International GCSEs

iGCSE (KS4) overview
Emphasis on independent study

Our approach for Year 10 and 11 is built around supporting our pupils for their International GCSEs (iGCSEs) at the end of Year 11. So while we teach all the subjects in Key Stage 4 for two hours per week – or three hours for Double Award Science – there’s an increasing emphasis on independent study. As such, our subject specialist teachers set homework assignments and, in the run up to the exams, provide tools to help pupils revise in their own time. We also run regular support groups, which provide extra help to consolidate what your child has learned in the virtual classroom.

Subjects & details

This course will give pupils a good grounding of biological facts, terminology, concepts, principles, as well as teaching them practical techniques, how to evaluate biological information, how to appreciate the practical nature of biology and how to analyse, interpret and evaluate data and experimental methods. Over the course of the two years, they will develop a logical approach to problem solving in a wider context, while laying the foundations for further study in the biological sciences. It’s a course that focuses on five main topics: the nature and variety of living organisms, structures and functions in living organisms, reproduction and inheritance, ecology and the environment, and the use of biological resources.

This examination includes two papers:

  • Paper 1 (2hr, 110 marks)
  • Paper 2 (1hr 15, 70 marks)

Throughout our Business course, pupils will look at people in organisations, focusing on their roles, relationships and management in business, as well exploring how to gather and harness financial information. They will also look at business through the customers’ eyes, identifying and satisfying customer needs in a changing and competitive international environment, while exploring how organisations use and manage resources to produce goods and services. As such, pupils will cover five main topics: business activity and influences on business, people in business, business finance, marketing and business operations.

The examination consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1: Investigating small businesses (1hr 30, 80 marks)
  • Paper 2: Investigating large businesses (1hr 30,  80 marks)

This course is designed to give pupils a broad-based understanding of chemical facts, terminology, concepts and principles. We not only teach them practical techniques for evaluating chemical information, but also help them appreciate the practical nature of chemistry, recognise the importance of experimental work, and prepare for more advanced courses in chemistry, or science in general. The course focuses on four main topics: principles of chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and organic chemistry.

This consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1 (2hr, 110 marks)
  • Paper 2 (1hr 15, 70 marks)

Computer science aims to prepare pupils to meet the demands of 21st century employers, encouraging them to understand the digital world and to develop active, creative interactions with technology that will be fundamental to economic success. They will develop computational thinking skills, learn a range of programming languages and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science.

This course includes six main topics: problem solving, programming, data, computers, communication and the internet, and the bigger picture. As such, they’ll cover a wide range of issues and areas, from the internet, programming languages and coding, to data, encryption and security, as well as exploring the wider impact computing technology and how it shapes nearly every aspect of their world.

The examination consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1: Principles of Computer Science (2hr, 80 marks)
  • Paper 2: Application of Computational Thinking (3hr, 80 marks)

The Double Award Science combines core content from Biology, Chemistry and Physics, providing the solid understanding and appreciation of science that can pave the way to a wide range of opportunities for further study or careers. As such, it helps pupils develop a broad range of skills, which are assessed across three papers:

Paper 1: Biology (2hr – 110 marks)

  1. The nature and variety of living organisms
  2. Structures and functions in living organisms
  3. Reproduction and inheritance
  4. Ecology and the environment
  5. Use of biological resources

Paper 2: Chemistry (2hr, 110 marks)

  1. Principles of chemistry
  2. Inorganic chemistry
  3. Physical chemistry
  4. Organic chemistry

Paper 3: Physics (2hr, 110 marks)

  1. Forces and motion
  2. Electricity
  3. Waves
  4. Energy resources and energy transfers
  5. Solids, liquids and gases
  6. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  7. Radioactivity and particles
  8. Astrophysics

In this course, pupils will have the chance to explore the market system – delving into issues around economic assumptions, demand and supply, and business economics. They’ll focus on production, productivity, competition and the role of the government, by looking at economic policies and objectives, as well as learning about the mechanisms and influences of the global economy.

The examination consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1: Microeconomics and Business Economics (1hr 30, 80 marks)
  • Paper 2: Macroeconomics and the Global Economy (1hr 30, 80 marks)

With the English Language programme, pupils will look to build their reading and writing skills with a range of activities. In writing, they will grow their advanced vocabulary and learn both transactional writing and imaginative writing, while working on their idea development and their use of rhetorical devices, sentence structures and punctuation. They will also read a variety of texts, building their confidence in approaching unfamiliar material, focusing on the writer’s perspective and exploring a range or poetry and fiction extracts.

This examination consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1: Non-fiction Texts and Transactional Writing (2hr 15, 90 marks)
  • Component 2: Poetry and Prose Texts and Imaginative Writing (1hr 30, 60 marks)

Literature studies covers a wide range of forms, including modern drama, literary heritage texts, poetry anthologies and modern prose. Pupils will consider the social, historical and cultural contexts of modern drama and heritage texts by considering plot development, characters and their relationships, key themes and the effect of form and structure. They will also develop their poetry-reading skills through exploring a wide variety of poems, while developing their own writing – particularly in relation to exams. As such, they’ll develop various techniques, including quotations and keywords, as well as structuring answers, referencing the question and using an analytical paragraph structure (SEED) – with timed exercises to build exam confidence throughout it all.

