Grades 9 & 10 / IGCSE

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ISH is a certified center for Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), a part of the prestigious University of Cambridge in the UK.  CIE oversees the curriculum in Grade 9 and Grade 10 that leads to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). Both the curriculum and the methods of assessment are appropriate for a wide ability range and lead to a qualification that is equivalent in standard to the British GCSE and international ‘O’ Level examinations. Click here for the ISH IGCSE Handbook.

IGCSE provides a strong foundation for higher level further education courses like the International Baccalaureate and is recognized by schools and universities around the world. The IGCSE examinations are now taken by over one million candidates in 157 countries each year.

Subject Choices/Option Blocks

Option Blocks allow students to chose from a wide range of subjects. Students who wish to qualify for the International Certificate of Education (ICE) must choose at least one subject from each of the optional blocks. Cambridge ICE is a group award for Cambridge IGCSE, recognized in the US and South America.

It allows you to offer a broad and balanced curriculum by recognizing the achievements of students who pass examinations in at least seven subjects, including two languages, and one subject from each of the other subject groups: humanities and social sciences, sciences, mathematics and creative, technical and vocational. In addition, all IGCSE students will participate in compulsory Physical Education lessons each week and in the school’s Community, Action, Service (CAS) Program.

ISH will offer most of the choices below for the students entering Grade 9. The actual courses ISH ends up running is based on student interest, staffing, room availability and scheduling.

First Language

Second Language



Humanities and Social Sciences
English Literature

Creative‚ Technical and Vocational
Art and Design

Suitability for a wide range of students

To offer more differentiated instruction that takes account of differing abilities, there is a choice between Core and Extended curriculum papers in most subjects- these include English, Mathematics and the Sciences.   While the school recommends the choice  of whether they should opt for Extended OR Core, the final decision about the level is made by the student and the parent.

Subject choices

No alterations to the subject list will be allowed after January 15th  in the second year of the Course


Each course requires several papers.  These papers may take the form of exams or other requirements.  A coursework alternative may be available for some of the papers in some of the subjects. The choice of whether the coursework option is available rests with the school, not the students.

Letter grades are awarded on a 9-point scale from A* to G, with an A* being highest. The grading for the Core exams begin from a C grade as opposed to A* for the Extended. Clear guidelines are given to explain the standard of achievement.