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Cambridge IGCSE

Wherever your child wishes to go help them get there with British Cambridge IGCSE.

IGCSE stands for The Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education and is a globally renowned program for 14-16 years old. This qualification, recognised worldwide, provides learners with many more options than any other international certificate or diploma available today, allowing them to decide their career pathway in the ever-changing world. The Cambridge IGCSE standards align with the GCSE qualification taken in England.

Cambridge IGCSE is the perfect springboard to advanced study. It improves performance by developing creative thinking, enquiry and problem-solving skills necessary for success in life or work. The syllabuses are international in outlook but retain a local relevance. They have been created specifically for an international student body and to avoid cultural bias.

Cambridge IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in

  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Intellectual enquiry
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating in English
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness.

Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds, although it can be taken by students of other ages. It is tried, tested and trusted. Students can choose from 22 subjects in any combination – it is taught by over 4800 schools in over 150 countries.

Our programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment. Cambridge IGCSEs are accepted and valued by leading universities and employers worldwide as evidence of academic achievement. Many universities require a combination of Cambridge International AS & A Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs or equivalent to meet their entry requirements.

UK NARIC, the national agency in the UK for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, has carried out an independent benchmarking study of Cambridge IGCSE and found it to be comparable to the standard of the reformed GCSE in the UK. This means students can be confident that their Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK GCSEs by leading universities worldwide.

Learners can pursue Cambridge IGCSE either full-time or part-time. Under full-time, the learners will be studying any five of the following subjects, with subject code prefixed. Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds, although it can be taken by students of other ages. It is tried, tested and trusted. Students can choose from 22 subjects in any combination – it is taught by over 4800 schools in over 150 countries.

Our programmes balance a thorough knowledge and understanding of a subject and help to develop the skills learners need for their next steps in education or employment. Cambridge IGCSEs are accepted and valued by leading universities and employers worldwide as evidence of academic achievement. Many universities require a combination of Cambridge International AS & A Levels and Cambridge IGCSEs or equivalent to meet their entry requirements.

UK NARIC, the national agency in the UK for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills, has carried out an independent benchmarking study of Cambridge IGCSE and found it to be comparable to the standard of the reformed GCSE in the UK. This means students can be confident that their Cambridge IGCSE qualifications are accepted as equivalent to UK GCSEs by leading universities worldwide.

Learners can pursue Cambridge IGCSE either full-time or part-time. Under full-time, the learners will be studying any five of the following subjects, with subject code prefixed.

  • 0452 Accounting
  • 0610 Biology
  • 0450 Business Studies
  • 0620 Chemistry
  • 0478 Computer Science
  • 0400 Cambridge IGCSE Art & Design
  • 0455 Economics
  • 0511 English as a Second Language (Count in Speaking)
  • 0510 English as a Second Language (Speaking Endorsement)
  • 0500 English-First Language
  • 0680 Environmental Management
  • 0520 French - Foreign Language
  • 0460 Geography
  • 0549 Hindi as a Second Language
  • 0470 History
  • 0417 Information and Communication Technology
  • 0607 International Mathematics
  • 0475 Literature in English
  • 0580 Mathematics
  • 0606 Mathematics - Additional
  • 0625 Physics
  • 0653 Science - Combined
  • 0654 Sciences - Co-Ordinated (Double)

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 IGCSE level will help learners select the right combination of Advanced Level subjects. 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 IGCSE examinations due to illness or other reasons.

The ability to study selected IGCSE 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 educational destiny.

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 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 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. For full-time students, English – first language or Second Language (that is, either 0500, 0510 or 0511) is a mandatory subject.
  6. 21K School enrols students only at the Grade 9 level (year 1 of IGCSE) and does not offer an accelerated one-year IGCSE Programme. All students enrolled in 2023 will be prepared to apear for IGCSE Exams in March / June / November 2025 series.

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

For more details on the IGCSE Subjects and Curriculum, please visit https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-upper-secondary/cambridge-igcse/

'Core’ and 'Extended’ or 'supplement’ tiering

Cambridge IGCSE science subjects, mathematics and English as a second language offer two curriculum options. These are referred to as 'core’ and 'extended’ or 'supplement’ curriculum options. Everyone studying the subject must complete the core curriculum, but the extended curriculum can be studied in addition. Students who complete core and extended will be assessed on the full A* - G scale. Students who complete the core can attain grades from C to G.

