Personal Development
  • We are Marling

In addition to the academic education that we provide in Marling School, we deliver a wide programme of Personal Development education and activities. Personal Development encompasses everything we do, beyond the core national curriculum, to support students to develop in many diverse areas of life, helping them to manage their wellbeing and relationships, preparing them for the adult world and teaching them how to engage with society.

We believe that Personal Development education is important. Adolescence, through to the later teenage years, can include challenging times, and we want to help our students manage that transition. In addition, the world our young people live in seems increasingly complex and we need to help them to navigate that safely. Overall, we want to help our young people to be the best they can be - we want them to be kind, tolerant, respectful of others and educated about how to keep themselves safe in relationships and in the world.

In KS3 and KS4 we provide Personal Development education via timetabled Life skills lessons, tutor time activities and assemblies. In KS5 fortnightly tutor time sessions replace the lower school Life skills lessons. Cross-curricular links mean that PSHE topics are also reinforced by many other departments. Our Lifeskills and PSHE programmes are available below. In addition to timetabled sessions, an extensive programme of trips and talks, along with extra-curricular opportunities and student engagement, extends students’ personal development.

Our approach to students’ personal development in Marling is embodied in our We Are Marling statement, as part of which students come together to build character, achieve excellence and succeed together. We aim to ensure our diverse school is an inclusive and welcoming community for all.

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Our unifying statement 'We Are Marling' emphasises how important community and inclusion is to all of us. We are immensely proud of, and gain strength from, our community’s diversity and have a deep commitment to ensuring we are an inclusive community for all. 

We educate our students to be respectful and tolerant of all people in our community and beyond and to celebrate our differences as well as the things that we have in common. We believe that each and every individual in our community should feel welcomed and included in Marling School.

We are proud to have been awarded the Equaliteach Silver Award in October 2023, which is a recognition of the extent to which equality, diversity and inclusion is a thread than runs through every aspect of our school life.

We strive to continue to improve and set ourselves targets to build on our current strong foundations. Our specific equality targets are published below, but our work every day goes much wider than this.

  • Silver Equalities Award
Extra-Curricular Activities

Extracurricular and Super-Curricular Activities

At Marling we place great value on our extracurricular and super-curricular activities; they enhance skills, widen experiences and develop cultural capital, encourage passions, support well-being and social interactions, foster community relations, enhance career development... and so much more! They play a vital role in fostering well-rounded individuals who are not only academically prepared but also equipped with a wide range of skills, experiences, and interests that contribute to their personal growth and future success. 

Trips, Visits and Events 

Marling School is proud to offer a huge range of trips, visits and events. As part of the Marling School journey, educational visits provide opportunities for students to gain real world experience, learn independence and build character, and we work hard to ensure that a full range of visits are available to all our students. We are committed to organise trips, visits and events which cover the breadth of our curriculum, open up a variety of experiences to appeal to everyone, and are at a range of costs to ensure that our offer is fully inclusive.   

Plans for residential trips are published well in advance to enable parents to plan; these can be seen here Some are designed to be ’once in a lifetime’ trips and others are more closely aligned with the curriculum and are designed as super-curricular.  

Each year we run well over 50 day trips and in-school events, catering for all interests, subjects and year groups. These include subject lectures given by experts, wellbeing workshops, language experience days, trips to the theatre, industry days, participation in competitions, fieldtrips, university open days, science conference, and prison visits. Our most recent events and trips can be seen on our newsletter our social media feeds. 


Catering to all ages and interests, our lunchtime and after school clubs allow our students to be creative, perform, play sport and be active. Some clubs run regularly for the whole year, others may be focused on a short-term goal. Our current offering can be found here and include, among others, the Y7 ‘We are Marling’ camp, a fieldtrip to the Welsh coast, a GCSE Spanish trip to Cadiz, the History Department’s legendary Battlefields trip, a visit to CERN, and the annual Ski trip. 

Opportunities to contribute to our community 

Students from all year groups have the opportunity to give something back to their school community. From leading a club, to mentoring a younger student, from being an Eco or an Inclusion rep, to academic coaching, there are numerous ways that our students can contribute. At sixth form, this becomes a core part of the programme of study with all students taking part in activities that “Make a Difference” or “Inspire others” as part of the Marling Diamond programme

Aim of the AwardsThe DofE aims to stimulate the enthusiasms and energies of young people by presenting them with a challenging programme of activities. The award is available to anyone between the ages of 14 and 24 and the process of participation leads to personal development and new, well-earned confidence.

Marling School is a licensed organisation with the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and offers the award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.

