Mr Smith, Head of Science at Ark All Saints Academy, says school makes you "feel really cared for and the students want to learn"

Ark All Saints Academy opened in September 2013 and moved into a brand new building in January 2014. It is a non-selective Church of England School, whose guiding principles are based on Christian values. The school’s Principal, Lucy Frame, has established a caring community where staff receive support and are encouraged to collaborate.  

“It’s great – amazing – the best school I’ve been to in the UK and it’s my fourth one. The behaviour here is outstanding, and the students are great to work with. I like the values that are embedded in the system here. It’s not just a school preparing boys and girls for academic life, it’s helping them to stand and be prepared for the world.”

Staff at Ark All Saints use a tailored teaching model to ensure the best outcomes for pupils. ‘Teach Like a Champion’ helps students to make the maximum progress at school, and to use their learning in real life situations. Teachers always push for the highest standards. The school uses ‘Live Learning’, where teachers observe each other and offer feedback on each other’s strengths. Free periods are scheduled into their timetables, and these are honoured.   

“We have two mornings per week to meet in our groups to discuss issues we are experiencing. We have experts in our group and we go away to discuss strategies to deal with issues that come up.”

“The Principal is brilliant. She will get her hands dirty and show us how to do things, she’ll model strategies and expect us to carry out those actions.In the science department, we encourage enquirer learning where the students take part in hands-on investigations, before feeding back their research in class. Teachers are there to support and guide learners.”

All teachers at Ark All Saints receive high quality, tailored training and personal development. Some teachers are studying part-time for PhDs in education, while others enjoy flexible learning and access to national learning qualifications.  

"I had only been here for two months when I was put on the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML). This is unheard of. Ark All Saints is a school that really wants you to make progress in your career. The collaborative nature of the school environment means that teachers at Ark All Saints have a good work/life balance. From the outset, teachers are told that their primary role is to ‘plan, teach and mark’, and there is no excessive paperwork."

“I can’t think of anything I’ve done that is unnecessary or is ticking the box. Everything is planning towards student learning. Once I plan, teach and mark, I still manage to go the gym three times per week. Teachers at Ark All Saints are happy and feel appreciated. The staff turnover rate is low. Ark All Saints is one of those schools where you feel really cared for and the students want to learn. You feel satisfied at the end of the day and the service you have given is not taken for granted.”

Find out more about working for Ark All Saints or in the Ark network.