The extended curriculum allows one to study the subject more in-depth and experience broader content coverage. Using tiering means that questions are set at appropriate levels of demand for the ability range of students taking the tier. Strong candidates can access more demanding material that will prepare them better for studying the discipline at a higher level, including AS or A Level. The extended material can be too cognitively demanding for weaker students, while the core is designed to provide a well-rounded education accessible to all. The Use of tiering supports a positive assessment experience for all students to allow everyone to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.

Science specifics

The curriculum is called 'science’ in Cambridge Lower Secondary, but in Cambridge Upper Secondary, there are important choices to make. Students may choose to study biology, chemistry and physics as separate subjects. In this case, learners can take all three or specialise in one or two. These 'separate sciences’ have the greatest content and offer the best preparation for Cambridge Advanced science. Separate sciences are available at Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge O Level and are extremely popular with students. At the IGCSE level, Co-ordinated Science is also offered. This has two-thirds of the content of each of the separate sciences and is known as a double award, meaning it is worth two IGCSEs. This offers good preparation for Cambridge Advanced science, and many learners will progress to taking one or more sciences after IGCSE. Some learners prefer to study Co-ordinated Science as the only science option. A few other Learners may prefer to enrol only in the Combined Science. This has one-third of the content of each of the separate sciences. It is a good choice for learners who need to complete their general science education at this level but do not plan to take sciences further.

Although practical science is a challenge for online schools, we offer an experience of practical work through videos, simulations, encouraging simple experiments at home, etc. Practical work is an essential part of any science education. It helps students to understand abstract concepts and to develop experimentation skills. We offer a variety of resources and activities, including videos, simulations, and experiments that can be conducted at home safely. These activities allow our students to gain a deep understanding of practical concepts and to develop the skills they need to be successful in examinations.

21K School will offer an Alternative to Practical paper at Cambridge IGCSE. Students must note that this is not available at Cambridge International AS & A Level, as skills developed in practical work are assessed directly in the exam. If your child would like to study science at Cambridge International AS & A Level, we recommend students opt for the Edexcel Science Subjects at International Advanced Level.

Alternative course options in IGCSE

Several other Cambridge Upper Secondary subjects have alternative courses besides the English language. This flexibility helps teachers identify and select specific courses to meet their teaching requirements.

Some alternative subject courses have particular restrictions ('barred combinations’) when it comes to exams. For example, learners cannot take Cambridge IGCSE Mathematics and Cambridge IGCSE International Mathematics in the same exam series. These restrictions do not mean it is not possible to offer both courses; only that learners cannot undertake the exams or associated assessments of the barred combinations in the same exam series.

Length of study and number of subjects

Learners usually study Cambridge IGCSE over one or two years, though a few study IGCSE over three years. At 21K School, Cambridge IGCSE is spread over two years. We do not offer a one-year accelerated IGCSE Programme. Usually, learners often study eight or nine subjects, and occasionally more, over two years. In others, learners study a reduced number of subjects, typically about five or six, over one year. Reducing the Cambridge Upper Secondary programme to one year directly influences the balance of the curriculum, as the curriculum will be narrower for any learner studying fewer subjects. We recommend that you choose the number of subjects based on your career goals and preferred university’s entry requirements. IGCSE qualification is awarded based on individual subjects. Hence, part-time students will have no difficulty studying a few subjects at 21K School and other subjects pursued through other Cambridge International Schools.

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

Indicative Guided Learning Hours

About 130* hours per Cambridge IGCSE subject, before taking the assessment.

* 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 IGCSE subjects.

In the two-year IGCSE programme, students study from a range of 22 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’.

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 IGCSE 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 A Levels, IB Diploma or other pre-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.

Assessment takes place at the end of the course and may include written, oral, coursework and/or ‘alternative to practical’ assessment. There is a choice between core and extended curricula in many subjects, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities. Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade.

Cambridge IGCSE 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 https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/why-choose-us/find-a-cambridge-school/.

Cambridge provides time-zone variation of papers for its IGCSEs. 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.

All UK GCSEs from 2019 will be graded 9-1, whereas IGCSEs are offered as A*-G. Cambridge IGCSE is also available, graded 9–1 in certain subjects and administrative zones – grade 7 is aligned to grade A, and grade 4 is aligned to grade C.

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)