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Curriculum - Statement of Intent

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, religion, philosophy and ethics, and lessons for life. 
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. Students study German or Spanish in Year 7, students who demonstrate an aptitude for languages study both German and Spanish in Year 8 and 9. 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 the opportunity 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 ‘Basics with Excellence’ and 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. 

Basics with Excellence

‘Basics with excellence’ is a thread that runs through the curriculum and is a focus in devoted registration time. The Basics with Excellence approach aims to develop vocabulary, reading skills, extended writing, problem solving, numeracy skills.

Alongside this ‘learning to learn’ is established throughout the curriculum, students are explicitly taught ways to effectively use their long-term memory in addition to how to retrieve and recall with a reliant mindset.  

Further Information

Parents in Years 7-10 are invited to Curriculum Information Evenings on an annual basis and information from these events is made available on Edulink for reference.

However, if you require any further information regarding the curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at admin@gbhs.co.uk or by phone 01245 265821 and we will ensure you are directed to the most appropriate member of staff.

Latest News & Twitter

24th May 2022
Latest News

GBHS Celebrates Successes at County and National Level in Sports

With schools now returning back to a full programme of activities and events after the end of Covid-19 restrictions, Great Baddow High School is once again delighted to be back in the sporting arena and celebrating successes at County and National level in a range of sports. In football, the Great Baddow High School teams have experienced a huge amount of success with both Year 9 and Year 11 teams reaching the Essex Schools Football Cup Finals in what were both thrilling games. Both teams went to extra time and penalties. The Year 9 team finished as runners up and the Year 11 team won making them Essex Cup Champions for the second time. In basketball five teams from the school made it to the Essex Cup finals with Year 7 and 8 girls finishing as runners up and Year 8, 9 & 10 boys all being crowned Essex Cup Winners. The Year 7 girls netball team also made the Essex Cup netball finals where they finished as runners up in a very close fought final. to make it to County finals in their first year has been a phenomenal success. The school was very pleased to have with one team competing in the National Gymnastics Milano Finals and three teams in the National Gymnastics Floor & Vault Finals and earlier in the year the Junior Swimming team qualified for the National Schools Swimming Finals held at the London Aquatic Centre. ‘I am very proud of the hard work and determination from all of our students and their commitment to these high level competitions. The standard of basketball and football this year has been exceptional. In gymnastics  the final results were incredibly close and the students produced beautifully aesthetic performances and qualifying for the National Schools Swimming Finals is a fantastic achievement for our young swimmers. Our success also continues at District level with many teams across many sports taking the District title.’ Mrs K Davies, Head of Physical Education
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17th May 2022
Latest News

Rewards trip to the London Stadium and Olympic Park

The Leaders Readers and Mathematicians Breakfast Club has been running in the School Library since 2013. LRM allows older student leaders in the school to work with carefully identified younger students on their literacy skills or numeracy skills. LRM has shown consistently, over the time it has run, to significantly increase reading, comprehension and spelling ages of the pupils taking part. We are immensely proud of all our LRM readers and students and the rewards event is an opportunity to recognise the effort that students contribute to this important aspect of the reading programme. "As we all gathered at the entrance to the West Ham Stadium, an eager anticipation could be felt among the students and teachers. Soon after, we were greeted by our tour guide, and after an ever-so important toilet break, we were led by our guide through a rather fancy dining area for VIPs attending the matches. Here, the guide spoke about the history of West Ham, its formation and evolution, and the importance of figures like Bobby Moore to the club and its supporters. During this time, it was casually said that to enjoy the luxuries of the restaurant you must pay of a fee of around £500 per person!  We then went outside to see the stadium and the pitch - of which was being attended to with immaculate care – and sat on the managers seats, much to everyone’s excitement.   We also visited the changing rooms of the teams, with most running to take pictures in front of the shirt of their favourite player, and we walked onto the pitch like the players would themselves for a game, accompanied by a head-set that played the song ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ and a crowd cheering as we walked out – which I for one found marginally terrifying! After the completion of our tour, we took a look around the gift shop and we ate lunch, much to everyone’s immense relief.   For the second part of the day, we split into groups and did an activity trail around the Olympic Park. This involved finding different monuments and facts about participants of the 2012 Olympic and Para-Olympic Games. Though some of us may have got a bit lost, we all had a great time and the trip was well worth the day off school.   Thank you to Oli Markham, the West Ham Education Hub Officer, who organised the trip for us." Written by Freya, one of the leaders at LRM Breakfast Club  "It was a wonderful experience and everyone loved it.  The tour was very informative and the activities kept everyone entertained while learning some nice facts" – Ellen, LRM Leader Comments for some of the Year 7s who were on the trip:  "When we went to West Ham Stadium, we had lots of fun and we learnt lots of new things." Robbie    "A long trip and it was very exciting and fun and active." Maks, Scott and Blake    "It was a good experience and it was good to see behind the scenes." Charlie    "The trip was good and it was fun.  It was a good tour of the West Ham Stadium" Aimee    "The trip was very good and interesting.  I found out stuff I never knew about West Ham Football Club.  I especially liked going into the expensive areas of the stadium to sit.  I loved getting things for my brother from the shop."  anon  Winners of the Olympic Park Activity Trail:  Aimee  Elliott  Aly  Ellen  Winner of the competition to design a logo for LRM Breakfast Club:  1st Aimee  2nd Maks and Scott assisted by Freddie, Nestor and Vanessa  3rd Robbie 
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13th May 2022
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Volunteer Opportunity

Statutory School Appeals Could you be a Volunteer Panel Member? Essex County Council Statutory Appeals Team are currently looking for panel members for both Admission Appeals and Exclusion Appeals. Appeal Panels are convened to examine cases in which parents wish to contest either the refusal by a school’s Admissions Authority to admit a child, or a Governing Body’s decision to permanently exclude a child. Essex County Council Statutory Appeals Team are currently looking for panel members for both Admission Appeals and Exclusion Appeals. Each case is heard by 3 panel members, including one who is trained to act as a chairperson. A trained clerk is also present and gives advice on the law and regulations to make sure panel members follow the right procedures. Do you have the ability to listen, to be impartial without being swayed by emotion, can appreciate both sides of an argument and are able to make reasoned decisions, you may be just the person we are looking for. Can you spare a few days or more each year to participate in this rewarding and interesting task? Previous specialist knowledge of this field is not essential, we are looking for people who have time to consider the issues properly. We offer full training and will reimburse travel and subsistence expenses, although at present Appeal Hearings take place via Zoom. Membership of Appeal Panels is constituted in accordance with the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, and some people may not be eligible to serve.  If you would like further information please contact Ann Coldicott on 0333 013 4566 or email StatutoryAppeals@essex.gov.uk
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