The curriculum is delivered weekly through 30 lessons, each of 50 minutes’ duration.


Key Stage 3

Pupils follow a common curriculum in which a broad and balanced range of subjects is taught to all pupils. Courses followed are in English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign languages (French or Spanish), Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Technology, Computer Science, Drama, Music, Latin and Personal, Social and Health Education. Additionally, Year 8 pupils have lessons in a STEM course (which replaces D&T and Computer Science in that year).

Pupils are taught within mixed ability groups in Years 7, 8 and 9.  Groups are split for Technology and STEM.  In Mathematics setting takes place in Year 7, 8 and 9.   Differentiation is achieved through planning in subject Schemes of Work and subsequent lesson planning.  All pupils are given work suited to their abilities and aptitudes.  Pupils with Special Educational Needs follow a full programme of study which includes small group and additional support in mainstream lessons.


Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the Core Subjects, English, Mathematics, Double Science and an extended core comprising Physical Education and Religious Education/Citizenship.

Setting by ability takes place in Maths.  Where 2 groups exist in the same subject in an Option block subject heads can choose to set by ability if they so wish.  Outside of the compulsory subjects students have the option of choosing four other subjects from a range of GCSE courses.


Key Stage 5

The curriculum offer will include academic and vocational subjects studied at A level, vocational subjects at level 2 and 3, and re-take GCSEs in English and Mathematics.  Each year the precise offer will be tailored to the needs of students. 



Heads of Year have responsibility for the individual progress and study of each pupil within the year group.  They take responsibility for both academic progress and pastoral welfare as outlined in the generic job description.

Subject specific responsibility lies with Heads of Department with Heads of Subject as appropriate.

The Head of PSHE has responsibility for the programme covering Citizenship, Health, Careers Education and Guidance, Work Related Learning and Environment.  The Head of PSHE is supported by a small team in these areas. 

Curriculum enrichment and enhancement activities are co-ordinated by a member of the PE Department.

Special Educational Needs and the work of the SENCO come under the oversight of the Assistant Headteacher responsible for Inclusion.



The curriculum is delivered through 30 lessons each of 50 minutes’ duration.

(a) Key Stage 3

Pupils follow a common curriculum in which a broad and balanced range of subjects is taught to all pupils in line with National Curriculum Programmes of Study.  Courses followed are in English, Mathematics, Science, Drama, Modern Foreign languages (French or Spanish), Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Technology, Computing, Latin, Music and Personal and Social Health Education.

Differentiation is achieved through planning in subject Schemes of Work and all pupils are given work suited to their abilities and aptitudes.  Pupils with Special Educational Needs follow a full programme of study which includes small group and additional support in mainstream lessons.



(b) Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the National Curriculum Core Subjects, English, Mathematics, Science (Double) and a core comprising of Physical Education.  In addition, each pupil will choose four optional subjects from a range which includes for 2016-2017 the subject listed below.  All students will be supported through this process, especially with regards the English Baccalaureate:

Chemistry/Physics/Biology, Drama, French, Spanish, Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Technology, Computing, ICT, Music, Catering, Business Studies and Media Studies.


(c) Key Stage 5

Entry to the Sixth Form represents a major step in a student’s development. A process of social and academic adjustment occurs as students are encouraged to read more widely, think more deeply and develop the skills of intellectual inquiry. Consequently they mature very rapidly at this stage; personalities begin to flower and self-confidence and assurance grow. The School takes great care to consult and advise students and their parents on the choice of sixth-form courses.

Most pupils seeking entry to higher education take at least three subjects at AS Level in Year 12 and then specialise in three of these to full A Level in Year 13. In addition, an enhanced programme of study is offered through dedicated days and through the input of tutors and the wider Sixth Form team.  This includes: careers advice and life skills, and a wide range of practical, topical, social and moral issues for discussion. All Sixth Form students are allocated a Personal Tutor. This will be a member of the teaching staff who will take special care to monitor a pupil's progress academically and pastorally and who will advise on careers, further education and the completion of U.C.A.S. applications etc.


