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The Marlborough Science Academy

Our Curriculum and Options

The curriculum at The Marlborough Science Academy is designed to be broad and balanced in line with the National Curriculum, legislation on the teaching of Philosophy and Ethics, Citizenship and non-statutory guidance on Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHCEE). Philosophy and Ethics is taught throughout the school using the Hertfordshire County agreed syllabus.

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

  • The main curriculum
  • Rapid progress curriculum
  • Enhanced learning curriculum
  • Fast track curriculum
Main Curriculum 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum structure that is currently in place is:

  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%
Drama 2 4% 2 4%
Geography 3 6% 3 6%
History 3 6% 3 6%
Computer Science 2 4% 2 4%
Languages 5 10% 5 10%
Music 2 4% 2 4%
Physical Education 4 8% 4 8%
PSHCEE 1 2% 1 2%
Philosophy and Ethics 1 2% 1 2%
Technology 4 8% 4 8%
TOTAL 50 100% 50 100%

PSHCEE is taught through one discrete lesson each cycle at Key Stage 3 and mapped across the curriculum at Key Stage 4, with the addition of some PSHCEE days.

We examine each cohort of students in turn and adapt our curriculum accordingly to meet the needs of the individuals.


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. As a result students do not take a Modern Foreign Language and have a reduced Humanities provision over the Key Stage. 

Enhanced Learning 

The Enhanced Learning students have enhanced learning in English which is designed to boost literacy levels and further develop confidence and self - esteem. As a result students do not take a Modern Foreign Language.

FASt track 

Our Fast Track course is designed to stretch the more able. There is a Fast Track group in English, Mathematics and Science.

key STAGe 4 

At Key Stage 4 our curriculum consists of four different curriculum pathways. All students in Years 9, 10 and 11 study English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy and Ethics, Sport, Citizenship, PSHCEE and Careers (taught through the curriculum).

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.
  • Electron Curriculum are able to opt to follow the English Baccalaureate. They are able to choose three other subjects; either a humanities or language option, plus two further subjects.
  • Proton Curriculum are able to choose three more subjects including a Humanities subject, plus two further subjects.
  • Neutron Curriculum follow a study support programme to develop their life skills and support them with their learning. They will also take the BTEC ICT course, 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 8 (10) 16% 8 (10) 16% 8 (10) 16%
Mathematics 7 (10) 14% 7 (10) 14% 7 (10) 14%
Science 10 20% 10 20% 10 20%
Physical Education 4 8% 4 8% 4 8%
PSHCE and Careers CC* 0% CC* 0% CC* 0%
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: CC* – Cross Curricular and discrete days

(10) (*) Students on the Electron, Proton and Neutron curriculum have 10 lessons of English and Mathematics per cycle and as a result do not take a fourth option.

Optional Subjects include:

Art and Design


Art and Design: Textiles Design


Business Studies

Graphic Design

Child Development

Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy

Classical Civilization


Computer Science



Media Studies




Philosophy and Ethics


Physical Education

Food and Nutrition


Click here for the 2019-2020 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 Sport, Games, Careers, PSHCEE and a Leadership for Life programme.

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

Art and Design

Food Technology

Philosophy and Ethics




Business Studies

Further Mathematics

Physical Education




Classical Civilisation



Computer Science




Information Technology


Design and Technology - Product Design





Sport Development, Coaching and Fitness


Media Studies

Theatre Studies

English Literature


Textiles Technology

Film Studies

Performing Arts  

These courses may vary from year to year.

Click here for the 2018-19 Post 16 options booklet.