What we do

Every Monday, lesson 7, Ark Charter Academy students participate in ‘The Edge’ scheme. The scheme is intended, over time, to develop and accredit the life skills and attributes that employers are telling us they need – leadership, organisation, initiative, resilience and communication.  This will give students a qualification, which runs alongside their academic successes and recognises what they can do as well as what they know.

In order to gain the qualification at “Apprentice”, “Graduate” or “Masters” level, students need to complete a range of activities from an approved list.  The activities can be many and varied and can be undertaken in normal lessons, in extra-curricular clubs or outside of school.

Progress on the scheme will be managed by students themselves using a specially designed on-line application, with tutors and Heads of Year providing an oversight and awarding credits towards achieving the qualification.

We believe that ‘The Edge’ provides a real opportunity for students at Ark Charter Academy to benefit in the future as they apply to colleges, universities and for positions of employment.

In addition to this, each term students participate in one of 23 activities across the academy. This develops our core values of COURAGE and RESPECT. These include sports, cooking, art, music and mindfulness. There is an emphasis on team work and creativity. Activities are of mixed age groups and encourage new friendships and working relationships between staff and students and peers.

All activities will have a final outcome, such as a presentation to staff and other students, or another way where the product can be shared, exhibited or displayed.

All students will finish the activity having achieved something as part of a group and as part of a personal developmental process.

Finally our students in year 7-10 participate in ‘Activities Week’ in July which includes Sports Day. Last year we held an International Day for students so they could explore cultures from around the world and appreciate the diversity within our community. STEM featured prominently with the maths department hosting a code breaking event and the Science department exploring the world of Forensic Science. Students also participated in a range of off-site enrichment activities such as sailing, visits to the Ben Ainslie Tech Deck as well as reward trips to Marwell and Flip Out.

Why we do it

The aim is to develop the whole child and offer opportunities and experiences beyond the academic subjects studied for GCSEs.  These should result in ‘real’ outcomes which can be central to all students’ CVs, personal statements and records of achievement.

The aim is also to develop relationships and enhance the core curriculum, feeding into our core values of ASPIRATION FOR ALL and ACHIEVEMENT FOR ALL.