IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a two year programme leading to externally set, marked and certificated examinations from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge Assessment International Education). It is a unique UK government endorsed programme provided to thousands of schools around the world.
Students are offered a curriculum across Years 10 and 11 that includes around 7 IGCSE examination subjects. These include the core ones of English Language, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Three or four other subjects might be taken from Global Perspectives, Spanish, Russian, Business Studies, ICT (Information and Communication Technology), Additional Mathematics and perhaps a self-study first language. Exactly what is available in a particular year will depend upon a number of factors. What is ensured is suitability for our students and the key curriculum factors of breadth and balance. Depth and quality goes without saying with all Cambridge courses!
IGCSEs are two year courses designed for 14 to 16 year olds. IGCSEs are known for developing vital educational knowledge, understanding and skills. They are established qualifications that keep pace with educational developments and trends and so are an ideal foundation for higher level courses such as AS and A Levels and the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Recognised throughout the world, by academic institutes and employers, they are a mark of quality and evidence of real ability. Students typically sit seven to nine subjects in one session at the end of Year 11. Schools can offer any combination of subjects with each subject being certificated separately. Over 70 subjects are available, offering something for all learners of different abilities, interests and backgrounds.
IGCSE is taken in over 100 countries by an annual candidate entry of more than 250,000. Grade C in IGCSE English (either First Language or Additional Language) satisfies the English proficiency requirements of many universities in the UK and other Anglophone countries.
History of IGCSE
In England, beginning in 1951, a two-tier examination system was established, originally as GCE at Ordinary Level (O Levels for 16 year olds) and Advanced Level (A Levels for 18 year olds). In 1988, O Levels were replaced in by the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education). At the same time, Cambridge agreed to make special provision for the growing number of international schools that were being established throughout the world in order to cater for children of diplomats and the increasingly mobile workforce of international corporations. This was based on the GCSE and named the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE), the courses we offer today.