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Cambridge Advanced Level

From here to the world’s leading universities

By the time learners begin studying the Cambridge Advanced programme, they often want to specialise more, depending on their current interests, ambitions for higher learning and potential career paths. However, it is still possible to study a wide range of different subjects at this level, creating a broad programme of study, and the co-curricular programme can add breadth and balance to the educational experience.

Cambridge International AS Level examinations is usually taken at age 17 and Cambridge International A Level examinations at age 18, though Cambridge does not set any specific age requirements. it is typical for learners to study three or four subjects. The syllabuses develop a deep understanding, critical thinking skills and independent research projects that prepare you for future career goals.

Candidates who have already taken Cambridge IGCSEs or equivalent will find many skills they have already learnt relevant and beneficial to Cambridge International A Level study.

Cambridge Advanced Level develops learners’ knowledge, understanding and skills in the:

  • In-depth subject content
  • Independent thinking
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Handling and evaluating different types of information source
  • Thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
  • Making judgements, recommendations and decisions
  • Presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
  • Working and communicating in English.

Cambridge Advanced qualifications are accepted and valued by leading universities and employers worldwide. Thousands of students worldwide can gain places at leading universities every year with Cambridge International AS & A Levels. For more information, please visit Cambridge Website.

Cambridge International AS & A Level

A Level stands for Advanced Level and AS Level stands for Advanced Subsidiary Level. An AS Level contains half the content of the corresponding A Level and is normally completed in one year. This allows for flexibility, as learners can complete AS Levels as qualifications in their own right or as the first half of an A Level, for which they are allowed to carry forward their AS result. Some learners take all the assessments for their full A Level at the end of the second year.

Cambridge International AS & A Level are the names of the qualifications that formally recognise a learner’s achievement at the end of a particular subject course. The content of the course is more in-depth and demanding than Cambridge IGCSE or O Level. It is based on an international curriculum developed for 16–19 year olds preparing for higher education.

The assessment standards of Cambridge International A Levels are aligned to those of UK A Levels and are equivalent on a subject-for-subject, grade-for- grade basis. The grades awarded are A* to E, with A* being the highest. There is no A* grading in the certification of Cambridge International AS Levels. Cambridge International A & AS Levels are viewed as equivalent to AS & A Level qualifications taken by learners in the UK.

21K School offers students three different approaches for Cambridge AS/A Level. Each approach will have a different effect on the structure of the school curriculum and the school timetable.

Approach 1 Approach 2 Approach 3

A 'non-staged' assessment route. Learners take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination series, usually at the end of the second year of study.

A learner who successfully completes the non- stage option will normally have studied three or four Cambridge International A Level courses.

A 'staged' assessment route. Learners take the Cambridge International AS Level in Year 1 and/or Year 2 and complete the final Cambridge International A Level in the second series.

A learner who successfully completes the staged assessment option might have outcomes that include:

  • Three Cambridge international A Levels and one AS Level (first example below)
  • Two Cambridge International A Levels and Four AS Levels (second example below)
  • Three Cambridge International A Levels and two AS Levels (third example below).

Cambridge International AS Level only. Learners take the Cambridge International AS Level exams only. The syllabus content for Cambridge International AS Level is half of a Cambridge International A Level programme.

A learner who successfully completes the Cambridge Internaitonal AS Level only assessment option might have studied eight Cambridge International AS Level courses, completing four in each year. This could represent a broad and balanced curriculum but with less specialisation and depth.

Before Students decide on which of the three approaches they might follow, it is important for them to check the requirements of universities and other higher education institutions where they are likely to want to go. Universities in some countries require three full A Levels for their most popular courses – Approaches 1 or 2 could work for these. Approach 3, AS only, has the potential to provide the broadest and most balanced curriculum but the compromise is less specialisation. This may however be ideal in countries/universities where AS Levels are accepted on their own.

Learners need guidance to ensure their intended course of study provides the learning and qualifications they need, either for admission into higher-level studies or for pursuing a particular career. As mentioned, it is vital to consider admission requirements for national and international universities and other higher learning institutions when selecting subjects and assessments. Learners can choose from a range of assessment options. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A Level.

Learners can pursue Cambridge AS/A Level either full-time or part-time. Under full-time, the learners will be studying any three of the following 17 subjects, with subject code prefixed.

