With college on the horizon, the entrance to High School is an exciting time. High School opens doors to further opportunities for students to demonstrate their growing independence and study subjects that appeal to their interests. Read more out about our Lower High School, the finest place to study for the IGCSEs in Chicago.
IGCSE students at BISC South Loop

IGCSE Curriculum

The IGCSE curriculum for students in Years 10 and 11 aims to support academic, social, and personal growth through robust lessons in and out of the classroom. Students have the opportunity to tailor their individual learning program by selecting from a range of elective classes.

Upon completion of this two-year program, students will have developed skills in creative thinking, inquiry, and problem-solving. Teachers continue applying a personalized approach to instruction, ensuring that every student feels confident to step outside of their comfort zone and achieve beyond what they may have thought possible.

Learning outside of the classroom is equally important. Through a full roster of extracurricular activities, peer mentoring, leadership opportunities, and community service initiatives, students apply their academic learnings to the real world and learn to manage the challenges and responsibilities that they will face in higher education and beyond.

In Year 10, students meet for the first time with the College Counselor to discuss course selections and extracurricular and career interests.

As students move on to Year 11, the College Counselor plays a key role in developing a long-term, individualized plan for standardized testing, college selection, and admissions. This holistic approach to learning helps students feel safe and secure to fulfil their full potential, and enables them to thrive in a world of opportunity. 


Understanding the Curriculum

Course Routes

The Core Curriculum:

All students will choose ONE subject from Social Studies:

All students can then choose to study one double elective (4 lessons per week) or two single electives (2 lessons of two different subjects per week):

Guidance and C.A.S.E.

Advisory Groups
Every student is part of an Advisory Group led by a teacher (Advisor) that meets daily for meetings, notices, and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). PSHE helps students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to manage their lives now and in the future. The wide-ranging curriculum prepares students to manage the most critical opportunities, challenges, and responsibilities they will face and helps them connect and apply their knowledge in all school subjects to practical, real-life situations.


Creativity, Action, Service, and Enrichment (C.A.S.E.) boosts students’ holistic learning, enabling them to develop new skills, take on new challenges, and perform community outreach. Every half-term, students may select one of five C.A.S.E. projects to pursue. They range from documentary filmmaking and MIT challenges to Philosophy 101 and initiatives with local community organizations. Students work on projects, vertically in Middle and High School, on Friday afternoons during the last two lessons of the day.



Assessment Purpose of Assessment Assessment is the gathering and analysis of information about student performance. It identifies what students know, understand, can do, and feel at different stages in the learning process; this information guides teachers in instruction. Assessment is an ongoing and daily part of school life, and the formative comments students receive develop their understanding of the skills and knowledge required to be successful in each course.


Curriculum Guide

Lower High Curriculum Guide 23-24



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