Ark Pioneer Academy

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About Ark Pioneer Academy

Name Ark Pioneer Academy
Ofsted Inspections
Ms Aishling Ryan
Address Westcombe Drive, Barnet, EN5 2BE
Phone Number 02037874090
Phase Academy
Type Free schools
Age Range 11-19
Gender Mixed
Number of Pupils 720
Local Authority Barnet
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

This is an exceptional school where pupils flourish. The school has the highest expectations for what pupils can achieve. Teachers encourage their pupils to aim high in their aspirations.

Pupils in the school rise to these expectations at every opportunity.

Pupils take great pride in the school, and their behaviour is impeccable. They work hard in lessons and follow the instructions of teachers carefully.

Pupils' views are taken into account and play an important part in developing the school. For example, leaders discussed changes to the behaviour policy with the pupil-led academy council.

The school curriculum is broad and ambitious.

Teach...ers build on and deliver the trust-wide curriculum with considerable subject skill and expertise. Leaders ensure that pupils have ample time to develop their knowledge in the English Baccalaureate suite of subjects of English, mathematics, science, languages and humanities. Leaders organise an extensive range of enrichment clubs on a Thursday and Friday, which all pupils attend as part of the extended school day.

Pupils take on roles of responsibility in school and the local community and carry them out very seriously. The school offers pupils a range of leadership opportunities. All pupils in Year 8 take part in a social action project.

Pupils in Years 9 and 10 engage in supporting the local community through the school's 'Altruism programme'.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

The school curriculum builds pupils' knowledge and skills over time. Teachers have carefully thought about the order in which they teach subject content.

In science, for example, teachers introduce scientific methods alongside subject knowledge. This allows pupils to deepen their learning through practical examples.

Teachers are experts in the subject they teach.

They present new learning clearly. Teachers help pupils to build links between different pieces of knowledge. They help pupils to become independent and resilient learners.

As a result, pupils have the confidence to attempt work that significantly challenges them.

Teachers are highly skilled at measuring pupils' successes. They routinely check what pupils know before moving on with new work.

Teachers routinely use assessment well to measure the impact of teaching. The school swiftly identifies pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND). Teachers and support staff have the knowledge and skills to support pupils with SEND to excel.

The school places great emphasis on the importance of reading. Pupils read widely from a diverse range of authors and texts. Pupils have dedicated time for group reading in class.

Subject teachers take every opportunity to develop the literacy skills of pupils further. Pupils who are weaker readers or who are learning to speak English as an additional language receive expert help to catch up.

The school teaches personal, social and health education as part of its 'Values and Character' curriculum.

All pupils take part in weekly debates about current affairs, such as the use of artificial intelligence. They learn about a wide range of cultures and traditions. Teachers encourage them to be respectful of each other's differences.

Pupils have high regard for the school's value of kindness. As a result, bullying and discrimination are extremely rare and never tolerated.

The school has a sharp focus on raising attendance rates.

Leaders work tenaciously with families to develop pupils' positive habits of regular attendance.

Each year, pupils hear from many visiting speakers from diverse occupations. Pupils learn about university education from Year 7.

All pupils visit at least three universities by Year 11. The range of extra-curricular clubs, including sports and music, is popular. These clubs are in addition to the timetabled enrichment clubs, which all pupils attend as part of the school day.

The school also encourages pupils to attend educational residential visits abroad. For example, pupils in Year 7 visit France as part of their modern foreign language studies.

Teachers are proud to work here.

They appreciate the effort of school leaders and the wider school trust to reduce their workload and promote their well-being. Early careers teachers receive excellent support. The school has a thorough induction programme for staff.

New staff members very quickly gain a secure understanding of the school's systems and culture. This ensures a high level of consistency in how pupils are taught and for all aspects of the school's work.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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