“Among the highest performing schools in the country”
“Fantastic and extraordinary”
-Tom Bennett, founder of Research Ed and behaviour adviser to the Department for Education
Message from the Headteacher
I am delighted to welcome you to the official website of the Ark Greenwich Free School (‘AGFS’).
The opportunity to empower young people to grow and be successful is at the heart of everything we do. We provide the very best all-round education to prepare our scholars for the modern world. We are proud of our respectful and disciplined community where scholars and staff are safe and valued; a no-excuses ethos prevails; and aspirations are unashamedly sky-high. Our values of Ambition, Growth, Fellowship and Scholarship permeate all aspects of school life.
The world around us is rapidly changing and this presents an exciting opportunity to provide an outstanding educational experience led by the latest research. We invest in an industry-leading staff professional development programme and seek to remain at the forefront of innovation in the field of education. Our curriculum is underpinned by a mastery approach, whilst also providing unique opportunities for intellectual creativity. Approximately 95% of our scholars study the academically rigorous EBACC set of qualifications. Scholars only study full GCSE qualifications; equivalencies are not used. Our curriculum has a relentless focus on numeracy and literacy. This design delivers the essential backdrop for a scholastic, traditional and academic education, where scholars exceed all expectations.
Outstanding examination results equip our scholars with the essential currency they will need to go on and access top universities and professional careers. However, delivering a well-rounded education is more important now than ever before. We see it as our responsibility to nurture life-enhancing character traits which allow our scholars to excel in an increasingly competitive world. Our character programme promotes self-confidence, independence and gratitude. Scholars learn the art of public speaking and the value of giving up their seat for a member of the public on the bus.
This is an innovative school underpinned by traditional values. We care deeply about our scholars and hold them to the very highest standards so that they fulfil their potential. We are building a great school for Greenwich that will hopefully serve many generations of young people and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future.
Our core belief is that all scholars can succeed if given outstanding teaching and pastoral care.
Our mission is to create a school of the highest standards that achieves this through recruiting and training excellent teachers and support staff, and in developing a pastoral system that ensures no child is left behind.
Whilst we want all of our scholars to leave the school with the currency they need to access the next stage of their education and place a primacy on hard work, we know that getting great exam results is only half of a good education and we are determined to deliver as many opportunities as we can for every child to flourish outside the classroom.
We organise and deliver all of these experiences as we believe this will help equip all of our scholars with the experiences and habits they need to live a happy and successful life. We will work tirelessly to achieve these goals but we also need the support of all involved with the school, especially our parents. At Ark Greenwich Free School we don’t talk about ability or potential and we certainly do not label our children, but we do talk about effort and strategies and we expect our families to do the same at home.
We will provide the highest quality teaching and resources, ensuring we offer support where it is needed, and stretch and challenge every scholar. In return we expect every one of our parents to commit to our school day and to uphold the ethos of Ark Greenwich Free School.
Ark Greenwich Free School was founded on a set of values and these inform all that we do. The school is unwavering in its commitment to these values; we expect every one of our scholars to live up to them every day. Ark Greenwich Free School is not a school where you can take a back seat and drift through your education; as a smaller-than-average school, we are a community of learners and we all hold each other to account for our actions and commitment, whether we are a teacher or a scholar.
- Ambition: Reaching for the stars and having sky-high expectations. Believing that top exam grades, places at elite universities and professional careers are achievable for all of our scholars
- Growth: The conviction that improvement is always possible, and the determination to continuously develop
- Fellowship: The knowledge that the interests of others are as important as our own, and the commitment to act as a positive member of the community
- Scholarship: The recognition that the acquisition of knowledge and skills is intrinsically valuable, and the diligence to pursue mastery of them
We are building a great school for Greenwich that will hopefully serve many generations of young people and we look forward to welcoming you in the near future.
Ark Schools Network
Our schools follow the same set of underlying principles. We call these the Six Pillars:
1. High Expectations
We believe that every child can achieve great things. So we set exceptionally high expectations for all our scholars, and we do whatever it takes to meet them. Our aspirations are no lower for our most vulnerable scholars.
2. Exemplary Behaviour
Our schools are characterised by a respectful and orderly environment, where teachers can focus on teaching and scholars can focus on learning. We teach, recognise and reinforce good behaviour, and we don't tolerate poor behaviour. We don't accept any excuses, and we don't make any either.
3. Excellent Teaching
A teacher affects a scholar's achievement more than any other factor. We work side-by-side with teaching staff, supporting them with training and development so that they can deliver excellent teaching. To make sure that no scholar is left behind, we've developed data management tools which help teachers to monitor progress - this shows when scholars, or indeed teaching staff, need extra support.
4. Depth Before Breadth
When children build firm foundations in English and maths, they find it easier to do well in other subjects too. That's why we prioritise depth in these subjects, giving our scholars the best chance of success.
We've developed Mathematics Mastery to support our children in maths - this highly-effective approach is inspired by successful teaching methods from around the world, and is also endorsed by Ofsted. As well as being used in all of our primary schools, Mathematics Mastery is being used by over 100 schools outside Ark. We also dedicate more time to literacy and English, to nurture a love of reading and develop fluent communication skills. We train all of our teachers to recognise the barriers children might face in building literacy skills, and show them how to support scholars who need more help.
5. More Time For Learning
To make sure children have enough time both for core subjects and for extra-curricular activities, many of our schools run a longer school day. Others are open at weekends and during school holidays, offering master classes and revision sessions. Many Ark schools offer residential stays, day trips and summer schools. In every school, no time is wasted - every hour of every day is devoted to children learning.
6. Knowing Every Child
We organise our schools so that every child knows and is known well by every adult in the school.
We also recognise that children do best when families and schools work together. We keep parents well informed about children's targets, and we involve families in all aspects of school life.