Head of Department: Ms Kane

The aims of our English curriculum are to encourage pupils to develop the skills:

  • To read, understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts
  • To appreciate the ways in which authors achieve their effects
  • To acquire the skills necessary for literary study in further education
  • To develop an awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences in the study of literature
  • To construct and convey meaning in speech and writing, matching style to audience and purpose
  • To read for pleasure


Power standards:

These are the standard skills that students will need to be successful in the reading and writing areas of the English curriculum. They are the key skills tested throughout the assessment criteria.


  • Clear, relevant and developed points
  • Wide range of textual evidence judiciously used
  • Analysis of a writer's use of methods (language techniques, structural techniques, words and phrases).
  • Evaluate the effect on the reader/audience.
  • Relating a text to its contexts (e.g. Social, Historical, Literary, Religious etc.)


  • Use a wide range of grammatical and sentence structures.
  • Control punctuation for effect.
  • Select unusual vocabulary appropriate to specific purpose.
  • Use whole text structure to deliberately affect meaning.
  • Use paragraphs effectively to control coherence.

Members of the English Department love their subject. They are habitual readers who are passionate about helping our pupils explore the world of literature and art. They are usually engaged in the creative process themselves through further study, writing of blogs, or producing the same work we expect from our pupils and sharing it with them. We gain a deep literary pleasure from reading our pupils work and, in this sense, we provide an audience for our pupils. The culture amongst English teachers is open and collaborative; there are so many ways to teach English and we learn a huge amount from each other. We seek positive and developmental feedback from each other and understand our own strengths so we can best help each other. We expect engagement from all of our pupils and have the expectation that they can all achieve the necessary grades to study English beyond school. Though we are committed to teaching English in a creative and innovative manner, we do not shirk the important task of providing knowledge in key areas such as grammar and punctuation. We support pupils who are not making the expected progress through differentiation and interventions.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum provides students with a breadth and depth of knowledge and builds logically into the Key Stage 4 curriculum. We view Key Stage 3 as a time to build the foundations to become a successful student at GCSE. At Ark Greenwich Free School, we pride ourselves on creating a five year curriculum to help students build the required skills to become resilient and academic learners.

Year 7:

  • Term 1

Lord of the Flies: Transition unit

Macbeth: Reading Unit

Tracing the change in a character throughout a play.

  • Term 2

Journalism: Non-Fiction Writing unit

Poetry: Reading unit

To write a journalistic piece of writing.

To identify how writers use methods to create meaning within poetry.

  • Term 3

‘Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry’: Reading and writing.

Evaluation question on one of the characters.

Writing to inform.


Year 8:

  • Term 1

Animal Farm: Reading Unit

Paintings: Writing Unit

Exploration of a theme within ‘Animal Farm’.

Descriptive Writing with a painting as stimulus.

  • Term 2

Tempest: Reading Unit

Speeches: Writing Unit

Evaluation question on one of the characters.

Writing speeches to persuade/argue.

  • Term 3

‘Day of The Triffids’ or other selected novel: Reading and Writing

Analytical essay exploring one of the themes.

Writing to argue/persuade using a statement as stimulus.

Year 9:

  • Term 1

Frankenstein: Reading Unit

Gothic Writing: Writing Unit

Analytical question based on a theme.

Creative Writing based on Gothic Literature.

  • Term 2

Romanticism: Reading Unit

Non-fiction: Opinion Writing Unit

Question on how poets use methods to create themes/ideas/images.

Non-fiction writing

  • Term 3

Exam Skills: Reading and Writing

Anthology Poetry: Official start of the GCSE course

Mock GCSE English Language paper.


Key Stage 3 Revision

Students have planning sheets for most of the KS3 units of work. They should use this as a basis for their revision. Knowledge recall practice is supported by quizlet. Students should be preparing for their lessons by studying the key knowledge on quizlet each night before an English lesson. Students should practice writing paragraph based on their plan to evaluate whether it is going to be effective enough for the exam.


Key Stage 4 Curriculum

English will be studied as two different subjects: English Language and English Literature. In English Language, pupils will be studying non-fiction texts; learning how to produce brilliant creative writing of their own; and even studying spoken language. In English Literature pupils have the chance to study seminal works of English Literature from Britain and from across the world; poetry, drama, modern prose and classic texts will all feature in this subject of subjects. The exam board we follow is AQA. You can find further information about the specifications on their website here: https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english


Year 10:

  • Term 1

GCSE English Language paper 1 and 2

Romeo and Juliet- Plot study

Question by question in class assessment- Language Paper 1

Full Mock Language Paper 2

  • Term 2

Romeo and Juliet- Critical and analytical study

English Language Paper 1 re-cap

and Juliet in class assessment.

