. [2 & 5]
  • PSHE unit: students will follow up their experience of the careers day with a unit that focuses on value-driven career choices. [1]
  • Unifrog online platform is rolled out forv all Year 9 students as part of the careers day. This provides students with the opportunity to explore career interest and pathways ahead of making GCSE subject choices.
  • All students, along with their parents receive a 1-to-1 meeting with a member of the senior leadership team to discuss and decide appropriate GCSE choices [3]
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]

Key Stage 4 Ark Ambitions:

Year Provision for all students:
10
  • Independent Careers Advice – all students have the opportunity for a 1-to-1 meeting with our independent and impartial careers advisor. [1, 3 & 8]
  • PSHE unit: Work Experience Applications & Preparation. All students learn how to writing personal statements and letters of application in preparation for work experience in Year 11. This is followed up by a unit of work on ‘how to make the most of work experience’ [1]
  • Insight Visits – all students in Year 10 will have the opportunity to visit a workplace as part of our ‘Insight Visit’ programme. Students will get to see first-hand how the world of work operates and hear from those people involved. [7]
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
11
  • Work Experience [**this is on hold due to covid-19 restrictions and has been replaced where possible with virtual experiences] – all students will spend a week at a work experience placement. We work closely with Work Experience Partners to place students in areas of interest. Students also have the opportunity to find their own placement to ensure it is in an area of interest. [5 & 6]
  • PSHE unit: Work Experience reflection. All students reflect on their work experience and consider their next steps in relation to their career and pathway. [1]
  • Independent Careers Advice – all students have the opportunity for a 1-to-1 meeting with our independent and impartial careers advisor. [1, 3 & 8]
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
  • Sixth Form Open Evening – all students are invited to our sixth form open evening to discuss their options and hear from subjects leads about the Key Stage 5 opportunities at the academy. [1 & 7]
  • Students will be given the opportunity to attend A Level/Professional Pathways taster lessons [Level 3] in order to give them an insight to the requirements of key Stage 5 study [7]
  • NCS Challenge – all Year 11 are given the opportunity to take part in this initiative to develop skills for employment. [5]

Key Stage 5 Ark Ambitions:

Year Provision for all students:
12
  • Ark Apprentice Day [1, 2 & 5] - All students are given an in-depth briefing on Apprenticeship opportunities in three sectors, then compete with one another for one of the jobs. Each student receives a one-on-one interview, participates in a typical ‘group task’ and is assessed using an online skills assessment.
  • University Visit – All students will visit a minimum of one university [Reading University or Queen Mary University] [1 & 7]
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
  • NCS and DofE Challenge – all Year 12 are given the opportunity to take part in these initiatives to develop skills for employment.
  • Civitas Hour – All students will participate in a minimum of one hours work experience a week in school. Students will help with lower school classes or enrichment sessions.
  • Access to Unifrog software to support with research into appropriate and aspirational apprenticeships and university courses. This is supported through a PSHE scheme of work [1, 2 & 8]
  • Academic Mentoring – All sixth form students receive regular academic mentoring from the sixth from tutor team [8]
  • UCAS Day [1 & 7] – All students participate in a UCAS drop-down day in which they hear subject-specific advice for applying to university given their areas of interest
13
  • ‘Futureproof’ Induction Day [2,5] – All students participate in a day dedicated to ‘jobs of the future’ in which they analyse big trends affecting the labour market, then explore the specific labour market information in their desired fields
  • Ark Alumni Forum [7] – All students invited to an evening event in September where they can mingle with ex-Ark students who currently attend top universities.
  • Year 13 Progression/UCAS application programme through pastoral tutor programme [8]
  • Networking Evening [1,5] – All students attend a ‘networking event’ where they have the opportunity to mix and ask questions of representatives from approximately 40 different employers/industries
  • Academic Mentoring – All sixth form students receive regular academic mentoring from the sixth from tutor team [8]
  • One-on-one Personal Statement Support – All students receive a one-on-one 20 minute personal statement session with an external expert
  • Guest speakers – students will receive a minimum of two career talks from a variety of fields throughout the year [5]
  • ‘Preparing for University Life’ PSHE Support [1] – In the summer term, all students participate in a PSHE unit of work in which they consider the financial, social and health/wellbeing implications of living more independently

Impact

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 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.

Post 16 Destinations Data

Post 18 Destinations Data 

Strategic partnerships:

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.