The Secondary School curriculum is based on the National Curriculum for England, building upon the learning that has taken place throughout the primary phase. The National Curriculum for England provides a broad and balanced academic curriculum, enhanced and enriched by field trips, events, competitions, activities and participation in the Extra Curricular Activities programme.
The medium of teaching at CIS is English, with Arabic as the language of instruction in Arabic and Islamic Studies lessons. The curriculum throughout the secondary phase prepares students for the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), culminating in students taking a focused two-year examination course in Years 10 and 11, leading to IGCSE qualifications (International General Certificate of Secondary Education).
To develop literacy, numeracy, oracy and academic skills, as well as self-confidence, self-esteem, social skills and a love of learning, the teaching style at CIS is interactive. This places responsibility on the student to be an active learner through participating in class, asking and answering questions, carrying out tasks individually or within a pair or group, and carrying out independent work at home through homework activities. Through differentiated teaching approaches, we aim to ensure that students of all abilities have the best opportunities to learn and achieve their individual potential.
The Extra Curricular Programme
The programme of Extra Curricular Activities provides an extra strand to enhance the student’s education. Every student is expected to undertake an Extra Curricular Activity. This takes place during the course of everyday.
Curriculum – Years 7 to 9
The curriculum in Years 7 to 9 includes Maths, Arabic, English, Science, ICT, Social Studies, Islamic Studies and Qatar History. Subsidiary subjects may include Music, PE and Art. PE, including swimming, is an important aspect of the curriculum in which all students are expected to participate actively. Students also benefit from taking part in field trips, cultural events, competitions, and other activities and events that enrich their academic learning.
In Years 7 to 9, each student’s progress is monitored and assessed against age-appropriate standards through Continuous Assessment tests, which take place regularly throughout each term. In addition, there are termly and end of year school examinations.
Curriculum – Years 10 and 11
In Years 10 and 11, students study Cambridge IGCSE courses (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), taking a range of subjects at this level and aiming to attain their individual best grade. IGCSE is a qualification designed for students of all abilities. For this reason, pass grades range from A* to G. At CIS, we aim for students to attain the highest grades possible depending upon their individual ability.
The compulsory subjects in Years 10 and 11 for all students are English, Maths and ICT. Muslim students must study Islamic Studies (Ministry course – non exam) and there is an IGCSE available in Islamiyat. Arabic students must study Arabic . In addition, students select ‘option’ subjects from a range which typically includes Art and Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, Environmental Management, Physics, Travel and Tourism. The range of subjects available at IGCSE gives the student a sound basis for further study at advanced level.
For the IGCSE courses in Years 10 and 11, the Continuous Assessment tests and termly school exams relate to the relevant IGCSE course. Progress and attainment are reported to parents regularly through progress reports and Parent Teacher Meetings. The reports give termly/cumulative assessment and examination results data. Teachers give comments on performance and attainment, with targets for improvement.
The externally-set IGCSE examinations take place in May and June of Year 11, for which the examination timetable is set by the Cambridge International Examinations Board. Our Examinations Officer coordinates all information for students and parents about these examinations.
Communication with parents
At CIS, we value and welcome communication and feedback from parents. We believe that a strong and purposeful school-parent partnership is essential to give each student the best support possible in her education. For this reason, we have a comprehensive system of communication between the school and parents. Through the weekly online Gazette, written reports, a school management system and Parent Teacher Meetings, parents are informed on a regular basis about the progress of their daughter and kept up to date about activities within the school.
Parents are encouraged – and indeed expected – to take an interest in their child’s progress and for this reason we regard the school-parent relationship as a partnership so that we can help each student to attain their individual best. Parents are welcome to discuss their child’s individual progress and any concerns they may have, by making an appointment through the Parent Relations Officer (PRO) to meet the teacher concerned or the Principal. The Parent Relations Officer’s role is to be the point of communication for parents with the school and parents should feel free to contact the PRO for assistance with any query.
Information about IGCSE qualifications
Our curriculum prepares students to gain IGCSE qualifications from the University of Cambridge International Examinations Board (CIE). Cambridge IGCSE is described by CIE as ‘the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds.’ The IGCSE is ‘recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide, and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 25 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide’.
CIE qualifications are globally recognised qualifications that enable tens of thousands of students every year to gain places at top universities worldwide. The UK and United States are the most popular destinations for Cambridge students. Cambridge international qualifications are welcomed at the world’s leading universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
CIE qualifications share common principles, underpinned by the best educational and assessment practice. Students develop knowledge and skills through a coherent programme and learn from high quality resources. They develop problem-solving, investigative and analytical skills. The qualifications have guaranteed assessment standards.
After IGCSE – the next step
IGCSE qualifications from CIE prepare students well for their next step in education. Students who achieve highly at IGCSE may progress to studying AS and A levels, in order to aim for a place at University. Some students continue their education in Qatar, for example, with Qatar Foundation.