Age Groups and Stages
Years 10-11 : 14-16 years old
IGCSE or Year 11 Pre-IB Diploma
Years 12- 13 : 16-18 years old
IB Diploma or High School Diploma
International General Certificate of Secondary Education fits with the second stage of secondary education which corresponds to Years 10 and 11. At St. George's International School in Switzerland, it is taught to students aged 14 to 16.
What is the IGCSE?
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) is a high-profile qualification provided by the University of Cambridge International Examinations Board (CIE).
IGCSE is designed to be taught as a 2 year course. Exams are taken by students in Year 11 (US Grade 10) and are equivalent in standard to the UK GCSE and Cambridge International GCE O Level examinations.
With more than 25 years of experience, the Cambridge IGCSE is taught in 160 countries. CIE is the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for 14-19 years old.
What are the benefits of the IGCSE?
The Cambridge IGCSE provides an excellent foundation for a range of higher level courses, including the IB Diploma. It is recognised by schools, universities and institutes around the world.
Cambridge IGCSE is designed to achieve high levels of academic and personal skills, developing students’ confidence, responsibility, reflection, innovation and engagement. It offers students a flexible course of study that gives them the freedom to select the subjects that are right for them.
The Cambridge IGCSE Curriculum
The curriculum offers a variety of routes for learners with a wide range of abilities, including students whose first language is not English.
Students preparing for further education follow a broad and balanced curriculum from the following subject areas:
The curriculum develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:
- Subject content
- Applying knowledge and understanding to familiar and new situations
- Intellectual enquiry
- Flexibility and responsiveness to change
- Working and communicating in English
- Cultural awareness
The Pre-IB Programme has been designed for students aged 15-16 who want to build a solid foundation before embarking on their two year IB Diploma programme..
The Pre-IB Diploma Programme (Pre-IBDP) is a one-year course which includes the study of these subjects from the following groups:
In order to be able to embark upon the IB Diploma Programme, Pre-IB students are formally assessed in mid-April in core areas such as English and Maths. They also sit a Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT).
Students who do not qualify to enter the IBDP can qualify to graduate by following one or two years of the High School Diploma Programme (accredited by NEASC and CIS), depending on their previous schooling.
Founded in Geneva, Swittzerland in 1968, the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has developed four different educational programmes. The IB Diploma Programme is the last of these and is a challenging two-year curriculum aimed at students aged 16 to 19. This IB qualification is welcomed by leading universities around the world.
Find out more about the International Baccalaureate Organization.
What is the profile of the IB Diploma Programme?
The Diploma students develop their academic and personal strengths by:
- asking challenging questions
- learning how to learn
- developing a strong sense of their own identity and culture
- building communication skills and understanding of other cultures
IB Diploma students are encouraged to be Inquirers, Thinkers, Communicators, Risk-takers, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Knowledgeable, Balanced and Reflective.
Structure of the IB programme
Students study 3 subjects at Higher Level and 3 at Standard Level, selected from six different group areas. This allows students to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly over a two-year period.
|Group 1||Studies in Language and Literature|
|Group 2||Language Acquisition|
|Group 3||Individuals and Societies|
|Group 4||Experimental Sciences|
|Group 6||Arts (or another subject from groups 2 to 4)|
How are students assessed?
The IB Diploma is granted through formal assessment. This includes external examinations taken in all subjects in May of Year 13, as well as internal assessment conducted throughout the programme.
Each subject is graded on a scale of 7 (maximum) to 1 (minimum). This gives a total raw points score maximum of 42 points.
How can students get their IB Diploma?
In order to obtain the Diploma, students must meet defined standards and conditions including a minimum total of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of the three Core Diploma requirements which are: Theory of Knowledge, CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) and the Extended Essay.
Theory of Knowledge and Extended Essay combine to contribute a possible 3 additional points to the overall score, giving a maximum Diploma score of 45 points.