We want every Ark pupil to do well enough by 18 to go to university or pursue the career of their choice. To achieve this, our schools prioritise six key principles:

High expectations

With the right teaching and support, we believe every child can realise their potential. We set exceptionally high expectations for all our pupils and do whatever it takes to achieve them. Our aspirations are no lower for our most vulnerable pupils.

Exemplary behaviour

Our schools are characterised by a respectful and orderly environment, where teachers focus on teaching and pupils on learning. Good behaviour is taught, reinforced and recognised throughout every school and poor behaviour is not tolerated. We do not accept excuses and we do not make any either.

Excellent teaching

A teacher is the most important factor affecting pupil achievement. We work side by side with our teaching staff to ensure excellent teaching and support them with exceptional training and development. To ensure no child is left behind, we have developed data management tools which allow teachers to monitor pupils’ progress and quickly identify when children, or indeed teaching staff, need extra support.

Depth before breadth

When pupils secure firm foundations in English and mathematics, they find the rest of the curriculum far easier to access. That’s why we prioritise depth in these subjects, giving pupils the best chance of academic success. To support fully our pupils’ achievement in maths, we have developed the TES Award winning Mathematics Mastery programme, a highly-effective curriculum and teaching approach inspired by pupil success in Singapore and endorsed by Ofsted. We teach Mathematics Mastery in all our primary schools and at Key Stage 3 in a selection of our secondary schools. It is also being implemented in over 170 schools beyond our network.

We also dedicate more time to literacy and English than other schools to encourage a love of reading and develop fluent communication skills. We have two programmes that focus specifically on phonics teaching and early spoken language skills. We also train all of our teachers to be aware of possible barriers to learning and how to support children if more help is needed.

More time for learning

To embed core subjects and make time for enrichment, many of our schools run a longer school day. Others are open at weekends and during school holidays, offering revision and master classes as well as residential stays, day trips and summer schools. In all our schools, every hour of every day is devoted to children learning and no time is wasted.

Knowing every child

We organise our schools so that every pupil knows and is known well by their teachers.Children do best when teachers and families work together: we involve families in all aspects of school life and encourage participation and collaboration. We keep parents well informed of pupils’ targets and progress and work together to understand any challenges children may face at home or at school. Together we aim to create a safe, happy and dynamic school environment.



The five houses are named after Russell Group Universities.  The main purpose of houses within the academy is to introduce an element of pride and competition amongst pupils.  It is also a method of familiarising them with universities and life in universities.  Here you can find the latest information for each house.


Cambridge (HoH - Mr J. Taylor)


The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, England. Founded in 1209, Cambridge is the second oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university


Leeds (HoH - Miss K. Francome)


Leeds traces its roots as far back as 1831. It was awarded a charter by Edward VII in 1904, Leeds is now one of the largest universities in the UK. It is a member of the Russell Group of research intensive universities. Leeds is ranked in the top 10 for research power in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.


Oxford  (HoH - Mrs D. Hayre)


The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university located in Oxford, England. While having no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest surviving university.


Warwick  (HoH - Miss L. Green)


The University of Warwick is a public research university in Coventry, England. It was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand access to higher education. Warwick Business School was established in 1967 and Warwick Medical School was opened in 2000. Warwick merged with Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004. As of 2015 Warwick is in the Top 100 of every major university world ranking


York  (HoH - Miss S. Dempsey)



The University of York is a research-intensive plate glass university located in the city of York, England. Established in 1963, the campus university has expanded to more than thirty departments and centres, covering a wide range of subjects.

In 2012 York joined the Russell Group in recognition of the institution's world-leading research and outstanding teaching. In the 2014 Research Assessment Exercise, York was also named as the 14th best research institution in the United Kingdom.