The Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education or IGCSE was created more than 30 years ago and stands today as the world’s most popular international qualification for teenagers aged 14-16 years old. While other international schools in Ho Chi Minh City follow the IB Middle Years Programme or country-specific curriculums, here we present 3 reasons why we feel the IGCSE curriculum better prepares your child for a successful future:
Preparation for the IBDP and beyond
The IGCSE curriculum is excellent preparation for the IB Diploma Programme, providing your child with a solid understanding of foundational concepts to build upon in Years 12 and 13.
The breadth and depth of knowledge combined with the skills required by the IGCSE is second to none. The curriculum is flexible and application-based, designed in such a way that it will encourage your child to create their own ideas and resources. The teachers facilitate learning by providing the foundation of the syllabus whilst students are expected to analyse the subject matter to develop a better understanding of the content. Deputy Head Teacher Ms Amy Murphy explains more: “Ultimately, we focus on developing the students as learners. It’s not just about retaining knowledge, it’s about appreciating the process of learning so that students are able to approach the Diploma Programme with the right mindset.”
Our teachers take the opportunity to stretch and challenge students which in conjunction with the rigour and structure of the IGCSEs provides a suitable launchpad for success during the IB Diploma, as proven by our outstanding examination results year on year. In 2019 the British International School Ho Chi Minh City was the only school in Vietnam to make the ‘Global Top 50 IB World Schools’ based on our students’ average IBDP score. This is a testament to the strength of the IGCSE curriculum in preparing students for success in the IB Diploma and beyond.
It’s important to note that it’s not only the content that is covered during the IGCSEs that will put your child at a major advantage, but the types of assessments undertaken as well. Through coursework moderation and formal examinations at the end of the 2-year programme, your child will be well prepared for external exams during the IBDP and later on at university, something students are not exposed to with other curriculums such as the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP).
One of the unique features of the IGCSE curriculum is that it provides your child with a set of externally validated formal qualifications at the age of 16 which will stay with them for the rest of their lives as a mark of academic prowess. These qualifications are a statement of each students’ educational attainment and performance independently measured against a common specification. They are recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide making the curriculum an ideal choice if your child plans to relocate and pursue higher studies in a foreign country.
In other curriculums, students only receive a formal qualification when they finish high school at the age of 18. This is a clear advantage of the IGCSEs over comparable curriculums particularly with regard to university applications. Institutions are able to make their acceptance decisions based not just on predicted A-Level or IB Diploma grades but on tangible academic achievement in Years 10 and 11.
A majority of our students remain at BIS to complete the IB Diploma after they’ve finished their IGCSEs in Year 11. However, as is common in an international school, our student population is extremely transient. We often have students relocating to different countries and curriculums as their parents move away from Vietnam. If this is a possibility for your family then be assured that your child will be armed with a set of recognised qualifications they can take with them onto their next school. This will not only mean your child has a great breadth and depth of knowledge in a wide range of subjects but it allows the new school to understand at what level your child is learning at, enabling them to put provisions in place to ensure a seamless transition into a new education system.
The IGCSEs at BIS HCMC provide your child with more options than any other international qualification: more subjects to choose from, more ways to learn and more opportunities to succeed.
Speak to our admissions team now to discover more about an educational experience with one of Vietnam’s leading international schools.