The Cambridge Lower Secondary curriculum
Grades 6, 7 and 8
Our curriculum in these grades is built around the Cambridge Lower Secondary programme, which is designed for children from 11 – 14 years of age. This is offered at DPS STS school in Grades 6 to 8 at our Senior campus.
As in the Cambridge Primary Programme, clear learning objectives ensure children continue to acquire a wealth of knowledge and skills in a broad range of essential subjects, while developing confidence, independence and a genuine love of learning.
Regular assessments continue to monitor progress closely as the programme becomes increasingly demanding so children are working at an appropriate and challenging level. Specialist teachers provide the necessary support and guidance in a well-resourced learning environment.
During the first four months of Grade 8 students take the Cambridge Checkpoint Examinations in English, Mathematics and Science. These rigorous external exams are set and marked by Cambridge International in the UK.
Lower secondary Cambridge subjects
In our Cambridge English course at this level, our focus is increasingly on the development of students as first language English speakers, although we have the option to support others as second language English users. The course continues to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in the three strands of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Students learn about a wide range of fiction genres, poetry, playscripts and non-fiction texts. The study of grammar is embedded throughout the curriculum.
Cambridge Mathematics becomes more challenging in Lower Secondary, with rigorous units focusing on Numbers, Geometry, Algebra, handling data and problem solving. Students continue to develop knowledge, skills and understanding of Mathematical concepts and methodology, and are encouraged to think like Mathematicians in order to solve problems, many of which will be related to ‘real life’. Their understanding deepens as they are given wider opportunities to apply and display their Mathematical ability.
In Grades 6, 7 and 8 Cambridge Science is taught by specialists in separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics classes. Lessons take place in laboratories, giving increased scope to plan investigations, study evidence and record data. Students learn what it means to be a Biologist, Chemist and Physicist and develop a deeper understanding of the thinking behind all Science by participating in practical work.
Cambridge Global Perspectives at Lower Secondary Level continues to build analytical and critical thinking as students are encouraged to acquire a wider understanding of the World through investigating further topics at a more challenging level.
Cambridge checkpoint examinations
In the first semester of Grade 8, students take the Cambridge Checkpoint Examinations in English, Mathematics and Science. These examinations are set and marked by Cambridge International in the UK.
Parallel Lower Secondary courses at DPS STS School
Bangla and Bangladesh studies
The school’s Bangla programme in Lower Secondary continues as an essential element of our programme in Lower secondary. Students explore a wide range of fiction and nonfiction as their understanding and use of their mother-tongue language continues to deepen and grow.
As with the Cambridge English programme, our Lower secondary Bangla curriculum focuses on the development of the essential skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening in order to ensure that children can express increasingly complex ideas clearly and with excellent understanding.
Our commitment to national identify is further reflected by the study of our country’s History and Geography throughout the Primary years
Computer studies and Information technology
Computer studies is a subject of increasing importance for all students at this level. Digital literacy is vital for all learners, and as they become more involved in the subject, students also learn how to become effective Digital Citizens,
Languages other than Bangla and English
Students whose mother tongue is not Bangla continue to have the opportunity to learn another language in Lower Secondary, with mother tongue classes in Hindi and French as a second language regularly offered in Grades 6, 7 and 8.
PE, Music, Art, Chess and Dance
Our broad curriculum continues throughout the Lower Secondary school in Grades 6, 7 and 8. To maintain a balance in their lives, we believe these sporting and culturally enriching subjects are essential for a student’s well-being.
The Cambridge IGCSE programme in Grades 8 to 10
In the remaining session of Grade 8, students start their Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education or IGCSE courses. These courses are divided into Core and Optional subjects. With IGCSE students begin their journey at DPS STS school to qualify for entry to international or home-based higher education at the end of Grade 12.
There are Five core subjects taken by all students at IGCSE level
- Bangladesh Studies
Students then have the choice to add up to Four IGCSE optional subjects. Many students tend to follow either a predominantly Science-based programme of IGCSE subjects, while others choose a pathway that consists mainly of Commerce and Business related subjects.
Our IGCSE options include:
- Additional Mathematics
- Business Studies
The Cambridge AS and A Level programme in Grades 11 and 12
Having completed the IGCSE programme of study by the end of Grade 10, students have the chance to join the DPS STS School AS and A Level programme. Students normally study for four AS and A Level subjects in Grade 11 and in 12.
Students again tend to opt for a Science or Commerce-related set of choices, but the school also offers the opportunity for students to offer English Language, Information Technology and specialist minority subjects like Law, Psychology and Art & Design.
Students take their AS Levels (“Advanced Supplementary”) General Certificate of Education exams at the end of Grade 11, with their marks being carried over as the first half of their final A Level (or “Advanced Level”) scores, to add to the marks awarded when the students sit for their final A Level papers at the end of Grade 12.
All Grade 11 and 12 students have access to the schools College Counselling Programme to enable them to apply to universities around the world. DPS-STS students have an enviable record of being offered places at a range of leading global universities.
An outstanding Secondary Co-Curricular programme
We know that universities look at a great deal more than academic results when making offers to prospective students. This is especially true of top universities. It is therefore vital that as they progress through the secondary school, students should have access to a wide range of sporting, cultural and enrichment activities which will shape them as the kind of well-rounded young persons that top universities value so highly.
Of course, these activities should also be enjoyable for their own sake, and we believe it is essential that students are given a wide variety of opportunities to perform, compete and express themselves in an increasingly challenging programme.
Service activities, competitive inter-house and inter-school sports, local and overseas trips, performance and cultural events therefore play an important part in the lives of our Secondary students. The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Model United Nations Group and World Scholars Cup teams are just three areas at the tip of a rich co-curricular iceberg that makes such a difference to the lives of our students.