Secondary Curriculum

The Secondary Curriculum 

The KISU secondary school develops young men and women to tackle challenges of life beyond school. Our academic programme sequentially develops young minds to think in a more rounded manner that places concepts and skills ahead of content, through critical thinking and reflection. From Year 7 to Year 9 students are follow the National Curriculum for England that develops personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) via a core set of subjects that provide a diverse range of learning of learning experiences . Our Year 10 and 11 students tackle the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) via the Cambridge International Examination board (CIE). Most students complete 9 IGCSEs which equip them with skills and knowledge to tackle the challenging International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) in their final two year of schooling.

 KISU also provides an extensive sporting programme based around participation and the development of teamwork and dedication. The education offered is complemented by a whole school approach to community service and the opportunity to be involved in a variety of clubs and performances.

 All students participate in a week long outdoor education programme in the first term of the school year where they undertake new and exciting challenges such as sailing, teaching in a community school and visiting rural Ugandan communities whilst also developing social skills in unfamiliar environment.

Key Stage 3: Year 7 to 9 (Age 11/12 to 13/14) 

At Key Stage 3 all students study the following subjects: Art, Cross-curricula topics, Drama, English, Geography, History, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Learning to Learn, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Language (French), Music, PSHE, Physical Education and Science. 

At the end of Key Stage 3 (Year 9) students choose their options for study at IGCSE. At this point students reduce the number of subjects they study. 

Key Stage 4: Year 10 to 11 (Age 14 to 16)


The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is a two-year course of study leading to the external International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) examinations. These courses are assessed and graded by coursework and external examinations set by the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) Board. 

All students study the following compulsory courses: English language, English literature, Mathematics, Modern Foreign Languages (French), PE, and Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Research Skills, Community and Service, Learning to learn and PSHE. It should be noted that Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Research Skills, Community and Service, Learning to learn and PSHE do not lead to formal qualifications.

In addition to the above, students choose 4 options from the following subjects: Art, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Drama, Geography, History, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Music, Physics. The combination of subjects studied as compulsory and those elected to be studied from the optional list means that students study 9 subjects that lead to a formal qualification.  

IB Diploma Programme (age 17 to 18)

The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) is designed as a challenging and balanced programme of education for students in Years 12 & 13. The programme is designed to prepare students for success at university and life beyond.

The IBDP, which is taught over two years, has gained recognition and respect from the world’s leading universities and is offered by some 2,200 IB World Schools in approximately 130 different countries.
The Programme:

Students have the option to choose between the IB Diploma and IB Certificate Courses. Both are recognised by universities around the world.

The IB Diploma requires students to study six courses – three at higher level (to provide depth of study) and three at standard level (to provide breadth of study). The six subjects include:

  • A first language
  • A second language
  • A humanities
  • A science
  • A mathematics
  • The final choice is either an arts subject or a second subject from one of the previous five groups.

In addition, students are required to complete the three elements of the core – CAS (Community, Action and Service), TOK (Theory of Knowledge) and EE (Extended Essay). A student must gain a minimum of 24 out of 45 points to pass the IB Diploma.

IB Certificate Courses allow students a bit more choice within their programme. Students are required to study a minimum of four subjects and a maximum of six subjects. These can be at either Higher Level or Standard Level depending on the requirements of the student. They are still expected to complete the CAS requirements, but can choose whether they complete TOK and the EE.

Universities value the time management, independence and critical thinking skills which the IB Diploma and IB Certificate Courses encourage and students. Our Careers Advisor works with students during their last two years at KISU to help them choose and apply to appropriate universities of their choice.