Student cooking pancakes

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

Virtual Open Evening
28th Sep 2021
Featured Latest News

Virtual Open Evening

As we are unable to invite you into our school for our traditional Annual Open Evening, we have created a range of videos to provide you with a virtual experience and an insight into Great Baddow High School. In addition to the Welcome Video and Virtual Tour, the Headteacher's Address provides information about what makes Great Baddow High School a special place to learn and there are also videos from some of our current students and our Head of PE about our Sports Selection Scheme. There is a range of information available to you to help you choose the right secondary school for your child, however if you would like to see our school in action, we are offering daytime tours of the school throughout September and October.  Also please have a look through our Great Baddow High School Brochure to read more about how we help our students achieve their academic potential and develop skills and attributes that enable them to follow their chosen paths. View the Headteachers Address Listen to our students’ thoughts about GBHS An insight into joining Great Baddow High School from one of our Year 7 students. Plus a video from one of our Year 13 students who has been successfully balancing her academic and sporting achievements. View our 'Welcome to Great Baddow High School' video View our 'Open Day Virtual Tour' Sports Selection Scheme Information Book yourself and your child onto a school tour; come and see us in action! Take a look around our website; you will find information about our Curriculum, Subject intent, Resource Base for Deaf Students, the vast amount of opportunities available at GBHS. Follow us on Twitter to find out what the students are up to since we have returned! If you have any questions or queries about admissions, please do not hesitate to contact us. The deadline for Sports Selection applications is Friday 1st October at 12 noon. Apply Here Please remember to complete your school application online with Essex County Council by 31st October. We look forward to welcoming your child to GBHS!
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