  • 9706 Accounting
  • 9700 Biology
  • 9609 Business
  • 9479 Cambridge International AS & A Level Art & Design
  • 9701 Chemistry
  • 9618 Computer Science
  • 9708 Economics
  • 9093 English Language
  • 8695 English Language & Literature (AS Level Only)
  • 9695 English -Literature
  • 9696 Geography
  • 9489 History
  • 9626 Information & Technology
  • 9709 Mathematics
  • 9231 Mathematics (Further)
  • 9702 Physics
  • 9990 Psychology
  • 9699 Sociology

We may add or remove subjects from our programme offering due to changes by Cambridge International and student interest.

Learners studying with another school or as private candidates may opt to study one or more subjects online through 21K School. This broadens opportunities for learners to demonstrate their learning, particularly for university undergraduate programmes. A more comprehensive choice of subjects at the Advanced Level will help learners select the right career pathway. By taking advantage of this option, learners will be able to obtain the necessary academic qualifications while still being able to attend classes at their regular school. Additionally, this will provide an opportunity for those unable to sit for the AS/A Level examinations due to illness or other reasons.

The ability to study selected AS/A Level subjects online also opens up opportunities for retaking examinations if a Learner needs to improve their score to meet University admission requirements. In addition, it allows Learners to complete their courses earlier than the traditional school calendar if they are ahead in their learning. All these reasons make 21K School an attractive option for Learners who want more control over their career pathway.

Illustration

In the first example below, the learner has selected a programme that will result in three Cambridge International A Levels in History, Geography and English Language and one AS Level in Economics.

Curriculum Level Subjects Selected for Study
Year 1 AS Level History AS Level Geography AS Level English Language AS Level Economics
Year 2 A Level History A Level Geography A Level English Language

In the above example, a part-time student may enrol to study AS Level Economics only with 21K School as other subjects are offered at his current School.

In the second example below, the learner has selected a more specialised programme, resulting in three Cambridge International A Levels supported by two Cambridge International AS Level awards. In this case, Cambridge International AS Level Business reinforces the mathematics–economics combination with a possible career in the financial world in mind. On the other hand, this could be criticised as being over-specialised, and it might be preferable for the learner to select a different sort of discipline, for example English Language and Literature.

Curriculum Level Subjects Selected for Study
Year 1 AS Level Mathematics AS Level Economics AS Level Business AS Level Accounting
Year 2 A Level Mathematics A Level Economics A Level Business AS Level English Language & Literature

In the third example below, the learner has selected a programme that will result in Cambridge International A Levels in Mathematics and Edexcel A Level in Physics. They have broadened their programme by selecting two AS Level subjects each year. Together with their first-year AS Level subjects, they will achieve three Cambridge International AS Level qualifications: Business, Economics, and Computer Science; and one Edexcel AS level Chemistry.

Curriculum Level Subjects Selected for Study
Year 1 AS Level Mathematics AS Level Physics* AS Level Chemistry AS Level Computer Science
Year 2 A Level Mathematics A Level Physics* AS Level Business AS Level Economics

In the above example, a part-time student may enrol to study A Level Mathematics, AS Level Business, and AS Level Economics with 21K School. At the same time, she continues to pursue other subjects at her current school.

Important Note:

  1. A cohort of a minimum of 10 students is mandatory to offer a subject. Students may be asked to accept a different subject where fewer than ten students are enrolled.
  2. Students may be asked to change their subject within the first term of Year 1 based on their academic performance and the recommendation of the Academic Coordinator.
  3. The exam series may change based on the latest update from Cambridge International. Not all subjects are examined by Cambridge in March, June or November series. Students are advised to check the website or speak to the Academic Team during video interaction.
  4. 21K School’s academic year is attuned to preparing students for the March examination series in Year 1 and 2. Students can prepare independently during the interim period for the June/November series as required. Enrichment and guided support will be extended where possible.
  5. 21K School only enrols students at AS Level with the option for students to extend the subject to A Level in Year 2. All students enrolled in 2023 will be prepared to appear for AS Level Exams in March / June / November 2024 series, followed by A Level Exams in 2025.

We follow Cambridge University Press coursebooks and workbooks for core subjects.

For more details on the Cambridge AS/A Level Subjects and Curriculum, please visit https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-advanced/cambridge-international-as-and-a-levels/subjects/

The essence of the Cambridge Advanced program at 21K School is to develop lifelong learners while making the journey a joyful experience. Our Advanced Program facilitators follow an inquiry-based approach and engage young learners with relevant, challenging and productive teaching and learning approaches.

In the two-year Advanced programme, students study from a range of 17 subjects offered by 21K School that broaden their understanding and deepen their learning through varied methodologies. Students are encouraged to collaborate and use appropriate technology to enrich their learning and enhance their understanding of local, national, and global issues. Experiences within and outside the classroom make students problem solvers and mindful learners. As a collection of practices and principles, Cambridge International describes this as ‘active learning’.

