Marling School fully recognises the importance of a strong curriculum model that is designed to give all students the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We believe that, at the core of any outstanding curriculum model, is the appropriate balance of breadth and depth of learning for all students, and the whole school curriculum model has been designed with this in mind.

In Year 8 students make informed decisions around which foreign language(s) and practical subjects to study in greater depth prior to GCSE, and a curriculum model that starts all students on a route to 9.5 GCSEs is currently maintained in KS4. As part of the GCSE options process students can opt for 4 from a range of 19 subjects to study alongside the compulsory curriculum. The model is also constructed so that all students can access the full range of English Baccalaureate subjects should they wish to do so. The focus on breadth and depth continues into Sixth Form, where all students studying 3 A Levels also opt for what is defined to be a ‘breadth option’ to study alongside their A Level choices. Sixth Form students currently select from a range of 29 A Levels and 8 breadth options. More information can be found about the options processes by using the menu above.

Within individual subject areas curriculum models are constructed according to the following key principles:

  • Programmes of study are ambitious in that they provide all students with appropriate levels of challenge, as well as opportunities to secure and deepen knowledge, understanding and skills as appropriate.
  • Programmes of study have been constructed with the core knowledge and skills, or fundamental constructs, which will need to have been developed at their heart. Aligned to this there will also be a coherent assessment model that allows students and teachers to identify and support individual progress towards the identified outcomes.
  • Programmes of study are planned and sequenced to ensure that new learning builds and develops on prior knowledge and skills, thus allowing students to make sustained progress towards the identified end points.
  • Programmes of study will identify connections, both within a given subject and across different subject areas where appropriate, that need to be explicitly highlighted to students in order for them to link existing knowledge or skills to new learning.
  • Teaching and learning strategies will be employed that facilitate long term retention of knowledge, thus allowing students to utilise prior knowledge by applying it as a skill to support new learning.

 Detailed information about individual subjects and key stages can be found below.

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Key Stage 3
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Key Stage 4
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Key Stage 5

For further information about our co-educational Sixth Form, please visit

Personal Development
  • We are Marling

In addition to the academic education that we provide in Marling School, we deliver a wide programme of Personal Development education and activities. Personal Development encompasses everything we do, beyond the core national curriculum, to support students to develop in many diverse areas of life, helping them to manage their wellbeing and relationships, preparing them for the adult world and teaching them how to engage with society.

We believe that Personal Development education is important. Adolescence, through to the later teenage years, can include challenging times, and we want to help our students manage that transition. In addition, the world our young people live in seems increasingly complex and we need to help them to navigate that safely. Overall, we want to help our young people to be the best they can be - we want them to be kind, tolerant, respectful of others and educated about how to keep themselves safe in relationships and in the world.

In KS3 and KS4 we provide Personal Development education via timetabled Life skills lessons, tutor time activities and assemblies. In KS5 fortnightly tutor time sessions replace the lower school Life skills lessons. Cross-curricular links mean that PSHE topics are also reinforced by many other departments. Our taught programme is outlined along with our RSE Policy in the Policies section of this website. In addition to timetabled sessions, an extensive programme of trips and talks, along with extra-curricular opportunities and student engagement, extends students’ personal development.

Our approach to students’ personal development in Marling is embodied in our We Are Marling initiative, as part of which students come together to develop character through study and celebrate unity through diversity. We aim to ensure our diverse school is an inclusive and welcoming community for all.

Assessment & Marking Policies
Please click on the PDFs below to read our Assessment Policy and the booklet containing subject specific assessment policies.

For a detailed breakdown of the Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) rationale at Marling School, please see the CEIAG policy below. 

There has never been a time when Careers guidance has been as important for young people as it is today. The landscape of education, training and employment opportunities that students need to navigate is complex and challenging. Careers education helps young people to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills that they need to make well-informed, carefully considered choices and plans that enable them to progress smoothly into further learning and work, and to help them manage their careers and sustain employability throughout their lives. 

Our careers programme relates to a range of work related elements of the Marling school curriculum and the principles of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges, namely;

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career & labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each student
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers & employees
  • Experiences of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance
  • (See Appendix one of the CEIAG policy for a fuller explanation of these benchmarks.)

Delivery of the careers programme is done throughout the curriculum in all subject areas as well as in PSHE programmes, assemblies and fortnightly tutor time activities. There are also opportunities such as Guest Speaker visits to School to explore an expansive range of Career routes, trips to local employers, colleges and Universities as well as experience days focusing on Mock interviews and Employability skills amongst many others. National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week’s are also celebrated throughout the School with further activities. 

