More than 130 new graduates who have completed their Ark Teacher Training programme were honoured at a prestigious ceremony at Ark All Saints Academy on Friday 8 July.
The teacher training programme, which was rated Outstanding by Ofsted this year, trained 135 graduates across the year in Ark and partner schools.
At the ceremony, multi-award-winning educator Sarah Mullin MBE delivered the keynote speech and said:
“Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world; the profession that creates every other profession. We have the opportunity to open hearts and minds. We are responsible for changing lives. Teachers, never underestimate the difference you make every single day. For many, many years to come, your name will be shared in the fond tales people recall of their school days. Your legacy will live on through the positive impact you will have made during your time as a teacher. Without a doubt you really are entering the best career in the world, a job with limitless opportunities.”
Guests also heard from Teach Like a Champion author Doug Lemov who recorded a special video message: “Congratulations, you are now qualified to do the best work in the world, and the most important work in the world... It’s a fantastic job, sometimes a challenging job, but one where you really get to shape young people’s lives.”
Alongside speeches from Ark CEO Lucy Heller, Mark Gregory, Director of Professional Development and Leila MacTavish, Head of Ark Teacher Training, several principals also congratulated graduates in a video message.
Guests were also treated to music courtesy of the Fusion Jazz Quintet, who performed recently at the Ark Music Gala at the Barbican.
New trainees also took the opportunity to share their experiences.
Amandeep Uppal is a primary trainee based at Ark Atwood. She joined Ark in 2015, working at King Solomon Academy as a SEND Teaching Assistant and Learning Support Assistant. Amandeep joined Ark Academy to support Reception before starting the programme at Atwood. Amandeep is passionate about everything life has to offer. In particular, she has a love for writing, developed at a young age and has a catalogue of short stories that she hopes to self-publish when she finds the time! She shared a poem she had written titled, Welcome to the wonderful world of Primary. Her poetry captured the excitement and challenges of the classroom, but also words of encouragement… “But you must remember to tap into the things that bring you joy, comfort and leave you feeling inspired….”
Teddie Casterton is an English trainee based at Ark Walworth. Before joining the programme, Teddie was a graduate teaching assistant and joined Walworth in October 2020. He has a passion for literature, particularly creative writing, and is a published author. On top of all this, Teddie is an award-winning cricketer and plays at a regional and national level. He told the audience how nervous he was in his first few weeks, but with patience and support from the Ark Teacher Training team and his peers, he is now a confident teacher ready for the following years ahead.
“I certainly am looking forward to the beginning of the ECT year. I hope to be able to transfer my energy, relationships with young people and colleagues, and with a bit of luck, retain a whole year’s worth of knowledge after a well-deserved six-week holiday. We’ve graduated! Well done, class of 2022.”
Leila MacTavish said: “This is Ark Teacher Training’s ninth cohort of new teachers, and I am so proud of everyone who graduated. They have come into teaching where we’re still recovering from the impact of the pandemic, but my whole team is so pleased that graduates have chosen a job where they will truly make a difference in children’s lives. Our vision is to train happy, positive and well-rounded teachers, and we have done just that.”
Congratulations to our new teachers!
Applications are now closed for September 2022. If you would like to register your interest in September 2023, please click here.