Top marks for Ark as pupils improve

Hastings Ark Blacklands Primary Academy has been given a major boost after recent statistics revealed that it is in the top five out of 14 primary schools improving faster than the national average.

The academy network Ark released updated key stage 2 results from its 14 primary schools in Hastings, London, Portsmouth and Birmingham. Figures show pupils at Ark primary schools posted their best ever key stage 2 results this year with 72 per cent getting ‘Level 4’ in reading, writing and mathematics, the expected level age 11. This represents a five point rise on last year’s average of 6 per cent. In comparison, primary schools nationally only improved by two points. There was also a five point rise for Ark pupils getting ‘Level 5’, above expected levels at age 11.

Lucy Heller, Chief Executive of Ark, said to put these figures in context, around half of Ark pupils in year 6 are eligible for the Pupil Premium and a large proportion of pupils start primary school behind expected levels. “We’re pleased to see our pupils do even better than last year, “ she said. “But we are not complacent, we still want to see every child leave primary school ready for secondary.”

At Ark Blacklands Primary Academy, which only joined the network last year, the numbers passing exams for 11 year olds rose from 69 per cent to 84 per cent. Level 5 increased from 10 per cent to 27 per cent. In addition, 86.5 per cent of pupils passed the phonics check this year (Ark schools use a phonics programme to develop early literacy and communication skill and is a measure of how pupils learn to read in year 1) significantly above the most recent national average of 74 per cent. In the early years, 82 per cent get a ‘Good level of development’, also significantly above the national average of 60 per cent.

Lorraine Clarke, Principal of Ark Blacklands Primary Academy said the school is extremely pleased with the improved results, and says it’s all thanks to the hard work of everyone in school, not least the pupils, adding: “We are looking forward to the new school year, continuing to build on our success.

“I’d like to thank the whole school community, including all the staff and parents for their support this year.”