SECONDARY SCHOOL

ACADEMICS
ISSA – Senior

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME

The curriculum which we follow leads to examinations set by the world-renowned University of Cambridge authority based in the United Kingdom, Cambridge Assessment International Education. Great emphasis is placed on the acquisition of skills, the application of knowledge and the development of a broad range of subjects.

The following programmes outlined below align with each other leading to the holistic development of all students and rigorous benchmarking of assessments.

  • Key Stage 3 (Form 1 – Form 3)
  • Key Stage 4: IGCSE (International General Certificate in Secondary Education (Form 4 – Form 5)
  • Key Stage 5: AS – Level (Advanced Subsidiary Level (Lower 6))
  • Key Stage 5: A – Level (Advanced Level (Upper 6))

South African and international universities welcome AS-Level as an entry qualification and A-Level qualifications are accepted world-wide. The International School has an impressive record of university placement in the best universities in South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America, Middle East and Worldwide.

Deputy Head Academic

Ms Yukesha Makhan

I am delighted that you have taken the time to go through the Secondary School academic section of this website and I do hope that you will find all the information you need.

This newly updated website includes a range of important information which I hope that you will find very useful. On each of these pages you will find a subject overview which provides you with insight as to how subjects are taught at the school. Over and above this you will find yearly plans which consist of timely outlines as to what is taught in each of the subject areas.

A congenial environment is established in the school by a well-qualified, professional and caring team of teachers, administrators and members of the school community who recognise the merits of good modelling and who always put the needs of the students first. This consequently results in the holistic development of the student. Our vision is to ensure that all students perform to the best of their ability during their educational journey at the school.

At the International School of South Africa we believe the success of our students is due to the coordination of students, teachers and parents working together. Hence the intended communication provides students and parents with information relating to the aims of the content of our curriculum, and of our assessment and reporting procedures.

The International School of South Africa endeavours to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners, who are caring of and understanding to the needs and differences of other people.  This rigorous and diverse programme offers students the opportunity to further develop strengths, improve confidence and tackle developmental areas. Small classes allow for student expression and individuality to be nurtured and enhanced.

Please feel free to contact me should you have any queries regarding the curriculum on offer at the school.

Senior

Curriculum

The International School of South Africa follows the Cambridge Curriculum which falls under Cambridge Assessment International Education. Cambridge Assessment International Education is an Examination Board under Cambridge Assessment founded in 1858 as a department of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge Assessment International Education offers examinations and qualifications in more than 127 countries. Cambridge qualifications include international A-Level, O-Level, Cambridge IGCSE and Cambridge Pre-U. Examinations are open to students internationally at registered Cambridge Assessment International Education centres.

Cambridge Assessment International Education first developed the Cambridge IGCSE more than 20 years ago for an international student body. Today, Cambridge Assessment International Education offers more than 70 subjects for Cambridge IGCSE, benchmarked to UK GCSE standards. The flexibility of these qualifications and their local and worldwide acceptance makes this a step in the right direction for a variety of reasons.

Cambridge Assessment International Education is the largest provider of international secondary (age 14-18 years) examinations in the world. Over 500 000 papers were taken in 9 000 schools in 127 countries in 2009 and these numbers increase year on year. The IGCSE examinations are now also accessible to state schools in England and Wales. The Cambridge curriculum prepares students well for university and for life. The Cambridge Assessment International Education provides a quality qualification with an alternative choice that is internationally recognised.

Subjects offered at the International School of South Africa are outlined below

Key Stage 3 (Form 1 – Form 3)

Students in Form 1 will be expected to take the following compulsory subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • First Language English
  • Second Language (chosen from French, Afrikaans or Setswana)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Drama
  • Information Technology
  • Physical Education

Students in Form 1 will be expected to take the following compulsory subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • First Language English
  • Second Language (chosen from French, Afrikaans or Setswana)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Drama
  • Information Technology
  • Physical Education

In Form 3 students will be expected to study the following compulsory subjects:

  • Mathematics
  • First Language English
  • Second Language (chosen from French, Afrikaans or Setswana)
  • History
  • Geography
  • Design and Technology
  • Music
  • Art and Design
  • Drama
  • Information Technology
  • Physical Education

In the third term of Form 3, around September or October, students in Form 3 are asked to make a selection for their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) subjects. This is a total of 9 subjects with four being compulsory:

  • English Language – first subject
  • English Literature – second subject
  • Second language – fourth subject – either Afrikaans or French.
  • Mathematics – third subject – this subject has two different tiers:

The students are then expected to choose four subjects from the following:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Geography
  • History
  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Accounting
  • Drama
  • Art and Design
  • Computer Studies
  • Design and Technology
  • Physical Education
  • Music

The subjects chosen at the end of Form 3 are now studies for a full two years. During October / November of the Form 5 year, the student will write the external IGCSE examinations. In the past few years, results have been made available between 17th – 20th January.

