Our grade 10 students take the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams in May of the 10th Grade with results available in August. They additionally participate in the University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) with over one million other candidates in 150 countries across the world. IGCSE courses are designed for 14 to 16 year old students. At ISB we offer these courses over two years in grades 9 and 10 as a major component of the preparation of our students to enter the International Baccalaureate Programmes.
Good teaching practice while providing educationally rewarding experiences for our students the IGCSE offers a rigorous programme that encourages high academic standards and the results that our students attain are accepted by universities and colleges around the world as a reliable record which can count towards a profile for university applications.
To take account of students' differing ability levels, in most subjects there is a choice between core and extended curriculum options. This allows our teachers to decide the most suitable level of the course and examination for their students. Across the world the core curriculum is deemed suitable for a large majority of students. We encourage the majority of our students to pursue the extended curriculum which provides a route to higher level study in subjects. The flexibility of the curriculum is demonstrated by the fact that students may follow different levels of the curriculum in different subjects. Hence, teachers and students have the potential to tailor the curriculum to be most appropriate for them.
A wide range of assessment processes are used to measure student attainment, including formal written exams, orals and practicals. Oral assessment is optional in all first languages and compulsory in all foreign languages. An eight-point scale of grades is used for IGCSE assessments: A*,A,B,C,D,E,F & G. Grade A* is awarded for the highest level of achievement and grade G indicates minimum satisfactory performance. At ISB we view a grade of C or above in extended level subjects as a useful early predictor of potential future success in Higher Level IB Diploma level courses.