Years 10–11 (Ages 14–16) IGCSE

Students in Years 10 –11 (aged 14–16) at YCIS Hong Kong join the exemplary International General Certificate for Secondary Education (IGCSE). “Cambridge IGCSE is the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16 year olds. It is recognized by leading universities and employers worldwide, and is an international passport to progression and success. Developed over 25 years ago, it is tried, tested and trusted by schools worldwide.”

Students walking to next class for the day

IGCSE develops a learner’s knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as unfamiliar situations
  • Intellectual attainment and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating with language
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness

Students sharing learning around computers

To be awarded the International Certificate of Education (ICE) students must pass in at least seven subjects.
There are many IGCSE courses offered to students at YCIS, inlduing but not limited to

At YCIS the core compulsory subjects are:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Mathematics
  • Global Perspectives

This is a course that is cross-curricular and stretching across traditional subject boundaries. It taps into the way learners of today enjoy reaching new levels of interest; it includes group work, seminars, projects whilst they learn about others in the world.

IGCSE student artwork for elective subject

Students study two languages from Group I and at least one subject of each Groups II to V: 

  1. Group I: Languages

    English First Language is designed for learners whose first language is English. It enables 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.

    Chinese First Language enables students to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively in writing. The course develops students’ comprehension, inference and analysis skills. It also promotes students’ knowledge of how Chinese language can be used and enjoyed.

    English as a Second Language is designed for learners who already have a working knowledge of the language and who want to consolidate their understanding in order to progress to a higher proficiency level. The course reflects the widespread use of English in education and commerce, and also in entertainment.

    Chinese as a Second Language is designed for learners who already have a working knowledge of the language and who want to promote their educational or employment prospects. They gain an understanding of a wide range of social registers and styles, and learn to communicate appropriately and practically.

    Chinese as a Foreign Language is based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are built on as learners’ progress through their studies. Chinese is spoken, encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards other cultures and civilisations.

  2. Group II: Humanities and Social Sciences

    Economics is a course that develops an understanding of economic terminology and principles and of basic economic theory. Learners study the economics of developed and developing nations and how these interrelate. They also learn to handle simple data and undertake economic analysis, evaluate information and discriminate between facts and value judgments in economic issues.

    Geography is a course that enables Learners to develop a 'sense of place' by looking at the world around them on a local, regional and global scale. Learners will examine a range of natural and man-made environments and study processes that affect the way people live.

    History course looks at some of the major international issues of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and covers the history of particular regions in more depth. Emphasis is placed on acquirement of knowledge and research skills.

  3. Group III: Sciences

    Biology carries an emphasis on human biology and the course helps learners to take an informed interest in science and scientific developments, including technology. There is a mix of theoretical and practical studies.

    Chemistry course enables 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 principals of Chemistry through theoretical and practical studies.

    Physics course helps learners to understand the technological world in which they live, and take an informed interest in science and scientific developments. They learn about the principles of Physics through a mix of theoretical and practical studies.

  4. Group IV: Mathematics

    International Mathematics reflects the way today's learners like to learn: they will acquire a solid foundation of mathematical skills and learn how to develop strategies for solving open-ended problems and allows learners to sharpen their investigative skills.

  5. Group V: Creativity, Technical and Vocational

    Art and Design aims to encourage a personal response by stimulating imagination sensitivity, conceptual thinking, powers of observation and analytical ability. They also learn how to develop ideas from initial attempts to final solutions.

    Music encourages learners to listen to, perform and compose music, encouraging aesthetic and emotional development, self‐discipline and, importantly, creativity. As a result, learners enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of music, an achievement that forms an ideal foundation for future study and enhances life-long musical enjoyment.

    Drama is a practical and theoretical study, where learners develop an understanding and enjoyment of drama, developing group and individual skills whilst portraying feelings and emotions to the audience.

    Physical Education provides learners with an opportunity to study both the practical and theoretical aspects of physical education.

    Information and Communication Technology combines theoretical and practical studies focusing on the ability to use common software applications. Learners will develop a greater awareness of the impact in the workplace, society and global affects.

    Design and Technology course enables learners to identify, consider and solve problems through creative thinking, planning and design, working with an array of materials and medium.

    Business Studies develops learners' understanding of business activity in the public and private sectors and the importance of innovation and change.

Students study skeleton in Science

Elective Subjects for a Holistic Education

The IGCSE programme, paired with the YCIS International curriculum, offers a wide-range of engaging courses incorporating leadership skills and global awareness. Based on their interests and focus, students are able to choose from a broad selection of elective subjects, as listed above. Also available are the following electives: Additional Mathematics and World Literature.

Students on World Classroom trip to Moscow

Trips and Excursions

IGCSE students have an abundance of community service opportunities and have opportunities to travel on trips locally, within China, and internationally for the subject options. In Years 10–11, many of our students choose to embark on a visit to one of our Seeds of Hope schools, located in small, rural villages in regions throughout China – to complete service projects and help volunteer in the classrooms which enhances social responsibility.

Students holding learning resources ready for lesson

Years 10–11: Snapshot of a School Day

  • 8.10 a.m.: Students can attend regular assemblies that have a theme.
  • 8.25 a.m.: Students organise their belongings in their lockers, and they then move to their form rooms (homerooms) to listen to their form teacher’s updates on important daily news and activities.
  • 8.40 a.m.: Students take their first lesson, for example English, to develop advanced writing skills and explore the world of literature.
  • 9.40 a.m.: Students then have the chance to relax and catch up with friends during their morning break time.
  • 10 a.m.: Students move to their daily Chinese language lessons based on their language level.
  • 10.55 a.m.: Students join their Mathematics lesson.
  • 11.50 a.m.: Students enjoy a healthy lunch in the cafeteria with a wide range of hot and cold options.
  • 12.45 p.m.: Students participate in a Humanities or other IGCSE elective subject lesson.
  • 1.40 p.m.: Students learn about the fascinating world and concepts of science.
  • 2.35 p.m.: The final lesson of the day, which may be Music or Physical Education.
  • 3.30 pm.: Students gather their belongings from their lockers and prepare to return home. Most students are busy after school with a wide-range of YCIS Co-curricular activities.

YCIS – Secondary is an authorised Cambridge International Examination Centre.