Curriculum Intent

The intent of the curriculum is to seek to deliver the school’s purpose, which is to ‘make the difference for all of our students’, so that they can aspire, commit and excel at all stages of their secondary education, and beyond. This intent is underpinned by the school values of:







Curriculum Implementation

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

Key Stage 3 (three years)

Pupils follow a common curriculum diet in which a broad and balanced range of subjects is taught to all pupils. The National Curriculum underpins the content and learning aims in all curriculum areas. Courses followed are in English, Mathematics, Science, Modern Foreign languages (French or Spanish), Geography, History, Religious Education, Physical Education, Art, Information Technology, Design and Technology, Drama, Music and Personal Development (additional information below).

Pupils are primarily taught within mixed ability groups in Years 7, 8 and 9. Groups are split (in size) for Design and Technology, to enable students to safely participate in a rotation of practical learning opportunities in cooking, textiles, product design, electronics and graphic design. In Mathematics, students are grouped in either ‘accelerated’ or ‘mixed’ classes, which allow for the delivery of content and skill development at an appropriate pace for all learners. 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 and / or Disabilities follow a full programme of study, which includes small group and additional support in mainstream lessons. All pupils, including Key Group pupils (disadvantaged, SEND, English as an additional language and outstanding learners) are supported via the school’s improvement priorities (1: Quality of learning and teaching; 2: targeted academic support; 3: wider school strategies).

Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the Core Subjects - English, Mathematics, Combined Science and an extended core comprising Physical Education and Personal Development (additional information below).

Setting by ability takes place in Maths and English. Where 2 groups exist in the same subject in an Option block, Heads of Faculty or Subject leads can choose to set by ability if there is justification to do so (eg: Higher / Foundation tiers). Outside of the compulsory subjects students have the option of choosing four other subjects from a range of GCSE courses with ‘Triple’ (separate) science forming one of those options. During the Summer Term of Y9, students have an options interview where they discuss their GCSE options with the school curriculum leader and their Head of Year.

Key Stage 5

The curriculum offer includes academic and vocational courses at A level, vocational subjects at level 2 and 3, and re-take GCSEs in English and Mathematics. A Level 2 pathway (1-year) exists for students to support their transition onto A-Levels / L3 vocationa courses / further education / apprenticeships / traineeships. An ‘Academic Foundation Pathway (1-year Applied Science BTEC L3)and Core Maths - AS Level in Mathematical Studies) is also available to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-Level. This pathway allows students to utilise the 3-years of available funded study. Each year the precise 6th Form offer (subjects) will be tailored to the needs of students.

Personal Development

The personal development of the students is paramount in delivering our purpose and our Personal Development curriculum is delivered on a rolling basis, with Personal Development Time (PDT lessons) suspending the normal curriculum once per week. The PDT curriculum is delivered to students by their tutors and includes:

  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE)
  • Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)
  • Health education
  • Careers (including Independent Advice and Guidance)
  • Citizenship


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 Faculty with Heads of Subject as appropriate.

The PDT lead and SLT line manager have responsibility for ensuring the successful learning and teaching of the PDT curriculum, which is delivered by the tutors.

Curriculum enrichment and enhancement activities are co-ordinated by Heads of Faculty, Heads of Year and the 6th Form team, with oversight from SLT (Senior Assistant Headteachers)

Special Educational Needs (including students with disabilities) and the work of the SENDCO come under the oversight of the Senior 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 Development.

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 and / or Disabilities follow a full programme of study which includes small group and additional support in mainstream lessons.

The number of lessons per week for each subject is below:

Year/ Subject En Ma Sc Hi Ge RE IT MFL PE Ar DT Mu Dr
7 5 4 3 2 2 1 1 2 4 2 2 1 1
8 4 5  3
9 4  4




(b)  Key Stage 4

All pupils follow the National Curriculum Core Subjects, English, Mathematics, Science (Combined) and an extended core comprising of Physical Education (games) and Personal Development. In addition, each pupil will choose four optional subjects from a range which includes the subjects listed below (subject to change, depending on demand, availability and relevance). All students will be supported through this process, especially with regards the English Baccalaureate. We aim not to restrict the choice of options by allowing the interview process and student choices to inform the timetabling (blocks):

Triple Science: Drama

Biology, Chemistry & Physics

Media Studies
Geography Food and Nutrition
History Design & Technology
Religious Studies Engineering
French Construction
Spanish Digital Information
Physical Education Business Studies
Sport Enterprise
Art & Design Prince’s Trust


(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 in Year 12 and and continue on with them into Year 13. Currently, Core Mathematics is the only one offered as a stand-alone AS level. In addition, the Personal Development curriculum also runs through the 6th Form (whole school) and an enhanced programme of study is offered through dedicated days and through the input of tutors, the wider Sixth Form team and independent professionals (eg: careers guidance counsellor). 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 / higher education and the completion of UCAS applications etc. Students are also supported with their transition into the 6th Form by including a minimum of 5 periods of supervised study on their timetables each week, which take place in the 6th Form area in the library.


