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Cambridge Accreditation and Progression

Cambridge Accreditation and Progression

Cambridge Assessment International Examinations is the world’s largest non-governmental provider of examinations and qualifications.  Being a part of the CAIE group means that we, at Royal School, have access to the best Primary, Secondary and Advanced resources and training available at the current time, anywhere in the world.  So what does this mean for you and your child/children?  In a bid to make this as user friendly as possible, the following four sections outline the stages, and details therein, of the Cambridge programme: Primary (5-11 years of age), Secondary 1 (11-14 years of age), Secondary 2 (14-16 years of age) and Advanced (16-19 years of age).

Cambridge Primary

Primary Curriculum, Y1-Y6 (5-11 years of age, KS1,2)

Royal School Primary curriculum encompasses Years 1 to 6 and is a combination of the National Curriculum for England and Cambridge Primary.  At Royal School we use the ‘core’ elements of English, Mathematics and Science as well as ‘foundation’ elements of Art & Design, Computing, Foreign Languages (KS 2 onwards), Geography, History, Music, Drama and Physical Education.

Cambridge Secondary 1

Secondary 1 Curriculum, Y7-Y9 (11-14 years of age, KS3)

Royal School Lower Secondary curriculum encompasses Years 7 to 9 and is, again a combination of both the National Curriculum of England and Cambridge Secondary 1.  At Royal School, again, we use the ‘core’ curricula of English, Mathematics and Science and the ‘foundation’ curricula for Art & Design, Computing, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, History, Music, Physical Education, Drama and Religious Studies.

Cambridge IGCSE

Upper Secondary (IGCSE) Curriculum Y10-Y11 (14-16 years of age, KS4)

Two-thirds of the way through Year 9, students and parents will be invited in for an extra consultation based on potential ‘optional’ subjects to be undertaken at Year 10.  During this information session, teachers will be available for a short presentation about their respective subjects.  They will also be available for one-to-one discussions also. This heralds the start of the process of choosing subjects which will underpin future careers and study at tertiary level – indeed, this time is very important.  From here it is essential that Royal School students make sensible choices based upon research and data.  Students must play to their respective strengths and elect subjects which suit their learning abilities and styles.

Cambridge AS&A

Advanced Supplementary(AS) and Advanced (A) Level Curriculum Y12-Y13 (16-19 years of age, KS5)

Royal School will implement the study of AS and A-Level in the early part of the 2018-10 academic year.  Cambridge A-Levels represent the ‘Gold’ Standard’ in education and are regarded as such in universities throughout the world.  Any student who undertakes study at AS and A-Level should be aware that, whilst the end qualifications are very attractive, they are not easy to achieve.  For some students, A-Levels are the most difficult elements on the road to success and require a very swift maturing and understanding of learning which many students find difficult, initially.  However, with the right support and dedication this is overcome and the respective subjects come alive.

CIE + RS Fees 2017 (Euros): Fees Per Subject Examination Fee Administrative Fee Private Candidate Fee (One-Off Fee) Total Per Subject
AS Level/A2 Level 62 44 85 191
IGCSE 58 22 85 165
Secondary 1 Checkpoint 21 30 N/A 51

Advantages and Disadvantages of the NC/CIE System

As with any education system, there are advantages and disadvantages.  In the case of NC and CAIE many of the programmes are regarded as difficult and can seem as though they are inaccessible to those of a lesser ability.  As you will have read, CAIE do offer options for entry at ‘Core’ or ‘Extended’ level.  Furthermore, for any system to be worth its salt, it should be rigorous, developmental, provoke deep thought and develop learners’ abilities.  Cambridge does this and more – certainly the weight of the advantages is towards those with academia in mind and, unfortunately, not the vocational.

Advantages Disadvantages
A whole-through system from Primary to A-Level It is in the best interests of the student to stay within the Cambridge system – change can result in difficulties.
Great depth of learning Can be inaccessible to some students of lesser abilities
Wide variety of assessment and learning opportunities Students are not ‘spoon-fed’ information but need to learn strategies for discovery
Independent learning is strong Variations of when students are mature enough to take responsibility
Wide variety of subjects available Can seem overwhelming at times
Teaches lifelong learning skills: research, team-working, independent learning, time management, revision, filtering, reflection, review  and independent thought. Higher order thinking skills can omit certain students with under-developed abilities.
Transparent assessment, communication and reporting. Students can feel over-assessed at times.
CIE programmes are developmental, flexible and always build on prior knowledge Transfer from alternative systems can require catch-up
A powerful foundation for Tertiary education and beyond Not all students want tertiary education – can seem very academic biased.
Integrity is everything – all external papers are shipped overseas for marking and standardization is rigorous None
Widely respected and highly regarded – globally ‘Pass’ percentages can be very high and limiting to students of lesser ability.
CIE qualifications are accepted at over 1400 institutions across 195 countries None

The list above represents a portion of the educational experience of working with NC and CAIE over many years – it is designed to offer the profound advantages of studying within an English National Curriculum and Cambridge International Examinations system.

Royal School is unique in that the best of both the English National Curriculum and Cambridge Assessment International programmes are utilised to ensure that we have the strongest and most trusted academic offer.

Yours sincerely,

Paul James Page
Head of Royal School