Our Five Year Curriculum Model

We are proud of our pure and highly academic curriculum which offers no shortcuts or excuses. Our belief is that all of our students have the right to access and make exceptional progress within a traditional and academically rigorous curriculum. We do not facilitate a vocational pathway or seek ways of artificially boosting our position in the schools league tables. 95% of our students are now entered for the academically rigorous EBACC qualification and most students study Triple Science. All students specialise in a modern foreign language from Year 7 through to GCSE level*.

Students study for twenty-eight hours per week in an extended broad and balanced curriculum, which places a primacy on rigorous assessment, literacy and numeracy. Our curriculum is boosted by the whole school reading program which takes place every morning for thirty minutes and each lesson starts with a read now based on academic literature. The curriculum is further supplemented by our compulsory two hours per week Enrichment timetable which has a central focus on community service. We facilitate twelve Drop Down Days per year where students enjoy a wide range of educational trips, excursions and life enriching experiences.        

At Ark Greenwich Free School we place a primacy on enabling all of our pupils to develop more disciplined and scientific ways of viewing and making sense of the world around them. The importance of disciplinary thinking means that curriculum planning is vital.

Therefore at Ark Greenwich Free School we believe that all learners should encounter and wrestle with ways of constructing knowledge and ways of thinking that are above their everyday experiences and see that academic concepts are different from everyday concepts and ways of explaining the world. For us, this is the best way of preparing them to think like undergraduates before they apply to university. If instead students are taught only a skills and competencies approach and denied the chance to view the world through more academic lenses, then it is likely their access to elite universities and professions will be limited.


Year 7- Year 9 Curriculum  

Subject   KS3 periods and minutes per week 
English Language and Literature   4 (240) 
Maths  4 (240) 
Science (Biology, Physics and Chemistry) 4 (240) 
Geography  2 (120) 
History   2 (120) 
French or Spanish  (Selected at the start of Year 7) 3 (180) 
Physical Education   2 (120) 
Religious Studies/Philosophy 1 (60)
Computing  1 (60) 
Art  1 (60) 
Drama  1 (60) 
Music  1 (60) 
Enrichment            2 (120)


The Curriculum at KS4

Students follow a broad curriculum as long as possible until they select their GCSE options at the end of Year 9. Students study ten subjects at GCSE level in total. These are separated into two categories: Core and Optional. 90% of our students are entered for the academically rigorous EBACC qualification.

  • Core subjects are compulsory and will be studied by all students
  • Optional subjects are when students choose to study certain subjects and not others. Students can choose to study three options. Teachers will offer guidance and support to ensure appropriateness of option subjects.


Core Subjects

All students will study each of the following subjects:

Subject Number of GCSEs gained – comments
English Language & Literature x2 – Literature is compulsory for all pupils  
Maths x1
Combined Science             

(including Biology, Chemistry & Physics)

x2 - (if appropriate, ‘Triple Science’ may be selected as an ‘option’ to gain an additional science GCSE)
Core PE None - (although ‘GCSE PE’ can be chose as an ‘option’ – see below) - all students will continue with Core PE lessons for 1 hour a week
Humanities x1 - History or Geography 
Languages x1 - French or Spanish

*ASDAN is an exception, and is a qualification offered by invitation only to a small handful of pupils in place of a MFL


Option subjects (each worth one GCSE unless otherwise stated)

All students must pick three of these subjects to study as their options, from the list below:

Art, Computer Science, Drama, Music, Photography, Physical Education, Religious Studies/Philosophy or Triple Science (three separate GCSEs replacing the Double award)


Curriculum Planning

Our curriculum is reviewed frequently to ensure it remains fit for purpose. Subject leads will review their own curriculum plans each term. The following diagram explains the underlying principles and these inform all curriculum planning at GFS.

The individual subject pages and five year curriculum maps explain in greater detail what we teach and how we sequence the experience over the five years up to GCSE to enable pupils to develop expertise within each particular subject domain. 

Parents wanting to find out more about our curriculum pleae contact us via info@arkgreenwich.org