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International Curriculum's

It is important for you to know the curricula which are taught internationally.  While many international nurseries, school's, college's and universities deliver western curricula some offer a combination of local and western, while others a local curriculum embedded in a western curriculum to cater for their students.  Below is a list of curriculum's delivered internationally:

International Baccalaureate

This is probably the fastest growing curriculum internationally, with more and more school's opting in to deliver this for their variety of students. The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) is one of the main curricula used in International Schools.  There are some schools which are accredited by the IBO and are considered IB Schools.  It is the fastest growing curriculum in the International Market especially at the higher years.  In proportion to the number of school delivering the IB, there are not as many high calibre IB trained teachers.  As a result many IB schools will and do consider teachers who are specialists in a subject but do not have a formal IB training.  In most cases schools are looking for the best practitioners and if it’s the IB curriculum you are delivering then it's highly likely that the school will pay for you to have IB training.  This is a great way to enhance your career professional development.
The curriculum runs from 3 up to 18 years of ages and is divided into 3 components:

Primary Years Programme (PYP)

The PYP programme runs from Year 1 - Year 6.  This provides students an opportunity to construct meaning, ideally through concept driven enquiry.  The PYP focuses on the heart as well as the min and addresses social, physical, emotional and cultural needs as well as academic ones.  

Middle Years Programmer (MYP)

The MYP programme runs from Year 7 - Year 11.  This encourages students to prepare and understand the relationship between the traditional subjects and the real work, and become independent, reflective and critical thinkers.  

Diploma Programme (DP)

The DP programme runs from Year 12 - Year 13.  This prepares students for university and onwards.  It is now established as leading qualification and recognised by top universities.  It involves a series of examinations per subject which also includes coursework which is moderated.  Due to the challenging nature of the Diploma Programme, students who find it too difficult are able to complete the year with a Certificate rather than a Diploma.

The British Curriculum

Perhaps it’s the prestige of the British or the vision to customers of providing pristine education but many schools both use and follow the British Curriculum in full or they have a slight variation of it.  It is a very clear concise curriculum with clear stratifications not just for delivery but also for assessment.

Early Year Foundation Curriculum 

This is delivered at reception years before entering Primary Education covering children under 5 year sof age. You can find out more information about the EYFS programme here.

Primary Education

Key Stage 1 is from Year 1 – Year 2
Key Stage 2 is from Year 3 - Year 6

The UK national primary curriculum framework can be found here.

Secondary Education

Key Stage 3 is from Year 7 – Year 9
Key Stage 4 is from Year 10 – Year 11
At the end of Year 11 students sit for the IGCSE examinations.  The IGCSE examination was first introduced in 1988.

Details about the UK Secondary Curriculum can be found here

Post 16 Education

Key Stage 5 is from Year 12 – Year 13
At the end of Year 13 students sits for the A Level Exams

Here is a link to the full UK National curriculum

Examination Board

There are three main examination boards that administer the IGCSE and A’ Level syllabus’:
  • University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)
  • Edexcel
  • AQA (limited range of IGCE courses but many A’ Level Courses)

The American Curriculum

USA Common Core

The Common Core State Standards was launched in 2009 by the state leaders from 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia. This was done through the Natioanl Governors Association Centre for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers.  The aim of this curriculum is to ensure all students regardless of where they live are being prepared for college, career and life. The standards are: 
  • Research and evidence based
  • Research and evidence based
  • Clear, understandable, and consistent
  • Aligned with college and career expectations
  • Based on rigorous content and the application of knowledge through higher-order thinking skills
  • Built upon the strengths and lessons of current state standards
  • Informed by other top-performing countries to prepare all students for success in our global economy and society
The Common Core standards have been devised for students to compete on an international level.  Here is what the grades cover:
  • K-8 standards exists in English language arts/literacy and mathematics
  • G9-G12 are broken down as G9-G10 and G11-G12
The standards set specific goals for each grade however there is no guildeline as to how it should be taught or what materials to use.  Each state requires teachers to adapat the material based on the types of students it has. For more information about the US Common core click here

Advanced Placement (AP)

States in America offer their own curriculum and each state has its own standards that students must meet.  However they follow similar education practices. Students study a broad range of subject and in some cases schools use elements of another states curriculum.  The AP Curriculum is delivered at higher/tertiary level and allows students to gain college credits while attending schools.  Students who do well at well can get a place a participating college.  The AP course is taught by a special group of scholars.  There are a variety of subjects that be delivered with the AP Curriculum. Some schools may deliver the IB DP programme instead of the AP Curriculum.  If you do teach at post 16 level, you should enquire which course is delivered during the interview stage.

The International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

The International Primary Curriculum was first introduced in 2000 and currently is used by 950 schools in 61 different countries.  The curriculum was designed to focus on a combination of academic, personal and international learning for children worldwide.  It combines a variety of innovative and exciting ways to learn and help children learn essential knowledge and skills to understand and develop a wide range of subjects.  Using personal social development it develops the personal qualities of children to be good citizens, while making students aware and respect the nationalities and cultures of others
Students have thematic unites of work which last on average 4-8 weeks.  This is spread from early years through to early secondary education. Each unit integrates many primary subjects along with literacy and numeracy functional skills.

University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)

The University of Cambridge hosts a number of qualifications for International schools, below is a list with brief description of all the courses they deliver:

ICT Starters

This qualification is delivered to Primary (5-11) and Lower Secondary (11-14) students.  The Cambridge ICT Starters qualification is designed to introduce Primary and Lower Secondary students to the key ICT applications needed to acquire knowledge and understanding of the impact of technology on our daily lives. Modules can be delivered either based on the needs of each student taking into account the age and learning stage.  This can be done as a separate course of study or cross-curriculum. More information can be found here

Cambridge International Primary Programme (CIPP)

This qualification is typically for Primary Year (5-11) students.  It provides a framework to develop Mathematics, English and Science skills and knowledge.  Based on the child’s progression it allows teachers to asses Children’s learning by 2 options: Cambridge Primary progression tests and Cambridge Primary Achievement Tests. Click here to find out more information about the CIPP programme.

Cambridge Checkpoint

This qualification is delivered to Lower Secondary (11-14) students.  This course involves tests carried out near the end of the Lower Secondary level.  The tests are marked externally by CIE and provide feedback to students in terms of strengths and weaknesses in the various curriculum areas.  Students will have transferable indication of their academic progress. Click here for more information about the Cambridge Checkpoint curriculum.

Cambridge Lower Secondary Programme

This qualification is delivered to Lower Secondary (11-14) students.  It provides a natural process from Cambridge Primary.  The focus of the development is on student’s knowledge and skills in Maths, English and Science.  It provides a testing structure which is optional from the basic curriculum framework to assess student’s progress. For more information click here.

Cambridge International Certificate of Education (ICE)

This qualification is delivered to Higher Secondary (14-16) students.  It is a group aware of the IGCSE mentioned previously.  Students have to study from 5 different subject groups: Languages, Humanities & Social Science, Sciences, Mathematics and the last group is Creative, Technical and Vocational. Click here for more information about the ICE programme