Academy atmosphere

At Ark Acton Academy our mission is a simple one - To teach every child, regardless of background or prior education experience, a rich foundation of subject-specific and broader cultural knowledge that enables them to participate in and shape the national discourse.

In order to achieve our mission that any student at Ark Acton can stand shoulder to shoulder with their privately educated peers and compete for the same jobs and university places we need to have an atmosphere that is calm, scholarly and supportive. In order to establish this we tell our students that:

“Our job is help all of you get ready to cope with whatever life may throw at you. Modern life is demanding and uncertain and we are sure that, to thrive, you will need to be ready to enjoy challenging situations, and able to meet them calmly, confidently and from a position of knowledge. We know that there are many young people who aren’t like this, and who are struggling to cope. We really don’t what that to happen to any of you. If you turn up, join in and give 100%, we will do everything in our power to give you that confidence and capability.”

We believe that by focussing on maintaining a calm atmosphere whilst also demonstrating our unending belief in our students we can create a school where everybody works well with happiness.

To help our staff achieve this, we have 7 golden rules for creating and maintaining a scholarly atmosphere: (Hate Me Now, Thank Me Later: How to Raise Your Child with Love and Limits. Dr. Robin Berman)

  1. Teaching is a benevolent dictatorship. Rules make students feel safe.
  2. A child who has too much power often becomes anxious.
  3. Catering to a student’s every whim can lead to a child who is self-centred and lacks resilience.
  4. Consistent follow-through of rules is essential for a student’s emotional safety and your sanity.
  5. Talk less, give fewer choices, keep it simple.
  6. When you say no, mean it.
  7. Believe that every young person is inherently good, come at all conversations from a positive angle and dream big for our students.