A student must obtain a minimum of 5 ‘C’ symbols of which three of the subjects passed must be mathematics, English Language and a Second Language, in the IGCSE examination to be accepted into AS – Level.

The student is then required to choose four subjects at AS-Level and three subjects at A – Level These subjects must have been passed at IGCSE at extended level with a minimum of a ‘C’ symbol.

The AS and A – Level courses are demanding and requires very good work ethic and commitment to the subjects that students have chosen. The important aspects to remember for the best preparation and maximum benefit for these examinations are:

Requirements of the course:

  • Material covered is in depth
  • The course in all subjects is designed to encourage and demand critical and analytical thinking
  • The responses that are given by students throughout the year in both the preparation and revision of the subject matter demands that there is a systematic flow of information, combining facts with analysis of why the facts are what they are and critically analysing the conclusions of the information given
  • The manner in which a student prepares an answer is consistently and critically marked for factual interpretation and style throughout the AS and A – Level course
  • Past papers and the expected answers are thoroughly analysed and practiced by students during the revision periods.

The AS and A – Level examinations are written in October / November. In the past few years, results have been made available between 9th – 11th January.

LEARNING SUPPORT PROGRAMME

The International School of South Africa recognises the need to enable, empower and allow all students to grow and develop to their full potential in all aspects of their school life. The school offers a dynamic, inclusive and progressive whole school support structure for all students whereby they have numerous opportunities to experience success – whatever the extent of their academic, emotional and developmental needs are.

The Learning Support Programme is an intervention programme that aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop the necessary academic and social skills to ensure a positive school experience. Students on the Programme are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning; they must know their strengths and weaknesses and work to accomplish success. These are the following we focus on:

FOCUS

  • Academic support, tailored to suit the needs of the individual student;
  • Subject-specific learning, i.e. catch-up learning;
  • Improving the understanding of key topics and concepts;
  • Subject specific exam preparation and revision;
  • Constructive examination feedback – analysis of exam results, exam papers, student answer papers;
  • Compilation of statistical data to manage individual student progress;
  • Development of planning and organisational skills;

FOCUS

  • Building self-esteem, enjoyment of learning and pride in academic achievement;
  • Support to students with diagnosed learning difficulties and / or physical disabilities
  • Concessions;
  • Engaging the “disengaged and unplugged” students through motivation, perseverance and goal setting;
  • Assistance and remediation where learners  have lost their way  in an academic gap;
  • English for Speakers of Other / Foreign Languages (ESOL / EFL) Programme

Students who require assistance appear on the Learning Support register and are expected to attend weekly group or individual sessions with the Learning Support team. Parents are also involved in the process by meeting twice a term with the team to discuss student’s academic performance and update Individual Educational Plans.

Personal 

Social Development

The Personal Social Development (PSD) programme at the International School of South Africa is a school subject through which students develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern world. Evidence shows that well-delivered PSD programmes have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for students, particularly the most vulnerable students in communities.

The skills and attributes developed through PSD education are also shown to increase academic attainment and attendance rates.

PSD is not formally assessed at the school; however, to be successful independent learners, students need regular opportunities to reflect on and identify what they have learned, what needs to be learned next and what they need to do to continue their learning. Teachers also need to be clear about the progress and achievements of the students they teach, and how their learning might be improved.

 

The aims of our programme are to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team work, critical thinking and Approaches to Learning. This is in the context of learning being grouped into four core themes:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Life Skills (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education).

PSD is a subject which is pivotal to the holistic development of each student. We are keenly aware and support the evidence which indicates that PSD education can address large topical issues which are a scourge on our society today:

 

  • Cyber bullying
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Substance misuse
  • Unhealthy eating
  • Extremism
  • Emotional health

Individual Educational Plan (IEP)

IEP is a personalised plan and record of action undertaken to ensure that students with additional needs to those of their peers are fully included in the life of our learning community and have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.

