The Cambridge International General Certificate for Secondary Education is the world’s most popular international curriculum for students aged 14 to 16 years, leading to a globally recognized and valued Cambridge IGCSE qualification. At the end of Year 9, students progress to this 2 year course in Years 10 and 11. Syllabi are regularly reviewed and up-dated to keep pace with developments in educational practice and to meet the needs of today’s students in an ever changing world.

The University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) is based in the U.K. and is the world’s largest provider of international qualifications for students aged 5 to 18 years in more than 150 countries. In 2013, Cambridge marked 25 years of IGCSE. Each subject offers clear objectives and assessment standards. IGCSE is designed to be accessible to students of a wide range of abilities and learners develop knowledge and understanding as well as skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving.

The Year 10 and 11 curriculum is composed of a core of subjects that every student will take and groups of optional subjects. This core consists of English language, English literature, Mathematics, Global Perspectives and a language other than English e.g. French or Spanish at ISL.  Students can choose up to 5 optional subjects from the 12 offered at ISL, ensuring an individualized programme is created for each student based on their interests, skills and strengths.

At the end of the 2 year programme, students are assessed both internally and externally in ways that measure individual performance against stated objectives for each subject. Click on the + icon to view more information.

The ICE Certificate

The Cambridge ICE (International Certificate of Education) is the overall certificate awarded to acknowledge success in a range of IGCSE subjects.  It requires the study of subjects drawn from the 5 different subject groups. It recognises achievements of students who pass in at least 7 subjects, including two languages and 1 subject from each of the other 4 subject groups. Grades awarded are Pass, Credit and Distinction.

The five curriculum groups are:

Group ILanguages
Group IIHumanities and Social Sciences
Group IIISciences
Group IVMathematics
Group VCreative, Technical and Vocational

Subjects offered at ISL

ISL offers the following IGCSE subjects:

Group I
English Language (1st or 2nd), Spanish and French
Group IIGeography, History, English Literature and Economics
Group IIIBiology, Chemistry and Physics
Group IVMathematics: Accelerated or Extended or Core
Group VArt and Design, Music, Drama and Computer Science
The options for 2020-2022 are as follows:
Block 1Block 2Block 3Block 4Block 5Block 6Block 7
English 1st Language/LiteratureMaths AcceleratedFrenchBiologyArt and DesignPhysicsChemistry
English 2nd Language/LiteratureMaths ExtendedSpanishEconomicsMusicBiologyHistory
Maths CoreESOL or Self-study of another languageGeographyChemistryIGCSE PEComputer Science

Year 10 students are expected to join a ‘Community service program’ where they are involved with various local schools and orphanages around Lusaka for one afternoon each week. This is a compulsory activity for all students and provides real experience of caring and helping the less fortunate and is a good foundation for the IBDP CAS programme.

Year 10 students will also spend one week in a real work situation somewhere in Lusaka. This will sharpen their college application skills and give them a feel for the local labour market.

Key Events in Year 10 and 11

Key dates and events for Year 10 and 11 students during the school year are as follows:

OctoberCamping trips
Mid-MarchYear 11 trial exams
FebruaryYear 10 work week
MarchIGCSE information evening
Late April - Early JuneYear 11 final exams
Late AprilYear 11 last supper
Early JuneYear 10 end of year exams

Moving on from IGCSE

The Cambridge portfolio of IGCSE qualifications provides a solid foundation for advanced courses such as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), which is the 2-year, pre-university programme offered at ISL following IGCSE. The IGCSE ICE, to some extent, echoes the philosophy of the IBDP in that it recognises the need for a balanced and broad curriculum.