Course Offerings - High School
International General Certificate of Secondary Education
Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international curriculum for 14-16 year olds, leading to globally recognised and valued Cambridge IGCSE qualifications. Cambridge IGCSE is taken in over 100 countries worldwide and is widely accepted by higher education institutions and employers around the world as evidence of academic ability.
Schools worldwide have helped develop Cambridge IGCSE, which provides excellent preparation for the IB Diploma Programmme, A/AS Levels and U.S. AP exams, as well as other progression routes. The IGCSE programme incorporates the best in international education for learners at this level. It develops in line with changing needs, and is regularly updated and extended.
Cambridge IGCSE encourages learner-centred and enquiry-based approaches to learning. It develops learners’ skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving, giving learners excellent preparation for the next stage in their education. Schools can build a core curriculum, extend it to suit their learners and introduce cross-curricular perspectives. Clearly defined learning outcomes and content mean Cambridge IGCSE is compatible with other curricula and is internationally relevant and sensitive to different needs and cultures.
Cambridge IGCSE 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
- Influencing outcomes
- Cultural awareness
The IGCSE @ ISL
Exams are taken during May and June each year over a period of four to five weeks.
To learn more, visit the Cambridge IGCSE Website.
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP)
ISL has offered the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme since 1995
With its origins in Switzerland in the early 1960s, the IBDP is a well-established programme of studies. A group of educators promoted the idea that some kind of international programme of studies was needed to accommodate the growing number of mobile international students who belonged more to the world than to any single country.
The IB Diploma Programme was created in English and French by teachers at the International School of Geneva with increasing assistance from several other international schools. The programme that led to the IB Diploma consisted of a common pre-university curriculum and a common set of external examinations for students in schools throughout the world.
- What is the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP)?
- History of the Programme
- The IB Mission Statement
- Requirements for the IB Diploma and IB Courses
- CAS Programme
The IBDP is a comprehensive and challenging pre-university course of study that demands the best from motivated students and teachers. The programme culminates in externally assessed examinations and is widely recognised for its high academic standards.
- The two-year curriculum is rigorous and intellectually coherent, encouraging critical thinking through the study of a wide range of subjects in the traditional academic disciplines while encouraging an international perspective
- Beyond completing college-level courses and examinations, DP students are also required to engage in community service, individual research, and an inquiry into the nature of knowledge
- The two-year course of study leads to final examinations in six subject areas and a qualification widely recognised by the world's leading colleges and universities
The Diploma programme sought to provide students with a truly international education - an education that encouraged an understanding and appreciation of other cultures, languages and points of view. Schools that first offered the Diploma programme were predominantly private international schools, but they included a very small number of private national institutions and schools belonging to state education departments. This has evolved over the years and today around 50% of all Diploma programme schools belong to governments (with no tuition fees).
The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has seen tremendous growth in recent years. The Diploma programme is currently offered by 5,088 member schools. Since 1968, more than half a million students in 156 countries have participated in the Diploma programme.
ISL has offered the IBDP since 1995 and encourages all its students, whenever possible, to engage in the most demanding programme of study available to them. For many, this will be the IB Diploma. For a variety of reasons however, some students may choose to take a range of IB Courses only, leading to an individual award in each subject, rather than the full IB Diploma. ISL regularly reviews the entry requirements of universities worldwide in order to be able to offer sensible advice regarding programme selection for students in Grades 11 and 12.
The International Baccalaureate aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the organisation works with schools, governments and international organisations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right
The curriculum contains six subject groups together with a core made up of three separate parts.
Students study six subjects selected from the subject groups. Normally three subjects are studied at higher level (courses representing 240 teaching hours), and the remaining three subjects are studied at standard level (courses representing 150 teaching hours). All three parts of the core - the Extended Essay, the Theory of Knowledge course and the Creativity, Action & Service programme, are compulsory for the full IB Diploma and are central to the philosophy of the programme. Students must study one subject from each of Groups 1 to 5. The sixth subject may be selected from Group 6 (the Arts) or may be a second subject from groups 2 to 5.
