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Curriculum Overview

GBHS Intent

At Great Baddow High School our curriculum encapsulates our school motto ‘Always striving for higher things’ enabling learners to progressively learn skills, develop qualities, understanding and knowledge to become confident, resilient, successful young adults.
Our carefully designed and broad curriculum offers balance, support and opportunity; students build on prior learning and strive to take next steps; broadening their minds, skills and developing personal qualities. The pathways we offer allow students to reach their full potential facilitating academic success in addition to developing rounded citizens who relish challenge and decision making.

We pride ourselves on the activities, trips and experiences that wrap around our curriculum and are a fundamental aspect of the educational experience our young learners have at GBHS.

We aim to inspire, excite and engage students in their learning and the world around them fostering a culture of achievement and aspiration for all.

Learning at GBHS

In order to fulfil these ideals, our five-year progressive curriculum model requires learners to engage with a wide range of subjects in Key Stage 3. At Key Stage 4 learners are able to personalise their curriculum, furthering their knowledge and passion through subject selection in addition to continuing the study of the core subjects.

You can read more about how the curriculum is organised and discover a more detailed overview of each subject area’s rationale in the individual subject pages.


The school week consists of twenty-five one hour periods, together with tutor/assembly time. In Years 7-9 the subjects studied are as follows: mathematics, English, science, modern foreign languages, history, geography, physical education, computer science, design and technology, music, art and design, drama, religious education, and Personal Development.

Years 10 and 11 are regarded as Key Stage 4 and a wide range of option subjects is on offer to students, in addition to the statutory ‘core’ curriculum. The school has a large sixth form and we offer an extensive choice of A Levels and BTEC courses.

Years 7 and 8

The Year 7 and 8 curriculum serves a clear purpose in every subject at Great Baddow High School. Curriculum teams plan their schemes of work to ensure they deliver the content of the national Programme of Study, and that high challenge, engagement and enquiry are at the heart of learning. Reading is of paramount important at GBHS; reading time is built into our curriculum provision; our library resources support learning across the whole curriculum.

The Key stage 3 curriculum facilitates young learner’s skills and qualities both academic and creative. The curriculum readies learners for success in British society and broadens their understanding of the wider world and a multitude of skills developed. From the start of a learner’s journey in Year 7 their educational experiences from primary school are built upon, embedded and extended.

Alongside Mathematics, English, Sciences and Physical Education, Year 7 students study a broad range of subjects that include Art, Drama, Music, Computing, Design and Food Technology to ensure the curriculum facilitates the building blocks and love for learning in academic, creative and vocational subjects. We give significant curriculum time to Humanities subjects and Modern Foreign Languages; we encourage a high proportion of pupils to pursue the English Baccalaureate pathway in future years. A significant number of pupil’s study German and Spanish in Year 7. A small number of pupils who require additional support with learning specifically in English and Maths follow a bespoke timetable which gives them access to a similar range of subjects as their peers but provides extra time to focus on Literacy and Numeracy and Humanities in a smaller focus group.

Class groups are organised into two ‘bands’ of parallel sets, promoting high expectations for all groups. Pupils access the full spectrum of subjects in Year 7 and 8 in ability sets with the creative subjects, computer science and Personal Development being taught in mixed-ability groupings.

Beyond the classroom, we aim to open the door to a wide range of experiences. All subjects provide additional learning contexts including annual school productions and high-performing sports teams. You can find more information on the subject pages.

Year 9

The curriculum is carefully structured to provide a strong foundation and platform for selecting and studying at KS4; whilst encouraging and enabling learners to develop their love for learning in an environment where other learners share the same passion and challenge is high.
Students follow creative pathways where they wish to develop skills, knowledge and their passion. Alongside this creative learning, students continue to develop and embed a broad range of skills, knowledge and understanding, foundations for success at KS4. This includes the continuation of a language and the further development of Learning to Learn skills.

Years 10 & 11

Through the options process, we meet the statutory national requirements and aim to provide a personalised curriculum. For us, this means giving our pupils as much choice and flexibility as possible, whilst ensuring they follow examination courses that lead to positive outcomes and give them access to Post-16 opportunities. Pupils are supported in their decision making when selecting options, both parents and students are fully guided to a ‘route’ according to their ability and aspirations and are asked to choose up to three Options subjects available on that route.

