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Head of Department: Ms Squire

Knowledge takes centre stage in our spiralling, skills-based curriculum which encourages our boys to think, feel and imagine.

A successful English student at Woolwich Poly shares a passion for reading and writing.  He is able to communicate clearly, confidently and precisely both orally and in writing using sophisticated vocabulary.  In addition, he is able to read and understand a range of sophisticated texts so that he is able to evaluate, analyse and engage with the wider world. Through their mastery of English, our successful boys are empowered and perfectly prepared for life after Woolwich Polytechnic School for Boys.   

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our KS3 (years 7-9) curriculum is mapped backwards from the English Literature and English Language GCSE course so that we perfectly equip our boys with the correct skills which enable them to be successful in year 11.  We are extremely proud of our rich, inclusive and engaging curriculum which has been constructed around the needs of our boys.  This means that we begin teaching important skills such as language and structure analysis and writing in year 7 so that they are ready to tackle the demands of their GCSEs in year 10.  Our KS3 curriculum involves studying a diverse range of novels, plays and poems from a range of writers with different voices from a variety of cultural backgrounds as well as non-fiction and writing.  Some of the exciting texts we study include ‘Private Peaceful’ ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, ‘The Hate U Give’, ‘Animal Farm’ and plays such as ‘ A View From The Bridge’ and  ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ as well as spoken word poetry and poetry from a range of cultures, writing to argue and writing to describe.  In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for the boys to express themselves through debate and discussion.  Our demanding KS3 curriculum is constantly being revised and revisited to ensure that we are meeting the needs of both our high prior attainers and those boys who need more support.   

One of our main goals at KS3 is to foster a love of reading and we have implemented a number of strategies designed to engage our boys in reading.  With our reading project novel, all the boys in a year group participate in the reading out loud of the same novel; this allows all the boys to discuss and share in a common reading experience.  In year 7 the shared reader is the novel ‘Gone’ and in year 8 we use ‘Divergent’ and in year 9 ‘Half-Bad’.  In addition, we ask all our boys to choose their own Accelerated Reader novel and encourage them to read weekly and write about it in their reading journal.  

Key Stage 4 Curriculum


At KS4 pupils follow a rigorous programme of study that covers a variety of different texts and genres. Pupils will read plays, novels, poetry and an array of non-fiction writing. We aim to develop our pupils’ understanding of written texts and how to analyse their effectiveness. Pupils also work on their own writing skills to write effectively for both audience and purpose. We assess regularly so both parents and pupils are aware of progress in both Language and Literature. 

Year  10 

From 2018 we began teaching both the AQA Literature and the AQA Language GCSEs together over a three-year course.   

In year 10 students will continue their preparation for the Literature and Language GCSEs where the focus turns to the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ and poetry. We also continue teaching the English Language course which assesses two main skills: reading and writing. In additional, students will be assessed on a speaking and listening component.  

Year 11

In Y11 the English Department works on exam skills to ensure that students are fully prepared for their GCSE exams. 
We follow the diagnosis, therapy and testing model to enhance the outcome of the students. Additionally, we facilitate students to work and perfect their weakest areas based on their exam performance. The English Department strives for success, so we offer a range of extra curriculum support and we design meticulous intervention plans to ensure that all students are confident before their exams and they excel in English at GCSE level. 


100% written exams 

  • GCSE English Language Paper 1 1hr 45 minutes 
  • GCSE English Language Paper 2 1hr 45 minutes 
  • GCSE English Literature Paper 1 1hr 45 minutes 
  • GCSE English Literature Paper 2 2hrs 15 minutes 
  • Speaking and Listening component assessed internally and externally moderated. 

Department Information

Enrichment opportunities Pixl Debate/Speak out Challenge debating/Film Studies for Year 9 

Various theatre trips throughout the year 

Clubs or Interventions 

Saturday Schools, Breakfast Club for year 11 Intervention Monday-Friday and P7 Intervention on Mondays/Tuesdays 

Future careers/uni courses

Lawyer, Manager, Business, Translator, Journalist, Marketing, Public Relations, Retail, Hospitality, Tourism, Politics, Personnel 

Social, Moral, Social, Cultural (SMSC) and British Values 

Within English, British values are promoted and explored in a variety of ways. The study of non-fiction texts provides students and teachers with the opportunity to address topical issues and consider different social, political, religious and cultural attitudes and contexts. The department ethos is always to respect the views of individuals and provide a learning environment in which students feel able to express themselves freely yet respectfully.  

The study of literature goes hand-in-hand with exploration of different people, places and social groups and as such promotes understanding and tolerance. Being able to empathise with others and examine situations and settings outside of our individual experience is an explicitly taught skill.  

In addition to curriculum content, the methods employed in English lessons encourage tolerance and respect. Students are expected to listen to and respect each other during group discussions and debate, and to work co- operatively in pursuit of common goals. 

Contact Us

Hutchins Road
SE28 8AT