Ark St Alban’s Academy was founded in 1871 by James Pollock and his younger brother Thomas.

The brothers were priests who dedicated their lives to bringing both the Gospel and education to one of the most impoverished areas of Birmingham.

Our Approach

Our work is founded in the words spoken by God to King Solomon when he prayed that God give him an understanding mind:
"I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be”.

In these words we recognise a link to our history and to the Pollock brothers who sought to provide an education of the heart and the mind, and we recognise the potential for wisdom to be transformative:

  • We know that knowledge has the power to provide our children with the freedom of living a life filled with opportunities and choices
  • We recognise that wisdom can unlock for our children a better understanding and confidence in themselves, in their own unique identity and in their role in their communities
  • We understand that a transformational education must consider not only the mind and the brain, but also the conscience and the heart, and therefore we teach compassion, celebrate diversity and value kindness

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide every pupil with a transformational education and the character needed to flourish in all that they do.

We seek to provide pupils with the knowledge, qualifications and experiences that will lead them to success in their adult lives, but we also recognise the importance of the here and now. We want our pupils to both enjoy and be successful in all aspects of school life.

Our Values

Our five school values inform how we all think and act in our work to achieve our mission:

  • Lead the way
  • Act courageously
  • Work together
  • Show compassion
  • Persevere
Value Meaning Scripture Action
Lead the Way To lead the way means to set the right path, taking people with you. In everyday life, leading the way could mean using your initiative to make something better, it could be helping someone else develop through coaching or being a volunteer. ...Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.     

Matthew 20:26

Jesus taught that being a leader wasn’t about having power over people, but that a good leader serves the people he or she leads.

We lead the way by making the right choices, and not being a “blind follower”.    

To be able to lead the way for others, you need to start by leading yourself. Leading yourself well means taking accountability for your work and life, for example, how long you choose to spend on your homework.

Act Courageosly  To act courageously means to be bold and adventurous, without taking unnecessary risks.  


Courage typically begins with fear or anxiety, but a courageous person recognises that getting to the other side is worth the risks. They do feel the fear, but it doesn’t prevent them from taking action.

David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished.  

1 Chronicles 28:20

David (Dāwūd) taught his son Soloman (Sulaimān ibn Dāwūd) to trust in God, to be courageous and not to be afraid to do God’s work. Trusting in God gave Solomon the strength to act courageously.

We act courageously by having high expectations of ourselves and others. We aim high, and have ambitious aspirations.  


We are aware of the line between acting courageously and becoming reckless and unthinking, and we are conscious of always remaining on the right side of this line.

Work Together To work together means to function as a team, helping one another.  

Working together involves people working together towards a common goal.

Two are better than one,  because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that we are stronger when we work together. It you are one person working alone you don’t have backup, but if you are in a team the other team members can give you help.

We are collaborative and open to others’ contributions. At the same time, we recognise our own role in the team, and understand that we also need to take personal responsibility towards a collective effort.
Show Compassion To show compassion means to be mindful of others’ feelings, and to act with them in mind.  

Being compassionate involves recognising the suffering of others and then taking action to help them.

If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink...  

Romans 12:20

When St Paul wrote to the Romans he was echoing the words of Jesus. It is easy to be show compassion to our friends, but the real test is can we show compassion to our enemies? If we can do that, we are truly compassionate.

We care about the thoughts and feelings of other people, and we change our actions in order to be more empathetic. We also recognise that, to be able to look after others, we also need to care for ourselves.
Persevere To persevere means to be keep working hard, even when things might seem difficult. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  

James 1:2-4

When St James writes about facing trials, he means when things get difficult. So, he is telling us that when things get difficult, we need to persevere, and that when persevere we learn to be better people.

We are resilient and we do not give up. At the same time, we understand that “working hard” is not something that can be done in small bursts. We need to put in effort every day to ensure that our work is sustainable and consistent.