All students study BTEC Digital Information Technology at GBHS. We feel that preparing our students to be responsible, able and safe in our technological world is imperative this course and the additional e-safety curriculum provides them with that platform.

A range of Vocational Qualifications are available as an Options route. We allow the same amount of curriculum time to Vocational Qualifications as GCSE courses to allow pupils the experience of exciting and relevant work-based projects alongside the assessed content. Please see the Options page for more information on the qualifications we offer on each route.

Our Learning to Learn programme continues to support students at KS4 in their ability to study, digest and utilise the knowledge and skills they have learnt. This programme is revised and developed each year to meet the needs of the cohort. We fully support students throughout the school holidays providing conducive working spaces to study.
The decision to maintain a two-year Key Stage four is in keeping with our principles of delivering a broad and balanced curriculum. The Great Baddow high School curriculum gives teachers scope to embed depth and love of learning and to breed a culture for success whilst covering the content required for terminal assessment.

Latest News & Twitter

20th Aug 2020
Latest News

Students celebrate wonderful GCSE results at Great Baddow High Sc...

The last few days have thrown the educational world into turmoil with uncertainties surrounding the calculation of examination grades. Despite this we are delighted to be able to celebrate the success of both A level and GCSE students at Great Baddow High School as they finally receive the qualifications they deserve, based on centre assessed grades. The revised grades for Year 13 students mean that 100% of our students have achieved a university of their choice. GCSE outcomes provided excellent results for our Year 11 students. Many of our students were awarded the highest GCSE grades and we will welcome a record number of students into our Sixth Form in September. A special mention must be given to the following students for their achievements; - Lucy K – Eight grade 9s, one grade 8, and a Distinction. James A  – Seven grade 9s, two grade 8s and a Distinction. Jenny R - Seven grade 9s, two grade 8s and a Distinction. James L - Five grade 9s, four grade 8s, one grade 7 and a Distinction*. Amy R represented Great Britain in the mixed country three-on-three ice hockey competition at the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games in January and achieved - four grade 9s, three grade 8s, two grade 7s and a Distinction.   We would like to congratulate all of our students on their amazing success during a period of great disruption. They have demonstrated maturity and resilience through these difficult times, and we wish them every success for the future.  
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16th Jun 2020
Latest News

Students play detective as part of National Careers Week

National Careers Week is a celebration of careers guidance in education across the United Kingdom to provide careers guidance at an important stage in the academic calendar. Offering a range of careers activities across the school and curriculum areas, this year Great Baddow High School introduced their first ever “What’s my job?”, careers event as part of their National Careers Week schedule, which aimed to widen the knowledge of Year 7 students about the variety of job roles available and challenge preconceptions as to what their future might hold. Dressed in plain everyday clothes, mystery visitors were quizzed by students to try and identify what they did for a living. Allowing ten minutes to talk to each visitor, the students asked some very insightful questions as they tried to work out all the jobs, whilst others thought they knew as soon as they saw them. After an hour of questions the students made their final guesses. Some were close and others were spot on, but Dr Entwistle, with her PHD and surprising answers, had everyone scratching their heads, including the teachers!! “When the mystery visitors all went away and dressed for their jobs and walked into the hall of Year 7s there was quite a few gasps and groans from the students. The mystery guests were revealed as; a circus performer, mental health nurse, bank manager, site agent and a firefighter. After the big reveal, the students then heard how each adult got into their roles and learnt more about their job. The day certainly opened the students’ eyes to a wide range of job roles and challenged quite a few preconceptions and stereotypes.” Mr James Faulkner, Careers Leader “It was amazing. I learnt lots and I felt like a detective.” Elena, Year 7 student at Great Baddow High School Aimed at widening students understanding of different jobs roles and challenging stereotypes, the “What’s my job” event lets Year 7 students meet employees from a range of career sectors to find out what their roles involves and the education and training that was required to get there. “I was a good opportunity to challenge the stereotype of my job, especially being a female in the construction industry.”  Madeleine Bishop, Site Agent - Eurovia Infrastructure Ltd Photo:– Dr Entwistle (Circus Performer), Mr Kane (Essex Partnership University Trust Senior Community Mental Health Nurse), Mrs White (Santander Bank Manager), Miss Bishop (Site Agent) and a Local Firefighter, joined by Year 7 students Alasdair, Sophie and Lucy.
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