Listed here is a summary of the questions that parents have been asking during our open events – we hope that this is helpful.  Please do attend one of our October open events to find out more – or email us at info@arksoane.org

ADMISSIONS

When will the application form be live?                                                                            

The application form is live on our website, please click here to apply. Please email a recent copy of your utility bill/ council tax/driving licence to info@arksoane.org for address verifciation. 

The deadline for applications is 31st October 2020.
 

How many places will you have? 

Ark Soane will have 180 Y7 places available for September 2021.

 

Why is Ark Soane not on the list of the schools on the local authority application?

As a new school, applications for Ark Soane are managed outside of the normal local authority process for coordinating school offers. 

This means that you will need to complete your LA common application form for your other choices of school in addition to a separate application for Ark Soane.  To apply for Ark Soane please complete the application form on the school website - https://arksoane.org/admissions/apply-admissions-2021

Once all applications have been received by Ark – they will then be passed to the local authority for processing. 
 

There is no option to put Ark Soane as my child’s first choice on the application form.  How will the local authority know that Soane is my first choice?

If your application to Ark Soane is successful, on national offer day (1 March 2021) you will receive two offers – one for Ark Soane, and one for your other local authority choice.  It is then up to you which offer you accept.  You don’t need to list Ark Soane as your first choice as it will be an additional offer. 
 

Who will decide which children attend Ark Soane?  Will preference be given to children at an Ark primary school?

Admissions to Ark Soane is based purely on location and the distance you live either from the school site, or Acton Town Hall.  The full detail of our admissions policy is available here - https://arksoane.org/admissions/admissions-policy-5

Following the admissions deadline (31 October 2020) all application forms will be sent to the local authority and Soane admissions will be processed by them as set out in the admissions policy. 
 

Can my child join Ark Soane in September 2021 if they’re in an older year group than Y7?

Unfortunately, not.  When we open a new school, it is grown from Year 7 upwards as it would be very destabilising for other local schools if a lot of pupils left at the same time to join a new school.

 

THE SCHOOL BUILDING

When is the school building due to be complete?

The first building is due for completion in December 2020.  The second, larger building is due for completion in the summer of 2022.
 

What will happen if the main school building isn’t delivered for September 2022?

In the unlikely event that the main school building isn’t complete for September 2022, the DfE and Ark are obligated to provide high quality, temporary accommodation, in close proximity to Ark Soane.  If building delays are incurred, a more likely scenario is that the main school building will be handed over to Ark in phases which would enable us to accommodate two cohorts on the Ark Soane site in September 2022, with the remainder of the building being completed soon after.  We will work closely with the DfE and the building contractor to ensure that, at all times, the school has all of the facilities that are required deliver the full curriculum and extensive enrichment opportunities.   
 

Is the funding for the building now secured?

Yes.  The DfE secured the funding before the first building started.  The delay to work starting on the second building was related entirely to COvid-19 and the lockdown. 
 

Which facilities will available in September 2021?

The first building will contain everything that is required for our first Year 7 cohort and will include 11 classrooms, an art room, music practice rooms, a theatre (which will double as our PE studio, dining and assembly hall), library and science laboratory. We will also have an external courtyard area to use during break and lunchtime, and additional outdoor space for PE. We will also have access to a full size Astro Turf pitch at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub every morning during term time for the 2021/22 academic year.

 

What will the facilities be when the school is complete?

Once completed, Ark Soane will provide students with state of the art science labs and DT workshops, extensive sports facilities including a 4 court sports hall, an activity studio, a fitness gym and MUGA, specialist art, drama and music facilities including a music composing suite and practice rooms, a large performance space including bleacher seating and AV system, a spacious dining hall with dedicated kitchen for preparing all meals and snacks.
 

Are there any buildings complete yet?  Will there be any opportunity to visit the school in person before applying?

The first building is due for completion in December 2020.  Unfortunately we won’t be able to offer tours before the application deadline (31 October 2020) but we plan to offer these in the new year (assuming social distancing allows).  Therefore you will have the opportunity to tour the first building before offer day, and before you have to decide which school place to accept. 

 

Will there be any access to sports fields – potentially at another Ark school?  

There is potential for this to happen and we are discussing it with Ark colleagues.  Once complete, Soane will also have extensive sports facilities including a 4 court sports hall, an activity studio, a fitness gym and Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)

 

CURRICULUM, ENRICHMENT AND PASTORAL CARE  

Do you anticipate offering 6th form in due course?