This examination consists of two components:

  • Component 1: Poetry and Modern Prose (2hr, 90 marks)
  • Component 2: Modern Drama and Literary Heritage Texts (1hr 30, 60 marks)

Our French course develops listening, reading, writing and speaking communication skills through five topics: home and abroad, education and employment, personal life and relationships, the world around us, and social activities, health and fitness. We use culturally sensitive, authentic texts throughout, based around topics that are relevant to students today, like study and leisure situation. Pupils will develop their understanding of both written and spoken forms of the language, learning to communicate effectively in a range of situations. They will work to understand grammar and its practical application, as well as learning about France (and other French-speaking countries) and laying the foundations for future language learning.

Their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills will then be tested through three examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Listening (30 minutes, 40 marks)
  • Paper 2: Reading and Writing (1hr 45, 80 marks)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (8-10 minutes, 40 marks)

With our geography course, pupils will explore both physical and human geography. As such, they’ll study river environments, coastal formations and landforms, exploring distinctive ecosystems and learning about coastal management. They will also explore hazardous environments and events, including tropical storms, volcanoes, earthquakes and natural disasters, working to understand both short-term and long-term emergency responses. On the human geography side, pupils will look at how economic activity sustains people, as well as how rising economic activity increases demand for energy.

This course covers two papers:

  • Paper 1: Physical Geography (1hr 10, 70)
  • Paper 2: Human Geography (1hr 45, 105)

Our history course gives pupils the chance to develop their understanding of selected periods and aspects of history, exploring the significance of various events, people, changes and issues. They’ll learn how to use historical sources critically and how to record significant information and to form their own conclusions. Throughout the course, pupils will develop an understanding of different historical viewpoints – examining how different people interpret historical record about people and events in different ways. They’ll also learn how to organise and communicate historical fact, playing their own role in passing down history.

This examination covers studies across the two papers;

  • Paper 1: Two depth studies (1hr 30, 60 marks)
  • Paper 2: Investigation and Breadth Study (1hr 30, 60 marks)

Our Mathematics course covers the key topics of Number, Algebra, Geometry and Statistics. Pupils will learn how to use numerical skills, both in a purely mathematical way and in real-life situations – developing problem-solving skills by translating problems in mathematical or non-mathematical contexts into a process or a series of mathematical processes. As such, they will learn how to use algebra to set up and solve problems, how to construct and use graphs, and how to use basic ideas of probability. Pupils will also learn the properties of angles, together with the basics of how to use a ruler, compass and protractor appropriately.

This examination consists of two papers worth 100 marks each, each being assessed through a 2-hour examination.

Our Physics course helps pupil develop their understanding of key facts, terminology, concepts and principles, as well as learning practical techniques to evaluate physical information. They will grow their understanding of the practical nature of physics, recognising the importance of experimental work and doing the groundwork for more advanced study of Physics and related subjects. This course focuses on the main topics: forces and motion; electricity; waves, energy resources and energy transfers; solids, liquids and gases; magnetism and electromagnetism, radioactivity and particles; and astrophysics.

This consists of two papers;

  • Paper 1(2hr, 110 marks)
  • Paper 2 (1hr 15, 70 marks)

On our Psychology course, pupils will build their knowledge of five key areas. They’re learn about biological concepts in psychology, including neuroscience and genetics as contributors to behaviour. They’ll study cognitive psychology, exploring thought, information and mental processing as contributors to behaviour. Pupils will discover the social area of psychology, looking at the impact of social and environmental factors on behaviour and the influence of groups. They’ll learn about developmental psychology, learning how individuals change throughout their lives, with a particular focus on childhood and how both nature and nurture can affect individuals. And, finally, they’ll learn about individual differences, exploring the complex nature of human behaviour and experiences and why and how people are different.

This consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1(1hr 45, 98 marks)
  • Paper 2 (1hr 20, 79 marks)

In this course, pupils will develop their understanding of religious beliefs, values and traditions through the study of one or more of the world’s six major religions. Pupils will learn how to construct well-argued, well-informed, balanced and structured written arguments, demonstrating their depth and breadth of understanding of the subject. They also have the chance to engage with questions of belief, value, meaning, purpose, truth and their influence on human life. This will challenge pupils to reflect on and develop their own values, beliefs and attitudes in the light of what they have learned – contributing to their preparation for adult life in a pluralistic society and global community.

The examination consists of two papers:

  • Paper 1: Beliefs and Values (1hr 45, 100 marks)
  • Paper 2: The Religious Community (1hr 30, 60 marks)

Our Spanish course develops listening, reading, writing and speaking communication skills through five topics: home and abroad, education and employment, personal life and relationships, the world around us, and social activities, health and fitness. We use culturally sensitive, authentic texts throughout, based around topics that are relevant to students today, like study and leisure situation. Pupils will develop their understanding of both written and spoken forms of the language, learning to communicate effectively in a range of situations. They will work to understand grammar and its practical application, as well as learning about Spain (and other Spanish-speaking countries) and laying the foundations for future language learning.

Their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills will then be tested through three examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Listening (30 minutes, 40 marks)
  • Paper 2: Reading and Writing (1hr 45, 80 marks)
  • Paper 3: Speaking (8-10 minutes, 40 marks)