Upper Secondary - Key Stage 4

Upper Secondary is typically for learners aged 14 to 16 years. Upper Secondary builds on the foundations of Lower Secondary, preparing our learners for the rigours of the IGCSE exams.

Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)

Cambridge Upper Secondary offers learners Cambridge IGCSE assessments, in which learners take internationally recognised Cambridge IGCSE qualifications at the end of Cambridge Upper Secondary.

Cambridge IGCSE assessment can include written, oral, coursework and practical assessment. This broadens opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, particularly when their first language is not English. In many subjects there is a choice between core and extended curricula, making Cambridge IGCSE suitable for a wide range of abilities.

Grades are benchmarked using eight internationally recognised grades, A* to G, which have clear guidelines to explain the standard of achievement for each grade.

MIS students follow a Key Stage 4 curriculum that consists of six compulsory subjects and four elected option subjects. The curriculum also includes subjects to provide a balance that are not examined at IGCSE, such as Physical Education.

The six compulsory subjects are:

  • First Language English or English as a Second Language
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • PE (not an IGCSE subject)

GCSE examinations are excellent preparation for the final two years of schooling, and are required by many British universities as part of their application process. IGCSE examinations pave the way for the A-Levels program, and provide an excellent platform and smooth transition to the rigours of this higher learning curriculum.

We encourage our students to strive for academic excellence in every subject, and we are very proud of the examination results achieved by our students every year.

First Language English or English as a Second Language

Language is our primary source of communication. It's the method through which we share our ideas and thoughts with others. Although the English language doesn’t have the largest number of native speakers in the world, it has the widest reach of any language spoken today. At MIS, English is an essential part of our schools’ core curriculum.

Our Cambridge IGCSE First Language English course is designed for learners who speak English at a native or near native level. Our curriculum allows learners to develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both speech and writing. Students learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. The course also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

The process of acquiring English is supported by our English as an Additional Language (EAL) department. Students with limited English or who have difficulties in areas of English can seek support from our EAL staff. Delivered by experienced teachers, our EAL lessons develop English vocabulary and grammar, as well as improve reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Over time, this enables learners to develop practical language skills, build their confidence in communicating in English and allows them to integrate fully with their peers.


At MIS, Mathematics is taught with the aim to provide a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study and our IGCSE Maths curriculum is designed to encourage the development of mathematical knowledge as a key life skill, and as a basis for more advanced study.

We strive to encourage students to develop confidence in and a positive attitude towards mathematics and to recognise the significance of mathematics in their own lives and to society. Through our curriculum, students gain fluent knowledge, skills and understanding of mathematical methods and develop a feel for numbers, patterns and relationships, and a strong emphasis is placed on solving problems and presenting and interpreting results. Students also gain an understanding of how to communicate and reason using mathematical concepts.


This course helps learners to understand the technological world in which they live, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments. Learners gain an understanding of the basic principles of biology through a mix of theoretical and practical studies.

As learners progress through the course, they will cover topics such as nature and a variety of living organisms, reproduction and inheritance and use of biological resources. As part of this journey, learners gain an understanding of how science is studied and practised, and become aware that the results of scientific research can have both positive and negative effects on individuals, communities and the environment.


Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry allows students to develop an understanding of the nature of substances and how they react together, how chemistry is used in business and how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment.

Our curriculum provides a thorough grounding in organic and inorganic chemistry, where students develop an understanding of the unifying patterns and themes of chemistry and further appreciate the practical nature of chemistry, developing experimental and investigative skills based on correct and safe laboratory techniques.

Learners will also cultivate an appreciation of the usefulness and limitations of the scientific method, the importance related to scientific methods of accurate experimental work and accurate reporting and how to apply this to other disciplines and in everyday life. Relevant attitudes, such as a concern for accuracy and precision, enquiry, integrity, initiative and inventiveness are also developed.


The IGCSE Physics syllabus is designed to help learners to explain and understand the physical world around them by studying the fundamental laws that can be applied to everything, from the smallest particle to the whole of the universe.

At MIS, our curriculum is designed to encourage students to take an informed interest in science and scientific developments. Students study the practical nature of physics as well as the theoretical, learning to form hypotheses and design experiments, and in the process gain solid grounding in the basic principles and concepts of the subject.

There is a strong emphasis on evidence of both pupils’ understanding of key theoretical principles and practical skills. Students become familiar with and learn to utilise correctly, essential scientific formulas while also learning to evaluate, in terms of scientific knowledge, the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments.

PE (non IGCSE subject)

Our P.E. syllabus provides learners with an opportunity to study both the practical and theoretical aspects of physical education. It is designed to encourage enjoyment in physical activity by providing learners with an opportunity to take part in a range of physical activities and develop an understanding of effective and safe physical performance. This helps learners to develop an appreciation of the necessity for a sound understanding of the principles, practices and training that underpin improved performance, better health and well-being.

IGCSE Options Blocks

The option blocks are redesigned each year to best meet the needs of the our Year 9 students, in order to ensure that they have the correct variety of subjects to enter the IGCSE subjects.