Full Mock Language Paper 1

GCSE Speaking and Listening Assessment

  • Term 3

Frankenstein- Critical and analytical study

Frankenstein and Romeo and Juliet revision


Full Mock Literature Paper 1


Year 11:

  • Term 1

Anthology: Power and Conflict Cluster

An Inspector Calls

Independent Learning: English Language Papers 1 and 2

and Conflict in class assessment.

An Inspector Calls in class assessment.

Full Mock Literature Paper 2

Full Mock Language Paper 1 and 2

GCSE Speaking and Listening Assessment

  • Term 2

English Language Revision

English Literature Revision

Full Mocks:

Literature Paper 1 and 2

Language Paper 1 and 2

  • Term 3

General revision based on needs of students

GCSE English Language Paper 1 and 2

GCSE English Language Paper 1 and 2


Key Stage 4 revision

Key Stage 4 revision is ultimately down to the students. However, we offer guided revision to support them. Students should be preparing for their lessons by studying the key knowledge on Quizlet each night before an English lesson. The best type of revision is to complete mock exam questions and to actively seek their teacher to help them to mark, review and refine their work.

Students may also receive topic specific independent learning booklets to support their revision.

We also recommend the CPG AQA GCSE revision guides for: English Language, Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet, Poetry: Power and Conflict cluster, An Inspector Calls.

Quotation ‘road maps’ are also provided for students to help them to learn key quotes from the Literature set texts and, more importantly, what to say about these quotes.

Quizlet ‘golden nugget’ lists provide students with the key knowledge they should know by the end of each year and it is essential that students learn these.


Pupils will receive individual and group verbal feedback every single lesson – this will not be evidenced with gimmicks like a ‘verbal feedback stamp’ or sticker

In English, pupils will receive personalised written feedback typically once every five or six lessons. This feedback may be written by the teacher but will more frequently be written by the pupils from an activity planned by the teacher.

Students will be formally assessed at the end of every half term. These examination grades will be averaged so that classroom teachers can report progress data to parents on a termly basis via the whole school reporting system.

On-going feedback will be given in response to the presentation of students work. This could be given in written or verbal form. Students will have a clear understanding of what good presentation looks like in each of their subjects and will be rewarded or sanctioned accordingly for the presentation of their work.

Teachers will always mark in red pen. Students should respond to any feedback by refining their work in blue pen.

Peer marking will be done in green pen. Peer marking will be linking to the examination success criteria so that it remains meaningful.

Feedback in English comes in several forms. These include: Teacher marking; peer assessments; verbal feedback (praise and areas to develop as well as questions to stretch and challenge students’ initial answers); peer scoring of daily review, concepts and definitions, self-checking answers line by line or correcting any mistakes from model paragraphs; hinge questions- with MCQs to identify misconceptions.

Literacy errors are addressed where appropriate. This does not mean teachers will correct every single spelling error – rather they will address common spelling misconceptions and key terminology in a variety of ways.

If a class has similar targets to improve, teachers may issue coloured dots which correlate with generic targets. Students can identify their target based on the statement near their coloured dot on the board.

Marking is used to help to develop SOLs and inform future planning.


Ambition, Careers and Cultural Capital

English is arguably the most important subject in terms of future careers. There is not a career that the skills in English do not apply to. However, some examples of careers that are directly linked to the subject are:

  • Lawyer
  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Writer
  • Researcher

Through the study of English, students will be exposed to a range of culturally rich texts. These range from famous speeches throughout history, to texts from the literary cannon and novels and poems from different cultures and historical periods. These texts address key issues and questions about the world we live in and how society functions. Some examples of texts studied are:

  • Speeches from Martin Luther King and Greta Thunberg
  • Shakespeare: The Tempest, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet
  • Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • Poems by Maya Angelou, Benjamin Zephaniah, Caleb Femi, Imtiaz Dharker and Grace Nichol
  • News articles and opinion pieces
  • J.B Priestley’s An Inspector Calls
  • Enrichment and Drop Down Days

We cover enriching activities within our Drop Down Days. These include:

  • A trip to Shakespeare’s Globe- usually with Years 7 and 9 but this can change depending on the play that is being shown.
  • A trip to the Victoria and Albert Museum- Year 9
  • Jack Petchey Speak Out Competition: Spoken Word- Year 10
  • Walking Talking Mocks and speaking and Listening Assessment- Year 11