The lower secondary years are characterised by an increasingly focused approach with specialist teachers for all subjects. This ensures that not only are students developing their knowledge and skills but that they are also prepared for the rigours of the examination courses which begin with the Cambridge IGCSE from Year 10.
During this three-year period, the focus remains strong on the core subjects of English, Mathematics and Science. Key Stage 3 students also take supplementary subjects such as art and physical education classes, along with various cross-curricular projects that will help the students to develop their learning styles, their natural curiosity and to explore the world around them. This enables the school to ensure that students are properly prepared for the demands of the IGCSE courses in Upper Secondary.
Cambridge Secondary English enables learners to communicate confidently and effectively and to develop the skills to respond to a range of information, media and texts with understanding and enjoyment. Learners who follow this framework will develop a first language competency in English based on a curriculum designed to be successful in any culture and to promote cross-cultural understanding.
Alongside provision for additional learning any pupil may have, MIS also supports students for whom English is a second language, and as such their learning in other classes may be impacted by their English language abilities. EAL classes are designed to support those students until their English language abilities have developed to meet their needs.
Students with language needs are identified early in the year and are provided in–school support where they are provided with one-on-one or small group support according to their age and English level. This information is transparent and students, teachers and parents are all informed in a timely manner.
The curriculum framework explores six content areas: number, algebra, geometry, measure, handling data and problem-solving. The first five content areas are all underpinned by problem-solving, which provides a structure for the application of mathematical skills. Mental strategies are also an important part of the number content. The curriculum focuses on principles, patterns, systems, functions and relationships, so that learners apply their mathematical knowledge and develop a holistic understanding of the subject.
Our vision for Science at MIS is modelled in our curriculum which encourages students to think scientifically and develop practical skills alongside knowledge and understanding, which is vital for explaining the world around them. The curriculum allows a foundational knowledge base that students build on as they become confident, independent learners and encourages students to develop a life-long curiosity about the natural world and enables them to seek scientific explanations to the phenomena around them.
We focus heavily on ensuring our pupils have a grasp of the main concepts of science as well as developing their thirst for learning through practical work and skill development. We believe that improving learners’ awareness of science in the world around them develops their sense that ‘science is for me’, helping to connect themselves to the subject and fully enhancing the life chances of our learners.
Our curriculum aims to develop strong academic outcomes in science by ensuring that our students are able to challenge misconceptions, have a depth and breadth of scientific knowledge, and can apply their learning in biology, chemistry and physics to real-world concepts.
Global Perspectives is a unique, transformational program designed to help our students develop transferable skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving. It also offers valuable opportunities to reinforce connections and skills across all Key Stage 3 subjects. The emphasis is on developing our students’ ability to think critically about a range of global issues where there is always more than one point of view.
In lessons, students will study global topics that are relevant to them – for example, the environment, education and keeping healthy.
The course is organised into six main skill-based 'strands':
The skills are taught through a wide range of topics using a personal, local and global perspective.
The teaching of Art and Design at MIS is geared towards enabling each student to personally develop creative skills and to enhance their capabilities through a variety of art based disciplines.
The Key Stage 3 Art and Design curriculum has been devised to develop an appreciation for and engagement with the visual arts and the design world. Each project delivered at Key Stage 3 has been designed to capture the students’ interests and provide them with a variety of visual material to incorporate into their work.
Students explore, investigate and respond to a broad range of ideas, themes and concepts. They will have the opportunity to test out and manage a range of media, materials and creative approaches, seeking to communicate personally relevant ideas and solutions. Students will not only develop their practical and analytical skills, but also their creative independence and acquire a deepened understanding of navigating and contributing to a visual world.
We believe that language underpins the foundation for thinking and the development of self-expression. Students from many linguistic backgrounds come together to learn, with English being their shared language, the language of instruction and inclusion at MIS.
However, MIS also supports the belief that the continued development of mother tongue language is crucial for maintaining identity, cultural understanding and empathy. Our Key Stage 3 Myanmar curriculum allows our students to continue on this journey, expanding their Myanmar vocabulary, learning to communicate more effectively, as well as the practicalities of Myanmar grammar and sentence structure. Learners also explore different writing styles, learning to communicate both formally and informally. Myanmar culture is also an intrinsic part of our curriculum, and elements of Myanmar history, geography, traditions and customs are woven into the KS3 syllabus.
The acquisition of more than one language enriches personal growth and promotes international understanding, therefore, knowledge of a second language is an essential element of our curriculum.
Building on the language skills developed in Key Stage 2, the Mandarin Chinese curriculum includes a wide range of activities in teaching, making use of songs, games and interactive language activities, where students learn to use the language in genuine social and cultural contexts. Throughout the curriculum, learners continue to gain an insight into Chinese language and culture and are provided with a thorough foundation for progression to further studies of Mandarin Chinese.
At KS3 our aim is to embed skills and knowledge in a wide range of ICT and computing capabilities including digital literacy. Through Computer Science, our learners are encouraged to explore and think about how technology is created. It allows them to understand how people work together with computers to develop world-changing programmes. Our students learn about computational thinking – thinking logically, breaking down a complex problem and developing solutions. We learn about how computers work looking at a range of topics from how data is represented to networking and cyber-security. Another avenue explored by our students is coding, developing skills in programming to make sophisticated programs. By the end of Key Stage 3 all students will have had the experience of using industry-standard software to solve problems and creatively complete real-world tasks.
A high-quality music education should engage and inspire pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, as well as develop the skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subjects. This includes listening skills, the ability to concentrate, creativity, intuitions, aesthetic sensitivity, perseverance, the ability to work in a group, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others.
Music at Key Stage 3 continues the journey towards building a universal foundation of musical understanding and our curriculum provides students with the opportunity to learn new skills and primarily enjoy the subject. Our learners explore the elements of music through a variety of mediums and genres. Students also learn to analyse and describe the music that they listen to using music-specific vocabulary. Students are also given the opportunity to compose and perform using their voices, body percussion, tuned and untuned percussion, as well as various instruments.
The Key Stage 3 Physical Education curriculum at MIS is a broad, balanced, challenging, inclusive and ‘student-centric’ curriculum that allows maximum opportunity for all students to develop a wide range of physical, social, mental and leadership skills, and to apply them with positive effect in competitive situations, enjoy participating in physical activity and experiencing a sense of enjoyment and success.
The lessons will teach pupils about the practical skills, rules and tactics associated with the sports that we do, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. Focus is also placed on fair play and good sportsmanship – skills that will stand to them in their future endeavours.