ISL offers the following subjects in each group at both higher and standard level unless indicated otherwise:
- English A Literature
- English A Language & Literature
- French A Language & Literature
- German A Language & Literature
- English B
- French B
- German B
- French ab initio (beginner level)
- Spanish ab initio (beginner level)
- Business Management
- Design Technology
- Sports, Exercise and Health Science
- Maths Analysis & Approaches HL
- Maths Analysis & Approaches SL
- Maths Applications & Interpretations HL
- Maths Applications & Interpretations SL
- Theatre Arts
- Visual Arts
Student work is assessed both internally and externally. Internal assessments form about 20% of the final mark. In each IB examination, the student is graded on a scale of 1 (minimum) to 7 (maximum). The award of the diploma requires students to meet defined standards and conditions. These include a minimum total of 24 points and the satisfactory completion of three compulsory core components: 1) Theory of Knowledge (TOK); 2) Extended Essay; and 3) Creativity, Action & Service (CAS). Thus the programme has the strengths of a traditional and broad curriculum, augmented by the three requirements shown at the centre of the programme model above.
Worldwide, approximately 80% of students are awarded the diploma. A student who does not satisfy the requirements of the full Diploma Programme, or who has elected to take fewer than six subjects, is awarded a certificate for the examinations completed.
Prior to enrolling in the IB Programme, students are issued an International Baccalaureate Handbook detailing all the necessary information related to obtaining the IB Diploma at ISL. Throughout the entire two year programme, the Dean of External Programmes (IB and IGCSE) provides information, advice, resources and support to students and parents.
Detailed information about all aspects of the IB Diploma Programme is available on the website of the International Baccalaureate Organisation.
All information above relating to the IBDP © 2008 IBO, Geneva, Switzerland.
CAS complements the challenging academic IB programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. CAS is organised around the three strands of creativity, activity (sport) and service. CAS initiatives should pursue personal growth and skill, and involve reflection. They need to be a challenge and a source of learning.
Creativity involves exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance. Examples are music, theatre, film, design technology, visual arts, dance, fashion and experiences that involve creative thinking (eg. joining a choir or doing fashion design).
Activity refers to physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle. Examples include taking on a new sport or extending your ability in a sport already practised (eg. football, yoga, dance, biking or hiking).
This activity must benefit others and improve their existing situation. It is a social, unpaid service. Examples include: volunteering at a senior citizen home, tutoring, scouting, IT assistance for elderly people, helping handicapped people, helping with projects in less developed countries, joining an NGO for some time during a holiday, etc.
- Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB Diploma.
- The CAS programme begins at the start of the DP and continues regularly for at least 18 months with a reasonable balance between creativity, activity and service.
- Completion of CAS is based on achievement of the following seven CAS learning outcomes:
- Identify strengths and develop areas for growth
- Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken developing new skills in the process
- Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
- Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
- Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
- Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
- Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions
- A CAS Portfolio - a collection of evidence that showcases experiences and reflections, using an electronic platform called ManageBac to manage this documentation.
- Engaging in CAS experiences involving one or more of the 3 CAS strands. A CAS experience can be a single event or may be an extended series of events.
- Undertaking a CAS Project of at least one month’s duration that shows initiative, demonstrates perseverance, and develops skills such as collaboration, problem-solving and decision-making.
All IB courses are offered at higher and standard level with the exception of ab initio languages;
- IB English Literature A
- IB Language and Literature A (English, French & German)
- IB Language B (English, French & German)
- IB Ab initio (beginner level) French & Spanish
- IB Business Management
- IB Economics
- IB Geography
- IB History
- IB Biology
- IB Chemistry
- Design Technology
- IB Physics
- Sports, Exercise & Health Science
- IB Mathematics (Analysis & Approaches and Applications and Interpretations)
- IB Film
- IB Music
- IB Theatre
- IB Visual Arts
- IB Theory of Knowledge
- IB CAS
- Physical Education