At our school there are six stages in the education of a child.

Foundation Stage

Playgroup (ages 2 – 3), Nursery (ages 3 to 4) and Reception (ages 4 to 5)

In these years the children follow a carefully structured, relevant and child centred curriculum promoting development in seven areas of learning. These consist of three ‘prime’ subjects which are the core subjects in the EYFS curriculum, which are: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development. The other four subject areas are called ‘specific’ areas which are: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The children learn through exploring, investigating and playing in a safe, happy and stimulating environment. These years are extremely important as they form the basis for later learning in the school.

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Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2

Years 1 and 2 (ages 5 to 7), Years 3 to 6 (ages 7 to 11)

Both Key Stage 1 and 2 represent the Primary section of our school and concentrate on the core subjects of Literacy (English), Mathematics, Science and Information & Communication Technology (Computers) plus the foundation subjects of History, Geography, Art, Design Technology, Music and Physical Education (including Swimming). In Year 1 Mandarin Chinese is introduced and children begin French in Year 5. They have the option to continue these languages in Secondary school.

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Key Stage 3

Year 7 to 9 (ages 11 to 14)

Many of the subjects studied at Key Stage 3 follow from the Key Stage 2 curriculum. The main difference is that at Key Stage 3 these subjects are taught by subject specialists in specialist rooms. As such, students move for different lessons rather than being based in one base room. This allows greater diversity of experience and depth of study.
At ABCIS we also introduce a bespoke Business Studies curriculum in Key Stage 3. At this stage students start to specialise in one language and take either French or Mandarin Chinese.
Students are encouraged to be more independent thinkers and learners and to question evidence rather than accept everything as factual. These years are crucial in preparing students for the IGCSE and AS/A levels.

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Key Stage 4

Years 10 and 11 ( ages 14 to 16) IGCSE

At age 14 students start to study for Cambridge or AQA International Examinations called the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). These are two year courses which are specifically designed for international school students and culminate in a final examination at age 16. The IGCSE course acts as a bridge for the student towards study at AS and A levels. Obtaining successful results in A level examinations qualifies students to gain entry into any university in Europe, North America, Australia and in many other countries worldwide, both in Asia and beyond. This is because A level qualifications are recognised by most universities worldwide as gold standard for admission.

The following subjects are available for study at IGCSE level:

English Language, English Literature, Drama, Mathematics, Art and Design, Design Technology, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Business Studies, Music, Geography, History, Economics, Physical Education, Mandarin Chinese, French, Computer Science and Psychology.

All students are expected to Study English Language, Mathematics, at least one of the sciences (Biology, Chemistry or Physics), ICT or Computer Science and either French or Mandarin Chinese. We also recommend students take one of the Humanities subjects to ensure balanced curriculum.

The IGCSE Grading System

The grades range from A* to E but only A* to C are categorised as passes.


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Key Stage 5

Years 12 and 13 ( age 16 to age 18) AS & A Levels

Cambridge and AQA International Examinations Advanced Level (A Level) subjects are two-year pre-university courses designed for international students. Examinations are taken at AS level in Year 12 and points gained count as accreditation towards university entry.

Students typically select four or five subject courses in Year 12. On completion of the AS level component, students may elect to reduce the number of subjects they take in Year 13 depending on individual circumstances as they specialise further and prepare for university.

The following subjects are available at AS and A Level

English Literature, Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Art and Design, Design Technology, Geography, Business Studies, Information Technology, Computer Science, History, French, Mandarin Chinese, Sociology, Psychology and Economics.

There are also two lessons of PE per week, and The International (Duke of Edinburgh) Award at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels is also offered. The four sections of the award that the students need to complete in order to gain the Award at each level include:

  • Service (helping the community)
  • Adventurous Journey
  • Skill (a personal talent or interest)
  • Physical Recreation

The Award concept is one of individual challenge designed to encourage young people to develop into responsible, active citizens who will positively contribute towards society. It presents a balanced, non-competitive and enjoyable program of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility and service to the community.

The A Level Grading System

The pass grades range from A to E for both AS and A2 components. Grades awarded correlate to points and it is these points totals which determine university course entry.

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