Indicative Guided Learning Hours

• Staged option 180* hours per Cambridge AS Level subject, further 180 hours per subject to complete the Cambridge A Level.

• Non-staged option 360* hours per Cambridge A Level, normally spread over two years.

* Includes teaching time and directed study. Does not include the independent study the learner is expected to carry out. We recommend that learners undertake independent study outside of normal timetabled lessons for Cambridge Advanced courses.

Our Facilitators employ a variety of teaching strategies in the classroom. This will typically include carefully-designed individual learning activities, group work and whole-class instruction. The critical element is the quality of learner engagement and the opportunities provided for feedback between the learner and facilitator to guide the next learning steps. Whole class instruction is a highly effective instructional approach as it includes discussion and learners have the opportunity to respond and contribute. We expect all learners to come prepared to the class for active learning.

Our Facilitators apply assessment practices using an AI-based personalised learning platform that regularly informs them whether learners are reaching their objectives. These personalised assessments also allow learners to understand where they are on their learning journey and how they can improve.

Each academic year is divided into two terms, during which student understanding is assessed through formative and summative assessments. The two years of the Advanced program at our school strengthen the foundation for our students to develop their conceptual understanding, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. This, in turn, prepares them to smoothly transition into university programs and sustain their love for learning.

21K school offers students a variety of experiences to develop their skills and build on their socio-emotional experiences. The Habits of Mind (HOM) embedded into the 21K Academic Practices is a tested, proven curriculum for creating strong learners and educators. Habits of Mind are the attitudes and dispositions that help students become better thinkers and problem solvers who know what to do when the answers are not immediately apparent. Students who demonstrate the attributes habitually and skillfully employ a broad range of cognitive and socio-emotional skills (including personality qualities such as resilience, self-motivation and self-regulation) towards effectively managing their performance.

Beyond the regular classes and activities, full-time students also participate in inter-house activities, Lit-Fest, Shark Tank, Mathalon, Social Fest, MUN, Master Classes, Community & Service, Internships, Debates, Yoga, Mindfulness, Stress management, Time Management, Goal Setting and more.

Fields Trips, Excursions, and Student Exchange Programmes allow full-time students to engage with other children across cities and countries.

Field trips

Field trips provide students with different ways of viewing the world, communicating with it, successfully introducing new questions and issues of daily life, and finding answers to generate knowledge. In the end, inquiry-based learning teaches the students a greater understanding of the world they work, communicate, learn, and live. At 21K, field trips also allow students to socialise and meet peers outside their online classes.

Annual Excursions

At 21K, the annual excursion is primarily an opportunity to consolidate the bond between students and facilitators. The trip usually provides our students with experiences outside their daily activities, such as camping with teachers and classmates. Our past experiences have been insightful. We have planned for visits to locations that provide ample opportunities to facilitate learning through engaging activities while consolidating the bond with the community.

Student Exchange programme

We aim for our student exchange programme to offer broad-based benefits and outcomes for students keen to embark on a national or international adventure. These programmes are intertwined and come together to constitute the overarching exchange experience. Through our exchange programmes, we aim to enhance international learning and knowledge, propel students towards acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives, achieve language acquisition through practical immersion., increase awareness and adoption of alternative, multi-faceted approaches to learning, enhance analytical and problem-solving skills, develop greater interest in global issues as well as a broader general knowledge.

Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year.

Assessment options

Your learners can choose from a range of assessment options to gain Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications:

  1. Take the Cambridge International AS Level only. The syllabus content is half a Cambridge International A Level.
  2. Take a ‘staged’ assessment route – take the Cambridge International AS Level in one examination series and complete the final Cambridge International A Level at a subsequent series. AS Level marks can be carried forward to a full A Level twice within a 13 month period.*
  3. Take all papers of the Cambridge International A Level course in the same examination session, usually at the end of the course.

*The staged assessment route is not possible in all subjects. The outcomes awarded for Cambridge International AS Level language syllabuses cannot be carried forward to Cambridge International A Level.

Cambridge Advanced Level Examination sessions are conducted thrice a year, in March (for students in India only), June and November. Results are issued in May, August and January, respectively. All examinations are pen and paper-based at any of the Associate Centres of Cambridge. Students are advised to check for the availability of the nearest Associate Centre before enrolling with 21K School. These Associate Centres are Cambridge Schools accepting private candidates, and the list can be checked online here

Cambridge International provides time-zone variation of papers for its assessments. This ensures that students who sit examinations before others cannot compromise the security of the examinations while examinations are timetabled at reasonable local times. To check your Zone, please click here.

