Raising Aspirations (including careers guidance) & Enrichment

At Ark Charter, every student should leave confident, articulate and culturally aware being able to pursue careers they are passionate about, contribute to society and live happy healthy and fulfilled lives. To achieve our mission, pupils must understand the opportunities that a school and university education will afford them in terms of careers and quality of life. As such, we need to ensure that all pupils are taught the knowledge of pathways available to them at post-16. In addition to offering pupils tailored guidance, advice, support and alongside experiences of work and university that will allow them to make informed choices about their future.

Moreover, pupils are explicitly taught the character traits, habits and routines that will enable them to become successful at home and in the workplace as well as develop a refined sense of self, both as an individual and as part of a community through trips, visits, talks and enrichment.

Ark Charter Academy uses the Gatsby Benchmarks as a guide to plan our Careers, 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 consider requests from training, apprenticeship and vocational education providers and employers to speak to students. Ark Charter Academy proactively seeks to build relationships with these partners as we plan our Careers, Pathways and Enrichment activity throughout the school year to ensure that providers have multiple opportunities to speak to students and their parents across years 7-11, to offer information on vocational, technical and apprenticeship qualifications and pathways. We ensure our staff involved in personal guidance and pastoral support are up-to-date on their knowledge of post-16 and post-18 pathways, through a programme of Continuing Professional Development.

Opportunities for providers to speak with students and parents may include school assemblies, employer and provider engagement events, school visits and trips. Ark Charter Academy’s Careers, Pathways and Enrichment programme is monitored for quality and impact by the Academy’s Senior Leadership and Governance Teams.

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.


Whilst academic success is very important, at Charter Academy we believe that there is more to a good education.

As well as ensuring our students succeed in exams, we aim to develop character, compassion, and service. Throughout their time at Charter Academy, students are expected to contribute to our school community and to society. We want students to try things they cannot do, to persist in the face of difficulty and to become resilient in overcoming obstacles.  We want to set our pupils on the path to securing social mobility.

We provide a breadth of opportunities and experiences which seek to help our students become confident, well-rounded and ambitious young adults. Our curriculum and enrichment programme is overflowing with opportunities to try something new and develop new skills. In addition to our very wide range of extracurricular clubs, our students enjoy drop down sessions to deep dive into STEM and employability skills, Forest school, university visits, talks by inspirational speakers, as well as countless opportunities to collaborate with their peers.

We are incredibly proud to deliver an Education with Character; an education which challenges, inspires and excites our students, and prepares them for the ups and downs of life.

Extra-curricular involvement is an essential part of a well-rounded education and it is vital that our students demonstrate their wider interests and desire to help others. Demonstrating involvement in these activities can hugely increase your child's chances of getting a place at university or getting the job of their choice. Evidence of their involvement can be included in Personal Statements and CVs when applying for jobs.

Unique and memorable experiences are built into our curriculum offer. These include our enrichment programme as well as other enriching learning activities such as trips and visits or activities that celebrate and commemorate important events, people and dates across the academic year. Our after-school enrichment programme offers lots of activities from academic support, sporting and performance opportunities and a range of different clubs and activities that our students enjoy throughout the year or seasonally.

After school enrichment at our academy take place Monday- Friday from 3.25pm to 4.25pm for both KS3 and KS4.  The academy’s after school enrichment programme of what’s on offer either seasonally or throughout the year can be seen at the bottom of this page.

The Pledges

Our Pledges initiative encourages our students to value extra-curricular involvement within and outside of the academy.

Through meeting the ten Pledges, that range from attending enrichment activities to organising fundraising events, students gain confidence and valuable life experiences that will help to prepare them for life beyond our academy.

Pledges encourage our students to become actively involved in our wider school community and to realise that their experiences whilst at school stretch further than the classroom. By promoting independence and teamwork, students can apply new skills and improved confidence to all aspects of their lives. Whether it’s representing our academy on stage, on the field or on excursions, the Pledges encourage our students to get involved, make new friends, and take pride in all they do.  The pledges are also intertwined with our rewards systems allowing students to gain  charter points towards tangible rewards each tie they can evidence that they have achieved any of the pledges at a bronze, silver, gold or platinum standard. 

Monitoring Quality and Impact

Ark Charter Academy’s Careers, Pathways and Enrichment programme is monitored for quality and impact by the Academy’s Senior Leadership and Governance Teams.

The programme is monitored for quality and impact via feedback from students and participants following events; feedback from staff on the quality of and student engagement with external providers; lesson observations and quizzes to assess knowledge acquisition in PSHE lessons focused on careers; via termly completion of Compass+ and annual completion of Ark Pathways and Enrichment Audit and interrogation of results; quality is also ensured through ongoing CPD of Careers Leader and relevant staff.

The impact is also measured through students’ preparedness to move on to the next stage of education which is reflected in timely college applications and informed, positive post-16 choices. This can be interrogated through Sustained Destinations metric. The impact is measured on an on-going basis-evidence will be collected immediately post event as well as throughout the year and final decisions are made at the end of the academic year, upon completion of the academy Pathways and Enrichment audit.


Other important documents:

Extra-curricular club offer Autumn 1 2021

     Extra-curricular club offer 2021-22

Pledges 2021-22

     Provider Access Policy (Baker Clause) 2021-22

Pathways and Erichment Policy 2020-2021

Careers Programme 2021-22