The IGCSE programmes are for children from age 5 to 19. Schools who want to take up IGCSE can either take all the stages or just some specific stage. Schools taking up this programme are completely supported by means of teacher training, classroom resources, providing a good teaching structure, assessment and more. The programmes offered in this are the following
- English as a Primary language is offered which helps the students to communicate effectively and develop skills to critically analyse information, texts and media.
- English as a Second Language helps the learners to develop the basic skills in the language, listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- The Mathematics programme includes numbers, geometry, handling data, measure and problem solving. It focuses on functions and relationships, principles, systems and patterns. What is taught can be applied giving it a holistic outlook.
- The content areas of the Science programme are Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. History of Science and environmental awareness are also a part of the curriculum. Scientific inquiry, planning, investigation recording and analysing data are the skills that are inculcated into the students.
Aim of the Programme
These are the core subjects; however there are over 70 subjects which include 30 languages. The schools can take up any combination of these subjects. The aim of this programme is to develop the knowledge, understanding and skills in the subject opted by the candidate.
- The knowledge and understanding gained should help them apply it new areas and in situations that are not familiar to them.
- Instil the love for learning and keep the fire of intellectual enquiry burning.
- Develop the ability to be flexible and respond positively to changes.
- To be able to communicate and work well in English.
- A student undergoing the programmes should be capable of influencing outcomes.
All this is done keeping in mind the cultural difference and so cultural awareness is given due importance. Even if the IGCSE programme has an international outlook, it keeps the local relevance intact. The local cultural impact on the subjects is definitely very important and the programme helps to include the local cultural inputs.
Assessment is also very structured and skills are systematically assessed. Assessment operates at three levels- Initial Steps, Next steps and On track. Each level has two stages and a certificate is awarded at the completion of each stage. The modules in the syllabus have assessment criteria. At the same time there is enough freedom to design one’s own assessment. The curriculum, modules at each stage and level is designed to make the students active and creative in their learning process all through their life. In UK the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation used to allow only private schools to run the IGCSE programme. But now IGCSE subjects are being allowed in state-funded schools as well. Implementing the IGCSE programme is any other country requires the school to obtain the respective country’s regulations. Since there is local relevance in the programmes many schools in various countries round the globe find have taken up this programme.