As part of the continual development of the Careers, Education, Information and Guidance  programme, Marling School regularly puts measures in place to assess the impact of the activities undertaken. This is done through student voice and reflections of activities logged on Google Classroom and Unifrog platforms. The staff members responsible for the Careers programme work closely with a Careers Advisor and Enterprise Coordinator from GFirstLEP to refer to this information as well as using Compass+ data which is the Schools careers monitoring system. This is done when making choices about any adaptations to the programme in order to create the most personalised experience for our students. This supports them in making informed decisions about their future pathways.

Our Careers Leader is Mr S Bailey - Tel. 01453 762251.

Marling Careers Education, information and guidance programme is reviewed annually, the next upcoming date is 01/07/2023.

Further information about CEIAG provision at Marling School can be found using the links below.

T-Levels are an alternative to A-Levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses. Equivalent in size to 3 A-Levels, a T-Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeship. You can find out more information below.
Exam Results

Key Stage 4 Results 2022

  • The school’s progress 8 score for 2022 is +0.40
  • The school’s attainment 8 score is 71.96
  • The % of pupils who’ve achieved a strong pass (grade 5 or above) in English and maths at the end of KS4 is 96.73%
  • The % of pupils entering for the English Baccalaureate is 39%
  • The % of pupils who’ve achieved the English Baccalaureate at grade 5 or above is 35%
  • The % of students staying in education or employment after key stage 4 (destinations) according to latest data is 99%

Please click here to see the DfE Schools Performance Tables which compare school performance, characteristics and other data locally and nationally.


Key Stage 5 Results

Attainment, Retention and Destination data for the school's 16-18 performance can be found here 


Extra Curricular

Extracurricular and Super-Curricular Activities

At Marling we place great value on our extracurricular and super-curricular activities; they enhance skills, widen experiences and develop cultural capital, encourage passions, support well-being and social interactions, foster community relations, enhance career development... and so much more! They play a vital role in fostering well-rounded individuals who are not only academically prepared but also equipped with a wide range of skills, experiences, and interests that contribute to their personal growth and future success. 

Trips, Visits and Events 

Marling School is proud to offer a huge range of trips, visits and events. As part of the Marling School journey, educational visits provide opportunities for students to gain real world experience, learn independence and build character, and we work hard to ensure that a full range of visits are available to all our students. We are committed to organise trips, visits and events which cover the breadth of our curriculum, open up a variety of experiences to appeal to everyone, and are at a range of costs to ensure that our offer is fully inclusive.   

Plans for residential trips are published well in advance to enable parents to plan; these can be seen here Some are designed to be ’once in a lifetime’ trips and others are more closely aligned with the curriculum and are designed as super-curricular.  

Each year we run well over 50 day trips and in-school events, catering for all interests, subjects and year groups. These include subject lectures given by experts, wellbeing workshops, language experience days, trips to the theatre, industry days, participation in competitions, fieldtrips, university open days, science conference, and prison visits. Our most recent events and trips can be seen on our newsletter our social media feeds. 


Catering to all ages and interests, our lunchtime and after school clubs allow our students to be creative, perform, play sport and be active. Some clubs run regularly for the whole year, others may be focused on a short-term goal. Our current offering can be found here and include, among others, the Y7 ‘We are Marling’ camp, a fieldtrip to the Welsh coast, a GCSE Spanish trip to Cadiz, the History Department’s legendary Battlefields trip, a visit to CERN, and the annual Ski trip. 

Opportunities to contribute to our community 

Students from all year groups have the opportunity to give something back to their school community. From leading a club, to mentoring a younger student, from being an Eco or an Inclusion rep, to academic coaching, there are numerous ways that our students can contribute. At sixth form, this becomes a core part of the programme of study with all students taking part in activities that “Make a Difference” or “Inspire others” as part of the Marling Diamond programme

Aim of the AwardsThe DofE aims to stimulate the enthusiasms and energies of young people by presenting them with a challenging programme of activities. The award is available to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24 and the process of participation leads to personal development and new, well-earned confidence.

Marling School is a licensed organisation with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and offers the award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Sections of the Award Each level of the award is achieved by completing a personal programme of activities in Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. The Gold award also requires a fifth component of a Residential. Further information is available at

Age & Stage  The BRONZE award is available to students in Year 9. Students can sign up before Christmas and can get underway with their 3 sections immediately. It is the student’s responsibility to organise and fulfil the requirements for the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections themselves but the school does give support and guidance in this. With regard the expedition section, the training and the first practice expedition takes place in the spring of Year 9 (Sharpness/Berkeley). The training includes; map reading, compass reading, navigational skills, distance route planning, camp craft, and the right way to pack your rucksack. The final qualifying expedition takes place a few weeks later in the Lambourn Downs which means they are able to have achieved their Bronze award by the end of Year 9, assuming of course that they have also completed their independent sections.