Current A-level subjects offered are:

Art History
Biology Mathematics
Chemistry Further Mathematics
Economics Mathematical Studies
English Literature  (Core Maths - AS-Only)
French Physics
Geography Spanish


Students may opt to take an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), which is equivalent to an AS-level qualification.

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 Applied Science BTEC Performing Arts
BTEC Art & Design BTEC Sport
BTEC Business Studies Applied Diploma in Criminology
BTEC Creative Digital Media Production  


Our Level 2 provision consists of:

  • NCFE Engineering
  • BTEC Enterprise
  • GCSE Photography & Design
  • BTEC Sport
  • GCSE English and GCSE Mathematics re-takes


A large part of the curriculum is compulsory for all students but there is also an element of choice which means that students can shape their own learning programme in KS4 according to their interests, their future education and career aspirations. The procedure for selecting option subjects is explained in these pages. Please spend some time reading this information to help your son make the best choices.

The “option procedure” begins in the Spring Term and during the Summer Term the school works very hard to make pupil choices possible. At Southborough we are keen to make the decision making process as easy as possible and to ensure that the right decisions are made.

We are committed to ensuring that all students at Southborough students have a broad and balanced curriculum. Most GCSE subjects are now examined at the end of Year 11 following the removal of the modular exam system. However, some subjects such as GCSE Art and DT, as well as most BTEC courses still contain a certain amount of external assessment and coursework components, and are no longer wholly coursework based, whilst most subjects also carry a number of marks for answers containing the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar. This means that syllabuses and assessment specifications will be different to those experienced by former Key Stage 4 cohorts.

Relevant questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Which subjects do I enjoy?
  • Which subjects am I good at?
  • In which subjects have I made most progress since Year 7?
  • Which subjects have I been advised to take?
  • Which subjects do I need to consider for a career and my Sixth Form studies?

To help to assist our students in making their choices, our subject leads for optional subjects have put together videos giving an overview of course content and discussing where these subjects might lead. View them here.

Any questions can be directed to teachers, Ms King or Mr Haque.

Thank you

The Engineering Faculty consists of Design & Technology, ICT and Business.


To create:

Learners who develop their curiosity, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, so that they can progress successfully through the different curriculum options in the subsequent Key stages of learning and onto further education / careers within the STEM related subjects.

Individuals with these attitudes and transferable skills that will equip our learners for

- their future everyday life;

- the changing digital world;

- exciting and fulfilling STEM related jobs, careers and life opportunities;

- the increasingly complex business world in which we live in and facilitate an environment where they are informed and confident consumers, employees and entrepreneurs. 

To develop an Engineering curriculum to make a difference for all pupils which:

- Gives opportunities to create a culture of high aspirations;

- Meets the needs of all individuals;

- Raises standards of achievement;

- Allows all to achieve success regardless of starting point.


Design and Technology

Clear lines of progression over 7 years ensuring good progress;Offer a broad range of subject knowledge engaging in an iterative process at Key Stage 3 through these stages - Design; Make; Evaluate; Technical knowledgeA range of optional pathways are made available at Key Stage 4 so that students can specialise in areas most relevant to them and their career aspirations –City & Guilds technical award in constructing and maintaining the built environment;Level 1/2 NCFE Tech Award in Engineering (YR10, YR11 & YR12); GCSE Design TechnologyLevel 3 BTEC National Extended Certificate in Engineering (Year 12)

Information Technology

A Key Stage 3 Scheme of Work which progresses skill sets in a variety of software packages, aimed at giving students skills for life as well as focusing on skills needed to complete different GCSE courses. At KS 4, the course is the BTEC Technical Award in Digital Information Technology (Edexcel) KS 5 New Course Cambridge Technical Level 3 for 2021, to follow on from the modules taught in the BTEC in YEARs 10-11, although could be taken by any student with an interest/passion for IT.

Business Studies

The Business department at Southborough High School aims to develop young people in Business and entrepreneurship. To do this we have chosen to run up-to-date courses and extra-curricular activities that learners can choose from Year 10 with clear lines of progression till the end of Year 13.These include:​GCSE Business Studies, Level 2 BTEC Technical Award in Enterprise (YR10, YR11 & YR12) and at Level 3 BTEC National Extended Certificate in Business (YR13), A-Level Economics and Young Enterprise EPQ (YR12)

- Relates to all Faculty departments

- Encourage cross-curricular links with core English, Mathematics and Science skills and embedding them in each of the projects;

Ensure all students’ progress is in line with national expectations;

The learning environment supports the core values of the School, Aspiration (aiming high), Commitment (working hard), Excellence (achieving our best) to give students the full learning experience;

Extra-curricular time offers homework clubs and revision master classes.


