This page is dedicated to Crosswords we’ve used with GCSE English students (Years 10 and 11). Each crossword has a slightly different focus and also contains a few off-the-wall clues to keep students interested. We have built these with the wonderful, free app Eclipse Crossword, which we thoroughly recommend – so head on over, if you want to build your own crosswords.
If you are pushed for time (which English teacher isn’t?), then these ready-made ones are for you. The puzzles are available to everyone for free. The solutions are also available for free, but in an effort to stop students peeking, they’re on a separate, passworded page – so you can either work out the answers yourself, or email us to get the page password. (If anyone has a better idea for this, please drop us a line!)
The crosswords contain a range of simple clues, anagrams and cryptic clues*, so you will need to explain these concepts to students before letting them loose on the puzzles. We have found that they work well as a periodic form of assessment, especially as a Prize Crossword with a list of Prize Winners displayed in the classroom (as ‘Crossword Kings and Queens’, for example).
*We’ve tried to follow the ‘standard’ rules for cryptic clues, but may not always have achieved this. If you spot any glaring errors, please let us know. For ideas about how to introduce cryptic clues to your students, take a look at the brief summary in Denise Sutherland’s introduction to her book.