At John Keats Academy we want our pupils to develop interests, hobbies and passions that will broaden their horizons, raise aspirations, promote physical and mental well-being and develop lifelong interests.

Ark John Keats is committed to supporting students to have happy and successful futures, leaving us to go on to university or a career of their choice. In order to do this, AJK students must be equipped with the knowledge, skills and enthusiasm to follow their passions and fulfil their potential. We want every pupil to attend an enrichment activity once a week by the end of the year. To facilitate this, we are committed to building a broad and varied enrichment offer shaped by pupil feedback.

Below, you will find an outline of our Raising Aspirations Programme at each Key Stage through Enrichment, Work-Related Learning and University Engagement. Our Raising Aspirations Programme is very much supported by our extremely strong pastoral work and our Character programme.

Key Stage 3 

Enrichment: At Key Stage 4, students have the option to partake in a range of extracurricular clubs outside of lesson times, ranging from sport, to drama, to music. Activities on offer enable students to develop their character by building their growth mindset, team work and leadership skills.

Work-Related Learning: At KS3, pupils will be exposed to a range of different industries and pathways, to allow them to gain an insight into the wide range of options available to them. They will hear from and reflect on three Digest Speakers a year, and will also take part in assemblies on aspirations, using labour market information to inform career decisions, and making good choices.

University Engagement: At KS3, our pupils will visit a different university every year, as well as have different assemblies and character sessions to allow them to learn about university. Pupils will be encouraged to find out more about universities and have conversations with their tutors about this to help frame their aspiration and goals during academic review day meetings. We also provide targeted opportunities such as Sutton Scholars programme or University summer schools such as the Imperial’s STEM potential programme or UCL summer challenges.

Character: At KS3, Character is our students’ toolkit for accessing and understanding the wider world. Our students engage in one 55-minute Character session every week, led by their form tutors in order to ensure that the most sensitive topics are handled deftly by those who know our students best. Pupils explore key issues in today’s society, such as their place in our democracy, the impact of media and how to contribute positively to communities, as well as developing pivotal discussion skills that will help them both in school and out in the world. Our Key Stage Three Character curriculum also engages students in the topics required by the Department for Education, educating them on how to develop healthy relationships, how to tackle issues around body image and puberty, as well as beginning their Sexual Health Education in Year 9.

Key Stage 4 

Enrichment: At Key Stage 4, students have the option to partake in a range of extracurricular clubs outside of lesson times, ranging from sport, to drama, to music. Activities on offer enable students to develop their character by building their growth mindset, team work and leadership skills.

Work-Related Learning: In KS4, work-related learning provision will be more focused to reflect pupils’ individual aspirations and interests. Pupils study post-16 routes and applications as part of a Character module, hear from various post-16 providers, and receive individual guidance on their post-16 choices. Pupils also take part in Pillar Days in which they experience a mock assessment centre, look into careers and future study options appropriate to their interests and aspirations, prepare for their upcoming work experience opportunity, consider how to prepare for interviews and hear from employers on writing a CV. Pupils will complete a work experience placement in the Summer of Year 11, which they will have sourced privately or applied for internally.

University Engagement: At KS4, our pupils will begin to understand more about the application process for university. On the first Pillar Day of the year, all Y10 pupils have an opportunity to learn from and speak to different university students and lecturers, they also learn about the basics of writing a personal statement and write their own personal statement.

Character: At KS4, students take part in 30 minutes of dedicated Character time every day, building directly on the foundations laid during Key Stage Three. As well as teaching the high-quality content on topics required by the Department for Education, our students engage in sessions on financial skills, political topics and discussions, and post-16 pathways to run in line with their University Engagement and Raising Aspirations program. In Key Stage Four, Sexual Health Education and classes on healthy relationships, consent and sexual harassment take place for each year group to ensure that our students are prepared and knowledgeable on these important topics.

Key Stage 5 

Enrichment: At Key Stage 5, students use their skills and passions to improve our school community and are visible role models for younger students. Students can develop their leadership skills by supporting the running of extracurricular clubs. KS5 students also identify change they want to see in the wider community and develop the skills and knowledge to be able to plan and execute a project of their choosing on an issue which matters to them.  

Work-Related Learning: In KS5, work-related learning opportunities become much more individualised. Pupils take part in the Year 12 Futures Fair, where they are exposed to different post-18 pathways into employment, including graduate schemes, degree apprenticeships, higher level apprenticeships and specialist qualifications (e.g. accountancy exams). Many external opportunities are advertised throughout the year, including work experience placements, mentoring programmes and webinars. 

University Engagement: At KS5, our pupils will receive the knowledge and support they need to make the best choices for university and beyond. We also ensure that they are armed with a broad range of experiences and skills to succeed when they get there. Conversations and meetings with tutors will be centred around this and all pupils are offered opportunities and events such as university talks, mentorship programmes, and summer schools to help develop them further. Students can also benefit from targeted opportunities such as Ark’s Project Oxbridge or Project Healthcare. More information on KS5 pathways guidance can be found here. 

Character: At KS5, our Character curriculum ensures that our Sixth Form students are aptly prepared for life post-18. During their first terms, sixth formers take part in a bespoke scheme of work that develops their independent study habits, resilience and critical thinking skills. Later in the year, students lead their own Character discussions on political and ethical issues to help prepare the for University seminar-style study.. 

Personal Development

PDF iconCareers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance Programme Overview.pdf



Bakers Clause Policy Statement 2022-23 (1).pdf

Pathways and Enrichment Policy 2022-23