Relates to all Faculty departments

The varied KS4 & 5 pathways allow our students to leave Southborough and go on to a range of purposeful destinations as employees, apprentices and University students. We make the difference.The key stage 3 curriculum is broad and balanced offering students the opportunity to experience 6 major projects meeting all national curriculum requirements.Students will have the opportunity to select one of three optional subjects at KS4.In the sixth form students make their choices to specialise in A-level and BTEC courses. These courses are all taught by specialist A-level and BTEC teachers and fulfil UCAS entry point requirements for university courses that students may choose post sixth form.Learners in KS4 have a clear progression to KS5 Business courses and an opportunity to engage in extra-curricular activities. KS5 courses equip learners with the knowledge, understanding and transferable skills that prepare them for: Higher Education (Business Finance, Business Management and Business Enterprise courses etc.), apprenticeships (in Marketing, Accounting, Human Resources etc.), full-time work (Retail, Sales, Operations etc.) and entrepreneurial aspirations.

Engineering Currriculum

Key Stage 4

NCFE Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Engineering

The course is made up of two components: a non-exam assessment that is internally assessed and worth 60%  and one that’s externally set and assessed worth the remaining 40%. In the firsy year of the course, students will cover the following content areas -

Content area 1: Engineering disciplines
Content area 2: Applied science and mathematics in engineering
Content area 3: Reading engineering drawings
Content area 4: Properties, characteristics and selection of engineering materials
Content area 5: Engineering tools, equipment and machines
Content area 6: Hand-drawn engineering drawings
Content area 7: Computer-aided design (CAD) engineering drawings
Content area 8: Production planning techniques
Content area 9: Applied processing skills and techniques Students will investigate the selection of materials, proprietary components, making processes and disassembly of a given engineered product. They will plan, reproduce, inspect and test a single component.

In the second year of the course, students will investigate and create solutions to problems in response to a set synoptic assessment brief. They will have two opportunities to sit the externally assessed exam (November and March)

The assessment structure is also designed so that students can build on what they learn, and develop their skills, as they move through the course.


Key Stage 5:

BTEC Tech Award Engineering Level 1 / 2

The Pearson BTEC Level 1/Level 2 Tech Award in Engineering (Qualification Number: 603/0829/1), is for learners who want to acquire technical knowledge and technical skills through vocational contexts by studying mechanical, electrical/electronic and engineering design as part of their  learning programme. The qualification recognises the value of learning skills, knowledge and vocational attributes to complement GCSEs. The qualification will broaden the learners experience and understanding of the varied progression options available to them.

The Award gives learners the opportunity to develop sector-specific knowledge and skills in a practical learning environment. The main focus is on four areas of equal importance,  which cover the:
• development of key engineering practical and technical skills, such as research, observation, measurement, making, using computer-aided design (CAD) and disassembly
• knowledge of key engineering sectors (mechanical, electrical/electronic and engineering design) and the interrelation of each in industry
• knowledge of the stages involved in planning and implementing an engineering project
• knowledge and skills involved in the investigation of solutions to engineering problems in response to a given brief.

This Award complements the learning in other GCSE programmes by broadening the application of ‘design and make’ tasks, working with an engineering brief, testing and evaluation.

Constructing and Maintaining the Built Environment
City & Guilds Level 2 Technical Award

This qualification allows you to explore the Construction and Built Environment industry. If you enjoy practical, hands on tasks but also want to discover how buildings are constructed and what happens when they require repair, maintenance or refurbishment then this qualification is for you.

You will explore the structure of the construction and built environment industry in terms of how different people work together to deliver construction projects. You will develop an understanding of what makes a building and how the selection of different materials, affects the overall look and feel. You will have the opportunity to carry out a selection of realistic practical construction tasks related to the repair, maintenance and refurbishment of a building. The qualification has four units:
 · Working in the built environment
· Construction methods and materials
· Maintenance, repair and refurbishment of buildings
· Using tools to construct and maintain buildings

The qualification develops the following knowledge, understanding and skills: 

  • · how people in the construction industry work together to deliver projects
    · an understanding of how and why different materials are used in the construction of buildings
    · how to interpret sources of information used in construction projects
    · producing plans and recommending actions for remedial action for buildings that require repair, maintenance and refurbishment
    · the importance of working safely on construction projects
    · different skills and techniques used in construction projects Level 2 Technical Award in Constructing and Maintaining the Built Environment (6720-21) 7
    · how to evaluate skills and techniques.
  • The understanding developed is fundamental to an introduction to any aspect of Construction and Building Services, including:
  • Design and Planning
  • Civil Engineering
  • Construction project management
  • Building services engineering specific qualifications (eg Electrical Services, Plumbing)
  • Construction craft qualifications

Curriculum Maps

Design & Technology

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11


Year 10

Year 11


Year 10

Year 11


School Calendar

Southborough High School
Hook Road
020 8391 4324
Registered Office: Hook Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 5AS, Registered in England
& Wales, Company Registration No. 07776910
© 2016 Southborough High School / Designed & Built by GoAgency


We will try to respond within 48 hours