Current A level subjects offered are:

Art and Design, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Design Technology, Economics, English Language, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Philosophy and Ethics, Physics, Psychology and Spanish.

At both GCSE and A level, other subjects may be taken by individual agreement (for example in other Modern Foreign Languages) where this is commensurate with a particular student’s aptitudes and experience and where the School can make suitable provision. 

Current Vocational subjects offered are at Level 3:

BTEC Art & Design, BTEC Media, BTEC Public Services, BTEC Performing Arts and BTEC Sport.  All of these courses, except Public Services, are offered as Single A level or Double A level equivalent.

Our Level 2 provision consists of GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics re-takes and one BTEC course in Sport.


The Head of Music is Ms G. Watkins. Other teaching staff include:

  • Vlad Sokolov – music technology teacher
  • Chris Booth – guitar and bass teacher
  • Paul Jordanous – piano and keyboard teacher
  • Paul Bucknor – drum kit teacher
  • Mikey Cooper – violin and banjo teacher
  • George Pasca – ‘cello teacher
  • Piers Green - Saxophone teacher 

The philosophy of the department is that:

  • Each pupil is valued and has a sense of purpose and belonging though engaging in musical activities. 
  • Each pupil’s expectations are raised through curricular and extra-curricular activities, trips and performance opportunities. 
  • Each pupil gains enrichment through experiencing different styles and cultures of music, from European to Latino and African musical genres. 
  • Each pupil is given space and guidance/tuition to allow them to develop creative and expressive skills.


IMG 1411There is a main teaching room including 15 Mac computers equipped with Garageband , Logic Pro and Sibelius 8, a band practice room and 2 smaller practice rooms, all equipped with keyboards, drumkits and amps, and 2 music technology rooms, one with recording facilities.




Pupils from Years 7-9 have one music lesson per week and Key Stage 4 have 3. Key Stage 3 comprises of varied schemes of work that allow all pupils to develop in listening, composing and performing as they study the following units of work:



Half term 







Year 7

Intro to Music/ composing

Learning the keyboard/ singing

Learning the Ukulele

Chinese Music/ composition


Rock and Roll

Year 8

Keyboard skills


Learning the guitar


Composing with Sibelius


Year 9

Film Music/ Orchestra

Composing with logic Pro

Learning the drums

Rock/ group performance

Jazz and improvisation


Year 10

Composition 1 / Listening

Solo performance

Solo performance 

Composition 1 / Listening

Composition 1 / Listening

Solo performance

Year 11

Group performance

Group performance

Composition 2 /Appraisal

Composition 2 /Appraisal





SouthboroughHighSchl325Pupils have access to a vast array of instruments, including African drums, keyboards, ukuleles, electric guitars and of course they make use of the Mac computers. 

This feeds in to Key Stage 4 and the AQA GCSE course, where pupils do specified coursework in creating two compositions, taking part in a solo and a group performance and then take a final listening exam.

At Key Stage 5, pupils have the option to study Music A level, BTEC Music Technology or Rock School Performer qualifications.


Homework pages for Years 7-9 can be found on Honeycomb regularly. Many homeworks are of a practical nature and expect pupils to practise specific music on various instruments.



There are a wide range of extra-curricular activities at Southborough:

Extra-curricular activities


'Hermes' band practice/ Year 7 Play Time


Jazz Band/ Guitar club


Ukulele Club


'Bandits' band practice/ Garage Band club/ Samba Band


Singing club

Pictures from the many recent musical events at Southborough:IMG 5947

2015/ 2016 Music Gallery


 An example Year 10 Composition:

Daniel Holbrook GCSE Compo

Josh Binas - Falling Slowly

Practice rooms are available every lunchtime/ after school for bands and groups to rehearse.
GCSE clinics are available after school every Thursday for Years 10 and 11.



STEM at Southborough

STEM has been a huge force in the UK and internationally and is a term which brings together the following four academic disciplines to provide an enrichment programme in an interdisciplinary and applied approach;

  • Science: Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Maths

STEM subjects are major contributors to the prosperity of the UK and the government believes we need to further develop high levels of skills in these subject areas. 

