Vision and values

The Ark St Alban’s Academy Church of England Mission

The original St Alban’s School was founded in 1871 by the Pollock brothers, with a Christian mission to meet the educational needs of young people living in the centre of the city.  This mission continues to the present day.

We are proud of the academy’s inclusive Church of England ethos and its multi-faith intake.  We have strong partnerships with other faith communities, especially with the Birmingham Central Mosque which is represented on our Governing Body and strongly supports the faith ethos of the academy.

Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu parents and those of other faiths or none send their children to Ark St Alban’s because of its high expectations and good discipline founded on strong moral and religious principles and because they recognise the value of children being encouraged and supported in their faiths.

The staff and governors of Ark St Alban’s Academy believe in standing up for what is right in our community.

As a Church of England academy, our Christian principles inform our actions and beliefs, giving us confidence in defining and communicating what we mean by “right” and “good” and “better”.

 

Our statement of moral purpose and mission statement is:

We are here to challenge every individual to make the most of their God given talents.

That we “challenge” everyone is the foundation of our high expectations.

The inclusion of “every individual” reflects our belief in the equal importance of every student and our commitment to developing the full potential of our colleagues as well as our students.

“Making the most of” our talents drives our pursuit of excellence in all things.

We believe that talents are “God given”, for a higher purpose.  Making the most of our talents means using them and developing them to the full, to help others as well as ourselves, in the interest of creating a better world.

 

School Structure

We have a strong pastoral commitment and work hard to ensure that each child is known well by all their teachers. Teaching groups are small so children get more individual attention.  The welcoming, caring and supportive atmosphere is one of the reasons parents choose Ark St Alban’s.  Parents also welcome the  high degree of supervision and security that our small school structure promotes.

Ark St Alban’s Academy is a small school and the benefits of being part of a small school will be preserved as we grow. We are committed to a small school model which will be fully implemented in our new buildings.  From 2013, the Academy will have distinct “Middle” and “Upper” schools for key stages 4 and 4/5 respectively.  The Upper School will include a sixth form.  This will enable the academy to maintain a strong focus on students’ needs.

This structure helps staff and students to develop strong relationships, making it easier to foster a strong school culture and to maintain excellent behaviour.  While small schools will be relatively self-contained, all students will benefit from the facilities and resources of the academy as a whole.

 

Tutoring and the House System

Our tutoring and pastoral care system is designed to promote the engineering learning model:

  • Students are organized in mixed ability tutor groups and in three houses, to which all staff also belong. Students agree the house motto, logo, leadership structure and positions of responsibility.
  • Assemblies are led by student leaders as well as by adults.
  • Attendance prizes, rewards and sanctions are aggregated towards house totals and there are real rewards for meeting targets and modelling professional learning behaviour.
  • Tutor group and house activities promote community engagement, charitable giving and fund raising, awareness of career opportunities and work related activities.

By structuring our engineering learning community in this way we aim to:

  • develop team working skills, collaborative learning and a sense of shared enterprise and joint endeavour
  • provide opportunities for peer tutoring
  • nurture and exploit positive role models
  • provide stimulating and nurturing contexts for the development of oracy and public speaking and additional opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy
  • support social and emotional aspects of learning
  • provide positions of responsibility for students
  • stimulate competition and raise motivation