Marlborough Super Curricular Programme

The Marlborough Super Curricular Programme (MSCP) has been designed to support students accessing super curricular activities to encourage and develop critical thinking skills, grow confidence in academic discussion and improve levels of oracy - all experiences that will be valuable in any higher education application process. To do well at a top university, it is important to have a) enthusiasm and curiosity for your subject and b) the capacity for independent study.

The idea of ‘extra-curricular’ activities is a familiar one, where the ‘extra’ refers to an activity being outside of your regular curriculum, e.g. doing a sport or music and drama activity.

Super-curricular activities are those that take the subjects you study further, beyond that which your teacher has taught you or what you’ve done for homework. You may go into more depth on something you picked up in the classroom or learn about a new topic altogether. You can explore your subject in many ways; for example, by reading, as well as watching videos online, downloading lectures, visiting museums or entering academic competitions.

Students at Marlborough have been selected for the MSCP based on their academic attainment and their academic potential going forward across all subjects.

Based on the sessions that are being held this year, we are looking at developing a bank of resources that students can use to enrich their out of classroom learning. This may be in the form of reading lists, podcasts or journal articles.

Years 7-11

The format of the programme follows a termly pattern, by which each year group meets once a term to discuss a big question. We use material from Oxford University’s Oxplore Resource which has been designed to encourage students to discuss, debate and be critical of what they read and think. The sessions have been designed with the help of our link college, Trinity College Oxford, whose involvement has allowed us to ensure we are providing the most aspirational and academic sessions.

As well as these opportunities to meet as a group in school, we have previously visited both Oxford and Cambridge University as part of an Aspiration Programme. Furthermore, we have had a number of visitors from universities who have spoken to us on their specialist subject area and provided insight into the university application process.

The year 7-11 groups meet termly on a Monday afterschool from 3:15pm-4:15pm in M4. A list of each year group’s sessions can be found below.  

Year 12

In Year 12 the focus moves towards University applications. The areas we focus on include: course selection; personal statement writing; admissions assessments; and interviews - whilst retaining a focus on critical thinking and debate. Last year, we welcomed a number of university staff who spoke about the application process and delivered workshops on interview technique and personal statement writing. The Year 12 group meet once a week in the second half of Elective time in S1.

Year 13

In Year 13, we further focus in on the university application as at the beginning of the year our students will be submitting their UCAS forms. This being the case, initially we will be working with students who are making an early application for Oxford, Cambridge, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry. We will look at completing the application, the SAQ (Supplementary Application Questionnaire) and at any interview assessments. The Year 13 group is a drop-in group meeting weekly afterschool on a Wednesday in S1.

Year 7
Term 1

                                                         No Session

Term 2


What does it mean to critically think (do aliens exist?)
Term 3


Does Music matter?
Term 4


Would it be better if we all spoke the same language?
Term 5


Is the internet bad?
Term 6


Should we eat meat?


Year 8

Term 1


Should nurses be paid the same as footballers?
Term 2


Can war be a good thing?
Term 3


Can you choose to be healthy?
Term 4


Should we ban all guns?
Term 5


Are zoos a good thing?
Term 6


Are explosions always destructive?


Year 9

Term 1


Should we believe the history books?
Term 2


Natasha Ryan, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages
Term 3


Discussion of GCSE options
Term 4


Are humans more important than other animals?
Term 5


Do we need a royal family?
Term 6


Should healthcare be free?


Year 10

Term 1 07/10/2019

Is it too late for climate change?

Term 2 02/12/2019

Is it ok to ban certain books?

Term 3 03/02/2020

Natasha Ryan, Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages

Term 4 23/03/2020

Rebecca Costello, Faculty of English Language and Literature

Term 5 18/05/2020

Should you ever vote tactically?

Term 6 29/06/2020

Would you rather be free than safe?


Year 11

Term 1

14/10/2019 Is the death penalty ok?

Term 2

09/12/2019 Should under 18's be allowed to vote?

Term 3

10/02/2020 Year 12 options

Term 4

30/03/2020 Is a robot a person?

Term 5


GCSE Exams

Term 6