Curriculum Overview

Click here for the full Marriotts Curriculum Statement

The curriculum at Marriotts is more than the lessons that our students enjoy. It is the whole school experience: from assemblies to educational visits, from cultural capital discussions to student-voice sessions, from life skills and Humantopia to extra-curricular clubs and intervention sessions.

We believe our curriculum makes a difference to who our students are and who they will become, and fosters in our students a sense of character founded in our emphasis of: “Aim high! Work Hard! Be Kind!”. It gives them the currency – in knowledge and skills, examination results and enriched experiences – necessary to take their next exciting, informed and ambitious steps.

At Marriotts our curriculum aims to embody our school mission statement of 'Aim high, Work hard, Be Kind' and is:

  • based on a strong core of knowledge, skills and vocabulary, which is specified, taught, applied, assessed and securely learnt.

  • exceptionally well-planned, assessed and sequenced to allow all to succeed.

  • manageable and efficient and is delivered by staff who have secure knowledge, skills and expertise in how to teach – with strong subject knowledge.

  • designed to expand horizons, give choice and develop our students as responsible learners and citizens.

The Curriculum provision at Marriotts is broad, balanced and fully inclusive. There is an emphasis on promoting strength and success in traditional academic subjects, but this is balanced with a desire to foster variety and personalisation in our provision. The Curriculum is constantly reviewed and developed to not only meet the needs and strengths of our students, but to provide rich opportunities for them to develop a range of skills and enjoy memorable experiences.

Throughout our Curriculum the core of English and Maths is key, recognising the importance of success and progress in these key subjects. There is a real breadth of courses and range of levels across the Curriculum, addressing the needs of all groups of students; a very strong traditional academic offer balanced with specific vocational and alternative courses.

Curriculum Details

Due to the requirements of bubbled year groups and other measures to contain Covid-19 some year groups may have limited access to specialist teaching spaces such as science labs and workshops. During the year we will still endeavour to facilitate experiences of these aspects though they may be completed on dedicated days to allow the preservation of year group bubbles. Curriculum areas are constantly reviewing their curricula to minimise the impact of the constrained rooms. The below is our intent under normal operation.

Details of the full curriculum that will be followed by students currently in Year 7 -13 at Marriotts School can be found through the individual Year group or Subject pages; please note these pages are updated on an ongoing basis and therefore may be subject to change.


General principles

Due to the requirements of bubbled year groups and other measures to contain Covid-19 the timings of the school day have been adjusted to provide staggered breaks, lunches and finish times. The below is our intent under normal operation

• The School operates a two week timetable. There are five periods per day, each of which last for 60 minutes. There are 50 periods in each timetable cycle.

• Students have a morning registration of 20 minutes everyday In this time all students in year 7-13 engage in tutor activities based around literacy, numeracy, school values of "Aim High! Work Hard! Be Kind!" and SMSC. There is also a weekly year group assembly.

Our curriculum is designed and implemented to ensure that every single student, particularly disadvantaged students and including those with SEN and/or disabilities, reaches and exceeds their potential and leaves us with the qualifications, knowledge, skills and attitudes that they need to move on to the next stage of their lives.

We see the curriculum as the broad mix of all the experiences gained by our students, including pastoral time, assemblies, lifeskills, daily lessons, Academic intervention, development of our core values and Healthy Relationships, trips and visits and other extra-curricular experiences.

Our curriculum intent encompasses our mission and vision:

Personal Development - The curriculum and wider experiences are inclusive and encourage and provide opportunities for all students to become healthy, happy and confident young adults who make a positive contribution to their diverse communities by demonstrating fundamental British values.

Curriculum - A progressive, deep, broad and knowledge rich curriculum with clear milestones and expectations for all students.

Character - Helping students develop healthy relationships with themselves, others and the community as well as learning habits that enable them to be successful at school and beyond.

Futures - Helping students develop a strong sense of personal responsibility, independence and a sense of fulfilment that enables them to securely take the next steps in education, training and employment

Students at Marriotts are on a five/seven-year curriculum and personal development learning journey. Our five/seven-year curriculum is carefully designed and implemented in such a way that it enables pupils to build their knowledge, understanding and skills in a systematic and progressive way. Cognitive science principles are used as teachers plan learning that allows students to embed and recall knowledge through techniques such as interleaving of topics and spaced practice. There are high levels of challenge built into lessons, together with targeted support, in order to ensure all learners can make excellent progress from their starting points. Teachers provide a wide range of varied activities that enable students to work interactively and collaboratively.

“The range and quality of courses, including personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, prepare pupils well for the next stage of their education. Pupils participate enthusiastically in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including a project to build a school in Gambia.”  Ofsted 2016

For further details about the curriculum offer at Marriotts, please contact:

Mrs J Leach, Assistant Headteacher:

Key Stage 3 (Year 7, 8 and 9)

The focus of Key Stage 3 is to ensure a nurturing learning environment with a specific aim of developing strong basic skills alongside a broad and balanced curriculum. This provides a foundation for good progress in the future years. Each department offers a relevant, balanced and differentiated curriculum, written by our teachers for our students, centered on coverage of the National Curriculum.

