Top 3 International School Curriculum Options for Your Child
Do you know the international school curriculum that you want your child to study?
Not all international schools were made equal. Some are better than others because they offer a better curriculum. A curriculum will dictate the trajectory of your child’s learning. It is the very thing that makes international schools different from other local schools. With an international school education, you are ensuring that your child is getting the same kind of education that kids in Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, and the US are getting. You are equalling the playing field for your child’s future. You are asserting your child’s right to the same bright future. Hence, it is imperative that you’re particular with your international curriculum of choice. You should only enroll your child in a school that offers the kind of international school curriculum that you want. If you want your child to have a fully empowered educational experience, you should be fully aware of international school curriculums to choose from. But do you even know what you want? Do you even know your choices?
If your answer to both questions is negative, then we are here to help. This article will enlist everything that you need to know when it comes to three of the best international school curriculums to choose from. After reading this, you’d become an empowered parent who fully knows how to navigate the path to preparing an extremely bright future for your child. After reading this, you’d be able to easily pick the best international school for your child.
The three of the best international school curriculums to choose from for your child are as follows:
- International Baccalaureate
- British National Curriculum
- U.S. Curriculum
The following are the main things that you need to understand about the three:
Option #1: International Baccalaureate
- A rigorous and challenging curriculum that is used by thousands of international schools all over the world
- It is known as the most academically challenging curriculum
- Offers four educational programs
- Developed in Switzerland in the 1960s for students based in countries outside of their home culture
- Ideal for students with a nomad lifestyle
This curriculum can only be offered by international schools that are authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization. If this is the curriculum of your choice, it is imperative that you verify if your preferred international school is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization. Schools that use this curriculum are called IB World Schools.
These are the four educational programmes that your child will go through if you’d chose this curriculum:
- Primary Years Programme (PYP) for students 3 – 12 yo
- Middle Years Programme (MYP) for students 11 – 16 yo
- Diploma Programme (DP) for students 16 – 19 yo
- Career-related Programme (CP) for students 16 – 19 yo
In this curriculum, your child will choose between DP or CP upon reaching the age of 16.
For a DP diploma, your child will undergo a two-year course that will lead to university entrance. Your child will be undertaking the following:
- Completion of courses in six areas that come with written assignments
- Completion of a 4,000-word extended essay
- 150 hours of related activity and community service
The DP is known to be hard and challenging. So much so that some students fail to finish it.
If your child does not prefer the DP path, your child can opt to complete the CP. The CP is specially catered to students with specific career paths. In CP, your child will receive professional and personal development skills and special instruction in the following areas:
Completing either the CP or DP will allow your child to be admitted to a university. You should not opt for a school that offers this curriculum if you’re looking for a British Curriculum International School. An IB curriculum is different from a British National Curriculum.
Option #2: British National Curriculum
- Centered heavily on examinations
- Students receive a level-based assessment
- Minimal to no assignments given
- Comes in two levels: primary and secondary
These are the two levels that your child will go through if you’d chose this curriculum:
- Primary Level (1 – 6 years)
- Secondary Level (7 – 11 years)
Each level is divided into different stages for assessment purposes:
- Key Stage 1 – for years 1 – 3 – Students need to pass the Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) on science, mathematics, and English
- Key Stage 2 – for years 4 – 6 – Students need to pass the Standard Assessment Tests (SATS) on science, mathematics, and English
- Key Stage 3 – for year 9 – assessment on science, mathematics, and English.
- Key Stage 4 – for years 10 and 11 – Students must pass 5 or more national exams to have a General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) so that they can move on to A levels. A student can choose to not proceed to Key Stage 5. Taking A-level exams will be required in the next stage.
- Key Stage 5 – for years 12 and 13 – A-level subsidiary exams (AS) and Advanced-level (A-level) exams must be taken.
Option #3: U.S. Curriculum
- Centered on assignments and performance
- Examinations are not given much emphasis
- Comes in three levels: elementary, middle, and high
- Assessments done have no bearing on year-to-year advancement
- Has a broad content
These are the three levels that your child will go through if you’d chose this curriculum:
- Elementary School – grades K-5
- Middle School – grades 6-8
- High School – grades 9-12
The US Curriculum offers a range of subjects — math, science, English, history, foreign languages, music, art, and physical education. There is not much emphasis on examinations. Students studying this curriculum do not have to take up A-level exams. However, students need to take either the ACT or SAT to qualify for university admission.