The College’s curriculum broadly follows and extends the National Curriculum to allow for a proper combination of breadth and specialisation and is supported by a wide range of academic extension and enrichment activities through societies, lectures, theatre trips, museum and gallery visits, debates, poetry readings, conferences and concerts creating a full intellectual co-curriculum which recognises that qualifications alone do not produce a broadly educated person.
Time is allowed in the curriculum for co-curricular activities, and on occasions the timetable is suspended or modified to allow activities to occur, such as CCF or Outdoor Activities field days, sports fixtures and subject-specific day trips. There is a solid emphasis placed upon success in public examinations, but the College also takes seriously its responsibility in preparing pupils to succeed beyond school, at university and in their subsequent career.
There are five year groups in the College, split between the Upper and Lower Schools.
During the Shell (Year 9), pupils maintain the broadest possible curriculum in order to introduce them to the range of subjects available at Marlborough and options are kept to a minimum.
In the Remove (Year 10) and Hundred (Year 11), pupils will study a core of compulsory subjects to GCSE: English (Language and Literature), a modern foreign language, Maths, Religious Studies and Science. They will also continue to study Information Technology and Physical Education.
Subjects are taught in departmental areas to give all pupils the advantage of specialist facilities such as laboratories, art studios, computer suites, design technology workshops and modern language suites. The Memorial Library is located in the heart of the College and holds an extensive range of resources, on the shelves and online. This provision is well supported by specialist departmental libraries where pupils can find more in-depth resources.
The College expects Sixth Form pupils to choose three or four main subjects, each of which will lead to an A level qualification. They have the option of supplementing their choice with ab initio language courses, standalone AS courses and the excellent Extended Project Qualification. Pupils also enjoy a carousel of opt-in short courses that encourage them to explore their interests further and to find new passions.