Secondary Curriculum | International Community School – ICS

Secondary Curriculum

The Secondary School provides a broad and balanced curriculum based on the National Curriculum of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but modified for our international context. At ICS, we strive to provide a personalised curriculum which is designed to meet the needs of every single student.

We aim to know the strengths and learning needs of every student in every subject so that each and every lesson that we teach enables each and every student to make the maximum progress. This philosophy we call the #monalisaeffect, referencing Da Vinci’s famous painting of the famous lady whose eyes, no matter where you are in the room, seem to stare directly at you.

In addition to a comprehensive pastoral programme, we deliver a comprehensive wellbeing programme to all students which is designed to support their personal and social development. Students also take part in a wide range of co-curricular activities through our ‘Challenge Hour’ programme. All students also attend assembly, usually once a week.

The Structure of the Secondary Curriculum

In the British system, the secondary phase is divided into three Key Stages, as follows:

Key Stage 3 - Years 7, 8 and 9

Key Stage 4 - Years 10 and 11

Key Stage 5 - Years 12 and 13 (also referred to as the ‘Sixth Form’)

In Key Stage 3, students follow a curriculum of 12 different subjects: English, Maths, Science, MFL, History, Geography, Global Citizenship, Computer Science, Art, Music Drama and PE, in addition to the Wellbeing Curriculum and Challenge Hour. For the Modern Foreign Language (MFL) programme, we offer either Arabic, Spanish or French. The curriculum in Key Stage 3 is designed to provide breadth, so that students are encourage to learn new skills and develop existing skills in as many areas as possible. This ensures that students, by the end of Year 9, know exactly what their talents are and that we have done everything we can to nurture those talents.

In Key Stage 4, students follow a two-year programme that leads to IGCSE qualifications. At the end of Year 9, students will choose which subjects they would like to continue to study to IGCSE examinations and which they would like to drop. Students in Key Stage 4 therefore are enable to personalise their programme of study to suit their talents and also to begin to specialise in the areas that really excite them and in which they will succeed to the best of their ability. All students in Years 10 and 11 will study the core subjects of English (First or Second Language and, for some students, English Literature), Maths and Science, as well as an MFL option (either Arabic, Spanish or French). In addition, students choose a further three options from a wide range of subjects including Triple Science, History, Geography, Business Studies, Computer Science, Art, Music, Drama, Food & Nutrition or Physical Education. Students in Key Stage 4 also participate in the Challenge Hour and Wellbeing Hour programmes in addition to non-examined PE.

At Key Stage 5, students specialise even further and begin Year 12 with four subjects, which they will study in significant depth and which will lead to A Level or BTEC qualifications and, ultimately, to universities around the world. We are very proud to say that students leaving ICS often go on to undergraduate courses as some of the most prestigious universities around the world. For further details of the subjects that we offer to students in the Sixth Form, please see the ‘Sixth Form’ page on this website. In addition to studying for their A Level subjects, students also participate in the Challenge Hour and Wellbeing Hour programmes. Also, students experience a diverse Enrichment programme, which is designed to provide students with opportunities to develop their leadership, teamwork and critical thinking skills outside of the traditional classroom setting.

All qualifications are certified by either Edexcel-Pearson or CIE (Cambridge International Examinations) and are there

If you would like further information about the secondary curriculum at ICS, please do not hesitate to contact us. All initial enquiries can be made through the secondary PA, Haneen Qulaghassi, at