The SILVER award is available to students in Year 10 with expeditions taking place in the spring of Year 10 and the autumn of Year 11. Silver expeditions take part in more challenging terrain such as New Forest, Exmoor, Dartmoor or Brecon Beacons.

The GOLD award is available to students in Year 12/13 with expeditions taking place in the summer of Year 12 and Year 13. Marling offers walking expeditions (Peak District, Brecon Beacons, Lake District or Snowdonia National Park) and canoeing expeditions (River Wye). Some students may prefer to complete their GOLD expeditions overseas through a private organiser.

More information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Marling School can be found by contacting the DofE Manager, Mr Koller at


The Ten Key Principles of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

  • Non-Competitive: The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Each participant's programme is tailor-made to reflect the individual starting point, abilities and interests.
  • Available to All: With a commitment to equal opportunities, the Award Programme is available to all young people who choose to take up its challenge.
  • Voluntary: Young people make a free choice to enter the programme and commit their own time to undertake the activities.
  • Flexible: Young people design their own programme, which can be geared to their choice and personal circumstances and also to local provision. They may enter for whichever level of Award best suits them, and may take as long as they wish to complete an Award.
  • Balanced: By choosing activities in each of four different Sections (five at Gold), participants undertake a balanced and wide ranging programme.
  • Progressive: At each level, the Award Programme demands more time and an increasing degree of commitment and responsibility from the participant.
  • Achievement Focused: Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own goals. If they aim for those goals and show improvement, they will achieve their Award.
  • Marathon, not a Sprint: The Award demands persistence and commitment and cannot be completed in a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants may want to continue with activities beyond the minimum time requirements set out for each level of the Award.
  • Personal Development: The Award is a programme of personal and social development. The value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience.
  • Enjoyable: Young people and helpers should find participation enjoyable and satisfying.
Music Tuition at Marling School
Please click on the PDF below for information on instrumental music tuition.
Marling School - Cyber School Hub

Marling School is pleased to be part of the National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber School Hub initiative, sharing equipment and skills with schools in Stroud and the surrounding area. We can support your classroom with the loan of innovative technology, developing pupils understanding of the digital landscape by using real world applications and tested classroom experiments. The range of equipment available on free loan means there is something suitable for all age groups.

This area is currently under construction, check back for more information in September 2023.

In the meantime, for more information, please telephone Marling School 

Literacy & Reading
Literacy and Reading at Marling School

Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. It is a bulwark against poverty, and a building block of development…. For everyone, everywhere, literacy is, along with education in general, a basic human right…. Literacy is, finally, the road to human progress and the means through which every man, woman and child can realise his or her full potential.
- Kofi Annan
At Marling School, we are committed to developing the literacy and reading skills of all our students, in the firm belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum.
To support literacy and to develop a love at reading at Marling, we do the following:
KS3 students have a fortnightly library lesson in which they read and discuss texts aloud and work through the KS3 Bronze, Silver and Gold reading schemes.
KS3 students have a fortnightly literacy lesson to develop their spelling, reading comprehension skills, oracy, grammar and writing.
KS3 and 4 students read as part of a regular programme of tutor time activities. This includes silent reading as well as a booklet of texts that can be read aloud to demonstrate reading skills and expand vocabulary, while giving students the opportunity to learn about and discuss a range of interesting topics from the environment, to health and well-being, to equality and human rights.
Mini Debating takes place fortnightly in KS4-5 tutor groups for students to discuss important world issues. During the tutor time students develop their oracy (ability to communicate ideas clearly) , learn to practise expressing ideas coherently and, most importantly, listen to different viewpoints.
In KS5, departments share suggested reading and super curricular lists with students prior to starting Y12. Lists of Recommended Super Curricular Reads per subject are also available in the library.
As part of the Marling Diamond, Year 12 students volunteer in KS3 library lessons to hear students read aloud.
Teachers and Support Staff display ‘I am currently reading…’ posters in their work spaces to share their love of reading.
Students’ literacy is tested in Y7 and 10 and interventions are put in place as necessary. All the data is shared with colleagues to inform their teaching and scaffolding.
Poets and writers come into school to give talks and groups of students attend the Cheltenham Literature Festival each year.
Prizes are given to students who complete the Library Reading Scheme. Those who finish the scheme by Term 5 are invited to a ‘Laureates Lunch’ as well.
We celebrate World Book Day each year and this year we are planning a Whole School Agatha Christie event.
All departments focus on Dynamic Dialogue and Disciplinary Literacy in their lessons so students can ‘Read/ Write/ Listen and Speak like a (eg Scientist). Keywords are displayed and work is assessed using Whole School Literacy Codes.