During your time at Southborough you will be involved at some point in a STEM activity or project.

In Year 8 we offer a carousel of STEM subjects; taught in a project based setting with iterative design and critical thinking skills at the centre. We focus on hands on problem solving and last year offered the design and build of robots, programming microbits, Music technology, Food technology and Business skills and Design and build DT projects.

This Year we will be offering various projects around the theme of ‘Nutrition and Technology’ combining the specialisms of Sports Science, Computing, Food tech., Business and Design Technology.


Other STEM school projects:


STEM Club (for Year 7): focussing on Forensic Techniques, chemical experiments and Physical build projects (for example Water rockets)

CREST Award Science project (Year 9)

Skeleton Bob speed project with Tolworth Girls School (Year 7)

Various linked projects with St Marys University, Imperial London and Kingston University to name but a few.

STEM subjects at KS4

STEM subjects in the Sixth Form

STEM subjects are available to all in the school, including our mixed Sixth Form.  In addition to studying STEM subjects, the students understanding of STEM is enriched by a range of “super curriculum” activities and events, which are supported by our team of Year 12 and 13 STEM Ambassadors

They will play a valuable role in supporting the delivery of the STEM Club sessions and various projects that are run throughout the academic year, which they can include in their UCAS personal statements.

STEM ambassador students to be announced shortly.

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Curriculum aims

  • To enable pupils to reach their full potential.
  • To enable students to explore media texts with confidence and knowledge.
  • To create their own media texts and have the choice to follow, extend or challenge conventions.
  • To develop an interest in the richness of all areas of media output.
  • To give pupils experience of a wide range of media texts.
  • To provoke and stimulate a sense of personal and social awareness and an ability to empathise with others.
  • To encourage pupils to be both self-critical and aware of the media in the wider context.
  • To make pupils aware that skills developed in Media Studies have a vital contribution to make their work across the whole curriculum and to life outside school, including the workplace.


GCSE AQA media studies

FullSizeRender 25Unit 1: Investigating the Media

  • Written Examination Paper
  • 1 hour 30 mins – 60 marks – 40%
  • The subject for examination in 2013 - The Music Press.
  • Material for the examination will be released one month before exam.

Unit 2: Understanding the Media 90 marks – 60%

  • Controlled Assessment will comprise of three assignments: Introductory assignment (Print media);
  • Cross-media
  • Assignment (Film trailer & marketing); Practical Production and Evaluation.


BTEC Creative Media Production


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 BTEC Creative Media Production offers a practical approach that can be lacking in more traditional routes, by applying learning to real life situations. Students have to undertake a number of units for which they present evidence

based on actual work and studies. This allows them to demonstrate their skills and knowledge. Assessment is 100% course work based.

BTEC Level 2 First (Single)

This course is offered to Key Stage 4 students, starting in Year 10. The following units are covered over a two-year period: Research for Creative Media Production, Communication techniques for Creative Media Production, and a choice from Video Production, Print Production and/or Advertising Production.

BTEC Level 3 Nationals (Double or Single)

This course is offered to students aged 16 upwards. Some of the units covered over a two-year period include: Research techniques for the Creative Media Industries, Production management projects, Film & Video Editing Techniques, Television & Film Studies, Music Video Production, Stop Motion Animation Production and Advertisement Production for Television.


OCR A Level media studies

IMG 4643


Students will undertake the production of a media text; such as a magazine. (COURSEWORK)

Students will study TV Drama and gain an understanding of textual analysis and representations and learn how to analyse texts unseen. (EXAMINATION)

Students will also study a particular media industry e.g. the music business. (EXAMINATION)


Students will produce a media portfolio comprising of one major production and two related productions. (COURSEWORK)

Using current theory students will critically evaluate their productions and undertake a study of contemporary media issues; such as post modernism and computer games, film and pop video. (EXAMINATION)


GCSE AQA Media Studies
BTEC Creative Media Production
OCR A-Level Media Studies

School Calendar

Southborough High School
Hook Road
020 8391 4324
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