Cambridge Lower Secondary
The Cambridge Lower Secondary is a framework built for the educational success of the Middle School students, building on the skills and knowledge covered in the Primary stage and developing students’ knowledge and skills in Mathematics, English, and Science.
The Cambridge Lower Secondary also tracks student progress throughout the Middle School phase with an integrated method of teaching, learning, and assessment materials.
At the end of Middle School, students will sit through Cambridge Checkpoint tests which provide detailed feedback about students’ strengths and weaknesses before they move onto the High School IGCSE stage.
- International Benchmark
The CS1offers an external, international benchmark of student achievement. This allows schools to measure standards over time and provide detailed, structured reports. Cambridge Checkpoint tests are standardized, set, and marked by CIE, to provide an international benchmark of student achievement, enabling teachers to advise students and parents about the suitability of different progression routes.
- Monitoring student progress
These progression tests powered by analysis software provide detailed feedback about students’ strengths and weaknesses in the core skills of English, Mathematics, and Science at the end of each stage. This feedback is used regularly to improve teaching, support learning, and report student progress.
- The Cambridge Lower Secondary incorporates a high degree of flexibility as it includes a range of teaching methods and curricula. Our teachers have the liberty to make adaptations whenever necessary, helping them cater to individual learning needs.
Links to Other Stages
The Cambridge Lower Secondary has been developed to link seamlessly with the Cambridge International Primary Programme (CIPP) and provide standardized tests to allow for the careful monitoring of progress from the Primary to Middle School phase. It also provides excellent preparation for students embarking on IGCSE or O Level courses.
English Language Arts
In studying English Language Arts (ELA), students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. Students learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts. The study of English helps students understand how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. The skills and knowledge covered by the ELA program are:
- Word Usage and Vocabulary
- Speaking and Listening
During middle school, students develop confidence in speaking and writing for public and formal purposes. They also develop their ability to evaluate the way language is used. They read classic texts as well as contemporary ones and explore moral and social issues. They also learn to speak and listen confidently in a wide variety of contexts. They develop higher flexibility, adapting what they say into different situations and people. For instance, when they speak formally, they are expected to be articulate and fluent.
Mathematics equips students with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision-making. Different cultures have contributed to the development and application of mathematics.
Today, the subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognized. Mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a student solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.
The knowledge, skills, and understanding covered by the Mathematics program are:
- Problem Solving
- Organizing and Using Data
- Shape, Space, and Measures
During middle school, students take increasing responsibility for planning and executing their work. They extend their calculating skills, begin to understand the importance of reasoning, and produce reasoned arguments. They become more familiar with algebra, generate and solve simple equations and study linear functions and their corresponding graphs. They begin to use deduction to manipulate algebraic expressions. They also progress from a simple understanding of the features of shape and space to using definitions and reasoning to understand geometrical objects. As they encounter simple algebraic and geometric proofs, they begin to understand. They develop positive attitudes towards mathematics and increasingly make connections between different aspects of mathematics.
Science stimulates and excites students’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them. It also satisfies this curiosity with knowledge. Because science links direct practical experience with ideas, it can engage learners at many levels. The scientific method is about developing and evaluating explanations through experimental evidence and modeling. This is a spur to critical and creative thought. Through science, students understand how major scientific ideas contribute to technological change – impacting the industry, business, and medicine and improving quality of life. Students recognize the cultural significance of science and trace its worldwide development. They learn to question and discuss science-based
issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society, and the future of the world.
At Fountain International School, Science is taught in the following strands:
- Scientific Enquiry
During middle school, students build on their scientific knowledge and understanding and make connections between different areas of science. They use scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and events and to understand a range of familiar applications of science. They think about the positive and negative effects of scientific and technological developments on the environment and in other contexts. They do more quantitative work, carrying out investigations on their own and with others. They evaluate their work, in particular the strength of the evidence they and others have collected. They select and use a wide range of reference sources. They communicate clearly what they did and its significance. They learn how scientists work together on present-day scientific developments and about the importance of experimental evidence in supporting scientific ideas.
