At what level can my child start the Cambridge Curriculum?

At L’école Chempaka International (LCI), we offer the Cambridge Curriculum from Primary level to IGCSE.

Can we switch from ICSE to Cambridge Curriculum at any level?

Enhanced by L’école’s own dynamic method, honed over the years, and a careful selection of cross-curricular text books, our ICSE curiculum has proved to be a solid foundation for our students, and prepares them well to take up any programme in Senior School. With this base, they can excel in either the ICSE or Cambridge IGCSE streams in senior school equally well. Even by Grade 8, students will be in a position to make an informed choice and opt to focus on preparation for either the Cambridge IGCSE or ICSE Board examinations in Grade 10.

How do LCI teachers handle the International curiculum?

Our teachers undergo the ongoing training programme as well as online training programme by the University of Cambridge International Examinations to familiarise themselves with assessment objectives and marking scheme, so that they can formulate effective lesson plans. Lessons are tailored for active student participation and hands-on learning. Teachers constantly update their plans to make lessons effective and meaningful. We aim towards a student-led and teacher-facilitated classroom experience.

Is the course content for Cambridge IGCSE examinations meant to be covered in 2 or 3 years?

In general, the University of Cambridge International Examinations recommends around 130 guided learning hours for each subject for preparation for the board examinations. The course content can be covered over 2 years (Grades 9 and 10). At LCI, we begin the programme in Grade 8 to give the students an additional year to review, be exposed to and prepared in the course content and assessment objectives.

What are the subjects offered in LCI?

LCI offers the students a balanced mix of 12 selected subjects. In Grade 8, students are expected to take all 12 subjects to give them a wide base. In Grades 9 and 10, they may choose to drop a few subjects, aiming for a minimum of 9 subjects. Cambridge ICE is the group award of the IGCSE and requires the study of at least 7 subjects drawn from the five different IGCSE subject groups.

Is the IGCSE a less demanding programme than the ICSE?

Though parents will find that the student has comparatively less of information to memorise in the IGCSE programme, the open-ended nature of the programme calls for a lot of hands-on activity by the student in terms of projects and independent research.

To gain the exposure and confidence necessary, students will have assignments and projects to complete and hand in on a regular basis. We also work most Saturdays for workshops and field trips. The sports hour everyday is also compulsory. Thus, the IGCSE is certainly a demanding programme, though not in the same way as ICSE.

A bright student can excel on an international stage through the IGCSE programme. Students are exposed to open-ended, activity-based learning, and are well prepared for critical thinking and the research and inquiry method required to excel in higher studies.

The course itself is more paced out and due to smaller numbers in classes, necessitated by activity-based learning, and students get more individual attention and are able to explore their creative / analytical side more through exposure to an up-to-date, modern curriculum.

The standard of the Humanities & Social Sciences group in particular (English Literature, History and Geography) is very high, and enriching. Students who are comfortable with the English language can excel in this course if they apply themselves.

How does Cambridge IGCSE compare to ICSE?

Being of the same root, the content covered in both curricula is similar for the sciences and mathematics. While the ICSE programme might require the student to go more in-depth in certain areas, the IGCSE programme tests the student’s grasp of concept, reasoning, analysis and critical thinking. The question pattern, and what the student is tested on, is thus different, as the IGCSE is not a text-book oriented course.

It is therefore misleading to say that either curriculum is ‘easier’ or ‘tougher’. They are simply similar in content, but different in their approach to testing knowledge.

What are the options for further studies in India after IGCSE?

Cambridge learners acquire knowledge, skills and understanding that enable them to enter or re-enter the Indian education system without difficulty. They are better prepared for more independent study.

Top colleges across India recognise and value the Cambridge IGCSE and A-Level (+2) programme. Overseas and nationally, IGCSE Level leads to the A Level (+2) or IB Diploma Programme. The Association of Indian Universities (AIU), states that 5 passes at IGCSE Level, with Grade C or above and at least 2 passes at A Level, is equivalent to a +2 stage qualification of an Indian board, giving access to bachelor degree programmes at Indian Universities.

Candidates intending to join Medical or Engineering degrees are required to have A Level passes in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths & English, in addition to 5 passes at IGCSE Level. For a list of Colleges/ Universities in India’s equivalency criteria for IGCSE/ A Levels, look up: http://recognition.cie.org.uk/SearchRecognitionsResults.aspx

Choosing Cambridge international qualifications opens up a world of opportunity. For details, see: https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/why-choose-us/benefits-of-a-cambridge-education/