The curriculum at GIS is based on the British model. In the Secondary section, courses are validated through IGCSE examinations at age 16 and GCE Advanced Level at age 18. The 11 – 16 age groups are called Forms 1 to 5, IGCSE being taken at the end of Form 5. The Advanced Level years are called the Lower and Upper Sixth Form, now known in England as Years 12 and 13, with Lower Sixth matching American Grade 12 and the Canadian grade 12. Forms 4 and 5 have four sub-forms, namely L, M, R and S. Forms L6 and U6 have three sub-forms, namely L, M and R. Forms 4 to U6 students are divided into smaller subject sets for lessons.
All students in the Secondary School (Forms 1 to U6) are in mixed ability classes. (In Form 5, where both the Core and Extended Maths syllabi are taught, there is one set for the core and three to four mixed ability sets for the Extended syllabus).
The curriculum has a strong academic bias and is geared towards students in the top forty tofifty per cent of the ability range, and is meant for those who intend to go on to tertiary institutions. There is a lot of emphasis on homework, essay writing and tests, requiring a great deal of input from students.
Subjects in Forms 4 and 5
The following subjects are offered at IGCSE: Accounting, Additional Mathematics, Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Studies, Economics, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Mathematics, Physics, Sociology and Spanish. English language, Literature and Mathematics are compulsory. Students select an additional five to seven subjects. To ensure a broad education at this level, students are encouraged to take either History or Geography, or both. At least one science subject is required. It is possible to register for another language not offered by the school provided the candidate is fluent in it and able to take the first language option in the subject. For non-compulsory subjects, students will be guided in their choice. The Career and College Counselor holds meetings with students and their parents to help students choose their subjects, taking into account interests, aptitude and plans for the future. This service has recently been greatly strengthened by input from a UK-based careers advice consultancy, which conducts an assessment programme referred to as ‘Step One’ for Form 3 students to expose their strengths and possible future career opportunities open to them, to guide them in making informed choices of IGCSE subjects for Form 4.
For new entrants to GIS joining in Form 4, their subject choices will be determined by their performance in the entrance tests