IES Solna will add an extra class in grade four, already in August 2023. At the same time, the school will start working with resources from Cambridge International from earlier years to meet requests from students and their families.
Principal Suzanne Gavin
“We have a diverse school community and there is a strong interest in a high academic profile”, said principal Suzanne Gavin. “Providing students with high academic challenges is one of our goals, and that is why we started Cambridge IGCSE this year and now look to expand that focus further”.
IES students can choose to take extra exams, known as Cambridge IGCSEs (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) from Cambridge Assessment International Education. These tests are internationally recognised and based on a curriculum from Cambridge International with a significantly higher level than those set in the Swedish curriculum. Today, it’s the world’s most popular international qualification for 14 to 16-year-olds.
“We started IGCSEs in grade eight this year and it’s been very successful in both Mathematics and English”, said Ms Gavin. “There is a strong interest from families with students in the early year groups to start studying towards the IGCSE as well, and in other subjects.”
IES Solna introduces the IGCSE exams in grade eight as an enrichment activity. The students commit to at least one hour a week, where they study with a teacher and they also do the exam to get the formal qualification.
“It does demand academic challenge”, said Ms Gavin. “They have to study hard and it’s an addition to their normal curriculum. The students stay in school until 4 to 5 o'clock every Tuesday. They have a thirst for knowledge and want to learn more! The students like the structure it brings and the clear guidance through the material. The resources that Cambridge produces are of high quality, innovative and very methodical as a curriculum.”
Almost 30% of the students in grade eight at IES Solna are doing IGCSEs. Some of them will go on to international schools, some just want a challenge and many are interested in continuing to the International Baccalaureate (IB).
“The IGSCE really prepares them well for the IB programme”, said Ms Gavin. “It’s a good addition to the CV too, for any workplace. The commitment required to study the IGCSEs shows students will to succeed, dedication to further their education and the grit needed to pursue additional challenged.”
Starting from grade four this August, IES Solna will be using more resources, such as reading literature textbooks that are aligned with the Cambridge International curriculum, to teach English-speaking subjects in the early years.
“The material is designed for bilingual learners and it ties very well with the Swedish curriculum”, said Ms Gavin. “There are no exams in the younger years, it is only to further straighten our curriculum and to provide an academic challenge.”
It also rubs off on the regular subjects in school. Teachers are noticing that the IGCSEs have helped the students in their regular studies. If they are doing IGCSE in Math, it complements the work that they are doing in the regular Math classes.
“It provides an opportunity for students to further their academic studies beyond the curriculum”, Ms Gavin concludes. “We are very happy that we have the capacity to expand with another class in grade four and can develop our work even more this autumn.”
If you are interested in a place in August, apply here