What our parents say
We asked four parents at Ark Blacklands Primary Academy what they thought about the school - here's what they had to say:
Lena Melville-Larsen is a parent of twin year 1 pupils at the school. She says it was Ark Blacklands’ commitment to the pupils that made the school the right choice for her: “We’ve been so impressed with the teachers’ attitudes and ambitions for the pupils. We really believed our children would do well here – and they have.
“They really allow children to reach their full potential, no matter what their abilities. We’ve been very impressed with the programmes the school runs to help children – the Read Write Inc and Maths Mastery programmes have been amazing at encouraging to achieve at their own level.
“There’s a great emphasis on good behaviour at Ark Blacklands. The children know that they won’t be able to achieve their ambitions if they don’t understand the need for good behaviour. As a parent, it’s really good to know that the school prioritises good behaviour as much as we do at home and that they reward good behaviour.
“I would really recommend Ark Blacklands to any parent.”
As a parent with a daughter at Ark Blacklands, and as a teaching assistant at the school, Annie Webb has seen Ark Blacklands Primary Academy from both sides. She says: “My daughter loves Ark Blacklands. She goes to school happy at the start of the day and she leaves of school happy at the end.
“This is a very special school. It has outstanding standards – everything from the smart uniforms to a whole load of great after-school clubs and activities.
“I would have no hesitation recommending Ark Blacklands to other parents. Communication between the school and parents is good, so you’re always up-to-date with how your child is getting on, and there’s always a friendly face if parents have a question.
“The school has a really good, really happy atmosphere. There’s a nice buzz around the playground and older children mentor the younger children, showing them how to play positively. Children are really happy here.”
Jacqui Warden is a parent of one Year 1 child at Ark Blacklands, and has had two older children who went to Ark Blacklands before joining secondary school. For her, it’s the caring atmosphere at Ark Blacklands which makes it a great school. She says: “The children are really well looked after – every person who works here, from the Principal to the cleaning staff, always have a smile and a kind word for the children. It’s a very caring environment.
“I remember that when I was a child, I was scared of some of the staff at my school. But the staff are all really nice and really committed to the children – they get to know the children, and they look after them.
“This is a very good school. My older children went here and always came home happy; my younger daughter is in Year 1 here and loves coming to school. The school has a really good rewards system to encourage pupils – so, for example, when the children meet their target, the school sends home a certificate so they can share their achievement with parents. My daughter loves telling me if she’s star of the day. She wants to be the best she can be.”
Karen Osmond’s family has known Ark Blacklands for a long time – her husband went to the school as a child – and she says the school has kept up great standards: “My husband went here years ago and it was always known as one of the best schools for miles around. Since it became an academy, it has really excelled.
“When I was looking at schools, I wanted to see well-behaved children, who had the sense that they were at school for a purpose. I saw that at Ark Blacklands and it made me so comfortable to send my children there.
“The school makes sure I know what my children’s targets are and they’re well taught, so they’re well ahead of them. The children know what their targets are. My daughter Amelia is 6 years old and her reading is so far ahead she can already read the newspaper.
“The staff here care about the kids and really want them to do well – I’m more than happy with Ark Blacklands. If you’re looking for a school that encourages children to excel, this is the school for you.”