Sections of the Award Each level of the award is achieved by completing a personal programme of activities in Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition. The Gold award also requires a fifth component of a Residential. Further information is available at

Age & Stage  The BRONZE award is available to students in Year 9. Students can sign up before Christmas and can get underway with their 3 sections immediately. It is the student’s responsibility to organise and fulfil the requirements for the Volunteering, Physical and Skills sections themselves but the school does give support and guidance in this. With regard the expedition section, the training and the first practice expedition takes place in the spring of Year 9 (Sharpness/Berkeley). The training includes; map reading, compass reading, navigational skills, distance route planning, camp craft, and the right way to pack your rucksack. The final qualifying expedition takes place a few weeks later in the Lambourn Downs which means they are able to have achieved their Bronze award by the end of Year 9, assuming of course that they have also completed their independent sections.

The SILVER award is available to students in Year 10 with expeditions taking place in the spring of Year 10 and the autumn of Year 11. Silver expeditions take part in more challenging terrain such as New Forest, Exmoor, Dartmoor or Brecon Beacons.

The GOLD award is available to students in Year 12/13 with expeditions taking place in the summer of Year 12 and Year 13. Marling offers walking expeditions (Peak District, Brecon Beacons, Lake District or Snowdonia National Park) and canoeing expeditions (River Wye). Some students may prefer to complete their GOLD expeditions overseas through a private organiser.

More information regarding the Duke of Edinburgh Award at Marling School can be found by contacting the DofE Manager, Mr Koller at


The Ten Key Principles of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award

  • Non-Competitive: The Award is a personal challenge and not a competition against others. Each participant's programme is tailor-made to reflect the individual starting point, abilities and interests.
  • Available to All: With a commitment to equal opportunities, the Award Programme is available to all young people who choose to take up its challenge.
  • Voluntary: Young people make a free choice to enter the programme and commit their own time to undertake the activities.
  • Flexible: Young people design their own programme, which can be geared to their choice and personal circumstances and also to local provision. They may enter for whichever level of Award best suits them, and may take as long as they wish to complete an Award.
  • Balanced: By choosing activities in each of four different Sections (five at Gold), participants undertake a balanced and wide ranging programme.
  • Progressive: At each level, the Award Programme demands more time and an increasing degree of commitment and responsibility from the participant.
  • Achievement Focused: Before starting an activity, young people are encouraged to set their own goals. If they aim for those goals and show improvement, they will achieve their Award.
  • Marathon, not a Sprint: The Award demands persistence and commitment and cannot be completed in a short burst of enthusiasm. Participants may want to continue with activities beyond the minimum time requirements set out for each level of the Award.
  • Personal Development: The Award is a programme of personal and social development. The value to young people is dependent on personal commitment, the learning process and the quality of the experience.
  • Enjoyable: Young people and helpers should find participation enjoyable and satisfying.
House Systems

The Marling School House System was established in 1966 with four houses: Carter, Elliott, Fuller and Greenstreet. The houses were named after previous Headteachers of the School. Bennett house was introduced in 2015, named after a student Marlingtonian, Eugene Bennett, who was awarded a Victoria Cross during the First World War.

Our houses lie at the centre of our school. New members of the school community are allocated to a house tutor group which they remain in for the duration of their time at school. In keeping with the school’s traditions, all siblings and children of former students will be allocated to the same house.

Each of our houses is a small community - together they make up our Marling community. In our houses we celebrate achievement, encourage creativity and value cooperation, so that we can develop our collective strength and talent. Through our house system students engage with and have a say on school life. Each tutor group elects a Student Council representative, who then participates in Student Council meetings with fellow house reps across the school. In addition, each tutor group nominates a sports rep; an environment rep, who takes part in the Eco Committee; and a Culture & Diversity rep, who is part of a group working to celebrate diversity and make our school an inclusive community.

We also take part in a wide variety of house activities, such as House Music and House Drama. Throughout the year students compete in a range of sporting competitions from cross country to house rugby to Sports Day athletics, culminating in the award of the House Cup in the summer term.