In line with the SEN Code of Practice and contemporary research, IEPs at the school are written and implemented according to the following principles:

 

  • IEPs should be working documents with a practical value in the present moment – they should not be a ‘paper exercise’.
  • IEPs should act as a profile outlining a student’s particular strengths and difficulties.
  • IEPs should actively involve the student, parents / carers, colleagues and where necessary, external agent Cambridge Assessment International Educations.
  • IEPs should work towards the outcome of ‘every teacher is a teacher of special needs’ as well as specific outcomes for Learning Support staff.
  • IEPs should outline action additional and different to everyday classroom practice, taking into account what the student can already do independently.
  • IEPs should be accessible to all involved – using ‘Plain English’, avoiding jargon and ‘information overload’.

Who is entitled to an IEP?

We operate a policy whereby only those students placed on the Special Educational Needs / Learning Support register or students who have been allowed to proceed (ATPd) or an in the danger zone with multiple additional needs and clearly identified as currently underachieving or having underachieved within the past 12 months are assigned an IEP.

How is an IEP created and maintained?

The following process is adhered to in the creation and maintenance of IEPs:

E Visser and / or DoS identify the additional needs of the student through distribution of a monitoring form to all teachers, screening / standardised assessments, referral to external agents, Cambridge Assessment International Educations and liaison with Primary / previous schools. The Educational Psychologists report will also be used to establish concessions for students.

IEP review

Each Individual Educational Plan begins by outlining the intended outcomes of the action undertaken.
Fulfilment of intended outcomes will be measured through consultation with colleagues, Monitoring Forms, screening / standardised assessments, IEP Meetings and for students with a Statement of SEN, through the Termly Review process. Once meetings have been completed and a noticeable difference documented, students then no longer have to be part of the Programme.

Assessments

At the International School of South Africa rigorous, benchmarked assessments take place throughout the academic year. Summative and formative assessments form the basis of all assessments. We simply do not just merely focus on examinations, as is the case with other programmes. Individual needs of students are identified, nurtured and met through the assessment process. Formative assessments are continuous and informal. Assignments are designed to provide effective future learning by identifying difficulties, errors, misunderstandings and offering guidance to improve. Examples of formative assessments are: question-and-answer sessions, observations, worksheets, journals and / or homework. Formative assessments determine how much students have learned and how much they still have to learn.

Summative assessments encompass all the knowledge students should have learned in a specific subject or unit, and they are more formal, such as tests, quizzes, essays or projects. These assessments are periodic assessments, designed to identify the standard of attainment at a particular time.

Academics

Approaches to Learning

At the International School of South Africa these are our expectations for Approaches to Learning skills and attitudes at the school. They show a profile of a student who would be recognised as ‘excellent’ in each category. These will be reported to parents three times each year in all subjects.

Effort: tries hard, stays on task

The student consistently shows interest by asking pertinent and sensible questions at appropriate times and keeps up with the note taking as required. The student does as much as s / he can and shows a willingness to try in all areas (this also applies to homework). S / he is always ready to answer questions, and shows good listening skills and concentration. Teacher comments are taken note of and an effort is made to improve on past work. S / he is on task for the whole lesson, avoiding distractions such as chatting or time wasting.

Punctual, equipped and ready for work

The student will always have the necessary materials: texts, files, paper, pen, diary, pencil, eraser, sharpener, ruler, and for Mathematics and Science, compasses, protractor, and scientific or graphical calculator. For Physical Education (PE) the student will have the necessary kit and be changed in good time. The student will always be on time to class, and will settle down quickly and quietly ready to start the lesson. There is no need to go to lockers or visit other teachers between lessons. The student always makes sure any missed class work or homework is caught up at the earliest opportunity.

Effort: tries hard, stays on task

The student consistently shows interest by asking pertinent and sensible questions at appropriate times and keeps up with the note taking as required. The student does as much as s / he can and shows a willingness to try in all areas (this also applies to homework). S / he is always ready to answer questions, and shows good listening skills and concentration. Teacher comments are taken note of and an effort is made to improve on past work. S / he is on task for the whole lesson, avoiding distractions such as chatting or time wasting.

Thinks critically and creatively

The student shows evidence of thinking critically and can evaluate both his / her own performance and that of others. By understanding a problem, the student can suggest creative solutions. The student is able to analyse and synthesise situations. S / he asks pertinent and incisive questions.

Ability to organise work effectively

The student always hands work in on the due date. His / her work shows evidence of thought and planning, with all parts neatly attempted, showing that the student has tried his/her best. If the student has difficulty with the work or deadline or is unsure about any aspect of a task, s/he will see the teacher in advance – at least the day before. Notes and diary entries are well-organised. The student always proofreads all written work before handing in.

