Secondary Curriculum

The Secondary School Curriculum follows the National Curriculum for England offers our students a rich learning environment, challenging our students to set high goals and to strive for academic excellence in a truly international context. Our classes are taught by an international team of qualified, experienced native English and International teachers teaching individual subjects (English, Mathematics, Science, Computer Science, Arts, and Humanities) from Key Stage 3 up until the Key Stage 5 (referred to as the 6th Form).

For information about the curriculum offered in each Key Stage please refer the drop downs below or refer to the 6th Form page.


The move from Primary School to Secondary School, Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 (Years 7,8, & 9), from Year 6, to Year 7, is perhaps the most keenly anticipated educational transition for students at IBSB and around the world. We are sure we all remember the sense of excitement and trepidation felt at the thought of graduating Primary School as a senior student and starting Secondary School as a junior student. It is a traditional rite of passage for all students.

To help students at IBSB feel confident about the move from Primary to Secondary, we have organised a well-orchestrated transition programme in which the Year 7 students visit the Year 6 students to speak about life in Year 7 and to answer any questions they might have. The Year 6 students then visit the Year 7 students in the Secondary School, joining several lessons to get a feel for how the classes and the timetable run. There are also a number of other initiatives in place where the Prefects are assigned a Primary School class to work with each term, Primary School students are invited to make presentations in the Secondary School assemblies, and of course there are many school events involving both schools, such as UN DAY, School Productions, Sports Day, and the Summer Fete, to name just a few.

In Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to extend themselves both academically and socially. They have their lessons with specialist teachers, attending lessons in English, Mathematics, Science, a Modern Foreign Language (Spanish, German, or French), Geography, History, ICT, Art, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education), and PE. In addition to these core subjects, students also have the opportunity to experience new activities, sports, hobbies, arts and crafts, through the IBSB Club Programme that runs during the lunch breaks. There are a number of day trips and residential trips offered throughout the year, including the start of year Outward Bound Trip to help the students bond, the annual IBSB Ski Trip, and the end of Year Class Trip to celebrate the end of the year and all that has been achieved. And of course there are the student social dances that take place under the supervision of teachers, which are always a popular addition to the school calendar.

The purpose of the Key Stage 3 Programme is to provide students with a wide variety of experiences, to provide an environment whereby they can learn to become responsible independent learners, and to provide them with a solid academic base from which to commence their two year IGCSE programme in Year 10. At the end of Year 9 (April/May) students are entered to take the Cambridge Examination Checkpoint Exams.  These exams are for English, English as a second language, Mathematics and Science, and give valuable feedback on learners’ strengths and weaknesses before they progress to the next stage of education (IGCSE Programme in KS4). The expectation at this level is that students should be doing approximately 1 hour (Year 7), 1 ½ hours (Year 8), and 2 hours of homework a night, slowly building up to 5 hours a night by the start of Year 13.

Subjects Taught in KS3:

■ English ■ Mathematics   ■ Science    Information Communication Technology Life Skills (PSHE)   Physical Education

Modern Foreign Languages (French, German or Spanish)   History Geography  Drama   Art  Music   


Key Stage 4  (Years 10 & 11) is an exciting and challenging time for students as they begin the first leg of their journey toward gaining their International General Certificate in Secondary Education (IGCSE), which they will complete by the end of Year 11.

In Year 10 students will have the opportunity to personalise their educational path with different course options available to choose from. In addition to the compulsory subjects, English, Mathematics, Science, a Foreign Language, ICT, and PE, PSHE (Life Skills), students are able to choose 3 additional subjects from a diverse selection of interesting courses, ranging from Economics or Business Studies, to Sociology and Geography. Please refer to the IGCSE Course Guide below for more information on the courses available.

Academics – Academics Course Guide

In Key Stage 4 students are encouraged to be responsible, to manage their time effectively, and to take an active role in carving out their path toward their chosen career. It is at this point that we start to discuss with students their career options and to gently guide them toward universities that are best suited to their future aspirations. It is important that students are aware of the university application process from Year 10, so that they understand how their IGCSE exam results may affect their future university choices. The expectation at this level is that students should be doing approximately 3 hours of homework and revision study a night, working towards 5 hours a night by the start of Year 13.

Compulsory Subjects:

■ English (Second and First Language)  ■ Mathematics   ■ Coordinated Science: (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics) 

Optional Subjects (students select 3 additional IGCSE subjects from the following):

■ English Literature  ■ Music   ■ History    Art Sociology ■ Drama   ■ Psychology    Economics Business Studies Geography Modern Foreign Languages (French, German or Spanish) Information Computer Technology

Additional Subjects:

■ PE (Physical Education)  ■ Life Skills (PSHE)

For more details regarding specific subjects please check the parent portal, if you do not have access please request it from the school office/admissions department.