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The Marlborough Science Academy

Our Curriculum

Marlborough students in school; happy learning and making exceptional progress

Curriculum Intent

Our curriculum at Marlborough is a dynamic, carefully crafted and student-centred provision that we believe prepares our students well to meet the rigours of adulthood and employment with confidence and emotional intelligence, all underpinned by our key values of dignity, kindness, compassion, courage and endeavour.

One size does not fit all and our curriculum pathways are designed to:

  • Stretch and challenge all abilities.
  • Offer breadth and balance.
  • Inspire the sense of awe and wonder that makes teaching exciting and learning effortless.
  • Respond to an increasingly technological world and when required adapt to national events. 
  • Keep students safe.
  • Remove barriers to support attendance. 
  • Adapt teaching to ensure all students make progress through a variety of teaching styles to ensure high quality teaching. 
  • Ensure all students are prepared to follow their dreams, whatever level they are working at.
  • Offer enrichment and creative activities that compliment and support learning as well as opening up the world and the opportunities travel and learning can provide.
  • Ensure that all students have respect for themselves and others within a multicultural society.
  • Give students opportunities to  express themselves intelligently and with regard for good manners and the law.
  • Provide opportunities to partake in enrichment activities which develop students' charate and enhances the curriculum. 
  • Develop ambitious plans for the future through high quality, age-appropriate Careers Information Advice and Educational Guidance (CIAEG) to support future choices. 

The curriculum is never 'done', it is reviewed annually in light of our cohorts and statutory requirements. We will always choose the right courses and means of assessment with our students' best interests at heart; we will never stand still.

We have an ASPIRATIONAL curriculum. Our curriculum builds on the National Curriculum and is broad and balanced with key foci on retention, application and transferable skills. Our curriculum is personalised to the needs of our community - we understand our context and build in additional cultural capital opportunities. 

Click here to view a copy of our Curriculum Policy.

Click here to view our Faculty Pages.  

Key Stage 3 

The curriculum is designed to be broad and balanced in line with the National Curriculum, legislation on the teaching of Philosophy and Ethics, Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), Citizenship, Careers and Economic Education.  Religious Studies is taught throughout the school using the Hertfordshire County agreed syllabus.

At Key Stage 3 our curriculum consists of three different curriculum pathways in order to provide a more personalised approach and meet the needs of all our students. The three pathways are:

  • The main curriculum
  • Rapid progress curriculum
  • Fast track curriculum
  Year 7 Year 8
  Periods % Periods %
English 7 14% 7 14%
Mathematics 7 14% 7 14%
Science 6 12% 6 12%
Art 3 6% 3 6%
Computer Science 3 6% 2 4%
Drama 2 4% 2 4%
Geography 3 6% 3 6%
History 3 6% 3 6%
Languages 5 10% 5 10%
Music 2 4% 2 4%
Physical Education 4 8% 5 10%
PSHCEE 1 2% 1 2%
Philosophy and Ethics 1 2% 1 2%
Technology 3 6% 3 6%
TOTAL 50 100% 50 100%

PSHCEE including RSE is taught through one discrete lesson each cycle at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, with the addition of some PSHCEE events.



The Rapid Progress students’ curriculum is designed to enable students to catch up and make rapid progress in their literacy and numeracy skills and to enable them to fully access the Secondary curriculum. 



Our Fast Track course is designed to stretch the more able. There is a Fast Track group in English, Mathematics and Science. Students on our Fast Track curriculum are also invited to take part in our Latin Club where students learn about Ancient Rome and Greece (Classics) and take modules from the Cambridge Latin course.  

key STAGe 4 

At Key Stage 4 our curriculum consists of three different curriculum pathways. All students in Years 9, 10 and 11 study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy and Ethics, Sport, Citizenship, PSHCEE including RSE and Careers.

In addition, students on the:

  • Atom Curriculum follow the English Baccalaureate and are able to choose four more subjects including Humanities, a language plus two further subjects.
  • Proton Curriculum are able to choose four more subjects including a Humanities subject, plus three further subjects.
  • Neutron Curriculum follow the Prince's Trust programme to develop their life skills and support them with their learning. They also study British Sign Language plus two further subjects.

The Key Stage 4 curriculum structure that is currently in place is:

  Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
  Periods % Periods % Periods %
English 7 14% 8 (10) 16% 8 (10) 16%
Mathematics 7 14% 6 (9) 12% 7 (10) 14%
Science 10 20% 10 20% 10 20%
Physical Education 4 8% 4 8% 3 6%
PSHCEE/RSE/Careers 1 2% 1 2% 1 2%
Philosophy and Ethics 1 2% 1 2% 1 2%
Option 1 5 10% 5 10% 5 10%
Option 2 5 10% 5 10% 5 10%
Option 3 5 10% 5 10% 5 10%
Option 4 5 10% 5 (*) 10% 5 (*) 10%
TOTAL 50 100% 50 100% 50 100%

NB: (Year 10 and 11) (*) Students on the Proton and Neutron curriculum have additional lessons of English and Mathematics per cycle and as a result do not take a fourth option.

Optional Subjects include:

Art and Design: Fine Art

Food Preparation and Nutrition

Art and Design: Graphic Communication


Business Studies


Classical Civilisation

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Computer Science

Health and Social Care

Creative iMedia



Media Studies

Design and Technology: Resistant Materials


Design and Technology: Textile Technology

Philosophy and Ethics


Physical Education



Extended Mathematics (Statistics and Further)


Click here to view the 2024-25 Curriculum Offer booklet

Key stage 5 

We organise our curriculum in conjunction with our learning partners; St Albans Girls School, Loreto, Townsend and Samuel Ryder.

Students can follow a programme of Level 3 study. Courses are offered both at Marlborough and at our learning partners’ schools. All students study a core curriculum which includes Games, Careers, PSHCEE including RSE, Leadership and preparation for life.

Students can study up to four subjects which are a combination of advanced level or advanced vocational qualifications:

Art and Design



Business Studies




Classical Civilisation

Media Studies

Computer Science


Creative and Performing Arts - Acting 

Music Technology


Philosophy and Ethics

Design and Technology - Product Design


Drama and Theatre Studies




English Literature


Film Studies



Further Mathematics

Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness

These courses may vary from year to year.

Click here for the 2024 Post 16 Options booklet