School work presented appropriately

If working on file paper the student always put his / her name and tutor group on the top left of the page, with the date on the top right. The title is underlined neatly with a ruler. His/her writing is clear. S/he proofreads work before submitting it to the teacher. Any errors are neatly crossed out. Correction fluid is not used. If the work is word processed, s / he uses the spell checker. The student takes pride in the presentation of his / her work.

Participates appropriately by showing co-operation and respect

This is about respect for peers and the teacher. S / he always listens to the teacher and other students. S/he stays on task and actively takes part in the lesson / activity / group work and never makes inappropriate comments or uses inappropriate language. The student always pays full attention in class and does not disrupt the lesson in any way. The student raises a hand to make a point. His/her chair and desk is straight, tidy and clean before leaving the room.

School Terms

The school follows a three term calendar. The school timetable runs on a weekly basis. The school day begins at 07:20 and ends at 13:35 every day for all forms. There is compulsory Inter-house on a Monday afternoon from 15:30 to 17:00 and compulsory Cultural Enrichment activities once a week on a Thursday from 14:30 to 15:30.

Students are expected to involve themselves in sport and / or cultural activities from Tuesday – Friday, 15:30 – 17:00.

Homework Timetable

Homework is an integral part of the academic programme. It provides students with an opportunity to reinforce their learning at school and establish appropriate attitudes, habits and commitment to learning. In some cases students will be required to consolidate work completed in class or to prepare for the following day. Homework exercises of this kind require prompt attention, diligence and focus if they are to be effective. On other occasions, students have considerable freedom to plan their own programme of work and to organise their own time.

Homework activities are an important means for the teacher to check a student’s understanding and application of knowledge and skills. Part of the purpose of homework is to encourage organisation, planning and self-discipline; it also allows students to demonstrate their commitment to academic work.

There will be occasions when homework tasks will be used to provide important assessment data, but due to the ease of gaining support and assistance, which are both valuable in their own ways, they will more often be used for the development of relevant approaches to learning. Homework should not become a burden to families, nor result in a reduction in leisure time and motivation to learn, or lead to an increase in stress and anxiety regarding homework.

It is important that each student keeps a record of homework set and planned.  To this end, students must carry their diaries with them to every lesson. In Forms 1 to 5 there is a homework timetable which teachers will use when setting homework on a specific day. Timetabled homework tasks as indicated below will help establish the importance of routine in students’ minds. These tasks will be feedback and recorded to students. Over and above the schedule indicated below, please expect additional homework to be allocated by subject teachers.

The allocation of Science homework in Form 4 – 5 will compromise Biology, Chemistry and Physics homework.

The time allowance is allocated as follows:

Form 1 – 3: 20 minutes per subject. This amounts to approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes per day.

Form 4 – 5: 30 minutes per subject. This amounts to approximately 2 – 3 hours per day.

Lower 6 – Upper 6: 1 hour per subject per day.

Vacation Work

We operate a policy whereby only those students placed on the Special Educational Needs / Learning Support register or students who have been allowed to proceed (ATPd) or an in the danger zone with multiple additional needs and clearly identified as currently underachieving or having underachieved within the past 12 months are assigned an IEP.

The School Timetable

The timetable consists of all subject areas with each period consisting of 35 minute periods. Subjects are timetabled either as single or double periods as per the requirements of the Subject Departments. The first period on a Monday is Assembly, which is formal event which sets the tone for the week.

Cambridge Assessment International Education Oral and Coursework deadlines 2018

All coursework components should be completed before the October / November examinations begin. Drama coursework will need to be posted by 30th March. All coursework components need to reach CIE by 31st October, thus posting will take place on 18th October.

A Level
Subject 1st Draft 2nd Draft Final (work handed in) Submission and YM Check
Art and Design     13th July 15th October
DT 22nd March 31st  May 27th September 11th  October
French     5th October 15th October

 

AS Level
Subject 1st Draft 2nd Draft Final (work handed in) Submission and YM Check
Art and Design     13th July 15th October
DT 15th March 24th May 5th September 12th October
French     28th September 12th October

 

IGCSE
Subject 1st Draft 2nd Draft Final work handed in) Submission and YM Check
         
Drama 8th February 2nd March 12th March 20th March
Art and Design     9th July 15th October
PE 23rd March 6th May 6th September 28th September
DT 7th March 9th May 27th September 16th October
English orals     12th – 21st September 8th October
French Orals     19th – 28th September 16th October

 

  1. PE: Term 2 – 20th July recording takes place.