The History program, which is taught during middle school, investigates people and their relationships with their social and physical environments. In History, students learn about placing events, people and changes into correct periods of time, events, people and changes in the past and historical enquiry.
Information and Communication Technology
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) prepares students to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Students use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with students being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future.
During middle school, students become increasingly independent users of ICT tools and information sources. They have a better understanding of how ICT can help their work in other subjects and develop their ability to judge when and how to use ICT and where it has limitations. They think about the quality and reliability of information, and access and combine increasing amounts of information. They become more focused, efficient and rigorous in their use of ICT, and carry out a range of increasingly complex tasks.
Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way students feel, think and act. It brings together intellect and feeling and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development. As an integral part of the culture, past and present, it helps students understand themselves and relate to others, forging important links between the home, school and the wider world. The teaching of music develops students’ ability to listen and appreciate a wide variety of music and to make judgments about musical quality.
It encourages active involvement in different forms of amateur music-making, both individual and communal, developing a sense of group identity and togetherness.
It also increases self-discipline and creativity, aesthetic sensitivity and fulfillment.
During middle school, students extend and deepen their own musical interests and skills. They perform and compose music in different styles with an increasing understanding of musical devices, processes and contextual influences. They work individually and in groups of different sizes and become increasingly aware of the different roles and contributions of each member of the group. They actively explore specific genres, styles and traditions from different times and cultures with increasing ability to discriminate, think critically and make connections between different areas of knowledge.
Art and Design
Art gives us the opportunity to respond to the problems and seek the solution in different ways. The process of making art is very important for artists because they can discover their solutions through the experiences of using materials. The process of handling materials by adding color, form, texture, and pattern stimulates the development of their creativity and imagination. Art education helps artists to expand their process of thinking and to connect with their visual sensory and emotion in their works. Artists’ discipline influences their own aesthetic values and their development of perceptions of contemporary issues and problems in the world.
During middle school, students develop their creativity and imagination through more sustained activities. These help them to build on and improve their practical and critical skills and to extend their knowledge and experience of materials, processes and practices. They engage confidently with art, craft, and design in the contemporary world and from different times and cultures. They become more independent in using the visual language to communicate their own ideas, feelings, and meanings.
Physical Education and Health
Physical Education (PE) develops students’ physical competence and confidence, and their ability to use these to perform in a range of activities. It promotes physical skillfulness, physical development and knowledge of the body in action. Physical education provides opportunities for students to be creative, competitive and to face up to different challenges as individuals and in groups and teams. It promotes positive attitudes towards active and healthy lifestyles.
Students learn how to think in different ways to suit a wide variety of creative, competitive, and challenging activities. They learn how to plan, perform and evaluate actions, ideas and performances to improve their quality and effectiveness. Through this process, students discover their aptitudes, abilities, and preferences, and make choices about how to get involved in lifelong physical activity.
During middle school, pupils become more experts in their skills and techniques, and how to apply them in different activities. They start to understand what makes a performance effective and how to apply these principles to their own and others’ work. They learn to take the initiative and make decisions for themselves about what to do to improve performance. They start to identify the types of activity they prefer to be involved with and to take a variety of roles such as leader and official.
Modern Foreign Language
Through the study of a foreign language, Secondary School students understand and appreciate different countries, cultures, people, and communities – and as they do so, begin to think of themselves as citizens of the world. They also learn about the fundamental structures of language. They explore the similarities and differences between languages they know and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. Their language skills improve together with pupils’ knowledge and understanding of the structure of language and lay the foundations for future study of other languages.
During middle school, students begin to familiarize themselves with a foreign language. They become familiar with the fundamentals of that language and use their knowledge in mainly guided activities. They improve their understanding of the language by listening to people talking about different subjects and by reading a range of texts. They also increase their cultural awareness by communicating with people who speak the language and by using materials from countries and communities where the language is spoken.