In Forms Four and Five Greengates students follow a variety of balanced and demanding two year courses leading to the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE). This system is based on the British General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) where students are examined in a broad range of subjects at the age of sixteen. The International version of the GCSE originated with the University of Cambridge Examinations Syndicate (UCLES) and is ideal for such a culturally diverse school such as Greengates. UCLES has a reputation for academic excellence and has unrivaled experience in administering examinations in over a 100 countries.
IGCSE examinations are tests of academic attainment and are taken in individual subjects. Currently at Greengates there are around 20 subjects offered. Greengates requires that a student be successful in at least five IGCSEs to continue into the Sixth Form. In reality, most of our students take a greater number of subjects than this: indeed, in the 2011 examination session 34% of the Form Five candidates gained 9 IGCSEs and above.
Students at the end of Form Three select their IGCSE options and are helped to make their choices by their subject and form teachers, the Head of the Intermediate School and the IGCSE Coordinator. English Language, Spanish Language, Mathematics and Physical Education are compulsory subjects which all students take. Students then select five options from such areas of the curriculum as the Sciences, the Social Sciences and the Creative Arts. The aim is that students take a broad range of subjects which will intellectually test and develop them as fully as possible.
Students then follow a two-year course of study in Forms Four and Five based on the IGCSE syllabi which are determined by UCLES. At the end of the two year period students are entered for the relevant examinations. These examinations are prepared, and marked by UCLES, who subsequently issue the grades. These, therefore, are external public examinations.
Some Greengates students do take some subjects early, and not at the end of Form Five. At Greengates we have consistently enjoyed great success in Mathematics and Spanish as a Foreign Language achieving 100% pass-rates with students in Form Four and even Form Three.