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Curriculum Guides
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March 27, 2017

Which School Curriculum Should I Choose?

Curriculum choice is one of the factors that seems to cause more hardship and confusion for parents than most others related to choice of school! In reality, when children start school at the age of 3 or 4, there is very little difference between what takes place in a UK curriculum Foundation classroom versus a US curriculum, IB curriculum or Indian curriculum school at this level.

The first year of school is very much about children learning to adapt to the “big school” environment, learning to socialise, to cooperate, and work together, about refining fine and gross motor skills and so on. It is definitely not the norm for children to spend long periods sitting on chairs at [...]

 
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September 16, 2016

British Pre-School Nursery Curriculum Guide & EYFS

Updated November 2016

Our pre-school guides have been written following requests from parents for us to help make sense of the early years choices facing them in deciding provision for their Child(ren). One concern that has been relayed to us is that parents, when visiting pre-schools as part of their shortlisting, face schools that to some degree seem “much of a muchness,” with children painting and generally carrying on activities that seem pretty standard and similar to what they would expect from  simple day care.

In the following, and related Pre-school Guides for the range of alternative curricular nurseries, we explore the differences between [...]

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September 15, 2016

Reggio Emilia Pre-School Curriculum Guide

Updated November 2016

In this Curriculum Guide we look at the Reggio Emilia approach to pre-school education.

In broad outline there are five different approaches adopted in the UAE, although in some schools these are combined on something of a ‘pick n’ mix’ basis:

(1) Reggio Emilia

(2) Montessori – our Curriculum Guide can be found here.

(3) Waldorf-Steiner

(4) Froebel

(5) UK /Traditional

Setting the scene

Typically, nursery schools provide pre-primary education for children between 3 and 4 years (according to the date of a child’s birthday this may be on a scale between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years) of age prior to their [...]

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September 13, 2016

Montessori Pre-School Curriculum Guide

Updated November 2016

In this Curriculum Guide we look at the Montessori approach to pre-school education.

In broad outline there are five different approaches adopted in the UAE, although in some schools these are combined on something of a ‘pick n’ mix’ basis:

(1) Montessori

(2) Reggio Emilia – our Curriculum Guide can be found here.

(3) Waldorf-Steiner

(4) Froebel

(5) UK /Traditional

 

Setting the scene

Typically, nursery schools provide pre-primary education for children between 3 and 4 years (according to the date of a child’s birthday this may be on a scale between 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years) of age prior to [...]

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May 3, 2016

Canadian High School Diploma GUIDE

Like its US counterpart, one of the challenges for prospective parents in understanding the Canadian High School Diploma system is the lack of consistency in its awarding and teaching between provinces. There is, to all intents and purposes, no single Canadian High School Diploma. As Shawn Merke, Founding Principal of the British Columbia Canadian School, currently under construction in Dubai Investments Park, told our sister site whichschooladvisor: “Education in Canada is developed by each individual province.  As such there is no standard Canadian curriculum.”

It is, frustratingly for parents given the complexity, instead necessary to look at Canadian High [...]

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May 3, 2016

International Baccalaureate IB Middle Years Programme MYP Guide

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) is (usually) studied over a five year period by students between the ages of 11 and 16 years between Grades 4 and 8.

The programme is formally examined between the ages of 14 and 16, a period in which the breadth of subject provision is narrowed (slightly) and key IB “added value” programmes kick in. The programme, unlike some other curricular, cannot be fast-tracked to be sat within one year.

Many parents fret that an IB school education is necessarily academic and that weaker or mixed ability children will suffer in IB schools, relative to the most academic children or otherwise gifted [...]

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May 3, 2016

American High School Diploma Guide

Updated November 2016

For all the benefits of a US High School Diploma based education in the UAE, choosing an American school is a minefield. There are very significant repercussions at stake for a student’s education, and future career and/or higher education study, if parent’s make a mistake in their choice of school or curriculum.

The first key challenge presented to parents is that the American (or US) High School Diploma does not have a single consistent curriculum, or a single awarding body. 

This may not be news if you are from the United States, it is however mystifying if you are not: It is very different from most other global [...]

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April 30, 2016

International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) Guide

Updated November 2016

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) is a new career-related qualification currently being trialled in a number of IB schools across the UAE.

The CP combines variants of the IB “core” found in the standard IB DP programme with two subjects drawn from its highly academic core subject groupings. These are combined with a non-IB vocational qualification provided by BTEC or Cambridge International – or an apprenticeship in industry.

The subject is graded very differently from the main IB Diploma and schools are given considerable latitude in the programs design and assessment to ensure that it meets the needs and [...]

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April 30, 2016

CISCE Certificate Of Vocational Education CVE12 Guide

Updated November 2016

Both the CBSE and CISCE are now offering Grade XII vocational alternatives to the standard academic board examinations, these designed to prepare candidates for specific vocations.