Yes.  Soane will grow one year group at a time which will mean the sixth form opening in September 2025.

 

Are you prepared to take care of students with special needs such as autism or ADHD?

Yes.  All Ark schools are inclusive.  It is our mission to support all students to achieve their potential and reach university or a career of their choice. We will aim to give the best support possible to all students to meet their needs and ensure that they enjoy school.

 

Can you provide details of your pastoral care and what support the children can expect?

There will be a wide variety of pastoral support at Ark Soane.  Our tutor times will allow for the delivery of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) and other pastoral activities twice a day, citizenship activities will be built into the school year and enrichment opportunities will be available at least once a week plus after school clubs.

Where bespoke individual support is required, this would be available through a variety of channels including individual support from the tutor, working with graduate teaching assistants, monitoring from the Head of Year, individual targeted support from the SENCO, and external counselling as required.
 

What languages will you be teaching?

In the first instance our language will be Spanish.  We will only deliver one language so that students have more time to study it and are therefore more likely to learn it successfully.
 

Do the children get homework (at the end of a longer school day)? 

Yes, but homework will be carefully organised and won’t necessarily be due in the following day.  Students and parents will know in advance what homework to expect. They are likely to get short targeted activities in the core subjects. 

 

SCHOOL CULTURE

How will you deal with the fact that Year 7 will be the only year group at the school? 

We believe that this is a great opportunity for the founding Year 7 cohort as they will be the leaders for their school from the beginning.  They will help to set the culture and the tone of the school and be role models for the cohorts that follow.

 

How will Ark Soane differ in its objectives to Ark Acton?

Ark Soane and Ark Acton will have much in common.  All Ark schools have a vision that is underpinned by six core ideas: excellent behaviour, a curriculum that enables student mastery of learning so all students can achieve exceptional results, high quality teaching, development of student character and forming strong habits, raising student aspirations so they seek to achieve to their fullest potential, and developing our teachers to become leaders in education.

Our curriculums will be similar but Soane will focus more on languages which will be built into the timetable for four hours a week. 
 

Is the culture/teaching at Ark schools significantly different to other schools?  Do you find that children from none Ark primary schools struggle to fit in more?

There are common teaching techniques and routines that run through our primary and secondary schools but this doesn’t disadvantage students who are new to Ark.  We will also have a detailed transition process for all students joining Ark Soane and this will include meetings with every family before the school opens.   
 

Would you say that the first Year 7 cohort will enjoy extra attention through teaching, being the only generation at the school at that time?

Yes.  They will also benefit from being taught by the Heads of Department as these are the people that make up the founding teaching team at the school. 

 

SCHOOL DAY

What will the school day look like?  How long is the school day?

Our school day is still under discussion but is likely to look like this:

 

Period

Time

Gates open

8.15

Gates close/line up

8:25

Tutor/assembly

8:30-8:45

Period 1

8:45-9:40

Period 2

9:40-10:35

Break

10:35-10:50

Period 3

10:50-11:45

Period 4

11:45-12:40

Lunch

12:40-13:40

Period 5

13:40-14:35

Period 6

14:35-15:30

Tutor time

15:30-16:00

Enrichment/Correction

16:00-17:00

 

 

STAFFING

Why did the first Principal (Miss Facer) leave?

Following the deferred opening of Soane we had to work with the founding team to secure roles for them within the Ark network – this included the Principal, Jo Facer.  We had one Principal vacancy, at Ark John Keats in Enfield, and we undertook an interview process with Ms Facer for that role, which she was offered and which she accepted.  Given the challenges facing all schools this September, the need for stability (as well as the size of Ark John Keats, with 1800 pupils), we made the decision to make the appointment a permanent one.  This meant Ms Facer stepped down as Ark Soane’s Principal in August 2020.

 

When will the new Principal be appointed?

Soane’s new Principal will be appointed early in 2021.  We know the role will generate extensive external interest but also have the assurance of a great flow of talent coming through the network in readiness for principal positions.
 

What happened to the rest of the Ark Soane teachers?

We’re delighted that almost all of the founding team are working in schools within the network for this academic year (20/21).  The intention is that they will then take up their roles at Ark Soane in September 2021 when the school opens.