Ark Charter Academy

Name Ark Charter Academy
Ofsted Inspection Rating Good
Inspection Date 30 November 2016
Address Hyde Park Road, Southsea, PO5 4HL
Phone Number 02392824204
Type Academy
Age Range 11-16
Religious Character Church of England
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 730 (50% boys 50% girls)
Number of Pupils per Teacher 13.2
Academy Sponsor Ark Schools
Local Authority Portsmouth
Percentage Free School Meals 36.3%
Percentage English is Not First Language 33.4%
Persisitent Absence 25.3%
Pupils with SEN Support 19%
Catchment Area Information Available Yes, our catchment area data is FREE
Last Distance Offered Information Available No
Highlights from Latest Inspection:

Information about this school

The school meets requirements on the publication of specified information on its website. The school complies with Department for Education guidance on what academies should publish. The academy is sponsored by the Ark Multi-Academy Trust. The founding principal left her post at the end of August 2016. A senior vice-principal, who had been on secondment last year, returned in September as interim principal until the end of this academic year. Ark Charter Academy is an 11 to 18, smaller than average-sized, mixed comprehensive school. A sixth form, for pupils aged 16 to 18, opened in September 2014. There are higher numbers of disadvantaged pupils compared to the national average. The school has a slightly larger than average proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups. There is a higher than average proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of pupils who have special educational needs and/or disabilities is above the national average. The proportion of pupils with a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan is above the national average. A small number of pupils attend alternative provision at The Harbour School. The school achieved well above the government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress.

Summary of key findings for parents and pupils

This is a good school Pupils enter the school with below-average levels of attainment and by the end of Year 11, pupils’ outcomes are well above national averages. Since the last inspection, leaders have maintained their determination to provide an excellent education for their pupils. The school has achieved national awards in recognition of the progress made by pupils, including disadvantaged pupils. Senior and middle leadership is strong. Subject leaders know how well pupils are achieving in their subjects. They are focused well on what their pupils need to learn next and they effectively challenge and support staff to improve pupils’ achievement. There is a strong culture of learning and an eagerness to be even better across the school. Pupils are keen to acquire knowledge and skills and teachers are very willing to refine and improve their practice. Staff strongly support the leaders’ vision to promote the achievement and well-being of every pupil. They are ambitious for their pupils. The school has good opportunities to collaborate with other schools in the Ark trust. Pupils and teachers benefit from this engagement because good practice is shared. Teaching is effective and teachers plan interesting and enjoyable lessons which help pupils achieve well. However, teaching does not consistently provide opportunities for pupils to demonstrate curiosity and a desire to learn for themselves. The most able pupils have not achieved as well as other pupils. However, the standard of work of current most-able pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, is improving. Strong relationships between staff and pupils help to keep pupils safe and promote their personal development well. The school’s leadership is in transition since the founding principal left in the summer. The leadership team was reduced last year and is still not at full strength. This contributed to some slippage in the standard of behaviour, and levels of attendance, which are now being addressed by the interim principal. The sixth form requires improvement. It opened in September 2014 offering an academic curriculum, and students have not achieved high grades. Only about half of the students who started in 2014 and 2015 continued their A-level courses into Year 13. Suitable steps have now been taken to broaden the curriculum and provide more support for students, which have had a positive effect.