Curriculum

The Secondary School Curriculum delivered at HeadStart is the Cambridge International Examinations Curriculum for Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4 and IGCSE. This curriculum offers quality, complexity, diversity and an internationally renowned standard of high attainment. Each subject is taught by highly qualified and experienced subject specialists who are not only experts in their chosen fields but are also knowledgeable and skilled educators and are able to reflect and adapt to the differing needs of each developing individual under our care. The UK national curriculum is organised into blocks called ‘key stages’ (KS) as follows:

Key Stage Classes Typical Ages
Foundation Stage Comprises of Preschool, Early Years and Reception Between the age of 2-5 years old
Key Stage 1 Comprises of Year 1 and 2 Between the age of 5-7 years old
Key Stage 2 Comprises of Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 Between the age of 7 to 11 years old
Key Stage 3 Comprises of Years 7, 8 and 9 Between the age of 11 and 14 years old
Key Stage 4 Comprises of Years 10 and 11 Between the age of 14 and 16 years old
Sixth Form Comprises of Years 12 and 13 Between the age of 17 and 18 years old
HeadStart Educational Journey 01 2

For more interesting facts and up to date information regarding the Cambridge Curriculum click here


Lower Secondary Programme

The Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme is a framework for increasing educational success for students in Years 7 to 9 (Key Stage 3). It has been adopted at HeadStart International School since 2010. This programme builds on the primary key stages, and develops student’s knowledge and skills in Mathematics, English and Science. The Lower Secondary Programme also provides us with a means of tracking student progress through the lower Secondary phase, with an integrated package of teaching, learning and assessment materials.

At the end of Years 7 and 8, students take the Progression Tests in Mathematics, English and Science. These are designed to allow teachers and parents to follow the progress of their students over time and analyse performance within their classes.

At the end of Lower Secondary (Year 9), students sit Cambridge Checkpoint tests which provide detailed feedback on students’ strengths and weaknesses in the Core Subjects of English, Maths and Science before they move into the Key Stage 4 and start their IGCSEs. It also provides a fair assessment of how well an individual student will do in the IGCSE examinations for the stated subjects. The subjects offered and taught throughout Key Stage 3 are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Science
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • PE (Physical Education)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Thai
  • Mandarin
  • French
  • PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education)

International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

The Secondary school curriculum at HeadStart International School is anchored by the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), an external examination programme designed for 14 to 16 year olds (Years 10 & 11) and based upon the National Curriculum of England.

The IGCSE at HeadStart provides a broad programme of study in areas such as languages, social studies, science, mathematics and vocational subjects. In each subject, there is a balance between practical and theoretical knowledge but the emphasis in almost all subjects is skills related to that subject.

The curriculum is designed so that students can use examples related to their own experiences and residence. The nature of the programme is such that students of different abilities can follow it. Furthermore, it is designed for students whose first language may not be English.

Students sit examinations at the end of the IGCSE course, usually in year 11. These examinations are marked by experienced external examiners appointed by CIE (Cambridge International Examinations).

IGCSE is recognised internationally and it is evidence of ability to academics and employers throughout the world. The programme prepares students for further academic courses which would be followed in years 12 and 13 at school. CIE is a division of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate which in turn is part of the University of Cambridge. UCLES has developed and promoted qualifications at a variety of levels for at least 150 years.

The subjects taught and offered throughout Key Stage 4 up to IGCSE are:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Computer Science
  • ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)
  • Design Technology
  • Business Studies
  • PE (Physical Education)
  • Art
  • Music
  • Thai
  • Mandarin
  • French

As a fully licensed and accredited Cambridge centre any Cambridge IGCSE examinations can be sat here at HeadStart including subjects that are not offered as part of our curriculum.

Curriculum Booklets

Textbooks

If you would like to know what textbooks your child will be using throughout the year, please refer to the website posted below for a comprehensive book list for each year group. If you wish to purchase any of these textbooks then please use the title and ISBN code to purchase from any book store. Click here for the Cambridge Resource Center Website

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