Each house has an associated colour, worn by students on their individual ties and PE uniforms. In 2020 we launched House Crests, thanks to the work of student Arthur Early and the staff Heads of House team. Wyatt Sell, a current student, also designed Varsity Style logos as an alternative to the crests. Based on the historical significance of the names of the houses, the symbols represent the houses as follows: 

  • Bennett - represented by the colour purple and the Victoria Cross
  • Carter - represented by the colour blue and symbolised by a greyhound
  • Elliott - symbolised by an elephant and represented by the colour yellow
  • Fuller - represented by the colour red and a beacon on fire
  • Greenstreet - a swift is the house symbol and green is, of course, their colour

 Each house has a member of staff as House Leader, whose role is to support the running of events, encourage fundraising for the annual house charities, and celebrate students’ achievements. This year’s house charities are local charities  Stroud District FoodbankThe Long Table  and Teens In Crisis 

Our Houses

Motto: Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum which translates as Never a Backward Step

Bennett house was founded in 2015 and was named after a Marlingtonian, Eugene Bennett, who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War. Being part of Bennett house, our values reflect that of Eugene Bennett: Bravery, Leadership, and Integrity. Each member of the house will reflect these values in everything that they set out to do.

Head of House - Mr Koller      

Motto: Aut viam inveniam aut faciam, Ex nihilo nihil which translates to I will either find a way or make one, nothing comes from nothing.


 Each member of Elliott house embraces their mantra, as it reflects the attitude they hold: they are masters of their own destiny. Every member of Elliott takes pride in working hard and helping their peers achieve their potential through teamwork.

“As a house we embrace every opportunity and make sure we fully commit to the excellent academic and extra-curricular opportunities available at Marling. We take part in all the house competitions and always compete well.’

Head of House

Motto: Carpe Diem which translates to Seize the Day

The fuller motto embodies the Fuller attitude of resilience, dedication and effort. Fuller is the house that focuses on togetherness and a strong sense of community. A great emphasis is placed on the importance of mutual respect and high standards.

‘’Our aim is to do the best we can, in whatever we can. We are proud of who we are and what we do.’

Head of House - Mrs Bailey-Yip


Motto: Diligentia, Virtus, Patientia, Communitas translates to  Hard work, Strength, Perseverance and Teamwork

Greenstreet students and staff embody the motto. Greenstreet pupils wear their uniform and green tie with pride. Our aim is to perform the best we can in and outside the classroom. We take part in all the house competitions competing with determination and always with a full team for events.

“You will be welcomed into the house and very quickly learn the house chant … GREEN - STREET. We look forward to seeing our new students wearing the legendary green tie when you start on your journey at Marling School’

Head of House - Mr Smith


MottoVictoria Concordia Crescit which translates as Victory Through Harmony


Carter’s house philosophy is about recognising the importance of working together, helping each other and trying to get the best results possible through teamwork and application.

Head of House - Miss Warner

Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG)

Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) 

For a detailed breakdown of the Careers Education, Information and Guidance (CEIAG) rationale at Marling School, please see the CEIAG policy below. 

There has never been a time when Careers guidance has been as important for young people as it is today. The landscape of education, training and employment opportunities that students need to navigate is complex and challenging. Careers education helps young people to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills that they need to make well-informed, carefully considered choices and plans that enable them to progress smoothly into further learning and work, and to help them manage their careers and sustain employability throughout their lives. 

Our careers programme relates to a range of work related elements of the Marling school curriculum and the principles of the eight Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges, namely;

  • A stable careers programme
  • Learning from career & labour market information
  • Addressing the needs of each student
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers
  • Encounters with employers & employees
  • Experiences of workplaces
  • Encounters with further and higher education
  • Personal guidance
  • (See Appendix one of the CEIAG policy for a fuller explanation of these benchmarks.)

Delivery of the careers programme is done throughout the curriculum in all subject areas as well as in PSHE programmes, assemblies and fortnightly tutor time activities. There are also opportunities such as Guest Speaker visits to School to explore an expansive range of Career routes, trips to local employers, colleges and Universities as well as experience days focusing on Mock interviews and Employability skills amongst many others. National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week’s are also celebrated throughout the School with further activities. 

As part of the continual development of the Careers, Education, Information and Guidance  programme, Marling School regularly puts measures in place to assess the impact of the activities undertaken. This is done through student voice and reflections of activities logged on Google Classroom and Unifrog platforms. The staff members responsible for the Careers programme work closely with a Careers Advisor and Enterprise Coordinator from GFirstLEP to refer to this information as well as using Compass+ data which is the Schools careers monitoring system. This is done when making choices about any adaptations to the programme in order to create the most personalised experience for our students. This supports them in making informed decisions about their future pathways.

Our Careers Leader is Mr S Bailey - Tel. 01453 762251.

Marling Careers Education, information and guidance programme is reviewed annually, the next upcoming date is 01/07/2024.

Further information about CEIAG provision at Marling School can be found using the links below.


T-Levels are an alternative to A-Levels, apprenticeships and other 16 to 19 courses. Equivalent in size to 3 A-Levels, a T-Level focuses on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeship. You can find out more information below.