The curriculum includes English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Spanish, French, German, Latin, History, Geography, Art, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Music, Drama, Computing, ICT, Physical Education and, Personal Social Health & Citizenship Education. In addition, the lower secondary years take part in a programme which provides general and cultural knowledge of the world and world affairs, as well as participating in field trips and residential courses, which form the basis for additional general studies offered later throughout the Secondary School and Sixth Form. Year 9 is very much a transitional year in which pupils are prepared for the demands of the IGCSE courses and the subject choices they are required to make. In this year Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught as separate subjects. In the second term of Year 9, pupils and parents are given assistance and advice in a written guide to option selection for the IGCSE courses, which start in Year 10. The aim of the curriculum for students at this level is to provide a broad and balanced education, whilst allowing scope for specialisation.
Years 10 and 11 provide a preparation for IGCSE examinations (International General Certificate of Secondary Education, awarded by the University of Cambridge) and GCSE examinations (awarded by Edexcel ). This level of examination constitutes a world-wide university entrance qualification and its study programme facilitates the transfer of students from one international school to another. Students may prepare for up to eleven IGCSE examinations. All students take courses in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics and Spanish. Physical Education, though not necessarily to examination level, is also compulsory.
The class sizes are reduced considerably at this time, which facilitates individual attention when needed. Five further subjects are chosen from the following list, in order to complete each student's study programme:
This selection is carefully planned in consultation with parents, teachers and students to ensure that the resulting course combination matches each student’s aptitude and ability, whilst at the same time preparing him/her further for the world of work or further education. In this way the college provides for a range of academic and educational needs.
In Year 11 students take ISCO tests. These tests form part of the comprehensive career guidance provided by the International Schools Careers Organization of which the students become members.
As an English school overseas we follow the National Curriculum for England and Wales, although we are in the enviable position of being able to adapt it to our particular needs. For example, we choose not to teach Religious Education, thus making space for more languages and specialist lessons in the Primary school: PE, Computing, Music, Spanish French and Mandarin. A vital component to support the learning journey that takes place across the Key Stages is student attendance. Students must attend at least a minimum of 95% of school days.
The move from Primary to Lower Secondary is a significant one. In an eight lesson day students have to move around the campus and be much more organised with their belongings and independent in their learning. There are 13 different subjects taught in Years 7 and 8, increasing to 14 in Year 9 when the sciences are separated.
At the beginning of the academic year students in Year 7 and Year 9 will sit the CAT 4 GL Assessment. The feedback from this helps us to plan and support students learning.
The foundations of learning are now firmly set as students take on a programme of 10 externally examined (I)GCSE subjects: five compulsory (English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Spanish and PE) plus five from a selection of subject options: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, History, Geography, French, German, Art, Drama, Music, Business Studies and Latin. This two year period is crucial as the grades gained at the end of Year 11 have a significant impact on A-level choices and university admissions.
Usually those students that have gained entry into Sixth Form, study 4 subjects in Year 12 (AS level) and 3 in Year 13 (A level). Students also continue with PE and embark on our renowned Horizons Programme in Year 12 in order to learn and develop interests/skills beyond the curriculum, these include debating and public speaking . In addition they work towards obtaining the EIC Horizon Diploma.
Year 13 all make university applications, most, though not exclusively, to UK universities supported by experienced tutors and Sixth Form staff.
Throughout both Primary and Secondary, learning is enhanced by experiences beyond the classroom including day trips to local venues and residential trips worldwide.