How IGCSE Provides a Strong Foundation for the IB Diploma Programme

Deepika Sodhi
Apr 16, 2021

At Global Indian International School, we strive to provide our students with the foundation that they need to succeed in a global economy. With this in mind, we offer a curriculum that is uniquely designed to set students up for success in both the short and long term. The Cambridge IGCSE programme offered to our students in Grades 9 and 10, is a natural complement to the IBDP — which is available for students in Grades 11 and 12.

Some parents are curious about why GIIS school in Singapore offer these two programmes for secondary school students. These are a few reasons why we believe the IGCSE provides a strong foundation for the IBDP:

The IGCSE is an Internationally-Recognised Curriculum, Similar to the IBDP

Both the IB DP and the IGCSE are internationally-recognised curricula, and are both renowned for their excellence. The IGCSE prepares students to look at all concepts and ideas with a global outlook. In fact, one of the courses in the IGCSE is “Global Perspectives”, which helps students understand the importance of viewing their world through a multicultural, interconnected lens. The IGCSE is also known for encouraging students to look beyond what they know, ask questions, and test their own theories. These skills help students greatly throughout the IBDP, which is known for requiring students to think critically and analytically throughout their coursework.

The Choice of Subjects Available in the IGCSE Sets the Stage of the IBDP Courses

The IGCSE courses are categorised into five subject groups, and students are typically required to take seven subjects. Those subject groups include:

● Languages

● Humanities and Social Sciences

● Natural Sciences

● Mathematics

● Creative and Professional

Within those groups, students can select courses that align with their personal interests and their prospective career goals. These subjects also set the foundation for the courses in the IBDP. The IB Diploma Programme is made up of six subject groups, and students are required to take one course from each group. Students generally take three Standard Level courses and three High Level courses, and the ones that they select will vary based on their personal goals.

The IBDP subject groups are:

● Studies in language and literature.

● Language acquisition.

● Individuals and societies.

● Sciences.

● Mathematics.

● The arts

The IGCSE Focuses on In-Depth Study

The IGCSE is a two-year programme, and students will find that rather than covering a variety of topics at the surface level, they will study specific topics in-depth during their courses. This in-depth study allows them to fully understand the concepts covered and apply it within their own lives. They make lasting connections to the concepts covered and this prepares them for their future studies and careers. 

The IBDP requires students to understand how to complete in-depth studies on specific topics successfully and conduct their own research. Students in the IB DP are expected to show initiative and work beyond the confines of the curriculum to expand their knowledge and deepen their understanding of the topic.

Both the IGCSE and IBDP Rely on External Assessments

IGCSE students are required to complete external assessments in Grade 10, which are good practice for the external assessments that conclude the IB Diploma Programme in Grade 12. In the IGCSE, the assessment is designed to evaluate the knowledge and skills that the student has developed throughout the programme. It also helps students learn how to manage their time during an exam and understand the guidelines required to complete a formal written exam. Students in the IGCSE become more comfortable with the idea of external assessments, and they often approach the IB DP exams with more confidence than those who have less experience with external assessments.

The administrators and teachers at GIIS believe that the IGCSE and IBDP provide our students with the rigorous academic curriculum they need while also emphasising the importance of skill development and critical thinking.

IGCSE programme is offered at both the GIIS campuses - SMART Campus and East Coast. For more information on how IGCSE is the best foundation for the IBDP, book a tour today and meet our counsellors.

Deepika Sodhi

Ms Sodhi is the Academic Supervisor for the International Curricula at GIIS SMART Campus, Singapore. She has been teaching Physics for the past 22 years and has a great ability to help students relate to scientific principles in everyday life. She is also actively involved in GIIS’ seamless transition to digital pedagogy in teaching, assessments etc.

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