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum continues the progressive learning journey from Key Stage 2, building strongly on the individual and collective foundations of skills and knowledge already established at our partner primary schools. Students in Years 7, 8 & 9 follow the National Curriculum. As students progress through the Key Stage there is increasing opportunity for them to craft and personalise their curriculum. In Year 9 students cho​ose an area of focus in from our technology subjects (Product Design, Art and Food Preparation) and in the Performing Arts (Music, Drama and Dance); the additional concentrated time will enable students to ‘master’ the subject, fostering deeper conceptual understanding of the subjects they choose.

Year 9 is not a bridging year or the start or the start of GCSE, but it the time where students will build powerful knowledge which ensures that they are sufficiently challenged according to their starting points, have (a broad and) deep understanding of the essential content of the National Curriculum and grasp the key concepts needed for high-level success at Year 11 and beyond. Key Stage 3 lessons are designed to develop students’ skills and knowledge ready for their Key Stage 4 qualifications.  To this end we offer a wide range of subjects within our Key Stage 3 to enable a broad base from which to opt in Key Stage 4.

•In Key Stage 3 students are taught in mixed-ability groups in the following areas; Music, Art, Dance, Drama, PE, D&T, Computer Science, Geography, History, MFL and Religious Studies.  Academic setting is introduced in Mathematics and English, during Year 7 and Science from Year 8.

•During year 7 and 8 students follow a carousel of technology subjects (Food Technology, RM and Textiles). Additionally, students select a language of choice in MFL (Spanish, French and German) on entry to year 7 which they continue to specilise in during Year 8.

•Any student who arrives in Year 7 below the expected level of literacy and/or numeracy will receive help and support through our intervention programme delivered through the English and Maths subject teams and also learning support.

•We take enormous pride in in providing a high standards of pastoral care and guidance, so that students secure a solid base with which to build their future, this happens both in and outside of the classroom.

Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11)

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 caters for students of all abilities and provides a diverse subject offer as well as an aspirational target-driven expectation for all students. Key Stage 4 is the period when students build on their earlier learning and prepare for adult life, higher education and employment. Students in Year 10 start their chosen GCSE courses and other nationally recognised qualifications including BTECs.  The school prides itself in ensuring that students achieve the necessary qualifications and skills to be successful in reaching their chosen next steps, and to developing high-performing, ambitious and motivated citizens, ready for a positive future.

In Key Stage 4 students follow a core curriculum plus four option subjects which allows them to take up to 10 GCSEs. This permits us to maintain breadth within the curriculum and allow time to visit, revisit and strengthen the transferability of knowledge gained. .

• We believe our Key Stage 4 programme offers a number of advantages varying from subject to subject: some can deliver the full GCSE specification in fewer lessons per week, as it is spread across three years allowing us to maintain breadth for all. It has also significantly increased the number of students following the full Ebacc pathway and allowed us to deliver our commitment to a broad and balanced curriculum offer that does not force students to narrow their curriculum too early. 

• All students follow a common pathway of English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Combined Science and Lifeskills. In addition, all students in Year 10 and 11 also follow a Level 2 examined PE course. We are committed to ensuring our students are aware of the importance of long-term fitness and healthy lifestyles and this is cemeneted by our PE curriculum which promotes personal wellbeing, team-work, leadership and a long-term healthy lifestyle.

• Students are encouraged to study the English Baccalaureate, but not forced. The value of the Ebacc is fully explained to parents and students during the options process and through our lifeskills programme, and different pathways guide students in their choices. A strong emphasis is also placed upon History, Geography, French, German and Spanish.

• In addition to History, Geography, French, German and Spanish we also offer Art, Business, Media Studies, Health and Social Care, Computer Science, Drama, IT, D&T, Food and Nutition, Music and Dance. Academic setting is used in Mathematics, English and Science. Students are encouraged to study a broard range of options across our subject offer which is fully explained to parents and students during the options process. 

Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and 13)

Marriotts Sixth Form offers an extremely broad and balanced curriculum, including a large range of courses, allowing students to select a bespoke programme to provide them with the experience and qualifications they need to move to their chosen next step. 

Our Sixth form students work hard to achieve very strong examination results and we are extremely successful in working with students to achieve places at their chosen universities, FE colleges and work or training placements. The majority of students study with us for two years, although some follow courses which last for one year. Students typically study three subjects in their first year in the Sixth Form, although some choose to follow two or four subjects.

The Post-16 curriculum has reflected the considerable expansion of interest in Sixth Form studies at Marriotts. There is also the opportunity to expand options further via the Stevenage Sixth Consortium (4 school consortium). Courses offered are reviewed each year in light of student interest following discussions with the Year 11 cohort of students.

We currently offer courses in:

A level Courses Vocational Course
  • Art
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English Literature
  • Extended Project Qualification
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • Further Maths
  • Geography
  • Government and Politics
  • History
  • Media Studies
  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Product Design
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Applied Science BTEC
  • Business Studies BTEC
  • Childcare BTEC
  • Health and Social Care BTEC
  • Information Technology BTEC
  • Music Rock School Level 3
  • Performing Arts BTEC - Drama
  • Performing Arts BTEC - Dance
  • Psychology BTEC
  • Public Services BTEC
  • Sport and Physical Activity CTEC (single)
  • Sport and Physical Activity CTEC (double)

Full details of our Key Stage 5 curriculum choices can be found in the Sixth Form prospectus within our dedicated "Sixth Form" area of our website.