Students are required to choose one subject from each of the following blocks:

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3
Option 4
  • Additional Mathematics
  • Global Perspectives
  • Business studies
  • Economics
  • Art & Design
  • Computer Science
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Option choices will be collated on an electronic form, sent to parents and then confirmed in writing before the start of the new academic year. It is imperative that this process takes place as early as possible so that the school is able to recruit the necessary teachers to teach each course.

    Additional Mathematics (0606)

    This option supports learners in building competency, confidence and fluency in their use of techniques and mathematical understanding. This course helps learners to develop a feel for quantity, patterns and relationships. Learners will develop their reasoning, problem-solving and analytical skills in a variety of contexts.

    Global Perspectives (0457)

    IGCSE Global Perspectives is a groundbreaking and stimulating course that stretches across traditional subject boundaries and develops transferable skills. Through this course, students examine global themes and issues, and an international outlook and cross-cultural awareness is promoted.

    Students will research global, national and local areas of study and the syllabus is designed to develop the skills of inquiry, collaboration, reflection, evaluation and problem solving, and to apply these skills to the global themes being studied. However, the emphasis is on developing ways of thinking about a range of global issues where there is always more than one point of view, rather than demonstrating great knowledge.

    Business Studies (0450)

    IGCSE Business Studies is a modern, dynamic and fascinating course that helps our students develop a critical understanding of organisations and the markets they serve.

    This course develops students’ understanding of business activities, innovation and change. Students cover the broad themes of how businesses are established, financed and run, how activities are regulated, and the factors influencing decision-making.

    Our students will study business behaviour from the perspective of different stakeholders including managers, shareholders, employees and customers. They also explore the economic, environmental, ethical, legal, social and technological influences on business activity. Some of the key topics covered include: business ownership, human resource management, marketing, production and accounts.

    Economics (0455)

    Economics is the study of how we deal with the problem of scarcity in a world of infinite human wants. It is the study of the choices that we make, given this problem. It is a modern and dynamic subject which looks at current economic issues.

    This course enables learners to develop an understanding of economic theory, terminology and principles. Learners study the economics of different countries and how these interrelate, examining issues such as government policy, trade relationships and business decisions. They also learn to work with simple economics data and to use the tools of economic analysis. Learners apply understanding of economics to current economic issues.

    Art & Design (0400)

    Our Art & Design syllabus aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination, sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. Learners gain confidence and enthusiasm as they develop technical skills in two and three-dimensional form and composition, and are able to identify and solve problems in visual and tactile forms. They also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions. Art & Design also develops a greater awareness of the role played by the visual arts in society and in history, broadening cultural horizons and individual experience.

    Computer Science (0478)

    Our Computer Science option enables learners to develop their understanding of the main principles of problem-solving using computers. They can apply their understanding to develop computer-based solutions to problems using algorithms and a high-level programming language. Learners also develop a range of technical skills, as well as being able to effectively test and evaluate computing solutions.

    Chinese as a Second Language (0523)

    Cambridge IGCSE Chinese as a Second Language is designed for students who already have a working knowledge of the language and who want to consolidate their understanding to progress their education or career. Through their studies, students achieve a thorough understanding of a wide range of registers and styles and learn to communicate appropriately in different situations.

    Our syllabus focuses on the linked language skills of reading, writing, listening and oral communication. Through their study of Cambridge IGCSE Chinese as a Second Language, students can achieve a level of practical communication ideal for everyday use, which can also form the basis for further, more in-depth language study.

    Mandarin Chinese as a Foreign Language (0547)

    Our curriculum is designed for learners who are learning Mandarin Chinese as a foreign language. The aim is to develop an ability to use the language effectively for practical communication. The course is based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as learners progress through their studies.

    The syllabus also aims to offer insights into the culture of countries where Mandarin Chinese is spoken, thus encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of other languages.

    Spanish (non IGCSE)

    As one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, Spanish is a popular choice for students who wish to enhance their future education or employment prospects. Our Spanish curriculum is designed for students who wish to develop the ability to use Spanish effectively for practical communication. Students will learn to communicate formally and informally in a range of contexts, and to understand a wide range of texts and styles. The aim of our curriculum is to test Spanish language competence through realistic and contextualised tasks based on authentic texts.

    Korean (non IGCSE)

    Our curriculum provides introductory-level tuition in Korean language from a communicative and task-based approach. Supported by our knowledgeable and passionate teacher, students develop basic communicative skills in Korean and cultural understanding through various speaking and writing activities.

    The curriculum introduces a number of grammatical structures and vocabulary that are essential to basic communication in Korean. Vocabulary and grammatical structures are expressed in Hangeul, the Korean writing system, and presented within the context of culturally relevant topics.

    All four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are equally emphasized through meaningful communicative exercises in order to develop well-balanced functional proficiency in Korean. Various authentic materials such as literature, cartoons and movies are also integrated to enhance learners awareness and appreciation of the culture of the Korean-speaking world.