IGCSE Options

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IGCSEs are the world’s most popular international qualifications for 14 to 16-year-olds. The IGCSEs lay the academic foundation for the Advanced Level studies that follow and are recognised by leading universities and employers worldwide.

Together, the IGCSEs and AS / A Levels provide solid preparation for undergraduate level study in all countries, including the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. Findings from a number of research studies state that these programmes compare favourably with other programmes, including Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB), in terms of readiness for and continued academic success at US universities.

Progression Through Dulwich International High School Suzhou

We offer two distinctive IGCSE programmes as outlined below:

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Years 10 & 11

A well-balanced, personalised course providing the best foundation for future success.

We strongly recommend the Two-Year Programme, as IGCSEs are designed to be taught over two years and students achieve more success with the two-year programme.

Studying for the IGCSEs over two years gives students the chance to study more subjects and to have a wider subject choice. Students will be able to participate in a wider range of optional programmes, thus expanding their resumes and improving future college applications. In addition, students will have more time to develop their English and interpersonal skills to a higher level of proficiency.

The Two-Year Programme is the best way for all students to achieve their full potential.
 

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For students who are already clear about their preferred A Level courses or major at University, it makes sense to choose related IGCSE courses. Accepted students can contact the College Counselling office for advice on this, as different colleges have different requirements.

Are all combinations of subjects possible? Most subject combinations are possible. If it is impossible to timetable a student’s chosen combination, we will discuss alternative options with those students. For this reason, students should think carefully about their reserve option choices.

Once you have, after careful thought and consideration, chosen and submitted your subjects, we do not encourage you to change subject choices. You should discuss any changes you wish to make with the Deputy Head (Academics) or Head of Year. A change may be possible during the first two weeks of the first semester of Year 10, provided that:

  • Your new choice of options fits with existing option selections.
  • Your new choice does not cause an unacceptably large class.
  • Your teacher advisors think that the request to change is sensible for you.

It is sometimes possible to study subjects at A-Level that have not been studied at IGCSE, and there are some subjects that are only offered at A-Level, such as Psychology. Students who have studied courses at the IGCSE level will find themselves at an advantage when starting A-Level compared to students taking up ‘new’ options. Therefore, students are encouraged to choose their IGCSE options with care – but equally, change is sometimes possible.

Frequently Asked Questions When Choosing Your Options

1. What should I consider when making my choices?
At the IGCSE level, interest in the subject is arguably the most important consideration. For the vast majority of students who wish to keep their options open, it is suggested that option choices are not kept too narrow. For example, students are advised against taking both IGCSE Music and IGCSE Art unless they have a strong desire for further study in these fields.

Our compulsory core of English, Maths, Science, Chinese, Drama & Lifeskills, Physical Education alongside almost any two optional subjects provides a good preparation for A Level study and future college application for most majors, however, the following recommendations should be noted:

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2. Are all combinations of subjects possible?
Most subject combinations are possible. If it is impossible to timetable a student’s chosen combination, we will discuss alternative options with those students. For this reason, students should think carefully about their reserve choice.

3. Can I change my option choices later during Years 10 and 11?
Once you have, after careful thought and consideration, chosen and submitted your subjects, we do not encourage you to change subject choices. You should discuss any changes you wish to make with the Deputy Head (Academics) or Head of Year. A change may be possible during the first two weeks of the first semester of Year 10, provided that: • Your new choice of options fits with existing option selections. • Your new choice does not cause an unacceptably large class. • Your teacher advisors think that the request to change is sensible for you.

4. Can I change my options at the start of Year 12, when I start my A-Levels?
It is sometimes possible to study subjects at A-Level that have not been studied at IGCSE, and there are some subjects that are only offered at A-Level, such as Psychology. Students who have studied courses at the IGCSE level will find themselves at an advantage when starting A-Level compared to students taking up ‘new’ options. Therefore, students are encouraged to choose their IGCSE options with care – but equally, change is sometimes possible.
 

The IGCSE Art & Design aims to introduce pupils to a wide range of traditional drawing and painting techniques as well as contemporary approaches to art, including abstraction. Pupils should be willing to take risks and have an open-minded approach to learning.
 

The Dulwich SE21 Digital Skills course is particularly suitable for students who enjoy a practical approach to their studies, as the course emphasises problem-solving and programming, rather than exclusively written work.
 

IGCSE Economics is an excellent introduction to the study and world of Economics, requiring no prior knowledge of the subject.

IGCSE Geography helps students to understand the processes which affect physical (natural) and human environments.

This programme is unique to Dulwich International High School Suzhou and provides students with an academically rigorous foundation in the social sciences and humanities. Liberal Arts is a broad and wide-ranging course that links together themes that run across traditional academic disciplines. It is aimed at students who are considering following a Liberal Arts core curriculum in the United States, United Kingdom and beyond.
 

Studying music liberates the imagination and helps students develop into more innovative individuals. This course is equally useful for students who have a foundation in either Chinese or western musical instruments.
 

The Spanish language is now the second most widely spoken language in a progressively more globalised world.

This course is intended for students who might wish to pursue the field of humanities and have a keen interest in other cultures and languages. The course would particularly benefit students wishing to study in the Pan-American continent.
 

THE ONE-YEAR IGCSE PROGRAMME

A targeted course for high ability students wishing to focus on a limited range of subjects.
Only students who are mature, confident, academically strong, and who have already reached a very good level of both spoken and written English will be considered for the One-Year IGCSE Programme. This programme is IGCSE suitable for students who wish to focus on Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and Economics and are confident that such a focused curriculum is suitable preparation for their preferred universities and intended majors. Students who are unsure of their likely university destination and major are recommended to study a broader curriculum in the Two-Year Programme. 

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