With global competition, students who would historically have left school to enter industry at the age of 16 are being pushed to remain at school to 18. The consequence has been to push non-academic children into inappropriate courses of study.

The vocational counterparts to traditional board examinations are designed to redress this by providing students with the advanced level of vocational education required to move straight into employment at age [...]

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April 29, 2016

International Baccalaureate IB Diploma Programme (DP) Guide

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) is a two-year highly academic programme generally taken by students between the age of 16 and 18 years in International Baccalaureate schools. The program’s value arguably lies primarily as a pre-entrance qualification for students seeking to progress to undergraduate study.

Many argue, however, that its value is intrinsic because, in its breadth of subject provision, it allows for the development of a much more rounded education than its alternatives, and particular the UK International A Level.

Those that hold this view often believe that students should only specialise later at university and that the role of [...]

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April 28, 2016

CISCE Indian School Certificate [ISC] Guide

The Indian School Certificate [ISC] is a private sector alternative to the Year XII CBSE All India Secondary School Examination (AISSCE).

The examination is taken in ICSE schools and underwritten by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations [CISCE]. The ISC is studied over a two-year period between Grades XI and XII by students between the ages of 16 and 18. Formulation of the curricula continues to be developed in association with the University of Cambridge.

The examination can only be sat in ICSE schools.

English is the only core subject and students can sit a maximum of 5 further electives. To pass students must study a minimum of 4 subjects [...]

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April 28, 2016

CISCE Indian Certificate Of Secondary Education Class X, ICSE Guide

Updated November 2016

Prospective parents committed to an Indian education face a binary choice between CBSE and CISCE schools in the Emirates. The debate between concerned parents and educators on whether a CBSE or an ICSE system is better is unresolved with major strengths and weakness of each presenting parents with a critical choice of curricular from an early age. Transfer between the two curricular is not simple or recommended.

The Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Class X [ICSE – Class X] is a private sector alternative to the CBSE All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE), historically developed in association with Cambridge University. At the risk [...]

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April 27, 2016

CBSE All India Senior School Certificate Examination AISSCE Guide

The All India Senior School Certificate (Examination) is the higher qualification studied for by students over a two-year period between the ages of 16 and 18 in CBSE schools. Results achieved by students in the AISSC are used by Universities in considering entrance to degree courses.

Entrance to the AISSCE is now automatic for children in Year 11 who wish to continue in further education, following the move to continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) in CBSE schools in all years to Grade X. CCE has not been introduced into the AISCE.

One knock-on impact of the move to CCE has been to increase the importance of the AISSCE by driving/enabling more students to remain at [...]

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April 26, 2016

CBSE All India Secondary School Examination AISSE Guide

Updated February 2017

The following should now be read in conjunction with our revised Guide on our sister site whichschooladvisor.com. Significant revisions have now been made to the Grade 10 qualification which effectively results in a complete reversal to the following, which we have left for information purposes. The bottom line is a return to  examination focused assessment. Further information can be found here.

Updated November 2016

The All India Secondary School Examination (AISSE) is the standard, Indian government backed secondary qualification for students taken between Grades 9 and 10 in CBSE-affiliated schools.

The Central Board of Secondary [...]

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April 26, 2016

International GCSE (IGCSE) Guide

Updated December 2016

The IGCSE, or International General Certificate of Secondary Education, is (usually) studied over a two-year period between Year 10 and Year 11 in English National Curriculum schools by students between the ages of 14 and 16 years. In some cases, particularly “bright” children can choose to study the IGCSE over 1 year.

The IGCSE is the international variant of the UK’s GCSE and was developed around 25 years ago, initially to meet the needs of students seeking a UK qualification, but for whom English was an Additional Language [EAL].

Today there are three distinct variants of GCSE: the UK GCSE, the UK IGCSE, and the IGCSE available in the [...]

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April 26, 2016

International A Level Guide

The International A Level is awarded after a two-year course of study between the ages of 16 and 17 in Year 12 and Year 13 of English National Curriculum schools.

The qualification is awarded in two parts. The Advanced Subsidiary Level, AS or A1 Level, is the first part of the International A Level and is taken by students between the ages of 16 and 17 in Grade 12. The second part of the International A Level, the A2 Level, is taken over a one-year period in Grade 13 by students between the ages of 17 and 18, and explores subject in greater depth and greater academic rigor.

In the UAE, as well as being the first year of International A Level study, the AS Level is an [...]

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April 21, 2016

International AS Level Guide

The AS Level, also known as the Advanced Subsidiary Level or A1 Level), is the first part of the International A’ Level. It is usually taken over a one-year period in Grade 12, by students between the age of 16 and 17, in English National Curriculum all-through or secondary schools.

The second part of the International A’ Level, the A2 Level, is taken over a one-year period in Grade 13 by students between the ages of 17 and 18, and explores subject in greater depth and greater academic rigor.

In the UAE, as well as being the first year of A’ Level study, the AS Level is an examination in its own right and a number of schools, particularly in the Indian sector, only [...]

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