‘Cambridge Lower Secondary provides a strong pathway to IGCSE’

Shubhdarshani Mitra
Sep 2, 2022
Secondary school curriculum

The Cambridge Lower Secondary is an international curriculum that helps middle school students to strengthen their core subject knowledge as well as develop skills like problem solving and creativity. Meant for learners aged 11 to 14 years (Grades 6-8), this lower secondary school curriculum prepares students for Cambridge IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) as they progress through the programme.

CLSP at GIIS helps our students to make strong headway into the international Cambridge IGCSE programme. Our IGCSE students have been performing strongly, academically and beyond –  also reflected through our outstanding results over the years.

Our 2022 cohort achieved a milestone as 25 students from GIIS secured A* in the IGCSE examinations, results for which were declared recently in August. 

With 19 students securing 9A*s and 6 students securing 8A*s in all the subjects, 84% of our students secured overall A* and A grades. In this blog, we speak to two of our SMART Campus students, Angel Maria Siji and Jaidev Balaji, who top-scored in the recent  IGCSE exams. Both Angel and Jaidev, currently IB Diploma Yr 1 students at GIIS, secured 9A* in 9 subjects.

1. In what ways did the Cambridge Lower Secondary programme prepare you for IGCSE and how did IGCSE prepare you for where you are now -- academically and beyond?

Angel: The transition from CBSE (Indian Central Board) to CLSP in Grade 7 took a while for me but it definitely helped smoothen my way as I progressed to IGCSE. 

CLSP helped us focus on the fundamental topics and theories, and the various ways they can be applied in real time. The application part of CLSP made transitioning to IGCSE a lot easier as applying theories and fundamentals is a huge part of IGCSE.

Jaidev: I feel the CLSP provides a good segue into the IGCSE and helps you to familiarise yourself with the rudimentary concepts. 

It provides a strong pathway to the IGCSE syllabus, pushing one to inculcate skills like time management. I think there is no easy way to do it and the only way it works is with hard work.

2. Can you share with us your interest in non-academic areas? How would you balance your academic and non-academic activities?

Angel: I have always been interested in dance and music-related activities. I took Carnatic music and Bharatnatyam classes, and as part of the school’s ECA/ CCA activities, I also attended weekly sessions on classical dance, aerobics and hip-hop. I am also part of the school podcasting club. 

Juggling all of these activities along with academics can be challenging. I manage all of my extracurriculars by carefully organising my activities, making sure I get the requisite time for my studies. Creating timetables, writing memos, and prioritising work – are some of the ways I manage my time as best as I can.

Jaidev: As part of the school football and basketball teams, I won various inter-school and nationwide tournaments. I also participated and emerged victorious in Karate competitions. I was a founding member of the Hunger Warriors initiative that has won the GSL International Impact Award twice consecutively and the Sustainability Award this year. 

I feel while we need to make time for extracurricular activities along with studies, one should undertake only what you will give your best to. Hence, I choose activities I am interested in and will give my 100 percent to, without compromising on any other facet of life.

3. How would you describe your ongoing learning journey at GIIS?

Angel: A good learning experience, I feel, is incomplete without the teachers. The teachers in GIIS aren’t just “good enough”, they are one of the most supportive and caring teachers I have ever met – always ensuring each student understands the necessary concepts. They are always available to answer our doubts. 

Jaidev: The school promotes critical thinking and supports us with technology, which seeps into the curriculum.

The atmosphere in the school is highly conducive for learning and the support structure provided by the school has invariably helped me throughout. I would also like to thank my teachers for their invaluable contributions. 

Jaidev has been involved in various United Nations initiatives, including the Zero-Hunger project that received the UN Global Social Leaders Impact Award in 2020. Both Jaidev and Angel are also scholarship recipients at GIIS. Angel received the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Global Skills Scholarship in Grades 8-9 for academic proficiency while Jaidev received the same scholarship in Grade 7(2018-2020).

The knowledge, expertise and skills gained during the IGCSE programme also help students in shaping their mindset for future studies. Especially for an international recognised pre-university programme like the IB Diploma Programme, which prepares our students for university and beyond.

GIIS offers multiple international curricula options - Cambridge (CLSP, IGCSE) and IB (PYP, DP) across grades 1-12 under trained and dedicated educators. If you are keen to know more about the IGCSE programme and scholarship opportunities at GIIS, please feel free to contact our friendly admissions counsellors.

Shubhdarshani Mitra

Shubhdarshani has over 10 years of experience in content creation, curation and editing. She has worked for Indian newspapers, school magazines and international news websites where she worked closely with the leadership on the execution and communication of the content strategy. Aside from work, she’s a passionate B&W photographer and storyteller.

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