Reporting achievement

Each subject that a learner takes receives a separate grade.

Grades are benchmarked using internationally recognised grades, which have clear guidelines to explain the standards of achievement.

The Cambridge International A Level is reported on a grade scale from A* (highest) to E (minimum required performance). There is no A* grade for Cambridge International AS Levels, which run from grade A to E.

Cambridge International A & AS Levels are viewed as equivalent to AS & A Level qualifications taken by learners in the UK.

Our vision is to create a joyful learning environment which includes an experiential learning mode which is interactive, inspiring, and stress-free that induces true love for learning and instils in one self-responsibility and commitment towards life. This dream comes to life through the actions of our dynamic team of facilitators who work effortlessly and selflessly. Due to the vibrancy and creativity of our teaching pool, we can put life into teaching-learning sessions.

Facilitators concentrate on the learning process and encourage collaboration and self-learning. The approach stimulates discussions, asks questions to get the group thinking, and enables peer-to-peer communication. They help students identify different ways of learning that work for them, take responsibility for their learning, and contribute to group sessions.

The Crew, at 21K, are hired based on their qualification, training, and expertise. They comprise members who believe in the vision and mission of the school and have the experience to add value to the organisation. They are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged. Our Facilitators

  • have mastery of their subject area
  • Teach for understanding as well as coverage
  • Connect learning to the real-world
  • Constantly challenge student thinking
  • Have a learning rather than a performance orientation.
  • Concerned with the holistic development of the learner
  • they understand how to use assessment to support student learning.
  • Use a variety of different teaching strategies and activities.
  • Are reflective and creative practitioners
  • Are collaborative and supportive
  • Use different technology tools for personalised learning and assessment

The prerequisite for a job at 21K school is the qualification and a minimum of two years teaching in an international board. The experience ranges between 5 -10 years at the leadership level. While most of the facilitators work full-time with 21K School, there may be a few subject experts who teach part-time. Regular guest lectures and workshops from professionals are also part of the academic delivery of content.

Crew members receive in-house training at various levels throughout the year. Apart from in-house training, they attend training conducted by Cambridge International. The facilitators receive much exposure to webinars, podcasts and conferences conducted online globally. Global trends are shared through blogs, vlogs and resource persons who share their experiences with our team. A select team enrols in various certification programs as part of professional development. All Facilitators are trained in aspects of child safety, cyber security and cultural sensitivity.

Leadership

The leadership at 21K school aims to transform the school’s vision into reality. The leadership works tirelessly to build an organised and effective system through meticulous attention to detail, realistic target-setting and precise scheduling.

The Head of Schools, Principals and Coordinators who form the leadership team are qualified, trained, and experienced individuals in Cambridge and other international boards. They are well versed with the requirement of the boards and align themselves towards the vision and mission of 21K School, Cambridge International, and Edexcel. The Academic Leadership Crew is student-centred in approach and has strong pedagogical and instructional leadership qualities. They are responsible for building school culture in a way that allows facilitators and learners to realise their full potential.

The Academic & Pedagogical Training Head looks into the training requirement of the School and updates the leadership for participation.

Student Support

The importance of technical support services in 21K School heightens as the world embraces digital innovations. The Technical crew is a strong team comprising specialists in various technological aspects required in an online set-up. Through the help of technical support staff, schools can have a more streamlined and systematic connection — making learning easier and fun.

Student Success Team liaises between the parents and academic, technical and admissions crew. They are the point of contact to set up meetings and resolve queries within a turnaround time of 24 hours.

21K School offers a Learning Kit for all of its courses which consists of coursebooks and workbooks. Purchasing the Kit enables complimentary access to digital resources and eContent, allowing students to benefit from a blended learning approach - combining physical and digital learning materials as preferred. Furthermore, if needed, part-time students can purchase the books locally at their discretion; such students would not have access to digital resources. All cost and delivery guidelines related to the Kit can be found on the 21K School website.

Students would get access to our web-based Learning Platform, and Parents have access to Mobile Apps on Android and iOS. Through the Learning Platform, students can access the following resources:

  • E-Library with over 2 million titles
  • Virtual Science Lab
  • Personalised Learning Platform
  • Assessment Platform
  • Student Dashboard, Reports and Analytics
  • Digital Content & learning resources (only when the learning kit is purchased from 21K School)